Stinky Cheese and Other Niblets


Good luck foods. For generations people have had the tradition of eating specialized foods for good luck in the New Year. This includes lentils, black eyed peas, and pork.

Although Hungarian by origin, my family that came into the U.S. was from Poland/Germany (that border moved all over the place in the 19th century) so it only makes sense the every New Year my father’s tradition was herring. Where the limburger cheese and Ritz crackers came from, I don’t know. Maybe that was just the tradition of being from Wisconsin and trying every kind of cheese imaginable.

Limburger cheese, one of the nastiest, yet tastiest of cheeses. It works out well as long as you have no intention of kissing anyone within the next 24 hours and have bought stock in mouth wash. One slice of limburger=one bottle of mouthwash.

Daddy also loved sugar on his tomatoes. Since that time, I have talked to many people who have said their parents or grandparents also liked sugar on their tomatoes. For years, I rebelled against it. Mostly because I wasn’t a fan of tomatoes. When I finally tried it I found out the sugar brings out the juices of the tomato in the most tantalizing manner. It is sweet and like nectar. I never believed I would wish to write a sonnet to a tomato until that moment.
Just as my father taught about the beauty of music, he also taught me about the deliciousness of foods. There was nothing he would not try, at least once. He spoke of a wonderful dinner he was at in which the guests greatly enjoyed their dinner. That was, until the host told them they had been eating opposum.

The only thing my father tried to disguise on my dinner plate was rabbit. Rabbit wasn’t my favorite of meats. Any time the little pieces of meat would show up on my plate, it would be wearing barbecue sauce and a Groucho Marx mustache. Least, it may as well have. It wasn’t rabbit I disliked. It was the barbecue sauce.

My biggest adventure in taste are the basics. Things like raw dough or pickles and ice cream. The latter I tried in the cafeteria in school. If you enjoy the dill flavor, the vanilla ice cream only enhances it and makes it even more crisp.

What foods do you love to prepare that others consider unusual? If you have any recipes for them, I would be happy to give them a try and post about them here.


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