This recent post in Mark’s Daily Apple reminded me of the benefits of bitter foods, including bitter melon (nigagori in Japanese).
A nigagori stew was in regular rotation at my aunties’ (where my sisters and I had lunch during our childhood and adolescence) and I hated it with a passion. My aunties have no children, so they spoiled us big time, meaning I got a different meal every time they cooked nigagori. The funny thing is that they didn’t really like it either; I guess it was a traditional dish in their family and they kept it that way. My mum and my sister Gladys, however, love nigagori, and that’s why when I read Mark’s post I decided to step out of my comfort zone and ask Gladys to cook it for me. Needless to say, she was quite surprised by my request but happy to do it. She even researched ways of lowering the bitterness in the vegetable and prepared a test batch the week before she cooked it for us. That’s dedication!
Gladys prepared the stew with pork and added a chopped omelette, and served it with cauliflower rice. I won’t lie and say I loved it but it wasn’t bad at all. It seems the aversion to bitter foods changes with age. Alvaro, who doesn’t like stuff like beer or very dark chocolate had a hard time with the bitter melon but ate it anyway.
Gladys also made dessert (chocolate & banana mousse) to reward us for eating our bitter greens :) Thanks again, Gladys!