Continuing with guilty (non) pleasures... What are the things everyone else loves and you know you SHOULD love, but just can't stand?
I've been thinking about this one for a while, and I'd love other people's ideas. What are the foods that everyone else is constantly raving about, that are huge in food and blog circles, but you just... don't like?
I'll start, and pray not to be judged too harshly: brussels sprouts, anchovies or other very fishy-tasting fish, capers, truffles (the mushroom kind, not the chocolate kind - and I don't know why), fennel/anise flavors, and peanut butter in desserts.
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"But they taste like the ocean"...So drink salt water. Or pickle juice. It's cheaper
"It's all about the accoutrements". Then eat a shallot with some vinegar, weirdo.
I will not eat mushrooms of any kind, raw or cooked; melon other than watermelon; shrimp; cream soups; licorice and anise; turnips and rutabagas (which I've been known to call "the horrible vegetables people had to eat before the yummy food in the New World was discovered"); pecan or shoofly pie; lemon bars; flan; fatty meats; poultry skin; papaya; really sweet/sticky/gooey desserts in general (that Momofuku crack pie that everyone was over the moon about a year or so ago? sounds disgusting to me).
I have learned to like olives, cherries (sometimes), and beets (love them now!), so I keep trying them, but so far... no luck.
but mostly I am an equal opportunity eater. An omnivore sans dilemma. Come one come all to the table!!!!
Add to that sweet potatoes and rhubarb -- my mother's favorites. I think I had one (or two or three or more) too many sweet potatoes as a kid. They seem to be everywhere now. And as for rhubarb -- I had one (or two or three or more) too many bowls of stewed rhubarb, with minimal sugar and added lemon juice. My mother is wonderful -- and 93 -- so I'm happy to tolerate both when we're together. But only then.
that said, a fresh truffle is an entirely different thing of beauty.
Cinnamon. It's everywhere and in such huge quantities as to be gritty. I use a bit as part of a spice blend in apple and pumpkin pie, but otherwise I replace it with cardamom.
I also buy bean sprouts knowing how healthy and low calorie they are but they always seem to end up in the compost bin....
And (whisper) I really don't like the taste of soy sauce.....
And re: the eggplant, it's not about how it's been prepared. Trust me. No matter how much you salt it, soak it, or how quickly you cook it, it's not for me.
Raw green peppers unless it's just the tiniest bit used. Otherwise the flavor overwhelms.
I do recognize that there are real celiacs, and real diabetics and people with nut or shellfish allergies. But some people insist on avoiding certain foods just because they read life style magazines or something.
One of the things I absolutely respect and admire about the Food52 community is that there is a lack of the snarky comments that are so widespread on the Internet. While members of the Food52 community all have their strongly held opinions about food, their comments lack the peremptory tone of your declarative statement that “veganism is just plain stupid” or your sweeping assumption that adults who choose a vegan or gluten free diet without a medical reason are basing their decision on something they “read in a lifestyle magazine or something”. I was a vegan for many years and my decision to move to more of a vegetarian diet was a purely personal decision that was in no way based on any lack in the flavor, texture, or satisfaction based in vegan preparations of food. Nor was it based on anything I read about in a pop culture magazine. While I would characterize my cooking and eating as mostly vegetarian, I have no disdain for those choose to do otherwise. This is why I felt drawn to Food52 in the first place; a feeling of mutual respect for the preferences of others, ignoring our differences in favor for the tie that binds us, good food in whatever preparation it may take.
Truly can't stand, though? Raw green peppers, and sprouts of just about any kind. Actually I don't like any raw peppers, and accidentally eating them is made worse by the taste just lingering for ages after consumption.
What's up with Halvah? I've always likened it to sweetened sand.
As a kid I used to like raisins, but now I don't -- unless they're soaked in rum. ;)
Most of the other things I don't like are weird stuff that lots of folks either don't like also, or don't even know what it is....
I also have a strong dislike of hard boiled eggs. I've tried and tried and I just can't get over it!
I'm also not a big chocolate fan. I'd rather have caramel, or a creamy fruit dessert. or cinnamon. I'm also not a huge fan of chicken breast. Absolutely tasteless.
And while I don't hate it, I just am not a big chocolate fan. Sure I love my favorite chocolate cake (the recipe from Hershey's) and chocolate frosting (the Foolproof chocolate frosting from America's test kitchen), but given the choice between a chocolate dessert and anything else, I go for the non-chocolate dessert.
Black walnuts. I hate black walnuts. My grandmother used to bake with them all the time and again, as a child, when I'd ask if there were nuts in the chocolate chip cookies she'd tell me no. One bite was all it took to realize that was a lie.
Honey: again, bad childhood experience. I visited my great-grandmother and I had a cold at the time. To "cure" my cough, she gave me a tablespoon of honey and vinegar. Pretty awful. I kept coughing and got another four servings. For a long time even the smell of honey made me gag. It's getting better but I doubt I'll ever drizzle it over something and eat it.
I have, however, thought of another personal dislike: licorice root in herbal teas. I taste nothing but licorice, and it has this really awful, tongue-shrinking effect on my mouth. This is somewhat puzzling because I do use star anise frequently, and I've never minded anise or licorice in a food context, but in tea it really gets to me.
Instead, she would say: "Just because children are starving is no reason for you to become a human garbage pail."
I think this enlightened approach to eating is one reason my sibs and I have never had weight issues. Thanks, Mom!
But all is not lost for Cilantro lovers, a compromise can be reached.
My SO hates Cilantro...but when making green thai curry paste he'll just use the stem and roots. The "Soap taste" is mostly in the leaf....the flavor taste is in the stem and roots. So He'll actually purchase cilantro and go Morticia Adams on on a bunch triming off the leaf leaving just a bundle of stems. And he'll enjoy that chopped up in salsas, thai curries, etc. And at middle eastern resturants where they serve Cilantro as herb with the flat bread...he'll pick off the leaf and only the stems. And trying that myself, the stems still have the flavor I like but for him the soap element is gone. So, it's win/win.
In fact many thai recipes call specifically for the root or stem only of Cilantro.
I dislike mint in desserts, although I'm fine with it in savory dishes.
Gelatinous textures: Jello, aspics, etc.
As far as "gelatinous" sfmiller your missing out on some of the cool molecular gastronomy chefs are doing with ingredients like olive oil. They turn into this little olive bomb in your mouth.
When a recipe calls for it I always subsitute parsley.
I can't stand liver either (or any organ meats) and I also have memories of coming home and finding my mother cooking it with onions. I would burst into tears. My parents also made me sit at the table for hours, staring at the congealing, horrible chunk of liver on my plate, until they finally gave up and let me go to bed. I still won't go near it.
Any strong tasting fish. I don't get salmon at all. It's everywhere and I think it's just awful. I do like beets though.
But.... I'm a marine biologist. Anything out of the water, I'll eat. Sea cucumbers, eel, limpets, clams, oysters, fish, urchins, etc.... I'm for it.