Somewhere in the murky depths of a comment thread on one of the other sub-blogs, I admitted a fondness for Marmite. For those of you unfamiliar with this product, it is a popular spread in the UK made from yeast extract. As the product’s own website cheekily acknowledges, its flavor is a deeply polarizing one. People either love it or hate it.
My father is from England, and has forced many of his tastes upon me. On car trips he would make the rest of the family listen to bagpipe music when it was his turn to choose. I know in this crowd a familiarity with Dr. Who is an asset, but it did nothing to help my somewhat less than cool reputation back in the day. And I was periodically forced to eat toast smeared with a thin layer of Marmite, which to my juvenile tongue and nose tasted and smelled like an unrefined petroleum product.
Now, of course, I love it. It is umami in its purest, most intense form. On days when I have the time to make toast (workdays are usually too rushed even for that), Marmite on crispy, buttered toast is my breakfast of choice. I looked in four local grocery stores before I found one that sold it, and promptly bought two jars.
So, what do you like that marks you as a foreigner or cultural outlier? Now, I’ve already alluded to the fathomless depths of geek lore that flow through the LOOG-sphere. Anyone who has spent any length of time at either the main page or most of the sub-blogs knows we pride ourselves on our devotion to the not-quite-mainstream. (Apologies to any offended sub-Ordinaries or main page posters, but I calls them like I sees them.) Being able to parse Klingon or hold forth with authority on whether the late, beloved doyenne of nerd fiction wrote sci-fi or fantasy (and the correct answer is “sci-fi”) may make you an oddity at your next neighborhood party, but those are perfectly respectable homegrown geekeries. As such, they don’t count as answers for today’s question. No, what I mean are tastes that do not spring from domestic shores. A love of Tibetan throat singing, for example, or a yen for salty licorice (which, if you’ve never had it, is the worst “candy” product known to man).
What is your peculiar or foreign fancy, and where did it come from?