Eve M. Cooper Blog

Write Wisely

Yucky Delicious Food

When I was little, I ate pimento cheese. Somebody gave it to me, I liked it, so I ate it. Once, when I was about 12 years old, I was whizzing through my grandmother’s kitchen while she was mashing up pimentos with the back of a fork. I didn’t know what it was, but it certainly got my attention! I asked what she was doing and she told me, mashing up pimentos to make pimento cheese. The realization that I’d eaten the same type of science project that she was doodling with just about made me sick. Later that day, when the pimento cheese was made, she asked me if I wanted some and I emphatically said no. She asked why because I’d never refused it before. I told her I couldn’t eat something so gross and I was horrified that she and mama had given me disgusting food to eat and they were using the fact that I trusted them against me and didn’t they love me more than that? I told her I wouldn’t feed her something so gross. She just shook her head at me. A couple of months later, I began eating pimento cheese again. I realized that sometimes something disgusting is good to the palate. Case in point – shrimp. I bought a pound of medium sized unpeeled shrimp for dinner. I shelled them and de-veined them. With all my heart, I can certainly say there isn’t much grosser than deveining shrimp. That little weasel is kind of slick/slimy and the digestive track is sticky and totally disgusting. This is coming from a person who has dissected worms, frogs, pigs, sea urchins, eye balls, sex organs, and whole cadavers. Yes, deveining a shrimp is the worst! The black, gelatinous alimentary canal would adhere to the slime on my thumb and I’d have to flick it off into the sink. Sometimes I’d have to flick several times before it gave up clinging to my skin or fingernail. I could almost not eat the shrimp after having my hands in them. Well, I remembered the lesson I’d learned about pimento cheese. I proceeded to skewer the shrimp, give them a coating of Old Bay, and grill them (well done). They were delicious! While I was eating my shrimp, I sincerely thought about their prior yuckiness and, after the transformation from heat, they really weren’t yucky anymore. Good. I always have enjoyed eating shrimp and am glad I didn’t ruin myself. So, I eat manually masticated pimentos and slime from the sea and really like both.

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