gastronomic goals no 36: learn to like olives

The dilemma: I don’t like olives and I don’t want to have any food aversions.

The solutions: force feed myself olives until my aversion to them is no more.

When Jeffrey Steingarten was made the food writer for Vogue and decided that he didn’t want to be averse to any foodstuffs. He made a list of the foods he disliked and grouped them in categories based on the level of revulsion he felt when eating them. He then systematically went about eating all of these things multiple times and in different ways until he liked, or at least could tolerate them.

Inspired by Jeffrey, I employed his method in trying to dissolve my distaste for olives. The antipasti bar, once the only section of the grocery store for which I had no interest, became one of my regular stops while shopping. Each time I would buy different olives, just a few, and bring them home to eat. At first I  had to schedule olive eating time. That retched part of the day where I would sit down, stare the oily little fruit in the face and then pop it in my mouth, forcing myself to taste it, chew it and swallow it. Eventually olive eating time became less of a burden. I found reasons to like them and convinced myself that I would be all the more a lover of food if I ate the olive happily. I started to put them in things like an evolved egg salad with capers and anchovies.

And suddenly one day I reached into the fridge, grabbed a big green olive between my fingers and, without a second thought, happily popped the thing into my mouth and chewed and chewed and chewed. I didn’t mind it at all. I hadn’t had to force myself to eat it. I actually kind of enjoyed it.

One food aversion down. A handful left to go. Next up: cooked tomatoes.

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1 Comment

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One response to “gastronomic goals no 36: learn to like olives

  1. mom

    congratulations, my child.
    You are one up on me, I haven’t even gotten to the place where I can stand walking by them in the store

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