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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

367

Liar, Liar, Food on Fire

What's the deal with tricking kids into eating stuff and then telling them about it later? No, stop a minute, I'm serious here. I didn't eat yogurt for decades — DECADES — because some mother gave it to me when I was five and told me it was ice cream. And no, it wasn't frozen yogurt from the freezer, it was yogurt from the fridge.

First of all: like I wouldn't know the difference between cold, dense, sweet ice cream and tepid, sloppy, sour yogurt? Second of all: after the first distressing, disorienting, disgusting mouthful, the mother crowed, "AHA! I got you to eat yogurt!" Sure, she won that mouthful, but I put that spoon right back into her hippie earthenware bowl and didn't eat yogurt again until I was in my late twenties. (She also tried to tell me bagels were donuts, but I wasn't as scarred by that ridiculous fib.)

If you've read Suffering Succotash, then you are now acquainted with my friend Lora, the vegetarian who only will eat meat if it's ugly and scary (or bacon). Lora was also told a food lie only to be told the food truth after she had eaten it.

From our interview: "And they were like, 'What did you think of the chicken?' and I was like, 'Oh, it's fine,' and they're like, 'It's rabbit! Ha-ha! It's the one you were playing with outside!'" 

Now, if you really are going to lie to someone about what they're eating (which: don't), then don't also do a pee-pee dance over the truth WHILE THEY'RE EATING IT. I mean, why — why would you do that? It totally undermines the point of the lie in the first place, and it's kind of assholish.

You want more incentive than my yogurt or Lora's pet bunny trauma not to do that? Okay: guy who hates lamb eats lamb at my grandmother's house, but is told it's beef or something. On the drive home, guy tells wife he really liked that "beef." Wife tells guy it was lamb. Guy throws up all over the car. Good enough?

But seriously, how about we just don't lie to kids about what they're eating ever? Why? Because kids aren't stupid, so the lie works for a very short period of time in their lives and if you push it past that time, you're really just teaching them not to trust adults or food.

I'm frequently asked how I feel about the Deceptively Delicious approach to hiding foods within foods, which I feel is not so much an outright lie as it is trickery. I think I can say that I won't ever try to hide spinach in brownies or ice cream because, A) I'm retching just thinking of that, so I don't know how I'd get through the cooking process; B) that's not going to help kids in the long run.

See, for kids to truly accept foods, they have to know what they're eating and get used to the flavors/textures. If you shroud those things in cream or chocolate, kids will never become accustomed to them and never like them without the artificial trappings. It's like when your boyfriend finally sees you without your make-up on and doesn't run screaming down the hall or try to stake you with a chair leg, that's when you know he truly loves you for you.

Additionally (and again), kids aren't stupid and sooner or later they are going to blow your cover. Remember when Ramona Quimby's parents tried to trick her into eating tongue until Beezus discovered the bumps all over the surface of the meat? [Shudder.]

If there's something a picky eater dislikes and it gets hidden in food there's a very good chance the picky eater will taste it because he or she is so highly attuned to that particular flavor. That's not fussiness, that's their brain protecting them. Once and only once, my mom tried to hide green peppers in her meatloaf, but I could totally taste them and their flavor polluted what was an otherwise perfect (as usual) meatloaf.

If I'm really honest with myself, I know that I do some amount of food hiding, but it's not an intentional deception. It's the recipe. (And by "recipe," I mean the "regular recipe" as opposed to the "doctored recipe" found in Seinfeld's cookbook.) For instance, vegetables get pureed into tomatoes to make a base for a marinara sauce. Sometimes those vegetables are carrots and celery and onions, other times I might replace carrots with squash. Another thing I'll do is switch basil out for arugula, chard, or parsley. I still call it pesto, it's just not basil pesto.

Now, again for honesty: do I beat my three-year-old son over the head with the difference between basil versus arugula pesto? No, because at this age, he doesn't care either way what the ingredients are. If he likes the way a food looks, it'll go in his mouth. If it looks strange, it won't. Getting it into his mouth is 85% of the battle because once he's decided it's okay to eat, his brain will keep reassuring him that it's a safe food unless something weird — unexpected dislike of flavor or texture — sets him off and then he'll spit it out.

Case in point, I've been casually trying to get Bug to like artichokes, especially because we eat a lot of baby artichokes at this time of year. I know he has a passing interest in them because he's always pointing them out at the grocery store or on our kitchen wall where I have framed and hung the beautiful back pages of Cook's Illustrated. "I don't like artichokes," he will tell me over and over. "No, you don't," I agree, "But you might one day. I'm cooking them tonight."

The other night, I gently braised the plucked and trimmed baby artichokes in a soothing soak of white wine, lemon juice, and olive oil. Halfway through, I added pinches of thyme that had been rubbed between my index finger and thumb to coax woodsy, pungent oils. Once the baby artichokes were tender enough to pierce with a knife, I glossed them with butter-sauteed torpedo onions and served them up.

On past occasions, Bug won't even touch the artichokes but this time he reached for one and stuffed it in his mouth. To my delight, he even chewed a bit. I got excited. Then he made a face and opened his mouth in distress. We don't normally encourage spitting food out at the table, but I cupped my hand over his mouth and let him do just that. Baby artichokes are bitter and while I love them for that, I get why Bug doesn't.

We'll try again another day.

Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic somehow survived 27 years of picky eating without coming down with rickets or scurvy, which clearly gave her license to become a food writer in San Francisco, where she wrote a humorous, non-fiction exposé on the inner lives of picky eaters. Her first book is called Suffering Succotash: A Picky Eater's Quest to Understand Why We Hate the Foods We Hate.

367 Comments / Post A Comment

rambutan

Children actually have more/more sensitive taste buds than adults. When they say they don't like artichokes or Brussels sprouts, it's because they can taste way more of the bitterness than we can. It actually tastes like poison to them.

fondue with cheddar

@rambutan I still taste the bitterness as an adult. :(

Ten Thousand Buckets

@rambutan I think they may actually be poison, in this case?

Inspector Tiger

@rambutan I taste a lot of bitter stuff others don't too. Like in asparagus soup. I blame it on not drinking coffee or smoking...

OxfordComma

@jen325 : Me too! :(

brooklebee

@jen325 I feel like I can taste the bitterness, too, but I like it! I'm always seeking out bitter broccoli rabe/brussels sprouts or spicy arugula--and often I can't find vegetables bitter enough for me in the produce store and end up growing them myself. But maybe I'm tasting something different about the foods that is not what you experience as "bitter"?

fondue with cheddar

@brooklebee Probably. Sense is so subjective. Like who's to say what I perceive as blue is the same blue you see?

Maybe things that taste very bitter to you are more like what mildly bitter tastes like to us, like aspirin, hair spray, ear wax, or that stuff you spray on your nails to stop yourself from biting them.

Jawnita

@brooklebee Supertasters unite! In my experience, @jen325 is right; I can be totally offput by flavors my friends will describe as having just a hint of bitterness. For example, most people will at least recognize the existence of bitterness in the flavors of dark chocolate and coffee, just not to the extent that I experience them. On the bright side, my sensitivity apparently does eventually top out: once, a friend was eating a "bitter greens" salad that was too bitter for him. Out of curiosity, I tried a bite, and was surprised to find that, while it was horrible, it was no more horrible than any other salad, to me. I told him that, and to this day he is much more respectful about my not eating salads -- no wonder, if they all taste like that.

leftsteph

@Jawnita Science! There is a new field of genetics called nutrigenomics - the interaction of genetics, health and nutrition etc. There have been a couple of genes tentatively linked to tasting particular bitter tastes, and more research is being conducted to discover other genes for other tastebuds. Taste is multifactorial though - it is not solely affected by genes, acquired tastes can eventually beat genes.
Pajovic, B. S. (2008). Nutrigenomics. Genetika, 40, 67-74.
Blakeslee, A. F. (1932). Genetics of sensory thresholds: Taste for phenyl thio carbamide. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 18, 120-130.

fondue with cheddar

@Jawnita Wow, it's good to know there's a cap on the amount of bitterness you can taste.

@leftsteph COOL! I will keep my eyes open for more of this nutrigenomics stuff. Very interesting, thanks!

Coal Tar Epoxy

My mom tried to get us to eat moose once by telling us it was steak. One bite and my dad spit it out and walked away. No more game for this family!

TheJacqueline

I'm confused about the lamb story. Did he have an ethical problem with eating lamb? Because if so, I understand why he got sick after.

But if not, if he thought he just didn't like the taste or something...doesn't that mean he actually just likes lamb?

redheaded&crazy

@TheJacqueline that's not what I found confusing about this ... I mean lamb is delicious and tender and devilishly succulent, how can you not enjoy it! (ie he probably has an ethical problem with eating lamb)

what confuses me about the lamb story (and I realize this is somewhat besides the point) is how he could mix up beef with lamb.

genuine question: do vegetarians lose the ability to distinguish different types of meat due to unfamiliarity? or maybe he had never had lamb... the reason I ask is one time I accidentally fed my veg sister bacon and cheese pierogies and she didn't realize it until I took a bite and was all "..... UHHHH ..... hey ....." but to me it was extremely obvious and distinctive right away.

TheLetterL

@TheJacqueline "Please, Lisa. I thought you loved me. Loved me."

thebestjasmine

@TheJacqueline Probably not an ethical issue. Probably he was just disgusted by the idea of lamb because he'd always hated it, and so to have already eaten it made him so disgusted he threw up. I can't understand this, because I think throwing up is the most disgusting thing anyone could possibly do, but I know this is a thing that happens.

Slapfight

@redheaded&crazie I've been vegetarian for over 15 years. Every time I accidentally get a bite of some meat product it's.
Always.
Pork.
And it takes me a while to realize what the flavor is. Bacon I'm sure I'd know right away though.

February Revolution

@thebestjasmine Re: both themes, I'd been vegetarian for several years when I picked up a slice of what looked like veggie pizza at the cafeteria. Ate about 2/3 of it just fine, then happened to look more closely and realized that the tiny white chunks hidden under the top layer of lovely veggies and cheese was actually chicken. I was suddenly completely nauseated, couldn't eat anything else the rest of the day. So my experience is 1) yeah, I totally forget what meat tastes like by now and 2) it's totally possibly to be literally sickened by the mere knowledge of what one has eaten.

(It's people! Soylent green...is people!)

TheJacqueline

@thebestjasmine i can't wrap my mind around the fact that he wouldn't just be like "oh hey I guess I don't actually hate lamb!"

then again I have been known to eat some weird stuff.

redheaded&crazy

@thebestjasmine ohhh I read this as "guy who is vegetarian was eating lamb and then found out later"

my response makes way less sense now. haha..ha

thebestjasmine

@TheJacqueline Oh, I am with you, I'll eat anything (except for gross things like pudding), so I would have the same reaction. But people get very emotional about food!

PistolPackinMama

@redheaded&crazie I think for some people the flavor of the oleaic acid (sp?) can be really soapy and gross. That's the flavor that makes lamb taste lamby and not beefy.

PistolPackinMama

@thebestjasmine Really- way to absolutely invade someone's bodily autonomy, there, secret food hiders. I don't blame people for being emotional about it. (And I also will eat anything except gross things like jello.)

Side story- I recently asked a guest if there was anything he couldn't/didn't eat, and he confessed he was a meat and potatoes person shamefacedly. And I just said "I live in no food shame household. I can make roasted chicken and potatoes for dinner and save the weirdo curry for another time. It's okay." And I did, and I put asparagus on the table and he felt free to ignore it.

Because it's food, not peace in the Middle East and I don't need people to love my eggplant curry skills. I just want them to have a good time in my house.

I suppose living with a picky eater would be a different issue, because you live together, so. But guests... it's cool. Don't eat the weird thing.

redheaded&crazy

@PistolPackinMama that's cool and all but I WOULD EAT YOUR EGGPLANT CURRY

thebestjasmine

@PistolPackinMama Agreed! I love love to cook for people, and it's the worst if you make someone something that they can't or won't eat. I will NOT be offended if you tell me that you hate fish if I'm planning a fish dinner, I will just make chicken instead (or in addition to).

laurel

@thebestjasmine: I'm a vegetablarian in my home and restaurants, but if you have me over and cook for me, I'm having what you're having. People cooking for me seems to me like such a genuinely loving thing to do, there's no way I'm turning you down on your special dishes.

Of course, this is easy for me because I genuinely love pretty much all food and don't have any health issues with ingredients.

cecil hungry

@TheJacqueline Ugh, this reminds me of the WORST STORY EVER that my mom tells. She went to Syracuse for college, and thus was friends with a lot of Jews, many of whom kept kosher. One of these Jewish friends had a goy boyfriend. Jewish girl (JG) LOVED bac-os, and always talked about how she thought she'd probably love bacon if she could ever have it, but she kept kosher, so she couldn't. Goy Boyfriend (GBF), being an obviously terrible person with no sense of boundaries, decided to fry some bacon, crush it up, and tell JG it was bac-os. When he told her the truth, she pretty much spent the rest of the day vomiting. And, hopefully, broke up with him and burned him with fire (my mom never told me). WORST EVER.

miss buenos aires

@TheJacqueline After I first became a vegetarian, I was plagued by dreams where I was eating meat (sometimes yummy like fried chicken, sometimes gross like raw ground beef), and in the dream I would suddenly realize what I was doing and throw up everywhere. I had these dreams for years.

I was convinced this would happen if I ever ate meat by accident, but I have a few times. Actual reaction: curse, stop eating, find something else to eat.

PistolPackinMama

@cecil hungry That is so terrible. Also, I didn't know bac-os weren't some sort of pork-derived things?!

@RH&C The Spinster Flat has outside seating on the Spinster Balcony.

@TBJ Well, yeah. Adventuresome food friends are fun to have. I love cooking for them. But you know, I have a lifetime of cooking to enjoy ahead of me. I can make the [weird thing] another time. Although I do understand why it might frustrate other people.

Also, I have the problem that some (not all, not sure? don't know how to find out) kinds of preservatives or something in processed foods make me vomit. Like, bust the capillaries in my face I was heaving so hard vomit.

Frappucinos, some beef jerky, corned beef, some kinds of bagged noodle dishes. Soy creamer/ milk makes me a very sad Kate. Ugh.

I get a little bit skittish about new kinds of processed foods because of that. But thing I know are OK are OK. So x-brand taco seasoning, OK. Y-brand... WHO KNOWS?! I feel like a tool trying to explain that to people.

cecil hungry

@PistolPackinMama Some bac-os are real bacon, but a lot of them (I think especially in a super-Jewish area in the '70s) were vegetarian. I call them "Fake-os."

Lu2
Lu2

@redheaded&crazie --I've been vegan for 11 years. I usually can't taste which meat is which when I've accidentally eaten or just chewed some (like when bits of meat get into something a restaurant swore was vegetarian). And sometimes I think that what has been billed as tofu is actually chicken, like the "vegan chicken salad" that Whole Foods swore was tofu, albeit overcooked, and that it was just my imagination when I said it was chicken. Come on, people, I've had my share of overcooked tofu, and I know muscle fibers when I bite into and chew them. ew.

Also, once someone tricked me by saying spaghetti squash was actual spaghetti. The resultingly unexpected texture made the s'squash so disgusting to me (a pasta lover) that I've never eaten it again in my life, and that was decades ago. And once I ate liver (as a child) thinking it was steak. It was such a mealy-textured "steak" (with this weird, creamy surface texture) that I nearly lost it.

Xanthophyllippa

@PistolPackinMama Bacos and their off-brand brethren are usually textured vegetable protein and/or soy-derived. And I want "Don't eat the weird thing" embroidered on a throw pillow.

@RH&C You should definitely have dinner (or brunch) on the Spinster Balcony if you can. PPM can bake a cheddar biscuit like no one else I've ever met, and that includes some southerners.

In general, I love that so many people are attuned to the variability in diets that they make a point of asking if there are things a guest won't/can't eat.

PistolPackinMama

@Xanthophyllippa Guess what I hid in those biscuits? That's right. They were ACTUALLY cheddar offal oyster mushroom chive biscuits. Hahahahah hahaha ha ha.

(j/k)

thebestjasmine

@Lu2 Hahahah, but I swear that I had some overcooked tofu the other day (fried, in chunks) that I thought was chicken until like the third piece, and I am not a vegetarian. Tofu is tricky like that!

musicello11

@TheJacqueline Actually, I watched this news story on tv a few weeks ago. Whole Foods uses this new extremely realistic fake chicken in it's vegan chicken dishes now. I forget what it's called. But...you were most likely eating that. Apparently normal chicken eaters thought it was chicken

anachronistique

@thebestjasmine My dad has a postcard in our kitchen with a drawing of a white cube and "TOFU: Food or Substance?"

Lu2
Lu2

@TheJacqueline --Ah, but you say you're not a vegetarian. I don't mean to make a fallacious Appeal to Authority, but I'm talking from the position of long-term vegetarianism in response to Redheaded's question.

@musicello11 --was it Gardein? Because if so, I've been eating that since it came out several years ago, and that's not what this vegan "chik" salad, supposedly made from overcooked tofu, from Whole Foods tasted or felt like to me.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@Lu2
Oh yes, Native Foods has this chicken stuff that is a little too real for me...

@redheaded&crazie
Is Toronto the home of astonishing eggplant curry? Because I had some there that I would kill (or fly to Toronto) to have again, if I could remember the exact restaurant.

pterodactgirl

@josiahg I am eating the "too real" Native foods chicken as I type this. What on earth do they make this out of? I'm not a vegetarian and I keep going back to NF because their food is delicious and I literally cannot taste a difference between their "chicken" and regular chicken.

Vera Knoop

@redheaded&crazie I was thinking maybe it was ground meat? Maybe even mixed lamb and beef instead of lamb?

bashe

@laurel I dunno, I'm a 20+ year vegetarian, and we cook meat for our meat-eating guests, but when I'm a guest I would really like something I can eat? A guest honors a host by their presence, and a host acknowledges that by preparing something edible. And alcohol. Of course. Maybe I'm just too Russian?

Xanthophyllippa

@PPM OH GOOD BECAUSE I LOVE ME SOME OFFAL BISCUITS! I thought I tasted some snout in there. Mmm, snout. (Also, I have been snickering over "don't eat the weird thing" off and on ALL DAY. Ha!)

@bashe No, I think that's reasonable. But, so - if you've been invited to the house of someone who doesn't know you're a vegetarian, do you mention it ahead of time? Because in my tiny little brain, if I ask and a guest doesn't tell, or if a guest I don't know well doesn't mention a restriction, I'm absolved of cooking something that doesn't fit the restriction. There will likely be a side dish they can eat, but... I can't read minds.

femwanderluster

@pterodactgirl

I have never understood this about vegetarian and or vegan foods; if you wouldn't eat real bacon or sausage, why make a pretend version of that food? Like, if eating real chicken makes you wanna vom, why would you wanna eat pretend chicken made of something you would actually eat? There seems to be a disconnect there for me. Is it just a way to make vegetarianism/veganism palatable for previous meat-eaters to transition when they decide to? Even so, again, why? I just do not understand. Bueller? Bueller?

Emma Helen@twitter

@femwanderluster
Well, most vegans and vegetarians are so by ethical choice - they (we) don't eat meat/animal products because we don't like the taste or texture, but because we think it's ethically wrong to eat it. I know quite a few vegans who used to love meat and cheese and everything, but still went vegan. For those people, meat or animal product analogues are great, as they provide the food they like without the ethical issues that they don't like. Personally I am not fond of these things and prefer lots of vegetables and whole foods, but I can definitely understand how some people are.

Slapfight

@femwanderluster Emma Helen nailed it. I'm the opposite. I don't like the taste or texture of meat, and I don't like fake meat products for the same reasons. Except for Morningstar Farms facon. That's just basically delicious crunchy strips of salt.

aphrabean

@femwanderluster I make my own fake sausages, because I like the taste of sausage, but I don't like eating animals. It doesn't seem that complicated to me, I guess?

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@aphrabean
Fake sausages in particular are also super convenient to make in a hurry, versus other plant proteins. So there's that.

mustelid

@femwanderluster This gets asked all the time, and I have trouble understanding what's hard to understand about it?

99% of fake meats don't taste like real meat anyway, so it's not like if ground beef would make you vom, a veggie burger would too.

A lot of vegetarians/vegans totally like/miss meat and have made their choice for ethical reasons, so having something reminiscent of meat is tasty.

A lot of recipes (especially treasured family recipes/stuff you loved as a kid) have meat in them, and it's nice to be able to make those even after going veg.

Cooking veggies/legumes/grains usually takes longer, and vegetarians have long days at work sometimes too. In a lot of ways it's less about "gotta have that fake meat" and more about "gotta have that convenience food because I cannot bring myself to cook tonight."

femwanderluster

@Emma Helen@twitter
Ah, gotcha.

Lu2
Lu2

@aphrabean --Oh, dear oh dear, it may well have been. If so, me no like!! I don't want my fake-meat to seem that real. I never thought I would say that; I was always the vegetarian who would go "Huh?" when other people said Boca Burgers (original style) tasted too much like hamburgers. But apparently I have reached the line I don't want to cross.

Thanks for the link. That's interesting to hear about, and now I will be less taken aback if it happens again.

Kira-Lynn@twitter

@TheJacqueline ABOUT THE LAMB:
Not to be a weirdo, but I had a pet lamb for a time that imprinted on me as its parent. I was about 15.
I eat meat but not lamb, even though some of my family cooks a lot of lamb.
I would cry if I found out I ate lamb (and maybe puke) the same way one might if they ate a Collie.

Lu2
Lu2

@josiahg --I don't think I've tried the fake chik at Native Foods yet. Unbelievably (for me), I think I've stuck mostly to their less-processed dishes. I'll keep that in mind if I ever order something like that there and remember not to be a-skeert. ;-)

PistolPackinMama

@Xanthophyllippa Guess what I am naming your Summer Pinlist Mix?

Xanthophyllippa

@PistolPackinMama "Offal Music?"

JadedStone

FUN FACT
For YEARS my mother insisted that her onion soup was actually bunion soup and my siblings and I had no friggen clue what a bunion was.
TO THIS DAY she calls it bunion soup and we're like MOM THAT IS DISGUSTING and then she laughs.

I don't even think we had anything against onions anyway, she just thought it was funny.

sudden but inevitable betrayal

@Jade I believed for a long, long time that "grilled cheese" was actually "girl cheese," and I loved it because it was just for me.

Your mom sounds like a riot. :)

PistolPackinMama

@Jade My dad makes strangled eggs...

BornSecular

@PistolPackinMama My dad called mustard "mouse turds." Not that it sounded anywhere near similar, and is in fact totally gross. And he used/uses mustard all the time!

miss buenos aires

@Jade As a child, a friend of mine hated onions, and her parents tricked her into eating onion rings (which she loved) by calling them "fake onion rings." Now she wonders why they wanted her to eat onion rings so badly.

D.@twitter

@Jade As a child, I referred to Champagne as "fresh paint." My dad still calls it that. Never had to be tricked into drinking it, though...:D

hellonheels

@Jade Growing up, my entire household referred to Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls as "chocolate covered toes". I don't happen upon them much in adulthood, but when I do, it's a challenge to call them by their proper name.

Ten Thousand Buckets

@hellonheels They're beaver logs to me. And they have to be frozen.

thinksmall

@Jade In my family we all called Grape Nuts cereal "teeny guys," and yup, I still call 'em that.

miss buenos aires

@thinksmall In my family we call Grape-Nuts "gravel."

schrodingers_cat

@Jade My mom always called pearl onions "rabbit eyeballs." As a kid who didn't particularly like onions, this made me eat them for some weird reason.

Drink All the Coffee

@thinksmall That made me think of this from Parks & Rec.

Also, since we're talking about Ramona Quimby, what about the time when she kept calling tomatoes "tommy-toes" at dinner in a misguided attempt to alleviate the stress of complex adult economic turmoil in her family, and her dad quoted his grandmother as saying,

"First time is funny, second time is silly, third time is a spanking."

Ramona!

miss buenos aires

@Drink All the Coffee I have a friend whose mother used to say that to him. He described his childhood self as thinking, "if first time is funny, shouldn't the second time be even more funny? I should probably do this again." I don't know if he ever got spanked, though.

Tafadhali

@sudden but inevitable betrayal

Haha, me too! When I was like five or six I asked my mom, "Why are you making Ruben girl cheese, how come he doesn't get boy cheese?" and she just laughed and laughed.

I also said "pretzel" with a random n in the middle for like eleven years.

Daisy Razor

Oh my god, I thought of Ramona, Beezus and THE TONGUE immediately.

And this is relevant because this morning my mother wanted to give Baby Razor rice milk instead of cow's milk (they were out) and got all huffy when I objected. "She won't notice!"

She totally noticed.

@Daisy Razor My mom once tried to give me soy milk as a little kid. I said I didn't like it. She was like "ooohhh it's fiiiineee." I puked everywhere. Why? Because I had a fucking soy allergy.

Children are PEOPLE, dammit.

cecil hungry

@Daisy Razor On the other hand, wasn't the tongue thing with the Quimbys because her dad had lost his job and tongue was the cheapest cut of meat? Does that change anything? Maybe they shouldn't have tried to hide it, but otherwise the girls wouldn't have eaten anything...

Ten Thousand Buckets

@cecil hungry My dad ate horse roasts a few times as a kid, due to money issues.

Never had horse myself, but I just LOVE tongue. I'm in a kind of Jewish area now and the grocery sells it in the meat department, but I'm a little afraid of cooking it...

Alli525

@Daisy Razor Ahem... tongue is delicious. Actually really really amazing and I don't know why no one believes me when I say it.

This is my new username

@Alli525 Because it looks like a big scary tongue!! My mom loves it though, so you are not completely alone.

Xanthophyllippa

@cecil hungry I kind of feel like that falls into the category of "Let's learn to cook vegetables!" Because whoever said downthread that a meal isn't shit on a plate just because it doesn't contain meat is spot-on -- as a kid, I'd have much preferred a plate of veg than any weird bumpy meat.

Of course, when Cleary wrote that book, a meal WAS shit on a plate if it didn't contain meat, so. It was like the meat section of James Lileks's Gallery of Regrettable Food. (Incidentally, my mother has that cookbook on the front page.)

Princess Slayer

It's REALLY AWFUL but I can't stop giggling at "Ha-ha! It's the one you were playing with outside!" It's just so horrible!

MoxyCrimeFighter

@Princess Slayer My friend's mother once made him and his siblings "salt and pepper stew"...which was really stew made from Salt and Pepper, their pet rabbits.

themegnapkin

@MoxyCrimeFighter I cannot even! I think I would have run away from home if my parents had pulled that crap on me.

dj pomegranate

@MoxyCrimeFighter omg that is cruel cruelty.

Slapfight

@MoxyCrimeFighter My dad's parents did something similar to him.

anachronistique

@MoxyCrimeFighter Sweet mother of Preston Tucker.

When we visited my family in Spain, my great-aunt made conejos for us, and we didn't tell my sister (who was eight) that it was rabbit till later... but we also didn't lie to her, and they were raised specifically for meat. NOT BELOVED PETS.

MoxyCrimeFighter

Well, he claims that they weren't terribly traumatized by it, although they do bring it up all the time. My friend's rationale is that she grew up on a farm and thought of animals as food, not friends, and she is actually a very nice lady and a good mother, but...yeah; if you want to eat rabbit, go buy some rabbit! Or raise separate rabbits!

Xanthophyllippa

@MoxyCrimeFighter Exactly! Don't eat the one the youngest daughter was allowed to raise as a pet. (My grandmother did this to my mother. My mother has not eaten rabbit since, though I was once traumatized to see a packet of Welsh Rarebit in the freezer and mom had to explain to me twice that it was not Welsh Rabbit and she wasn't eating bunnies. Which, actually, is how she came to tell me the story about why she doesn't eat rabbit.)

thebestjasmine

My much younger sister used to be a super picky eater (and still is, but much less so). I know her tastes well, and so if I would give her something that I thought she would like, I would never trick her, and so she would trust me. She says now that if it's something weird or something that she thinks she might not like, to just not tell her in advance what it is, and she'll just taste it and decide without that influence. Often she actually likes it, but it took years of slowly changing what the fish sticks and broccoli tasted like, and making different kinds of eggs that she maybe might like to get there (she now eats eggs of all kinds!).

Inkling

@thebestjasmine
Why did that make my eyes water? You're such a good big sister!

Toby Jug

Former picky eater here. I was STUBBORN and my parents were just too tired to deal with it, so they let me eat shredded cheese slapped on tortilla chips and thrown in the microwave for most my developmental years.

Turns out I'm a supertaster, and now I eat everything! I even have a pretty good wine palette, thanks to a former roommate who was training to be a sommelier.

I don't know what happened. Maybe the scared lizard part of my brain settled down once I got through puberty or something.

EpWs

@Toby Jug I've heard that your taste buds change almost completely every seven years or so, though I don't have a source so maybe that's completely wrong? But it sounds legit to me. Baby Wordsnatcher: loved onions. 7-approx21 Wordsnatcher: hated onions. 21+Wordsnatcher: loves onions. Who knew?

maybe partying will help

@Toby Jug

Hello, are you me? Yes, I was superpicky until I...wasn't. My mom didn't try to force me to eat things I didn't like, and in hindsight I don't actually know what I was subsisting on because she's kind of a hippie cook. Probably lots of apples.

I am also a supertaster. I wonder if that has anything to do with it.

meetapossum

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher It is my hope that someday I will like seafood, so I try it whenever my friends have it. Alas, it has not happened yet!

EpWs

@meetapossum Seafood is SO tricky to get right. My best advice for seafood is to only eat it when you can smell the ocean from whence it came, and to have someone who knows what they're doing prepare it, and not mess with it much. I hope you can enjoy it someday!

Heat Signature

@Toby Jug Supertaster! I remember reading about you folks. How did you figure out your super power? I would seriously like to know, mostly because I want to be one too.

fondue with cheddar

@Toby Jug @maybe partying will help I'm a supertaster too! I've also got texture issues and food allergies. I hope my tastes change when I get older like you, but I've been "older" for a long time and nothing's changed yet. :(

TheclaAndTheSeals

@Heat Signature I'm a supertaster, and don't think of it as a good thing. Just means that I dislike more foods than most people, and more intensely.

Toby Jug

@Heat Signature There's a test for it where you put a piece of paper on your mouth and if you're disgusted you're a supertaster and you just taste paper you aren't. I took it in an AP Bio class.

fondue with cheddar

@TheclaAndTheSeals I like to think that it will help us avoid poisons.

Lu2
Lu2

@Toby Jug --That's really funny, because I remember the supertaster test involving putting a piece of paper on your tongue but it was more complicated. It was something like, the paper has a hole of a certain size and shape cut out, and you count the number of tastebuds visible through the hole. Maybe it morphed into the test you had in AP bio.

Blushingflwr

@Toby Jug Is that the supertaster test? I remember it being a test for a simple dominance gene that some people could taste the chemical and some people can't (I can, and it's so disgusting that when I had to do it again in college bio after having done it in 9th grade bio, I said "I can taste it" and refused to put the piece of paper in my mouth). I don't remember it being that if you could taste that one chemical you had more sensitive taste buds (or more of them) across the board.

AnnieM

@Toby Jug Sounds like we had similar moms! Ha. My sisters and I all subsisted on basically bread, cheese, and pasta for all of our formative years. One sister grew into a vegetarian and has since learned to eat more veggies. I am learning to like way more things. The middle sister is still quite picky. I sincerely doubt my parents could have made us eat anything we didn't want to..but hey, we survived!

Also we had a "2 fruit rule". We had to eat two servings of fruit every day. Bedtime was basically "Goodnight mama!" "Did you eat two fruits?" "Well..I ate some grapes earlier..." "Go eat some applesauce, then go to bed."

I do love fruit though.

Xanthophyllippa

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher @meetapossum Maybe sushi? Which I realize sounds totally nutso given that hello it's all seafood, but to me the fishy/seafoody taste isn't as pronounced when it's not cooked. Or when it's something like shrimp tempura that is cooked, but is all wrapped up with a bunch of other tastes in one bite.

If it backfired, it could be horrible, but so many sushi places now have non-fish menu items that eh, you could just order something else.

fondue with cheddar

@Lu2 @Blushingflwr I always thought it was a gene for tasting the chemical too, but in my research in recent years, I learned that it's a simple matter of the number of taste buds. The more taste buds you have, the more intensely you taste things, which is why that chemical tastes stronger if you're a supertaster.

Scandyhoovian

OY. I am a lifelong hater of bananas and throughout my entire childhood I had to deal with people handing me things with banana hidden in them with "oh you'll love it, just try it" and then wanting to vomit all over them as soon as I bit into it.

People, if someone tells you they don't like something, it's not because they just "haven't had the right experience," it's because they don't freaking like it. Do not force foods upon people when they have told you it is not their thing.

I don't understand why, in a world with so many food allergies, people would do this anyway. What if the reason for "I don't like nuts" is "because they make my throat close up"? I mean, I know most people say "I'm allergic to nuts," but I feel like that's not something you want to test.

sudden but inevitable betrayal

@Scandyhoovian I cannot even wrap my head around that mindset. "You don't like xyz? Yes, you do! Here, I'll show you!" Jesus, people are assholes.

Ten Thousand Buckets

@Scandyhoovian I agree up to a point. I know somebody who doesn't like potatoes or chocolate and onions give her gas. I don't cook potatoes, chocolate, or onions for her. I know another guy who won't eat sour cream as a condiment - cooked into a dish is fine. He doesn't have to eat raw sour cream.

But I also know some people who must live off of french fries and chicken nuggets, because they have a list of disliked foods several miles long. I have a hard time respecting that, especially because I know some of the items are down to a weird prejudice - they've claimed to hate beans, but that my chili (which they hoovered up) was ok because there was meat in it too. (My chili is always 100% vegetarian and made almost entirely out of beans. Guess what? You like beans.)

I just stopped inviting those people over for dinner because it was too frustrating to see dishes that I carefully constructed for maximum enjoyment picked apart because oh, by the way, they didn't mention it before, but they don't like olives or tomatoes or sausage either.

Scandyhoovian

@sudden but inevitable betrayal I dislike a lot of things that are apparently considered "but everybody likes those things" foods, so I get it a lot. Bananas, coconuts, peanut butter. Nearly every time I turn one of these things down because I don't like it, I get an incredulous response. "How can you not like PEANUT BUTTER, everyone loves peanut butter! You've probably just had bad peanut butter."

@Ten Thousand Buckets I see what you're getting at, but at the same time I feel like it doesn't really matter how or why someone dislikes something -- if they don't like that thing, they've got their own reason for not liking it, whatever it may be. That said, I think that there's a big difference between sneaking disliked things into meals in an attempt to stealthily trick people into eating them and/or admitting that yes, they DO actually like that thing, they were WRONG the whole time, and asking if they would mind trying something they've said they don't like because you think they may like it in a new preparation. It's all about being open, I think. Being shady about it's just not cool.

Blushingflwr

@Scandyhoovian Oh, man, unexpected bananas can be such a betrayal. I can deal with banana bread, and I can eat bananas in a perfect window when they are just on the cusp of ripeness, but I do not like the smell or texture of very ripe bananas (this is true with many fruits). I once got what I *thought* was a chocolate smoothie, only to be made very very sad by the undertaste/aroma of banana.

Scandyhoovian

@Blushingflwr Overripe fruit is aaaaawful. That sickly-sweet thing that happens when an apple goes bad? Nooooope.

Ten Thousand Buckets

@Scandyhoovian The thing with these particular folks is that I never misrepresented my chili, or even heard about the bean thing until after the fact. So I just cut my losses and stopped inviting them because as someone who loves to cook and eat, it was heartbreaking to see my meals be a constant source of disappointment to people.

Scandyhoovian

@Ten Thousand Buckets Sounds like the best choice. I love to cook and eat as well, and I know that if I felt my meals were not being appreciated I wouldn't want to make them for the unappreciative people anymore, either!

Carrie Ann

@Ten Thousand Buckets I think people who are picky to that degree need to own it and take responsibility for it. They need to understand that they are abnormally high-maintenance when it comes to food, and that it is NO ONE's responsibility but their own to provide a meal that meets all of their requirements. They should NOT assume that anyone else will know or cater to all of their various aversions.

It makes me crazy when my hyper-picky coworker bitches about the options in a lunch meeting, because it's like, look if you can't find something you like out of TEN sandwiches and THREE salads, you need to just bring your own lunch.

sudden but inevitable betrayal

@Carrie Ann I hate this also, and I hate that my boyfriend is totally THAT person. He's vegan and doesn't understand why the world doesn't revolve around his vegan-ness. "Oh, I just didn't eat anything today because all the food they got was meaty and cheesy. Just like I thought would happen." Plan ahead. Plan ahead! PLAN! AHEAD! Like, I just can't deal with it, most days.

fondue with cheddar

@Scandyhoovian I've got food allergies, but am also very picky (supertaster with texture issues). Sometimes I exaggerate my allergies in order to not eat certain foods because allergies are something people are more likely to understand and accept.

@Ten Thousand Buckets I hate eating dinner at other people's houses because (a) it's hard to explain my allergies/dislikes because they seem illogical, (b) my allergies and likes/dislikes are extensive so it's hard to disclose everything, and (c) I feel like such an asshole for being difficult, (d) I feel like an even bigger asshole when I don't like something they've tried to tailor to me.

My last boyfriend's mom ended up making me chicken piccatta nearly every time I came over to her house because I liked it (loved it, actually), and I was absolutely fine with that. As much as I like variety, I would much rather somebody make me the same thing over and over again than have the "What CAN you eat?" conversation with them every time.

It's a shame, because I actually love food. When I have something at someone's house or in a restaurant that's good and interesting (e.g. not just steak and potatoes) and contains completely Jen-friendly ingredients prepared in a completely Jen-friendly way, I can't shut up about how awesome it is.

effystonem

@Scandyhoovian DUDE. The peanut butter thing. People legitimately FLIP OUT when I just punched a puppy when I say I don't like peanut butter. "GAAAAAAASP But EVERYONE likes peanut butter! YOU'RE SO WEIRD." Once at daycare they made PB&J sandwiches and I refused to eat it because I told them straight-up that I did NOT like it. Luckily one of the nicer ladies who worked there secretly made me a just jelly sandwich, but I still don't know why it's such a big deal to people.

thebestjasmine

@effystonem I HATE PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SANDWICHES. Oh dear God, just the thought of them makes me all gaggy.

datalass

@sudden but inevitable betrayal Yes! I've a relative who can't eat various things because of health issues. A few years ago, I was hosting a picnic, so I e-mailed him in advance and asked what he could/would like to eat. No response. Then he showed up, quizzed me about the ingredients of each dish, concluded there was nothing there he could eat, and bought a hamburger at the park's concession stand.

itiresias

@effystonem peanut butter is absolutely my favorite food. but i feel you.

kickupdust

@sudden but inevitable betrayal ahhh as a vegan myself I also cannot STAND that kind of vegan. it's like, hey, there's probably not going to be anything at this [insert event] that I can eat, so I'll either eat before or BRING SOMETHING. sooo not hard.

fondue with cheddar

@effystonem People flip out at me the same way when I tell them I don't like potato chips. But EVERYONE likes potato chips! Nope. Not me.

phlox

@Scandyhoovian My mom still gives me crap about not liking peppers, because everyone likes peppers! they're so sweet! when no, to me they taste like a stinging bitterness.

thebestjasmine

@jen325 "I don't like mashed potatoes." "YOU DON'T LIKE MASHED POTATOES? BUT THEY'RE SO AMAZING/MY FAVORITE/WHAT IS THANKSGIVING LIKE IN YOUR WORLD?" "No, I don't. They're boring to me, bland, and we eat potatoes au gratin/potato salad/roasted potatoes."

meganmaria

@Scandyhoovian I once knew a guy who was allergic to beans. His mom thought he was lying and saying he was so he wouldn't have to eat them. So, she ground up pinto beans and put them in his dinner once and yelled at him and said he was faking when he started to have an anaphylactic reaction.

meganmaria

@Blushingflwr I love bananas that are still a little green. But once they start to get spots, I throw them away. I think the sheer amount of redhead in my family makes me think of it as some form of cannibalism.

effystonem

@sudden but inevitable betrayal Yessss. One of my best friends is vegetarian, and we went on a trip with some other people (all carnivores, to a very meat-loving country) and whenever it was time to look for restaurants, we were like, "Can you eat here?" We really wanted to go to a place where everyone could find something tasty, but she was really weird and bitchy about it, and just kept saying, "Choose any place you want, I'll find something." The problem is, she is SUPER picky anyway (like, doesn't even like a lot of vegetables - a VEGETARIAN), so she got pissed at the place we chose because there was nothing she wanted, and then we sincerely offered to go somewhere else but she was just like, "No, it's fine" but was being such a martyr, just like "I will sit here stoically and not eat while all of you pig out and enjoy yourselves," which then in turn annoyed US, because she was making us feel bad, and she got in a crying fight with her boyfriend about it which made us all super uncomfortable...I don't remember how we resolved it, but ugh, YES, if you are picky/have dietary restrictions, please either accept people trying to help or figure that shit out beforehand. Unless they're super assholes, people will respect your restrictions, but it's really up to you; sometimes that sucks, if it's something like a legit allergy or whatever, but still, it's your responsibility for your own body, no one else's.

Sorry for the rant! I just feel like a lot of my friends are picky, and I definitely remember their preferences and all but I don't like being made to feel bad for something that is not my fault.

SarahP

@Scandyhoovian My mother hates chocolate too, like gags if she accidentally has some, and people are stupid/forceful when offering her some, because when she says "no thank you" or even "I'm not a chocolate person," they assume she's dieting and keep trying to talk her out of her "diet." (Which is kind of offensive, actually...)

@jen325 As a vegan with multiple food allergies, I am so with you on not enjoying dinners out. But the people with whom I do eat have a SarahP staple, one thing they cook that they know I can eat, and though they're apologetic about serving the same thing every time, I FEEL SAFE and that is so great for me.

I've also never had someone intentionally feed me something I can't/won't eat, so that's nice.

fondue with cheddar

@meganmaria That's horrible! Wasn't there a movie or TV show where a little boy was allergic to chocolate, and his face was blowing up and his mom, without even looking, said he would be fine? I can totally picture it but I have no idea what it was from.

effystonem

@SarahP What is it with people who actively try to ruin your diet? Once in a while when I feel like I've been especially unhealthy I'll just try to cut out excess sodium/sweet/etc., for a while, and I have the hardest time getting people off my dick about it. Worst it as work - when people bring in treats, I've just found it's easier to take one and throw it away then try to just say, "No thank you." Then I'm endlessly cajoled to take one and mocked if I don't ("oh, on a diet?"), which is just SO RUDE. Let's say I AM on a diet. What if I think I'm a disgusting fat pig who isn't worthy of love and I HATE myself, so I decide dieting to lose weight is the only way to gain self-respect? So I already hate myself and you are sitting here, not knowing my situation, and making me feel terrible at work for trying to do something to I think will help my self-esteem? Ughhh treat-pushers are the worst. (Closely followed by people who tease you for not drinking like ONCE)

People totally don't think before they speak, do they?

the angry little raincloud

@thebestjasmine Yes! I love peanut butter. I love jelly. I will happily eat either one of those things smeared on bread (if it's jelly, there should be butter-butter under the jelly, obviously, because just jelly on bread would be sad). But I cannot stand peanut butter and jelly together. I find it to be a disgusting combination, and Goober is pretty much my nightmare food.

TheJacqueline

@effystonem Why is that such a thing in workplaces?! That always happens to me when someone brings in donuts. I have a massive sweet tooth but seriously, fuck donuts. I actively loathe them. I'm not trying to diet or "be good" (and like you said--if I were whose business is that anyways?) I am just trying not to eat a disgusting lump of sugary fried dough arrrgh.

Blushingflwr

@Ten Thousand Buckets In defense of people who don't mention things - sometimes I forget to mention something I don't like because I forget that other people consider it to be food. I used to be mystified by how many pumpkins showed up in the grocery store, because I couldn't believe the demand for Jack-O-Lanterns was that high. Of course, if that happens, I either eat around it or I try it. And I do not hold the host responsible for not knowing information they were not provided.

Also, to chime in on the "things everyone else loves" - I do not like peanut butter with chocolate. I like chocolate, peanut butter is sort of hit-or-miss, but it is definitely not a dessert food (but I do like chocolate-covered peanuts). I get a lot of aghast responses when I disclose this.

Ten Thousand Buckets

@jen325 At least if you can be up front with me about it, I can try to accommodate. And as long as your dislikes are balanced with some serious likes, it's totally doable. You like piccatta? I'll make piccatta! At least piccatta is kind of fancy and more fun to make than chicken nuggets. Or maybe, instead of accepting my dinner invite, we can just go to a restaurant! But if you can tell me straight up that you're picky instead of slowly disclosing everything that you hate over several years, so that everything I serve has something majorly wrong with it...

Can you tell yet that this is something very specific that has frustrated me for years?

I also appreciate it if people will at least try to gag down something they're not fond of, unless it literally makes them gag (as is often the case with texture issues.) Or will make them swell up and die. Allergies are a whole other bag of cats.

Ten Thousand Buckets

@Blushingflwr Forgetting is pretty normal*. I'm not saying that you need to give me a printout of dislikes if you're prone to forgetting (though maybe you should...?), but in those cases it might be better to just tell me what you know you like and I can go from there.

And I really do appreciate you being gracious if something doesn't work out.

Honestly my biggest issue with the people I'm talking about is not that they did not like a lot of things, but that they didn't like anything. If I asked what I could make, there was never anything remotely interesting on the list. It was all stuff off the kids menu. Argh.

*To be fair, I often totally forget about some minor medical issues that new doctors generally like to hear about...

H.E. Ladypants

@effystonem Oh goodness, that would drive me mad. I am a vegetarian but I grew up in cattle country. I am attuned to the fine art of creatively finding things to eat at in hospitable restaurants. I may not always get a plate of food that makes my heart sing but even in the meatiest, most impossible-looking steak house, I've never had a server refuse to help me figure out something to eat. I try very hard not to make a fuss because these are my self imposed restrictions and my time with the group is more important than eating exactly what I want.

People who behave like that, though, make other people nervous to go out to eat with me. I hate seeing other people worry themselves over whether there is "anything for me to eat" or panic because they "don't know where they can take a vegetarian." I'm fine. I will be fine. And I am perfectly happy to manage anywhere but few things are as annoying as having to break in a new dinner companions who've been trained to expect bad behavior from vegetarians.

@Ten Thousand Buckets What I hate is when people categorically dismiss entire categories of food. I've had people refuse to eat my cooking or consider restaurants I enjoy because they hate "vegetarian food" or "vegan food" or "fake meat" (a category which they use to include not only crappy boxed faux meats but seitan, tofu, and tempeh.) Here I feel (rightly, I think) offended at being judged without even getting a fair hearing about what's on the offer- let alone a tasting. And I'm known to be a good cook and an excellent baker! Dinner at my house often means homemade bread and cakes!

But no. I even try to be a flexible and welcoming cook. I'll ask people about allergies, restrictions and straight up preferences (if I don't know) before having guests. And in reply I've actually heard back "I won't eat vegetarian food." SO MUCH RAGE.

OxfordComma

@jen325 : I completely understand your pain.

I recently realized that I'm allergic to soy, and compounding that with being a supertaster AND having texture issues?

My God, I sound like the biggest asshole. :(

bashe

@H.E. Ladypants YES YES YES YES. Really NOT a fussy vegetarian, have spent many nights at steakhouses with a plate of boiled veg because I would rather spend time with friends than eat a great veg meal, but what the fuck is with meat eaters who act like something without is shit on a plate?

Xanthophyllippa

@jen325 Maybe you should come eat with me? Because once I decide I'm comfortable enough with someone to cook them dinner, I'm comfortable enough with them to ask if they have any requests. Not just, "are there things you can't eat?", which I do ask, but also, "I'm taking requests. Is there anything you want me to make for you?" I'm not a tremendously good cook, and I'm not one who does a test batch before serving it to someone so there's always the chance of failure, but I'm usually willing to try to cook anything. Some folks say, "oh, anything," and some folks have been all, "you know what? I'd LOVE to have some kind of vegetable pizza." You could totally tell me you'd like a giant platter of chicken piccata and I'd be like, "ON IT!"

Sometimes the best intentions go awry, though. During a vegetarian phase I once asked for a veg meal at an event and mentioned a mushroom allergy in the "special considerations" section (NOT a real allergy, but if the mushroom is bigger than, say, the bits in Campbell's cream of mushroom soup, I will definitely gag on it). They brought me the vegetarian meal, which was...a grilled portobello mushroom on a bed of rice.

fondue with cheddar

@Ten Thousand Buckets Choking down something you don't like is way easier for some people than others. Sometimes I try, but I can't disguise the fact that I find it revolting and that makes me feel bad for the person who cooked it because it's not their fault. But sometimes I just can't try at all.

@OxfordComma Being a supertaster and being sensitive to texture is SO HARD, isn't it? I'm so pleased to find out I'm not alone. It's interesting that being allergic to soy is a problem for you because I can't stand the taste of soy. Being allergic to it wouldn't have much effect on my eating habits. It's funny how supertasters sometimes have very different likes/dislikes.

@Xanthophyllippa YOU ARE THE BEST. I will totally come over your house for dinner, as long as you don't mind if I push the capers off to the side of my plate.

I can't believe they brought you a grilled portobello mushroom. :/

Stephanie Lucianovic@twitter

I'm so sorry, @Jade, but that bunion story is hilarious! I'm going to snort over it all day.

Lamb Story clarification: He didn't like the idea of lamb, and I think he just couldn't tell the difference. It wasn't for ethical reasons -- this was in the 30s/40s, so not such a PETA thing, I think? The point is how powerful just the idea of something you hate can be.

@Scandyhoovian: I am so with you on banana hate.

BreezyK

@Stephanie Lucianovic@twitter The lamb story just reminded me of this from MBFGW: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnjWZT3yWWc

anachronistique

@Stephanie Lucianovic@twitter Stephanie! I loved your site back when you were chronicling your adventures in culinary school, and I was so stoked to see your name in the byline. Woo!

Ten Thousand Buckets

Super picky niece visiting right now, and last night she volunteered to eat - and then really liked - edamame, shrimp, and flying fish roe off the California rolls. I think the trick was us not caring if she ate the stuff or not. Every time we actually ask her to eat something she refuses, as if on principle. (Maybe it is.) It probably also helps that her baby sister was eating all of those things as well. It would just be embarrassing if the baby showed her up. :p

Scandyhoovian

@Ten Thousand Buckets Sibling pressure can be HUGE on small kids with food! My sister ate anything and everything until she realized my brother and I were pickier than her -- and then suddenly stopped eating the things he and I didn't want to eat, as she wanted to be like her older siblings.

It was a short phase, but for a while there my mom was completely baffled. "But you ate asparagus LAST WEEK, what is going on?"

Emma Peel

@Ten Thousand Buckets Yep. I spent a lot of my childhood hating completely innocuous foods because my younger sister like them and I wanted to be different. Spaghetti with red sauce. PB&J with grape jelly.

Weirdly, even though I know there is nothing about them/their components I don't like, I still don't make those things for myself.

damselfish

@Ten Thousand Buckets As a picky eater, whenever my family made a big deal I got super self-conscious. Even if they didn't coax me to eat it, the applauding "way to go! You ate that thing!" afterwards made me want to die of shame. So it may have been that.

I hated (still hate) people commenting on the stuff I'm eating. Just don't do it! Unless you want to ask "hey that looks tasty, what is it?" That's okay. But I get a lot of "omg that's it?" or "omg you're gonna eat all that?" and "why that, not this?" and uuurgh it's just so fraught.

Kira-Lynn@twitter

@damselfish I agree with the commenting on food issue. Whyyyy?

OhMarie

The Little Mermaid came out when I was a kid, and for years a friend's little brother would only eat fish if he was told it was flounder.

stuffisthings

@OhMarie I only eat pork if I'm told it's mermaid.

OhShesArtsy

I am into ASKING my friends to try recipes that I make that have ingrediants that they believe they don't like. I love to challenge my notions of what foods I like and it's a passion that is more fun when you share it.

BUT I always make it exceptionally clear what is in the food and I NEVER hassle them to try. Generally it goes like this:

Friend: "I don't like *food*."
Me: "Oh? How have you had it prepared?"
F: "*Boiled*, *mushed*, and *another gross way of preparing*."
M: "I don't blame you! I never liked *food* until I tried it *tasty prepped*. I can make some for you to try some time if you would like?"

Then Friend either says, "Yes! That sounds interesting!" or, "No, I don't think I want to try *food* again." Either way, I don't mind. I just like talking about food!

Emma Peel

@OhShesArtsy One of my friends doesn't like Indian food. It is all I can do to stop myself from being like "Have you had tandoori chicken? Have you had dosas? Have you had tawa grilled things?" ad infinitum, because it's such a diverse cuisine that saying that (which I'm guessing just really means "I don't like Indian curries") is like writing off "American food."

I feel like this would be annoying, though. But still! Often it's in the preparation and/or past experiences.

Roxanne Rholes

@OhShesArtsy Beets!

fondue with cheddar

@OhShesArtsy I'm picky, and I really like your approach. It's very respectful and not judgemental.

@Emma Peel Take your friend to an Indian buffet if there's one near you! As a picky eater, I love buffets because it gives me an opportunity to sample different foods without wasting food or money, and there's so much variety that the chance of going hungry is slim.

Barring that, see if there's just one thing on the menu that seems "safe", even if it's boring. There's a really good Indian restaurant near me, and their menu has detailed descriptions of what's in everything. What my boyfriend (who likes everything) and I do is order something I'm curious about and something I know I like. Then I will try the new thing, and if I don't like it he'll eat it. If I do like it then he'll eat my fallback choice.

Emma Peel

@jen325 Sadly, I think she has decided she just Doesn't Like It so there's no point in trying to change her mind. (And, to be fair, one can live a perfectly full life without ever eating Indian food.) But yeah, I love buffets for exactly that reason. And your boyfriend sounds like a great restaurant partner.

BornSecular

@Roxanne Rholes Yes, beets! How can you make them not taste like dirt?

fondue with cheddar

@Emma Peel He is! And I'm so excited to have discovered that there's Indian food that I can eat, because while I'm very picky, I really do like variety and complexity in the foods I eat.

Roxanne Rholes

@BornSecular Buy the littler beets, because they're sweeter. Cut the ends off and place each beet on a piece of tin foil. Sprinkle olive oil and a teeny bit of salt on them. Wrap them up, put them in a baking dish, and bake until a knife slides through them. Slip the peels off, cut 'em up, and add butter. One of my favorite foods...but before age 23, I had never had them not-canned, so I thought I hated them! Mmm...beets...

SarahP

@Roxanne Rholes Until last year or so, I'd never had canned beets, only fresh. And only then did I understand how people could dislike beets.

harebell

@BornSecular uh, just roast them. Ideally with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. Possibly with some nice salad, goat cheese, and walnuts. Also balsamic vinegar.

They don't taste like dirt. You might not like them, but they don't taste like dirt. That's just silly. They're sweet. Beets are a major source of sugar alongside sugar cane. There's a whole industry devoted to manufacturing sugar out of beets. Yeesh.

Lu2
Lu2

@harebell --As the saying goes, there is no accounting for taste/there is no arguing with taste/to each his own taste ... take yer pick. I like beets, and I think they have a dirt taste, plus I'm not silly. Your mileage may vary!

Opos

@Lu2 Truth! I like beets but *for* that earthy taste.

This is my new username

@BornSecular Also beets need to be fresh. They should not be sitting around in your fridge for extended periods of time. They are not like potatoes. They loose their yummy flavour fairly quickly. Probably you want to get them from a farmers market or something. 'Cause my mom totally just boils them and they are awesome, but that is basically like a "pull from ground, clean, cook" kind of situation.

pterodactgirl

@Emma Peel RE: the story of the girl not liking Indian food, I once knew a girl who claimed to not like "Asian food." It was all I could do to not go off on a huge tear when she told me. I mean really, it's an entire continent--the largest continent! It contains many very different cultures--with many very different cuisines! And you don't like ANY of the foods that come from this place where more than half of the world's population lives (and eats)?

She was not a nice person in the end, but this was one of the first inklings I had that we could never really be friends.

anachronistique

@pterodactgirl I - but - what - HOW???

Xanthophyllippa

@jen325 Indian buffets are how I learned that there is exactly ONE way on the planet that I like cauliflower, that carrots can be a tasty tasty dessert, and that the texture of paneer might take some getting used to but the taste in a good tikka masala is SO worth the effort.

I learned to like Thai and Indian food as an undergraduate, because the department in which I was the office hourly had some really cool faculty that I liked hanging out with and they went out for Thai and Indian a lot. I feel like an entire segment of my palate is in their honor.

ETA: Also, I live directly across the street from an Indian buffet. SCORE.

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@Xanthophyllippa OMG tikka masala. That's my favorite. What's paneer?

You don't live in the Philadelphia area by chance, do you? Because we would be great dinner buddies!

Oh, and living across from an Indian buffet sounds dangerous. :)

Xanthophyllippa

@jen325 Paneer is an Indian cheese that is one of the best foods on earth. It's firm, pretty mild, and utterly delish. People tell me it has the same texture as firm tofu but I hate the texture of tofu and I love the texture of paneer, so. Mmm..

I'm not in Philly but if I ever am, we are SO going out to dinner. (And capers are nasty bits of evil.)

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@Xanthophyllippa Oh, I've had it! It was a sort of weird texture that I haven't entirely made up my mind about. I forget what the brand name is, but Wegmans carries some frozen Indian food that's pretty good. That's what I had. It was in cubes and in a spicy orange sauce. I'd definitely try it freshly-prepared in a restaurant before judging it definitively.

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@Xanthophyllippa Oh, and I totally forgot to show you where we're going to eat when you come visit. ;)

And I'm with you on capers, but there is one thing I like about them: they're large and easy to pick out.

Xanthophyllippa

@jen325 WEGMANS. And oh LORD, I would so totally eat there. We could order ALL the things except for the ones we don't like.

(Do try the paneer. It took me a few tries, but now I'd much rather have that than chicken in my tikka masala.)

fondue with cheddar

@Xanthophyllippa I'll try it! Actually I think they offer it with both together. :) The last time my boyfriend and I got food from there (they deliver!) we stayed in bed all day and actually ate it in bed without making a mess. We got a whole bunch of different things and pigged out. It was fantastic. Oh, and the lollipop lamb chops are to die for. They're expensive, but so worth it...it's like they're making sweet love to your mouth.

OH! The boyfriend got a phone call yesterday about going out to dinner with his mom and sister for their birthdays. And guess where we're going! HAPPY DANCE

Wegmans is the best, isn't it?

Xanthophyllippa

@jen325 Wegmans. *tiny moan*

spacevalkyrie

The best trick my parents ever used for getting us to try foods (especially artichokes): "Oh maybe you'll grow into the taste eventually. This is the kind of food grownups like."

This made me struggle through several artichokes until one day I realized that I loved them immensely.

Slapfight

@spacevalkyrie It's amazing how your tastes change as you age. I used to think broccoli rabe was revolting, but now I crave it like it's cocaine. Delicious, bitter, green cocaine. Slathered in garlic. Honestly, just give me broccoli rabe instead of coke. It tastes better and doesn't make me want to off myself the next day. Let's meet in a stall in the restroom of a gay bar and have "deep, meaningful conversations" while scarfing down the rabe.

Stephanie Lucianovic@twitter

@Slapfight I'm like this with roasted broccoli dressed in a smoked paprika vinaigrette now. Just last night, I went to the kitchen to get pie and was shanghaied by the leftover broccoli. I'm not proud of it, but it's true.

Slapfight

@Stephanie Lucianovic@twitter My other shameful food secret is that I'll roast half a bunch of kale with salt and olive oil and just eat that for dinner, in front of the femputer while scrolling through D-Listed. SHAME!

Stephanie Lucianovic@twitter

@Slapfight I still can't get into kale, though my newest trick is eating it raw in a salad once it's soaked in a really lemony-mustardy-garlicky vinaigrette for at least 30 mins.

It's so good for you that I feel that I'm eating virtue. Pure, bitter, hard-to-chew virtue.

spacevalkyrie

@Slapfight oh man what about roasted broccoli overed in garlic and CUMIN because I maybe made it for dinner for spaceviking and me but then ate it all before he came home?

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@spacevalkyrie I only ate an artichoke once, and that was because my French teacher offered us extra credit if we did. Only a couple of us took her up on it. It was so gross, but I really needed the extra credit.

Slapfight

@spacevalkyrie I want to go home and eat green things after this article but all I have is bicolored corn. Tragedy.
@jen325 I luuuuurve artichokes. They take effort but are so worth it (to me.) Steamed with a little lemon shallot buttah...
Hope you got the credit!

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@Slapfight I did get the credit! I would have been SO PISSED if I hadn't because it was absolutely revolting. I had it with butter, but lemon might have made it a bit more palatable (but still not good).

Xanthophyllippa

@jen325 Or lightly breaded with a garlic-rosemary aioli. Of course, that makes just about everything better.

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@Xanthophyllippa Ha! I JUST stated my hate for rosemary in another comment. ;) Not the taste, but the texture. Pokey!

ImASadGiraffe

@spacevalkyrie I am a relatively picky eater, but I love kale. The best is frying up some bacon, then putting the kale in the bacon grease and cooking it until it's deliciously dark green. MMMMMMM.

TheLetterL

I am a reformed but formerly supremely picky eater, so I'm just waiting for karma to catch up with me in the form of my future children. I'd like to think that I'll be able to grit my teeth and just toss them a gummy vitamin, but who can say? Maybe it'll come down to hiding veggies. I wouldn't necessarily try to pass it off as the same -- I know well that even a tiny hint of a hated food can ruin everything -- but I don't think I'm above "Oh, I tried a new recipe for brownies today. What do you think?"

Maryse42

@TheLetterL "Reformed but formerly very picky eater" describes me to a tee, and I was terrified of the same thing as you when my son was born, that my mother's frequent dinnertime curse would come back to haunt me... "I hope you have a kid just like you!" I feel like I won the freaking lottery: my 2.5-year-old son eats EVERYTHING I eat! Fish! Brussels sprouts! Broccoli! Beets! Asparagus! (Not too hot, but he can handle small amounts of "medium spicy") curry and salsa! It's unbelievable. And get this: he'd rather eat fruit than cake or ice cream! (He got that from his dad, because I'm not all that big on fruit, but I LOVE dessert.) So far, I've only identified one thing he truly dislikes: peanut butter in any and all forms. (I've been warned this could be a sign of future allergy, so I'm not pushing it.) And for some reason the only cold/non-melted cheese he likes is processed cheese -- but he'll eat the good stuff if it's melted on pasta, bread, pizza, etc. (I trust this will change as he grows up.)

teaandcakeordeath

@TheLetterL
I am a present supremely picky eater and oh god this hell never occured to me.
Im about as far away from having children as possible and Im already getting nervous about meal times.

TheLetterL

@Maryse42 You've given me hope! Your son sounds like a dream. As far as hated foods go, peanut butter seems pretty easy to work around.

@teaandcakeordeath Ugh, I know. I am also extremely far from having children, but I already have a battle plan lined up. There were a few incidents, but my family was overall pretty okay at dealing with it. My mother would make one meal, and if I didn't like it, I was welcome to go fix myself a sandwich or cereal. My grandmother would also make one meal, but she was always indulgent of picky eaters and would pick out any offending items from my serving before it got to the table. I think my own approach would fall somewhere between, making easy modifications but also affirming that I am not a short-order cook.

teaandcakeordeath

@TheLetterL

Oooh smart! Im crossing my fingers for one of those child savants who will be cooking for me by the age of 6. At which point I will considerately give them a list of things I do or dont eat.

distrighema

I was tricked into eating calamari as a child because my parents told me they were onion rings. I'm still really grossed out thinking about it. Also, I'm a vegetarian now, and a surprising number of people think it's funny to say they're going to slip meat into your food. I will puke on you/stop being your friend if that happens, I promise.

Roxanne Rholes

@distrighema Yeah, what's the deal with that? I was vegetarian for 11 years and got that a lot. What would have happened if the person actually succeeded in sneaking it in? I would have ended up with an upset stomach? Or maybe not? But really, I would just continue to not buy or order meat. So, uh, good job, trickster. You really pulled a fast one on me.

werewolfbarmitzvah

@distrighema Oh noes, this happened to me at a deli buffet once! I got some of what I thought were onion rings, and then when I bit into one, everything went into slow motion. "What is this disturbingly rubbery texture I feel?...This does NOT feel or taste like onion...This feels and tastes like something dreadful...AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH IT'S SQUID! IT'S SQUID! SOYLENT GREEN IS SQUIIIIIIIIIIIDDDDDDDD!!!!!" (I have a seafood phobia.)

Lily Rowan

@distrighema Maybe they think it's like the vegan power thing from Scott Pilgrim??

Xanthophyllippa

@distrighema I'd kind of be willing to stop being their friend for even thinking that's funny. I have a vegan friend who knows how much I hate eggplant (I hate it with the fire of a thousand flaming nuns) but thinks it's funny to offer me some or make jokes about "Wouldn't you like some EGGPLANT? MMMM!" If I turned that around and said, "Wouldn't you like some DEAD COW?" I'd get a lecture on how I'm not respecting her life choices.

Blushingflwr

@distrighema See, and what's funny is I will eat calamari, but not onion rings.

anachronistique

@distrighema This isn't the same thing, but you reminded me of the time when I was a kid and ordered a seafood linguine dish and instead of coming with neat little calamari rings it came with WHOLE BABY SQUIDS. And I refused to eat it because tentacles. And then my dad made the baby squids dance around and ate them for me.

But threatening/joking to slip meat into your food is a dick move and people should not do it.

The Attic Wife

Gah, lying to people about what they eat is the worst. Especially someone who has dietary restrictions whether because of health or lifestyle choice, that I really don't get. Do you think you're winning something by "tricking" a vegan into eating cheese? Or even better, people who don't tell people they know have allergies that the food they're eating has nuts/shellfish/whatever. Seriously, how is that even remotely okay?

Blushingflwr

@The Attic Wife I think there are a lot of people who think that food allergies are a lie. They're either just pickiness or weakness. This is especially true of people from certain generations/cultural background.
And I think a lot of people get very defensive about veg*ns, because they assume that people who make different food choices are judging theirs. And when people get defensive, they often get hostile, unfortunately.

The Attic Wife

@Blushingflwr That just blows my mind. I mean, I think we all know at least one person who says they're "allergic" to something when they really mean that they don't like it, but that doesn't mean everyone else is lying.

Blushingflwr

@The Attic Wife I know that my father sometimes seems disdainful of one of his brothers-in-law, who has a lot of allergies. In fairness, it's partly because said brother-in-law is not very good at working with people on figuring out what he *can* eat and doesn't really display a lot of personality otherwise. But I do think that my father comes from a generation where allergies are associated with weakness and hypochondria (or over-protective mothers).

@serenityfound

My baby sister is an insanely picky eater and, I will admit, I have tricked her a couple of times because it was the only way to get her to eat veggies. I always found the pureeing veggies into sauces (since she wouldn't eat them standalone) or just not telling her what was in something were more effective in the long run, though. If she asked what was in it, I'd always tell her. Just not until she'd tried it. That way her preconceived notions wouldn't get in the way as much.

sudden but inevitable betrayal

I'm not really a picky eater, except when it comes to texture. I want so badly to like things like quinoa and couscous and oatmeal, but...I just can't. I can't get it down and if I try for too long my stomach says, "oh, to hell with this!" and empties itself. Sorry, everyone who's had to witness me spitting food into my napkin, but it's that or puke. :/

fondue with cheddar

@sudden but inevitable betrayal TEXTURE. It's often more important than taste! I want to like oatmeal too because I love the taste of oats in cookies, bread, and cold cereal, but the mushy texture is just...I just can't do it.

EpWs

@sudden but inevitable betrayal I'll only do steel-cut oats for my oatmeal. They're delightfully chewy! (Regular mushy oatmeal, no thankyou.)

Creature Cheeseman

@sudden but inevitable betrayal I used to HATE oatmeal for the texture reason too, but then one day I found myself craving it, and then I ate oatmeal for breakfast every day for the following year.

meganmaria

@sudden but inevitable betrayal I love quinoa, because it's SO GOOD and SO GOOD FOR YOU, but it makes me barf. Every time. Like, barfing until my whole digestive tract has been wrung out like a sponge. It's miserable. I'm not sure what it is about it that makes that happen to me, but even smelling it when I'm making it for my husband makes me feel ill.

the angry little raincloud

@sudden but inevitable betrayal Texture is key! I cannot stand flakes of coconut. I'm fine with coconut flavor in and of itself, and I will merrily cook with coconut milk, etc etc., but the texture of flakes of coconut grosses me out. Blech! Phooey! Barf!

anachronistique

@the angry little raincloud Steve Almond describes coconut in his book "Candyfreak" as being like dessicated fingernail clippings. Oh god, even typing it makes me want to heave. (I hate coconut. In all forms.)

hahahaha, ja.

@meganmaria: Can I just say -- I will eat quinoa, but I will feel like I am eating little pustules of pus with curly bits of pubes floating around. I will also mispronounce it half the time, but that's another matter entirely.

the angry little raincloud

@anachronistique That is the most disgusting-- yet accurate-- description of coconut flakes I have ever heard.

Excuse me, I'm going to go barf in my handbag now.

OxfordComma

@the angry little raincloud @sudden but inevitable betrayal: YES! Me too!!! Fuck you, unexpected texture!

Xanthophyllippa

@the angry little raincloud @anachronistique I will readily eat ALL your coconut. In fact I ate my first Trader Joe's coconut ice floe while reading the comment about Almond describing it as toenails in the last picky eater column, and agreed wholeheartedly with the description even as I was eagerly gobbling down those little toenaily flakes.

@ietapi I always think cooked quinoa looks like tiny little unrolled condoms. I guess that would explain the pubes.

fondue with cheddar

@anachronistique YES dessicated fingernail clippings is a perfect analogy! I hate the taste, but I hate the texture more. BLECH.

Coconut-texture-haters: do you also hate pokey herbs? Like rosemary or the occasional bit of stem from oregano or other leafy herbs?

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@OxfordComma Unexpected texture is a sudden but inevitable betrayal!

lora.bee

My sister was THE pickiest eater when we were growing up. She would have just eaten cheese on a bun for every meal, if she could've.

Meanwhile, there is a photo of me facedown asleep in a place of chicken wings, because I would Eat All The Things.

meetapossum

"Tonight his beloved mock-apple pie will have real apples!"

Hammitt

Stories vaguely related:
1. My college boyfriend came over for dinner, third date. He watches me cut up onions for a tomato sauce. "Are you putting those all in?" he asks, "Yeah, onions are delicious" I say. He says nothing. He eats. On our way to the bar, he throws up in the street. Come to find out, kid hates onions. You've got to TELL ME THESE THINGS dude. I felt just awful.

2. I spent TWO YEARS arguing with one of my best friends that I didn't eat pancakes out much because they taste like baking soda. I also don't eat some cookies. I would only eat pancakes at this one place, because they don't taste like baking soda. Best friend found this HILARIOUS and spent lots of time telling people at diners that I thought I could taste baking soda. Others found this hilarious. People started jokingly asking me if their cookies tasted like baking sode (some did.)

Weelllll - long story short (too late!) it turns out it's not baking soda, it's baking powder. The process for creating some baking powders (but not others) involves aluminum and some of us (some extra special lucky people) have the unique joy of being able to taste that aluminum. And it tastes like ass. So next time I take a bite of a pancake I will politely push it away, because it's considered rude to tell a host that their pancakes taste like sucking on rusty coke cans.

3. Did you know that for some people cilantro tastes like dirt? That is the SADDEST. All that ruined salsa. Not to mention guacamole.

4. I hate brussel sprouts. I have had them every damned way you can think of, because that's what happens when you hate something. Why must everyone insist on making me brussel sprouts as soon as I tell them I hate them? They will be my avengers, the ones who will show me the error of my ways, my brussel sprouts SAVIORS.

About a year ago I developed a pretty severe intolerance to cruciferous vegetables. The loss of broccoli has been hard to cope with, but the ability to say I can't, rather than won't, eat your brussel sprouts is the greatest blessing of my life.

EpWs

@Hammitt Vaguely related to the "tasting specific things and they taste gross" thing, I had a coworker at my last job who could not STAND anything mint. It tasted like dirt to her. She had to have cinnamon toothpaste. This makes me sad, as a mint-lover. But man, aren't taste buds funky things? I had no idea about the baking powder aluminum thing!

Ten Thousand Buckets

@Hammitt Yeah, I'm one of the cilantro people. It's a bit soapy to me, but I can handle a little sprinkle of it. But a huge fistful on my burrito is just a one-way ticket to sadsville.

TheLetterL

@Ten Thousand Buckets Same here. A little cilantro is okay, but too much and it's Soap City.

Daisy Razor

@Hammitt re: #3 One of my friends has that, and it is so sad to see her occasionally bite into something and mutter, "Damnit, cilantro!"

Hot Doom

@Hammitt I only recently figured out that one of the things I CRAVE in baked goods and things like pancakes (and raw cake & cookie batters) is the taste of baking powder. Like, I will look at a recipe and if it doesn't contain baking powder, a little part of me says 'awww maaaannn'. And also, cilantro does sort of taste like dirt to me (maybe, 'earthy' shall we say?), but I love it. WHUT!?

E@twitter

@Hammitt About Cilantro if you dice it up and and squish the extra fluid out in a tea towel or paper towel it will remove the soapy flavor of cilantro. My husband couldn't stand it until I learned that secret. Now he will seek it out.

frigwiggin

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Oh man, I cannot STAND mint in savory things. Mint-chocolate? 'S all good. But, like, mint jelly? Or mint in salads? YUCK ech urgh. It's one of the very, very few things I genuinely don't like, though, so I forgive myself that.

Brunhilde

@Hammitt My boyfriend has the non-cilantro tasting gene. Once a chef said to him "It's not your fault, it's genetic. It's like you have down syndrome of the taste buds" which I laughed so hard at but then felt really bad because it's really not nice.

SarahP

@Hammitt For your own at-home baking needs, there are several brands of baking powder that don't use aluminum! (Slash I would totally make you pancakes you would like :) )

Hammitt

@SarahP I would TOTALLY eat your pancakes. And be SO HAPPY about it. I really love pancakes. Just not aluminum.

@ E@twitter - so glad to know that! I feel like I have a secret cilantro fixing super power now!

meetapossum

@Hammitt Is your college boyfriend one of my friends? Kid refuses to eat anything with onions in it. I left them out of my venison burgers last time because he was eating them, and it was a SERIOUS detriment. Onions are a wonder!

KatnotCat

@Hammitt I can't seem to get over brussel sprouts aversion, even though I myself find it annoying. I have tried a million times, in ways that sound theoretically delicious, prepared by people who I know are good cooks. What is wrong with them?

Hammitt

@KatnotCat Nothing. Everything is right with you.

And @meetpossum dude was in no way cool enough to be hanging out with you eating venison burgers.

Xanthophyllippa

@frigwiggin I'm with you on the savory mint - I bit into a spring roll once that had an unexpectedly large quantity of mint in it and had to disassemble the entire thing (and ended up with some shredded carrot in a rice wrapper).

I do think cilantro tastes like soap and I love every bit of it. I do not, however, like the taste of actual soap.

Emma Helen@twitter

@Daisy Razor Am I your friend? It's like something looks and smells amazing and then I bite into it and it tastes like soap. Gives me the sads.

Jawnita

@Hammitt Oh is that the thing with baking powder? And it's only some brands, you say? This is intriguing new knowledge for me!

Rana Gheissari@twitter

Brains. I was probably 7 or 8. It took me years to trust again. (and even though they refused to tell me what I was being fed, BRAINS look like BRAINS... I gave it to the dog.)

double paw?

my mom pulled this sort of thing on my dad recently. he hates cauliflower and refuses to eat it. mom had friends over and made a pureed dish. dad assumed it was mashed potatoes (in their native language, you don't specify the vegetable, you can just call it mashed), ate it and LOVED it. he was not pleased when he found out it was cauliflower. semantics!

melis

Can we retire the joke about how a guy must be "worth keeping" if he sees you without makeup and doesn't react in horror? It's an old joke. It's tired, and its bones hurt, and it wants to rest.

melis

Also, you know, how much makeup would you have to wear every day that without it someone could actively mistake you for a monster that requires staking?

melis

Not to monster-shame.

Stephanie Lucianovic@twitter

@melis To be fair, I never said the guy was worth keeping (heh), just that he loved you for you but point taken.

melis

@Stephanie Lucianovic@twitter Thanks! ALSO, yes, lying about food never ends well. You're right and also great!

tales

@melis YES THANK YOU I AGREE

itiresias

@melis that bothered me too!

sevanetta

@melis thank you. I mean I get the point you were making Stephanie, but I have always found those jokes odd because I hardly ever wear makeup. So when I met my boyfriend, because we were going on a date (met online) I wore mascara and clear lip gloss. soooo he knew from the start pretty much what I look like without makeup.

love the article though!

Xanthophyllippa

@melis Also because if I were going to keep someone, it wouldn't be a guy. Just sayin'.

Slapfight

My mom thankfully never tricked me into eating things I didn't want, but she did force me to on rare occasion. I did not like meat even as a child and she sat and watched me eat a piece of steak. I cut it into small pieces and swallowed it unchewed with water. It bugged her so much she stopped.
I eventually got her back by making her try pad thai. Which she loved. She's not a person who likes to try new things. ;)
My grandmother, on the other hand, was a big liar. Everything was apparently chicken. I bet it's all chicken in Hell.
Just kidding! I love you, Nonni!
It's All Chicken In Hell will be my first book title.

dj pomegranate

As a child I disliked sandwiches--pretty much all of them, all the time. They were always TOO BREADY, and I don't like lettuce. And if you don't like bread or lettuce, many sandwiches are just full of yuk. Anyway, I have a distinct memory of a Sunday School lady scolding me for my lack of sandwich eating once. I had taken an apple and chips, and she noticed and came over and hovered above me and crossed her arms and asked why I was not eating a complete meal. She then told me that I had to take and eat a whole sandwich, and I remember thinking I was very clever to offer the compromise of "What if I eat the whole sandwich, but take it apart first?" (eating the bread first, followed by slightly yummier sandwich insides, followed by apple, so the meal ends on a high note!) She told me that I just, "haven't eaten enough sandwiches" and that is why I disliked them, and that my mother should make me eat more sandwiches, because EVERYONE likes sandwiches and a child who doesn't like sandwiches is simply spoiled. I ended up eating the (gross) sandwich because I was an obedient child but I also remember the whole time thinking that the Sunday School sandwich lady was very, very unreasonable.

I also told my mom about it and she told me I never had to eat another sandwich again if I didn't want to. So there, Sunday School Sandwich Lady.

laurel

@dj pomegranate: There's a special place in hell for Sunday school shamers of all kinds. And for food shamers, especially.

fondue with cheddar

@dj pomegranate I'm with you on the bread and lettuce. I only like sandwiches with minimal bread, and even then the type of bread is pretty important. The insides are the best part of the sandwich, anyway. Bread is just the container.

TheclaAndTheSeals

@dj pomegranate What a stupid bitch. I was a very picky eater as a child, but also very obedient and respectful, and I dreaded eating around adults I didn't know.

itiresias

@dj pomegranate i've got a good related one: i never ate much at all as a kid, probably because i decided to be a vegetarian, was very picky on top of that, and later learned i had a gluten intolerance so all that pasta and bread i was eating all the time wasn't what my body wanted at all. regardless, one day in like third grade i bought a bagel from the school cafeteria. the school bagels were terrible and i ate less than half of it and threw the rest away.

a lunch lady who was a volunteering mom saw me and started yelling at me right there at the trash bin for throwing away a full sandwich. i kept telling her it wasn't a full sandwich. she made me DIG IT OUT OF THE TRASH and unwrap the foil around it to prove it to her, then yelled at me more for eating less than half of a bagel. THEN SHE CALLED MY MOM AND TOLD HER I WAS ANOREXIC AND SHE NEEDS TO MONITOR MY EATING HABITS IN ORDER TO PARENT ME BETTER. it was nuts. thankfully my mom is far more the type to be like "who the hell are you to make my kid dig through trash?!" than to believe a nosy lunch lady, but i still remember being really embarassed to be yelled at in front of the class for it.

dj pomegranate

@itiresias ohhhh mannnn! I'm so glad that we both had cool moms who understood that not eating sandwiches is OK and that making kids dig through the trash to find a bagel is NOT OK.

meganmaria

@dj pomegranate I hate sandwich lettuce, too. Hate. It. Mostly because it's always shredded iceburg, which is the most worthless of all lettuces. If it's at least whole leaf iceburg, I can take that off, shredded has to be scraped.

dj pomegranate

@meganmaria Ugh, scraped and then it is just sits there in a watery, worthless blob of shredded lettuce and mayo.

meganmaria

@dj pomegranate Mayo is another thing that I'm super picky about. Just enough to fill the holes in the bread. The mayo commercial where it squirts out the side of the BLT and the guy scoops it up with his finger and eats it like it's some sort of cake frosting totally disgusts me.

the angry little raincloud

@meganmaria Most lettuce is such a freaking waste. The deli dudes look at me like a freak when they ask what I want on my sandwich and I respond "no lettuce." Freaking hate that shredded iceberg lettuce. It's watery, it has no flavor, frequently doesn't even add a pleasant crunchy texture, ugh. Just takes up space. I can't even say I hate it, because it is such a nondescript, boring foodstuff that it does not even warrant hate, let alone the time it took me to type this comment. (But, then again, I'm clearly avoiding doing work. So, thanks, lettuce?)

Xanthophyllippa

@meganmaria: ME TOO. Ugh, mega-mayo. Plus, the sound it makes when you're scooping it out of the jar? ICK. It's like listening to a fake kiss on a soap opera. And that blob of mayonlettuce ALWAYS somehow leaks out of the sandwich wrapper and ends up smeared all over my elbow or something.

@the angry little raincloud: As far as I'm concerned, iceberg lettuce is just crunchy water. My parents used to tease me because I would (and still will, really) only eat the green leaves - I called anything else "white lettuce" and would specifically ask NOT to have white lettuce in my salad. At sandwich shops I ask for either spinach or cucumbers.

fuck fuck fuck

@Xanthophyllippa probably my favorite thing i've gleaned so far from being in Berlin is a new appreciation of mayonnaise, because FRENCH FRIES WITH MAYO OH MY GOD. i thought i would find it totally disgusting, but i was unfortunately so wrong. "unfortunately" because now my order of fries has like 10 times more saturated fat.

fondue with cheddar

@dj pomegranate EW shredded lettuce. Sometimes it's too hard to scrape off. That's one reason why I love Wendy's, because they always use a whole leaf. And if they put too much mayo on I can use the lettuce as a scraper!

Shredded lettuce in tacos is the worst, because you're never getting that out. It probably sucks if you like lettuce too, because it gets all soft and wilty.

fondue with cheddar

@meganmaria YES too much mayo is so vile. Just enough to coat the bread and lend a hint of flavor, please.

i make lists

@Xanthophyllippa Oh man, MAYO. When I was a kid, I couldn't even eat a sandwich with mayo scraped off. You can still taste it! It seeps into the pores of the bread. I think it was partly dramatics, but the idea of mayonnaise on my sandwich seriously grossed me out and upset me and I would refuse to eat it.

Even now, I sometimes still get really deeply disgusted by particular food that can make an entire meal unappetizing. And sometimes it's a food I normally like!

Xanthophyllippa

@i make lists Oh man, me too! I used to make the best Italian soup using beef broth, and then somehow I got it into my head out of nowhere that beef broth is revolting. Now I do it with chicken broth, but there's been this teeeny voice in the back of my head for a few years that suggests dumping canned tomatoes into chicken broth is also revolting. If I ever fail to shout it down, there go pretty much all my favorite quick homemade soups.

One year the unexpected disgusting food was lasagna. That was a sad year, but fortunately I got over that.

fondue with cheddar

@i make lists I sometimes get disgusted by foods I normally like, too! The worst culprit is cereal, which I eat most mornings. I'll buy a cereal I haven't had in awhile, eat it, and think, "Wow, I forgot how much I loved this one!" Then I'll eat it for a couple weeks and suddenly it becomes disgusting. So I'll move on to another cereal I haven't had in awhile, and the cycle repeats. I just ran out of the one I currently like. Even though I've got four partially-empty boxes of cereal at home, I just couldn't bring myself to eat them so I went to Panera for breakfast instead.

RebeccaKW

I am a very picky eater, and I can not understand why people immediately say 'well, you haven't tried MY ____.' I always want to say, "oh, does your ___ taste absolutely nothing like it?" If I liked it, I would eat it, I'm not holding out for the best recipe of it. I've gotten to the point now where I immediately say "I'm allergic" b/c that is the ONLY way to get people to leave you alone about it. Which is annoying, because it shouldn't matter if I am allergic or not. I said I didn't eat it and that should be the end of the conversation. And as far as 'it tastes like chicken' goes, then I'll just have chicken.

I also do not agree about hiding food. That simply breeds mistrust. Really, if you will lie about carrots being in this cookie, what major things will you lie about? And, yes, if you don't like it, that will be the first flavor you will taste. So all the hard work of mushing up peas into something is out the window.

effystonem

@RebeccaKW Ha when I was a kid staying over at my friend's house her mom kept badgering me to drink milk - I know it's good for growing kids and whatever, but my parents never forced me drink it and I HATE the taste, so I just told her I was allergic to get her off my back. Later I found out she had called my mom freaking out because we'd just had brownies or something and she was gonna give us ice cream later, and my mom was just like "Wtf?"

Also, she could've made me drink it if she just added a little chocolate. Just sayin. :)

aphrabean

@RebeccaKW I don't know! I feel like there were a couple of generations that loved to boil the shit out of vegetables, and that can lead to some unjustified veg-hatred. The first thing I ask when someone says "I hate(vegetable x)" is how it was prepared. This is how I've made brussels sperouts lovers out of haters, and how my boyfriend started eating beets! But if someone says, "Yeah, I've had it a bunch of ways, I just don't like it," I respect that.

Alli525

@aphrabean Yes! I despised (DESPISED!) asparagus until one day in college I saw some chef on Food Network ROAST them instead of boiling/steaming them to death... and my life changed forever.

Upon telling her this Secret Of The Universe, my mother goes, "Wait, how do you do that? Repeat that!! Wait, let me grab a pen and paper!!" like Turn Oven to 400, Roll Asparagus in Salt & Pepper & Olive Oil, Roast was the most novel thing she had ever heard of. *facepalm*

aphrabean

@Alli525 My mother & grandmother boiled both beets and asparagus, and then served them with a dollop of mayonnaise on the side (WHY!), and I truly cannot describe to you how much I hated each of those items. Gag a little thinking about it, but once I had them roasted? Total game-changer.

Xanthophyllippa

@aphrabean @RebeccaKW

What follows is an approximation of a conversation between me and a (now-former, for other reasons that don't have to do with food) friend.

Her: You should be a vegetarian. It's more responsible.
Me: Well, I really don't eat a lot of meat, and I almost never cook it when I'm at home. It's pretty much only when I go out.
Her: Doesn't matter. Any animal consumption is ecologically unsound. You can get all that protein from beans.
Me: Yeah, I've been told that. Problem is, I don't really like beans.
Her: If you don't like beans, then you have not had them prepared properly. Come over and I will teach you to prepare them properly.

Never mind that there are about a million different kinds of beans/legumes, and that I've had them prepared about a million different ways, and that I'm smart enough to know when something's been prepared well and when it's been prepared badly. And never mind that the real problem is, the mouthfeel will in fact make me gag. My problem with this convo was the arrogance and assumption that my dislike for beans was somehow my fault for not trying the right beans.

stuffisthings

It's really too bad that #firstworldproblems is so overused because it seems expressly designed for this "issue."

Heat Signature

@stuffisthings I genuinely hope you plan on or already have children, because we need more of your DNA in this world.

fabel

@stuffisthings so you're saying that you would dismiss this entire well-written article--that it seems a lot of people can relate to-- with #firstworldproblems if the phrase wasn't so "overused"? Clever.

stuffisthings

@fabel I actually rather enjoyed the article, I'm more dismissing the vehemence of the reactions to it. Vegetarians, vegans, food allergies, that's fine, and yes, the kind of gloating described in the article is boorish. I guess it's the picky eaters who take pride in cultivating a limited palate, and then insist that anyone who fails to respect this decision (through ignorance or premeditation) is violating their human rights, that I find ludicrous. And also the idea that you should let toddlers tell you what to do in the kitchen as a matter of "personal autonomy" when you are responsible for literally every single other aspect of their life.

stuffisthings

Also, to @PistolPackinMama's mysteriously vanished comment, I'm not implying that people in developing countries are grateful to eat whatever is available. In fact, I just yesterday finished the chapter on food in Poor Economics. But I've never been to a developing country where it would be even remotely acceptable to say, when offered food by a friend or relative, something like "Oh does that have little pieces of gristly sheep fat in it? I hate little pieces of gristly sheep fat!" It's just Not Done!

supernintendochalmers

@stuffisthings The Hairpin's mission statement isn't to exclusively address the problems facing industrializing nations. I think there's room for this discussion in addition to ones of more gravity, and people's responses to this article are not necessarily indicative of a lack of interest in more serious topics.

stuffisthings

@twinkiecowboy I agree, which is why I'm participating in it. As stated above, I enjoyed the article but disagreed with its thesis. The stuff lively comments sections are made of!

Now, I must be off to plot ways to hide avocados in my girlfriend's dinner...

supernintendochalmers

@stuffisthings Oh good, forgive me but I thought you were going to be one of those people who are all "Why are we talking about this when there are More Important Things happening" as though it's impossible to engage in both. Those people really bug me. But you make a good point about the nature of this issue.

PistolPackinMama

@stuffisthings Huh... comment is still there. Sorry about that? Don't know what happened.

I am not trying to make as direct a link between the two as that. I just mean, there's a relationship there that makes it more complicated than #firstworldproblems.

Actually, I guess one thing is, who eats what can be about control. Making things available and not available, deciding what is and isn't a big deal, what is and isn't reasonable, when you are and aren't allowed to have preferences be a thing.

Gah. Okay... thinking out loud here.

Food is a super-intimate intersection of the personal and collective. Having Ideas About What People Should/Shouldn't Eat and What It's Okay For You To Expect Me to Eat or Not Eat is one of the most intimate places where power, relationships, autonomy, individual desires weighed against group expectations all collide.

It's not accidental, I think, that there are clashes about what is obnoxious/rude for a picky eater to do/ food hiders to hide on an individual level. And, then at a family level that there are arguments over how to handle differing tastes. And then WIC/ the BIA/ prisons/ schools you name the institution have major power to intervene in and control people's lives with food programming. (We are paying, so we get to say what is and isn't allowed.) And on top of that you can internationalize it- we have the contract/ the food aid/ whatever, and control the dispersal of and consumption of food.

I think that's an important relationship, actually.

Anyway. I guess another thing is, people can make as big a fussy deal over hating whatever/curating a limited palette/and so on. I can't do much about that. But not making it a power deal, that I can do. It's not their business what I eat. I put a plate of food in front of them and they spend 20 minutes picking out the olives or don't touch it at all, it's actually not really my business.

If it's a 1st world issue to be a picky eater, it's equally as much of a 1st world issue to care about what picky eaters do or don't do.

Maybe, by the way, food choices are so fiercely important to two year olds because it's one of a very, very, limited number of places they CAN exercise autonomy? I mean, they can't turn down vaccinations or day care, but they can refuse carrots.

Blushingflwr

@stuffisthings Actually, in my experience, many picky eaters aren't necessarily proud about their limited palates. If they seem so, it may be as a defensive reaction to the fact that they are constantly pressured to eat things that they genuinely do not like. There are many reasons someone may not like something, be they simple genetic variation, undiagnosed food sensitivities, or personal history. It's not fun to feel isolated and excluded because of your tastes, be they in food or anything else. I would love to get on board the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Love Train, but I can't. I don't avoid coffee to be cool or counter-cultural or something, I genuinely don't like it, and it makes me sad that it is the default non-alcoholic social beverage.
And yes, using premeditation to fool an adult into eating something they have expressed dislike for *is* a violation of their personal autonomy. Are there worse things you can do to someone? Sure, of course there are. With toddlers - there are many things that you start to let young children decide on for themselves. There is something to be said for letting kids make decisions (within reason) about their lives and teaching them that they have a right to establish boundaries and have them respected. That doesn't mean letting them eat ice cream for dinner, but it does mean respecting them when they take a bite of something and say "I don't like that".

Xanthophyllippa

@stuffisthings Yeah. I assumed your comment meant, "This is a really cool article, though picky/selective eating exists because we live in a country that allows it to exist." It actually IS a first-world problem, in the real, non-facetious use of the term. I'd like to know more about that overlaps with some of the things Pistol Packin' Mama said in the earlier picky eating article - about food security and availability in the U.S. It sounds like the two of you some overlapping background and knowledge; it would be cool to compare all that.

I did successfully beg off eating snails in China, but my friends and I were eating with a University professor who wanted to buy us dinner at a farmer's restaurant. When she asked if I would like some snails, I just smiled politely (...I hope) and said, "I'm very sorry, but I'm not that brave; I do think my friends would like them, however." She was very pleased when I turned out to be right, but I also realized that I was able to do this because she was herself an upper-class academic who is used to Americans. I would not have tried it in someone's home.

PistolPackinMama

@Xanthophyllippa I have a terrific paper somewhere by a felon about how he and his friends (all Native) would have prison canteen feasts. It was an opportunity to socialize, and the wealthier dudes would share with the poorer, and they could approximate things from home with the commissary items they could buy themselves.

AND, he said, it was a way of demonstrating Nativeness to all the other guys in the unit. ANOTHER felon (a white guy) wrote a paper about eating in the block where he observed... that the Native dudes would feast (and they called it feasting) in part to show who was a wealthy individual, and who belonged in the Native group, and in part to socialize.

!!!!!!

(smart dudes...)

It was so interesting. Just... the prison's goal? Reduce the power of in-group/ out-group behavior and limit tension escalation. And the dudes? Found a way to cement community bonds and demonstrate solidarity. With vac pac tuna.

Also, @stuffisthings has written a lot of things that make me want to go browse his/her bookshelves and then have dinner and chatter. This isn't the first time we've had this kind of exchange.

stuffisthings

Aw, I love how even the most snarky and dismissive comment on the Hairpin can lead to an interesting and substantive discussion. <3 You Guys!

Also, @Xanthophyllippa, that's exactly what I meant -- even explaining vegetarianism or basic dietary restrictions in many poor countries can be difficult; I can only imagine this article would be met with utter bafflement. Also because what the hell is a torpedo onion?

PistolPackinMama

@stuffisthings I dunno, but now I fear the ballistic carrot, it what I am saying.

I also think the "people's food and bafflement" thing. Yeah, I would hope the pickiest American eater would get that, should they wind up in places where these things are an issue. I mean, I am not offal fan at all. (By which I mean, AT ALL.) But, when a Crow grandma put a huuuuge bowl of lovely posole made by her sister and chock full of tripe in front of me at a pow wow. Mmmm-boy did I love that bowl of posole. Well, I actually loved everything but the tripe. But I ate the tripe, too, because who has money to waste on un-eaten tripe? Answer, not that family.

So yeah.

On the other hand, I also know some Americans will just not be the nicest travelers, so there is that.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@stuffisthings
You did say 'many poor countries,' so that's your hedge, but please remember that vegetarianism is a much larger part of culture in South Asia than it is in North America!

Xanthophyllippa

@PistolPackinMama I feel like, in a different context, "Who has money to waste on un-eaten tripe?" would be a great quasi-philosophical non-sequitur. Like yesterday when I was in line to order pizza and someone ahead of me ordered and then wandered off, and the waitstaff didn't know if she wanted hers cut or not. They decided to wait and ask, since "you can't un-cut the pizza."

I've been lucky in that, when I've had to decline or unobstrusively ignore a food item in a developing country, I've been around people who are around Americans enough that they just assume we're all weird in our eating habits. They just kind of shrugged me off. The cool thing about some of these big meals we had with our Chinese colleagues is that they were almost all lazy-susan, family-style meals, so there was enough variety to pick and choose and not be conspicuous or rude. Even the chicken-head incident I mentioned below was part of a meal in which the farmer brought out about 10 different dishes (essentially they keep bringing stuff until you tell them to stop); even though they dumped everything into the same wok and stirred it up, a little careful selection was highly fruitful.

And pumpkin greens are surprisingly tasty, it turns out.

Lu2
Lu2

@stuffisthings --I agree you have a point that there is a certain luxury and privilege to having food preferences, but I would also point out that people in other countries are also human individuals. Surely there are picky eaters among them. The poor are not a monolith. Definitely, "there is no sauce like hunger." I mean, if you're literally starving otherwise, it seems self-evident that, surely, any food would do. It's also possible, isn't it, that people in refugee camps being handed the same porridge every day reach the point where they feel as though they're going to throw up if they see that crap again. And if "supertasting" is part of normal human variability, it's quite possible that even the hungriest person actually *hates* bitter greens and gags at the thought of them.

I agree that people living in relative wealth and privilege with a wealth of food options certainly do emphasize the personal preference and personal choice aspects of eating, and, personally, as a former picky eater (not by choice; many foods were sickening to me and it made mealtime difficult and depressing for me), I think it's healthier to pay less attention to conceptions of what foods you like and don't like. But I'm also saying that it's not all just a product of privilege.

PistolPackinMama

@Lu2 tangentially related to privilege, food, control and choices, but not really about pickiness:

A History of the World in 100 Objects- Mayan Maize God

http://www.bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld/objects/Hvi54RDiQym6Pgd3_IsRKA

Jawnita

@Blushingflwr I co-sign this. I'm definitely not "proud" of my limited palate, and I frequently try nibbles of so-far-inedible-to-me foods in the hopes that something has changed. My food limitations have very little to do with snobbery or whether or not something "sounds disgusting;" they are entirely to do with the fact that many innocuous-sounding foods are so bitter or chemical-tasting to me that I gag on them. I don't think my experiences are unique among adult-age "picky eaters."

stuffisthings

Just having a discussion with my girlfriend -- she insisted that even babies in France eat three-course meals, and went onto a baby food website to show me. Turns out French babies only get two courses, but some sample menu items include: couscous with veal and leeks; fennel soup; and raspberry flan. For 4-6 month olds!

Xanthophyllippa

STEPHANIE V.W. (L.) on MY HAIRPIN! Yay!

(Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go read the article.)

Quinn A@twitter

My mom did that exact yogurt thing to me when I was almost three. She says I spit it out, made a face, and gave a highly indignant "There's YOGURT in that ice cream".

My parents really liked to force-feed me things too (in the "you will swallow or you will choke" sense, not in the "here it is on your plate!" sense). If you don't like milk, boiled turnip, or boiled cabbage, you definitely won't like them after the "swallow or choke" experience. The turnip and cabbage actually made me vomit, just like they did when I tried them years earlier. FUNNY HOW THAT WORKED.

JadedStone

Dear god. I've been thinking about picky eating ALL DAY NOW. (Mostly cause I don't want to do real work, but whatever)

On the one hand, I'm really good about picky eaters in general, as I've got this bizarre hate of red peppers and that's a terrible nono for vegetarians.

But there's a person I know who won't eat ANY Asian food at all (ANY part of asia!) and the best I can figure out is 'I don't like it' and 'used to date a Chinese guy'. THAT sort of picky eating I find INSANE.

phlox

@Jade I am the same with peppers! All peppers. Gross.

dj pomegranate

@Jade Unrelated, but this made me think of a story from my college days: I dated a Chinese guy for like a month, and one of the many reasons it didn't work out was that whenever I suggested getting Asian food ("Hey, I was gonna pick up some General Tso's, want any?"--this happened a lot, as there was a great take out place a block away) he said, "You know, we don't have to eat Chinese food all the time just because I'm Chinese." Aaaahhhhh.

Hammitt

@Jade A friend told me about a guy on a project she was on who wouldn't go with them to pizza express (mid-level AWESOME british chain) because he didn't like "foreign food."

Really. Pizza.

He ate a sandwich alone at the pub every day. Apparently he pretty much lost it when they all brought curry in while working late one night.

stuffisthings

@Hammitt This is the guy I imagined whenever I saw "Fish & Chips" alone and sad at the end of a long Indian menu in Birmingham.

Xanthophyllippa

@dj pomegranate I'm trying to imagine what would have happened if you'd said, "We don't have to eat American food all the time just because I'm American." (I assume. Maybe you're not, which I guess would make this even funnier.)

dj pomegranate

@Xanthophyllippa I wish I had said that! I think I said something along the lines of, "I am pretty sure General Tso's chicken is not an ancient Chinese recipe...?"

PistolPackinMama

@Hammitt Oh dear. That is very... I feel for the guy, and the co-workers, and the whole scene. It's kind of sad and lonely feeling.

Also, I am fine with individual people having their food feelings. But getting snippy when people bring back curry or whatever is getting into Exploring Some Cultural Sensitivity Issues territory.

JadedStone

@PistolPackinMama yes exactly! Cultural sensitivity!

I think the reason this person irritates me so much is because I'M ASIAN (halfling) and I want to punch her.
Then again, this person also hates cartoons, so really she`s a lost cause anyway.

RK Fire

@dj pomegranate: ahhhh but college is for cheap food, which includes Chinese take out. ahhhhhhhhhh

Xanthophyllippa

@PistolPackinMama I get snippy when someone brings back curry and doesn't offer me any. That is the only acceptable reason for getting snippy when someone brings back curry.

Genevieve Winters@facebook

I can't imagine lying to my two-year old about his food. He is curious to know what he's eating and I think that's a good thing. He's not overly picky but he does like to know what everything is. He'll ask about all of the ingredients and will even try them as we're preparing things. He "doesn't care for" Brussels Sprouts but that's really the only food he doesn't really like. He does try a bite every time we have them though and then gives his to me. I'm not going to lie about them. He'll like them or not, but as long as he tries them, I don't have a problem. He likes every other kind of vegetable so I don't think he's in any danger of malnutrition.

Xanthophyllippa

@Genevieve Winters@facebook That is a pretty awesome kid!

dj pomegranate

@Genevieve Winters@facebook So cute! I love watching little kids try new foods, actually. Their faces are so expressive!

Maryse42

@dj pomegranate I had made a dark chocolate fondue for dessert once when my kid was about one and a half and his grandparents (my in-laws at the time) had come over for supper. He's a fantastic eater like Genevieve Winters' boy, will try and usually enjoy pretty much anything I put in front of him, every green vegetable you can think of, you name it. But I thought the dark chocolate might be going a bit far. Still, he was pointing and so excited and he clearly wanted to try what the rest of us were eating. I warned him: "I don't think you're going to like this!" He took one bite of the fruit dipped in bittersweet chocolate sauce, and oh yes, the face he made as he spit it out! Betrayal! I felt bad, but I still laughed. I should have taken a picture, it was priceless.

itiresias

a couple of years ago i did a study abroad with a couple of friends from my college, and when it was done we went to milan to visit our friend who had grown up there. we were out one of the first nights and my hosting friend got this huge sandwich "with really good steak" and kept talking it up and saying we all had to try it. we all did and he was like "RIGHT?? WASN'T THAT GOOD??" and we were all like "yeah, good sandwich" and he was like "HAHAHAHA GOTCHA YOU ALL JUST ATE HORSE MEAT HAHAHAHAHAHA" and we were all like "...why didn't you just tell us that to begin with" and he was like "YOU NEVER WOULD HAVE DONE IT!!! YOU AMERICANS!!!" and we were all like "i wouldn't have cared" "yeah, me neither, we've been eating pig ears in spain for months dude" and he was like "oh. damnit."

Xanthophyllippa

@itiresias That's like the Chinese tour guide who took the chicken I was gnawing on out of my chopsticks and yelped, "oh, that is the head!" She seemed genuinely startled when I wasn't horrified.

anachronistique

@Xanthophyllippa I have a great picture somewhere of my brother with a chicken head poking out of his mouth. (You can't take us anywhere.)

gillianw

When I was about 10, I had a friend whose parents thought it was hilarious to tell me moose was beef and would laugh when I spit it out and refused to eat. I fell for it every time because they would promise it wasn't. They were dicks.

EpWs

As always, There's A McKayla For That:

Xanthophyllippa

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher OH MY GOD THAT IS MADE OF WIN. You get a non-gold metal to which you will be indifferent for that!

frigwiggin

My boyfriend, who I've lived with for about two years now at this point, is a pretty dang picky eater, and he has actually said that as long as he can't taste it he'd prefer if I try to hide healthy stuff in the food I cook for both of us. (Of course, the problem is, he can always taste it. Oh well.) I try not to force things on him that he doesn't like, but it does get real old, real fast when there are only a handful of things he really likes and will not feed himself properly if I don't do the cooking. Like, he forgets about dinner, or will get a burger or tacos. His tastes HAVE expanded since we started dating five years ago (he likes fish now, glory be! Even tuna steaks and salmon and halibut!), but if I want to make, say, a curry, I have to make sure he's not just eating box mac n' cheese while I'm making my curry. Frustrating, but I don't know what else to do!

PistolPackinMama

@frigwiggin Let him eat a box of Mac and Cheese? I mean- I do understand the worry/frustration. But, it's M&C, which is nominally nutritious. And you're cooking already! Unless it's NBD/ you enjoy whipping up an alternative.

I really value eating-together-time. I've found the housemates I get along with best are the ones who come and eat with me. But the once every two weekly box of Kraft while eat curry is... ok? I mean, we are at table together, with different meals?

Whatever- you know what you are doing. And you are very sweet to be concerned for him, so. Yes. Carry on.

Xanthophyllippa

@PistolPackinMama @frigwiggin Or maybe make a big batch of something he does like and freeze it for those curry nights? It's as easy as a frozen pizza and then you have some control over nutrient content.

Or homemade mac n'cheese, maybe? I never liked it at all - even the premise of it would make me have to swallow nervously, which is odd for a kid who loved both cheese and pasta - until a college roommate's mom made it from scratch for us and I discovered how amazing it was. Now I still buy the Annie's or Trader Joe's white cheddar mac more often than I make homemade, but I doctor it with some shredded Gruyère, chopped broccoli, a hint of cayenne, and panko on top. Mmmm.

frigwiggin

@PistolPackinMama Ahh, you're probably right and it's just the latent control freak in me, and him eating whatever he can figure out sometimes isn't that bad. It's just that little voice in my head that starts whispering "BAD GIRLFRIEND, BAD GIRLFRIEND" when all he'll bother to fix himself for dinner is something way less nutritious than what I could have made if I weren't so tired/busy. I guess I just want him to put the energy into feeding himself properly that I do? Like, he won't even fix a vegetable if I don't repeatedly remind him to, which is a lot like nagging, but when there are two or three day stretches where he doesn't eat any vegetative matter at all, I get worried. I just want him to be healthyyyyyyyy. *sob* (It's not a matter of weight, it's a matter of eating balanced meals! I dunno. Obviously there's a lot that goes into my feelings on this, like subconsciously I think I'm the only thing standing between him and scurvy? Blah. Your solution is probably the right/less stressful one, just let him figure it out and he'll survive. Or I could force him to learn how to cook the things that I cook already. He offers to help sometimes, but usually it would be more of a hassle trying to insert him into my already-in-motion cooking routine. But I shall try to make that effort, because it sounds silly that I don't now that I'm writing things down!)

frigwiggin

@Xanthophyllippa Those are good suggestions! Although he scoffs at the idea of home-cooked pizzas because, as he figures it, the places that have the setup for pizza (proper oven, pizza stone, etc.) do it right, why should we even try?

I loooove homemade mac n' cheese, but when I make it, it usually has like a pound of cheese in it, so I end up only making it twice a year or so? I am making broccoli cheese soup tonight, though, because broccoli is one of the few vegetables he actively enjoys. (Also we had broccoli cheese soup at our work cafe the other day and he complained about how theirs isn't any good and I should go back there and tell them how I make mine. Which, real talk, may have been one of the nicest things he's ever said about my cooking, I got a little teary.)

PistolPackinMama

@frigwiggin I suppose the one benefit to the stressor of getting him in on the process of cooking is, it might pay off in the long run. Whereas the bad girlfriend-veggies-argh-and-so-on cycle adds stress with no room to change things.

(And obvs, you are not a bad girlfriend!)

frigwiggin

@PistolPackinMama Yes, it is true! I'll get him to help me tonight. Thank you for putting up with my long paragraphs of gibberish. Being succinct is...difficult for me.

PistolPackinMama

@frigwiggin Well, my history shows I am a VERY skilled writer of a brief comment.

(Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha.)

Xanthophyllippa

@PistolPackinMama You are also very quiet and reserved in person.

(<3 u PPMie!)

sophduck

@frigwiggin Girl....who cares what he eats! He's an adult, he can sort it out for himself, you're his girlfriend, not his mother! And you're definitely not the only thing standing between him and scurvy. Stop wearing yourself out with this crap; would he do the same for you?

Brunhilde

My favorite is when picky people tell you that what you're eating and the foods you like are disgusting, and then make gagging noises and faces while you're trying to enjoy your lunch with co-workers and you have to ignore them because punching them in the face would probably get you fired.

Xanthophyllippa

@Brunhilde I have a huffy colleague who does the whole, "Ugh, what is that SMELL?" act upon entering our break room, wherein we hide the microwave. I've decided that the next time she says this about my lunch, I'm coming back with, "It's YOU. Please go easy on the perfume; you're giving me a migraine."

Bgwee

@Brunhilde UGH this is the rudest thing! I have no qualms about shutting people down immediately when they do this to me.

dj pomegranate

@Brunhilde Oh man, that is the worst. When I was in 4th grade, I was eating my green beans at lunch (see above re: my hatred of sandwiches--I always had lunch salads)and the PE teacher came up behind me and said, "Ohhhh what are you eating?" so I answered her, "...green beans" (DUH.) My friends later told me that she was making faces like, "ewww greeen beeeeeans" behind my back. THE PHYSICAL EDUCATION TEACHER.

Roxanne Rholes

@Xanthophyllippa Gahhh, but what if it IS gross? We have a guy in the office who insists on microwaving all kinds of seafood, and it drives everyone nuts. You can't eat a meal in the kitchen after he's nuked clams or mussels or something, the smell is so thick.

stonefruit

@Brunhilde Words to live by: Don't yuck my yum.

Such an important, and unfortunately often ignored, piece of wisdom.

Bgwee

@Roxanne Rholes but "gross" is a 100% subjective term!

meganmaria

@Roxanne Rholes We have a group of fish-nukers. They do it every day. Most of the time, we all just kind of grin and bear it because it's really not the worst thing ever, but sometimes it's so, so bad like the dish has turned in their fridge at home and they still decide to cook it. Out boss won't say anything to them because it could be construed as a "racial" thing.

Xanthophyllippa

@Roxanne Rholes Oh, sure - we have our share of grossness, too (including on the part of Ms. Fussbudget, who only eats frozen meals from Trader Joe's). And in the lab I used to work in, we had a non-U.S. postdoc who would reheat dishes with smells that were virtually indistinguishable to the smell from the autoclave. I find it impolite to make a public fuss about how bad someone else's food smells, however; it's pretty unlikely that there's someone whose food ALWAYS smells wonderful, so it's an unwritten premise of having a work microwave that there's going to be a bad smell at some point. Some days, that bad smell comes from someone else; some days, someone else thinks our food smells bad. Objections to persistent seafood I could understand, but even then a polite word to the perpetrator is more mature than making a public comment.

(I have FEELINGS about this because a wonderful, sweet man I work with now hides in his office with the door shut all the time thanks to a scene Ms. Fussbudget caused. I miss talking to him - and I miss the smell of his lunch.)

Diana

@Bgwee

Normally I would agree with this. But I think it is a truth universally acknowledged that a man who microwaves fish in a shared microwave in a public space must be in want of social graces. Nasty.

the angry little raincloud

Also, as an addendum to the "have you had X-food prepared in this way" discussions, some people just can't cook very well. Nobody tell my mother, but I happily eat many, many foods in my own home, in restaurants (when I'm not with her), all over the place. I fully admit that I fake not eating a lot of stuff because her version is just awful. And rather than tell mom, "your chicken sucks," I just feign hatred for chicken. And brussel sprouts. I made the mistake once of ordering brussel sprouts in a restaurant once-- they were delightful! roasted and so garlicky!-- and mom my was like, ha! And now I suffer every time I'm home. ("You ate them 6 years ago at that restaurant! What's wrong with them now?")

If anyone has advice on dealing with this better, I'm happy to hear it, but at this point, the lie seems easier and nicer than the truth.

camanda

@Brunhilde I agree, but as a picky eater who has to listen to not-picky eaters say this to her while she's in the middle of eating something, it's not just picky eaters who do it. It's rude people of all stripes.

Brunhilde

@the angry little raincloud Honestly? I do the cooking when I'm at home. There are so many foods I thought I "hated" growing up, but it turns out my mom just isn't that great of a cook. So I go home and ask her to let me cook, since she sucks.

OxfordComma

@Xanthophyllippa : *raises hand* There are some of us who, along with being supertasters, are also hypersensitive to smells. If someone cooks an extremely smelly meal at home or in the office (where there are no windows to get rid of the smell! TORMENT.), I will just leave until the smell has dissipated. I usually don't say anything, but my leaving is better than puking in the office.

That said, I think it's wise and thoughtful to *not* microwave anything strong smelling, like fish.

Xanthophyllippa

@OxfordComma I would be one of those "some of us" too. But I either politely leave like you do or try to talk to the person privately, not do the whole that's disgusting/eeeew what smells routine in public that Brunhilde's co-workers or my colleague does. I'm not objecting to the idea of...well, of objecting to a smell; I'm objecting to the folks who voice their discomfort in a rude, judgmental manner. It's hard to convince people that a strong smell is a legitimate problem if we're a dick about it in the process, is more or less my point.

Don't even get me started on people who wear too much perfume or cologne, like my other colleague who I think swims in Axe before he comes to work. (He also once plonked himself down in a chair in my office and left such a rank sweat mark on the upholstery that I had to wipe the chair off with a wet paper towel and then Lysol my entire office.)

Brunhilde

@Xanthophyllippa I've been on both sides of this equation, guys. I grew up super picky, and also allergic to poultry, eggs, dairy, pineapple, soy, cherries, strawberries, blackberries, oranges... there were probably other things, but the point is, I had a limited diet. But I was lucky enough to grow out of my allergies, which I try to see in a positive light (you guys, I REMEMBER the first time I ate a Snickers bar!). BUT, when I was staying with my Nannie (grandmother) when I was 14 and made the gross out face for something with mustard she snapped at me "Grow the fuck up, you haven't tried mustard in 7 years, you don't even know if you like it or not. Also, you're being exceedingly rude."

I had never thought of it in that way, which, sorry I was an asshole kid. But then I started systematically trying all the foods that I thought I hated, and I liked some of them! I didn't care for all of them, but the puking face asshole thing wasn't warranted at all.

I'm not saying my parents let me get away with being rude, I got beaten soundly for every time I refused to eat something, I think it was more of the only way I could rebel with my already slim food availability. But thanks, Nannie! Once I realized that food could be good, I became obsessed and cooked in restaurants for years and years. And I am that type of asshole that makes my own pasta, etc.

It's been so long since I started this post that I forget my original point (ha, apparantly I have feeeeeelings on the matter), but re: smells, I get uncomfortable when people say things "Stink" like curry, or tacos, or "Fried oil MSG ass" as one co-worker describes all Asian food. Would they care if there was an overwhelming essence of hot dogs grilling? It stinks of a vague sort of otherism to me. As "not normal" food, vs the delicious and overwhelming smell of hamburgers.

PS. Sorry for the length of this post. Again.

Brunhilde

@Xanthophyllippa As a short addendum, your post is spot on. Perfume makes me nauseated, but I do my best to not be a dick about it.

Xanthophyllippa

@Brunhilde Exactly! It's okay to not like things! It's okay, but don't be a dick about it.

I want that song to play pretty much everywhere.

OxfordComma

@Brunhilde : I totally understand your point re: "otherism". However--I would say that in terms of office etiquette, it is wiser to reheat food that is not overly fragrant. Most offices don't have windows that open, so strong smells just linger for hours, and that seems fairly insensitive to one's co-workers.

If we're talking about a roommate situation, that's something else entirely, because it's your *home*, so you should be able to eat what you want. :)

Mira

@OxfordComma It's even worse when people bring strong-smelling shit onto planes! One time I was sitting next to a guy who brought a fried fish sandwich, let it get cold, then ate it with some kind of mustard sauce. I was thisclose to puking. Or burgers from McDonald's. Please eat them in the terminal, when your fellow passengers can get away from you! They smell so disgusting!

OxfordComma

@Mira : Exaaaaactly!

Xanthophyllippa

@OxfordComma But the thing is, what smells strong or overly fragrant to you might not smell strong or overly fragrant to someone else. Unless an office is going to ban the reheating of ALL food, someone's going to be uncomfortable at some point. It's usually me, too, since I am ridiculously hypersensitive and my office is right across from the microwave -- and I'm usually turning green while three other people are all, "wow, that smells amazing! What is it?"

I have a colleague who has no sense of smell whatsoever. So does that mean that I can heat whatever I want because it won't bother him, but he has to bring a sandwich every day to avoid being "insensitive" in heating a lunch I'm going to smell for two hours?

I get what you're saying, and because I'm often in the same position you are, I empathize. I just don't see a practical way of dealing with the subjectivity of smells and the individuality of sensitivities without creating an unnecessarily restrictive workplace - and one that is indeed "otherist" or vaguely xenophobic, because often the worst smell to me is the Chinese postdoc's lunch.

OxfordComma

@Xanthophyllippa : Fair enough. ...Which is why I usually take a break while strong-smelling lunches are being reheated.

SarahP

I feel like tricking kids into eating foods they don't want/like makes the problem even worse, because you've confirmed for them that the food is so gross the ONLY WAY to eat it is through deception. Stephanie's approach (to artichokes) is so much more reasonable!

The Attic Wife

@SarahP True! Or the ever-popular, "I know this doesn't taste good, but it's HEALTHY!" Thus planting the idea that all nutritious foods are inherently gross.

Diana

My dad was one of those picky kids, and his family indulged him at every turn and now he is a grown ass adult who lives off of chicken nuggets and baloney sandwiches on white bread. He is pickier than most children. He doesn't eat vegetables. He doesn't like anything too "ethnic". Everybody had to eat bland garbage food if we wanted to have a family meal we could eat together because he was uncompromising and unadventurous. It was a great joy in my life to move to college and find a whole world of delicious foods waiting for me to try. Salad! Lamb! Medium-rare beef! Thai food! The hardest thing I've ever had to do as an adult is learn how to eat like a grown up and learn how to exercise, and my dad is living proof about why those two things are so critical.

I am never going to lie to my kids about what they're eating, and I'm never going to insist that they eat when they're not hungry or finish their plate. It reinforces the idea that certain foods are "gross" or that eating a certain amount shows how much they love me. But I'm damn sure going to force them to at least try every single thing that is put in front of them. One bite. I'll probably make them try a bite of things a few times so they have a chance to figure out whether they really don't like it or whether they're just being contrary little kids. Kids are allowed to not like foods, and I believe in their bodily autonomy enough that I'm not going to force them to shove food in their bodies that they don't like or want. But I'm not going to accommodate this by cooking other meals and I'm not going to act as though they have (as another commenter wrote) a human right to subsist on tater tots. We live in a nation of fat, diabetic, inactive, nutritionally void children; feeling betrayed at the realization that a slice of cake is made with beets is not the greatest danger facing kids today.

wee_ramekin

@Diana

Preach.

Opos

This reminded me of the time a roommate pushed me to take a bite of some sausage, which tasted a little weird. It was then explained that it was boudin noir, which some people really freaking love, but for me the thought that I'd just eaten blood really turned my stomach. He went into a detailed description of how it's made and I had to tell him to shut up and walk away. I couldn't eat off that plate for a few days and had really weird anxiety about it. It's really cool if you tell people what they're eating before they have it in their mouths so there is actually some semblance of choice about trying potentially disgusting things. For example I have eaten bugs. But willingly! No need to be sneaky.

Ten Thousand Buckets

@Opos Blood sausage is one of the very few food items I've promised myself that I never have to eat. Usually I'll eat a little bit of anything, just to be polite, but I will never in any circumstance be able to bring myself to eat blood.

Xanthophyllippa

@Opos I agree with you - full disclosure as to the provenance of the foodstuff and I'll decide for myself, thank you.

angelene

Apparently children are more sensitive to bitterness in food? The internet says so. I was so picky about food my mum resorted to giving me vitamin supplements, but it's all good now.

thiscallsforsoap

Popeye got me to eat spinach. That is all.

DebraSanto

@thiscallsforsoap me too! :)))
Cuisinart Food Processor

hellonheels

@Jade Growing up, my entire household referred to Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls as "chocolate covered toes". I don't happen upon them much in adulthood, but when I do, it's a challenge to call them by their proper name.

Xanthophyllippa

@hellonheels My mom and I refer to those "baby" carrots as "thumbs." As in, "I'm going to have a bowl of thumbs; do you want some?"

Jenn@twitter

Ahhh, this makes me really grateful that my mother never tried to force stuff we didn't like on us! Then again, I don't think my sister or I were particularly picky children--too much growing up with a granddad who fed us kohlrabi right out of the garden--but when we didn't like whatever she fixed, she'd shrug and not force us to eat it. I grew up thinking that was normal. I guess not?

Xanthophyllippa

@Jenn@twitter My mom was the same way - I don't actually remember her even saying, "just try it, you'll like it." If I didn't want any, I didn't have to have any. But I was a pretty well-rounded eater from a pretty young age, due largely to being fed veg right out of the garden. Even now my favorite way to eat a green pepper is right from the plant, warm from the sun with a little dirt still on it.

OxfordComma

@jen325 : I completely understand your pain.

I recently realized that I'm allergic to soy, and compounding that with being a supertaster AND having texture issues?

My God, I sound like the biggest asshole. :(

Xanthophyllippa

@OxfordComma That actually seems like a pretty handy overlap, though - no? Because if it were me, my texture issues mean I gag on most soy products, so the allergy to soy wouldn't be any big deal. If I gagged on soy and were allergic to, say, meat, I'd be a little more screwed.

Unless you are a vegetarian?

OxfordComma

The Fiance insists on believing that I am a picky eater, when "particular" is much closer to the truth. I'm allergic to soy, hypersensitive to texture and smell--most vegetables gross me out completely because they are SO. BITTER.

Almost every restaurant makes me sick because soy is in EVERYTHING, and I am so not okay with spicy food--even mild salsa makes my entire mouth and throat feels like it's on fire.

...

However, I do try at least a bite of everything--I may not eat the rest, but I'll be damned if I'm not willing to try it first.

OxfordComma

I've recently decided that my relationship with most food is one of suspicion.

I never know what's going to make me sick.

Aside from soy.

That asshole.

anachronistique

My parents did not actually LIE to us about carob soymilk, because I could read the damned carton, but they certainly tried to convince me and my brother that it was an adequate substitute for chocolate milk.

It is not. It is like Satan's breastmilk.

aphrabean

@anachronistique Carob is the devil. My former roommate (also raised by hippies) once bought some on accident and used it to make a cake, and we were both, like, "What smells like childhood and disappointment in here?"

darklingplain

@aphrabean I accidentally ate a carob bar the other day, and "tastes like childhood and disappointment" perfectly describes the experience.
/also raised by hippies.

Xanthophyllippa

@darklingplain I wasn't raised by hippies and I've never had carob, but I'm going to find a place to use that expression.

office of the carver@twitter

Crazily enough, a 17th-century French cookery book has a particularly sane answer to all these questions of taste (amazing! we don't all like the same things):

“People are often encountered who reject and condemn many good things to whose taste they have never been able to accustom themselves. It is a rare occasion when someone in the company does not object to something as antipathetic to his mild natural propensity, hence it is proper always to serve more than one sort of thing, so that the dominant humor can find what is most suited and in conformity with its desire.” -- L’Art de bien traiter (1674)

Xanthophyllippa

By the way, I want you all to know that I just finished eating a Trader Joe's Coconut Ice Floe, and enjoyed every little nibble of those toenail-y coconut flakes.

Tafadhali

Reading threads like these always makes me grateful to be a lifelong vegetarian. I mean, I've had the odd gross food run-in -- slightly off things, a muffin covered in cream cheese that I mistook for a cupcake when I was six, accidental bites of meat that leaves me feeling sort of skeeved out -- but it always seems like everyone else's traumatic food stories are "I ATE A CHILDHOOD PET" or "HORRIBLE HORRIBLE ORGAN MEAT" or "IT WAS HORSE. HORSE." I mean, the muffin grossed me out, but it doesn't really have the same visceral horror as black pudding or anything.

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