Wednesday, April 13, 2011


There’s a saying: “It’s an acquired taste.” This is mostly used on bizarre food items, like pickled herring, blood sausage and Brussels sprouts.

Everyone “acquires” these tastes differently, some are duct tapped to a wall and force feed sauerkraut, some by necessity (tell me blood sausage wasn’t a necessity!) and some by choice.

As a child I was rather picky, not as picky as some *coughnickcough* but a rather ordinary purchase of my parents challenged my childish pride.

Every house has a junk drawer, I know you do! It has in its marvelous depths anything from quarters to bobby pins to the missing piece of several puzzles, and an earring always an earring. On one fateful day it had a bag of Cinnamon bears. Not just a little bag, but a bulk candy bag.

I had hit the jackpot.

I stuck the head of a little bear in my mouth, ready to party and then BAM! I was kicked in the senses by that tangy, bittery, sweet.. whateverness that is cinnamon. The point had come to spit it out or die. Since I’m writing this now lets say I spat it out.

Now a normal child would have stayed away and eventually forgotten the bears, but I circled that drawer for a week. The quantity of the Cina-bears didn’t diminish much because my brother and sisters had passed the “if it tastes bad and you don’t like it don’t eat it” childhood lesson. I had not.

During that week I kept trying the bears, apparently under the impression that they had changed flavors, my parents had replaced it with good candy or would this time they would be better.

They never were.

Finally the bears were moved, I suspected my mother did this because the bag wasn’t empty, and thus filled the entire drawer so it was hard to find that all important puzzle piece. They were gone for about a month before I started craving them. I craved the bears like bears crave honey (theoretically).

I wanted to ask for more but I never learned what they were called because I was fairly certain I wasn’t supposed to eat them. Yes I realize they were put in the junk drawer, but if you think about it, that’s more like a good hiding place. I mean who puts candy in a junk drawer?

Eventually I asked my mom about the red teddy bears in the junk drawer. I think she thought I had gotten into the “pop medicine” (that’s another story) I never did find out what they were. Not until I stumbled on them years later covered in chocolate!!

As you can imagine I am a serious advocate for cinnamon now, I’ll have it on pretty much anything I can, much to Grants displeasure.

And just to stop the questions before they start: NO this will not work on fish, or blood sausage. At least not for me.


Eric and Jill said...

That's funny! I never was picky enough to learn not to like something. I think it came from Melissa being extra picky that I wanted to be the angel child who ate anything! Glad you got over the cinnamon hatred because I love cinnamon too!
But you have me curious, you say you put cinnamon on everything...just what is "everything?"

Anonymous said...

I don't know if Brussels Sprouts really qualify as a bizarre food. Not amongst the likes of Pickled Herring and Blood Sausage anyway. They're just like tiny cabbages.

Now maybe if you pickled them and cooked them in a big scab, then you're onto something bizarre!

I think Green Olives are pretty bizarre. Those are so nasty that they're strangely addictive. I could sit and eat a bottle of those in a few minutes, then tell you that I didn't enjoy eating them.

But I agree that some things you just can't acquire a taste for. I've tried fish many times to try different variations in preparation to see if maybe someone has figured out how to make it palatable, but each time just leaves me wishing I hadn't tried it again...

Anonymous said...

Oh, that previous comment was me.


The Gramber Bies said...

To Jillie: Well not EVERYTHING but whenever I cook something cinnamon is always on the top of the list of things I'd like to add. It smells sooo good, that sometimes I just open the bottle to smell it. All the scents around my house are cinamon-something something.

Jeffy: No.. Brussels Sprouts are nasty. As is cabbage. We're on the same page however with the fish, but unlike you I have not tried any fish just to see if this time I'll like it. It's the principle of the thing now.