No beets! / ¡Sin remolachas!

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

AFTER I MENTIONED THE FACT Monday that my pal Luke has become a picky eater, a lot of readers had stories of their own. I was a miserably picky eater as a child. My grandfather owned a produce shop when I was very little. I loved a lot of the raw, fresh vegetables my grandmother would sneak to me (my grandfather called it stealing), but I hated most of those same vegetables cooked. Along with all the foods I wouldn’t eat, I also required the food I would eat to be neat. When my mother made lasagna, I was miserable if I received a messy square, which was usually the case.

Because I wouldn’t eat, my mother forced me to sit at the table until I cleaned my plate. Unwisely, she allowed my sister, Dale, to keep me company. Dale’s nickname was Garbage Gut. She ate anything and everything. So, once we were alone, Dale shoved all my leftovers onto her plate and finished them off.

When I was 19 and Dale was 21 and she was married six months, I visited her in Northern England. She had never cooked before and I didn’t want to hurt her feelings, so I ate whatever she served. Fresh vegetables from the farms that surrounded them, and never overcooked. Who knew I’d love Brussels sprouts? After spending five weeks with Dale and her husband (I was, I’m sure, the house guest that smelled like fish), I flew to Italy to visit a friend (and I ate everything, although I didn’t think much of the breakfast pastry with anchovies).

I returned to New York and Dale followed shortly after for a month-long visit. Our first dinner at home, I surprised my mother by eating everything on my plate. She said, “You see! All those years of making you finish everything on your plate has paid off.” Dale and I told her the truth, which we both had always assumed she knew.

I am no longer picky, although don’t you dare try to get me to eat beets in any form other than beet chips (crisps); I don’t care if yours are the best baked beans I’ll ever taste, I won’t taste them; and even if the mushy peas have not been saturated with neon green food coloring, they are not permitted on my plate. San Geraldo, an excellent eater, loathes coconut; walnuts, pecans, and similar nuts; and olives. What about you?


DESPUÉS DE MENCIONAR EL HECHO el lunes de que mi amigo Luke se ha vuelto un quisquilloso con la comida, muchos lectores tenían sus propias historias. Cuando era niño, era miserablemente quisquilloso con la comida. Mi abuelo era dueño de una tienda de productos agrícolas cuando yo era muy pequeño. Me encantaban muchas de las verduras frescas y crudas que mi abuela me pasaba a escondidas (mi abuelo lo llamaba robar), pero odiaba la mayoría de esas mismas verduras cocidas. Junto con todos los alimentos que no comería, también necesitaba que los alimentos que comía estuvieran limpios. Cuando mi madre hacía lasaña, me sentía muy mal si recibía un cuadrado desordenado, que solía ser el caso.

Como no quería comer, mi madre me obligó a sentarme a la mesa hasta que limpie mi plato. Sin prudencia, permitió que mi hermana, Dale, me hiciera compañía. El apodo de Dale era Garbage Gut [Tripa de Basura]. Ella comió cualquier cosa y de todo. Entonces, una vez que estuvimos solos, Dale rápidamente empujó todas mis sobras en su plato y se las terminó.

Cuando yo tenía 19 y Dale 21 y ella estuvo casada seis mesess, la visité en el norte de Inglaterra. Ella nunca había cocinado antes y no quería herir sus sentimientos, así que comí todo lo que me sirvió. Verduras frescas de las granjas que las rodeaban, y nunca recocidas. ¿Quién diría que me encantarían las coles de Bruselas? Después de pasar demasiadas semanas con Dale y su esposo (yo era, estoy seguro, el huésped de la casa que olía a pescado), volé a Italia para visitar a una amiga (y me comí de todo, aunque no pensé mucho en el hojaldre del desayuno con anchoas).

Regresé a Nueva York y Dale me siguió poco después para una visita de un mes. Nuestra primera cena en casa, sorprendí a mi madre comiéndome todo lo que había en mi plato. Ella dijo: “¡Ya ves! Todos esos años de hacerte terminar todo lo que tienes en el plato han valido la pena.” Dale y yo le dijimos la verdad, que ambos siempre supusimos que ella sabía.

Ya no soy quisquilloso, aunque no te atrevas a intentar que coma remolacha en cualquier forma que no sean chips de remolacha (remolacha fritas); No me importa si los tuyos son los mejores frijoles horneados que jamás probaré, no los probaré; e incluso si los guisantes blandos no se han saturado con colorante verde neón, no están permitidos en mi plato. San Geraldo, excelente comedor, detesta el coco; nueces, pacanas, y frutos secos similares; y aceitunas. ¿Y tú?

• I’ve always loved bananas, but this might have put me right off.
• Siempre me han gustado los plátanos, pero esto podría haberme desanimado.
• At top is Tuesday morning’s sunrise. And directly above is Tuesday afternoon’s walk on the beach.
• En la parte superior está el amanecer del martes. Y justo encima está el paseo por la playa del martes por la tarde.
• Now that’s a crappy day at the beach.
• Ese es un día de mierda en la playa.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

37 thoughts on “No beets! / ¡Sin remolachas!”

  1. I’m not that picky an eater, but have an allergy/skin reaction that make eating anything spicy intolerable. And it doesn’t have to be all that spicy, either. Even a bit too much pepper can trigger the response. The entire area around my mouth will immediately turn bright red…great look for a circus clown but not so hot for someone who doesn’t want to be noticed. Sometimes swelling is involved, too, and it takes a while for the look to resolve. Burns the inside of my mouth, too. Obviously, that rules out a lot of really interesting dishes. For sure, the one thing I don’t like is raw oysters.

    1. Debra:
      I now love Brussels sprouts. SG makes a great stuffing/dressing with wild rice and ground Brussels sprouts. Not so strange about the particulars of your dislike for coconut. I’m not big on dry coconut flakes but love fresh coconut.

  2. At home we were never forced to clean our plates, but we did have to try a bite of everything. My 3rd grade teacher made me eat the green peas served by the school cafeteria; 30 minutes later I threw up on her desk when I got up to ask her to let me go to the restroom because I felt sick. She was a very mean-spirited person. They still gross me out!

    Dale, it seems, was far from mean-spirited! How good of her to rescue you.

      1. Wilma:
        I love thinking about that. Sorry you were sick, but SO happy about WHERE you were sick.

    I like almost everything or I am at least willing to try everything.
    EXCPT for eggplant…….I do not like slimey texture.
    Never liked eggs of any kind except in desserts. My Naturopath did her ‘magic/voodoo’ on me about 15 years ago and now I can eat them no problem…….except they have to be cooked very well/no slime.
    Oh and I do not like cilantro at all.

    1. Jim:
      I love eggplant… and eggs. I understand that distaste for cilantro is an actual condition. Some people just can’t tolerate it. We have a good friend here who can’t stand it and I was surprised to learn it’s not just a taste issue.

  4. My mom always insisted that the reason many people don’t like vegetables is because they haven’t had them when they’re prepared correctly. I have no idea whether that’s true, but I never minded hers when she cooked them. Even now, there’s not much I won’t eat. I do tend to avoid heavy foods, like lots of meat or heavy sauces. A little of that goes a long way with me.

    1. Steve:
      Your mom was right to a certain extent, I think. Many of us grew up with gray vegetables instead of green ones — and from cans instead of fresh. I still prefer veg raw to cooked. Still, a lot of kids (and adults) just don’t like vegetables no matter how perfectly they’re served.

  5. I don’t like peas. I love snow peas.
    I don’t like zucchini, or any squash, cooked.
    I don’t eat beets. I tried once and that was more than enough.
    I don’t eat liver, like my father, and I don’t eat eggplant, like my mother.

    I still remember my sister sitting at the table long after dinner was over trying to choke down cold clam chowder because she wouldn’t eat it at dinner time. My mother didn’t allow anyone to sit with her and now, after your story, I realize she must have known that my brother or I would have helped!

    1. Bob:
      I used to be that way about peas. Now I love them… as long as they’re not mushed! My grandmother always had a jar of homemade borscht on a kitchen shelf. It looks like pickled body parts to me. I don’t like plain old cooked liver (liver and onions… blech!!!), but love chopped liver and paté. I’m still shocked my mother had no clue Dale was cleaning my plate.

  6. My food allergies have dictated what I am able to eat since I was a toddler. And they have changed over time, so I get tested every 5-10 years. I don’t like the spongey, slimey texture of eggplant or zucchini and I wouldn’t eat raw fish or meat at gunpoint! The same goes for organ meats — kidneys, liver, tripe, ugh!

    My paternal grandmother lived with us when I was a little girl, and she served up a boiled cow tongue for supper one night. There it was, right in front of me, on a huge platter. One glimpse of the large taste buds made my stomach turn over and I’m sure I must have turned green! To my parents’ credit, they didn’t even make me try a slice…

    1. Tundra Bunny:
      Ooh, I forgot about kidneys, liver, and tripe! We used to get tongue from the deli. I loved it, never appreciating when I was a kid that it actually WAS a tongue. Then, one time when I was an adult, I was served tough tongue (along with roast beef, and turkey) on a sandwich at a deli. I could see the taste buds. Haven’t enjoyed it since.

  7. Fun post!
    My list: sweet potatoes roasted with skin on; the flesh is stringy. But I love them cooked any other way. Anything with more than a tiny bit of cumin or cloves. And from my past, my mother’s roasted acorn squash cut in half and filled with hot dog slices(!). It gives me the creeps to even think about it. Ugh.
    My husband’s easy list: no beets or raw onions (I love them both).

    1. Chrissoup:
      Ew. I don’t think I would much like that acorn squash filled with hot dog slices.

  8. I was sent to bed early because I wouldn’t eat my meatloaf (all that onion!), so my sister started eating as much of it as she could, and I ate her mashed potatoes, which she also wouldn’t eat as an adult. I don’t like coconut because it’s gritty in the mouth and I don’t like raisins because they’re mushy in the mouth and look like dead flies. Onions and most nuts upset my stomach. I have never eaten a beet and never will. They’re ugly. I’m not crazy about baked beans or any other beans. I’ve never had mushy peas and don’t know why people would take a food and mush it up so it looks like vomit.


    1. Janie:
      I hated meatloaf when I was a kid. I now love it because SG makes it well. Our friend Elena will love your comment about raisins. She hates them and calls them flies. Ah, yes, you’ve said it all about mushy peas!

  9. Good grief! That guy carrying the big pile of shit, looks like it could be me from the nose down at least and arms!!!! Could I have a doppelganger over there? Love the first picture.

    For some reason your blog post are not showing up, updated on my blogroll again. I keep thinking I’m missing post.

    1. Mistress Borghese:
      I am SO glad you said that. I thought the exact same thing when I posted the photo of that guy with the poo emoji. I’m now posting M-W-F and once or twice on weekends. But I hope you don’t miss anything. I love seeing your comments!

  10. I am not a picky eater at all. Still, although I have eaten it, I don’t like French andouillette, that sausage made with chitterlings (chit’lins). It smells just a little too much like what it is. I’m also not a connoisseur of odd organs. You know. like eyeballs, brains, lungs and, of course, the “essence of the male.” That’s just nuts! Sorry…

    1. Walt the Fourth:
      I would I’m sure not like French andouillette either, even though it sounds so elegant. Blech! I didn’t even consider the organ meats. Nope, won’t even consider trying any of them.

  11. Hmm what won’t I eat? I agree with Walt that there are some organ meats that I don’t know as I would try, at least knowingly. Overcooked veggies are not my favorite, but I will eat them. I am not a fan of liquorice, but I probably won’t spit it out.

    1. David:
      I hadn’t thought about organ meats. I don’t think I’ve ever had any (well, except for liver pate). I LOVE liquorice; hated it when I was a kid.

  12. I grew up devouring pickled beets so since it started early and my Mom was great cook I love beets all colours to this day!

  13. Nearly everything I enjoy eating now was anathema in my youth – and this includes beets.
    You and Someone can howl against them; I will take yours.

    1. Urspo:
      SG very happily takes my beets. He even wipes that part of my plate with a napkin; that’s how much I hate them.

    1. Kirk:
      Stick to your guns, no matter what Sam-I-Am tells you. (Although SG loves beets.)

  14. Ha ha, I was a fussy eater as a kid too. But I’m with Gerry – I loathe pecans and walnuts, probably largely because I’m allergic to both.

  15. I am with you on the Beets. I can’t stand even seeing or smelling them. Also can’t stomach the taste of liver, artichoke hearts, eggplant, turnips, or venison. Thanks to my various health issues, including a gluten intolerance, there are many foods I can’t eat without serious repercussion, but flavor wise, there’s little else I hate so much I’m unwilling to consider eating again, and would otherwise consider myself adventurous when it comes to food. I was not a big veggie fan as a youth (lettuce, celery, carrots, and radishes were my only likes) but now I like almost any vegetable, although some have to be cooked a certain way for me (brussel sprouts must be grilled or sauteed – do not like them steamed or boiled.)

    1. Sassybear:
      That’s me with beets. If they touch anything else on my plate, it has to be removed. Same with baked beans and mushy peas. But I forgot about liver (unless in paté). Major blech! Not a fan of venison, but it doesn’t disgust me. LOVE artichoke hearts, eggplant, turnips… I guess I’m not terribly picky.

Please share your thoughts...

%d bloggers like this: