Taste Buds

I never would have guessed I’d raise a foodie.

At least, not based on her childhood eating habits.

No. 1 — like many, many kids — was picky. Whenever I presented her with something new, she’d push it away and fold her arms. And yet, this is the same kid who lapped up sand at her daycare like it was going out of style.

When she was 2, I held out a square of chocolate for her to try.

“WHAT IS THAT?” she shrieked, acting like I was trying to poison her. “NO!”

Then, weirdly, miraculously, she started to turn… into a foodie. Like me. She began taking an active interest in what was for dinner, watching cooking shows, scouring the internet for places we should eat on vacation. She’s the one who requests roasted cauliflower and adores brussels sprouts.* She eats feta. I don’t know what converted her, made her come to cheesus, I’m just so glad she did. You’ll have to excuse me for a second… I’m a little choked up — and not from the overnight oats recipe she shared with me and that I made for breakfast — it makes me so proud that she’s an adventurous eater. Sniff.

As she packed up her room for college two months ago, her biggest fear wasn’t her honors math class or navigating a new town or homesickness, it was, what was she going to eat?

Turns out she needn’t have worried.

She texts photos of her deliciously exotic dinners, like banh mi pizza, and describes outside-the-takeout-box salads with crispy chicken, tomatoes, carrots, chipotle Cheddar and honey dijon dressing. When I went to college, there was one place you could grab a salad, and iceberg was the only lettuce option at the build-it-yourself bar and because the “restaurant” charged by the ounce, by the time you were done drowning your iceberg in ranch, it cost $100.

Actually, now that I look back on the most recent snaps she’s sent, maybe the strong engineering program isn’t what drew her to Cal Poly in the first place. Maybe it was the fact that they make their own ice cream. You know what? I can support that decision.

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*I do make them with maple syrup and copious amounts of bacon.

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