When we're little, we often take a dislike to certain foods.
I'm not talking about the almost natural reflex of many small children to say "I don't like it!" to anything new that isn't a dessert, even before they've tasted it.
I've seen it with my boys, I'm seeing it now with my grandson, and my mom assures me that it was already the case when I was a kid...
No, I'm talking about foods or dishes that we disliked or even hated all our childhood, or more exactly all the time we ate at our parents' house.
We didn't like it, but at home or at the canteen later on, it was sometimes there, and every time it was a chore.
The first food that comes to mind is spinach.
Ah, spinach in the canteen, in those days (70s), in my memory it was a kind of green mush, full of water, without much taste, that almost everyone hated.
And then you grow up, you leave the family cocoon, and you eat a bit more of what you want, so naturally I forgot about spinach for years.
Without really knowing why, one day when I was in my forties, I tried making some again at home, using fresh spinach
, and it was a revelation!
Since then, it's a vegetable I adore, and one I'm happy to make again as soon as the season starts up again.
Why do I love spinach now that I'm 40, whereas I hated it when I was 10? A mystery...
Well, there's probably a little or a lot to do with the fact that the canteen spinach of the time, always pureed, probably had little to do with fresh spinach, just blanched, then put in a saucepan with a little shallot and a knob of butter.
Perhaps it had something to do with the visual aspect of spinach - when you're a kid, you're very sensitive to that - and the green purée with lots of water (green too) I was talking about was unfortunately not very appealing.
But maybe that's not all, this change probably also reflects the fact that, as a child, you're naturally on the "I tasted it once, and I didn't like it forever" bandwagon, and that's quite normal.
You have to wait until you're a little older before you dare to try again.
If you're a young parent and you're despairing because you have to fight at every meal with your child who only likes French fries, don't worry so much that, later on, he or she may well return on their own to vegetables or foods that you couldn't get them to eat throughout their childhood.
I'm talking a lot about spinach here, but this was also the case for me with other vegetables: endives (raw or cooked), broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
And what about you?
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