All y'all who try to force yourself to like something...Why?
I was reading the chocolate thread and remembered the thread(s) on getting to like other foods that are "acquired" tastes or perhaps you just personally find unappealing.
Why do you try?
I can only think of a couple of rational reasons and even then, they're pretty highly interrelated.
1. It's a common food and you don't want to be a bother to someone who is cooking for you or eating with you at a restaurant. Example...onions.
2. You live (or have moved) to a region where that food is served often. Example, if I moved to Lebanon, I better learn to like lamb a little more. Or fish in Japan.
The not so rational one is...It's considered foodie or cool.
What say ye?
I can obviously speak only for myself here, but I've had different reasons for different foods I have started to like relatively recently.
Cilantro: I worked on liking it because I like Thai and Vietnamese food, and the herb's simply pretty prevalent in a lot of dishes. I used to HATE cilantro, but no more. So now I can enjoy the dishes the way they were 'meant to be'.
Blue cheese: I am a great lover of cheeses of all kinds, but always found blue to be nasty -- too sweet, too chalky, too intense, you name it. I wouldn't say that it's my favorite kind of cheese now, but a nice gorgonzola, or stilton, or buttermilk blue is a welcome addition to our late-night cheese plates.
Oysters -- hmm. That's a tough one to explain. I never liked oysters, even though I repeatedly tried them throughout my life. I also wasn't sure whether I really needed to add a food that is rather expensive.... but, be that as it may, at a relatively recent seafood buffet I figured I'd give 'em another shot. And wouldn't you know it, I really liked them, and now I seek them out.
>>Why do you try?
I'll try anything twice.
>>It's considered foodie or cool.
I couldn't care less about foodie or cool. Usually they are part of the pack and I despise the pack mentality.
Time marches on, and tastes change:
I used to hate the look of polenta. Since trying it, I've found that I adore polenta and grits (and the glorious chicken fried steak that sometimes goes with it outside of NY).
But the overriding one for me:
Curiosity. If it doesn't kill me, I've learned something new.
BTW, I just noticed the 'all y'all' -- that is so nice a greeting.
I have a hard time rationalizing not liking something if others find it enjoyable. Liking ethnic Chinese and Indian food was initially hard for me as I was brought up on a diet that considered anything not from continental Europe, or North America to be exotic.
It wasn't until I went to college that I had native Chinese, Indian and Middle Eastern dishes that were cooked by roommates and friends. I still cringe when I watch Andrew Zimmern but I would travel w/ Tony Bourdain at the drop of a hat.
I still don't enjoy deviled eggs, whole olives and English peas but I will eat them if they are served.
Marital bliss. My husband loves cooking a wide array of dishes, and I realized that I'd be missing out if I didn't learn to unlock my palate.
Prior to this, my only recollection of doing this is when I moved to Costa Rica many years ago. I realized that if I didn't learn to like cilantro, I'd be miserable.
I wasn't served a lot of fish as a child. If you're not exposed to something then sometimes you have difficulty developing a taste for it. As an adult, I recognized the nutritional value of fish and, quite frankly, I saw how passionate folks were about it and I wanted to share in that experience. So, over the years I have continually tried various fish and am happy that I have significantly expanded my palate and now enjoy many fish and seafood dishes that I would've never liked when I was younger.
I'll never force myself to like anything. I may follow doctor's orders, but that doesn't necessarily mean that I'll like "it".
If I'm at table with others and something is served I may not like, I may or may not eat it if I'm in one of my moods. Won't make a fuss, just will not eat it, being pleasant all the while. No one has ever noticed...