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Thursday, March 24, 2011

250

How to Like Food

Is there a certain food you find disgusting but wish you didn't? Oysters? Martinis? Coffee? Something other people enjoy but that looks and tastes repulsive to you? Well, you, too, can enjoy it by following these eight simple steps. Or, if this doesn't work, oh well, you had a few mouthfuls of food you didn't like.

Quick backstory: I used to like nothing. I ate only cereal, pasta, and ice cream, and when I ordered a sandwich I ordered it with white bread, turkey, and mayonnaise — mustard, lettuce, and tomatoes being too freaky and exotic. Then I did this thing when I thought that [mumble, mumble, mumble — long story about falling down a culty nutritional website late one night in 2002], so I forced myself to start eating and liking vegetables. And it worked, and within a month I loved everything except for coffee, licorice, and uni, but then a couple years later I decided to like coffee and uni, so I used this method ("method" — it's basically "eat the foods a few times," spoiler) and now I like them. I still hate licorice, though, but I enjoy hating that.

Anyway, here's how to do it.

1. Truly, genuinely want to like the food you don't like. You'll see people slurping down oysters, for example, and you'll think, "They're just some nasty flaps from the sea, but whenever I say I don't like them I feel like some uncultured goon. Plus they're so expensive, and what, I can't appreciate expensive things? Oh yes I can!"

2. Try it. At home, in public, wherever, although if the food is at all improved by presentation/preparation/quality I'd recommend trying it with a someone who knows what a good version of it looks/smells/feels like. Most foods run the gamut from awful to fancy, so if you're trying to break into a whole group — say, olives — start with a fancy olive that your friend recommends rather than a green one you pulled out of some ancient jar. OK, also, I know that most people like olives, and I feel a little ridiculous at this point — "put it inside your mouth and crush it up with your chompy things until it slides down the back" — but whatever. Everyone has a food they wish they liked, right? Is this whole thing idiotic? Anyway let's keep going. You eat some of the food.

3. Oh! It's disgusting! Drink a bunch of water/wine to wash out the taste — how can it have been even grosser than you imagined? For real, why and how are human beings designed to swallow that? That can't be right. But it is, they do, and you still theoretically want to be one of those people, maybe.

4. A couple weeks/months later it'll come up again organically. You're out with friends for steak, and one of them orders bone marrow to share. Or some girl at dinner offers to split the mushroom appetizer. Enough time has passed that you don't vividly remember how disgusting the bone marrow/mushrooms were last time, and you still want to like them, so you say, "Yes, I will share that mushroom croquette with you." And eh, it's pretty gross still. Not a big deal, though.

5. You come across it again a couple weeks later, and you give it a whirl. It's not good, but it's not awful. Oh, interesting, are you taking another bite?

6. One more time, a couple weeks later. This time you find you kind of wanted to taste it. Whaaat? Strange but true. You eat it — more than a few bites, and it's pretty good. Nothing spectacular, but there you go. You're officially someone who eats that food.

7. Next time you come across it, you want it. You order it. You like it.

8. For the rest of your life you love this thing, and you can never go back. (Unless something weird happens, like it gives you food poisoning, or you get pregnant and your body freaks out in unanticipated ways.) The end.

Bonus: I believe this works well with drug addiction, too. For instance, I'm perpetually on stage five with cigarettes, but I'm pretty sure I can soon break through to stage six.

Photo via Flickr

Tags:

food, eating, ez

250 Comments / Post A Comment

Connor

I live in a place where oysters are fished right off the shore and often served fresh later that afternoon. There are street vendors who buy them from fisherman and sell them in town for $3 or $4 an oyster. Sometimes less.

They still suck and are gross.

theharpoon

You're wrong.

Edith Zimmerman

You have to WANT to want them, Connor. And they are so good.

boyofdestiny

Oysters are fine, but I really only use them as a vehicle for horseradish.

Bittersweet

I used to love clams and oysters on the half shell, but then I got pregnant. 9 years later, I still can't even think of them without heaving a little. Reason #57 why pregnancy is a bitch.

Tammy Pajamas

Me too! And the shallot-y vinegar (aka mignonette)!

Josh

Connor, where is this magical place? I don't think you should live there no more. You are wasting it.

Connor

Prince Edward Island, Canada!

Tish

PEI! No one's done it yet, so I'm going to go right ahead and declare my undying love for the TV adaptations of Anne of Green Gables.

atipofthehat

The way I eat oysters is, I go to Sheepshead Bay and get fried clams instead, with lots of cocktail sauce.

DorothyMantooth

I used to not like oysters. But then I basically really did work the Edith Method and now I actually get, like, full-on cravings for them! It totally works, y'all!

Charismatic Megafauna

Jesus Christ, $3-$4 per oyster on the street???? Where is this, St. Tropez???!

theharpoon

Good point, I didn't even notice the price he quoted! Pretty sure I've never paid that much for oysters.

Tristan Gray

Connor, Oysters only cost 2.00 each from the vendors, less if you buy them by the Kilogram off the warf. Get your facts straight and you life together.

ps. lets get some late lunch, i'm hungry.

MollyculeTheory

I did this with goat cheese, it really works!
I never disliked foie gras/pâté/terrine-type stuff exactly but sometimes my brain is still like "Giiiirl u eating organs" and I have to take deep breaths.

P.S. Licorice IS gross.

theharpoon

Edith. Licorice is also the only thing I hate hate hate! In terms of food. Well, probably not the only thing, but definitely the main thing.

hungrybee

I hold a firm anti-anise bias. Shit is vile.

fancypants

Pernod! So delicious! Mussels cooked in Pernod with more Pernod to drink before and after dinner!

Oh well, more for me.

MollyculeTheory

Weird, I adore Pernod (snails with Pernod butter!) & other anise-y drinks, and fennel, but black licorice in stick/jellybean/other candy form is objectively The Worst.

theharpoon

I'm definitely talking about licorice candy. Gross! My dad likes it (what a weirdo).

Argyle

Anise is the devil.

DELETED USER

You are all monsters. Anise is a wonderful spice, sweet and aromatic and unique. Use this method and learn to love it (I suggest drinking sambuca), you will never go back.

atipofthehat

Ever try star anise? GAG!

RocketSurgeon

One of the nastiest foods I've ever eaten was salted licorice. Strong black licorice but with tons of salt. Hork.

nonvolleyball

Edith--this is so true! with one exception: despite liking them when I was younger (& having no weird negative associational experiences with them), I hate scallops & apparently always will. my mom orders them a lot, & every couple of years I'll try one just to confirm &...yup, still totally hate them. it's pretty much the only food I don't like (& I heartily enjoy other forms of seafood), so it remains a mystery to me.

I will eat them if they're smoked, but c'mon--you could smoke a shoe & I'd prally eat it because it would taste like bacon.

Paige Colbert Van Otten

Hate them too! I mean, they don't make me gag exactly, but I just do not find them to be a pleasant texture at. all. Like chewy-ish soggy bread? I don't know. Just not a fan.

nonvolleyball

for me it's the sweetness. I know crab/lobster is supposedly sweet in the same way, but...I don't know, there's some invisible personal-grossness threshold that scallops totally overstep (although the chewiness certainly doesn't help matters).

theharpoon

I think chewiness means it's not cooked in the best possible way - they should be really moist and almost falling apart, in my opinion. God I love scallops. Chewy scallops sounds like dry, overcooked scallops.

nonvolleyball

perhaps--but I've eaten them in nicer restaurants, & my mom (who adores them) will be like, "oh, these are just AMAZING" & I still find them off-putting. it is a mystery!

on the flipside, the only food my highschool boyfriend wouldn't eat was cauliflower, which is just bizarre. I mean, it barely has a taste (& he had no problem with broccoli). so at least my weird aversion is associated with a unique flavor.

fancypants

I would dine on oysters and dry gin martinis every day 3x a day if I could afford it. My goal in life is to break free of my lower-middle class Midwestern upbringing and become the ultimate WASP.

Jolie Kerr

Well, you've already got the right pants for it!

Bettytron

You and me both, fancypants. You and me both.

elysian fields

Nothing irks me more than a picky eater. I briefly dated a dude who ate literally nothing but plain pasta with parmesan on top. Needless to say, things didn't work out.

However, I must concur that licorice is and always will be disgusting.

Paige Colbert Van Otten

I hate cooking for picky eaters BUT only when they don't know they're picky eaters. When I'm cooking for someone I tend to ask if they have dietary restrictions or things they don't like or whatever. If they say yes, perfect. I can do that. But when they say no, so I cook whatever I feel like, then they don't eat half the meal because it turns out they don't like cabbage or tomatoes or zucchini or beans or whatever...grrrr!

Argyle

Agreed! I was friends with a girl for years who hated hamburgers (?!!) because of their "texture" and only ate cheese and meat for fajitas and disliked "Asian food." She begrudgingly came with some friends and I to an Asian-fusion place and just sat their eating edemame and looking sad. Drove me NUTS.

MoonBat

I think the hamburgers thing.....well, let's just say for about 2 years I rejected all hamburgers, after biting into chunks of cow skellington in TWO BURGERS IN A ROW, and I used the "texture" excuse myself. But this friend sounds rather extreme.

Napoleon

Well this doesn't bode well for my older brother, then.

HE WILL NEVER HAVE A GIRLFRIEND :(

Katie Walsh

I LOVE LICORICE and I have since I was a wee lass. My Grandma always had black licorice in the freezer,I used to only eat the black jelly beans, I still use Tom's fennel toothpaste, and can also vividly remember the time I ordered licorice ice cream at an ice cream parlor at some old timey Western ghost town my family went to on vacation. It was so delicious.

Anyway, I have successfully done this process with whiskey and butternut squash, and I'm on stage 4 with steak and stage 1 with oatmeal (need therapy for the childhood trauma associated with oatmeal).

Katie Walsh

Oh and I have also successfully done this with mussels, but not oysters.

theharpoon

My mom always called oatmeal "hot cereal." I personally think this was a psychological trick to make us not hate it, although she denies it. The brown sugar, butter, and cream probably helped too though.

c.
c.

you can do so much with oatmeal... brown sugar, maple syrup, golden raisons, apples, bananas, blueberries, strawberries, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut. my friend's dad adds yogurt and cut up orange pieces to it, which sounds disgusting, but in reality is amazing. single serving flavored yogurts would probably work too. unless your trauma is rooted in texture, in which case the yogurt probably won't help. i bet applesauce and oatmeal is good too.

theinvisiblecunt

Oh, COCONUT FLAKES: THERE'S a texture I just can't handle. Coconut smells great, though

Katie Walsh

Yes, c. the gross-ness is the texture. You could put chocolate and whiskey on oatmeal and the texture would make me gag. I try it sometimes and my mouth makes a weird quivering rejection motion. Ick, oatmeal.

c.
c.

whoa. whiskey and oatmeal. scottish breakfast of champions.

Jolie Kerr

Oh man, I don't know. I'm scared? I cannot abide an egg but every 5 years or so will force myself to try a bite of scrambled eggs or an omelette - they always smell really good to me! So I think maybe I'll like the taste! - and then bleeeerrrgggg kill the taste with fire, kill the taste with fire!

hungrybee

Once upon a time, I hated yolk-prominent eggs, like over-easy and hard-boiled. I used a method similar to this one, and I then eventually I preferred the yolk part. What gives? I don't know. There is hope!

pixieg

Have you tried only eating one part of the egg? I thought I hated eggs completely but then one day my world changed for the better when I realised I LOVE egg yolk and HATE egg white.
Also, my twin brother is the opposite, which is spooky and great.

Caitlin Podiak

That IS spooky and great.

applestoapples

Jolie, I'm with you on the eggs. I can eat them, but I have to force myself to do so and each time makes me die a little inside.

cherrispryte

I was anti-egg for a long time, and I still don't like egg whites by themselves. Ways I have coerced myself into being an egg person: Eat eggy things. Namely, quiche and flan and crepes. From there, omlets with lots of other flavors and egg breakfast sandwiches with lots of other things on them. ALWAYS ketchup or sriracha. Then I spontaneously developed a rabid love for egg yolks and that was that.

pixieg

^ I am like this almost exactly. Eggy bread with cheese is what started me off.

nonvolleyball

oh my god, a runny egg yolk is like one of my top 5 favorite foods. I will also pretty much pay any upcharge to have a restaurant put a fried egg on something that's already fairly unhealthy (fries, burgers, pasta, etc.) despite its redundancy & the fact that a single egg shouldn't really cost more than $.50. "would you like a fried egg on your sausage & goat cheese pizza? it's an additional $3.50." "oh, absolutely! can I have two?"

theharpoon

I also love runny yolks. Soft boiled eggs yum!

likethestore

I have never eaten an egg, true story.

science is sexy

Ok, but what if you have a problem with something crazy, like, say, all raw fruit and most cooked fruit? And when you smell or taste or THINK ABOUT people eating them you get sort of this weird gross feeling like you sort of need a shower? And then you put them in your mouth because what the fuck, everyone likes fruit, and you're going to die of scurvy, and for chrissakes you want to be a fucking scientist this is so not ok - BUT as soon as you try to swallow you get this gag reflex? And that's just with apples, basically, because you're so repulsed by the idea of other fruits that you don't even like touching them?

.....

Look, I'm not saying I have a problem. Maybe YOU have the fucking problem, buddy.

.....

Please help.

Clare

Right there with you. I've always hated fruit. The saccharine, overripe smell of a piece of cantaloupe or honeydew melon makes me queasy.

ThundaCunt

OMG....me too! there are sooo many things i cant eat because of the texture in my mouth! Kiwi? come the fuck on...its like eating beach sand with all the grains and shit...everyone thinks i am CRAZY! cant eat pretty much any fruit...i try so hard...i love the flavor...but the TEXTURE of the actual fruit gags me!! dont eat seafood...again, texture...i think im really weird...i can shove other things halfway down my throat, no probs! try to chew a peice of brocolli and its *GAAAAAGG*!!

fierce_pierce

UGH I CANNOT EAT PEACHES OR KIWI FOR THIS VERY REASON. Give me a nectarine or give me death. None of that nasty ass FUZZ IN MY FOOD. UH OH I THINK MY CAPS LOCK IS STUCK.

Lily Rowan

You know you're not supposed to eat the fuzzy part of kiwis, right? Just checking.

ThundaCunt

yesss...LOL!!! i hate the INSIDE! the seedy "fruit". i dont see how anyone is supposed to eat that!

fierce_pierce

HAHA. YES. They are still so grody. And the fuzz of the peach! YEARRRRGH!!!

someguy

Kiwi fruit! It's weird hearing people say they eat Kiwi, when it's a bird, and another name for New Zealanders.

constant reader

oh, I thought they WERE talking about new zealanders, and I was all wtf what is wrong with you guys!? because I think new zealanders are delicious!

Sasquatch

I'M NOT THE ONLY PERSON IN THE ENTIRE WORLD WHO HATES ALL FRUIT?!

You just made me feel so much less alone. The worst part is the shame of admitting to other people that you hate fruit. "But [fruit in question] is amazing!!!" they say. Um, No.

MousesHouse

I feel really liberated reading about other people not liking fruit. Why is it so insane? If you don't like vegetables, it's fine, it just means you're kind of a baby. if you don't like fruit, you're actually just crazy. But … i don't.
My only exception is grapefruit. Because you eat it with a fork, there is a ritual involved, and it is grueling. I love a grapefruit because it is sort of torture, apparently.

(what i am saying is that i think i don't like fruit cause i don't like enjoying myself, and maybe you don't realize that that's why you don't either?)

wee_ramekin

@everyone Hmmmm. Maybe for some of you, it would work to freeze the fruit and then put it in a blender and drink it as a smoothie? That way if it's the texture that bothers you, you've conquered that and can start to appreciate the taste of the fruit. Maybe?

boyofdestiny

I was repelled by the concept of sushi, but then a relatively fancy sushi/hibachi place opened up in my hometown, and all the rolls were named after locations and landmarks in town. I'm such a Jersey diehard that I said "Well, of COURSE I have to try the Route 440 Roll." Turns out, sushi is excellent!

Jolie Kerr

MISS U EVERY DAY BILLY TSE

Jolie Kerr

Um also? I feel like this is the right place to mention this: Alex Balk once tried to convince me that I could cure my peristerophobia by eating squab.

I'm still blinking repeatedly at that suggestion.

boyofdestiny

This required two separate Google searches.

Also, I don't think I have peristerophobia. What I do have is a fear that I'll be walking on the street, and a pretty girl will be walking toward me and I'll try to smile and look handsome, and then a pigeon will fly at a height that I perceive as perilously close to my head, and I'll squeamishly duck and make a terrified face, when in reality the pigeon was twenty feet over my head, and the pretty girl will think I'm a weirdo. Is there a word for that?

Jolie Kerr

Aww poppet. You are the best, do you know that?

Hot mayonnaise

I dislike licorice but enjoy Jager shots. I started using coffee medicinally to stay awake studying in college. Now I love it.

boyofdestiny

Call me.

DorothyMantooth

Ha! I actually dislike licorice because of Jager shots.

Nutellaface

This method is TOTALLY WORKING FOR ME re: raw tomatoes. Only it's taken years, not months. And I still hate the big tomatoes. But the cherry tomatoes and the grape tomatoes are totally not the most repulsive things ever now!

Anna Marquardt

It is??? I ALSO cannot stand raw tomatoes and have tried FOR YEARS to just get over it because they are everywhere and it would just be easier to like them than to have to be like "sighhhhhh they put sliced tomato on my sandwich AGAINNNN even though I said not to." So this is promising, I guess?

Charismatic Megafauna

The problem with tomatoes is that 99.9999 (times infinity) per cent of tomatoes on the market are freakin' awful! I attribute most food pickiness to persistent exposure to really crappy food. I used to be intolerant of honeydew melon and rice, and then I found out there are good versions of both those things! Who knew?!

gluecake

THIS! Beefsteak tomatoes tend to be goddamn awful in most grocery stores due to lack of flavour & the very very firm texture (if you're a texture person like me). I tend to pay the higher rates for "off the vine" tomatoes just because they're more buttery textured & a stronger tomato flavour. Also - if you have issues with thick sliced tomatoes, just get a super sharp knife to slice them paper thin.
I have serious issues with foods as I also have synesthesia that affects color + taste + texture as an added bonus of WTF.

Hot mayonnaise

Home-grown tomatoes >>>>> grocery store tomatoes.

Tyler Coates

I have tried this method SO SO SO SO SO MANY TIMES. And I will gladly try new things! But the texture - THE TEXTURE - of so many food stuffs make me gag and almost vomit. (There was an unfortunate incident with pork belly a few months ago at a very fancy East Village restaurant that ended with me in tears.)

Tyler Coates

Having said that: I convinced myself into eating broccoli by cooking it with crushed red pepper. Spicy flavors generally trick my mouth into ignoring soggy, floppy textures.

Jolie Kerr

tylercoates YOU LIE. You were such a little bitch about those ketchup chips last week - you were, you were!!! And then you LOVED them when you tried them! But don't think I don't remember the various Tyler Coates Faces you made at me before you indulged me and dared to taste a ketchup chip.

Tyler Coates

AS I SAID, I will try anything! I cannot guarantee I will like it, but I am at least open minded! (And yeah, ketchup chips are the shit.)

Jolie Kerr

It was the "gladly" part I took umbrage with.

Anna Marquardt

Now I want some ketchup chips

Alexandra Martell

tylercoates, if you think broccoli has a soggy, floppy texture, you're doing it wrong. Stick it in the oven at 400 til it looks like it's getting burnt.

Charismatic Megafauna

"I don't like the texture" = "I've never had this cooked properly"

theharpoon

Charismatic is totally right. Proper vegetable texture is all about steaming them FOR A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME. 5ish minutes. Blanching is also acceptable. Why do people insist on boiling vegetables to a slush? Gross.

(I have major Opinions on this issue, sorry.)

Tuna Surprise

I will eat virtually anything but I cannot eat a raw tomato (or a very small piece thereof) to save my life. This was the source of great tension between me and my ex-husband (who was a chef).

When we got married he was working at a super-fancy French restaurant that would set you back $200-$300 per person for dinner. As a wedding gift, his bosses/co-workers had us come in for dinner one night on the house. They served us a multi course feast that was planned without our input. Around the third course, the waiter comes out and presents me with a plate of sliced heirloom tomatoes (with a drizzle of oil and salt/pepper). This was my worst nightmare! But when I asked to switch with my husband he scoffed and said he wanted to keep his dish. I cut up the tomatoes and tried to smush them around the plate so it looked like I at least tried some. Weeks later, when I saw his boss again, he asked me what was wrong with the tomatoes. I told him I don't eat tomatoes and he was disgusted my ex just made me sit and suffer without fixing the problem. So I guess we know why he's my ex.

Any-hoo, ladies, the lesson in this is not to eat your tomatoes, but to marry someone who will eat your tomatoes for you.

wallsdonotfall

Edith, I am in the process of trying to learn to like olives. You and I can validate each other.

mynamebackwards

I'm learning to love olives too! I think the key is to not eat crappy ones you can buy in a jar at the grocery store, but to splurge for the yummy, brine-y kind that they sell out of giant barrels at fancy italian stores. those are ALWAYS good.

fierce_pierce

I am trying so hard at this! I feel like, Self, You are the kind of person who should LOVE olives. So every time there is an opportunity I try one. Going back to 2002 when I tried a kalamata olive and promptly vomited (madeittothebathroombutSTILL). I keep thinking Someday, Self, You Will Learn TO LOVE THESE.

winchesterwolcott

This is definitely the trick!

someguy

I've tried fancy olives and cheap ones, still hate them alot.

Hoyt Pollard

Travel, travel, travel. I spent 35 years hating olives. Then I went to Morocco. Now I want to do inappropriate things to those little salt bombs.

applestoapples

There are quite a few things I didn't eat that I now do, thanks to the method above. But some things I accept I will never eat and enjoy, like grits. Hell to the no on grits.

Nutellaface

But have you ever had cheese grits? Because they're a whole different endeavor.

applestoapples

Nutella, I've had cheese grits. I love cheese as much as some people love their kids, but that trickery doesn't work on me.

Nutellaface

I hear that, apples. When presented with a caprese salad, I will eat the cheese and basil and foist my tomatoes off on someone else. Not even heaps of cheese will make me eat a slice of big tomato (as opposed to little tomatoes, which are less gross).

And I mean, I like them, but why WOULD anyone want to eat something called "grits"?

theinvisiblecunt

It's pretty cute to see apples and nutella discussing food together

pixieg

I'm from the UK, and one time I had a several-hour stop over in Atlanta on the way back to Britain. I went to get breakfast in a mall, and the menu had 'grits' on it and I had no idea what that was, so I asked one of the people working there.
The conversation went something like:
"What are grits?"
"Umm... grits... umm... Well. Y'know, uh, cream of wheat?"
"Uh. Yeah, I think so."
"It's not the same."

It was really helpful and I left Atlanta with a new spark for life. Also: What are grits?!

pixieg

Wait, don't bother! I remembered google exists.

workerbee

Pixieg - grits = hominy. or.... little white corn. Can be enjoyed sweet or savory.

Sarah C. Roberts

I'm from Atlanta, I looooooooooooooooooooooooove grits.

allifer

Also from Atlanta, also love grits. The secret to grits is including enough cream/butter and salt. Bonus points for cheese, crispy-to-death bacon and Tony Chachere's.

If I meet another fool up here who tries putting sugar in his grits, I swear.

Charismatic Megafauna

Key to delicious grits: cooking them directly in simmering milk. Skip the water entirely. Don't forget to take your Plavix before/after.

theharpoon

Ew! People put sugar in grits? WTF! I love grits but a) am from New Orleans and b) love anything that is basically a butter and salt delivery method.

ALSO! Other people from the south: any other cane syrup lovers out there? Maple syrup makes me so sad.

C.SanDiego

YES. Maple syrup is so gross, all runny and just disgusting. I just had this argument today, actually!

theharpoon

YAY! A thing I have noticed: Cane syrup people say that maple is too sweet, but maple syrup people say that cane is too sweet. Obviously, maple syrup people (basically everyone) are just wrong, but it's still confusing to me.

redkite

Fellow Southerner, New Orleans transplant here.

Grits are the best. Add goat cheese or cream cheese and it's brilliant. Add Crystal and I'm in heaven.

And I LOVE cane syrup! and Maple, but cane is way better. I'm also a big fan of sorghum syrup.

boyofdestiny

This whole thread is a whirlwind of "Wait, how can people not like grits/oysters/fruit/tomatoes/eggs/whiskey" for me. My head is spinning!

EggsErroneous

Mine too. I am indiscriminate in my love for all food. All of it. Even things that have proven to make me sick.

DorothyMantooth

I'm with you guys.

Oooh! And also, I just thought of another trick! (MantoothMethod.) Just don't eat for a long time. Like, a whole day? And then by the time you get to eat this thing that you previously thought you hated, you will be so delirious from hunger that it will taste like the most delicious thing you've ever had! Problem solved.

DorothyMantooth

Good lord! I could have scrolled down to the NEXT COMMENT for the same trick? Boo, Mantooth, booo.

Please to call this TheSecretSharerMethod, thx.

gluecake

I will never understand people who don't enjoy single malt scotch. I am drinking orange-nectarine juice with fancy gin in it now and I'm currently lamenting that it's not scotch.

Katie Walsh

Ick scotch. I love all whiskey/bourbon and my fave bartender makes me crazy new drinks to try, but he brought over a Blood & Sand (I think) with scotch and it just tasted so NAST. EW.

The Secret Sharer

ok this is my rule #1: be very very hungry before you try that food you find disgusting.

The Secret Sharer

also, yeah it is possible that you could be allergic to some foods, like tomatoes? so maybe don't force it too much...
but i will eat most anything i think, even that thing they drink in the Amazon where they chew and spit and then drink it?

Steven

Does this work with foul-tasting non-food items that people still—mysteriously—persist in eating? Like celery?

Because I don't think I ever want to not hate celery. Celery is the worst vegetable.

tiny dancer

OH GOD celery strings make me shudder.

Anna Marquardt

"Celery is the worst vegetable."
CORRECT.

DorothyMantooth

But it has negative calories! Negative!

Xanthophyllippa

I peel my celery. And then I chop it into little bits and boil the shit out of it with a bunch of other vegetables and by the time the soup is done it feels like nothing more disgusting than a cooked onion.

But, raw? NO.

cherrispryte

Celery is delicious! Maybe not by itself, but in soups and salads and as a delivery mechanism for dips. It is crunchy and juicy and good.

scully

Yes to celery as a delivery mechanism! Also reducing down a bunch of celery in your bolognese sauce or beef stew adds so much flavor.

theharpoon

Celery in lentil stew!

tiny dancer

I just threw up in my mouth.

ELECTROMAGNETIC CHAOS

Celery is nice as an additive.

But replace the nothing taste of celery with battery acid-level bitterness, and you get the real worst vegetable - radishes.

adriana

If I'm having a shitty day, I make Ants on a Log (celery stick + peanut butter + raisins) and suddenly I'm 8 years old again and everything is okay. The crunch/salty/sweet combo is insane.

ThundaCunt

there is soooo much i dont/cant eat...one thing i really want to like is pickles...big, garlicey, deli pickles...i JUST CANT!! they always smell soooo good to me when i was pregnant..and my brain was like "yess, yesss..EAT"...and my mouth was immediately like "NOOOOOOOOO...GAAAAAGG"

i want to eat grapes, watermelon, oranges, strawberries, kiwi, pears, brocolli, tomatoes, i just CAN NOT with the texture!! so weird!!

laurel

How do you feel about fruit juices?

ThundaCunt

i love juices. i drink ALOT of smoothies because i love the flavor of fruit, just not the feel of actual pieces of fruit in my mouth.

laurel

Oh hey then, fruit can go fuck itself. You'll not be dying of scurvy. You're fine!

workerbee

Wins! (Things I've recently started enjoying) : White Wine, Olives, Sweet Potatoes (Not fries!), Salmon, Raw tomatoes, radishes, oysters, anchovies

Loses (maybe never will enjoy?) - Black licorice, Swedish Fish, Bud Light/Miller light, and beets.

tiny dancer

Does it matter how the beets are prepared? I've known beet haters who really enjoyed fresh, roasted beets. A nice balsamic/orange marinade helped too.

curryspice

Wait, not even the RED swedish fish? Yes, I know they are made of wax...Right there with you on those beers though.

StopTime

Easy rule of thumb: if James Bond would want to eat it, you should want to eat it.

#obvjokesetupdontbother

km1312

Can I ask about martinis? Because they definitely fall into this category for me. Can anyone recommend one to try in step #2? Should I ask for it "dry"? What does that even mean?

On unrelated note, I'm not "a dessert person," and people are constantly getting actively upset with me for not wanting a cupcake or whatever. I can't even tell you how many ladies have been MAD about the fact that I'd prefer a sixth dinner roll over a brownie. WTF?

workerbee

Agree, KM1312 - French Fries - YES. French Toast - YUCK.

boyofdestiny

I prefer mine dirty, but as with so many other things, that's just a vehicle for olive juice. Then again, I can take it dry too. A martini is just an excellent thing.

shenannies

Mmmmm try a martini with pickle juice. Heavenly.

MollyculeTheory

Ooooh Le Poisson Rouge has one that is gin + pickle juice + a little bit of dijon mustard with a cornichon garnish which sounds odd but is just delicious.

Jolie Kerr

I'll sit with you and the basket of dinner rolls. I bet if you were to ask my friends if they recall ever seeing me actually eat any of the cupcakes/cookies/bourbon balls I make they'd all be like, "Noooo. Wow. I never realized that!" I love making them but after that it's take it or leave it. But a roll? HEAVEN.

Bettytron

Do you like olives? Order your martini dirty (which just means they add olive juice) to a gin martini (Tanqueray gin please! It's delicious!) and the whole thing has a nice woodsy sweet and salty thing going on which is really enjoyable!

Katie Walsh

Well, martinis. Do you like drinking straight cold booze with no ice? I generally like to taste my alcohol unencumbered by too many extra flavors, but martinis take me a LONG time to get through. "Dry" martinis mean there is less vermouth added, so it's more just straight gin or vodka. The colder they are the better. They are a sipping drink though, so just go slow.

km1312

Wellll...I can pretty much chug whiskey, but I've never been much of a fan of gin/vodka without tonic. Tastes kind of like medicine, or ...nail polish remover? Or something. But I am determined! Based on these comments, I'm thinking I'll just order a dirty martini (or EXTRA dirty! is that a thing, like extra dry? it should be) and take it reeeal slow. Wow, this just got sexy.

bcfol440, Jolie - YES. Carbs + fat + salt = heaven. Also, it's fun to justify your six rolls by reminding yourself that you "skipped dessert, so you totally deserve them!"

Charismatic Megafauna

If you're willing to experiment for a while to find a martini you like, try ordering it "perfect," which will have plenty of vermouth - half sweet and half dry. This gives it a more wine-like character that could be more enjoyable that the slightly astringent and even disciplinary character of a classic dry martini.

viviangirl

I would say not to order it dry, as you'd pretty much be drinking just straight booze. If you go to a nice bar and order a martini, you should be getting a 5:1 ratio of gin/vodka to vermouth. The vermouth helps soften the martini. It's okay to be picky and ask for that specifically. Bartenders appreciate a drinker who knows what they want, and if you don't ask, you might be getting just a tiny swish of vermouth, which has become a more modern way of drinking martinis. Or even tell your bartender, "Halp! I want to like martinis! What should I do?"

Protip to vermouth haters: Your bar is probs doing it wrong! Vermouth is wine, and should be treated as such. Most bars leave out their vermouth for months at a time, which you would NEVER do with normal wine, right? That's why most vermouth is disgusting: because it's gone sour. You can drink good vermouth straight (a la Hemingway!)

Whoo! That was a long first comment. Clearly I am boozehound extraordinaire.

Fancy Mustard

This post is motivating me to conquer some of my food phobias, but the comment section is making me feel so much better. Olives, tomatoes (raw), mushrooms, and beans are all on the HELLS NAW list for me. (I also hate virtually every cooked veggie, but have made peace with that.) Just tired of feeling like a kid who only eats chicken nuggets, instead of a grown-ass adult. I think I shall start with olives, because then I can reward myself with a martini!

Probs

Yeah I'm also on the raw tomatoes boat. With work over time I've gotten to where I can choke them down without grimacing if the situation calls for it, which is an improvement from when I was younger and they made me mega yak. Another good thing I think is like "gateway drugs" for a good, like if you don't like raw or steamed oysters get a super creamy oyster stew from a really good place. What helped me a lot with tomatoes was eating the awesome focaccia at this deli/bakery where I worked in college (they were so good, I'm still made at how much of my paycheck I gave right back to them). There were big slices of tomato on 'em, and obvi they were baked, but the tomatoes weren't quite all the way done, and I ate them and enjoyed it.

theharpoon

Oyster stew YUM. Apparently a traditional Christmas Eve meal in some places? My mom conveniently kept that a secret until I had already moved out.

Layla

Zucchini! Edith help! I just can't eat zucchini. If it is in my mouth, I gag. I can do zucchini bread/fritters, and I love other mushy stuff like eggplant. But zucchiniiiiiiii. Ugh zucchini.

Lily Rowan

OMG, I still hate eggplant, but have learned to live with zucchini, after eating it way too often over the past year. Two thoughts: slice thinly, saute with soy sauce and other things with flavor until brown; and marinate so they are semi-pickled. I would still never ever pick zucchini, but at least it doesn't make me want to die.

Layla

Thank you! I will try! For eggplant, cut it into spears like french fry-shape, put lots of garlic salt on it and roast it under the broiler. It's delicious.

Lily Rowan

And thank YOU! I feel like eggplant does something weird in my mouth, but if I sign up for a CSA for the summer, I will try that.

Lily Rowan

Ooh, but comments below reminded me that in Turkey last summer, I kept eating and not minding surprise secret eggplant. So there you go.

theharpoon

I pan fry it in butter. But what isn't good cooked in butter? There must be something.

cherrispryte

For me it is more of a texture issue than a taste issue. Its not that I was picky growing up, but just wasn't exposed to much? But over the past few years I've gotten myself to enjoy tomatoes (the seeds are the problem, yes?) eggs, olives, mushrooms, sushi and broccoli, using similar methods to the ones above. And I got over my hatred of dark meat chicken via the "college roommate mocks you til you just eat it" method, which I highly recommend.

I am still effed when it comes to a lot of fruit - cantaloupe is the worst, but honeydew and peaches and apricots also. And my grandmother has been force-feeding me all of these things for years, to no avail.

Also I HATE vermouth. HATE it.

laurel

I have a friend who hates raw tomatoes because of the seeds. She calls them "tomato eggs" which helps me, a total tomatophile, see her point.

reebs14

I've had success with vodka martinis (must be EXTRA dirty), hummus, and pasta salad. But here's the real kicker - I used to despise sandwiches. Yes, all sandwiches made me gag, save peanut butter (on toasted bread only and no jelly) and grilled cheese. It took me until my senior year of college to deduce that it was the soft bread/cold cut combination that threw me for a loop. After being forced to eat a grilled sandwich after some heavy drinking, I am now a proud lover of all toasted sandwich goodness. Actually, I've been convinced of my love for lots of things after heavy drinking. Meh. Still working on cold subs, though....

amateur hour

I dated a dude who was repulsed by sandwiches! So you are not alone. He liked hot dogs, though.

I used to be repulsed by raw tomatoes...I remember doing a crash diet in 6th grade (thanks, mom!) where I was restricted to beef and tomatoes for one of the days and I almost threw up after trying to eat a slice of one. Same thing happened when I first tried eggplant. I'm still working on mushrooms...one of my favorite ways to overcome a distaste for a food is to get drunk and then eat it--this worked with sushi for me.

theinvisiblecunt

Personally I've always wished I could eat meat like some sort of normal human but having been raised vegetarian, the thought of muscle or tongue or liver or tail or whatever of a formerly living creature being prepared for consumption is akin to soylent green for me and I just can't make that leap no matter how intriguing the cookbook illustrations look. I've been stuck on step 1 for the last decade or so but I always pussy out :c (Y'all can keep shrimp and lobsters though, I don't even want to want to overcome my aversion to giant sea bugs.)

I feel a lot better knowing that the food group some people cut out entirely is FRUITS, though. I may have anemia but at least I won't die of scurvy in the 21st century!

theinvisiblecunt

Whoa hey, this kinda sounds more sanctimonious than neurotic so maybe just try to unread everything I wrote.

rayray

I totally agree - was veggie for my entire childhood and as a result will eat pretty much anything (especially weird vegetables/fruit/chickpeas/lentils) but it took me a while to get round to eating steak, and anything with bones or connective tissue is just a big YAK. And the giant sea-bugs thing too. Errrgh.

winchesterwolcott

YES. SEA BUGS. I call lobsters sea roaches. When people suck the meat out of them....bllllaa.

curryspice

I think I read that lobsters actually ARE insects, or closely related? I kind of hate the taste, but love blue crab, which I know makes no sense.

theinvisiblecunt

Yup, crustaceans and insects are both arthropods

shenannies

It didn't sound sanctimonious at all--I've been a vegetarian for many years so I felt funny posting. Hence my contribution of what to mix drinks with. Although I loathe pears.

AppleFritter

As a fellow born and bred vegetarian, I have few regrets until I pick up a cookbook or watch Top Chef and then I feel so. Left. Out.

theinvisiblecunt

Rayray! No Hobo! <3<3<3<3

Hahaha Top Chef! I love it so much but then they have challenges like "section this fish by sawing its body into pieces with knives" and they talk about the taste of "blood lines" in fish and stuff and I have to go barf/weep/die

melis

Easily the worst culinary experience of my life: when I decided to start liking oysters and asked the waitress how best to go about ingesting them. She recommended something known as an 'oyster shot,' which is apparently a large shot glass into which someone has sneezed, later adding Tabasco, lemon, and horseradish.

I tried three times to pound it back. Three times it returned to the shot glass from which it came. I can barely keep myself from losing it now.

theinvisiblecunt

Oh man. Having read that, I too can barely keep myself from losing it now

Jolie Kerr

So... who wants to go out for martinis tonight?

boyofdestiny

This.

cherrispryte

I can't, I have to scrub my cookie sheet.

(This is partially just because I want to know how many times I can type "cookie sheet" before it becomes vulgar.)

shenannies

Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Anna Marquardt

$5 at 5 Points from 5-7pm, let's go!

Jolie Kerr

I'm game! Improptu Hairpin meetup?

boyofdestiny

I'll set up a satellite location at the Oak Room.

Anna Marquardt

I am leaving work now and I am going to 5 Points REGARDLESS, so I plan to just go up to everyone and be like "Hairpin?" and then when they think I'm a crazy person I'll just be like "hahaha I'm drunk already bye!"

Jolie Kerr

You won't see this I don't think but okay, I'm going to go to this bar and try to find you??

shenannies

Why couldn't this be for tomorrow?! Stuck at work 'til way past happy hour tonight.

hungrybee

I wish I would have seen this thread again before I left work, because at about 3 I was salivating for a dirty martini, which I then drank without the company of you delightful people. The olives were perfection!

Anna Marquardt

Everyone!! This totally worked and Jolie and I totally found each other and it was amazing.

CupKates

This is very inspiring to me. I was at lunch with my Pops a few weeks ago at The Oyster Bar. He was trying to convince me that one day I would indeed be ready to eat oysters. I thought wistfully how that would be nice as they're glamorous and whatnot, but if oysters continued to look like lougies (sp? loogies?) on the half-shell, I wasn't so sure. But now I feel I should just take the plunge. So, yay for culinary courage.

boyofdestiny

My own oyster problem was solved when I was the guest at my friend's parents' place on the Cape. They were both professors that I really respected, and they had invited me to their really nice house, and they spent a bunch of money at the fishmonger for dinner, and when the time came that the plate of oysters came around, I felt it would be a slap in the face to not eat one. So, yeah, shame helps.

CupKates

Also, for errbody with tomato issues, going to Italy helps. I was never able to eat tomatoes in any form in which they weren't pulvarized and masked by other things (ketchup, soup) but after eating tomatoes in Italy, they are on my nice list. Plus, it's fun to go it Italy anyway (uh-duhhh), food neuroses aside.

Leila Jane

Certain things I had to MAKE myself eat like skim milk and yogurt. I still can't get past the smooth grit of hummus or the slurp-i-ness of soup. You should chew food, not drink it. However, that fancy shmancy lobster bisque at whole food sure does smell good. Maybe I will be able to choke that down better than the Campbell's.

whimseywisp

I am a super adventurous eater, but I had several foods that I've gotten over disliking over a span of 3 years or so: rye bread, green olives, celery, sunflower seeds. Texture is not a problem with me because I seek out foods with interesting textures. When I was a kid I hated mushrooms due to the texture, but now they are a favorite food of mine. Also, how can you not love sandwiches? That makes me so sad.

melmuu

The only thing I can't stand is when meaty things are desserty! Like what's that Italian chicken dish where the sauce is like someone just dumped maple syrup all over it? And Monte Cristos? Gross. And those meat-bun treats in Chinatown?
Everything else is super good!

pixieg

I have a friends-and-family-baffling hatred for coriander (I think Americans call it cilantro), that cannot be tamed! It's why I had trouble with a lot of food when I went to Thailand, and why I suffer at nearly every Indian restaurant. I hate it probably more than anything (although egg white on its own makes me gag) and this technique has never worked on it. But it did work on me for olives!

As a side note: I can't understand people not loving broccoli. Ever since I was little, I haven't been able to get enough. Yum!

AppleFritter

Don't worry! Aversion to cilantro (coriander?) is totally genetic, you don't even have to feel bad!

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/14/dining/14curious.html?_r=1

melis

I stand with you. Or sit, listlessly pushing away any and all dishes with those telltale green flecks.

Napoleon

UGH! Cilantro, always up in my Mexican food, ruining the deliciousness.

PS The authoritative Oxford Companion to Food notes that the word “coriander” is said to derive from the Greek word for bedbug, that cilantro aroma “has been compared with the smell of bug-infested bedclothes” and that “Europeans often have difficulty in overcoming their initial aversion to this smell.

If I lived in the middle ages I would be sooo healthy and bug-less right now.

AllisonWonderland

It helps to be in a fun or exotic setting when trying a new food. For instance, if you're in Italy, try NOT liking artichokes and olives! I also agree with the commenter who said to try things when you're drunk. But not too drunk, so as to avoid any puke associations.

Foods that I like now after hating them: bacon, melted cheese on anything, shrimp, olives, coffee, artichokes.

Foods I will always hate and love to hate: licorice(!!), nuts, offal of any kind.

allifer

Also for the vegetable-queasy – I NEVER liked vegetables until we had a garden last year and suddenly I was all over the squash and raw tomatoes. Turns out that if I put in that much time growing it and cooking it, I have basically tricked myself into having to eat it and like it. So, you know, if you have some spare time and land and are really determined to finally love squash, do that.

hearththr

I would love to order a martini, but I just cannot abide the taste of gin, or vodka really. I'm a whiskey girl. But I do love olives so I may have to try this dirty martini thing. Also gina and tonics? I hate gin and I hate tonic, but they look so lovely and refreshing.

likethestore

I was worse than you, Edith - I didn't even like pasta. Or turkey. Or mayo. (I still hate mayo.) Until I was about twenty years old I subsisted on fries, chicken nuggets and peanut butter. For me it's all about smell as I have an extremely sensitive nose. If something smells wrong (wrong to me, not to other people) I gag. Now that I'm a "grown-up" I force myself to try one bite of something but I realize I have my limits. I put my parents through hell as a picky child though.

Mrs. Hutchinson

DOES THIS WORK WITH WINE?! All alcohol tastes like poison to me, but I've decided recently that if I want to get buzzed I have to resort to shots of whatever (it all tastes the same kind of awful to me). The idea of SIPPING on anything alcoholic just...no no no.

E
E

Don't start with wine. Start with cheap beer/hard cider. I'm thinking Woodchuck or Strongbow, or anything else cidery. Then light cheap beers- miller and corona. Also there's a reason beer adds show beer covered in ice. Cold lessens taste. Eventually move on to ales and pilsners (sam adams and heineken) Also rum and cokes, again with LOTS OF ICE.

Now, when you start to do wine, be a wuss. Drink Riesling (again, keep it very very cold). When you can handle that, move into vinho verdes and chardonnay. Then try roses. Then...and only then, move into red wine. you will be so grateful to stop drinking these fruity light flavors that you will start liking wine in relief. Also wine and beer like to be friends with hearty food. Eat a lot of steaks and bar foods and cheeses. These things will cozy up to your booze and make it taste better.

curryspice

Dill in anything but pickles is just wrong. Such a terrible tasting nasty little weed.

curryspice

Sorry E, this was not supposed to be a response to your comment! Although your idea to start with Riesling was spot on!

likethestore

Have you tried something really girly and fruity? A daquiri or cosmo or something like that? Can't even taste the booze.

Mrs. Hutchinson

likethestore, I can almost always taste the alcohol in fruity drinks and then the fun is gone! And if I can't taste it, then there's not enough booze in it and I have to drink like 10 of them to get drunk...ugh.

Thank you both for the tips, though. E, I probably hate beer more than I hate wine, but I will give it a go! (I think there may be something legitimately off about my tastebuds; I'm not a picky eater but I don't drink soda 'cause the carbonation hurts my mouf/throat, and things that are only mildly spicy by other people's standards taste like FIRE to me. With everything else, I'm pretty adventurous.)

amateur hour

oohhh, I remember the days when I didn't like alcohol. I went to a wedding when I was about 22 and got WASTED on white zinfandel (it's super sweet and therefore easier to drink if you don't like the taste of alcohol). Then, the wedding ran out of white zinfandel so I moved on to beer. From that point forward, I liked beer. And wine. And a couple of years later I started liking hard alcohol (initially I would have a gag reflex when I took a shot, really embarrassing if you're doing a shot with a bunch of people).

There is totally hope!

Napoleon

Maybe you're a supertaster!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supertaster

ielerol

I have this same problem with alcohol! I have found most booze-lovers' suggestions to be basically useless, because they just don't taste it the same way I do. So I will share my successes, but probably your experience will be different.

First, I have basically given up on liking beer. If I'm at a party and beer is the only option and I really need a buzz just to deal with all the strangers, I can usually manage to consume a glass by swallowing quickly and closing off my nose from my mouth. I don't know if that makes sense...do what you do when you want to breathe through your nose with your mouth open, but do that the whole time the booze is in your mouth. This is also what I do with wine when I'm at a fancy dinner and declining would be rude. With practice (or maybe just friends with better taste in wine?) I have found this to be getting easier. I still wouldn't say that I *like* wine, but it's now something I can drink with a meal without much effort.

I like Woodchuck granny smith cider, but no real luck with other ciders. Also their quality can be uneven - sometimes I get a batch that is not so good, and my cider-living boyfriend will agree that it's off. I've tried pear cider too, and while it's more palatable than, say, beer, I didn't really like it. The pear taste just isn't strong enough.

The most success I've had with cocktails is with vodka cranberry - or a cape cod (add a lime wedge), if you want to be a little classier. On the basis of this, I was told I would like cosmopolitans, but that failed - cosmos are gross, straight-up vodka cran is the only way to go. The strongly-flavored, tart cranberry covers the alcohol well, especially if you get it with a fairly high-quality vodka. But I looooove cranberry, so if you have some other fruit juice you like better, you might try vodka with that instead. For example, I can also drink screwdrivers, but prefer cranberry to orange juice. If you're making it at home, use a cranberry juice or juice cocktail that you like to drink on its own - I tried once to mix 100% unsweetened cranberry juice and vodka, and that stuff is *intense.*

Finally, some friends of mine once invented a drink they called the Snapledore (don't ask), that consisted of UV Blue, 7-up, and Minute Maid frozen berry bunch juice concentrate. It tasted like a freeze-pop and was terriblegood.

cherrispryte

If we're giving drinking advice - potato vodka is even less flavorful than regular vodka. Get Luksusowa if you're going cheap (which is the right way to go), Chopin if you want to be classier, and stick it in the freezer. Either of those mixed with cranberry or orange are nearly undetectable.

pixieg

I don't know if you can get Irn Bru over there or if you like it, but if you mix vodka with it you can't really taste the vodka at all.

Also, Triple Sec can have a really subtle alcoholic taste, so it can be pretty much completely overpowered by some mixers.

ALSO, over here we have a thing called Dooley's, and I'm sure there's lots of different varieties of the same sort of thing over there. It's just caramel vodka; you can definitely taste the alcohol but also it is so creamy and sweet that maybe it will be less horrible for you.

If you're going for wine, I'd recommend dessert wines? Muscat is delicious, but there's plenty of other ones you could try that are also less 'winey'.

maebyfunke

I find that of all mixers, lemonade is the best at covering up the alcohol taste. (Not wine, obvs, but for hard liquor, especially vodka, but rum works too in a pinch).

Nutmeg

I used to hate coffee until I had a cup of it at a church once to be polite, and that was such a terrible cup of coffee that my brain decided any other coffee just had to be better. And now I drink five cups a day! Haha, really it's just four.

E
E

Awesome post! Everyone here must read this: http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/s/steingarten-everything.html

It's brilliant and very in keeping with the Edith philosophy, PLUS added doses of smug, and since I read it, I've made it a goal to keep on trying to like things so I can be as smug as he is. I used to be picky. Now the only thing I really can't do is raw cilantro (it's genetic!), and melons (blergh). Also celery is a selfish selfish food and should be destroyed.

scully

150 comments and no one has mentioned brussels sprouts?? I think they are the only thing I can't eat, but I heard or read somewhere that some people have a chemical in their mouths that make them taste bitter! So I am not a hater, just disabled when it comes to the ability to like brussels sprouts. And yes I've tried them with bacon and they still taste nasty to me.

theharpoon

I like them now! Used to hate them. Not sure what happened.

elysian fields

Brussels sprouts cauliflower, and broccoli all taste bitter to me. However, I will eat all three aforementioned things if they are cooked properly (i.e. crispy, not mushy) and covered in enough butter/olive oil/tasty sauce that the bitterness is disguised a bit.

DorothyMantooth

Brussels sprouts are ALL about the preparation. If you're in NY (or even near NY), go to Alta. They're amaaaaaaaazing there. (Also amazing at ABC Kitchen.) I seriously REALLY like Brussels sprouts now!

theinvisiblecunt

When I was a lil baby I used to hate brussels sprouts to the point of rage but now just reading that comment has inspired me to roast some for dinner. Maybe try? They're pretty awesome.

1. Preheat oven to 425 deg. F
2. Cover cookie sheet in aluminum foil; lightly coat aluminum foil in olive oil (1-2 tbsp. for the whole pan maybe)
3. Cut sprouts in half, place their flat sides on the foil, and bake 10 minutes
4. Take them out, flip them, and bake another 5-7 minutes
5. Salt and pepper to taste &c. (maybe add garlic powder or red pepper if you want) nommm so good.

MousesHouse

roasting them is really the only way to go, listen to her.

sophi

A few weeks ago, I ate an orange for the first time in my life. And I LIKED it. I had no idea! I had no reason for believing that I would hate oranges, since I like the smell of them and always have - I guess I just assumed that they wouldn't taste like they smell? I DON'T KNOW.

theharpoon

You and the person who has never eaten an egg are strange to me. But congratulations!

elysian fields

Did you see Julie & Julia? There is a scene where the character Julie says she's never eaten an egg before. I was like "WTF HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE?? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?"
But apparently, as these comments show, people really do have these bizarre food phobias. It baffles me.

elysian fields

I used to live with a girl who refused to eat oranges because she HATED the smell of orange peels, which in her opinion smelled like "garbage." I lived with her for so long that I almost started hating oranges, too. The peel smell is really strong and I can see why some people find it off-putting.

Tulletilsynet

No way are you going to turn me into some mayonnaise-liking drug addict.

permafrost

I cannot stand cucumbers but I love pickles. I join in on the hate for licorice. So many of my friends drink Pernod too. Just one whiff is enough to make me instantly nauseous.

notjenny

I got over all the foods I didn't like by realizing that the people who had prepared them for me before sucked at preparing them. This is basically eggs and chicken. I refuse to eat chicken breast on principle. So gross! Why not just eat the thighs? I love bitter and tangy things, so my two main food groups are mustard and the Brassica family. More brussels sprouts and cauliflower for me!

p.s. I drink pickle juice and I don't care how gross you think it is. Shit's delicious. C.F. the pickleback.

mustachioed merrymaker

I used finish half a jar of pickles just so I could drink the juice!!

Xanthophyllippa

I have, in my fridge right now, seven jars of homemade pickles and two jars of just juice that I occasionally swig from. Once I greeted a friend at the door with a jar of pickle juice in my hand and, before she could even say hello, I chugged about half of it. She looked repulsed and suggested I invest in some Gatorade.

notjenny

I love creeping my friends out with my love of pickle juice. Now they will save their pickle juice for me. I like the kind from the Maille cornichons the best after homemade, although nothing beats some crappy grocery store pickle juice on crushed ice to kill a hangover quickly (or relive my childhood, whatever).

mustachioed merrymaker

Great post!! I had a roommate who wouldn't eat vegetables or fruit?! His gf would seduce him with kisses each time he ate a bite of fruit, and now he thinks fruits and veggies are okay!

ArcherLady

I have successfully done this with olives, mussels, butterscotch, licorice, twizzlers (?), wine, whiskey AND EVEN CILANTRO, genetics be damned. For some reason whenever I meet a food I don't like, instead of thinking HM THAT WAS UNPLEASANT, PERHAPS I WILL NOT PUT THAT IN MY MOUTH A SECOND TIME, I'm all EFF YOU FOOD, I'M IN CHARGE HERE, AND YOU WILL NOT BEAT ME.

The only foods I can honestly say I hate are candy corn and dinner mints. Every Halloween I dutifully try some candy corn, but... still disgusting.

Jaydubs

This method has so far worked for me with mushrooms. Bell peppers, zucchini and summer squash are next on the list.

But I can't believe no one has mentioned natto, aka fermented soybeans. They are the nast.

Helvetica

I think a lot of food aversion happens because the taste is just so out there and unlike anything else. I couldn't really fathom blue cheese when I was younger but then I ate it with grapes to soften the taste and now I could have blue cheese for every meal of the day. The same with wine and hard alcohol which took some time to get used to the taste.
Also, no one for raisins? I'm maybe at stage three with raisins and I don't think I will ever enjoy raisins. I mean, if they're hiding in a cake, pie, etc and it's being served at a fancy party, I will eat it but I will not like it. Raisins on their own make me shudder but I think it's a texture thing. And before you ask, yes, I enjoy grapes and raisins are just dried grapes but nonono, I will not like them.

femwanderluster

I too used to be a crazy picky eater. I was particularly and strongly anti-tomato--sometimes they are too wet and the seeds can be irksome.

However, I now LOVE LOVE LOVE diced fresh tomato on any and everything. Sandwiches, pizza, crackers, on top of cheesy broccoli and rice, you name it, tomatoes make it better for me.

How, you ask, have I managed to get this far? RINSE YER TOMAHTOES!

Chop, place in a container of some kind, run water into the container, use your had to swirl the seeds off the pieces, and strain through your fingers. Drain on a towel of some kind, depending on your commitment to ending climate change. Add salt and pepper to taste; if you're feeling fancy, add a squirt of balsamic vinegar or olive oil. Toss all this together and you get yummy, slightly drier tomatoes sans offending seeds (which really just serve to irk me when I forget to rinse off my cutting board, little fuckers).

femwanderluster

RE: metamorphosis from picky to open-to-anything, I found framing to be really powerful.

Stop thinking its disgusting and instead think: hmm, people all over the world eat this thing I hate and they do not keel over from the taste/texture. Maybe there is something to this foodstuff?

Like, seafood, for example. I used to hate the "bottom of the ocean" taste, but once I started thinking that, hey, this thing is FROM the ocean, it's gonna taste a little ocean-y, let's maybe proceed to what tastes lie beyond that one, my palette began to expand.

Though I will keep trying these foods, I like everything but: mushrooms, olives, licorice (my family is Norwegian so my mother is a black salty licorice fiend), most of the sponge-y seafood like clams, oysters, mussels, scallops etc. I can handle calamari but only fried so far.

It actually amazes me how much my palette has changed and how much trying WELL MADE food makes a difference. I love my momma and her efforts to nourish me, but her cooking was less than inspired.

sweetleah

Edith are you trying to like cigarettes more or quit liking them so much?

femwanderluster

Also, since I can't stop posting:

Anyone out there militant about keeping foods separate? IE, one bite of rice. Another of a veggie. Another of the protein/meat?

I used to be this way but now I love stacking different layers from my plate onto my fork; the only downside is figuring out the right ratio and not over-loading your face.

Hoyt Pollard

I can't let this thread die without hating on canned tuna fish. Nothing that smells that foul can taste like anything but ass.

Tish

I tried this with sourdough because hating that stuff apparently makes you a loon in San Francisco, but no. I guess your licorice is my sourdough.

Jane Austen@facebook

I have to say that the only thing to get me to try something that looks disgusting is by putting a lot of salt on it. In fact I'm tempted to have a salt delivery company bring me enough salt for me to constantly keep some in my purse for emergency situations. Thanks for the other suggestions.

elizabeth_8552

They're just some nasty flaps from the sea, but whenever I say I don't like them I feel like some uncultured goon. Plus they're so expensive, and what, I can't appreciate expensive things? Elizabeth

diooda3

@jfruh: Which brings up what I'm pretty sure is the REAL difference – households have no unions to renegotiate with. Or employees. Or shareholders. There are a lot fewer levers to pull with a household in bankruptcy. They can sell assets, they can put more family members in jobs (hah), internet gratis indosat and other than that it's "no debts and bad credit for a while." Not sure if this translates into a moral imperative but it certainly is "a difference."

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