Pickled Peck of Picky Eaters

As a child, I was not a picky eater. If you put it in front of me, I'd eat it. Today, I'm not likely to turn up my nose at certain cuisines and foodstuffs. Only as an adult, have I developed such proclivities. I believe that am pretty well-traveled, well-educated and now have a refined palate because of these experiences.

Early in the season on Top Chef, the cheftestants had to make a baby-friendly version of a gourmet meal for Tom & Padma. I'm not sure what I would've made, but I'm thinking... a liver & onions rendition, replete with gravy (and maybe a piece of cornbread, too! Or a arrowroot-cornmeal cracker for baby)

One of my first posts at NikSnacks was about my hatred for scallops and how I didn't eat them for 23 years. In retrospect, bay scallops are okay to eat... in small doses.

List of things Nikki does not eat (in order of grossness)

Liver (from any animal)
Bacon (crisp, dry & near burnt are the only exceptions)
Berries (blueberries, cherries, strawberries--in this order)
Hot dogs
Pepperoni (*unless it is cooked like my preferred method of bacon)
Tomatoes during months that end in 'R'
(just kidding, I just don't eat them if it's not summer)
Shrimp (that is larger than 45-50 count)

Now... there are exceptions to every rule except in the case of liver & beets. Those two shall ne'er pass my lips.

Yesterday, a writer from The Atlantic chronicled her defeat of mushroom aversion.

Before I read a syllable, visions of my own mushroom aversion danced through my head.

After the spring rains come down, wild mushrooms always grow in our yard. Big, fat fungi that rival the size of small children. I've always felt extreme irritation about this fact. Adrenaline courses through my veins when I see the fungi on our 'stead. I feverishly go out and stomp on each mushroom until the bits were smashed into the grass, obliterating any chance of spores repopulating the area again. I'd kick over human head-sized 'shrooms with anger and not know why.

I mentioned this to my mom and she recounted the tale of how when I was three years old, I ate one.

I took it upon myself to eat the biggest, brightest mushroom in our yard one day and not knowing if it were poisonous or not, my parents rushed me & the remains of my snack to the hospital to get my stomach pumped. The local doctors could not find the mushroom I'd eaten in any of the books and had to call a botanist from Wake Forest University for help.

SOOOoo the mushroom I ate is highly poisonous and is only found in the Andes. How it found its way to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, I will never know, but I was a lucky little girl. After eating some activated charcoal, I was sent home.

Now, I don't remember any of this ordeal. What I DO remember is sitting on the potty for like 3 days and not being able to go and being introduced to this.

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About the author

Nikki Miller-Ka

Nikki Miller-Ka

Ms. Miller-Ka is a classically trained chef with a BA in English from East Carolina University and a Culinary Arts Associate Degree from Le Cordon Bleu-Miami.

Formerly, she’s worked as a researcher, an editorial assistant, reporter and guest blogger for various publications and outlets in the Southeast. She has also worked as a catering chef, a pastry chef, a butcher, a baker, and a biscuit-maker. Presently, she is a food editor, freelance food writer, and a tour guide for Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours.

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