21 October 2010

The man who ate everything: Olives


My 4 ½-year old son, Bbq Jr., loves olives.  Even as a baby, his favourite activity at parties was sitting on a friend's lap while she fed him olive after olive.

Me, not so much.  While I *love* the flavour of olive oil, I have never found olives appealing.  I've always found it to be a bit of a personal failing.  Indeed, when friends discover I don't like olives, they always react surprised - "But you're such a food guy!".  Yeah.  Don't like olives.

But the psychology of desire is a tricky thing.  According to Steingarten (in The Man Who Ate Everything):
"By the age of twelve, we all suffer from a haphazard collection of food aversions ranging from revulsion to indifference... we are born with a cautious ambivalence toward novel foods, a precarious balance between neophilia and neophobia."
Well, I suffer from olivephobia.  I dislike olives.  Or rather, I disliked olives.  Take this little tidbit:
"Most parents give up trying novel foods on their weanlings after two or three attempts and then complain to the pediatrician; this may be the most common cause of fussy eaters and finicky adults--of omnivores manqués. Most babies will accept nearly anything after eight or ten tries."
We took this little bit to heart.
"People should be deeply ashamed of the irrational food phobias that keep them from sharing food with each other."
I am ashamed.  We serve Bbq Jr. new foods over and over until he likes them. And now, at age 4 ½, he's a more adventurous eater than I am. And that must be remedied.

Taking a page from The Man Who Ate Everything, I ate olives whenever I had the chance.  Every time Mrs. Dude and Bbq Jr. had olives, I would eat three.  Any time Mrs. Dude had a chocolate martini, I would have a gin martini - with two olives.

And after a couple of months of this, a few times a week - I can report - SUCCESS!  I not only don't hate olives any more, I actually enjoy them.  I like their saltiness.  I enjoy the bitter, bright flavour of a good olive.  Yum.

So what next?  Squash.  I will love squash before I am through.  I intend to make this a new series here on Indirect Heat.

Stay tuned.


Mary said...

Kudos to you! Sounds like an "acquired taste" kind of thing. I used to not drink beer (yeah, I know) because of this dislike, but now I can enjoy it. I'm trying to do this with wine now, too. I don't think I want to do it with olives though...

* said...

mmmmm, olives...

Bbq Dude said...

Mary: Thanks. I highly encourage you to use this technique to get to like any food you currently don't like. Let me know if it works!

*: Mmmmm...

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