"To be too certain of anything is the beginning of bigotry." -- Novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

What Are Your Least Favorite Foods?

     Yesterday B sent me up to the store with a short shopping list. I thought I knew all her preferences. Tropicana orange juice with no pulp. Twinings tea, not Lipton; decaffeinated. And we both drink only 1% milk.

     But I made a mistake. I brought home Hunt's ketchup instead of Heinz.

     "Well, what's wrong with Hunt's?" I asked. "Besides, you didn't specify Heinz."

     "You never looked in the refrigerator, and noticed what kind of ketchup we have?"

     "Um, I guess not," I confessed.

     So do you have your favorite foods, and your favorite brands? And the ones you simply cannot tolerate? It seems silly. What's the difference between Hunt's and Heinz? And yet, I know, Coke and Pepsi are essentially the same thing -- sugar water with food coloring. But I like Coke, not Pepsi.

     When I was a kid, each of us was allowed to "reject" one food that we didn't like. If my mom served it, we didn't have to eat it. But otherwise, we were expected to eat what was served to us . . . because, you know there were people starving in China. My parents were children of the Depression. And they did not like to waste food, or anything else.

     I rejected broccoli. But when my mother served cauliflower, I would claim that, no, it wasn't broccoli I'd rejected, it was cauliflower. No, not broccoli, cauliflower!

     But now, ironically, I actually like both broccoli and cauliflower.

     Today, there are a lot of cheeses I do not like. Blue cheese, for example, and Parmesan. And I do not like goat cheese. B and I were out the other evening, and we split a sandwich. B asked me if I liked it. "Yeah, it was pretty good," I replied.

     "It had goat cheese in it," she said.

     "It did?" I replied, startled. "No, it didn't. I didn't taste any goat cheese."

     "I'm pretty sure it did." She was enjoying this . . . maybe she thinks I'm a finicky eater. I swore off red meat a few years ago. I don't like garlic. I don't like a lot of New Agey stuff like couscous and hummus.

     I couldn't believe there was goat cheese on the sandwich. Goat cheese has such a distinctive flavor -- it tastes like a barnyard. I would have noticed it. So I asked the server. And he informed me that, yes, the sandwich did indeed have goat cheese in it.

     So don't tell us your favorite food -- it's always chocolate, right? Don't tell us what you're allergic to -- like gluten or peanuts. Tell us: What foods do you just not like? The foods you cannot stomach. I do not like foods that stink (like goat cheese or blue cheese). I do not like croutons in my salad or soup. (Why would you put toast in your soup?!?)

     And despite what B thinks, I believe I'm being perfectly reasonable -- not like, you know, making a big deal out of ketchup.

     Anyway, I guess the French have a phrase for it: a chacun son gout. But I have a new theory -- I think that goat cheese gave me bad dreams the other night!


DJan said...

Ha! It was the goat cheese that made you have those crazy dreams, huh? I am not a fan of okra or other slimy foods, canned corn or most canned vegetables, for that matter. I also won't eat either of those ketchups you mentioned, too much sugar. I kind of feel the same way you do about goat cheese, and I always look for sheep feta rather than goat for that reason.

Douglas said...

There are foods I routinely avoid, like onions, because they bother me later (I have acid reflux) but I do not reject anything placed in front of me. Faye hates (and refuses to eat) most all veggies, primarily the cooked ones. But when I go shopping, I rely on store brands as I have found them to be as good as most brand name types.

Mac n' Janet said...

Hate liver, just to smell it makes me nauseous. Don't like cheese in any foods other than Italian, hate the idea of just flinging cheese into anything. Hate macaroni and cheese, no tripe, most fish, scallops. Am I finicky? Indeed I am.

Anonymous said...

I hate arugula. Too bitter. Ugh.

Anonymous said...

I just wrote a message, voila it disappeared..My point is that you all could help the hungry and also help human beings..Most where I volunteer don't complain at all never heard one word, they love my cookies and my cakes and my homemade breads and soups and lasagna and I do vegetarian a lot..No one complains, I was taught if one did not like a food on one's plate as a child one bite was all that was required one bite..Most who are hungry will attest to the fact a hot meal and a nice word helps them thru bitter cold raining days here in this part of the pacific northewst, I hear everything, it is outrageous in the richest country and the best country in all of the world many hunger and I mean hunger, no jobs, housing exorbitant and rain and snow and ice, high prices for gasoline and low wages well you know the drill...We need some kind of safety stop for those who do jobs in excess of 60 hours and still help in their families and adore their husbands/wives and tiny baby dolls..It just seems to me a person who can go on and on about goat cheese well you know what I mean really???? Try to remember in your column that not ALL PEOPLE ENJOY YOUR LEVEL OF COMFORT IN LIVING AT ALL, MANY DON'T EVEN HAVE A PLACE TO STAY LET ALONE COMPLAIN ABOUT GOAT CHEESE, OR FOR THAT MATTER ANY KIND OF CHEESE OR FOOD...I had to get this off my mind as I am readying myself for a big feast at the place I volunteer, pork shoulder carnitas, rice(s) and home made tortillas, cuttee oranges, salads galore and some cookies an actual bakery donated made with real butter and loving decorated (after the feast of course) plus backpacks for the kiddos, toys and some gift cards for the adults so they may pay their utilities and get some groceries a big big day for me and those who are there to volunteer, it makes it great for me to sleep well at night..ciao!

stephen Hayes said...

I'm not a big fan of corn, but I will not under any circumstance eat creamed corn. When I was a kid I'd go to bed without any supper if creamed corn was on my plate, and that says a lot about a chubby kid. To me, it just looks like vomit. Also, cream soda makes me throw up.

Rosaria Williams said...

I used to hate mayo and avocado. Now, I crave them in sandwiches. Go figure.

June said...

Mussels. They stink like dirty ears. Ew.

And there's one other thing that I don't like, can't stomach, but I can't recall what it is. I must not be challenged by it very often.

When I was little my father would remind us, if we didn't clean our plates, that he had seen children eating out of garbage cans in Belgium during WWII. Waste not, want not . . . all that. I don't know if that's why I have such catholic taste. I've always assumed I was simply gluttonous.

Anonymous said...

I think I have the worse food fetish of all. I don't like food, any kind of food, cooked by another person. That's because once, at a dinner party, the hostess knowingly served rancid roast beef. A few times I've gotten hair in the food. Another time, I bit into someone's finger nail.
No thanks!
DH and I rarely eat food cooked by someone else. I can't tell you how many times I've seen the host or hostess taste their cooking food with a spoon and then put that same spoon back into the pot! Am I sickening anyone yet? Join my club.
I'm even wary in restaurants, as I only have a few that I trust (and go to again and again because I know everyone there).
Other than that, I eat just about anything! There really is nothing I dislike. That's because I only cook what I like. Duh?

Florence said...

Beets. Oysters. Crawfish. Yuck.

Olga said...

I dislike goat cheese and liver and I would not go out of my way to eat sardines.

Janette said...

Oysters- really anything that is slimy.
You should reconsider whole milk. My husband has gone to whole everything. His cholesterol has dropped and so has his weight!

Anonymous said...

As I grow older, I find myself eating more of the foods my Ad loved...hot, tart, i.e., like horseradish! I have mostly trained David to bring home certain brands, however, I buy many items myself, like my favorite, tea, coffee, marmalade, etc. from Amazon.

Tom said...

Yeah, add liver, mussels and arugula to my list, too. But I like beets, oysters, scallops and ... hey, what's the matter with corn? Corn's, like, the all-American dish! (Although, to be honest, we get most of our corn fresh from B's brother-in-law's garden.)

Meryl Baer said...

Hate little round green peas that come in a can (usually with carrots). My Mom served them all the time. Don't like oysters and other slimy foods. Grapes are my least favorite fruit.

Linda Myers said...

Cannot abide Miracle Whip (Hellman/Best Foods mayonnaise is all I get). Don't like raw onions or garlic or anythings spicy like peppers. No canned vegetables except corn. Don't like rye bread except on a Reuben. Dislike scallops.

Surprising to write this list!

Hauola said...

I don't like black olives straight out of the can or container. I love them sliced up in a salad or as a topping on pizza. I do have specific brands of foods I will choose over others. P.S. Dear deleted 'Anonymous' poster, I think…you have clearly conveyed…your dislike…for goat cheeses…and in that process brought self-embarrassment with an unrelated overly lengthy, off-topic rant.

Kirk said...

I dislike anything related to cabbage (broccoli, cauliflower, etc.) Also dislike cooked celery but like it raw. No beets for me either.

I like diet Coke better than diet Pepsi.

Otherwise I'll eat most anything mentioned in the posts here. Oysters, crawfish, liver, goat cheese: bring 'em on.

BethB from Indiana said...

It's the texture of certain foods that gets me: I dislike cooked mushrooms in any form, but fresh ones are OK on a salad. I love apples, but hate cooked apples in pies, tarts, etc., yet I love applesauce if it is completely smooth, no chunks.

So it is more often the texture or the slimy factor--avocado, for instance. Others it is the feel of it as I bite into it--can't stand most seafood such as crab, lobster, oysters, mussels, etc. because of either the "feel of it " factor as I chew it or the "icky to think about it" factor.

Probably all of this is just in my head--but I will not eat anything I don't want to anymore, just because someone wants me to try it or says it is good for me. I'm 65, and its my choice--to eat or not to eat something !

Dick Klade said...

I dislike large, waxy olives in martinis. Otherwise, I'm ok with just about anything that once was growing.

Anonymous said...

Of the "normal" foods (not stuff like brains or sweetbreads), I cannot eat olives or kidney/lima beans. It's a texture thing...slimy on the outside, mealy on the inside. Also cannot eat sardines from a can or herring from a jar. Ugh.

I'm extremely partial to Hellman's mayo, Nathan's hotdogs, Arnold's wheat bread, Blue Bell ice cream and probably other stuff.