Everyone has a food nemesis or several. I grew up with a lot of different food and generally think myself a very open-minded eater. Whenever I travel to another country, I try everything at least once. There’s a few things I really can’t abide though and not for lack of trying!
1. Spawn of the seven perfumed hells: Fennel
Fennel is the absolute worst and needs to die in a dark corner surrounded by starving rabbits. It really is rabid food and more power to them – it smells like stingy grandma perfume and ruins every salad. Steamed or cooked to death fennel is still half-vile and only tolerable underneath a thick coat of sauce béchamel and cheese (usually gratin). I want to forget everything I ever had to do with fennel.
2. Satan’s soapy brother: Cilantro / Coriander (fresh)
My first real Cilantro encounter happened with Mexican food in California. I was hungry and super psyched about nachos with salsa in a restaurant in Monterrey, only to find the fresh tomato flavor disgustingly disturbed….by soap! WHAT IS THIS MADNESS?? WHYYY??……………….Anyway, I recently learned it’s a genetic thing (or maybe some tastebuds are just broken), in any case no Cilantro for me, kthxbai! This is why Thai curry > Indian curry.
3. The squishy gnomes: Mushrooms
Okay this is where I feel a little ashamed because mushrooms are considered a delicacy almost anywhere in the world and they’re certainly a great source of protein. It’s just that I can’t stand them and I’ve tried a lot of varieties. Also, fungus IS kinda nasty if you think about it, I mean it even eats people! …..
The earthy flavor and slimy texture of some mushrooms gives me cold sweats. Am okay with morel cream sauce but anything else is torture.
4. Garbage from the Ocean: Seafood (and sushi)
I love cooked fish – seabass, trout, salmon, tuna, you name it. I’ll eat cold fish in salad or a sandwich. Fish is healthy and full of omega-something-trendy and we’ve still got about 30 years to go before we’ve completely rid the oceans of all of them. Everything that ain’t fish however is disgusting and should remain in the water. Shrimps are spongy little monsters trying to facehug you when you’re not looking, mussels are pandora’s box and squid would better serve as a hairband. Go away seafood!
5. The wicked sisters: Anise, Licorice and Cumin
None of these should be allowed anywhere near food that isn’t a Christmas cookie. Nuff said.
6. More’s the pity: Bell peppers / paprika
I like the taste of paprika! I wanna eat it on pizza or as stuffed dolma with wonderful secrets inside! But here I am outwitted by fate because for whatever reason, peppers don’t sit well with me at all, especially raw ones but cooked ones too. Not going into any details here, mostly I get stomach cramps for the rest of the day. I have an anti-pepper digestive track or something, screaming <INTRUDER ALERT!> every time I give it a try.
It’s funny how that works with food we don’t enjoy or can’t stomach. Real allergies aside, I remain convinced it’s a psychological thing – many (not all) of the foods we hate were likely also avoided by our parents (or whoever cooked for you) or simply not served in our home and immediate environment. I mean, I doubt I’d hate mushrooms if I was a wild boar.
That reminds me, I didn’t like tomatoes as a kid either but somehow I acquired a taste for them. They’re a good excuse to eat all the mozzarella. Is there any food you’ve tried over and over and still can’t take or are you an easy food adopter?