Mature Tastes

A couple of days ago I cooked with Chinese 5-Spice Powder.  I’ve always hated 5-Spice Powder…..  until now.  Huh?

I was making “quick” Char Siu to use in Banh Mi sandwiches and as usual, I was tasting as I went along.  One of the ingredients in Char Siu is 5-Spice Powder and as I tasted the “beef” mixture each time I added a new ingredient, I realized I really liked it, and kept “tasting”!

Well, what’s not to like?  Hoisin Sauce, Oyster Sauce.  (No, there are no oysters in oyster sauce these days).  Just a few simple ingredients, including 5-Spice Powder…… which contains fennel seeds and star anise….  which both taste like licorice…..  which I’ve always hated…..  Hmmm…..  What’s going on here?

My mother loved fennel, straight out of the fridge.  I hated it.  Liked the crunch but hated the licorice-y taste.  Strange, though, I drink Ouzo in Greece, and I love Anisette and Sambucca, and I suddenly love 5-Spice Powder?

And, then there was that Mushroom-Onion Pot Roast she used to make when I was a kid.  I hated it…..  until a few years later when I suddenly loved it.   And, a vegetable dish she used to call “Mushy McGoo,” which was basically ratatouille, a tomato/eggplant/zucchini/pepper stew.   Hated it.  And, now I’m “Veggie,” and love it!

Could it be?  Am I growing up?  Or, shall we say, have my tastes “matured”?

Have yours?  Let’s compare notes!


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