My childhood in Hawaii and adulthood on "The Mainland" definitely shaped my eating. Everything from my fondness for Spam, Jello and CoolWhip to outright devotion to sashimi, noodle kugel, chicken divan, hummus and guacamole. What I eat is a geographical and social map of my ohana.
So in a twisted riff on Food Networks "The Best Thing I Ever Ate," here are Nine Things That I Will Not Eat.
Cream Tuna: My mother's concoction made from 1 can of cream of mushroom soup, 1 can of peas, and 1 can of tuna. Dump all of this into a pot, stir until hot, and pour over hot rice. It looked like cat barf, and not one of Campbell Soups more shining recipe moments. Never, ever make this. (Sorry Mommy!)
Sea Cucumber: Like eating a slug. There is nothing remotely "cucumber" about this.
Guts & Digits: tripe stew, brains, tongue, sweetbreads, liver, kidneys and chicken feet. I've given up biting my nails, I don't need to eat a chicken's. And if liver and kidneys remove toxins, why on earth would you eat them?
Tilapia: I recently found "Tilapia Sashimi" for sale and seriously thought I was being punk'd. Tilapia is known as "ditch fish" or "rubbish fish" in Hawaii because they flourished in the dirty, reclaimed water of sugar cane irrigation ditches. In my brain, I know it's the sensibly farm-raised, trendy, healthy fish, but I cannot bring myself to eat it, much less treat it as sashimi. This one I could work on.
Natto: fermented soybeans and a traditional Japanese delicacy. There are people I love who love this stuff. If you had a very bad head cold and drained your sinuses, it would look like natto. Ick.
Turkey Spam: Why even pretend you are trying to be healthy? It's Spam.
Raw (Regular) Spam: People, you have to cook it! Do not eat this stuff out of the can like ice cream! One of my darn-near-brilliant friends did not realize this essential fact.
Tell me what makes your list.
Eat well. Be well.