How I Overcame My Fears and Learned to Love Weird Foods

Tulip Girl dared me to write this post, and I couldn't resist. My post have been all serious recently and I'm starting to feel a bit grumpy and self-important. This morning, my husband and I took a stroll through our neighborhood, which is not exactly a quiet area. We live right in downtown Incheon, next to the city hall. There are several beautiful parks nearby but they are certainly urban parks. The roar of traffic and crowds of people are never far way. Anyhow, I unburdened my soul while we walked. Just listening to myself talking made me realize how ridiculous seriously I take myself. I need to lighten up, so here goes.

First of all, I never had much fear of new foods to overcome. I love having any kind of new experience. When I was in junior high or so, I stayed with my uncle and aunt in central Washington State. There is a high population of Mexicans there, mostly migrant workers, and some Mexicans had set up a taco stand near my uncle's work site. I went there out of curiosity, saw that they sold tacos with tongue meat and brains. Of course, I ordered a brain taco and took it home, labeled it "Hannah's Brains" and put it into my aunt's refrigerator.

One reason I am motivated to try new things is because I have always wanted to be a writer. Writers need something interesting to write about. I used to think that my upbringing and surrounding were so tame and boring (now I'm not so sure) that I needed to embrace anything that might be helpful for my later writing. I thought trying new foods might help. See, it worked! You're reading this post, aren't you?

In actuality, I am a snobby eater. Nothing is ever up to my standards. I am often disappointed when I go out to eat. So, I figure that if I try something new and hate it, at least I had an experience. It's better than trying something I like and being disappointed.

Also, I have a long standing animosity towards most American foods. I like just about any cuisine better than American food. Korean food suits my tastes very well. Here in Korea, I don't miss American food at all. What I do miss is shopping at many different ethnic markets--Korean, Chinese, Russian, Indian, Thai. . . There is one Indo-Pak store in Seoul which I travel to every few months to stock up on spices and dal but not many other ethnic groups that I am aware of have stores in Korea.

So I guess I'm weird. I love weird foods. I hate normal foods. I drink vinegar and eat lemons, especially when pregnant. I buy hot peppers by the kilogram mix them with octopus.

Yesterday I saw an interesting cooking show. How to make various dishes with dandelion leaves and roots. There was even dandelion kimchi, dandelion tea, dandelion muchim, dandelion jeon. Too bad I don't have any dandelions.

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