As a food blogger, my own personal challenge is to seek out and discover new cultures through food. If I can’t travel to Morocco, at least I can prepare a savory lamb tagine. While visiting Paris every year is out of the question, making a cheese soufflé is not. And so on.
As a food eater, however, I’ve hit a roadblock: peppers. Bell peppers, red, green and yellow; jalapeño or poblano chili peppers; cayenne chile peppers; cherry chile peppers…the list is endless. If a pepper has so much as touched a mere micro-area of my food, it’s all over for me.
You’d think I could just get over it, right? After all, I can’t stand the thought of having an olive with my afternoon cocktail, but sprinkle a few on a Parmesan flat bread and I’m in heaven. The notion of eating pigeon doesn’t appeal, but if a three-star Michelin offered one up I wouldn’t say no. But there is simply nothing, nothing anyone can do with a pepper that will make me rejoice.
I do not like them cold in salads. I do not like them hot in soups. I do not want them roasted with onions over my chicken. I do not want them for crunch in a sandwich. I do not want them grilled with my cowboy steak. I do not want them sprinkled throughout my couscous. I do not want them stuffed with meat, orzo or rice.
So please, take my pepper.
The point is, there are simply foods we cannot learn to love. There is clearly something in my DNA that forbids my taste buds from appreciating the biting, hot flavor of any pepper in any way, shape or form. And that’s okay. I’ve come to terms with my distaste for all things pepper related. I don’t think it makes me less of a foodie, cook or blogger to recognize my shortcoming. After all, every personal challenge needs a hiccup here and there.