I’m a “Try-er”

If you don’t understand my title it’s because1) it’s not a real word and 2) you must not have heard the story about my dad.

In order to get us 3 picky girls to eat food my dad would tell us to be a “try-er.” Now, everywhere I go I hear my dad’s voice in my head saying, “be a try-er!”

It started years ago when I went to Colorado to visit my “family” and Floyd had me try sea urchin. Oh. Dear. God. Worst thing I have ever tasted. It looked like a tongue, had the texture of a tongue, and tasted like a burst of sea water. It took everything in my power to not throw up all over the dinner table. I silently cursed my father’s imaginative voice in my head.

Even after that horrid experience, I continued to listen to my father’s voice. In Spain I have tried: mussels, an unknown piece of pig, prawn, Spain’s version of blood sausage (let the record show I didn’t know what I was eating), rabbit, many versions of sardines, olives, unknown names of fish, and…snail. Yes, that’s right. Snail.

My host mom has a name for me now, Señorita Tickies-Mickies. It translates to Miss Picky. It has really grown on me. At first my host mom was a little upset that I didn’t like some foods, but now she gives me a pat on the back when I try it. She applauds me for being a “try-er!”

The first mussel I tried was weird and tasted like salt water. I later had mussels and prawn at a nice restaurant on the beach that I enjoyed very much.

The piece of pig would have made my sister Stephanie run for the hills. Actually, thinking about it…most of everything would have made Stephanie run out of the room gagging. The piece of pig is still unknown and I am now scarred. It was squishy, had little hairs, and I am debating if it was a piece of tongue, intestine, or other piece of the male body…needless to say I tried the tiniest piece ever and pushed the chunk to the side.

The blood sausage was scary but dad’s damn voice made me try it. It was mushed up and spread onto bread. I thought, “it looks like black beans…it can’t be that bad.” Dear lord. I don’t know what it tasted like exactly but it was gross. I scraped the rest off of my bread and left it to die a lonely death. My host mom said, “ooooh señorita Tickies Mickies!” But earlier I tried a snail…so she gave me a pass.

Oh the snail. They aren’t just in France y’all! They are everywhere here. I would like everyone to know that you are supposed to swallow the snail. Don’t try to chew it! Like I did. My roommate picked the snail out of the shell and handed it to me on a toothpick. I tried to chew it and realized it was chewy like a gummy bear. An alarm went off in my head and I instantly swallowed it. No thank you! Spain can keep all of their snails. This American will not be needing any more.

I tried an olive in Madrid but it was in a mix with other oils and veggies. In other words, it didn’t taste like an olive. My taste buds physically repel olives but I want to like them, so I keep trying. I ate one in front of my host mom and tried not to vomit on her table. She sat there and laughed at me while I gagged. I think she’s taking joy in my pain of trying new foods.

The rabbit is popular in paella here. I tried a tiny bit but didn’t eat any more. I could only imagine little Thumper on my plate…

As for the sardines…they are EVERYWHERE!!! If you go to the grocery store they have a whole aisle dedicated to sardines. My host mom serves them to us all of the time. Some are better than others. I hope I can find the kind I like in the US! I’m a fan of sardines now. Who knew?!

My list of foods aren’t that extravagant but I feel like I’m doing pretty well! I hope I made my daddy-o proud! Even though he probably wouldn’t have tried half the things I did, I know he would enjoy watching my faces while eating these questionable foods.


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