Known Johnson

August 15, 2006


Filed under: General — Tom @ 12:55 pm

It’s pretty well established that I am tied with Alissa as one of the pickiest eaters in the world. I’ll gladly alternate wearing the crown with her, however, as we can go back and forth, outdoing each other on what we can and cannot eat. For instance, she can eat corn. I can’t. Just can’t do it, it’s just disgusting – the texture, the flavor, the way it squishes when you bite into it. She won’t touch the one bit of Chinese food that I will eat – “house chicken,” which is basically fried chicken with some kind of garlic sauce. I have my suspicions that it’s not even a real Chinese meal to begin with, but that’s not the point. To the other, these flavors represent something awful and mostly inedible. Oh, sure, we could probably force them down, but it’s torture. These things taste totally find and, in fact, probably totally bland to most of you, but to us they’re pretty damned strong flavors. That house chicken often has my eyes watering – and it’s not even a spicy dish.

Many years ago, someone coerced me into trying yogurt, saying it was sweet and, because it was healthy, was a good alternative to bad-for-me ice cream and other unhealthy treats. This was back in the “early days” of yogurt, when it had just emerged as an alternative food option, and was frankly so long ago I really don’t remember what it tasted like – except that I did not like it. At all.

Fifteen or twenty years have passed and, spurred on by curiosity and a wish to at least try and give some healthy snack options a shot after Alissa mentioned that a coworker of her mentioned how the “new” yogurt was so much better tasting than the “original” stuff was, we bought a couple of small packages. One was this fluffy “whipped” concoction that mixed in cherry flavoring – figuring that, because I like cherry flavored stuff, it might mask any lingering bad flavors – and another plain ol’ vanilla with some Oreo bits to mix in.

And then they sat for a couple weeks because neither of us were brave enough to try them. But I finally gave each a shot this weekend. I first peeled back the foil of the whipped cherry yogurt and peered inside the container. Salmon pink and speckled with bits of red, it didn’t so much look like something I would eat but maybe something left behind after fish had spawned. Things were off to a bad start. Alissa looked in, proclaiming, “That doesn’t look very good.” I bravely dug a spoon in anyway.

Are you familiar with any of the Alien movies? There are these eggs that hatch the face-huggers, and when they open, they make this wet slurping sound. I heard that sound as I started to remove the spoon from the yogurt.

I tried not to examine the wedge on the edge of the spoon too long. The texture was already bothering me – it glistened oddly, looking a strange mixture of gritty and wet at the same time. I quickly forced the spoon into my mouth, where immediately warning bells went off – “This is bad – this is wrong – this is bad bad bad – no no no – get this out! Wrong! This is not food!”

I honestly don’t even remember if I spat it our or somehow managed to swallow it, but it didn’t remain where it was for long. “That was horrible!” I spat to Alissa. And that was putting it mildly. “I thought the cherry would make it at least a little okay, but I think that made it worse. That was really bad.”

And yet I tried the vanilla, even after that, thinking that maybe that cherry flavor was just not a very good pairing with yogurt’s natural taste. Yeah, sure, it was the cherry flavor that did it. I opted not to mix in the Oreo bits yet, to give the vanilla a chance to prove itself. Peeling the foil, I was greeted first by an unexpected skin of yogurt, then the oddly slightly-yellowish color of the yogurt itself, neither of which I was particularly intrigued by nor which helped my appetite. This was also much more liquid in consistency, which I thought might help it go down easier.

I lifted a spoonful to my mouth and when the liquid hit my tongue it managed to be worse than the whipped cherry adventure. Everything in my head said “rancid, putrid, old, bad milk! Don’t swallow!” But it was too late – the liquid had flowed pretty much around my mouth and there was little I could do. “Oh, Jesus! Oh – my – God! That is – holy shit!” I grabbed the little container for the Oreo bits, peeled off the foil, and sucked down the contents, being sure to coat my entire mouth with them, hoping their porous nature would soak up what little bit of yogurt was left over.

Lesson learned: next time someone mentions “yogurt,” it had better be framed with “frozen soft serve,” because I doubt even in another fifteen or twenty years will food technology have progressed enough to have managed to make real yogurt seem even remotely edible.


1 Comment »

  1. I force myself to eat yogurt from time to time when I’m dieting, but I haven’t had any in about five or six years. I really hate yogurt, and people who eat it and ENJOY it? I just don’t get it. I always try not to taste it and gulp it down as fast as I can – sort of like those Fear Factor people eat bull testicles.

    Comment by Bekah — August 20, 2006 @ 1:26 pm | Reply

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