Oh those foodies and their AP kids…
AP = Advanced Palate
Sadly, my tainted hero Bourdain slips another notch.
First, the guy who rails against all that is conventional, spitting his disdain at any of us who lack his sophistication. And privilege. No, Tony, we didn’t all vacation at our Grandmere’s near the oyster farm in France. But, even while he spews his anger at conventional society, proclaiming his position from every bar stool, or street-food stall, he shows us every so often, that he is on the inside, a real softie. I’m sure I’d get along with this guy, he’s like the guy at the party that I gravitate toward. At least, I used to. Maybe I’d just find him insufferable.
Anyway, over time, I developed this soft spot, this love-hate thing for him. I read his books (see Bobby with Orange Fingers), watch his shows (I have him to thank him for the introduction to Ferran Adria) (and my husband who found and TiVo’d that show. Occasionally, I really like him (as much as one can like an unknown celebrity.)
Then, the bastard goes and does the most predictable thing in the world. Dumps wife #1 who stood by him through all the addictions and accompanying ups and downs. Documented in his books, by his own hand. Picks up wife #2 (younger, I’m sure) and becomes a doting Daddy. Now, maybe I’m wrong and it was Nancy who dumped him and left with the pool-boy half her age. Could be.
But now that he’s a Daddy, suddenly, HIS kid has the most amazing palate in ever witnessed in humankind. It’s too clichéed, Tony. Not you. Please.
This post in Serious Eats makes me sad. Except for the one commenter (apparently the only one who’s read any child development lit) noting that this willingness by toddlers to eat anything, is nothing but age-appropriate behavior.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There’s lots to love about Bourdain. And, I’m not unmindful of the old wisdom that says what we find most annoying in others is what we loathe or fear in ourselves. So I’m willing to admit that my struggle with Bourdain probably says more about ME than it does about him.
But, if he starts going on about how “gifted” his kid is, I think I’ll vomit.
The Real AP Eaters
Now, if you want to know what real adventurous kids eat even when no one’s watching, when their parents aren’t famous, you have to hear what my nieces eat. (Did you like that segue Yen-Yen?) Even beyond the toddler who’ll eat anything stage, my sister-in-law feeds her daughters very healthy, and very weird, stuff. They are old enough to express preferences (beans and yogurt for dinner!) but not old enough to know how unusual their snacks are. I’m not talking about the run of the mill substitution of wheat flour-for-white. Or the fruit-instead-of-candy bar stuff. Ha! That’s for wimps. She is hardcore. Kale pancakes anyone? Smoothies will all manner of fruits and veggies.
I remember playing around with the girls at a recent family gathering when it was clearly approaching snack time. This is easy to judge by the mood of kids. The ziplock bag comes out with some dark gray-green-purply colored pancake-like things. What gave them their unusual color? Kale, among other things. The girls loved them. I went to take a bite and just as I was realizing the folly of my ways, Yen-Yen says: “Oooh, I wouldn’t eat that if I were you.” What? What are you feeding them?
Well, it’s all healthy stuff, so why not. These are not kids who will reach adulthood unaware of what a brussels sprout tastes like. They might, however, think one is meant to drink them.
Could be worse, I guess.