Foods You Love or Hate

I was reading this thread and thought about other foods that have little or no middle ground. Some of them are my favorites. Let’s start with;

Licorice

As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Licorice is the liver of candies.” Either you love it or hate it. Myself, I go for the most perverted licorices of all, the salted ones from Europe. The saltier the better, some of them just about curl your toes. Much is the same for me with liver. Fried liver, or more aptly, “fried mud” is something I cannot stand. Yet I love paté and liverpaste, go figure. So the next one is;

Liver

How anyone can consume fried liver (onions or no) is beyond me. The stuff makes red and blue spots appear in front of my eyes when I (briefly) try to eat some. How can people possibly love this crap? Give me a nice paté anyday.

Pickled Herring

As I type this, I am scoffing down some wine and vinegar soaked herring. Man, is this stuff awesome. Otherwise known as Danish sushi, it is the nectar of the Gods. Herring is one of the ideal foods, with its slight alkaline excess and fish oils, this is the good life.

Oysters

As the old saying goes, “The first man to eat an oyster was either very brave or very hungry.” For many years, I refused to touch anything but completely disfigured oysters in the form of smoked baby oysters. On my 31[sup]st[/sup] birthday at a superb French restaurant, my lady ordered the Bienville oysters flown in that day from Spain on a reserved seat in a 747. In a word, they were sublime. I tasted one and immediately ordered another plate of them. I am now hooked on oysters and slurp 'em down without a blink. With, of course, the exception of the large Pacific oysters. I have had better head colds, thank you.

Sushi

The same lover also took me for sushi the very first time. Neither of us had ever had it, but I knew that if I was ever to call myself a chef, I had better try this classic cuisine. On my 30[sup]th[/sup] birthday, off we went to Tenichi, in Palo Alto, California for sushi. One taste and I was pretty well hooked. A few months later when I finally managed to figure out how to mix the soy sauce and wasabi to dip in, it became the full scale (as it were) addiction that it is today. I almost bought ahi tuna for sashimi this morning. Since acquiring a fondness for this delectable foodstuff, I have been able to rack up a $60.[sup]00[/sup] tab at the sushi bar, all by my widdle lonesome.

Mushrooms

I used to hate fungi but am now a huge fan of them. I think that mushrooms and cheese were mainly a kid’s palate sort of thing for me. As I grew up, such flavors became less intense and I was able to finally discern them from body odors and other unappetizing things. Which leads us to:

Stinky Cheese

Cheese, in general, used to make me hurl as a child (see above). I was only able to consume Monterey Jack and Danish Tybo as a child. Finaly, in my twenties, I had a mildly decent (Bob’s Big Boy) blue cheese dressing and have snarfed stinky cheeses ever since. I am even eyeing the Limburger and Leiderkranz furtively at the store these days. I draw the line at Italian maggot cheese though.

Dill Pickles

Remember those huge leathery, slime swadled pickles in the jar at the deli? That is what shaped all of my early perceptions about pickles as a youth. Finally, I tried a Claussen’s dill pickle and have been a big fan of them ever since. They are now a critical component of any hamburger I eat. Which leads us to the most weird one of all, for me:

Gravy

As a child I could not bear the thought of having gravy on my potatoes or food. I suppose this had to do with the fact that as a young boy I adhered to Red Green’s addage that; “For men there are two food groups; meat and salt.” To me, gravy just got in the way of the salted meat, or worse yet, actually rinsed off some of the salt from my meat. Such a thing was intolerable for hyperactive (pass the salt please) little old me.
Anyway, let’s hear from all of you out there about foods that you detest or ones that you used to hate but now love. We’re talking about chow with no twilight zone here. Can’t be something like Fruit Loops versus Captain Crunch, were talking about major gustatory dissonance.

Okra–I love the stuff, even when it’s slightly on the slimy side, probably because it’s included in some really tasty dishes. If you don’t like it you haven’t had my masala-stuffed okra.

Fish, in general–I find that, aside from fried fish that basically has no discernible flavor, the world is divided into fish people and no fish people.

Real wine, real beer, real whiskey, etc. There are those who actually like the unadorned taste of their alcoholic drinks, and those who want their drinks to taste like either a soft drink, or dessert.

Tofu–Considering how bland it is, it provokes a surprisingly strong reaction in people. Some of us actually buy it on purpose, to put into our stirfries–yes, even if there was actual chicken sitting right next to it.

Spaghetti–this is a purely personal one (like the gravy.) The majority of people seem to think that spaghetti is fabulous stuff and will go on and on about their grandma’s sauce recipe. Eh. It’s about the last thing on the menu I would ever order. I think I’ve said before that my husband is probably the one man in American who has to go out to get spaghetti for dinner.

I just want to take a few minutes in this thread to thank everyone for making my stay here a pleasant one. It had been a great honor to be a moderator here and I’ll miss you all. I say this because as sure as there are stars in the sky, Little Ed is going to fire my butt to the moon when he reads what I’m about to report.

I absolutely love hot dogs.

With ketchup.

Anchovies

I love them. I’m cooking with them tonight, in fact. I couldn’t help nibbling at pieces as I chopped them. I finally had enough though, and threw out the 2 remaining in the tin.

But most of my family hates them. I drool over them though.

I would rather be felched by a syphiliptic Serlin than eat baked beans.

Well, maybe not. But it’d be a tough choice.

Yoghurt too.

Bread
I absolutely adore bread, I’ve been known to eat a whole loaf a day.

My very favourite meal is quite a simple one:
Baked (or better still barbecued) fresh mackerel, broken up into chunks on top of thickly buttered granary (malted wholegrain) bread, maybe with a little dollop of hot horseradish alongside it on the plate, my mouth is watering now just thinking about it.

I like liver, My wife makes a fantastic liver casserole, after finishing it up there’s always a good few ladles of gravy left in the dish, which enables me to have one of my other firm favourites; Bread and gravy (the bread soaked in gravy and eaten with a knife and fork.

It’s my kind of unnoficial mission to constantly seek out new taste experiences; along the way, I’ve tried:
Squirrel (OK, just like rabbit really)
Kangaroo (nice, very meaty taste)
Ostrich (very nice indeed)
Alligator (indifferent)
Pigeon (wow yummmeeee)
Snails (not worth it; I’ll only be eating these again if I get shipwrecked on snail island)

I can’t resist buying a new exotic fruit if I see one in the supermarket.

I can’t bring myself to eat oysters, maybe if they were fried or something, but raw/live they look like snot.

One day I’m gonna pluck up the courage to try locusts or wychetty(sp) grubs or some other insects… one day… not tomorrow.

Mushrooms; I’m lucky in that the UK countryside is a rich source of all sorts of wild mushrooms (if you know what to look for, I do).

Stinky cheese: mmmm, stilton, Danish blue, Castello, Roquefort. (less stinky): mature cheddar that is so mature and strong it has little crunchy grains of whey in it… mmmmm.

Love:
Oysters. Steamed, fried or raw, I love the slimy buggers.
Mussels. Steamed, with garlic butter for dipping.
Mushrooms. Hated them as a kid, now I love them.
Chocolate. Mmmmmmm…almost better than sex. (I said almost!)
Spicy Kosher hotdogs, with a little chopped onion and a drizzle of ketchup.
Vidalia onions.
Garden-fresh Beefsteak tomatoes.

Hate:
Licorice. It’s just vile.
Liver.
Sweet pickles. They are an abomination. Dills are great, but what jerk came up with sweet pickles?
Marinara Sauce. I like meat sauce, and regular tomato sauce, but something about marinara (the spices, maybe?) just turns my stomach. Yuck. I hate getting it with mozzarella sticks. It smells like vomit.
Peaches. I know, it’s weird, but I can’t stand peaches. Canned, frozen, fresh, peach tea, peach pie, peach melba, yuck, no thanks. They taste like dish soap.
Zucchini. Same as peaches, I just don’t like it.
Eggplant. Ditto.

Hate:

White Button Mushrooms: the ubiquitous ones. I love every other type of mushroom, but these little things taste like slimey sponges to me. Blech.

Broccoli: It’s OK in stuff, but fresh broccoli as a side? Not for me. I’ll take asparagus any day.

Artichokes: Rapidly going into the broccoli category. Used to think I liked these, but had 'em last week and really couldn’t see the point. Those little artichokes in brine are good, but fresh ones? Bleah.

And speaking of artichokes, put Hollandaise sauce on the list, too. I know people go nutso over this stuff, but honestly, I don’t see the point. Tasteless, oily sauce.

Love:

Just about everything not listed above. OK, some of my favorites:

Pate: Ymmmm… I can eat this forever
Licorice: have not had the pleasure of the salted stuff (yet) but look forward to the first taste. I love it.
Sushi: It’s been a long time since I even considered this an acquired taste. How can you NOT like it?

And finally, one Love/Hate category: Oysters. I love fried oysters, baked oysters, oysters rockefeller, etc. But raw ones? I keep trying to like them, but I just can’t. I even used to like them, but I’ve lost it. I just can’t bear to eat these things raw, even after many beers.

I’m not finicky when it comes to food.
The only issue I have is the way something is prepared - undercooked, overcooked, not enough this, not enough that, fresh or on the verge of spoiling.

As a child I was particular (hated boiled spinach, bleccch!) but I grew out of that as my taste buds matured (got numbed? Dunno.)

Today, the only things that I simply won’t eat are:

  • beets (taste like dirt, especially the red ones)

  • ludefisk (why this is even considered food I will never know)

  • fruitcake ('nuff said)

Oh…one more:

  • any internal organs of any animal (tripe, rocky mountain oysters, toungue, brain)

Muscle (except the heart) is just fine.

I hate condiments. This makes fast food difficult for me sometimes. Specifically, the smell of mustard makes me gag, let alone looking at it. For all I know, it tastes good, but I can’t get it within five feet or so of my nose. Ketchup…ick. Mayo…ewwww, stinky nasty goopy white stuff.

My mom’s ex-husband used to cook artichokes. Smelled up the house. I won’t get near the things. Ick.

Tomatoes. Tomato sauce is generally fine, but I hate chunks of tomato. My grandma thinks this is unnatural. She also gets my tomatoes when we’re in the same town.

Oddly, I absolutely love tofu. I have yet to eat a tofu dish that I dislike. Most people think this is weird. I’ve actually had people ask me, “What do you do with that stuff?” when I’ve bought it. What do you THINK?

I am so with you on mustard. It’s probably the main reason I could never be a chef – I can’t abide even the remotest hint of mustard in anything that enters my mouth. I once threw up at a football game when I bit into a hot dog that, unbeknownst to me, had mustard pre-applied to it. I’ve been able to discern its presence in packaged foods even when it’s the last or nearly the last ingredient listed.

Ketchup I like (so long as the vinegar and tomato predominate, and not the sugars), but mayo I’m also against, though I can and do occasionally eat things that contain it – I don’t have anything like the strong reaction to it that I do to mustard.

While we’re on the subject of condiments, I also don’t like pickles in any form, nor am I given to eating raw onions (or even cooked ones of any size). I think it’s a texture thing – I love the flavor of onions as an ingredient in cooked foods, but a large, discernable chunk of onion will usually get picked around. Which leads us back to . . .

Ditto. This is one of the very few things my wife and I have in common. We both actively like tomato-based sauces, ketchup, etc., but dislike raw tomatoes or substantial chunks of cooked tomatoes. She actually hates them more than I do (unusual, since I’m the far pickier eater), but we’ll both leave behind the bigger pieces in a tomato-based sauce.

French’s mustard I love.

Dijon? Never in a million years.

I’m a food whore, a hopeless omnivore with a huge bump of curiosity. The list of things I don’t like is very short but favorites tend to vary by what my mouth is set for at the moment.

Aversions

chicken liver: the only way I like ANY liver is in pate–which rocks. I can choke down cooked beef liver, etc. to be polite. But chicken liver is the only food that simply locks my throat. The taste is incredibly repellent to me, coppery/metallic and thoroughly hateful. I like a lot stronger, weirder tastes so I don’t know why this one is so dreadful.

***cinnamon ***: it’s bearable in very small doses. Even a whiff of cinnamon gum, potpourri, mouthwash, etc. sends a cold shiver across my skin. This makes no sense but so 'tis. (I happily substitute clove and nutmeg. Go figger.)

lutefisk: I’ve waxed long, profane and obscene about this. This isn’t food; hell, it isn’t even honest BAIT. Fish jello served hot–with melted butter. This is one of my worst culinary memories. It’s an oddity but one worth loathing.

cauliflower: it’s the sheet rock of the veggie world. Oh, I can eat it when pressed but WHY? It requires finicking care when cooked and still tastes blah. Even thin-sliced as a “dip scoop”–blech. Crisp a tortilla wedge or slice a carrot.

Affinities

This one is almost endless: oysters, squid, okra, stinky cheeses, cilantro, organ meats (if someone else cooks 'em; they’re tricky), sushi, soft shell crab (ANY crab), mussels, lobster, catfish, crayfish, num pla, garlic–homey foods like mac and cheese, bread pudding, REAL fried chicken, just-picked corn and vine tomatoes–, key lime pie, pasta of any antecedent, anchovies, fresh berries–lemons, preserved and fresh; sour cherries and whatever popped into sugar with brandy/vodka/whatever and transformed through time–mustards, ketchups, capers, crisp pickles, Vidalia onions, Smithfield hams, bacon (BACON!)…

:::head smacks back from therapeutic smack:::

Sorry. Zoned out there for a minute.

Food is a constant gift, joy and blessing.
Except chicken livers.
They suck.

Veb

I hate fresh tomatoes. I can choke down cooked ones but the raw ones? Gag me. They look almost fetal with all the goop and seeds. And the texture :frowning:

Oh, and I love okra, slime and all. I don’t know why, because the resemblance of oysters to mucus causes me to avoid them like the plague, but okra slime is okay by me.

I used to hate seafood. Especially things you had to take a shell off in order to eat. Then my sister’s roommate took me to a Chinese buffet and had me try king crab legs. Lots of work, but delicious! And I like fish. But I will never eat a mudbug (crayfish, crawdad, what have you). I used to have a pet crayfish named Jean-Luc and I could never eat one of his cousins.

The same girl had me try sushi. Never again. Ick ick ick. And the smell of wasabi makes me unhappy.

I hate hamburgers. Anything made with hamburger meat. I just don’t like the way it feels in my mouth for some reason.

Hate with a passion:

Tomatoes – I can do alright with a tomato-based sauce (as long as there are enough spices to mask the flavour and no chunks). I don’t even like Ketchup.

Mayonaise - I’ll admit that part of my dislike of this condiment is the threat of food poisoning.

Beets :: shudders ::

Sweet Pickles – I love dill pickles, but sweet ones are an gross.

Fish – I could tolerate tuna salad, but that’s it. I don’t even like being around when this stuff is cooking. Though I do like shellfish (crab, shrimp, lobster)

Love completely:

Chocolate – Dark, first and foremost, but I like milk as well. White chocolate is an abomination.

Potatos – Anyway these are made, I’ll eat them.

Mushrooms – Again, I can’t think of anyway that you could prepare these that I wouldn’t eat them, including raw.

Cheese – Oh, I love cheese.

Bread – Especially warm fresh baked bread that melts in your mouth.

There’s more, but I’m hungry now, so I’m stopping :slight_smile:

I absolutely dislike…

Raw Tomatoes

Bell Peppers

English Peas

I like pretty much everything else. As a wilderness survival instructor, I have eaten many odd things, but most everything that can be food is ok by me.

Oh, wait- That Southeast Asian fish sauce? Nuoc Mam? That shit is truly vile. Tastes like a ruptured abscese!

I have only three strong dislikes in the whole food world:

  1. Sweet Relish (I have been known to scream at people that trick me into putting sweet relish on my hot dog).
  2. Chestnuts - they sound so good in Christmas songs yet they are disgusting when you eat them.
  3. Beets - 'nuff said