© 2011 Joshua Stark
We are lucky to have some adventurous kids, and though we don't know how far, culinarily, this will go with our 8-month old, our four-year old is doing just fine.
I've watched many kids balk at something out of their ordinary, no matter how ordinary it may be in the real world (see: broccoli), and I've watched parents buckle under and just give 'em what they want. Pick your battles, I'm told. My response (in my head, of course), "sure, but that infers that you will actually pick a battle at some point".
With our daughter, food has almost never been a "battle". She'll try anything once, and that's the only rule at our house. She doesn't have to like it, and if she doesn't like it, she doesn't have to eat it, but she does "have" to try it, and she happily obliges, even when she gives a face upon smelling it. To even my surprise, she once asked for the eye of a whole-fried mackerel. Most kids, or grown-ups for that matter, just don't tap that spirit within humanity; we are being homogenized, just like our foods.
At a great party the other day, for example (which she didn't want to attend, it being a zombie-themed party for a 60-year old), I brought along this year's nocino, from last year's squirrel harvest. I didn't mention that they were knocked out of the tree by squirrels, but I did mention that it is made out of green walnuts, and with that, I'm fairly certain I lost most of my audience.
This is too bad, because even my nocino is a good, sweet, slightly bitter (but in a good way) and potent cordial with a lot of complexity.
I catch the same flak about my duck eggs. It shocks me that people won't try duck eggs just because they come from not-a-chicken. Our yard ducks live great lives, way better than cage-free, even - a guard dog, 24-hour free roaming, a pond! - but, it doesn't matter.
What amazes me is that these same people grab the Safeway wraps that arrived encasted in plastic and containing who-knows-what.
Maybe that's my problem. Perhaps I should have just said, "here's a new liqueur from BevMo. And try this fritata made fresh at Raley's."
Now, if I can only figure out how to market squirrel...