Hello TERP Muffins. I know I continue to be rather absent from my beloved blog. I continue to have a bit of writer's block when it comes to fresh recipes. I realize that's not really an excuse. I started this blog not just to share recipes, but to share all kind of food related topics. I am supposed to be reviewing restaurants, books, and new food products as well as share my inane, food-related thoughts. In that spirit, I thought I'd share a fun post today.
I say I am a failure as a foodie because I'm too picky. There are too many foods in the world I consider inedible: Peas, grapefruit, olives, blue cheeses, and anything born in the water and bearing a fishy flavor (including, but not limited to crustaceans, mollusks, and fish with fins). There are foods I can choke down, but don't like (beets, Brussels sprouts, and the all-too-ubiquitous pumpkin). I know I'm not alone in many of my dislikes. I just feel guilty about them as a food blogger.
Today's post is not about what I dislike outright. It's about those foods so many people seem to love and I just don't get. I don't hate them, but I can't say any of the foods on this list taste particularly good. How can you get excited about some of this stuff?
So what are these overrated foods?
I get it. The plant kingdom is a bit short on complete, bioavailable proteins. I'm sure vegans have it rough. Not everyone likes tofu and soy is one of the most common food allergies. I'm sure it's easy to tire of rice and beans. Quinoa must seem like a perfect protein solution for vegans.
I just don't get why everyone else thinks this stuff is so great. I'm told it tastes "nutty", but I never tasted a nut that tastes like quinoa. To me quinoa tastes like a combination of soap, birdseed, and nothing at all. Seriously omnivores, what do you like about this stuff?
Dark leafy greens are good for you. I believe that one can say most edible dark leafy greens are good for you. What makes kale so special? It doesn't taste all that good. Some people find it too bitter. I don't think it's bitter as much as it just tastes blandly vegetal with an undertone of dirt. It's not bad when you roast it into kale chips, but most vegetables will taste better in crunchy chip form, especially with plenty of salt. Put it into my soup and it just tastes like slimy green stuff. If I want some greens with my dinner, I'll stick with chard or spinach. I think whoever decided kale should be called a "superfood" is playing a nasty joke on the rest of us. How much kale will the masses eat if we tell them it's the most nutritious vegetable in existence?
I call this a "disappointment food". There is something tempting about yogurt. It looks so creamy and sweet. I can remember my first tastes of it as a child. I saw this stuff that looked like pudding or ice cream. I wanted it to taste good so badly. Too bad no matter how many times I tried it, I was eating this nasty sour stuff. I used to put this one on the list with peas and olives, but the introduction of strained yogurt to mass market shelves has helped me to tolerate it a bit. Strained or "Greek" yogurt (or Icelandic Skyr) has a pleasant texture and less torturous tartness. I am still not too keen on eating it by itself. It makes a nice dressing and it adds protein to a smoothie without resorting to chemical-laden powders. I just don't understand how anyone can consider it dessert. I once watched a travel show where the host made a mango shortcake and used yogurt instead of whipped cream. If anyone ever does that to me, I will see to it she regrets it for the rest of her life.
Do you love oatmeal? When was the last time you had oatmeal? How was it prepared? Did you use one of those instant packages laden with sugar? Did you make a bowl of quick-cooking oats from a can? How did you eat those oats? I'll bet you put something on it. Maybe you poured sugar or honey or maple syrup on it. Maybe you garnished it with fruits and nuts and nut butter. It's possible you even poured butter or cream on top. How could you not love oatmeal when you just took that boring batch of gruel and covered it with dessert? I say to people oatmeal is bland and joyless and the retort is usually, "I love oatmeal I eat it with..." and then proceed to tell me at least three toppings that go on top of their bowl of oatmeal. Cook yourself a bowl of oatmeal and don't put anything on it and tell me how much you love it. If you need to put a plethora of toppings on your food to make it taste good, then it doesn't taste good to begin with. Oatmeal, while it doesn't taste inherently bad, is a joyless bowl of mushy starch. It has little merit on its own.