As a continual wine taster, I am always seeking new flavor experiences. I feel that it’s part of my job to know and easily recall unusual flavors: yuzu, shiitake mushrooms, etc., as well as textures like glycerin and mineral crunch. I am willing to foresake pleasure for experience, even: let me tell you about how I felt about the sea urchin ice cream at Schwa [where everything else was simply sublime!]; I took a bite knowing that to me, sea urchin is too akin to snot for me to ever enjoy it. On the other hand, when the Lush crew forced me to try raw oysters for the first time a few years ago, I was instantly hooked.
Employee of the Year[s] stopped in to visit me at Halsted on this sunny Tuesday, and, having just been to one of Chinatown’s funny little grocery stores, came bearing snacks and unusual treats. She opens up a nice little packet of wafers, offers me one, and we both chomp down simulatenously.
Noses crinkle. My gag reflex goes off. This purported ‘cookie’ tastes like onions and rotting meat. There is no pleasure in it, to be sure. A quick glance at the label confirms my worst fears: that this is a durian-flavored wafer. Horrors! Durian fruit hails from Southeastern Asia, and is known the world over for its something-died-and-barfed-in-a-trash-can-full-of-sulfur aromas. Why sick, sick masochists enjoy this, I do not know, but I guess Cru Champagnes aren’t for everybody, so who am I to judge?
We swiftly disposed of the offending cookies, and several minutes later I could smell them through the plastic trash bag. Yeah, this is strong stuff.
Moral of the story? Just because a cute girl walks into your store and offers baked goods, DON’T TRUST HER.
Oh, and, erm– different people like different things?