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Wednesday February 23, 2005 // By Sandy

The musical fruit

Believe me when I say I find this as objectionable as you do, but I have a shameful admission about my relationship with beans. I hate them. I wish it weren’t true; I realize the importance beans play in world cuisine, and I’ve seen many close friends and acquaintances devour beans with a gusto I wish I could share. Not liking a particular food—especially something as universally loved as beans—is something very hard for me to deal with, considering how much I love eating. But something happened in my youth, or in my genes, that has precipitated this reaction, and as much as I’ve tried, there’s nothing I can do to shake it.

This aversion is easy to control in the home environment, since for most meals I’m in at least 50% control of what’s being served for dinner. But in foreign homes and restaurants, sometimes I have to acquire a certain strategy in the discreet removal or eating-around of the beans that are served to me. As you can imagine, this activity found lots of practice while we were in Costa Rica.

In Costa Rica, every meal is served with beans. Not only beans, which would have been easy to avoid in a pile by themselves, but beans mixed in with rice, a food that I happen to love. I know how much Latin Americans love their beans, so I never really felt comfortable exercising my inner gringo and asking for my meal sans beans. It didn’t feel right. So Sarah and I settled into a routine: I’d each the rest of my meal—picking at the rice around the beans—and when finished, I’d swap out the beans on my plate for something on Sarah’s that she hadn’t touched, which was usually the cabbage salad.

I should point out that there are few types of beans I do like: green beans, sugar snap peas, and even white beans in paste form. It was this last incarnation that inspired me to attempt a horizon broadening at our first restaurant meal in Costa Rica, and try a tortilla chip smothered in a mashed bean spread. Witness:

I <heart> beans

I’ll admit, it wasn’t half bad. But not good enough to convert me, and so I remain, much to all of our chagrins, an interminable beanophobe.

Posted by SH // Feb 24, 11:06
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