Those who know me well, know that I don’t have much of a “sweet tooth.” I’m more of a salt lick. If I ever get the muchies, I’ll always pick salty over sweet.
At ballparks, dad used to get mad at me for sucking all the salt out of the shells and not eating the peanuts inside. I’d also lick all the salt off the gigantic pretzels and leave the doughy knot behind.
When my mom was pregnant with me, she had uncontrollable craving for salty things. One night, my craving for Chinese salted fish (it’s used sparingly as a seasoning – it’s very pungent and powerful) was so strong that I woke her up. Knowing that Chinese salted fish couldn’t be found in Kansas City, she woke my father up and insisted that he take her to the airport so she could fly to Chicago to get salted fish in Chinatown.*
Dad knew that he couldn’t fight mom, or tame my craving, so, off they went, plowing through banks of snow to reach the airport in time for mom to catch a 5 a.m. flight to Chicago. My aunt, who lives in Chicago, picked up her up and drove directly to Chinatown, where they bought bags of salted fish for my mom to take home. To satisfy my craving, they stopped for lunch at a Cantonese restaurant on the way back to the airport, where my mom polished off three plates of salty fish cooked with various other items: fried rice, eggplant, and sauteed with Chinese broccoli. She grabbed a salted duck egg on the way out.
And so it went. From my earliest days, I was a feeder… a salt-lover. I still love salted fish. A lot.
* Mom worked at the management level for a large commmercial airline and enjoyed (as my siblings and I all did growing up) incredible flying benefits. Her trip to Chicago, therefore, cost nothing besides the gas for the trip to and from the airport (and of course for the salty fish) – which at that time was probably a dime a gallon.