Foods that you grow to love

 borscht

When I was a child, there were a few foods that I never wanted to eat. My parents never forced me to clean my plate, but I did have to at least try a food before proclaiming that I didn't like it. I know why I didn't like a few of the items - certain vegetables were often overcooked and once I had them properly prepared, I realized their appeal. But others were more of a mystery. My mother's vegetable soup, based on an old family recipe, was one of those foods. Despite trying a few spoonfuls each time it was served, I balked at eating the soup throughout my childhood and adolescence, even though it was well made.

The soup had a definite Ukrainian influence, containing a hefty quantity of beets, although it wasn't quite borscht. Since my great-grandparents - although of German descent - grew up in western Ukraine near the Moldova border, this is not surprising. I am inclined to think that the pronounced beet flavor was what put me off of the soup, but whether that was the case or not, I never developed a taste for it while I lived at home.

After I had lived away from home for a couple of years, I came back for a routine visit during which my mother served the same vegetable soup that I hadn't liked as a child. Now, however, there was a difference: I found it delicious. While the soup was cooking, the familiar aroma that I once despised now had me salivating.

What was the reason for this change? Was it because I had been exposed to many new and exciting flavors since I left home? I had not yet tried borscht - that came a few years later - so that wasn't the answer. Had my tastebuds changed as I got older? Was it just nostalgia for something that reminded me of home? I don't really know why I suddenly enjoyed the same food that I had found unpalatable just a few years before.

Science may have the answer. Some scientists believe that you will grow to like a food just by repeatedly eating it. Perhaps in the years away from home I had tried enough foods reminiscent of the major flavors to push me over the edge. Or maybe it was just a longing for home. Whatever the reason, I now relish the soup that I once hated. Do you have any foods that you once hated that you've grown to love?

Photo of Borscht from The Hairy Bikers' Meat Feasts by Hairy Bikers and Dave Myers and Si King

2 Comments

  • KarinaFrancis  on  7/25/2016 at 5:50 PM

    Its not uncommon, it might be a change in tastes and/or nostalgia. As a kid I despised ful medamis (an egyptian bean dish) which we always had at easter. I would volunteer to fast rather than eat it. Now as an adult I crave it every Good Friday. Sadly, my grandmother isnt here to make it now so it sits in my rosy coloured memory.

  • Nancith  on  7/26/2016 at 6:47 PM

    When I was young, the only spinach available was canned (my age is showing!). It literally made me gag to eat it. Years later I felt compelled to eat creamed spinach at my future in-laws (didn't want to appear picky, you know), & found it to be delicious. I'm sure the fact that it wasn't canned made a difference. Had a similar experience with avocado.

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