What makes people love the food they love? Can it be changed?-Guest Post by Alba Alamillo

Hi everyone! Do you ever wish you were a picky eater? Well no matter what cooking personality type you are or what kind of an eater you are, my latest guest blogger, Alba Alamillo has an interesting take on why we like what we like and therefore cook what we cook. We can all make healthy changes! I fell MUCH more in love with fruit when I stopped eating processed sugar (for the most part).

Fried Tarantulas are a delicacy in Cambodia. What makes people love 
the food they love? Can it be changed?
By Alba Alamillo
Author of “Think Like a Picky Eater and Never Diet Again.”

Think about the foods you love… bread maybe? Sweets? Pizza? Apple pie? 
You think you love them because they taste good. That’s the excuse you 
make when you eat a little bit too much of something. “I love apple 
pie… I just can’t stop!” You say as you gobble it down.

You think you love it because it tastes good, but that’s a delusion. 
You love apple pie, cookies, pizza and chocolate because you were 
raised believing that it was OK to love those foods.

I was raised in Mexico and for me and my friends spicy and sour candy 
was absolutely delicious. I don’t know anyone in Mexico who doesn’t 
love it.  Mexican children are raised and expected to eat sour candy.
The moment I shared my beloved Mexican candy with my American friends 
their faces said it all: “How on Earth can you eat that?”
What about something truly American? Peanut butter. The only person I 
knew in Mexico that had peanut butter in her pantry was my grandma. 
She didn’t have teeth and I associated peanut butter with old people 
with no teeth. There was nothing wrong with me for not liking it. My 
grandma didn’t expect me to like it and none of my friends knew about 
it.

When I moved to the US as a young mom I was surprised to see the 
little American children raving about peanut butter-jelly sandwiches…
“Does your child like that?”  I asked incredulously, since in my mind 
all I could think was:
peanut butter=old people without teeth.
“Why, yes?” my friend responded.

American children are raised and expected to eat and like peanut butter.
 Something similar happened when a family of Australian friends shared 
their Australian delicacy: Vegemite. I almost fainted. First because 
its smell made me gag and second because I couldn’t believe my eyes: 
mom, dad and two little youngsters raving about it on their toast.
 Australian children are expected to eat and love vegemite.

Why don’t you love fried tarantula? if you were raised in Cambodia 
your point of view would be much different than what your frowning 
face is saying right now.

When my son was a toddler he surprised the whole family when he spit 
out his first bite of chocolate.
“How can you NOT love it?” we all commented, mortified. What’s wrong 
with this child? We wondered.

It’s our expectations that defines how much we love or hate a certain 
food, not the actual taste of it.

Imagine for a second that you are in a steakhouse enjoying the most 
delicious piece of steak you’ve ever had, as you are thinking on how 
much you love it, the waiter asks you if you liked it.
“I love it, thank you!” You say enthusiastically.
“Good!” He says, “It’s today’s special: dog’s meat.”
I wonder what you’ll do after hearing that. My question to you it 
this: Who rules? Taste buds or expectations?



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