I have a confession: I always have been and I probably always will be a picky eater. And to make matters worse, I have a ton of food allergies. Between my eternal pickiness and my loathsome allergies, it’s difficult for me to have a well-balanced diet. I may have a novelty tee with the food pyramid on it, but it’s for decoration only.
Pretty much every meal I eat is an act of defiance against my allergies. It’s a game of Russian roulette. How many of these foods can I eat before I start to itch or cough? As an example: I like to eat Kung Pao chicken at some Asian restaurants. It generally contains snow peas, carrots, rice, peanuts, and chicken (with some yummy soy-chili type sauce). I’m allergic to peas, carrots, rice, and peanuts. That’s everything but the chicken. Except technically I’m allergic to feathers, so even the chicken is questionable. So, you say, perhaps I should order a beer with dinner? Fantastic! How about a nice unfiltered wheat beer? It’s made with wheat, oats, and yeast. Guess how many of those things I’m allergic to. If you said “every damn one of them,” you’re correct! And how about strawberry shortcake for dessert? Only if I want to turn into a giant strawberry-colored hive.
Allergies aside, when I say I’m picky I don’t just mean a little bit. Let's use green as an example. In almost all cases, green is bad. It tastes like heartburn. I will eat spinach raw or sautéed, occasionally in queso, but never creamed. Dark greens like arugula, watercress, or romaine lettuce are good, but never iceberg lettuce. I’d rather eat a sock. Avocados and limes are tasty (especially together with some garlic and cilantro — also allowed), but don’t really count because they’re fruits. Green beans are tolerable when sautéed with bacon and lots of garlic, but only then. Zucchini is good in two recipes, but unfortunately I don’t know either of them. Leeks are fine in the form of leek and potato soup. Cucumbers are okay only in the form of tzatziki sauce when eating authentic Greek food. Green tomatillos in the form of salsa verde are pretty tasty.