I always thought of myself as a picky eater. And, well, I am, but as I grow older I am continually refining it into a more exact science.
Because, you know, when you’re a kid and you look at a taco, you know what’s in it: meat, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, cheese, etc. If you’ve been paying attention, you know what kind of meat it is, and maybe even the sound the animal made before it became your dinner.
You take a bite, and you know you don’t like it. Hell, maybe you know you didn’t like it from the smell the probably-unidentified meat made while cooking. But what’s not to like? You’ve eaten all of those ingredients in other dishes, and they’ve tasted fine.
Ah! You’ve figured it out. It must be tacos that you don’t like. There is some ineffable flavor intrinsic to tacos which you simply can’t stomach.
And that’s how it works when you’re five.
It’s not till you’re older, perhaps much older, that you begin to learn about the basic building blocks of flavor; the generally unseen ingredients which can make (or, more importantly, break) a meal. You learn of chili powder, vinegar, cumin, cilantro….
And you learn which ones you don’t like.
And that’s how picky eating is turned from a merely childish habit into a respectable adult past-time.