Ethnic Experimentation

Growing up, my mom was always introducing us to different ethnic food and educating us on the places and cultures that it came from.  While in Girl Scouts she did a whole meeting about Chinese New Year and we all had egg rolls.  She even convinced the local grocery store to give her this giant dragon’s head from a previous display.  We had that thing in our house for years.

My first experience with Mexican food, while not so pleasant, is a much more vivid memory.  Mom was making something called burritos and she asked if I wanted beans or cheese variety.  At the time, cheese meant either on a pizza or the yellow slices on grilled cheese.  Some time before I had developed an aversion to those slices and to yellow cheese in general.  I still liked pizza cheese though.  So, I said beans.  I figured beans were green beans and I really did like green beans.

A little while later, we are called to the table and there is this burrito thing placed in front of me. Honestly, I don’t recall what it looks like but I could see the beans and they were not green beans but rather this mush of brown.  I’m sure I tried a bite but I had zero interest in continuing.  And my mom was upset because I asked for beans!  Usually in this case, we were expected to try at least one bit and if we didn’t like it, that was okay.  However, I recall that in this situation, I was expected to eat more because it was my choice for beans.  Did I eat the whole thing?  Who knows but I still can’t stand refried beans or any plain brown beans.  Its only been in the last 5 years or so that I’ve been able to enjoy black beans and they must be whole for me to eat them.

As an aside, I still don’t like those yellow cheese slices but I will eat other yellow cheeses now- the solid kind.  No melty nacho cheese or anything in a can.  Not that the canned stuff is cheese anyway, more like cheese product.


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