No this has nothing to do with travelling or restaurants. I just really dislike celery. There are hardly any other foods I've encountered that I don't like, water chestnuts, peanuts; not keen on either of these, possibly allergic. But celery. Yeuch. An esteemed former colleague once described it as " the devil's food" and you know what? I think she was right. It looks good, it sounds crunchy but it tastes, *extremelydownturnedgrimacingmouth face* Bleugh. It tempted me from the Heinz salad cream adverts, where a generous dollop was poured along its curve. I hadn't tried it then but it summed up healthy, outdoors summer fun. This was '70's South Wales, we didn't have mayonnaise there, or barbecues. Hands up, I would still eat salad cream, I love its vinegaryness and still think an egg "mayo" sarnie is better for it. But celery? Nooooooo.
I think I can blame "A" level biology practical, we had to dissect it and suspend it in sugar solutions. It squirmed around convex, concave, all shrivelled up. Yup. I think that was what caused it. I've never been that keen on rat either.
For years I perfected hiding the little curly critters under other bits of rejected food. But that was hard, there wasn't often any other rejected food on my plate. I'd have to sacrifice the least delicious item to celery cover. Sometimes I'd get a double whammy, celery and peanuts in the same dish, not ordered deliberately of course but sneaked in as a garnish or poorly explained side salad. To hide all that lot I'd have to sacrifice a bit of the meat or fish. Yikes!
It's only in its raw state that I really can't eat it, I quite like it braised and I have been known to add it to stocks and sauces. Just as long as it reduces down from those infernal little crescents. Mr Starke hates it too, something we have in common, like alphabetising our books; and then fretting about the sub divisions of the alphabetising, but that's another post...
These days, steeled by trying to provide a good example to the young Masterstarke "go on try just a little bit..", I can force it down. You are much less likely to find it lurking in the rejected food on my plate. (You are very unlikely to find any rejected food on my plate). But don't hold your breath waiting for me to take a stick and use it to scoop up that dip. Even if it is salad cream.