I love the cafeteria at work. It’s not only convenient, but the food is good and not too terrible for me while saving me from much greater sins elsewhere. They also have a nice variety of foods and weekly specials, so I end up eating more different meals than I otherwise would. Well, “different” usually within the context of a bun or tortilla (or occasionally a crust).

The biggest complaint I have is that they put certain foods where they don’t belong. Case and point they put green peas in rice. I don’t like rice much to begin with, but I hate green peas. There is no vegetable I hate more. There aren’t many ingredients where I practically refuse to eat anything with it in there, but green peas are right there with raisins.

You can imagine my surprise when I got a beef taco a few weeks back only to discover these little green bulbs inside of it. Having already ordered it and seeing that there weren’t many, I closed my eyes and ate the thing. I picked out the ones that were convenient, but I know one or two got through. Lesson learned. The next several times I got some other meat only to see that they didn’t put the green peas in there anywhere.

Then one day I get a burrito and I know that they’re going to put rice in there. I tell the woman to put only a little bit of rice. I do that with burritos anyway, but it was particularly important this time around. If there were only a couple I could pick them out. So I breathed a sigh of relief. Little did I see that this time they had put the green peas in the darn chicken this time.

I don’t get it. If a burrito factory offered to put beans inside their burritos, I doubt one in ten customers would ask for it. Why in the world defile glorious meat with such ugly nutrition? I understand the need for filler, but green peas are not uncontroversial. Not only would few ask for it, but I suspect a larger number would specifically want its exclusion. When I get something meaty and some potatoes were thrown in the hash, I do get the vague sensation that there are potatoes where meat ought to be and that sucks. Sort of like how they fill up your cup with glass cause that’s cheaper with cola. But it’s nothing to get excited about. Yeah, a little less meat and a little more potato, but I know few people that would actively object.

Green peas? Different story. I’m sure there are people out there that are excited about them, but there are also a lot of people that hate them. Including my wife, who is much more a veggie person than I am. I dislike carrots a good deal, too, but I understand that fewer people have the distaste for them that I do. I accept that I am alone or near alone or aligned with people of the caliber that make me wish I was alone on a lot of foods.

But green peas ain’t one of them.


Category: Kitchen

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14 Responses to Little Green Bulbs of Controversy

  1. Sheila Tone says:

    What’s WRONG with you? What abuse did your parents inflict, to make you like this?

    I’m still upset from a few days ago, where you say you don’t even know what squash tastes like … and now this? I thought the pea was the “black” of the vegetable kingdom.

  2. Sheila Tone says:

    I thought the pea was the “black” of the vegetable kingdom.

    By which I mean, unobjectionable. Goes with everything.

    For Will, peas are the “black” of the Jim Crow South! (Ba-dump-bum)

    Really, though, your vegetable habits cause me a stress that borders on moral outrage. Don’t all parents who are anywhere close to middle class teach their children that vegetables are good?

    My father grew up poor. Thinking back to my childhood, he expressed a certain righteous disgust for people who ate fried food and avoided vegetables. Bordering on the same disgust he had for single welfare mothers. No doubt I absorbed them both.

  3. Sheila Tone says:

    When my mom was alive, every night at dinner there were carrot and celery sticks in a bowl of water in the middle of the table. At the end of the dinner, I’d finish off whatever was left and drink the water out of the bowl. I thought it tasted great after all the vegetables had soaked in it.

    That seems a little weird in retrospect, but it was healthy.

  4. trumwill says:

    I don’t understand how anyone can eat green peas. The have the texture of soaked cereal and the appearance of snotballs. How can that be anything but controversial? Yuck, yuck, yuck.

    Growing up we had veggies at every meal, but it was a pure-lettuce salad before the meal or if not that then a side of corn or black-eyed peace or periodically lima beans. There were other vegetables, such as asparagus or a spinach contraption that were served on special occasions or with specific dishes. I’m not counting potatoes and rice, one of which was served at every meal (though I stopped eating rice as soon as I was old enough to object).

    Lest anyone think that my mother was a lazy cook, the limited variety was at my dad’s behest. He hates vegetables more than I do. My brothers and I would experiment with the asparagus or the spinach thing, but with Dad it was mostly salad, corn, lima beans, or bust. So that’s what we ate (except Mitch, who refused to eat the salad though is now the most veggie-oriented of us).

    Clancy disliked vegetables when she was young, too. She still hates green peas!

  5. Clancy says:

    I know his mom tried, Sheila — really, she did. I think her hands were a little tied given some of the other picky eaters in the family, with the unfortunate result that Will basically became one as well. Seriously, we’re working this. . . 🙂

  6. Clancy says:

    By the way, Sheila, your mom sounds like my mom. No such thing as dinner at our house without at least one green vegetable. . . and no way could we get away with not eating any of it, either!

  7. Sheila Tone says:

    It occurs to me that both my parents, and my husband, grew up on large plots of land with gardens. Like, rototilled gardens big enough to grow corn. Berry thickets. Fruit trees. Rhubarb. A lot of their food probably came from their own land.

    Nowadays, vegetable gardens may be more of an upper-class thing. Maybe it used to be a lower-class thing, to grow the food you ate.

    Ever had a fresh, raw pea? It’s almost as good as fruit.

  8. David Alexander says:

    No such thing as dinner at our house without at least one green vegetable. . .

    My mom is somewhat similar, and she freaks out about not having vegetables with dinner. She’ll keep a basket filled with frozen vegetables or microwavable stuff for my brother and I to ensure that we eat vegetables. Even a few slices of tomatoes will do for her. Mind you, I must admit that our vegetables are limited to spinach, Brussels sprouts, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peas, “green beans”, and salads with cucumbers, lettuce, and tomato.

    Even when I’m eating out, if neccessarily, I’ll pay for the salad since it feels weird to eat without it.

    Of course, she grew up in a provincial town, and she had the “luxury” of having an uncle who was a farmer who was willing to share the food that was grown on the family plantation.

    Case and point they put green peas in rice

    I grew up eating peas and rice. As a child, I hated it, but I learnt to accept it, and it’s not too bad. I still hate the onions and scallions that mother leaves in it.

    BTW, I must admit that a beef taco with peas does sound strange to me…

  9. Peter says:

    I don’t much like green peas either. As to why they’re often added to rice, it’s probably to make the item look more esthetically appealing. Not to save money, as rice is cheap. With things like burritos, however, it most likely is a money thing.

  10. Brandon Berg says:

    I have a theory that disliking vegetables is due primarily to overcooking. Green vegetables should be lightly steamed and cooked no further. Boil them to the point where they “have the texture of soaked cereal and the [color] of snotballs,” and they become a capital culinary offense.

  11. Sheila Tone says:

    If a burrito factory offered to put beans inside their burritos, I doubt one in ten customers would ask for it. Why in the world defile glorious meat with such ugly nutrition?

    I think you’re wrong here. Bean burritos are common. Sometimes bean & cheese; sometimes bean & cheese & meat. Many manufacturers offer them both ways. If beans were as unpopular as you think, they wouldn’t bother.

    I think the peas must have gotten into the taco by mistake. I’ve never heard of that either. Peas aren’t a big Mexican thing.

  12. trumwill says:

    By “beans” I mean “peas”.

    Man. I’ve been ridiculously off my game lately.

    You’re right, beans are a staple in burritos (What’s up with those black beans, though? Pinto or refried all the way!).

    The peas-in-tacos wasn’t a mistake. They were in there again today.

  13. rob says:

    Trumwill,

    Didn’t you say that you pretty much have no sense of smell? So your preferences come mostly from spicy-hot, texture, and the actual tastes like sweet and salt, sour etc., right?

    My dad can’t smell much, and he doesn’t like beans or most vegetables, probably from texture and bitter.

    Personally I can’t stand mushrooms. They’re must be something that I can taste that other people can’t. The smell of them makes me retch, I can’t eat things that have touched mushrooms, the taste sticks to everything they touch. I would rather eat feces. Truly, it doesn’t smell as bad.

    Squash is too slimy to be good. Raisins though, what’s not to like about a raisin? Do you like grapes?

  14. Clancy says:

    Rob, when Will was a kid, he used to like raisins. . . until he learned that raisins are dried-up grapes, which he did not like. At that point, he decided that raisins were no longer acceptable.

    Brandon, I totally agree with you about the over-cooked vegetable thing; it ruins them. The other thing that I think makes a huge difference is how fresh the vegetables are. I never liked broccoli ’til I had it freshly picked from my uncle’s garden and steamed. Come to think of that, that may have been the turning point for me in vegetable eating, when I realized that something I didn’t like before could taste so good. I keep telling myself that if I like vegetables, there’s got to be hope for Will!

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