I still remember the first time I ever saw a fresh date. It looked like a bug and, while sweet, was gooey and sticky (something I did not at all care for as a child) and had an extremely unpleasant texture and aftertaste that made me avoid them like the plague through the rest of my childhood. Just the thought of them was enough to make me shudder.
Later, when I was an adult, my sister made a chocolate pie that had a date mix in it. That tasted pretty good, and I decided maybe dates weren't all bad. I still avoided them in any other format, but at least there was something that had dates that I not only could eat, but actually enjoyed.
And then whoever made the date filling mix took it off the market and that was the end of that. While no longer grossed out at the thought of a date, I never actively pursued one.
But something has happened to my tastebuds over time. Tonight I stopped at the grocery store on my way home from work. I mainly needed some apples, but ended up throwing baby eggplants, tomatoes and onions into my cart with some vague idea of cooking up something sauce-y for couscous or pasta later in the week.
I don't know why my eye was caught by the container of fresh figs, or what prompted me to throw it into my basket, but there it was, and now here it is. I popped open the box when I got home and took one out. It was exactly the same as I remembered that first disgusting date I ate when I was little.
Except that this time they are delicious. No unpleasant texture. No unpleasant aftertaste. Just sweet sticky goodness to eat slowly and to savor.
And now I'm wondering what other childhood dislikes I should maybe think about revisiting.