I have some advice for you, my friends.
Never, ever enter a contest which involves eating a lot of food, fast.
It’s just NOT a good idea.
Especially if you want enjoy that food again, ever.
I’ve been a watermelon-hater for over 40 years.
This is My Story
Methodist Youth Fellowship (MYF) was big in my life as a teen. We learned a lot, laughed a lot, and enjoyed a lot of, well, fellowship. Weekly meetings were on Wednesdays after school at my aunt’s house, just down the road from our home at the beach on the Bolivar Peninsula.
One of the “fun” activities was a watermelon-eating contest.
That’s me on the right, circa 1981, when I was 17. I think you can see what’s coming.
There are differing memories about whether or not I won (I don’t think so but my aunt swears I did). Winner or not, what I lost, seemingly forever, was my taste for watermelon. 🍉 (I’ll spare you the details but assure you that the aftermath of stuffing myself with this synonymous-with-summer fruit was NOT pretty and not short.)
I’ve scorned watermelon for over 40 years since that exercise in gorging, looking away with pursed lips and judgment in my heart when others happily brought the dripping slices of summer-colored sweetness up to their wide-open mouths. The memory of that fateful day remained strong, as I had developed a “taste aversion” to watermelon. (Read about taste aversion here.) I shied away from even touching the fruit, cringing, and have opted out of the job of cutting it up, dumping that task on others, whether they were willing or not. (Hey, if they want to eat it, they can be the ones to wrestle with it!)
I’ll admit, though, that the fruit looks pretty. The fruit stand in Paris on the Rue des Martyrs displayed it right in front.
We’re at Gumbo Cove in Bay St. Louis for the week, and I’ve seen a lot of watermelon on the cocktail menus here – Watermelon Martini, Watermelon Daiquiri, etc. Here’s a recipe for a Watermelon Martini from a fellow WordPress blogger, which sounds kind of good, if it wasn’t for the watermelon…
There has also been a plethora of watermelon salads on the menus lately, like it’s summer or something. “It’s not summer without watermelon” is something I’ve heard all my life (I scoff at this).
But today, I wondered if all this sudden watermelon ubiquity must be some kind of cosmic message, and decided to put on my big girl pants, face my fears, and try watermelon again.
So for lunch, in addition to the Mediterranean Bowl I ordered for takeout from a new cafe here called The Dragonfly, I got a Watermelon Salad.
Yes, I did.
I took it out of the takeout container put a small portion of it on a pretty plate when I got home. (If you’re going to do something dramatic like fooling your brain into liking something you got sick on 40 years ago, do it right.)
I steeled myself for the aversion.
I took a bite.
Sweet Baby Juiciness, that fruit is delectable! Crunchy-juicy-light pillows of summery love on the fork! The salad had spinach, feta, cucumbers and red onions in addition to the watermelon, and it was a perfect combination with balsamic dressing.
Taste aversion conquered!
40 years down the road, I’ve resumed my watermelon journey. I’m not sorry for all the seed-spitting I’ve missed, or the times the juice could’ve been trickling down my chinny-chin-chin. I’m just looking forward to enjoying my newfound love. Maybe I’ll try that Watermelon Martini…
Thank you to Dragonfly Cafe for the matchmaking! We’re headed back to Houston this weekend but will be back to enjoy your fresh, healthy and tasty food the next time we come to Gumbo Cove.
Dear Readers, here’s a recipe for a salad that looks a lot like the one I enjoyed today (if you can’t make it on out to the Dragonfly Cafe in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi to try theirs).
Not Gonna Happen with Beets
I have another food aversion: beets. And although I’m now a watermelon-wanter, I’ll never be a beets-believer.
Beets just taste like dirt to me. Not in a good way, like one talks about with wine, “you can taste the terroir” (best said in a clipped, uppercrust accent like Katherine Hepburn’s in The Philadelphia Story), but just like regular, dirty dirt, the dirt on a motocross track. You just can’t wash that dirt taste off of a beet.
How About You?
Do you have a long-time food aversion? If so, what is it, and do you think you might dip your toe back into that water again?
© Glover Gardens, 2022