Y proved to be the toughest letter. I also ran out of charming anecdotes. Instead of racking my memory, I decided to make a list of YUCKY food memories.
I eat just about everything. There are foods I do not prefer and would not bother putting in my shopping cart. Swiss chard and whole wheat pasta come to mind. There are foods I will eat only one way, like okra. Okra’s fuzzy skin, large seeds, and slimy texture make it very difficult to handle and swallow. But if it is pickled and garnishes a Bloody Mary, I can enjoy one. These foods are not yucky. They simply don’t jazz my gustatory experience.
The foods listed below had been tried at some level but tasted so revolting I would not venture a different recipe, thereby earning the YUCKY adjective.
Jellyfish I had cooked this Vietnamese dish for International Night. The jellyfish had to be rehydrated and, in turn, made the whole house smell like low tide. The dish tasted like rubber bands and had the same texture.
Liver and Onions When liver and onions were sautéed in a pan, the organ meat aroma hung heavy in the kitchen fouling any inkling of an appetite. (To save space, I can honestly say all organ meats are held in the same esteem as liver and onions)
Baccala My family hasn’t cooked baccala for many many years. It is a heavily salted cod filet and is a traditional Italian dish for Christmas Eve. Baccala must soak in water for a day or two, that makes the whole house smell like low tide.
Capozella (lamb’s brains) I have to admit, I had never tasted capozella. I had seen the head of the lamb on my Uncle Tony’s kitchen table. I did not get past the glazed over eyeballs to get a good look.
Fish Eggs Sac My dad would gut the mackerel he caught and save the egg sacs. They were yucky to look at raw and slimy. It did not look much better cooked. The visual was bad enough, but it tasted oily and had a mushy grit texture.
This exercise got a bit nauseating. I promise Z will be yummy.
Welcome to my Blogging A-Z April 2018 Challenge. My theme is Food Stories Remembered because there is always a story when food is involved. I consider myself a good home cook with a great appetite for hearty food. I have witnessed the creation of favorite recipes in friends’ kitchens and have learned from the best—my mother, grandmother, and mother-in-law. Recipes may be included. I am remaining uncommitted on this because when I cook, I seldom measure. If you try any of my recipes, you are cooking at your own risk. Grab a glass of wine. Hope you’re hungry!
Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.