Rod Dreher

Or, well, hardly anything. Tonight I pan-fried some scallops in olive oil, sprinkled some sea salt on them, and enjoyed 15 minutes of bliss. And now I see that my pal Amy Sullivan has written a piece implicitly denying the deliciousness of scallops, and confessing to the world that she’s a foodie who has an exceedingly narrow range of things she’ll eat. Excerpt:

The sad truth is that I am a foodie and a picky eater. Which is kind of like being a travel buff who is afraid to fly.
The world of adult picky eaters is not well understood, in part because so many of us use coping mechanisms to hide our limited tastes and are ashamed to admit our complicated food preferences. Everyone knows children who eat only foods of a certain color or insist on diets of pasta and butter. Even Michael Voltaggio, the most recent winner of Top Chef, says that as a child he was an incredibly picky eater who refused to touch broccoli. He grew up to become a chef who thinks nothing of serving banana polenta. But what about the adults who never acquire a broader palate?
A few years ago, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania conducted a study on food preferences and found that nearly 20 percent of their respondents limited their normal diets to just 10 or fewer foods. Even allowing for those who suffer from food allergies and other taste disorders, that’s a lot of finicky eaters. How do you know if you’re one of them?

Well, your father is Rod Dreher — that’s one sign. Unlike some children I could name, I’m not an especially picky eater, you won’t be surprised to learn. I can’t think of a single vegetable I dislike — not even cauliflower, the Les Nessman of vegetables. But there are some things I can’t bring myself to eat. Pickled meats, for one. Organ meats (except for liver in pate) and sweetbreads. I only started eating sushi about 10 years ago, and I’m not terribly adventurous there. For some reason, I have a psychological block against eating much wild game, and I don’t know why. But there you are.
Still, I’m probably one of the most adventurous eaters I know. For all the foodie fuss in our popular culture, I’ve been surprised to see how limited people like their diets to be. What don’t you like to eat? What did you finally try, and were surprised by how much you liked? On that front, for me the big one’s got to be sushi. But also, as a teenager, broccoli, tomatoes and blue cheese.

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