When I was about 6 years old, my family and I visited close friends who own a farm in upstate New York. They had a beautiful vegetable garden and also were raising a variety of animals, from cows and pigs for meat, to chickens for eggs and goats for milk.
One morning I sat down for breakfast to a bowl of cornflakes. My “Aunt” Susan poured the milk, and I dug in with my spoon for a bite. I was in for a surprise. Instead of the cow’s milk that I was used to on my cereal at home, Susan had poured on fresh goat’s milk. My taste buds weren’t happy, and I opted for toast instead.
I have used this story for years to politely decline appetizers or dishes with goat cheese. It’s a flavor that I just can’t seem to enjoy. That said, I have successfully overcome a number of other food dislikes over the years. How? Simply by giving them a try every now and again.
The world is full of foods and flavors that are beloved by some, and not so loved by others. According to the Monell Center in Philadelphia, a nonprofit science institute that researches the senses of taste and smell, our individual genetics cause us to react differently to various flavors. We are also predisposed to like foods that our mothers ate while pregnant. I’m pretty sure my mom didn’t drink goat’s milk.
In this new year, I encourage you to give another shot to something that you’ve scrunched your nose at in the past. To get you started, visit our new section aptly named “TRY”, where we’ll introduce food combinations that may seem not so tasty at first, but once you give them a chance, your taste buds may change your mind. Try some Black Bean Brownies! Also read our feature “For the Love of Cocoa,” which might inspire you to experiment with this flavorful power-food in more savory versus sweet recipes.
Variety is, as they say, the spice of life—and it’s healthy for you, too. By trying different foods with different flavors and from different food groups, you can create a more balanced and nutritious diet. As you embark on a quest toward a healthier you in 2016, make trying (and re-trying) new foods part of the great adventure.