Posted by: Andy | August 12, 2009

Food Fetish: the Dark Side of Fruit

One of the ongoing themes you’ll find on Eatzilla! is food.

Partially because I am in love with it. Over the years and in different stages of my life I’m fairly certain I would have tried to marry specific dishes if I was in Vegas and it was legal (vote Yes on Prop 9!!). On the other hand I am positive I have been close to placing calls to the Catholic Church in hopes they would perform an exorcism on my stomach after others.

Perhaps many that know me would easily label me obsessed when it comes to any new food product, reviews, restaurant openings etc. that happen my way. It doesn’t take much. I mean I admittedly get disturbingly excited by both the thought of chili pepper laced dark chocolate accompanied with a nice glass of Shiraz or when Hostess announces a new flavor of Twinkies.

It doesn’t take much for me to devote attention to all things culinary. I’d proudly buy a ticket to the Amy Adams / Glenn Close foodie chick flick Julie & Julia before I stepped foot into a theatre to see Transformers 2: My Ass Fell Asleep. I’d be first in line. I’m not afraid to admit I probably had my baking badge in Beavers as a kid before anything atheletic. Again, not a large shock to many of you.

I’m not particularly picky when it comes to food consumption. I was raised in a small fishing village where peanut butter on raw cabbage was a staple pre-school snack. I’ll partake in just about anything once so I don’t have any Dr. Suess related regrets. (I’ve had actual green eggs & ham in Disney World for cryin’ out loud)

Even as a child I played against type and was not a hold out or stern opposition towards veggies. I always tried to keep true to John Lennons classic song “Give Peas a Chance”

Ahem, cough cough (sorry, thought I heard crickets)

The same thing can be said for fruit. I can remember a McDonalds in Sackville in the early 80’s where I first experienced Kiwi fruit albeit in heavy syrup and atop a soft serve sundae. I think I was scrambling to get rid of the taste of  a McRib in my mouth. I made my first of many poached pear in Home Economic Class in Jr. High and was hooked (listen the room smelled like cake and there was no heavy lifting unlike Industrial Arts) I put sliced apples on tuna sandwiches, limes in my beer and consume fresh strawberries with fresh ground pepper sprinkled all over.

There are however two fruits I label as off limits in my home. If these two items were to appear together in some freakish hodge podge put together by a crazed lunch lady I am positive that the  Earth would implode from grossness. Not many people share my views and will probably be dumbfounded at the passion I have alotted in hating this dynamic duo of fruity evil.

Ladies and gentlemen I give you Raisins and Bananas.

Yeah that’s fine, you can go ahead and start looking for a good vegan shrink to suggest. No I don’t have an allergy to these items either.  Unless you count dry heaving a valid allergy symptom.

Let me break it down for you. (sorry I will not be rapping this out)

Raisins are for all good reasoning lazy grapes. Shrivelled slackers who couldn’t cut it as wine. Laze abouts sunning themselves without any proper SPF lotion with not a worry in the world. That’s because they know eventually they’ll be harvested and set upon the world to torment poor bastards like me.

In elementary school I attended a swank Halloween Party at a class-mates. I’ll always remember it because it pre-dated Martha Stewart but not Stepford Wives for which the lavishly elaborate kid shin-dig had been created by. You by now will probably be familiar with the staple Haunted House ritual laid out in any home during this time of year. That being a darkened room or blindfolded guest being asked to put their hand in various bowls and then being told in imaginative detail what they are rummaging through. Cold Spaghetti was witches hair. Hot Dogs were of course severed fingers (at that age you went with that assumption) Of course peeled grapes were eyeballs. For a kid already five Pixie Stix in, the brain fuelled by refined sugar took all this in and usually went through their own suburban Vietnam for days to follow.

I hope you’re following along and have some inkling or literary understanding of foreshadowing. You see not only did this kids Mom pride herself in outdoing the tried and true Haunted  fondling fest tradition she took it one step further. She made us do a taste version. That’s right – she was Joe Rogan and I was on Fear Factor:  Mommie Dearest Edition. Sure enough I was fed something plump and sweet. The texture was firm at first but upon chewing it burst in my mouth (settle down ). All of this was ok up until when she cackled (pretty sure it wasn’t method acting) that I was feasting upon fat juicy maggots. (indeed these were Sultan raisins – those huge golden plump bitches).  Cue gag reflex  and soon I’m a Jawa wearing two pudding cups, a slice of pizza and many handfuls of Twizzlers the hard way.

That pretty much sealed my deep seeded hatred toward “Natures Candy” What a crock. You know what Natures Candy is? A Caramel Apple my friends. Not a handful of Natures rabbit turds. I can’t deal with raisins on any level. Not littered in bread or coated in chocolate. You could wrap raisins in bacon and I still would steer clear. There’d have to be alot of Rum in that ice-cream flavor in order for me to get through more than one spoonful. There’s a reason giving a box of raisins at Halloween will result in your house getting owned.

banana-attack

Bananas proved less traumatic in my very early childhood memories. You couldn’t go wrong on a Peanut Butter and Banana sandwich on two slices of bleachy white goodness compliments of  Bens Holsum Bread Hey if they were ok for Elvis they were good enough for us!

Cut to 5th grade at Hammonds Plains Consolidated. I’m getting ready for lunch and my sweet Jabber Jaw thermos is full of Chef-Boy-R-Dee Beefaroni. To a 10 year old, the Chef may as well been Gordon Ramsey and canned pasta in red sauce was the food of the Gods.

Technology in that day (please no Little House on the Prairie jabs) meant that in order to keep meals hot in a thermos it had to be comprised of an outer shell of plastic (with sweet sweet Hannah Barbera cartoon characters) and an inner tube of delicate glass. Yeah, we kids lived it hard core back in the 70’s. As I grabbed for my plastic spoon, my elbow launched that precious cylinder of pasta and pre-formed beef into the air only to remind itself of the Law of Gravity and quickly plummet onto the floor. The sound would be similar to you throwing stew and a mirror into a Bingo ball sorter and spinning it relentlessly. The end  result? A new product the good chef would never lend his name to unless he started an S&M line of frozen entrees. Broken shards of thermos glass littered my lunch and dashed my dreams of a square meal.

Of course already devouring the brownie Mom had made for me at recess and pawning a pudding cup for a comic, I had but one thing left to sustain me through the afternoon. (If you can’t see what’s coming next – welcome to paragraph 12 skimmer).

Anyone who grew up going through the public school system knows the trade value on a banana in a cafeteria will net you maybe a half eaten bologna sandwich from that sickly kid who may or may not have scurvy or a swift kick to the nuts.

So content to eat my sole lunch item I was disturbed to see it speckled with brown and black spots in varying stages of splotchiness. Had my Mom mistakenly sent me a banana that should have been destined for the freezer, to later be offered to the Bread Gods? The horror escalated quickly as I unwrapped my mystery meal which was met with mounting terror as it’s jellied and bruised flesh was exposed to the fluorescent lights above.

I can and will always recall vividly that fucking banana as I tried to devise a plan of action as to what angle I could approach parts of it to actually avoid the damaged drippy goods. As my stomach and brain battled it out for what seemed like forever I think I gathered onlookers like I was some type of free lunch room freak show.

I ate that damn banana, my fingers sticky from trying to pick off large deposits of goo in varying shades of blech. I choked that bastard down and haven’t touched another one again, with the odd sliced exception (which is always inspected with Rain Manish detail) on top of cereal. Even then –  the smell still gets me.

Most people understand my issues with these two foods. All I can say to you is that some people can’t do Oysters, some avoid sushi, others are lactose intolerant, many are put off by rare steak. Some have been scarred by food poisoning while handfuls can’t even look at a peanut without doing an impression of a puffer fish.

Some have choices, other don’t. I choose to detest that ass-hat happy Sun who cheerfully dispenses raisins into that cereal with his two big scoops or continually debate just how smart monkeys are since their food of choice stereotypically seems to be the banana.

So I really can’t blame you that after reading all this you’ll probably agree with Gwen Stefani and I’ll readily admit it.

This shit is bananas.

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Responses

  1. I never thought about it until now, but the amount of vomiting in your childhood has really scarred you in adult life.

  2. B…A…N-A, N-A-S!

    Go you.


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