Patton Oswalt's Twitter avatar, follow him @pattonoswalt

I quit smoking two years ago, and now I actually have taste. It’s annoying as shit.

I taste notes and nuances in everything and can discern subtleties that differentiate a dish between something that’s merely good and something that’s exquisite. I finally understand why my college roommate Keith looked forward to making a fresh salad whenever he went shopping. I’ve taken it an absurd step further and made my own salad dressing from a recipe I found online.

I would never do anything so obnoxious as to call myself a “foodie” – a term that deserves as much (if not more) scorn as terms like “known terrorist,” “sex trafficker,” and “celebrity gossip blogger” – but I think I’m beginning to appreciate food the way it’s supposed to be prepared. And yes, I realize just how obnoxious it all is.

When you start seriously considering what you eat and keeping a running inventory of it (such as when undertaking a weight loss program), you learn to prioritize in a hurry. I never used to give a shit what I ate because I used to shovel garbageloads of it into my face with little regard. Don’t like this bucketful? There’ll be another one along shortly. Compound that attitude with deadened tastebuds thanks to years of smoking, and you’ve got a recipe for cramming your maw with high-calorie filler.

Instead of mindlessly eating half a frozen pizza for dinner, Kristin and I marinate a pork tenderloin, put together a salad, and complement it with SRIRACHA RICE~! When you get married, inevitably you end up with a ton of seasonings you have no idea what to do with. One day I got a wild hair on my ass to make chicken wings, and in an effort to enhance them, I decided to learn more about the giant carousel of seasonings I have on my counter that I’d never bothered to explore.

Turns out, I got a bunch of great stuff in there. Like, really great stuff. That makes food taste better! I can see why if you were an explorer, you’d be compelled to colonize the people who lived near where this shit grows. I don’t care if you lived here first, I must have this tarragon!

I season meat. I understand how wine enhances flavors. I make my own salad dressing. I tear recipes out of magazines. I get jealous when I watch Bourdain eat weird cuisine with pretentious fuckholes on Travel Channel. I watch how many carbs I eat. If I weren’t married, you’d think I was describing a gay man. At least I now have this, which is my favorite kitchen instrument.

I am an adult when it comes to food.

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