There are foods that seemingly met with the approval of all age brackets. Chocolate is a gimme, as is pizza. Rare is the person who would turn down fried chicken, or a nice dish of ice cream.
But there are some foods out there that we grow into. These are the foods that are typically shunned by adolescents and ignored by teenagers. But for some reason, these foods gain in popularity the older a population gets. For lack of a better phrase, let’s call these “adult foods”.
I’m not necessarily talking about foods that adults eat because it’s the healthy choice to make. While foods high in fiber may be beneficial to adults, what I’m talking about here is the way a food tastes. A dish once thought to be abhorrent is now considered, not just palatable, but even pleasurable.
This makes sense, as how we taste does change with age. Everything from the nutrients we consume (or don’t consume) to how well we take care of our teeth will affect our sense of taste. In the course of twenty, thirty, or even seventy years, all of these influences will have a cumulative effect upon our perceptions of food.
Additionally, the act of tasting can also be refined. As we get older, experience in tasting helps us pick out nuances in food both subtle and distinct. When we were younger, all chocolate could be considered good, but with age and experience we can learn what characteristics differentiate a good piece of chocolate from a bad one.
As I’ve grown older, the one food that has really leaped in my rankings of favorite foods is easily that of the oyster. When I was younger, oysters were slimy things, often bought from the tin, and often smoked. There was a novelty to them, to be sure, but mostly? Mostly they were ignored.
Now as I’ve aged (and have moved to a region of the country where oysters are plentiful), I find myself migrating to dishes that contain the mollusk, regardless of whether it’s raw, cooked, or deep fried. It’s getting to the point where I can tell differences between the different varieties.
But it’s not just oysters. Other foods that I have once disdained I’ve recently rediscovered. The ultimate test, I suppose, if anyone could make liver an interesting treat.
So what has been your “adult food”? What food have you hated in the past, that you’ve recently grown a fondness for?