It seems a good time to revisit this exercise, perhaps because I’m going through one of those phases where I’m eating almost entirely tried and true food. Also, I’ve simply always been fond of this memory.
When I was 10, my family bought some land in Vermont from a couple whose family had farmed it for generations. They became good friends and treated us wonderfully as the years went by, but even at the age of 10 I sensed some initial uneasiness on their part.
Early on, on one of the walks around the property, before the deal was done, the farmer pulled out a root for us to taste. My brother tasted it, spat it out, and yelled, “Yuck!” (Curiosity test failed.) Forewarned, I tasted it, ready to be very cool, but the unimaginably bitter taste made me, too, spit it out and yell, “Yuck!” (Curiosity test failed.) My mother, who at the end of WWII was living largely on berries, mushrooms and other things they could find in the woods, tasted it, chewed it, did actually swallow it, although I wouldn’t consider this essential, and said with great calm, “Yes, we ate something like this during the war.” (A+ on the curiosity test.)
If you’re not sure what this has to do with curiosity, you might like to take a look at Day 003.