Notched, Part 1: Hello, Big World of Food!

I’ll admit it: I was one of those picky kids. I subsisted on the food groups of protein, starch and sugar from childhood through my early adult years, with my teen years mainly fueled by pepsi and hot pockets. It probably appeared to be a hopeless situation to my parents, whose seasonal garden full of fresh veggies went mostly ignored by yours truly (who wants green beans after having to pick them, anyhow?).

Did I actually dislike so many foods? I don’t think so; it was more a case of stubborn avoidance for reasons I can’t yet articulate. So once I started college, this fixated diet began quaking after finally giving rational attention to its irrational nature. Except that I was still a poor college student, with extremely limited means for exploring the wide world of food.  And then in steps a fabulous gift of a trip, a three-day cruise generously paid for by my future (at that time) in-laws.

This was my first flight anywhere, and first time going beyond the US/Canadian borders. So on top of the pile of this new experience, I officially threw in my new-found openness towards food. With expense not an issue, my rational decision to stop being picky could finally merge with the opportunity to try a bounty of new items. And I loved every bite!

That’s not to say that there aren’t foods that I can’t quite like, or that I’ll guest star on Bizarre Foods anytime soon. I’ve just carried this mindset with me everywhere since that short cruise, which not only helped kick my picky eating habits, but was my “gateway drug” into the world of traveling in general. It seems that opening the door to one new experience might just let a few others in as well.

A few delicious food highlights from our travels:

  • Pizza covered in frutti de mare – Vernazza, Italy
  • Forcing myself to eat green olives every day in Spain (I almost like them now..)
  • Tapas (how could I choose which?) – Madrid, Spain
  • Mussels, clams, and pasta – Italy
  • Whole fried Anchovies – Granada, Italy
  • Roasted duck, blaukraut – Munich, Germany
  • Many, many more.

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