There was a time, and I KNOW it will be shocking to many of you, that I was NOT the refined sophisticate that you see (or should I say read) before you today. Yes, I must confess, I didn’t even know what a palate was, let alone profess to have one back then. My wife has worked hard to develop my tastes since we met!
I just didn’t know what good was, for some things. For example, when it came to beer, whatever was cheap, or, better yet, whatever someone else was buying, was the perfect beer! You’ve seen my name, Mountainstroh. Well we drank Stroh’s (America’s only Fire-Brewed beer, in small copper kettles.) mainly because unlike other beers, it came in 15 packs! Three, yes three, Extra beers for the same price as a half rack. This gave rise to the legendary Strohs Bros&Fros of Washington State University! In fact, we wallpapered our dining room one year with our leftovers.
Nowadays, when I go for beer its good beer. I live in the land of microbrews. The WORST beer I will drink is Redhook. There are so many others to choose I could kill my liver just trying them all! My favorites are Mirror Pond and Rogue Ales.
I can only tolerate bad beer now in case of snakebite! And even then I am not sure I would allow it!
Now let’s move on to wine! Anyone remember Cella Lambrusco? Imagine if you will Kool-aid with an alcoholic content. Loved that stuff! There was one camping trip in which I was “sipping” out of the bottle while setting up the tent. In what seemed to be 15 minutes later it was gone! I distinctly remember one last rational thought “OH this is gonna be bad!” The next thing I remember is crawling out of the bushes near camp, and trying to get as close as possible to the fire because I was COLD! Not a good night.
Since then I have moved up to good wine! Now I am not in any way a wine expert. I have 3 categories. Damn that’s good, Eh its ok, and Spit that crap out! I can’t taste pepper, meat, chocolate or oak, I taste wine when I sip wine. I can still tolerate cheap wine, but this weekend we are going wine tasting in Walla Walla and I am SO looking forward to it!
Now for some things, my palate is the same as its been since I was a kid. The best Mac & cheese is Kraft mac and cheese! And I make it better than anyone! Hell, sometimes Michelle and I have it for breakfast on weekends. Peanut butter? Is Jifor Skippy, NOT chunky! (bleh) and I loves Smuckers Strawberry Jam. Cheese? Tillamook cheddar is best! I could eat a block in a night if I let myself.
All of this my wife is ok with, she has helped me widen my experiences with food and drink, and helped me find things we both like!
HOWEVER, (and this is how this post got started) one thing she hasn’t been able to instill in me is the love of good coffee. Today in the lunch room I was pouring myself the basic office coffee. “How can you drink that swill??! she asked?
I love bad coffee. Here I am in the land that spawned Starbucks, Tully’s and bikini barista stands, and I go for office swill. We use to have this old silver urn in the lunchroom. I am convinced it was never cleaned. The coffee had a metalic tang…. DAMN it was good!. I like to get a drip coffee at Starbucks, but I am just as happy hitting AM/PM for a huge cup of over burnt, brewed all day coffee! Too thick to drink, but too thin to plow, strong enough to float a horseshoe, and requiring a bit a chewing before swallowing. Just a little pinch of it between the cheek and gums sure tastes good!
I have stopped drinking beer or wine to get drunk, but I still drink coffee for the caffeine buzz! Nothing wakes you up better on a late night drive than day old, stuck to the bottom of the pot sludge! Mmmmmmmmmmmm!! Couple it with a Diet Mountain Dew later, and you can drive forever!!
So, as I have stated before, it takes a village to raise a Tony. But even the village isn’t perfect. Who’s up for a late night run to 7-11 with me???