Sunday, November 13, 2005

What Do You Hate to Eat?

In the wake of the Culinary Confessions theme that made the rounds of food blogs recently, I learned a funny thing. We all love to be the best damn cook in the kitchen, but it turns out we have feet of clay. Er, well, mouths of clay?
It's not particularly surprising to find out someone's kitchen might be less than shipshape, or that somebody buys cheap-o cookware at the drugstore. No great shame to confess you've never tasted some exotic ingredient or that you keep a years-old bottle of ketchup in the fridge that you never use but just can't throw out.
But I've been discovering that my fellow bloggies have aversions to actual food items. Sometimes the aversion is taste-based, other times it's texture-based, and in some cases, it's probably psycho-based.
Me first: I have trouble with basil. It's soapy and bitter to me, and while I will eat basil, I'm not going out of my way to find it. I don't grow any, and there's none in my fridge. I suspect it's a problem with my tastebuds (a.k.a. being a semi-supertaster, which just means that some flavors are too intense for me).
Then I found out that Lisa at Comfort Food can't do sage. See, and I love sage. Huh. (Sorry I can't provide links today; my html is wonky.)
The other day Jamie at 10 Signs Like This did a rant on horrid, vile, rancid, inedible olives. Olives? Lovely, innocent, pickle-y olives? She can't stand 'em. Doesn't even like to touch them. In response to Jamie's rant, Rozanne from Is There Anything of Interest? agreed about abhorring olives, and added that hazelnuts were a problem. A couple of other non-food bloggers chimed in on the olive-detesting issue.
And now I've learned that Stephanie at Dispensing Happiness has problems with onions. The taste is OK, she says, but the texture is creepy.
So what's your gag threshhold? Any inexplicable — or explicable — aversions?
Cookiecrumb wants to know.
You're so fine!
Update: Responses are coming in, but I want to know why you can't abide these food items. Texture? Creepiness? Taste? Weird childhood associations?
You blow my mind!


little girl said...

I personally don't like salad. Rather, I don't see the point of it. If it's in a sandwich, it's usually just for show and is ppretty tasteless, and if it's a meal salad, it just keep falling off your fork. It stays in your teeth.And I'm talking salad in general here, be it nutty tasted rocket or classic batavia or watercress or romaine. I don't care. Salad is a useless food. Or perhaps that I need to chew chew chew my daily raw vegs to feel healthy. Bah.

Also. I cannt eat noodles because I feel I'm gobbling down a plateful of live worms. Linguines are fine. SPaghetti still pass. But Soba noodles, forget about it. But that's another story.

Tis a nice topic.

cookiecrumb said...

OK, we're rockin' here. Thanks, little girl. I know of another blogger, Tana at Small Farms, I believe, who's leery of arugula (rocket) and I love it. I agree with you that it's nutty.
Yes, it is Tana; I just checked. And the farmer she was visiting that day had "texture issues" with persimmon.
But noodles? 'Sfunny.

Kalyn said...

I hate rice pudding. Once in elementary school we had to eat it and I actually threw up.

Other things I'm not overly fond of include tarragon, squid, octopus, parsnips, and yams. I can eat them, but I'd rather not. Except I do love Bernaise sauce which has tarragon.
Go figure.

Greg said...

Ok cookiecrumb here goes. Okra is kinda like mucus, pickled is ok though. Green bell peppers,I seem to be allergic.Sweetbreads and liver and onions ugh... nuff said!

johng said...

Goes to show how you can think somebody pretty much shares your world view, and then - wow - WFT. For example Greg. A green pepper is just an unripe pepper. Not much good to eat. Okra is nasty. Liver and Onions, eh, take it or leave it. Sweetbreads? You don't like sweetbreads? What the heck is the matter with you? That's only like the best dang stuff you can ever stuff in your face, man! Only possible explanation is that nobody's ever cooked it right for you.

Now soba noodles - that's just odd....

SF Knitter said...

Tapioca! It's repulsive. Color, texture, it's the whole experience of something I don't want out of the refrigerator.

cookiecrumb said...

I can take or leave tapioca -- or rice pudding. It doesn't give me the willies, but it's not terribly alluring.
But yeah, johng, eating sweetbreads is like nibbling on angels' earlobes! You WANT to do that. You do, Greg. Try.

Jack said...

Wasabi. Horseradish. Undiluted mustards. That whole family. Yuuuuuck.

Rachael said...

Some of these were included in my confession post, but here goes again.

Cilantro. Tastes like soap. Urban myths say there is a chemical reason some people dont like it, but all I know, is it tastes just plain terrible. (I can see basil in this group too. Its certainly not my favorite)

Poppy seed muffins. Bad teenaged memory.

Cottage cheese and lima beans. Texture, texture, texture. Mealy. Not for me.

Oh, and honey just makes me shudder. Ill eat it but only as an ingredient, not as a highlight. Its such a distastful concept.

Excellent question by the way, and excellent responses so far!

Scoutj said...

Raisins and coconut. EWWW. The texture is what I hate the most. THere is nothing worse than biting into something and being surprised by a raisin. Le yuck!

Amy Sherman said...

I had a nasty egg salad sandwich in preschool that seems to have scarred me for life. I like hard boiled eggs. I like mayonnaise. But I can't get past this aversion. Also super-salty based ham is ick! The honey baked stuff is fine though.

lisaSD said...

Meat, seafood, the aforementioned sage, olives, green peppers, raisins in baked goods, any baked fruit (I prefer raw or dried). Most of this is taste, some of it is texture.

I find people's aversions and loves so interesting!

cookiecrumb said...

Seems like we're getting a pretty equal breakdown among taste, texture and weirdness aversions. Interesting.

b'gina said...

Ooh, I too can't tolerate cilantro. If I get a strong enough whiff, I will hurl. Don't mind basil, but have a hard time cooking with it. I have to wear a mask or it gives me this really painful asthma-like thing.

Snot-like things - some tapioca, undercooked eggs - are just gross, like someone sneezed in your dish. I've always hated the slimy texture of cooked onions and the mushiness of cooked celery.

I really, really hate that baker "frosting" that's lard, sugar and some awful tasting food colorings.

Karen said...

Seafood - with few exceptions, I can't stand most seafood. It's partly the taste, partly the smell, and partly the texture.

Jamie said...

B'gina is absolutely right about that yucky shortening-y "frosting." Greasy sugary nothing!

I must not be sensitive to texture, because tapioca, cottage cheese, rice pudding, lima beans, and squeaky green beans are all A-OK with me. :-)

Here's something that will probably shock you: I have never tasted lobster. You see, I grew up not liking seafood. In recent years, I've become quite a convert and now will eat, for example, dozens of raw oysters at a sitting. (Oh, how I love my yearly Florida vacation!) Shrimp and crab I like very much, too, especially the former, but they're fairly new to me...I've only eaten them in the past two years. Lobster is on my list of things to try, but it's not one of those things you run across by accident! You pay good money for it. So I am still waiting for the perfect opportunity.

cookiecrumb said...

Jamie: If your green beans are squeaky, they're ultra fresh! Lucky you. And isn't it weird that they squeak? So do cheese curds; had those ever?
Also, my advice on lobster: Well, sure, try it some time. But *nothing* beats a blue crab, done Baltimore-style.
Karen: I had a breakthrough experience with stunningly fresh sardines a couple of months ago. I hope you'll get a chance to eat super fresh seafood.
But what I'm learning from all these replies is that there are just built-in avoidances of all sorts, and nobody's to blame.

Anonymous said...

Let's see... I remember horridly the slimy texture of over-cooked 50's spinach. About the only time I've knowingly ingested eggplant, it was the consistency of cardboard. My mother used to stink up the whole house with sauerkraut, so that's not a positive. I shudder at the thought of slurping oysters (slimy texture) -- that's one I will NEVER try.

Re Amy Sherman's nasty egg salad sandwich -- when my husband was about 5 he almost died from a mastoid infection. When he woke up in the children's ward at the hospital they were serving breakfast of scrambled eggs with ketchup -- he absolutely will not touch anything tomato to this day, and will eat eggs only in baked goods! Of course he has lots of other food sensitivities: anaphylactic reaction to cinnamon, can't/won't eat anything with vinegar or citric acid, those are the worst to work around. Try to find a substitute for CINNAMON!

drbiggles said...

Eeek, I've got one for you and I've only recently reaized it. Mostly because my wife got in to cooking more Indian food.
You don't 'even' see this one coming.
Sitting down?
I have a really hard time with butter. We had a dish semi-recently with what I thought was a lot of ghee and I wretched it up in to the trash. I've never enjoyed butter on my veggies or toast, olive oil and jelly.
Recently a friend made a peach pie with noticeable amounts of butter, couldn't touch it, YACK.
Too heady rich, can't deal. Although, I'll use it in baking for cookies, pancakes and GRAVY. I can't even rub a chicken with it for roasting, shudder. I don't like it touching me either. I'll just put the utensil in the washer and/or wipe off my person, quickly. When I'm melting butter for pancakes I have to keep my nose from the wafts, too much.
These are things I've always done and never thought about. Never, until I had all that ghee in that Indian dish, I can still FEEL the heady richness that makes my head spin then wretch.

Jillie said...

ITA with little girl re: leafy salads. Too much chewing and not enough satisfaction generally, orally speaking. Caesar salad rules tho.

Ate a whole jar (one of those skinny ones) of Spanish olives once when about 7, and threw the whole thing up. So no, olives not my thing still.

Don't like cardamom at all - taste is too strong and offputting. i take it out of Indian recipes.

Could never brave enuf to eat egg salad. It may be delicious but can't get past the looks. Ditto headcheese. Ick. Even the name!

Took me years to be able to eat cheese. My dad took all us kids on a tour of a cheesemaking plant - and it put all 5 of us off the stuff. Like dirty sneakers amplified 600%.

Fennel and caraway seeds sometimes are "in the way" on seeded bread, as poppy or sesame do just fine alone or in combo!

You know, no matter how many unappetizing memories I dredge up, NOTHING dents my hearty appetite!

cookiecrumb said...

Biggles has a food aversion?! Doc, you sure you don't want to retract your comment?
Actually, when my hubster was a restaurant reviewer for a couple of newspapers, I'd get what I called "butter fits" after eating in French restaurants. I mean I like it, but too much really works bad mojo on the innards.
Jillie: Wow. (did you get a blog yet?)

drbiggles said...

I don't like hard boiled eggs either. Actually, I may because I've never had one. I can't get passed the smell. Odd cause I likem' scrambled and fried in the hole in a slice of bread. But I don't like fried eggs.
I need a nap.


KathyF said...

Raw tomatoes. I can't put one in my mouth, or near my food. It's the horrid taste.

I also have never cared for ice cream, mainly because it's creamy and cold.

I totally understand about butter issues--after giving it up, I can sense its presence in a cookie. Ugh!

I avoid dairy now, and am quite happy to do so.

Sadie said...

Scallops - yuk. Did you know they can have over a hundred eyes? But I hated the taste of them even before I knew the horrifying eye fact.

Fun topic. :)

BNA said...

I'm with KathyF -- even the thought of raw tomatoes makes me cringe. It's both taste (painfully sharp) and texture (gloppy seeds, squishy flesh). Now, I'm happy to eat almost any cooked tomato recipe, which strikes many people as odd, but the flavors are nothing alike to me. Weird, I know.

cookiecrumb said...

This is STUNNING! So much info. Raw tomatoes? Oh, god, how can you people even read my blog?? I'm so glad you do, but I'm the tomato DIVA! And what's with a hundred scallop eyes? News to me.
I totally respect all your aversions, by the way. This is TRES amusante.

Jamie said...

So what is involved in cooking a blue crab Baltimore-style? I had some glorious blue crab in some seaside place in Florida, and I remember it involved a lot of Old Bay seasoning and a bib.

I can't imagine an aversion to butter. I wouldn't be "me" if I didn't love butter. :-)

I have met a lot of people who love cooked tomatoes but can't stand raw ones. I don't know what that's all about, but whatever it is, there are a lot of people in the same boat.

Monkey Gland said...

Coriander: Tastes like peepee.

Lisa B-K said...

Gosh. I love just about everything. I sat here and asked the mister if he knew of any food I didn't like. He thought for a moment.

"Spaghettios,", he said. "You don't like those."

And he's right. They smell like puke.


Yeah, I don't much like that either.

Or pineapple.

Or olives.

BNA said...

I've had to develop a thick skin about the tomato thing (and I imagine the same is true for others who share my distaste) -- one of my mom's great amusements is to eat an open-faced tomato and mayonnaise sandwich in front of me, just to see me squirm. (Which I do, because: gloppy tomatoes oozing into mayonnaise = horrific image) So reading about tomatoes is no problem!

Carol Logan Newbill said...

For me it's lima beans, mostly taste and texture. It's a long story, so I wrote it on my own blog.

I love tomatoes, though!

Sadie - I had no idea about the scallop eyes.

colleency said...

I used to have an aversion to applesauce until I found out that my mom ground up medicine for me and fed it to me in applesauce when I was 10. I like it fine now.

I gag on the texture of oatmeal and runny scrambled eggs, but I like mashed potatoes and bread pudding. I don't understand it either.

(I found your blog in a random wander.)

cookiecrumb said...

Colleen: Your mom was *deceiving* you! But for proper, healthful reasons.
Bread pudding: Good.

KathyR said...

Found my way here via KathyF.


I hate it. I really hate that it appears on so many restaurant menus. Blech.

The stuff grows wild on the slope down into the canyon behind our house. When it dies & gets cooked by the sun, the licorice stench is unbelieveable. And the stuff tastes just like it smells. Gag.

kathy a said...

hi! i'm new, and i love this post!

raw tomatos and bananas make my mouth itch. undercooked eggplant does, too -- and if the eggplant is cooked enough, too often it is icky-slimy.

after seeing lobster guts during an unfortunate time in pregnancy, i can't bear lobster. and i love seafood!

also hate fennel and black licorice. goat cheese. lamb. uck, the smells....

cookiecrumb said...

OK, that's a couple of negatives in a row on fennel. I can understand that. Sometimes some flavors are simply too potent. I spent a whole year avoiding mushrooms once, after a particularly intense porcini encounter.
kathy a: How funny that you mentioned itchy-mouth syndrome! I've never thought about it before, but I *have* had that experience with eggplant.

Anonymous said...

I can handle almost anything EXCEPT those big, gelatinous black mushrooms in chinese food. No, no -- not for me (and I love mushrooms in general)....

cookiecrumb said...

Probably a taste'n'texture double-whammy.

Melanie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melanie said...

I love butter but I hate margarine.

I love mayonnaise but I hate miracle whip.

I hate all seafood and fish.

I hate mushrooms. The smell, texture, taste and the fact that they make me throw up for three consecutive days all contribute.

I hate olives.

I really dislike cooked vegetables, unless they are only slightly steamed or are mashed on purpose to taste good some other way.

I hate processed cheese and pretty much all other 'processed' food. (except cheetos)

I don't like drinks out of cans.

I won't, under any circumstance, eat a cooked egg. Raw ones are fine in salad dressing and cooked ones are fine in baked goods, but don't ask me to eat one that has been scrambled, fried, omletted, quiched or otherwise prepared. I don't eat French Toast, either.

I dislike many other things but for the sake of simplicity have only listed the things that are actually impossible for me to eat.

I suspect that I am super-sensitive to taste, and I suspect that it is because my mother was a smoker.

I'm really fun to have over for dinner.

cookiecrumb said...

Hey, Melanie: How the heck did you find this old post? It sure did get a lot of responses. Thanks for dropping in. (I am SO with you on drinks out of cans.)

Anonymous said...

Wet bread...ewwww. If my hamburger bun gets wet I wretch. must eat it quickly. dumplings, bread pudding, undercooked cobbler, GAG. eyes are watering now just thinking about it

cookiecrumb said...

Yo, Anonymous: Me too. But only if it's not supposed to be wet. Bread pudding is fine, but a soggy burger bun is gaggy. (Just made that word up.)

Tacy Traverso said...

I'm a super taster (just counted); which makes sense; dad's a winemaker and mom comes from a line of great cooks/bakers).

My aversions?

1. Mushrooms: they taste like fungus and don't try to slip them on me, I'll taste it right away. I can taste if you cooked my steak in the same pan that you cooked mushrooms in.

2. Fish of any sort: I've tried ALL the fish that people say don't taste like fish. I don't know what they're thinking, the taste of fish comes in about 2 seconds after the chewing starts and it's disgusting. Makes me gag every time.

3. Tofu: The texture is hideous. If I wanted to eat spongey mush, I'd be a worm.

4. Anything with the sound "erry" in it: Most berries have seeds which are bitter and the texture wigs me out. Cherrys are too sour.

5. Cheese: I can do cheese on pizza and small bits of mild cheddar with salami, but most other applications of cheese are a no. It tastes like mold to me. And partially cooled cheese that was previously melted has a gnarly texture; makes me gag.

6. Eggplant: All I have to say is YUCK! I don't know what it is, but they just don't taste good!

7. Tomatoes: I can do de-seeded raw tomatoes, but like with berries, the seeds are an issue. Cooked tomatoes are yucky because they go sweet in a way that is overpowering to me.

8. Sweet Entrees: I know that it's a culinary art to make a great sweet dish (i.e. using honey and such), but to me, it's just wrong. Meat is naturally savory, and I don't like mixed genres. Also, I don't have a sweet tooth so I prefer salty/savory foods anyway.

9. Lamb and other gamey meats: Wow, again, I don't know what it is about the lamb, venison, duck, but they have a flavor that's overpowering and nauseating to me.

Favorite Foods:

Baked chicken WITH the skin (and seasoned with just salt/pepper).

Salad (I could and have eaten full salad bowls of this stuff; only seasoned with oil, vinegar, salt and green onions).

Tri-Tip (rubbed with cumin, balsamic, garlic, salt and pepper, this is a WONDERFUL meat and can be baked or grilled).

I say, keep it simple. For those of us that can taste all aspects of the dish, less is better.

Anonymous said...

Foods i hater include: Peppers, mushrooms, sweetcorn, ALL seafood, offaland cauliflower. just thinking about these makes me ill.