Julia learned how to eat. She did not preserve and shelter her plain, perfectly good Pasadena palate by moving to France and then cooking there, then writing books. She let herself taste and smell differently. She took seriously the smells and rhythms around her, and noticed how they changed her perception—and she came to like them.
That process was what started it all. It’s right there in the first pages of her memoir, and it’s at the heart of her mastering something enviable and unique, becoming someone who cooked well but not perfectly, whose tastes ran the gamut, and who didn’t make exceptions or put foods into categories according to what she was supposed to like but didn’t, or what was theoretically “good” but in some way “bad.”
The full piece is worth a read, so check it out here.