My father didn’t like anything new. My mother taught English to migrant children and, being a very practical person, started with the vocabulary they needed - she took them to the grocer to name and buy ingredients for family meals, for example. In return they gave her recipes, cooked dishes, home grown ethnic fruit & veg. My father didn’t want to eat it. My mother patiently made different dishes for each “fussy” adult member of the extended family, although she did insist that each child eat everything on the plate and only allowed exceptions if there was an obvious long standing distaste. Like her mother she had an extensive garden. Consequently I ate everything.
She was a very creative lady who, from the first day of marriage, decided that her husband would never have the same dish twice in a month. Dad had a stellar range of sandwiches - until a workmate (a bit drunk) at the Staff Christmas party admitted his wife only made him Vegemite and peanut butter and he routinely swapped his for Dad’s gourmet assortment. After that Dad only got Vegemite & peanut butter.
My father’s widowed mother struggled to support her 7 children, they ate if she earned that day, and was a stickler for routine; a 7 day rotating menu constrained by War time rationing.
Mr Z’s food restriction comes from his autism - routine and familiarity being very important, tempered with “feel” phobias (eg don’t like sauce in food or pink meat) and limited childhood food experience - war time and isolated farm & parents hopeless farmers.
Was interesting to see them with a mango. Dad chased it round his plate for half an hour until finally pushing it away. Mr Z did the same, but as we have a mango orchard with the juice getting on his hands, he finally ate a bit, now will have it occasionally. Both came from poor circumstances. Their restrictive diets affected their health.
If we eat out (rare), I have to look for somewhere that will do Bangers & Mash type meals and choose something less interesting (to me) or put up with constant “how can you eat that s%!#?” They also have to be able to alter a meal - remove sauce, overcook meat, limit ingredients. Functions (set plated menu) are a nightmare. Autism - noise, unfamiliar surrounds, etc and he will walk out. Not many places cater, or are suitable, to the autistic.