This is trivia. Food for thought. Teenage tastebuds. Cultural cuisine extremes.
But maybe not.
Xiaoxuan loves ketchup.
It started with ketchup on a turkey sandwich.
When I offered the array of sandwich condiments inside our refrigerator door, I assumed the choices were clear: mayonnaise, creole mustard, chipotle mustard, wasabi mustard - but I didn't see ketchup entering into the list of necessities for a sandwich.
The choice was cute to me - kind of quirky. It made me smile.
Ketchup started finding its way into and onto other food surfaces. Tortilla wraps, why not? French fries, of course! Eggs, ok! Grilled shrimp (big ones, really big ones), hmmm.
But the evening that John made pasta with clam sauce - extra virgin olive oil, garlic, fresh parsley and oregano clam sauce - we witnessed a food combination we didn't expect. After sitting at the table with a mug of something she'd just microwaved, Xiaoxuan sprang up and headed to the kitchen. When she returned seconds later, unaware that anything might be strange to us, we saw the pasta with clam sauce had been covered with ketchup.
"OK," John said, "Well, that's interesting..." Then, "By the way, Xuan, what is steaming hot in the mug?"
The sweet smile appeared on her face and with a most satisfied look, she answered with a mouthful of ketchup-covered pasta and clam sauce, "Hot chocolate!"
I certainly can handle that better than steamed duck feet.
But a few mornings after that, I noticed the ketchup bottle on the kitchen counter while Xiaoxuan was eating her breakfast. I wasn't ready for this one either...whole wheat toast with an abundance of ketchup.
Again, it made me smile.