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{May 23, 2012}   How a Picky Eater Became a Foodie: Part 2

My food discovery period began in Boston’s Chinatown. In the 70’s, there weren’t many ethnic restaurants in the suburbs, and the ones that existed catered to a clientele that enjoyed Americanized versions of the food. Thus, all l I knew of Chinese food was pu pu platters with fried shrimp and chicken wings. Sometimes my parents would order Chow Mein or Chop Suey if they were feeling adventurous. It was okay, but it didn’t excite me. In my early twenties, my good friend had a boyfriend whose band mate lived on the edge of Chinatown. He ate there almost every day; he kept bragging about the food, “You’ve got to have “real” Chinese food.” So one day we went to lunch at a hole-in-the-wall that he chose, and he ordered for all of us. We had mu shu pork, Peking ravioli, and a rice stick dish. I loved it!  I couldn’t believe I had been eating that doughy, boring stuff — oh, what I had been missing!

Then I tried Indian food. I had a college friend who was a vegetarian. After we graduated from college we would get together every once in a while for dinner, and her dietary restrictions meant we had limited options. She often chose Indian restaurants because they had a wide variety of vegetarian choices, and I found out that I really liked it. The spices were unique, and there were lots of vegetables!

Finally during my mid to late twenties, I dated a food critic who had gone to cooking school. He was a pretty good cook when we ate at home, but we often went out to restaurants so he could write a review. I went to a Vietnamese restaurant for the first time with him, and I discovered another food I liked. By then, I was really starting to realize that there was a big world of food out there if I was open to it! Of course, it all went back to my initial love of vegetables, since these ethnic food types were very vegetable based. What was interesting was that the girl who hated condiments was finally discovering sauces and liking them!

By the time I met my husband, I was well on my way to becoming a foodie…

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