One day M came to visit, and after awhile he took a KitKat bar out of his jacket pocket. He's never been much of a candy eater, so I questioned him about it and found out that he'd brought his own food because, he said, "You never have anything to eat here!" I took offense because he'd eaten PLENTY of food while he was at my apartment, but he said he was "tired" of "stealing" food from my "roommate."
Anyway, that's how I ended up on his doorstep, just a few weeks later, with some candy in MY jacket pocket - to make fun of him. It was a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. But what I ended up doing was finding out that he hated peanut butter.
Since then, I've met a LOT of desis who don't like peanut butter. And then one day, while visiting a tourist-y place in Amish Country with M and my mother- and sister-in-law, we stopped for some kettle corn and root beer and ALL THREE of them didn't like the root beer. They said it tasted "soapy."
I've since asked other desis about their feelings about root beer and peanut butter, and a LARGE percentage of desis I know don't like either of them. In fact I can't think of anyone who said they did like those things. So I wonder - is there something about certain foods that desis just don't like? When I asked M if he thinks that all or most desis don't like root beer and peanut butter he said "Which desis have you ever seen eating those things?"
One of the reasons I thought he may have initially been resistant to root beer was because it had the word "beer" in it. I know that he was reluctant to try a "ham"burger before on of his friends assured him there would be no ham in it. And I know that one of the reasons he was against peanut butter is because it has the word "butter" in it. He's very anti-butter. I come from a butter-loving family, so this sometimes leads to tension. Especially when my mother visits and cooks all my favorite foods, and then I have to hear M later: "Did you SEE how many packages of butter she bought? I know that there was one more earlier, and it's already gone - she's only been here a few days! I can feel it in my arteries!"
In our experience, though, I've found these things can be overcome. (Not the butter thing, the root beer and peanut butter thing. Butter will be a lifetime struggle for us, I'm afraid.) M does eat peanut butter now, and he likes it. I think because he started eating my favorite cereal whenever he ran out of his favorites and it grew on him over time. I just asked him if that's how it happened, and he told me some story about buying lumber (he's a hobby woodworker) and seeing the shopkeeper making himself a PB&J in the main office and thinking it was "really American looking" so he thought he should give it a second chance - so what do I know?)
Also, he does like root beer, but I don't know when that tide turned. He seemed really resistant to it for a long time and you'd think I was some kind of pervert for ordering a root beer float because of the gross faces he'd make; but now when he says whenever he wants a change, he'll order a root beer. He likes Dominion brand because, as he says, it's "extra soapy."