I think that how we are exposed to food as children effects how we view food as adults.
With that thought, here is a little about the food exposure that Rob and I had growing up.
As a child I ate foods from various cultural backgrounds. My parents were immigrants from Germany and Austria. We had tenants from all over the world that were like extended family to me, including grad-students from countries like India and Japan. For me food was about sharing, showing acceptance, and hospitality.
When I visited my Grandparent (both sides) we picked our vegetables fresh every day for the meals. Almost everything was made from scratch. With my Dad’s parents we even went to visit the local Amish families for foods like milk, eggs, butter, and some meats. They lived in the middle of woodlands so hunting for deer and rabbit was always a tasty treat for a special meal. Summer fishing in the fresh streams for rainbow trout was a light lunch to keep the energy going while we hunted for berries and mushrooms in the woods. Taking part in gathering and making the food you eat connects you to it, makes it taste better because you know and understand the work it took to get the ingredients. The more I was involved with the processes of preparing food the more I understood the flavors and how they fit together, enhancing my enjoyment of preparing meals.
Rob comes from a more ‘American’ home then I did. His family had a garden so he became aware of and connected to the food as well. His exposure was not as broad as mine, but he enjoyed home-cooked meals that I didn't have… traditional foods like biscuits and gravy, meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, and jello molds (sometimes with other foods floating in them).
As a couple we have both continued to expand our tastes and really think about the food we eat, the flavors and how they make us feel are a big part of experience. We like to say “Sharing makes everything taste better” J