Any time a recipe calls for cucumbers, I have to squeeze a bit of citrus over them. It’s a necessity.. not in the same way I tell everyone that coffee is a necessity.. but in the way that I could otherwise go into anaphylactic shock if I don’t. It just so happens that the flavors work well together.
Let me back up.Cucumbers are on my list of allergy-triggering foods. However, I’ve never been allergic to pickles because, I’m guessing, the vinegar neutralizes the proteins in cucumber that are similar to ragweed pollen. Since citrus juice has the same effect on the proteins, I’ve been able to safely consume cucumbers now for a number of years.. which has been AWESOME since I’ve always loved the crisp, refreshing flavor.
I really wish I had similar solutions for my other trigger-foods. A tiny bite won’t kill me, just some uncomfortable oral itchiness, but as I sadly discovered after eating a whole slice of blueberry-banana bread (banana was the culprit), too much of it will make my throat swell up enough to make it difficult to breathe.
Why did I eat that whole slice of blueberry-banana bread although I knew I was allergic to bananas? Because it was soo.. sooo… goooooood. And.. I like to live dangerously.. something Graham discovered on our first date at Jack’s Firehouse where they serve you small chocolate chip cookies after dinner.
Me (To Graham): Can you tell if these have walnuts in them?
Graham: No, I can’t.
Me: Oh.. It’s just that I’m allergic to walnuts.
Graham: What happens if you eat walnuts?
Me: My mouth gets itchy, then my throat closes up, and I can’t breathe (as I take a small nibble of the cookie).
Graham watched with panicked horror, wondering if he was witnessing a cry for help as I voluntarily behaved against self-preservation.
Me: Yep. Walnuts.
For the record, I didn’t go into anaphylactic shock. I once sat down and wrote out the list of foods that cause me to break out, trying to figure out what they might have in common:
When I looked the list up and down, I suddenly realized the answer.
They were all foods that made it into the category of sexual euphemisms.