Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Vegemite and Other Black Food

My parents took Jack out for an early Chanukah gift outing event.

One of the things they did was go to Central Market, which is the fancy grocery store in town.  There they let him buy a few things.  He bought challah, papaya, and Vegemite.

I was surprised by the papaya, because I didn't think Jack liked papaya. He tried a piece and realized I was right. He said he had bought it for me. I'm not sure if that was true, or if he had forgotten his dislike of it. Either way, I'm glad to get it as a gift...or regift.

I was touched that he bought Vegemite. Tim and Jack both like it. Why? Why am I the huge fan of Australia in the family, and I'm the one who doesn't like Vegemite?

They started putting it on their pieces of challah, but without butter. I asked about that, and they said they like it without butter. So then I decided I should be a good brave fan of Australia and try again. Maybe I would like it without butter. I put a tiny bit on without the butter, and I did kind of like it.

Today I put a little bit more on and tried again. I didn't like it. I realized when I told myself I liked it yesterday, what I'm really saying is I like the parts of the bread in which I failed to spread the Vegemite. I feel slightly woozy when I take the bites that have the Vegemite.

It's so sad. I wish I liked Vegemite. But it's nice that Tim and Jack like it. I'm trying to figure out if I feel jealous of them. I don't think I am. I actually feel kind of grateful—like they're fulfilling a task that I cannot fulfill myself. If I can't like Vegemite, at least my family likes it and we have a valid reason for it to be in our refrigerator.

It's funny because a few days ago I gave Jack a hard time about other certain black foods— licorice and black olives. He likes neither. It's interesting to me. They are controversial foods, especially licorice. It seems a lot of people dislike it, and then other people love it.  In the family I grew up with, we all loved black olives and licorice. But my child does not. Is that a genetic thing then, or is it more about culture/upbringing?

Or maybe it's neither.

I'm now reading an article about people disliking black licorice.

The article confuses me. I think what they're saying is we're probably born with the like or dislike, but the reasons might vary. And then they say taste is probably something we're born with, but smell dislikes and likes can come from experiences and memories.

From what I'm seeing online, it looks like black licorice has a lot of haters.

I think, though, it could be a case of licorice haters being very vocal. Why else would black licorice be so often sold? Why would they have whole bags of black jelly beans? Why would people sell something that most people hate?

Anyway...what are your feelings towards Vegemite, black olives, and licorice?  Are you a fan of any of them? Indifferent? Not a fan? Absolutely disgusted?