"My first ever Friday Five is dedicated to Nikki MacDonald, sister RevGal, who was hungering for an opportunity to write about Haggis. With that introduction, today’s FF is all about food!"1) Is there a food from a foreign land whose reputation led to trepidation when you had a chance to give it a try? Did you find the courage to sample it anyway? If so, were you pleasantly surprised or did you endorse the less than favorable reputation that preceded it?
Escargot: The man I was dining with had gotten his doctorate in France, and he insisted I try the escargot with garlic butter he had ordered. It didn't taste anything like I expected — on the other hand, neither did I particularly care for it. He kept trying to give me another bite, another escargot, dripping with butter. After one or two, I suggested he eat it, since he loved it so. The taste, to me, seemed bland, like eating the eraser on the end of a pencil. Not that I've ever eaten an eraser, of course, but that was the image that came to mind that day.2) What food from your own country/culture gets a bad rap?
3) Of what food are you fond that others find distasteful?
Okra: When my mother-in-law moved from Pennsylvania to Tennessee — in other words, from the North to the South — someone who didn't know what they were talking about (probably another Northerner) told her to BOIL the okra, as in a gumbo, I suppose. Never again, for the rest of her life, would she taste okra, and she lived to be 95. Southerners know okra is supposed to be FRIED. I have found one restaurant in my entire life that can fry okra that tastes like my mother's. It's really an odd coincidence that, just this morning, I ran into the man who fries my okra "extra crispy" — I was eating breakfast with a friend and he came in for his own breakfast. You know the food must be good when an excellent cook buys food at another restaurant on his way to the one he owns! (Full disclosure: his doesn't open for breakfast.)
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Sweet potatoes: My friend Donna insists that sweet potatoes should not be classified as food. Since we are roommates and sometimes eat together at home, I make a regular baked potato for her when I have a baked sweet potato (or yam) for me.
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Japanese: I enjoy Japanese food — and watching a chef prepare it on the grill in front of us. I took this dramatic photo a couple of years ago.5) What is your guilty pleasure food?
Glazed donuts: Yeah, plain ole Krispy Creme glazed donuts. I generally don't care for desserts, but I can eat several of these at a sitting.Bonus: What was your most memorable meal (good or bad), either because of the menu, the occasion, the company, or some other circumstance that makes it stand out?
My children's theatrics at having to eat something they had decided ahead of time they weren't going to like — some of those were memorable. My rule was one bite. They had to try a single bite. One day, Barbara refused to eat spinach. I told her that MY mother had told ME (that way I didn't quite exactly say whether it was true or not) that our taste changes every seven years. She said, "I'm seven, so I'll try it." She did, and she declared, "I like it!" and ate a whole serving. Whew! It worked.