I recently took a food test online. There was a list of 50 foods, and you got one point for every food you wouldn’t eat. I got a zero. I actually wasn’t surprised. There aren’t many foods I won’t eat, except maybe fish eyeballs, and fortunately, those weren’t on the test. Of course, there are some foods I prefer not to eat. But if the planet was attacked by aliens and our continued existence hinged on me eating a root vegetable, I suppose I could manage to scarf down a plate of beets.
But I draw the line at moose nose.
And yes, that’s a real thing.
My husband is also an adventurous eater, which works out well when we travel and have to decide which one of us is going to eat the fried cricket on a stick.
(Spoiler alert: it was him).
Which is why it came as a complete surprise to me when, after nearly 30 years of marriage, he admitted a shocking piece of information.
“I don’t really like asparagus,” he said one night at dinner with asparagus on the menu.
I was stunned.
“You’ve been eating asparagus with me for 30 years and you’re just telling me now?” I said incredulously. “You couldn’t have told me maybe 20 years ago? Or even 10? Before I made countless dinners with asparagus?”
“I didn’t want to hurt your feelings,” he said.
I shook my head. Over the years I’d made a huge variety of asparagus dishes for my family. I’d made grilled asparagus, steamed asparagus, asparagus au gratin and asparagus soup. I’d tried my hand at lemon asparagus, shrimp and asparagus, asparagus carbonara and asparagus risotto. I became a master at asparagus dip, garlic Parmesan asparagus, bacon-wrapped asparagus and asparagus pilaf. I whipped up an asparagus omelet, asparagus quiche, pesto asparagus, asparagus tempura and even an asparagus smoothie, which unlike the rest was not a big hit, but one out of 100 isn’t bad. In nearly all instances, my husband seemed to eat my dishes with gusto and complimented my cooking enthusiastically. But now, it seemed, our whole asparagus relationship was a lie. I wasn’t sure if I should just stop cooking asparagus or if we needed asparagus mediation with a vegetable specialist.
The real problem wasn’t so much that he didn’t like asparagus. The problem was that I did. I love asparagus in any form, even raw, as long as it isn’t cooked to mush because even I would rather eat a fried cricket than mushy asparagus.
Meanwhile, back in the kitchen, I contemplated this cooking conundrum and wondered how I could keep asparagus on the menu without offending my husband. I scoured the internet for recipes and finally found an asparagus curry that I thought would mask the taste of the asparagus for him.
That night at dinner I served the secret asparagus dish and waited.
He took a bite and put his fork down.
“There’s asparagus in here,” he said.
“How could you know?” I said. “It’s buried in curry.”
“I can taste it,” he said.
I shook my head. “I thought I could get you to eat asparagus if I hid it.”
“Sorry, honey,” he said. “I’m just not an asparaguy.”
Tracy Beckerman is the author of the Amazon Bestseller, “Barking at the Moon: A Story of Life, Love, and Kibble,” available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble online! You can visit her at www.tracybeckerman.com. To find out more about Tracy Beckerman and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.