Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Taste of Adventure

Travel is always an adventure, one aspect of which is trying new food and drink. When I spent a summer in Spain during my college days, I set the challenge of trying at least a taste of everything new that I was served. I ended up trying--and liking--some things I probably never would have tried at home, octopus and squid among them. When I went to Vietnam last year, I was not quite so open, vowing not to even taste dog or cat were I offered them. Different spices on meat that I consider fit to eat, fine, but meat from an animal I consider to be pet material? No way!

Meeting up with the Aussies in New Mexico gave me the chance to try something I'd only heard of and not necessarily in complimentary terms, Vegemite. For those who may not know much about Vegemite, here's the Wikipedia summary: "Vegemite is made from used brewers' yeast extract, a by-product of beer manufacturing, and various vegetable and spice additives. It is salty, slightly bitter, and umami or malty — similar to beef bouillon. The texture is smooth and sticky. It is not as intensely flavoured as British Marmite and it is less sweet than the New Zealand version of Marmite." The Aussies had some along and were all too willing to share, so I had to give it a go. They warned me that the other Americans with whom they'd spent time had not liked it, but I wasn't going to let that stop me. Diane from Canada didn't let it stop her either, and here's her reaction. She went straight for the milk, which seemed to help. I didn't have quite that reaction, though I can't say I'll be seeking out a jar here so as to have my own supply. As Wikipedia says, it's salty, and I didn't find the taste to be one I'd like first thing in the morning, for breakfast. I tend to like salty foods later in the day, occasionally or often with a beer. I think I'd like Vegemite better under those circumstances than for breakfast.

Speaking of salt, Sarah makes a mean margarita, from scratch, no margarita mixer allowed. I even helped squeeze the limes. Margaritas were new for the Aussies, and Gilly's reaction to hers was even better than Diane's Vegemite face. Here it is, in sequence. First, the preparation ... then, a sip ... then the reaction ... followed by ... and ... and then ... and finally ... I think that's relief that the first taste is over. Not to worry. Gilly survived her first margarita, just as Diane and I survived our first tastes of Vegemite. We all had a taste of adventure and lived to tell and laugh about it. Plus, the Aussies ended up with more Vegemite left than they might have had Diane and I really taken a liking to it, and some of us ended up with seconds and more on the margaritas.

And just in case any reader is wondering, both Diane and Gilly agreed to my posting their photos here. Yes, I asked them since they, after all, have much they could tell on me should I inadvertently tick them off.

1 comment:

kreed said...

Isn't it funny that we are such a product of our environments when it comes to food likes and dislikes? Very cool that everyone was willing to try something new - even if no one found new favorite foods (or drinks!) in the process!