Thursday, August 09, 2007

Kinder Surprise, Or Not

I was listening to the Brian Lehrer show on NPR the other day, and they were discussing taste and memory, i.e. why certain foods trigger specific feelings and memories. Some people called in to talk about the best slice of pizza they ever had, or how they couldn't stand raw tomatoes because they associated them with the day someone died or something. That got me thinking about how for the longest time I could not stand cornbread, and I know exactly why. My parents both worked, and for a couple summers they put me in this day care center called KinderCare. I HATED KinderCare. I don’t remember much about it now, except that it was run by a really large woman with frizzy hair (the horror!), and that every single day we had the same snack: grape juice and cornbread. Every day. For three months. For a good ten years I associated cornbread with fluorescent lights and broken toys. And that horrible minibus they used to drive us around in with the pictures of happy children on the side. I never saw those kids. I think they died of an amino acid deficiency.

Through repeated exposure I’ve finally gotten over it and learned to appreciate - even love - cornbread, but grape juice still makes me gag. Then again, does anyone love grape juice?