Kids don’t have much say in what they eat, so it’s hard for them to stray from the pack. This post tells the story of how one fine-dining veteran formed his food tastes and the role saltwater taffy had to play in it.
Quality Candy Was Rare Where He Grew Up
The hero of this story doesn’t eat a lot of candy. He could eat a couple of pieces of licorice or some toffee now and then, but he has never eaten these types of food in large quantities, not even in his younger days. The selection of quality candy was not great in southern Indiana in the ‘70s, where he grew up.
Every Christmas, he would get chocolate-pecan turnovers, which were special and rare. For the rest of the year, he would get only yucky sweets, and he would get the most incredible candy on Halloween.
What Saltwater Taffy Had to Do With It
Saltwater taffy was a food that this hero’s distant relatives on his mother’s side brought from Virginia. It came in dainty parcels that were distributed with a sort of reverence. His mother’s cousins would hand out salt water taffy to him in silence in what they assumed was expectation. Rather, he looked on in revulsion and fear. Having a bag of saltwater taffy was similar to being handed a list of sins that knew no forgiveness. The bag of saltwater taffy would slowly calcify in his room for the next fiscal quarter.
Despite his limited palate and experience, he had started to understand the pleasures of eating. He loved mushrooms, barbecued ribs, crab, late-summer tomatoes, sweet corn, green beans, fried catfish, and even mayonnaise.
The Kid Knows What He Likes – Food and Everything Else
The quickest way to get that kid to reject something was to tell him how everyone else was doing it. This has been the constant in his life, to be the outsider when it came to not only food but also popular music, hip movies, and cool clothes. He liked to hold back a bit, assess, and make his own decisions. This is why he considered saltwater taffy to be over-hyped and gross. This is the same way he thinks of fudge, chocolate-covered cherries, and s’mores. Eventually, this is what he told his family and all the friends who forced saltwater taffy on him – to save their money as he knows what he likes.