Then one day I was out to dinner with Mrs. Food Guy. It was a fancy New Year's Eve dinner, in fact, which turns out to be fitting because of the new start it afforded me. It all began with a dish of green beans in a deliciously salty and sweet gooey sauce. Pan toasted whole almonds in the same sauce were tossed amongst the beans. The sauce was so good that when the beans were gone I resorted to something I never thought I'd do. I purposefully ate a nut.
And it was good.
It wasn't just the sauce. It was the nut. It didn't make me gag. It didn't give me the yucky shivers or make me want to spit. It was actually tasty.
Before I knew it I was trying almonds prepared other ways. How are they salted? How are they honey roasted? How do they taste slivered and blanched and tossed in a salad? To all these questions, I learned there I was one answer: They are GOOD.
Now, I'd always liked peanuts. So I thought, okay, so I like peanuts and almonds. What other nuts might not be repugnant? Cashews aren't too bad, I soon found out. Hazelnuts are actually pretty good too. Macadamias... eh. Pecans won't make me puke, but then again, I'm not exactly excited about them.
Turns out, the nut that is the grossest of the gross, the one that turned me off to all nuts, is the Walnut. Now THEY are gross! I still have that same visceral reaction if there's a walnut in my food. I can't even chew them -- if I can't spit it out without seeming juvenile or impolite, I have to swallow them whole. To nasty to chew.
I feel bad for all these other perfectly edible nuts, being tainted by the mere association with walnuts.