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I Eat Danger For Danger

Dinner tonight is a hoagie, specifically salami, pepperoni, and provolone with lettuce, tomato, onion, and a touch of oil and vinegar. Mmm-boy. I continue to eat them, despite what I shall refer to as “gastric difficulty” in deference to family-friendly concerns. But lately, I’ve begun to ask myself whether they’re worth it. The fragrant wind, definitely, but the more material gastric difficulty? Not so sure.

The list of foods that give me gastric difficulty is growing. For a while, I’d hoped that merely my awareness of troublesome foods is growing, with age and experience. For example, Mexican food has always been an iffy proposition, but I’ve recently worked out that it’s cilantro specifically that gives me trouble. This knowledge has taken the iffiness out of Mexican food: no cilantro, no trouble; lots of cilantro, certain doom. Indian food, too. But no, that hope of merely suffering a keener understanding has been dashed; foods that I continue to make with the same recipe twenty years later now give me trouble where none existed before, and foods that have always been troublesome are moreso. Beans, for example, were once pretty harmless, but now force me to confirm their reputation as the musical fruit.

Dad used to make fun of Grampa Lake and his grousing in old age about not wanting to eat this or that dish at holiday get-togethers because this or that ingredient gave him gas, and the list kept growing. Some years back, I noticed that Dad began to develop his own list of foods to avoid, most of them involving spices, but said nothing out of politeness. Now, it seems, I’m going to end up with my own growing list, most of them involving spices.

At least I hope the list is limited largely to spices. As much as I enjoy spicy foods, it’ll be a lot easier to avoid significant amounts of coriander than it will to avoid, say, milk products, or wheat, or beans. A bitter pill to swallow.

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