Lauren Vs. Food: Eating Eggs, Peanuts and Coconut for the First Time


eating rice in chiang mai

Lauren Vs. Food is my attempt at overcoming my food neophobia by forcing myself to eat new and intimidating foods as I travel around the world. 

Living in Thailand for the past five months has been a life-changing experience, for many reasons. I’ve had to learn how to cross the road with five thousand scooters, three hundred tuk tuks and and twenty nine songthaews simultaneously racing towards me. I’ve become comfortable with perching on the back of a scooter and remaining calm while weaving crazily through the traffic of Chiang Mai like a local.

But most importantly, I’ve had to significantly alter my eating habits. 

Long gone are the days where I’d live on McDonald’s and cheese and bacon potato skins…

cheese and bacon potato skins

Now, I wander around night markets in an almost-excited state, sometimes even looking forward to eating something incredibly scary. 

Such as rice.

I’m being serious.

eating rice in chiang mai

My list of food achievements in Thailand is enormous and growing by the second.

I should probably preface the next part by saying that if you haven’t read the first edition of Lauren Vs. Food, then you should probably do so right now. And yes, I know my eating habits are extremely bizarre and that these really aren’t a big deal to “normal” people.

My biggest achievements:

  • Eating my first egg. I went through my entire life successfully managing to avoid eating eggs but on my second day in Thailand I decided to conquer my biggest fear. I ordered an omelet for breakfast. It took about thirty minutes of freaking out before I finally worked up the courage to take a bite.

The verdict? It tasted like feet. 

  • Trying peanuts. I remember watching a documentary on peanut allergies when I was younger and that was enough to put me off trying them for life. I would sit in the playground watching friends gleefully stuffing their faces with peanuts and feel my throat and arteries constricting in response. However, when I was in Bangkok with a friend and happened to mention I’d never eaten peanuts before, she immediately ordered a papaya salad with chopped peanuts and forced me to try my first ever one.
The verdict? The worst thing I’ve ever put in my mouth. 
  • Coconuts. Coconuts were another food item that I was afraid I was allergic to. If I had a peanut allergy, then surely I must be allergic to all kinda of nuts, including foods with “nut” in their name. Upon discovering that I could eat peanuts and not go into anaphylactic shock I was extremely excited to enter Nut Kingdom and try all the nut-related food I’d been missing out on for years! I started with a glass of coconut juice.

The verdict? Awful and I couldn’t drink more than a few mouthfuls. 

bowl of green chilli peppers

  • Chilli peppers. How can something so innocuous-looking bring so much pain and anguish into my life? Throughout the past five months I have battled against common sense and eaten these time and time again. There was one of my first dates with Dave, where I decided to try and impress him by grabbing a chilli from his plate in a macho manner and casually throwing it into my mouth. Five seconds later, I was clutching at my throat, spluttering, crying and unable to talk or breathe. Struggling to reclaim my dignity I covered my face in embarrassment, accidentally touching my eyeball with my chilli-covered finger. I was blinded for the rest of the night and spent most of it looking like this.
crying in chiang mai
Sexy.
In terms of finding new things to eat, my search has not been very successful. I’ve struggled to find Thai food I like as the majority of the dishes contain peanuts or coconut, but I’ve still managed. I’ve discovered I like chicken fried rice, oyster sauce, rice porridge and many more dishes… Well, a few more. But that’s okay.
I’ve changed as a person. And more importantly, I’ve changed for the better. 
I still desire bland food with no flavour whatsoever, and I still hate the majority of things that I try, but I am now willing to try things that scare me.
I am now willing to get out of my comfort zone and do something that I may have been avoiding for my entire life. 

 

And that’s all that matters.
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Next I fell in a rice paddy: My Bali cycling experience

35 Comments

  1. Nomadic Matt
    April 26, 2012
    Reply

    How do you know what feet taste like?

    • Someday I'll Be There - Mina
      April 27, 2012
      Reply

      I was scrolling down to ask that question… :D

      • Lauren
        April 28, 2012
        Reply

        I used to do gymnastics and would bite my toenails when I was a kid. There was always a bit of foot in there…

  2. Beverley | Pack Your Passport
    April 26, 2012
    Reply

    “Nut-kingdom” – LOVE IT!

    And well done lovely :-)

    • Lauren
      April 27, 2012
      Reply

      Thanks, Bevster! :) I quickly ran back out of Nut Kingdom… Scary, scary place…

  3. Waegook Tom
    April 26, 2012
    Reply

    I love coconuts but damn, coconut juice is vile. It tastes like armpit sweat.

    Congrats on trying new things though! Deep fried scorpions in Cambodia?

    • Lauren
      April 27, 2012
      Reply

      YES! Well, I can’t speak for actual coconuts but coconut juice SUCKED!

      Deep fried scorpions? Maybe if I’m drunk and surrounded by encouraging people!

  4. Caroline
    April 26, 2012
    Reply

    Aww I hear ya! I also hate coconut. Not gonna lie, I ate my first pad thai here (with some peanut sauce) and haaaaaated it! Hm, I may more trouble in Thailand than I thought! You’re a trooper haha!

    • Lauren
      April 28, 2012
      Reply

      I didn’t like pad thai either, because of the yucky peanuts! There’s always plenty of Western food in Thailand, it’s just not of a high quality :)

  5. Leah Travels
    April 26, 2012
    Reply

    This just blows my mind and makes me laugh at the same time. You’re like my niece in terms of finickiness. Good for you for trying. Keep going because you’re likely to find something you love.

    • Lauren
      April 28, 2012
      Reply

      I’ve been told I have the eating habits of a child on several occasions ;)

  6. Jarmo
    April 26, 2012
    Reply

    You’ve moved away from your comfort zone and conquered your fear, that is what matters! If you don’t like everything you try, that’s fine. You can’t like everything

    • Lauren
      April 28, 2012
      Reply

      Thanks, Jarmo :)

  7. DebbZ
    April 26, 2012
    Reply

    Egg tasted like feet? LOL, I can’t stop laughing now !
    Pleaseee post more about Lauren vs Food :D

    • Lauren
      April 28, 2012
      Reply

      I have lots more to post about my experiences in Thailand :)

  8. Megan
    April 26, 2012
    Reply

    just trying them is all that matters! even though i actually like all 4 of those things :)

    i have had a bananaphobia my entire life. just last week my boyfriend make me over come it…and guess what….

    it was repulsive ;) haha! at least we tried, right?!

    • Lauren
      April 28, 2012
      Reply

      You know what this means? WE KNOW ALREADY! We know we won’t like them! That’s why we haven’t eaten them! ;)

  9. Audrey | That Backpacker
    April 26, 2012
    Reply

    LOL, I didn’t enjoy my first coconut water…or my second. Haha, at least you are trying these things, even if you don’t like what they taste like. :D

    • Lauren
      April 28, 2012
      Reply

      And that’s the main thing, RIGHT?!

  10. Tiffany
    April 26, 2012
    Reply

    You don’t like eggs?! I LOVE eggs! They are definitely right near the top of my favorite foods list, next to mushrooms…

    I must agree with you though that peanuts are nasty. Peanut sauce on the other hand is absolutely amazing! You must try Pad Thai while you’re in Thailand, it’s great!

    Young coconut juice is ok, but it takes some getting used to. Coconut macaroons are God’s gift to deserts though!

    Good luck with your food sampling :)

    • Lauren
      April 28, 2012
      Reply

      I don’t like mushrooms either…. Haha! I tried pad thai and didn’t like it (because of the peanuts!)

      Thank you! :)

  11. Annette | Bucket List Journey
    April 26, 2012
    Reply

    I’m with you on the eggs, unless they are hidden in creme brûlée I stay far away!

    • Lauren
      April 28, 2012
      Reply

      Nom, creme brulee!

  12. Arianwen
    April 26, 2012
    Reply

    I’m really confused why some people like coconut water so much. I’ve been given it to drink after scuba diving on numerous occasions and it really isn’t refreshing or rehydrating like they say. I agree with you that peanuts are disgusting. I can’t even smell peanut butter without gagging! I do love a hard boiled egg with toast soldiers though. Power on through with that one and you’ll learn to love it :)

    • Lauren
      April 28, 2012
      Reply

      Agreed! It’s usually warm too, which is kinda gross. It reminds me of pee!

  13. Charlenevans09
    April 27, 2012
    Reply

    I love eating young coconut meat! And it’s more yummy when you add it’s juice and put some milk on it.. Delicious!

  14. Vicky
    April 27, 2012
    Reply

    It’s funny to read this because I consider myself an incredibly open and adventurous eater! I never would have imagined eggs being compared to feet! You should try a hard boiled egg and see if you like that better.

    • Lauren
      April 28, 2012
      Reply

      I actually think I would like a hard boiled egg, I’ll scout one out! :)

  15. Susan @ Travel Junkette
    April 27, 2012
    Reply

    Haha, this is too funny. You remind me a lot of my best friend.. when I travel with her, I get to eat all of the food she refuses to, which ends up being half the plate. I love it. Props to you for trying new things!

  16. Amanda
    April 29, 2012
    Reply

    Hahaha, I love this. I love your descriptions of how the foods tasted. I don’t think I’ve ever heard eggs equated to feet before!

  17. Carol
    May 1, 2012
    Reply

    your post is really hilarious. I bet your face get frown when you taste that dish.

  18. Nica
    May 2, 2012
    Reply

    I have never tried Thai food and I heard a lot of people are even dying to try it.. Some are gross but some are really delicious..

  19. Jen
    May 3, 2012
    Reply

    Lauren you’re absolutely hilarious. Seriously. This post had me laughing so much! I thought my eating habits were bad (pot noodles, crisps and diet coke… and I can’t eat alone, so sometimes I have to go days without anything lol) but HOW CAN YOU NEVER HAVE EATEN AN EGG?? Peanuts are disgusting though you’re right! I love the continuing Lauren v Food saga xx

  20. Claire
    May 3, 2012
    Reply

    Peanuts aren’t the best nut to try… But congrats on trying new things. I’m also a very picky eater and a lot of foods scare me! I recently tried my first Thai food at a restaurant here in America and loved it!

  21. Jade
    April 8, 2013
    Reply

    I thought I was the only traveler in the world that is afraid of tasting new food; I’m so glad that’s not true ^.^

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