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What are foods that polarize - love or hate?

Examples - cilantro, anchovies - what foods, if any, do you stay away from when entertaining because of polarization?

asked by SKK about 5 years ago
133 answers 5061 views
23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 5 years ago

Love -Brussel Sprouts. Hate-Okra

Be53e5fa f5fe 4601 8d5e 7d9c096a5aed  nog
Niknud

Rachael is a trusted home cook.

added about 5 years ago

I'm with you on both - no vegetable should be slimy....

0f493ab9 068f 4498 ba2c 95c992214d52  sit2
Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

added about 5 years ago

I hate stewed, braised Okra.

Fried in cornmeal..it's wonderful.

F8c5465c 5952 47d4 9558 8116c099e439  dscn2212
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added about 5 years ago

Can't sleep in the same house with brussels sprouts.

8bbce907 3b5e 4c8c be5c c64e6c780d63  birthday 2012
luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added about 5 years ago

Try Madhur Jaffrey's recipe for Curried Okra with farmer's market okra. My children devoured it and they both hate okra.

6f611b78 35b4 4186 89ad c38b035b32f3  08270410avatar messbrasil
added about 5 years ago

If you wash your okras and then dry them one by one -and- use a splash of lime juice or wine vinager when you cook them and hardly any liquids theyll turn out DD:dry and delicious...promess you.

E7b6597b db6e 4cae b9f3 699b508f4ed3  036
aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 5 years ago

Miracle Whip vs Mayo! Can create a house divided more than a UT / A&M marriage! (I am a mayo girl myself ...)

0f493ab9 068f 4498 ba2c 95c992214d52  sit2
Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

added about 5 years ago

I always knew you had good taste.

357b354b 4c02 43ad 8664 b674194054ea  me.pie.cookbooks
added almost 5 years ago

Mayo!

0f493ab9 068f 4498 ba2c 95c992214d52  sit2
Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

added about 5 years ago

Cilantro is big around here. The partner will only eat the stems because the leaf tastes like soap to him. Anchovies too, I'll put half my pizza so that half will be mine and all mine.

357b354b 4c02 43ad 8664 b674194054ea  me.pie.cookbooks
added almost 5 years ago

"Flavor chemists have found that cilantro aroma is created by a half-dozen or so substances, and most of these are modified fragments of fat molecules called aldehydes. The same or similar aldehydes are also found in soaps and lotions and the bug family of insects."

http://www.nytimes.com...

2f4926e2 248b 4c22 a6f7 8f2d888b8488  3 bizcard
sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 5 years ago

Hate lots of raw onions and also raw garlic a little is ok . Raw oysters turn me off.

F8c5465c 5952 47d4 9558 8116c099e439  dscn2212
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added about 5 years ago

Can't get enough!

62da2e3c 5d4a 4c43 a2ed feb7f39ad363  with ab
added about 5 years ago

Cilantro tastes like soap to me too!

This is weird, but I absolutely can't stand bananas, and my boyfriend wishes for banana bread just about every week! Also, I love yogurt, sour cream and goat cheese (things with tang, basically), and he hates them all! How sad life must be without goat cheese....

0f493ab9 068f 4498 ba2c 95c992214d52  sit2
Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

added about 5 years ago

I'd be interested to hear if other Cilantro haters can tolerate the stems. My partner's Mom took us out to eat at a very nice Persian resturant and they served bread with a plate of Cilantro. He was going all Mortia Addams on the Cilantro..pulling off the leaf and chowing down on the just the stems on the bread. His Mom was looking at him WTF are you doing? "Can't stand the leaf..the stem is just fine for me now".

2f4926e2 248b 4c22 a6f7 8f2d888b8488  3 bizcard
sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 5 years ago

I am not a huge cilantro fan, in small doses I have some here I will try the stem and let you know what I think.

0f493ab9 068f 4498 ba2c 95c992214d52  sit2
Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

added about 5 years ago

Oh...my Sister has the Banana hate too. Says it smells and tastes like nail polish remover.

62da2e3c 5d4a 4c43 a2ed feb7f39ad363  with ab
added about 5 years ago

I'm always glad to hear there are others with my on bananas! I have a very sensitive sense of smell, so just having one around (or a peel in the trash) can make me feel sick. They have a VERY strong scent!

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 5 years ago

I'm not too big on eating bananas but I will if it is very firm. But I do love banana bread, and you have to use very ripe bananas for that. They have an almost fermented smell to me.

357b354b 4c02 43ad 8664 b674194054ea  me.pie.cookbooks
added almost 5 years ago

"Flavor chemists have found that cilantro aroma is created by a half-dozen or so substances, and most of these are modified fragments of fat molecules called aldehydes. The same or similar aldehydes are also found in soaps and lotions and the bug family of insects."

http://www.nytimes.com...

67544da8 1862 4539 8ec8 2d9dfc2601bb  dsc 0122.nef 1
added about 5 years ago

HATE OKRA! in ANY form.. GROSS!! EEW!,
Agree with the acetylene nail polish remover smell of the banana , Makes sense, since acetylene is the by product of ethylene synthesis (which bananas generate while ripening )

7b500f1f 3219 4d49 8161 e2fc340b2798  flower bee
added about 5 years ago

Actuallly the chemical in nail polish is called acetone, and ethylene is produced by most fruits, not just bananas.

Bb911bcd 2446 4d8f 848f cdc2090e999a  leaf cake
added about 5 years ago

For the first time in my life I had okra that I really liked. It was chopped in small circles and deep fried and salted, and it was actually delicious. Previous experiences were not so great! The place: Crook's Corner outside of Chapel Hill, NC. One of the most amazing meals i ever had - shrimp and grits, Hoppin John, Oh My!

8bbce907 3b5e 4c8c be5c c64e6c780d63  birthday 2012
luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added about 5 years ago

Okra is one of the great unsung foods. It's delicious fried and curried and I love it every which way. The flowers are amazingly beautiful as well. A lot of these dislikes can be a problem of preparation and access. I didn't like okra until I found fresh okra, esp in farmer's market.

32fb3935 151a 4db2 ac26 980d4c0d5cea  lorigoldsby
added about 5 years ago

I think it's hilarious how brussel sprouts are now the darling food--when everybody figured out how to fix them.

LOVE fried okra--nothing slimy there

but my "ekk" food that everybody loves--coffee. Love the smell, tried it every way, just can't stand it.

0f493ab9 068f 4498 ba2c 95c992214d52  sit2
Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

added about 5 years ago

People used to cook Brussels spouts to death...until they tasted like Satan's sulfur soaked testicles.

And broccoli..people used to cook that to gray. I steam in a bowl..covered with plastic wrap and a bit of water for 1 min only in the microwave...and serve with a wassabi mayo topping.
Or quickly stir-fry with some oil and water..and red pepper flakes and a finishing touch of sesame oil.
People used to really overcook veggies...into mush and kids hated them.

I don't care for coffee too much..but "Sanka" crystals on ice cream is good childhood memory for me.

F8c5465c 5952 47d4 9558 8116c099e439  dscn2212
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added about 5 years ago

Ok, foods that divide populations into love-hate polarities: capers, anchovies, okra, peppers of any color, calamari, olives of any color, clams, oysters, anise from fennel to Pernod, meat of any kind, pita chips (seriously), liver in any form including pâté, cilantro of course, nuts due to allergies. Okay, I think those are the big ones. When preparing a menu for a client, one of the first things I ask is what food sensitivities/dislikes we need to avoid. When preparing a menu at home, buffet or seated, I figure it's my home and my food. That is not to say that I include all of the above just because I can, but I'm not afraid to make great foods with great flavors and explain the components of each. When added to the right dish in the right way, I find people will be happily surprised to learn that that they've just eaten something they thought they hated. I especially love, love, love converting people to anchovies, capers, and calamari. And okra. And cilantro.

8a5161fb 3215 4036 ad80 9f60a53189da  buddhacat
SKK
added about 5 years ago

Oh, B, I may be your biggest challenge converting to calamari! Saw too many of those shy little critters when I was diving and just can't even look at the little arms with the little cups. And I promise no brussel sprouts in the house if you ever come to Seattle to visit!

48dd002c 4c45 4b84 8006 ac8614d467cd  dsc00859 2
creamtea

Lisanne is a trusted home cook.

added about 5 years ago

I agree with this. as long as it's not an allergy, I tend to ignore when people say they don't like this or that and cook what I myself like. They'll usually come around. I've spent a couple years working on a friend who "hates" desserts. I finally got her with apple pie last month!!

F8c5465c 5952 47d4 9558 8116c099e439  dscn2212
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added about 5 years ago

Ok, your lovely description may just put me off them, too.

67544da8 1862 4539 8ec8 2d9dfc2601bb  dsc 0122.nef 1
added about 5 years ago

I refused to touch Okra the first time I had visited my to-be MIL, . Its kind of prized in South indian Cuisine, so she had it made since I was coming to meet the In laws for the first time..

Nope, if that opp could not convert me along with the life long string of advice/admonition/threats of 'Eat your OKRa, or else you wont be good at Math', Nothing will! (to compensate my lack of math skills, I married a Mathematician!)

8a5161fb 3215 4036 ad80 9f60a53189da  buddhacat
SKK
added about 5 years ago

I cannot stand sushi! Can't see, hear or speak of it. Too much of the live stuff when I lived in Tokyo - really stopped the night the spiny lobster crawled off my plate because it wasn't dead...

0f493ab9 068f 4498 ba2c 95c992214d52  sit2
Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

added about 5 years ago

Oh, you'll get over it. Eventually. I love sushi..well more sushimi.
Catfish..even tho I posted a runner up recipe for it...We had catfish ponds in my youth, so I had LOTS of catfish.
The thing that really put me off catfish was the fish-kills we'd get every few years. Going out in a row boat to skim off floating dead catfish will put you off the fish.
But, I eventually got over it. It just takes time.
I consider it a challenge..to make something you'd normally not use into something excellent.
(Now, there's this can of SPAM in the cabinet that's taunting me).

8bbce907 3b5e 4c8c be5c c64e6c780d63  birthday 2012
luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added about 5 years ago

feel slightly ill reading this

8bbce907 3b5e 4c8c be5c c64e6c780d63  birthday 2012
luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added about 5 years ago

feel slightly ill reading this

F8c5465c 5952 47d4 9558 8116c099e439  dscn2212
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added about 5 years ago

I could eat my weight in sushi.

8a5161fb 3215 4036 ad80 9f60a53189da  buddhacat
SKK
added about 5 years ago

And rattlesnake - it does not taste like chicken no matter how often people say it does!

8f5038ed 8aca 4d33 aef7 8a0ce63adc40  img00019 20100929 0432 1
sexyLAMBCHOPx

Chops is a trusted home cook.

added about 5 years ago

Sad to admit that I detest cilantro, corriander, lemongrass & coconut milk...

8f5038ed 8aca 4d33 aef7 8a0ce63adc40  img00019 20100929 0432 1
sexyLAMBCHOPx

Chops is a trusted home cook.

added about 5 years ago

oh, and beets & celery (raw).

6f614b0c 899e 467f b032 d68711f70a39  2011 03 07 18 28 41 870
added about 5 years ago

I'll throw my hat in the mix.
Cannot, will not, just despise zucchini. Blech! Love foie gras...
Hate Miracle Whip, love mayo.
Love vodka martinis, hate gin martinis.
Love perfectly cooked medium rare lamb, hate mutton.
Love aged cheeses, hate Velveeta.
Love PB&J's, hate Fluffernutters.
Love potato croquettes, hate Tater Tots...
Love Marcella Hazan, hate Rachel Ray.
need I say more?!

Ec30261f e677 492c 9ab6 670678db31fd  dscn3372
added about 5 years ago

Mushrooms, not because of the taste, but the texture. And the smell. Other texture turn-offs: bananas and potatoes.
Anchovies. I keep trying, and well-meaning folks like to say that you can't taste them, they just add a certain savouriness. Um, is that what you call the foul oily-fishy layer coating my mouth?

0f493ab9 068f 4498 ba2c 95c992214d52  sit2
Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

added about 5 years ago

I think a big deal of anchovy hate is the American canned anchovies. Very fishy, salty and sometimes mushy. (well most of the time).

Anchovy paste in ceaser salad dressing is great.
And did you know...Worcester sauce is made with anchovies. This might put you off Worcester sauce, but they salt and extract the juices of anchovies that perk for months..squeezing out the fish juice..and mix with spices and put in barrels to age for Worcester sauce.
I probably shouldn't told you that..as you'll never make a red-beans and rice again. (g). Or a decent bloody mary.

Ec30261f e677 492c 9ab6 670678db31fd  dscn3372
added about 5 years ago

I don't know, I've tried all kinds. It's the oil, I think. I love fish but don't eat smoked salmon for the same reason. I do love Worcestershire sauce, especially on fish and chips! Oh, and in a Bloody Caesar (like a Bloody Mary, but with Clamato juice), or in a Caesar salad. But not anchovies themselves. I love Vietnamese/Thai fish sauce too, which is also made from fermented anchovies. I realize there's no logic here, but I am what I am!
:)

0f493ab9 068f 4498 ba2c 95c992214d52  sit2
Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

added about 5 years ago

Best bloody mary garnish. Wisconsin best beef sticks. (think slim jims..and then forget slim jims as they taste like pepperoni flavored newsprint). Some celery or cucumber wedges..and for a meal in a glass, some boiled shrimp and olives. It's breakfast, it's brunch, it's cocktail, it's a meal in a glass, it's over garnished! It's great.

766e7ce3 8394 4788 8337 bbd8a8d3a07e  5.15.11 coconut macaroons best sm
added about 5 years ago

My husband won't touch anything too briny or full of vinegar: olives, capers, pickles, etc. (Something to do with an olive mistaken for a grape when he was a kid.) I, however, think HLA's drinking vinegars are a stroke of genius. Cilantro, mushrooms, and bananas come up for me too with my friends. Some love them, some hate them. I still can't figure out how to serve a turnip so I'll like it. Cumin and cardamom also seem to turn some people off--the strong flavors or something.

3639eee1 5e0d 4861 b1ed 149bd0559f64  gator cake
hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

added about 5 years ago

Thanks for the shout out!

8a5161fb 3215 4036 ad80 9f60a53189da  buddhacat
SKK
added about 5 years ago

Oh yes - HardLikeArmor's drinking vinegars are amazing!

3639eee1 5e0d 4861 b1ed 149bd0559f64  gator cake
hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

added about 5 years ago

You're making me blush!

0f493ab9 068f 4498 ba2c 95c992214d52  sit2
Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

added about 5 years ago

My partner doesn't like pork. He grew up on a farm in Arkansas and his grand parents had a pig farm and a rice farm. He was bitten on the ass by a mother pig while trying to castrate her babies.

For some reason, he uses that incident as his hate of pork. I'd think it'd be Payback. But I think it's because they used to cook pork to deathly dry chops back in the day.
However he does sport a cute little pig bite dimple scar on his ass.

E7b6597b db6e 4cae b9f3 699b508f4ed3  036
aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 5 years ago

OW!

67544da8 1862 4539 8ec8 2d9dfc2601bb  dsc 0122.nef 1
added about 5 years ago

OUCH!!! But I guess i can't blame Momma Ms. Piggy

67544da8 1862 4539 8ec8 2d9dfc2601bb  dsc 0122.nef 1
added about 5 years ago

OUCH!!! But I guess i can't blame Momma Ms. Piggy

549d9fb3 53ef 4170 b68e 8bae2e055be7  dsc 0048b
added about 5 years ago

My brother and sister in law do not eat tomatoes. They will eat tomato sauce, ketchup, and other tomato based products but not raw or even chunks of lightly cooked tomato. And they haven't "outgrown" it. I think it's funny that they found each other.

C405edfb eff8 43c8 8d2a 9c901ad00568  ozoz bw january2014
added about 5 years ago

I'm Nigerian and I like Okro....BUT only if its grated and cooked and turns a healthy texture of mucill.....you know the word. Now I have Okro chips (Deep fried - I had them at Wholefoods), pickled (I never had them but grossed out at the sight at WIlliams Sonoma) and can tolerate them in Indian style dishes.

Snails......I couldn't, wouldn't try French-style snails without some pay off but serve me 'cleaned'/unshelled Nigerian snails, peppered and sauced and I'll happily finish off a bowl!

I've never tried grits but am already on the other side of the stonewall - forget fence! I imagine it is like cooked oats....and can't imagine having that savoury.

And celery = I stay well away from it. I love Celeriac but I can't stomach the smell, or taste of celery - suprisingly though...I used to be able to.

And finally tinned sardines get to me these days. Thanks for asking!

E4b7660b f3f6 4873 bd6d 2130a16403fb  img 1088
drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 5 years ago

I love this question! My husband and I have almost exact opposite taste in food. He grew up with a mom who kept kosher and was a very picky eater. I grew up in New Orleans where we had contests to see who could make the biggest pile of shrimp shells and crab and crawfish carcasses. (bonus points for sucking the heads). All the things I think make food interesting-- mustards, olives, capers, strong cheeses (feta, parmesan, bleu, etc)--he hates. As in with a passion. And I'm not a fan of liver, slimy fish in cream sauce (actually most things in cream sauce), gelatin almost anything, runny egg whites, cooked celery. When we did the octopus and squid contest, I couldn't even open the page because the sight of that little raw octopus on the front page grossed me out so much.

8bbce907 3b5e 4c8c be5c c64e6c780d63  birthday 2012
luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added about 5 years ago

runny egg whites are so icky

Be53e5fa f5fe 4601 8d5e 7d9c096a5aed  nog
Niknud

Rachael is a trusted home cook.

added about 5 years ago

I can tell you a funny story about ordering 3-4 lbs of baby octopus (I was doing a med-style grill mix) and receiving a 4.5 lb baby octopus.....very different. Of course, I didn't discover this until I got home because it was all neatly wrapped in butcher's paper. I got home and tore into the package eagerly. The tentacles just flopped out everywhere (they were really really long!) and the giant head just sat there. I have never been intimidated by my food before. My husband walks in the back door, immediately cries out, "what the #$@!$# is that awful stench?", rounds the corner, sees the octopus and immediately starts musing out loud about his nut-job of a wife finally going round the bend....

8a5161fb 3215 4036 ad80 9f60a53189da  buddhacat
SKK
added about 5 years ago

Niknud, what an experience with your baby octupus! What did you end up doing with it?

Be53e5fa f5fe 4601 8d5e 7d9c096a5aed  nog
Niknud

Rachael is a trusted home cook.

added about 5 years ago

With a shameful expression on her face: I was too scared. I didn't do anything with it. Actually, I bravely used the kitchen shears to cut off the tentacles thinking I could do a kebob of some sort with it (Ok, I'm having flashbacks...walking away from the computer......coming back more composed) but I was just overwhelmed with the sheer size and sliminess of it. Seriously, the tentacles were drooping to the floor from the kitchen counter like some scene out of Aliens or something. And at some point during this process, my husband comes in holding a washcloth over his face with one hand and a very large gin martini in the other and quietly tells me to stop the maddness. He handed me the drink, told me to go sit down and that he'd take care of it for me. Away went the octopus and he came back a little while later with some fresh clams and mussels. The really hilarious part of it was that following Monday he forgot to take the trash to the curb. Nothing like two week old, rotting, festering, stinking 4.5 lbs of octopus to really endear you to the neighbors.....shudder!

8a5161fb 3215 4036 ad80 9f60a53189da  buddhacat
SKK
added about 5 years ago

Niknud, this story belongs in the Food52 hotline hall of fame! LOL

Be53e5fa f5fe 4601 8d5e 7d9c096a5aed  nog
Niknud

Rachael is a trusted home cook.

added about 5 years ago

I know, right? You seriously couldn't make this stuff up! Although I can't help but wondering If I'd had FOOD52 in my life at the time the situation might have been salvadged through a timely hotline appeal. Though it must be acknowledge that, in the interests of marital harmony, clams may have been the more prudent choice....

F8c5465c 5952 47d4 9558 8116c099e439  dscn2212
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added about 5 years ago

FANTASTIC story! Love the washcloth-gin picture you conjure so perfectly!

Be53e5fa f5fe 4601 8d5e 7d9c096a5aed  nog
Niknud

Rachael is a trusted home cook.

added about 5 years ago

It was truely the only time I've been scared of my food. Shudder. It took one more restorative martini before I was ready to get back on the saddle!

5b7755f4 f84e 4738 be55 06b56e9c2553  dsc 0008 002
em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 5 years ago

I love, love brussels sprouts and okra!!! Could eat them every day but I do NOT think okra should be in gumbo because of the slime factor. I grew up in Louisiana and always preferred an okra and tomato-free gumbo.
My husband doesn't like bitter greens and root veggies. I could eat them all day but the bitterness can be off-putting for him. Same with the herbaceousness of bell peppers. I eat them like apples but unless they are red or yellow and cooked, he can't handle them.
I think beets and liver are other foods that are totally love/hate. I love the former, hate the latter.
And for the most part, I do not love fish + tomatoes.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 5 years ago

Orzo - is it a pasta trying to be rice or rice trying to be pasta...all I know is that is banned in our house.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 5 years ago

Orzo - is it a pasta trying to be rice or rice trying to be pasta...all I know is that is banned in our house.

D22e715c 166f 4578 8ad4 1e169fc809ba  ry 400
added about 5 years ago

I've heard the cilantro thing is genetics - some people are just wired to think it tastes like cilantro. Not sure if it is true but it is interesting since there is always such a huge divide.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 5 years ago

Beets..I just can't stand them. I've tried and tried, but each try only reinforces my dislike. I guess some things we just never get over!

5b7755f4 f84e 4738 be55 06b56e9c2553  dsc 0008 002
em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 5 years ago

Add your answer here

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 5 years ago

Tuna casserole... Yuck!

0dcfb05c 8a90 480f 8cf7 cbc33e9a6b5c  me
added about 5 years ago

Tripe ... yuck!
Kidneys .... yuck!
Pretty much everything else (except root beer) ... YUM!!!!

3639eee1 5e0d 4861 b1ed 149bd0559f64  gator cake
hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

added about 5 years ago

I agree except for the root beer part! I love a good root beer.

7b500f1f 3219 4d49 8161 e2fc340b2798  flower bee
added about 5 years ago

I dislike tripe so much, that whenever my parents would make it, I'd avoid the pot that it was cooked in until it's been washed several times afterwards (I've gone as far as pouring bleach solution in it).

70c30ec0 fa36 42cd a600 899151dd1379  fb food composite1
added about 5 years ago

I don't hate many foods, but absolutely cannot tolerate blue cheese or horseradish/wasabi/hot mustard. There's a substance in mustard seeds and horseradish (Allyl isothiocyanate) that gives you that strong nose-hit...makes my eyes water just thinking about it. First job I ever had was working in marketing for a cheese company in upstate NY. First day on the job, president of the co. walks in with a cutting board that had a huge root-looking thing on it, some of which was sliced up. Try it, he urged, clearly proud of the horseradish plant that his family also owned and operated down the road. Painful intro to the co...I choked it down. First time I had wasabi was when my part-Japanese college roommate invited me to meet her mother (and as it turns out, several of her mother's Japanese friends) at a local Japanese restaurant. I had never had sushi before - and I saw everyone mixing this green paste into their soy sauce, so when in Rome... When I took that first bite, it was all I could do to hold it down, knowing that gagging at the table would've been a major cultural no-no, not to mention throwing up, which is what almost happened. Still can't get near wasabi to this day.

764b0ca1 0383 4e0e b9c3 f80babdbb55e  206232 10100287610997059 830198 56953894 4269341 n
added about 5 years ago

Anything spicy. For me, the spicier the better, but I have lots of friends and family who physically (tongue blowing up style) can't handle it.

120fa86a 7a24 4cc0 8ee1 a8d1ab14c725  me in munich with fish
added about 5 years ago

I usually don't serve fennel, okra, or cilantro to guests. I love all three, but I know many people don't.

8a5161fb 3215 4036 ad80 9f60a53189da  buddhacat
SKK
added about 5 years ago

My sister will not walk into a house that has goat cheese in it. She cannot tolerate it, just the smell sets her off.

27e464b9 6273 420b 9546 d6ed6ae12929  anita date
Anitalectric

Anita is a vegan pastry chef & founder of Electric Blue Baking Co. in Brooklyn.

added about 5 years ago

People can be weird about bell peppers. I love peppers, chilies, spicy food...all kinds, but have to tone it down for most audiences. I am big on black pepper, again, some don't like. I am NOT a fan of white pepper, for whatever reason, it tastes like bad breath and smells like dandruff to me.

Tomatoes: people who won't eat them annoy me. They always make an exception for ketchup.

Marmite: I have never tried it but am super curious. Some people are rabid fans and others have a total aversion.

Stinky cheeses: how can you eat something that smells like rotten feet?! People who are into those freak me out but I am touched by their fanaticism.

8bbce907 3b5e 4c8c be5c c64e6c780d63  birthday 2012
luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added about 5 years ago

i luv that you are touched by the fanaticism of people who like stinky cheeses. my children call them the cheeses of mass destruction. :)

1097a5b5 1775 4eec a8ea 7421137b65dc  image 2 apples claire sullivan 2
amysarah

amysarah is a trusted home cook.

added about 5 years ago

I'm amongst the weird - love all types of peppers, except green bell peppers; they always taste sort of metallic and institutional to me, regardless how fresh or well-prepared. Also re: Marmite - my British housemate in grad school had to have it on buttered toast every single morning. It was almost ritualistic - her homesick-soul food. (I think its one of those things you have to grow up with - or have in your DNA - to fully appreciate.) Stinky cheese - wouldn't say I'm quite a fanatic, but there's something almost primally satisfying about a good, ripe, funky, earthy...yes, smelly cheese. But it's not something I'd serve to a cheese-squeamish guest. More for me to eat later!

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creamtea

Lisanne is a trusted home cook.

added about 5 years ago

oops, I accidentally hit "agree". Cheese: the stinkier, the better :)

8bbce907 3b5e 4c8c be5c c64e6c780d63  birthday 2012
luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added about 5 years ago

This is such a great thread. Meat is one of the foods I avoid cooking for guests because I know so many vegetarians. It's crazy, since I grew up in the Midwest and no one would have thought about a company meal without meat then.
For me, gin.... had an unfortunate drinking experience when I was 16, and am grateful that my mom doesn't follow food pickles. Just a whiff makes me feel deathly ill.
Cilantro goes into most of my company meals, since Indian vegetarian food is my quick and easy menu for a crowd . I'm careful about heat, tho... try to have some on the side for those who like it.
My older brother still eats like a kid. I visited him when he was living in San Francisco and offered to take him out to any restaurant... we walked around for hours, as he rejected option after option... finally agreed to a Japanese restaurant where he could order tempura. Likes crisp fried things. When he comes to visit, I stock potatoes (have to be cooked crisp), hamburger, saltine crackers (eats them with ketchup), Coke, green peppers (raw only). He tries to be gracious about our regular meals, like rice and beans, but can't tolerate foods like shrimp and even the sight of anchovies grosses him out.
These are the most fun food pickles, never imagined them happening when food pickle started. Also v happyto have the idea about drinkable vinegars. Going to search recipes for hardlikearmour's ideas now. :)))

F8c5465c 5952 47d4 9558 8116c099e439  dscn2212
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added about 5 years ago

I'm so with you. Vodka does the same thing to me for the same reason. Can't even look at the bottle, no matter how beautifully designed. Thank heaven my parents are dead.

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added about 5 years ago

Talking of polarized.. I must confess, I absolutely HATED any kind of cheese that came from a goat..to the extent I'd discretely apply a tissue to my tongue to wipe out the taste.. & surprisingly, (I don't remember exactly when, but definitely after getting into F52), I'm HOOKED on to it.. I just LOVE it!

C45c94a0 2e08 45bf a73c 4235d1b3c4bb  image
added about 5 years ago

Has anyone mentioned coconut? I hated it as a kid, I couldn't understand why anyone would ruin a cake by dredging it with shredded coconut? Now I like it in most situations but my husband hated it as a kid and hates it now. This IS a fun thread.

8bbce907 3b5e 4c8c be5c c64e6c780d63  birthday 2012
luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added about 5 years ago

hated coconut when I was younger because it stuck in the back of my throat
luv it now, even Mounds bars .. tho I can't eat mass produced chocolate bars any more b/o the indentured labor issue

4798a9c2 4c90 45e5 a5be 81bcb1f69c5c  junechamp
ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 5 years ago

No cilantro at Chez Julia. It tastes like soapsuds to me. Why use that when there are so many other herbs for flavoring?

A propos of a lot of potentially polarizing ingredients/ food: if I don't mention they're "in there," most folks can't tell. Anchovy haters would be surprised by how many dishes I make that contain the toothsome little fishies. I just make sure they don't show in the finished dish.

8bbce907 3b5e 4c8c be5c c64e6c780d63  birthday 2012
luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added about 5 years ago

I don't try to fool vegetarians but Sylvia Thompson has a great recipe for Tomato, Eggplant and Pepper Sauce in "Food and Friends" that includes anchovy. Nobody knows unless I tell them. Even without the anchovy it's a great sauce and feeds a crowd. Don't freeze it, tho, it gets mushy.

8bbce907 3b5e 4c8c be5c c64e6c780d63  birthday 2012
luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added about 5 years ago

Forgot to add: to me cilantro is an "open window" smell, so clean and fragrant.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 5 years ago

I'm internally polarized about peanuts. Love peanut butter and the nuts themselves. Even like peanut butter cups. But I can. not. eat. a peanut butter cookie. Will spit one out if accidentally taken for a sugar cookie. And dear god don't put them on an ice cream sundae! Can't eat that either. Walnuts belong there, not peanuts.
And zucchini--disgusting spongy texture and yuck/bland flavor. Love almost all other vegetables to distraction, except okra. Love cilantro--made a killer cilantro pesto this summer. Anchovies rock.

8bbce907 3b5e 4c8c be5c c64e6c780d63  birthday 2012
luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added about 5 years ago

Okra seems to be a theme here. Contest material?

67544da8 1862 4539 8ec8 2d9dfc2601bb  dsc 0122.nef 1
added about 5 years ago

NOOOOOOOOOOOO.... NO OKRA themes PLEEAASE!!

synopsis: Okra, Cilantro, banana, anchovy, cephalopods, peanuts, stinky cheese, coconut, licorice, sushi...

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 5 years ago

I despise beets with a passion. And I love goat cheese. It gets under my skin because they're paired together so frequently. I get so mad because chefs take such a beautiful product like goat cheese and taint it with beets! They just taste too earthy to me I guess. Like dirt.

I don't like pears either. I think they're way too gritty. The texture just rubs me the wrong way.

401c5804 f611 451f a157 c693981d8eef  mad cow deux
pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added about 5 years ago

Okay, Pierino is the 600 pound omnivore in the room. He eats everything (even though he actually weighs in at about 140). Okra, cilantro, anchovies, organ meats, and the smelliest cheeses you can find---bring it! Maybe not all at the same time but we'll eat 'em. Oh yeah, and hog maw too. We will agree that cilantro is not an acquired taste, it does seem to be a genetic thing. Fortunately we're not afflicted. What bugs us is when people refuse to eat something they've never tasted just because it happens to be a pig's ear, a thymus gland or a squid. Squid by the way are very easy to clean.

8bbce907 3b5e 4c8c be5c c64e6c780d63  birthday 2012
luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added about 5 years ago

I consider myself a prettty good eater but as I was reading your comment I realized that weird meats are difficult for me. For many years, I had trouble with rabbit because I couldn't get the image of a bunny, specifically a bunny on the cover of one of my Little Golden books, out of my mind. Got over it testing a paella recipe for food52 last year, altho I still felt sad looking at its little limbs before cooking them.
Could not think about eating a guinea pig in Ecuador. Etc.

401c5804 f611 451f a157 c693981d8eef  mad cow deux
pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added about 5 years ago

Oh, and we must add that we won't serve bagged, triple washed anything to guests because of the potential food poisoning risks which have been adequately exposed.

F8c5465c 5952 47d4 9558 8116c099e439  dscn2212
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added about 5 years ago

Amen to everything, pierino.

6f611b78 35b4 4186 89ad c38b035b32f3  08270410avatar messbrasil
added about 5 years ago

Kidney:Baaaaad.Okra:Goooood.

5c97b973 e0d0 4251 87ba 9d239fc9ab08  image
added about 5 years ago

For some reason, my husband is hostile to pine nuts. I love them and think he was served some rancid pine nuts in his past.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 5 years ago

I have no idea why people are either lovers or haters of eggplant! I grew up in an Italian household and eggplant was very common and I love it But as an adult - and PARTICULARLY since I moved to the west coast - I have met more eggplant haters than I ever would have thought! I'm not talking about mild dislike, I'm talking HATERS!! I have one friend who will actually nearly gags at the sound of the word...and she claims to not have had a "bad experience" with it...she just can't stand it!

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 5 years ago

I have no idea why people are either lovers or haters of eggplant! I grew up in an Italian household and eggplant was very common and I love it But as an adult - and PARTICULARLY since I moved to the west coast - I have met more eggplant haters than I ever would have thought! I'm not talking about mild dislike, I'm talking HATERS!! I have one friend who will actually nearly gags at the sound of the word...and she claims to not have had a "bad experience" with it...she just can't stand it!

0236a64a 6089 48f7 8ce6 5b790ad33fd9  0605111238
added about 5 years ago

i still find that grown men (my dad for one) shy away from green vegetables. they'll eat them, maybe it's not polarizing, but for something like swiss chard, it needs to be presented with other foods and cooked to a proper texture; also raw vegetables need to be in the right format for a lot of people (cabbage should be very finely shredded for a lot of people, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. vegetables need at least a light dressing or better yet a blanch-and-dress)

8a5161fb 3215 4036 ad80 9f60a53189da  buddhacat
SKK
added about 5 years ago

You are so right, R! I forgot how much time I spent sneaking green vegetables into recipes for my Dad after Mom passed. If he knew it was anything but carrots and peas, he wasn't interested.

48dd002c 4c45 4b84 8006 ac8614d467cd  dsc00859 2
creamtea

Lisanne is a trusted home cook.

added about 5 years ago

chocolate eclairs. chucked one up when I was about 7. Haven't had one since.

401c5804 f611 451f a157 c693981d8eef  mad cow deux
pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added about 5 years ago

Back to Sam the SPAM, you could try out my Tiki Taco Tuesday recipe which actually turned out pretty well. One of the residual effects of WWII in Hawaii (apart from blown up stuff at the bottom of Pearl Harbor) is a local infatuation with SPAM. Even though I hate visiting Honolulu they actually do some pretty cool stuff with what is otherwise a godawful product. I'm just preparing for the day when I might have to live off it and MRE's like the new caffinated jerky.

F8c5465c 5952 47d4 9558 8116c099e439  dscn2212
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added about 5 years ago

Pierino, I have a good friend who grew up in Hawaii and owns, to me, the best restaurant within 500 miles, and he loves to tell SPAM stories. On another thread, I told a story about force-feeding calamari to my students in the first week of each session. They'll all swear they hate it, whether they have ever tasted it or not. I use Canned's Pan Roasted Calamari Salad with Tomatoes and Avocadoes because it's fast and the flavors are intense and familiar except of course for the calamari. By the end of the week, they're all converts to the second law of the kitchen: ATE - always taste everything. First law? Kill no one.

8a5161fb 3215 4036 ad80 9f60a53189da  buddhacat
SKK
added about 5 years ago

My Dad loved Spam. He was a WWII vet. He liked it fried with potatoes, cold in sandwiches and something called Spam salad. He like to eat it with his brothers and they told WWII stories. They were all in the Pacific, I think because they were all second generation German. Never developed a taste for it myself. And I do have friends who like Spam pizza with pineapple.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 5 years ago

Add your answer here

8a5161fb 3215 4036 ad80 9f60a53189da  buddhacat
SKK
added about 5 years ago

And I love huckleberries picked in the mountains of Montana, especially when we pick them. Some people think they are too bitter - makes no sense to me.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 5 years ago

I hate olives. Husband loves them. I can't even kiss him afterward because of the residue taste. Gross!

0f493ab9 068f 4498 ba2c 95c992214d52  sit2
Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

added almost 5 years ago

This is still a great thread, thanks SKK!

I'm surprised no one mentioned Miracle Whip, but then again that's a not really food.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 5 years ago

Although I love it, there are too many people I know who can't stand cumin. I don't understand it at all!

357b354b 4c02 43ad 8664 b674194054ea  me.pie.cookbooks
added almost 5 years ago

I have found that lots of people don't like lamb. Moreover, I don't think most people even think about it because when I invite new people to dinner I always ask: "Food allergies or aversions I should be aware of when preparing the menu?" They will either tell me something specific (peanuts, dairy, 'we're vegetarians') or "oh no, we like everything". But once I say "Great, I've wanted to make X lamb dish for a while now" they get silent or change their tune.
In another setting some one once said, " Who even eats lamb?" wow
http://food52.com/recipes...

Dd37bb46 8f4f 4ac0 a5ff 2e6fa98b5ed9  fb avatar
added almost 5 years ago

I absolutely can't stand the taste of goat cheese.

B8f19483 b6dd 4ee8 b288 d1e5d79af410  face
added almost 5 years ago

okra seems to gross people out, but i love it...pickled; in gumbo; fried - its all good!

B8f19483 b6dd 4ee8 b288 d1e5d79af410  face
added almost 5 years ago

okra seems to gross people out, but i love it...pickled; in gumbo; fried - its all good!

F7ea5aff 4c02 43dd 835f 164969b072a8  yo face
added almost 5 years ago

Rainbow cookies or seven layer cookies. I love them and make them often, but I find people either hate them or love them. I suspect the haters have had flavorless, dry ones that seems to appear in every deli in NY. Made correctly, they are amazing!

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 5 years ago

Personal hatred: cucumber and raw celery.
Crowd dividers: anchovies, olives.
I would erradicate cucumber from the planet the stench is that strong.

7c4e3778 a9ef 4b22 a4b5 bb759212c530  dsc 6356
added almost 5 years ago

Not a fan of cabbage, guava and green olives! Love artichokes, black olives, spring onions, fenugreek leaves. I can imagine why so many hate okra.. But, I do like if it is fried and sprinkled with curry powder... I have a friend who belongs to southern India, and she hates bananas.. Bananas are staple to the south of India... Btw I love cilantro and basil...

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
mai
added almost 5 years ago

Don't like bananas either, hate cilantro but like coriander, go figure

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
mai
added almost 5 years ago

Don't like raw tomatoes either, they have to be cooked! Absolutely!

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 5 years ago

My five siblings and I all hate coconut!

685bd191 f097 437f 8cba 7f650f71d209  stringio
added almost 5 years ago

Definitely hate cilantro, love lemon

2b00435b fe24 44bb afe2 ad3364f28f79  1390710 10151917400148928 1193325941 n 1
added almost 5 years ago

I was in China recently and had the unique displeasure of eating One Thousand Year Old Eggs (not really 1,000 years old, but aged for quite awhile in salt and ash). They are loved by the Chinese and hated by people who did not grow up eating them. Also, some Nordic foods, primarily some of their cured seafood, are strongly disliked by me.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 4 years ago

Pickles

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 4 years ago

Pickles