Mrs. Carla Monti

Mrs. Carla Monti

Monday, April 30, 2012

Cooking Challenge!

"Foodie is an informal term for a particular class of aficionado of food and drink. The word was coined in 1981 by Paul Levy and Ann Barr, who used it in the title of their 1984 book The Official Foodie Handbook."


I consider myself to be a total foodie. The TV in my bedroom is permanently set to shuffle between Cooking Channel and Food Network, cupcakes have permeated every aspect of my life, and I read blogs and books about food in my spare time. I am constantly thinking of what I want to cook and bake next, and prefer to spend my money either on going to several restaurants a week and/or fancy kitchen gadgets. I even have a foodie boyfriend, who is not only an amazing cook, but has been working in the restaurant industry for years.

Having said all that, I am not exactly fearless when it comes to eating or cooking. There are still some foods that I don't enjoy and purposely avoid. I thought it might be fun to challenge myself in this arena, and pick my top 'scary' food in categories like fruit, veggie, cheese, etc and dare myself to make one fabulous dish with each ingredient and see if I can't change my tastes and preferences. After careful consideration (or 5 minutes scribbling on a post-it at work), I've come up with the following:

1. Cheese - Feta. This was difficult to narrow down, because I am not exactly a cheese lover. In fact, there are very few cheeses I do like! My favorites are Brie, mozzarella di bufala, and queso blanco. I can name far more cheeses I won't go near: gorgonzola, blue cheese, goat cheese... etc! But I remember having feta on two separate trips to Greece when I was in college and really hated it.

2. Vegetable -Brussels sprouts. This one is a bit obvious, it's probably one of the most disliked veggies out there for kids and young adults, so it's no surprise here. I've seen plenty of recipes that combine Brussels sprouts with pancetta or bacon, and the idea of teeny cabbages with the texture of bacon is baffling!

3. Fruit - Rhubarb. To me, this is a redder, uglier version of celery and the fact that I see this in many pie recipes seems contradictory. Fruit-filled pies, in my opinion, should be delightfully soft and smushy or with a hint of a bite. Overall, the texture, tart flavor, and color is very unappetizing to me!

4. Meat - Lamb. This is probably the item on this list that I have the strongest memory of hating. I traveled to Turkey twice while I was in college, and quite frankly, I had 'bad' lamb too many times to ever want to give it another try, much less in a different country. The smell ... the taste .... all horrible!

5. Herb - Arugula. (Yes, it's classified as an herb, I Googled it!) I know, I know. Arugula is "the" herb-veggie-leafy thing of the moment. I know it is the hot item to use, perfect as a garnish, salads, pesto, etc. I can't stand it! It is bitter and very unsavory to me.

 Okay so there is my list! Since I am almost officially done with this semester, I will set this challenge for myself to be completed this summer. :)


  1. If you want to get into the more stinky cheeses, try cambozola--it's a hybrid cheese, a mixture of nice creamy mild camembert with the tangier gorgonzola! My boyfriend loves it. Try, and you'll be eating roquefort in no time!

    1. Oh thanks for the tip! I will definitely look into the cambozola. I actually tried gorgonzola dolce for the first time last night on crostini with tomatoes and balsamic - very delicious!