When one discusses the topic of nature versus nurture as it pertains to food, I'm a HUGE believer in the nurture side of things. I don't really buy into the fact that we're all hard-wired to like certain foods or food combinations; nor do I believe that genetics play a very large role in determining which foods we'll like or dislike. However, I'm utterly convinced that our experiences with food -- particularly those early on in our lives -- have a serious impact on what we eat as adults. Fortunately, I also believe that we can change our perceptions of food.
I grew up believing that fruit and meat nary should meet -- a concept frequently reinforced by my father, who felt that sweet and savory were things best kept discrete. My mother, conversely, grew up eating mincemeat pies, seared poultry with cherry sauce, and hams baked with generous slices of pineapple and clove baked on top. Despite her upbringing, she cooked to please my father. So, while we ate both fruit and meat, we seldom ate them together.
I continued with those dietary habits... until I got married. Fortunately for me, Peef was a daring little man with a penchant for "new." He brought his own set of food aversions into the marriage (asparagus, blue cheese, anchovies, and a few odd others), but he was more than willing to try anything once... or "once again," as it often happened. One preference he did NOT harbor was an aversion to the fruit-meat combo. So, we made a deal. He'd help me overcome my disinclinations, if I'd help him with his.
And so, we adventured forth together... and set out to conquer our food aversions together.
Thank goodness for that -- or this fabulous pizza would never have been possible.
It all started with a sighting of the luscious fresh black mission figs at the market. We couldn't resist. Visions of Greek Yogurt and fresh figs danced in our minds. So, we bought a bit of lamb, some pitas, and a pint of figs. Heh. Distractions ensued. Dinner got late. And our dreams of figs and yogurt were shattered.
The lonely figs sat on the countertop. Waiting for their day. Fortunately, they didn't have to wait long. Peef emailed me one afternoon with a recipe for a fig and proscuitto tart. It sounded good, but I was in the mood for pizza. And so, it happened. Figs chopped.
Onions caramelized with a bit of balsamic vinegar.
Bits of delicious applewood smoked bacon. And those sugary delicious figs.
A few sprinkles of Wisconsin gorgonzola sealed the deal.
Everything went into a very hot oven for the standard amount of time.
And, when it came out, we showered it with a bit of torn arugula from the farmer's market.
Salty and sweet. Smoky and cheesy. With a bit of freshness and bite from the fresh arugula.
I'm so glad I don't listen to my dad anymore.
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