"A man loves the meat in his youth that he cannot endure in his age"
Benedick, Much Ado About Nothing, William Shakespeare.
And so it goes both ways: we cannot endure in our youth what we love in our age...
As a kid, Green Olives were my punishment; the vile, slimy, sour orbs they are. They even looked gross and unappetizing with their pallor between green and yellow. I am not, nor have ever been, left-brained. My math textbooks ended the year salty and tear stained. Memorizing multiplication tables was one of the hardest things in my life; ok, well in my young life. At the time, I would rather die. Please, God! Send a lightning bolt, life isn't worth living in a Mathematical World! This is not exaggerative, I prayed to be kicked by a horse, knocked into a coma and then to miraculously wake up years later having osmosisized these sums. Or, to be taken silently by a winter blizzard...I would get lost out watering the animals, and the frosty gods would have pity on me, welcoming me to their anti-arithmetical world.
Yet, I was seen fit to live and do math.
My Achilles heel: green olives. My dad found it out, and therefore trained me on my sums utilizing them as punishment. Really, it was a genius idea. Every time I got an answer wrong: 12 x 3 = 39.....pop! In went a green olive into my mouth. I learned multiplication; hated green olives all the more.
And, we age...foods, tastes, interests, change....they alter. We discover and rediscover foods. We evolve. We diet. We indulge. We acquire. We re-taste. We even might Try Again...
I now endure olives, I even enjoyed them tonight. My obsession with capers has led me to frequent the olive aisle at the market, and I found myself head-to-head with olives once again. I should grow up and try them, I thought. I'm an adult, for pete's sake. I can do my multiplication tables now!
Turning each jar and can, my eyes meticulously reading ingredients: "other natural flavors" um, no. "vinegar" slightly skeptical....
And then: "green olives, water, salt." I like that. Thank you, Santa Barbara Olive Co. You helped me grow up tonight.
I also learned Latin while I ate, reading The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. "Oleas" is the Latin word for "oil" thus, from its scientific classification, Olea europaea, we derive Olives. And, did you know that olives are really a fruit? Indeed! So says p.435.
- Romaine lettuce -
Freshly cracked pepper