a left-eyed girl

living in a 2 dimensional world

Feeling the after-effects.

with 11 comments

Yesterday, after a fun day of walking around Pacifica and shooting the area there, Darren and I headed to an Indian restaurant for a somewhat late dinner. He ordered the baingan bhartha (roasted eggplant mashed with onions and spices), and I got the palak paneer. We both decided to get the thali dishes, which are like a combo plate: you get the main dish, naan, rice, soup, vegetable curry, and dessert. It comes in a large round metal tray with smaller metal bowls crowded inside. Lemme find a photo of when we ate somewhere else:

Bhel Thali

There we go… It looked just like that, only it came with gulab jamun as dessert, and the rice was in a giant mound in the middle of the tray. A huge amount of food, and oh-so-good.

Anyway, the food came, and we both dug in because we had only had breakfast earlier that day. Darren looks at me and says that the soup we’d both received had eggplant in it, and I suddenly decided to figure out exactly what the hell I was stuffing in my face. I looked on his plate and saw that he had gotten a little bowl of palak-something (spinach) and that I had gotten one dish that looked different from his. Of course, it took us a little while to make the connection that we had basically received the same exact food, only he had gotten the larger bowl of baingan bhartha and I had gotten a larger bowl of palak paneer. That’s right. I had not one, but TWO dishes of eggplant on my tray.

Now, for any normal person, aubergine dishes are tasty and good, but for someone with an eggplant allergy, this is like finding out that you’ve been eating ground glass in your food. I freaked out for a little bit inside and waited for the typical reaction (my throat will start to itch and then it will get a bit difficult to swallow easily). I don’t go to the emergency room or fall down twitching, but it’s really annoying and pretty much leaves me feeling like I wish I hadn’t eaten that for a day or two afterwards.

One of the main problems it that I love eggplant. I love it. I love the taste, the texture, the smell of it. The only thing I don’t love is the whole itchy throat/”I can’t swallow” feeling that comes soon after eating it. I’d eaten about half of the little bowl before figuring out it was eggplant (it’s been a LONG time since I’ve had it and I don’t really remember what it tastes like anymore), so the only reasonable course of action was to simply stop eating it. Of course, being a total glutton for punishment and also having such intense love for eggplant, I decided that since I’d already eaten half of it, I might as well finish it. Oh boy was that a bad idea. My throat got itchier and itcher and it was harder and harder to swallow, but wow was it worth it. Man, I love eggplant so much.

When we got home, I quickly popped two Benedryl since my throat was really hurting at that point. I should also mention that I haven’t had to take Benedryl in a really long time. Anyway, since this time the reaction was way worse than before, I decided to take two, which then knocked me out and made me all groggy and I sounded drunk as hell. I think I was talking, but I don’t have any idea if it was making any sense. It put me to sleep for about an hour and then had me fitfully tossing and turning, my entire body aching like it was on fire. Well, I tossed for about another hour half-crying, half-begging Frank to make it all better, until he finally gave me a sleeping pill that knocked me out for the rest of the night. It’s morning now, but I’m still feeling a bit spacey from the sleeping pill and wishing that I hadn’t eaten the rest of that eggplant dish last night. Silly me.

Oh, and here’s a bit on the weird allergy. Eggplant is a member of the nightshade family. There are actually quite a few vegetables in the nightshade family, and if you are sensitive to one, you probably have a sensitivity to others. You can read a bit more on this site. I am especially sensitive to eggplant and raw green bell peppers. Reading through all the nightshade vegetables, I am really really hoping that I don’t develop higher sensitivity to tomatoes, potatoes, or onions. That would suck big time and I wouldn’t be able to eat a lot of stuff. Separately, I have a pretty bad kiwi allergy that I plan to test out in the near future. Both Darren and Frank say that this is a really, really bad idea, but I’m willing to see what happens if I eat a kiwi. I want to know if I have gotten more sensitive to it. Maybe it’s gone away, but that’s only wishful thinking.


Written by Reese

August 11, 2008 at 11:29 am

Posted in eating

11 Responses

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  1. Hm. That reminds me. I need to spoil you with homemade Indian food. Eggplant-free, even.

    The idea of being onion-free gives me the shivers. I get tense if there aren’t onions in my kitchen.


    August 11, 2008 at 8:52 pm

  2. @Ken: Mmm… yes please spoil me with eggplant-free Indian food! PLEASE!! I much prefer Indian food over pancakes any day! And hell no am I ever going to give up onions. I’m sorry, but that is NOT part of the deal at all. I love onions!


    August 11, 2008 at 10:10 pm

  3. Yeah, see, we need to get you over on teh weekend so I can make you a proper thali from scratch.


    August 12, 2008 at 11:58 am

  4. @Ken: Ya, that’s the key! Hmm… let’s talk more about this from-scratch, eggplant-free, green pepper-free, kiwi-free thali meal tonight!


    August 12, 2008 at 12:17 pm

  5. I love eggplants, I’ve never heard any one talk about their eggplant allergy before. What surprises me is that you decided to feel the fear and eat it any way, not because it was slightly foolhardy, but because your emotional attachment to eggplant overrode your physical rejection of it. Wow!

    I’m really interested to hear how the kiwi experiment goes. My mother tells me I am allergic to lambs fry (read ‘brains’) but I don’t really know because I can’t ever recollect eating them. My throat goes itchy with peanuts, so I have to remember not to eat them before I have something important to say in case I launch into a coughing/choking fit.


    August 12, 2008 at 12:25 pm

  6. @B: Ah yes, I am quite foolhardy in the sense that I know that I will pay for it later, but I decided to eat it anyway! Haha… I was pretty screwed up the day after as well and didn’t feel like eating much of anything at all AND I ended up sleeping a lot. Mmm… I still think it was worth it. I only let myself eat eggplant maybe once or twice a year when I really can’t stop myself because it just tastes SO good. I am going to try the kiwi experiment this week (I hope), if my friend cooperates and does it with me. I don’t really want to do it alone, because then I will end up telling the cat how stupid I am and how I shouldn’t have done that. Then I will pass out on the bed after taking some Benedryl and the cat will come groom my face, but I won’t be able to stop her because the Benedryl makes me feel drunk and silly.


    August 12, 2008 at 12:43 pm

  7. How can you be allergic to eggplant? That just makes me so sad for you. And kiwis?! Wow.


    August 16, 2008 at 8:52 am

  8. @JC: Yeah, sad face for me. Well whatever! You and the Dayve are allergic to the state of California!!!!!


    August 16, 2008 at 9:39 am

  9. True… but luckily you’re not allergic to MA!!! Can’t wait to see you guys soon!!! 😀


    August 18, 2008 at 6:03 pm

  10. Have you tried the kiwi? If so, you are Fearless like Max Klein!


    June 8, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    • I used to break down and eat aubergine and kiwi at least once a year, just to test my allergy out, but lately, I’m feeling that I don’t need to keep confirming it each year.


      June 9, 2011 at 6:34 am

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