Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Culinary courage

Posted August 2, 2010

What is your favorite story of Culinary Courage? That is, when did you eat something you really didn't want to eat? Maybe you ended up liking the feared food? Maybe you vowed to never eat it again.

Last night my daughter Lauren, who is living with us until her September wedding, cooked organic quinoa as a rice substitute for stir fried vegetables with soy sauce. I must admit I wasn't too excited but the quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) was delicious.

My wife Cindy has never been a fan of eggs but she never complained all those years my mother fixed scrambled eggs for breakfast at my home in Morganton. She always ate the eggs even though she didn't like them.

My mother got me to eat broccoli as a child by smothering it in Cheez-Whiz.

Kelcey Carlson uses the Deceptively Delicious cookbook to help her son Charlie eat well. Over the weekend Charlie balked at trying chicken nuggets rolled in spinach and flaxseed meal and bread crumbs. But Charlie gave in so he could have dessert - blueberry & lemon mini muffins made with squash.

What are you stories of Culinary Courage?


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  • happy Aug 3, 2010

    I've eaten moose and elk and loved both. Sushi, I've tried and will likely never eat again. Wheat grass juice falls in that same category. Will definitely NEVER eat the greek dish that is made of grape leaves and dipped in some odd yogurt thing. Never.

  • Deb1003 Aug 3, 2010

    I resisted the idea of eating me it was always bait. At some point, I decided, what the many people love it, I'll give it a try. I'm now a huge fan. Also tried clams on the half shell, almost choked on it, so haven't attempted that again. Which is why, as much as I love oysters, I haven't try them on the half shell either.

  • carolina buckeye Aug 2, 2010

    On my third day of living in France I was invited to spend Christmas Eve dinner with a very kind family. I didn't speak French very well and didn't want to offend my hosts. When a big platter of raw oysters was served I was really sure I couldn't eat it. A fellow American gave me some quiet encouragement and I managed to slurp down 8 oysters with lemon juice. I haven't had one since. While in the country I later was served (and ate) escargot, which I liked, and horse, which I did not.

  • lseltmann Aug 2, 2010

    On a trip to Japan, I had fish soup for breakfast one morning with the head of the fish in it. Any other time of day I don't think it would have been a problem but for the start of the day...

  • iriemom Aug 2, 2010

    A friend of mine in college and I had birthdays close to each other, so we decided to go out to dinner to celebrate our birthdays. We went to a greek restaurant, which was as exotic as either of us could think of. The food was great, but the most adventurous thing we tried was an octopus appetizer. We were both eating it and enjoying it when I suddenly said I'd had enough. Sensing there was something behind my sudden change of heart, my friend asked me what was wrong. I had to tell her that one of the suction cups had gotten stuck to my tongue and I had gotten a little creeped out! She laughed at me, but she stopped eating the appetizer too! We very much enjoyed the rest of our meal, and I will eat greek food in a heartbeat now - even octopus appetizers.

  • GRush Aug 2, 2010

    I liked the Rocky Mountain oysters (bison version) I tried a few years ago in Colorado. I also liked some sushi that I tried a year or so back in downtown Raleigh at a place that my boss picked. I still can't get the idea of raw fish through my head - the sushi I tried was cooked or was the imitation krab meat, but I'm slowly learning to like things I never had the opportunity to try as a child growing up. Still not a big fan of things that are really sour, really tart or really vinegary and oddly enough, not a big fan of cooked fruit (pies, cobbler, etc.)except pineapple which I've learned to eat.

  • dnrkearney2 Aug 2, 2010

    Recently,in Iowa I tried Canadian Bacon/Sauerkraut pizza.
    Not sure of the cheese, it was delicious!
    Not too out there, I just do not a like sauerkraut.

  • 2thebeach Aug 2, 2010

    Mountain oysters - never again.

  • wballanceunc Aug 2, 2010

    I have been to South Korea a few times with a friend of mine. Sea Cucumber and diced squid are probably the strangest things we ate (both sashimi sytle aka raw). The Sea Cucumber doesn't have much of a flavor and doesn't taste like cucumber, which is a good thing for me because I hate cucumbers. The squid was very strange because the tentacles are still moving and the cups will still grab the inside of your mouth. There are a few other strange dishes we tried. Strange to me but completely normal in their diet. I absolutely fell in love with the spare ribs in Korea. They have other beef dishes I could not stop eating as well.

  • Legswilson Aug 2, 2010

    My biggest culinary adventure was many years ago when dining at Champagne Charlie's in Raleigh. My brother-in-law order escargo as an appetizer and I tried it. It wasn't that bad... with all the wine and garlic... the taste was pretty good, IF you could get past the vision of the slugs crawling in your yard as you chewed. Today, I will try most anything as I have developed a very adventurous palate!




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Bill Leslie