One of my favorite foods is eggplant. I love eggplant parm; pasta dishes with tomato; ricotta and eggplant; roasted eggplant, whatever.
I once took my folks to Moustache, a Middle Eastern place in the West Village, years ago where we had babaganoush. They both enjoyed it. There, Dad mentioned how his family hid out on a farm during the Korean War where they ate eggplant until it was safe to come back to cities, and he said he now hated eggplant as a result.
I always felt sorry for him as a result. Then years later, Dad and I went to a wedding of one of his high school friends’ daughters at a fancy Manhattan restaurant (le circ maybe), after one of his chemo rounds. I encouraged him to have a martini, which may have been a mistake since he gulped it down and turned bright red immediately (oh dear. I cut him off). At lunch, one of his friends’ wives raved about the salad, how endive was her favorite food on earth, how once her son ordered an endive salad and she had ordered a plain salad, and how she was so jealous the entire time. I told her about my dad’s eggplant story and she said, “hey, he was lucky to have eggplant to eat.”