Are you a picky eater? Share some of your favorite food quirks with us (the more exotic, the better!). Omnivores: what’s the one thing you won’t eat?
I was born in a Hindu Brahmin family. The family was purely vegetarian. I have heard that European vegans don’t even consume milk as it’s considered partially non-vegetarian. I don’t know about that, but our family considered itself vegetarian, which meant not eating eggs or meats.
Still a lot of things are there to eat! I had many quirks as I grew-up. When I was very young I remember I used to have 5 meals a day and they were all milk and bread. Actually it was chapatis broken into very small pieces and soaked into milk with a lot of sugar! I swear, if anyone consumes the amount of sugar I consumed growing up–he will be on bed within a week! My body was a sweet-shop! I never liked spicy things but in my teenage as I observed people around me who were fond of spicy things I also tried to develop fondness for spicy food, but it was a forced fondness. So there!
I remember when I was in the 9th standard in school we had Mahatama Gandhi’s biography in our syllabus. His experiments with food and then Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya’s inspiring discourses compelled me to experiment with food. My mother had a hard time! I demanded her to cook separately for me! I wanted absolutely no spices–just boiled vegetables, legumes and chapatis! I also stopped taking sugars and salts beyond a meager indispensable quantity. I was observing the effect it had on my thinking and recording the results of experiment. I don’t remember much, but yes, it created certain drowsiness in me and anger and restlessness seemed to subside.
There were certain vegetables which I used to despise. It was partially because of the way my mom used to cook them. They had sweetish taste. I used to object to them saying that instead of eating them I would prefer eating sweet dish! As I grew up and I had to stay in 5 different cities for studies and job I learned to adapt to the surroundings and gradually developed a taste for everything.
When I was preparing for technical entrance examination in Kota(Rajasthan) I booked a tiffin service. Their food was outrageously delicious. It was for the first time I tasted Rajma. There were many dishes which I never tasted again and their memory lingered. I am drooling as I am writing this!
Then I had to move to Bhopal(Madhya Pradesh) to study in an engineering college and this city had its own taste. I enjoyed Bhopal’s food quirks and it was honestly better than the tastes of my hometown. For about five years I had the pleasure of eating different things which were not available in our hometown.
After that I moved for a very brief time to Pune(India) and that city had its own taste. Then I had to move to Chennai(Tamil Nadu) and it was a world apart. North Indians usually drool over South Indian dishes, and I was not an exceptional case, so I was overwhelmed by the variety of Masala Dosas, Idlis and Sambar I could eat in a period of a few months, but that was becoming a tad too much because like most North Indians I was accustomed to eating chapatis almost everyday. There chapatis were unavailable and instead we had different types of naan which were elastic like rubber and difficult to chew. I never complained before writing this article! It’s still not a complain because things were as they were. Chennai indeed felt like another country because the culture is very different from most of the places in India. I enjoyed my stay!
Then Bangalore, which is one of the best cities in India by many standards. Many North Indians work over there, therefore, all cuisines are easily available. Since I had started working, I also started spending on eating various types of foods as was the norm. Though I best liked the food cooked at home along with two minutes(10 minutes?) Maggie noodles which have recently been banned in India. If I say it was a long love affair with various noodles Maggie offered, it won’t be an exaggeration.
I like Tulsi herbal tea too. Though I am on-and-off with caffeine, it’s mostly off actually! If any of you have ever read any award posts you know that I am more or less a food-stoic now. I was such even since teenage but it became more and more so as I grew up. I don’t waste food. I take only as much as needed and then try to eat it all. I ran away from home in 2013 and took renunciation in a ceremony and then I accepted whatever was available in the Ashrama.
Since I used to serve food to others and was almost always the last one to eat, especially in the night, sometimes, on festive occasions, when many guests arrived, I had to stay hungry too. Though it used to happen rarely, it made me appreciate food more. I very happily ate whatever was given. Here at home, I appreciate a nice meal and sometimes complain a bit just to motivate my mother and grandmother but I equally appreciate whatever I get to eat. I live in acceptance with regards to food and everything I get. I feel all my needs are met to the highest degree of satisfaction by almighty. When I see people who don’t have enough to eat my heart cries out for them and I pray to God to make this world a place where kids don’t have to sleep hungry. Where every person has enough to eat and nobody wastes the food which is the result of labour of many farmers.