Food that I ate growing up turns out to be rather different than what other families had on their dinner tables. I really didn't realize it at the time. In fact, it hits me on a regular basis these days as that now I
am a parent. My daughter isn't eating standard Americana fare either. She's getting healthy - or unhealthy, if you know the cuisine at all - doses of Ukrainian food: borscht, numerous salads that are potato based, dried fish (RIVKA!), and other foods. Often my personal realizations about my diet growing up happen when I am talking about what my daughter is eating. It often goes something like: Avrora's eating x and we never did when I was growing up. We ate Y instead. The other person in the conversation often looks at me strange at first and then says something to the effect of 'we never ate Y either."
Those are not the only times that I get that set of realizations. Back in college - or perhaps more properly, living in southern New Mexico - I had a rather rude awakening. What other
people called 'bratwurst' was not what I grew up with at all. The nasty stuff they were peddling was filled coarsely ground pork that even had the wrong color. They're was a fleshy, grey that would turn brown when cooked. The ones I grew up with were white
. They were also flavoured different. Sometimes the peddled stuff didn't have much taste at all, but that's an aside. There would be a handful of sausages that I would encounter from childhood like this, but the bratwurst was the most traumatic: it ahd been a huge favourite when I was a kid and not being able to eat it at least once in a while as an adult seemed like one of those petty insults that life occasionally tosses at you. The last place I could find it - erratically - was in Los Alamos and only now and again. Since I didn't visit LA that often after August 1992, well, I didn't have a chance to see if they had it at all.
Now, don't get me wrong, I developed an intense fixation for New Mexico green chile - which not even an excellent sausage could replace - but good sausage was not something that was around (other than Chorizo, which is excellent, but not the same at all!).
Then came my move to the SF Bay Area. Put away the sausage jokes, you NMican twits! There happened to be a lot more out here. I actually found a number that I like, but for the longest time, muy favourite to munch on was bockwurst
. The one I like is a white variant. I've also developed a taste for a variant of british bangers. One day, when I was shopping with Avrora in the produce store we prefer (Berkeley Bowl), we were bolting across the always busy store to get to a bathroom (potty-training, such a joy! but, dear lord worth it!) and I noticed by chance something labeled "bratwurst" and it was white! I didn't have a chance to get it then, but later, oh yeah. Lyuda didn't care for it, but when I bit in, I definitely knew what I'd found. It wasn't exactly the same, but really damned close.
And, yes, it was damned good.
OTOH, even as a kid, I never did develop a taste for blutwurst
. I also never developed a taste for limburger
either, but that's not a sausage, I think, unless its one four score old.
On the gripping hand though, Avrora's definitely going to get a different POV on food than even I do. The other night, we had bockwurst, steamed artichokes (a current favourite of hers and ours) and couscous w/ fried mushrooms and onions. Upon reflection, maybe I can get my wife to make okroshka. That stuff is quite good too.