Monday, February 22, 2010

Food Psychology

Eggs. I've been thinking about writing about eggs for about a year now. And as I sit here, finishing off my dinner of a spinach feta cheese omelet, I think now is as good a time as ever to address the issue. The reason I was going to write about eggs a year ago is that a year and a few months ago I started eating them. For the 27 years before that, I wouldn't touch them. I couldn't. I tried several times throughout my life, but I just did not like anything about eggs. People thought I was nuts "how can you not eat eggs???". Of course I would eat them in a cake or if they are an ingredient to something bigger, but plain old eggs...couldn't do it.

Then a couple of years ago I decided that maybe taste was psychological and we could convince ourselves to like things. My two big things that I didn't eat my whole life were eggs and tomato (excluding pasta sauce, ketchup, etc.). I don't know why, but I never liked them. So I started with the tomato as my project. I don't remember how I tried it first, but maybe it was a little bit on a sandwich. OR possibly a Caprese Salad which is just tomato, fresh mozarella, and fresh basil drizzled with basamic vinager and olive oil. Now how could I possibly not like that? I loved the idea of it. I had to stick mostly with the out of season, dry, few-seed variety. Those fresh from the garden summer tomatoes must be great, but not for me. Slowly but surely, I included the tomato into my diet and lo and behold I started liking it. Instead of picking it off a sandwich, I would ask for it. I guess I aquired a taste. Success. Next.

Back to the egg. Again, I am a little unclear about the first steps. They definitely include the fact that I had some really cool devices to cook eggs in, such as Boiley. I had to eat eggs occasionally just so I could use this stuff. I also really wanted to like eggs because they are full of protein and I felt like my breakfasts usually wore off by the time I got out the door. Somewhere along the line I realized that if you scramble eggs up quite a bit and add a lot of good stuff to them- similar to that out of season tomato - they really don't have much taste. Enter the ham and Swiss cheese scrambled eggs. Not bad at all. THEN there was the NYC bacon egg and cheese sandwich. Similar to the Caprese Salad - there is no way that I couldn't go for that. The gooey cheese and crunchy bacon masked anything too 'eggy' for me. Toss that on a roll or everything bagel and you are good to go. Delicious. SO... I started going to the diner and trying things like omelettes (fully loaded) and found I could not only handle these guys, but I actually started liking them! So here I sit, eating them by choice.

There are rules and baby steps that I am taking with these foods. I am not going to run out and eat a soft cooked out of an egg cup. And my scramble/omelet needs to be pretty well done. I can't have it getting 'boogery' on me. I think after all this time it's about the texture. I grew up around the sunnysides and I'm really not excited to try them today. What's that gooey stuff running all over the plate? Dad says that's the best stuff and you soak it up with your biscuit, but I prefer my egg to soak itself up in the pan and my biscuit to soak up some gravy.

For now I am really kind of enjoying the egg experiment. Now that I know how I like to use them, it is fun to think up different things to put in my omelet. I'm actually getting really into the breakfast menus, never turning my back on the syrupy things, but taking a look at the world beyond them.

Breakfast in Jamaica includes eggs with toast and fresh fruit.

1 comment:

Mary Ann said...

I have started trying to eat eggs more often too. This morning I made eggs with sausage in them for the kids and I made myself an omelet with sausage, green peppers, garlic, and onion in it. It is so funny that you posted this today because I just told Nathan today when I eat eggs in the morning, I am not hungry for a long time. So, I am with you on eating more eggs.