I have been a vegetarian for over 20 years. Don’t worry though, this isn’t about to be a preachy post! I think I have the same reaction as meat eaters when a someone who has been a vegetarian for about a minute and a half starts lecturing about what you should or shouldn’t eat – I just want to eat a giant piece of meat in their face and tell them to buzz off! I don’t, of course… because I hate meat… but I also hate being bossed around by extremists. So that’s not the point of this post, I’m not trying to convert you!
Right. I AM a vegetarian, though, because I don’t like meat, plain and simple. I don’t like the taste and I don’t like the texture, and I welcome you to eat anything you like. If I lived closer to a small farm, I would prefer to buy my meat-eating boyfriend some humanely treated animals that could wander around before they died and didn’t eat hormones or weird foods… but alas I live near the city… so he gets whatever the large-chain grocery store has, which is probably terrible and I prefer not to think about it. But that’s just me, I repeat: you can do what you want!
Anyway, let me move on to the point. My boyfriend and I went on a date on Thursday last week. We’ve been together for nearly 10 years, and I still appreciate a good date night. We went to a place called the Elephant Walk – if you’re ever in the Boston area, I totally recommend checking it out. It’s Cambodian food (with a French flair). I LOVE it! I love spice and flavor and I love that they have a vegetarian section on the menu because not a lot of places around Boston do.
I ordered what sounded to me like a lovely meal (and I’ve had amazing meals there before): veggies and tofu in a lemongrass sauce. (We also had a to-die-for appetizer of pumpkin ravioli in a miso/pear/cream sauce – simply divine!) I always say that I hate tofu and I know it makes me a terrible vegetarian! Out of guilt, I told myself that I would get the tofu this time (instead of asking for the meal without it)! I haven’t tried in 10 -15 years, it was time to try it again. I figured it would be a plate filled with veggies with only a few cubes of tofu, so what’s the harm?
I was WRONG! It was a few slivers of veggies and an ENTIRE mountain of tofu! But that’s ok, I’m a big girl, I like to try new things. Who knows, I might have liked it and been wrong all these years.
Nope! I still hate tofu. In fact, I don’t even understand why people like it. (If you love tofu, I’m a jerk for “yucking your yum.” Sorry!) I know what you might be thinking though. “No, Jen, tofu doesn’t have a flavor, it takes on whatever it’s cooked with, maybe you didn’t like the sauce… or it was bland, try tofu with something more flavorful.” That’s not it, I promise. The sauce was terrific (I enjoyed it with the rice on the side of the dish) and VERY flavorful. I don’t like tofu because it feels like you’re chewing bubble gum. It’s so chewy! You really have to work on it before you can even swallow it.
I just don’t see the appeal. I guess I’ll just remain a bad vegetarian forever.
And I’m ok with it.