This series is turning into an adventure of self-discovery. I’ve found another food item I’m not so keen on: rose water.
Don’t get me wrong, my Persian readers (if I have any): I adore your towel-cooked rice in all varieties and flavors, though I think you’re crazy for actually eating saffron. Tahdig is one of the highlights of my life. And I lip-smacking appreciate a lot of other things that I could maybe pronounce but not begin to spell. I have no trouble helping myself to more the first time you urge me to… or the second… or third… or fourth… and when I regretfully decline fifths a half-dozen times, it’s only because I lack storage capacity. Heck, I think more highly of Persian food than most Persians my age, who seem to believe that lukshen kugel is the superior form of nutrition.
But I have some trouble with the rose-water-sprinkled edibles. I mean, seriously: if we were meant to ingest roses, they would come with nutritional information on the side. I remember the first time I tasted it. I was sampling some of this smooth green stuff that looked promising. Some kind of pistachio-based dessert, maybe? I wouldn’t know: I couldn’t taste it. The powerful aroma of rose just filled my head to an eye-crossing capacity. It couldn’t have been stronger if I was building a float for the Rose Festival parade. You wouldn’t expect it from such innocent green stuff.
Truth is, maybe I’m unlucky with green. I just naturally assume that Smooth Green = Avacado (or pistachio). This assumption has not always stood me in good stead. Like in my pre-sushi-literate era. I don’t need to go into the details – everyone knows someone who has innocently taken a healthy nibble of the green stuff from the sushi station at a smorgasbord.
I had retired to the side to recover when I was approached by a long (and not regretfully) lost acquaintance. Poor girl. It rapidly became apparent to her that I was hanging around the sidelines alone not because I had no friends to speak to, but because I was so overwrought by still being single when my pal was getting married. She murmured a comforting “im yirtzah Hashem by you” and beat a hasty retreat so I could continue blinking back tears in peace.
Okay, so that wasn’t an all bad experience. But maybe I should be leery of smooth green things. That might make an acceptable food hangup.