Food Foibles (4): Unidentified Green Stuff

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.


9 thoughts on “Food Foibles (4): Unidentified Green Stuff

  1. Thanks to an episode of “The Nanny,” when she takes a huge portion of wasabi and disappears under the table, I steer clear of raw fish.

  2. Ah, memories! Bought a bottle of rose water, and it just sat in the cupboard for almost a year. Then ze spouse decided to add half a cup of it to some sauteed zuchinni…

  3. I agree with Chaim – getting sushi in the YU Caf is great for that added wasabi-induced benefit when I’m a bit congested. Though I don’t get why wasabi leads to a reason to avoid raw fish, as Princess Lea remarked. I do recall being at a Persian (I think that was his particular Sephardic background) who had this thin, long green beans which were blazingly spicy on his Shabbos table. Another guest scoffed at the damaging effect of the vegetables as he watched our host place 4 and 5 of them in his mouth at the same time (he grew up eating them and was entirely used to their effect). Of course he attempted to do the same, turned several different colors, and spent the rest of the meal furiously drinking liquids in a vain attempt to calm the fire raging in his mouth and throat. It was quite funny, though I did not risk my own health to try the fiery beans.

  4. I have my own preferences….but, I would like to know yours.
    Bad4: Did you ever suggest an Antidote to the ”Im Yirtzeh Hashem by You” sympathy symptom which tends to break out near weddings, and vorts?

  5. When people used to say that to me IYH by you(a really long time ago) I used to respond in very unkind way. I have made a point of never saying it, at least in that way.

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