Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Hazelnuts and Avocados

I used to hate hazelnuts.

I hated anything even remotely hazelnut-flavored. It made me gag. I thought it tasted like wet basement. I had no love for nuts in general (even going so far as to pick individual walnuts out of my chocolate-chip cookies and macadamia nuts out of chocolate pinwheel filing), but I found hazelnuts particularly repulsive.

Then, three or four months ago, I suddenly found myself eating hazelnut things. All the time. It started innocently enough: I was ordering a latte and felt a rush of desire to make it a hazelnut one. Bewildered but ready to try anything, I ordered it with hazelnut and vanilla, just to ease myself into the flavor. It was delicious. I was confused - I hated hazelnut, right? - but sucked down the whole darn thing. And then next time it was only hazelnut. I even went out and bought some hazelnut syrup to put in my coffee at home. I couldn't get enough of the stuff.

The same thing happened with avocados. I had always disliked them, even after living in California, where they are ubiquitous. Something about the oily taste and odd smooth-but-slimy texture put me off. I picked them out of salads, took them off my burgers, and rarely ate guacamole. I could only stomach that avocado-based condiment if it was homemade, very very fresh, and very very garlicky.

But one day I started thinking about guacamole. And then I wanted some. So when my husband (wonderful man that he is) brought me home some fajitas for dinner, I tried a bit of the ice-cream-scoop-worth of guacamole at the edge of the plate. And it was delicious. I slathered the stuff all over my steak fajitas. And then a couple of weeks later I ate it again. When I saw a "guacamole kit" at Trader Joe's, I didn't even hesitate before I threw it into the cart. I went right home and mixed up the avocados, lime juice, garlic, tomatoes, and onions. And when it was done, I shoveled it into my piehole at an astonishing (and somewhat alarming) pace. I got out the Alton Brown DVD's I bought my husband for Christmas and learned Alton's tips for making good guac. Now I make it, and I eat it. One avocado's worth of guacamole doesn't last a day in my fridge.

At first, I was disturbed by these new developments. The desire for both hazelnuts and avocados was so strong I feared I might be pregnant. Cravings for foods I had previously disdained were, after all, my first and best indicator that I had a bun in the oven. But that turned out to be untrue. I guess I just really like avocados and hazelnuts now.


No comments: