My Refined Palate

images5I’ve always been a picky eater, and of course on top of the reality of being a lifelong vegetarian, that creates a few issues for me when it comes to food. Sometimes I find myself out with others and unwilling to eat whatever fare is presented to us. It has happened a few times, and I know others feel bad for me in those moments, but I’m okay with it. I remember my wife and I used to go to Applebee’s and they let us substitute veggie burgers for any of their standard burgers. That made things easier to eat out, but then they discontinued it. And I got militant.

Okay, okay. So I didn’t quite get militant. I went to the restaurant’s Facebook page and wrote a scathing criticism of the decision to end the substitution program, and they responded. Of course it was a pat response that bordered on patronizing, but it was a response nonetheless, that said they were sorry I had a bad experience and they would look into the decision. Absolutely nothing has changed since then, so I haven’t been back to Applebee’s since. I’m sure they don’t miss my patronage, but every little stand counts, right?

So, when new people find out that I’m a vegetarian they always wonder what I do eat. And I tell them:

  1. Pasta, pasta, and more pasta. I have absolutely nothing against carbs. They keep me big and strong.
  2. Cheese and bread, pretty much any combination. Bagel and cream cheese. Pizza. Grilled cheese.
  3. Vegetables, but under extreme protest. In fact, I sometimes tell people to call me a non-meatatarian instead of a vegetarian because I detest most vegetables. But I eat them.
  4. Cereal. Yeah, I eat cereal for snack times too. I’m addicted to Frosted Flakes. Grrrrrr.

Then there are about a million foods I hate that I refuse to eat. That list includes:

  • Eggs
  • Olives
  • French toast that tastes like eggs (there’s a fine line)
  • Peanut butter (well, anything with peanuts in it)
  • Salads that don’t have lettuce in them

When I say I refuse to eat them I generally refuse to even be around the smell of these foods. And it’s been that way since before I can remember anything else. Sometimes I get fooled too, like when we get doughnuts at work and that brown frosting on top looks a lot like caramel. It’s never caramel. Always peanut butter. Yuck. But I don’t judge other people for eating these detestable foods. I just don’t eat near them.

Oh, and my food can’t touch either. I’m a big fan of those trays that have hard plastic dividers portioning off each type of food from each other type of food. You would probably assume that if it touches even accidentally that I won’t eat it, and you would be correct in that assumption, so I do my absolute best to keep ’em separated. And I don’t share food either, not even with my own mother (who used to vilify me for it) but I can’t get the image of unchewed food out of my head long enough to make it worthwhile. In fact, the only person I can share food with is my wife, and it took me ages to be able to do even that.

Don’t judge me.

Sam

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