Amy Tries Again


Peanut Day, part the third.
February 17, 2010, 3:04 PM
Filed under: In Which I Try Again | Tags:

It’s almost over.  I have been going against my every instinct all day for your amusement, and it’s almost over.  After the surprise of actually liking Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, I was almost ready to call it a day.  After all, I’d already had an epiphany.  But no: I am a woman of my word, so I pressed on.  I posted a video a little earlier on of my experience with foe number three:

SATAY.

Fine dining.

I made a stunningly authentic tofu veggie satay from a jar (I added some peanut butter, chilli and green curry paste to the sauce in order to jazz it up a bit – it was somewhat bland).  The round, crinkle-cut carrots in the frozen vegetables I used are possibly this dish’s crowning glory.  I don’t want to brag too much about my cooking skills, but after producing this bad boy, my flat now has a Michelin star.

Anyway.  Although this was no doubt a pale, deformed shadow of a proper satay, it was still a decent example of a popular westernised version of satay.  People purchase and consume this devil sauce in alarming quantities.  I was not looking forward to it.

Let me give you some background – I have a history with peanut sauces.  As a child I was fortunate enough to have reasonably culinarily adventurous parents.  Though I sometimes really would have preferred to go to McDonald’s like a normal person, I ate spicy foods, loved garlic, could handle chopsticks as well as a fork and could never get quite enough pickled anything.  I did have a few foods I disliked – tofu, capsicum and eggplant were the worst offenders – but I happily eat and enjoy them all now.

Except, of course, for peanuts.  The very worst food on the planet (according to me as a child, at least) was always Gado Gado.  It’s an Indonesian dish my parents cooked fairly regularly, and I HATED IT.  This is Gado Gado, should you not have encountered it.  It’s not technically a satay, but is fairly similar.

(I had hoped to visit my Esteemed Mother this evening and have her cook me some of this foul stuff, but my Esteemed Mother has far too busy a social life and told me she couldn’t do so on Peanut Day itself.  This is probably just a ruse to get me to eat peanuts on another day: I think she believes me to be taking an interest in them.  She is wrong.)

It was with Gado Gado, most hellish of all dinners, firmly in mind that I tried my tofu veggie satay tonight.  It was pretty bland and mild, but not as bad as I was expecting.  Doctoring it a bit (including supercharging its peanut quotient) was an attempt to get it closer to Gado Gado, but it was still fairly plain.  Meh.  Not great, but I could manage it.  And then…the aftertaste.  It all came rushing back.  It lingered on and on, and the only way to get rid of it was to take another bite.  Wary of falling into a satay loop, I managed to get through it, but it was not very nice.

Satay: still no dice.

Time for the final challenge!

SALTED PEANUTS!

Staring into the abyss.

The texture of these isn’t as horrid as I remember.  They feel the same under the teeth as a macadamia nut, the least horrid of all the nuts.  They do seem to squeak against your teeth a bit, which is unpleasant.  Flavour wise, they taste a lot like everything else I’ve eaten today, only less artificial.  Salt helps.  In conclusion: not scary.  Not too disgusting.  Not too great, either.

So to sum up today?  I really feel like there’s an element missing from peanuts that used to be there when I was little.  The smell and taste – that peanutness – is there, but the centre of that taste, that bitter twist behind my tongue that made me feel I might actually be sick – just isn’t there anymore.  Is it because my tastebuds have died off and I’m actually experiencing a different taste to that from my childhood?  Or do I simply have a more mature palete?

I don’t think I could ever actively LIKE peanuts in general: but today, I’ve found that I can eat them if I have to, that they can be inoffensive in some dishes and that it there IS a peanut based product out there that I actually like.  If I hadn’t done this, I may never have found that out.

That said: peanut butter is still gross.

Peanuts: SUCCESSFULLY TRIED AGAIN.

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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Congratulations, Ms. Amy! I thoroughly enjoyed your journey through peanut-dom and out the other side. I feel inspired!

But the question that begs answering: what’s next?

Comment by Raynor

Thanks Raynor! I am currently musing on what to do next. At the moment, I believe it may involve a football game of some description. We shall see…

Comment by Amy




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