Sure, “hate” is a strong word. But as applied to food, it can be entirely appropriate. Food, after all, is an essential part of life and it can inspire serious physical reactions—for good or bad. You don’t have to be a picky eater to have one food you really, really can’t eat (for reasons other than health).
It’s a holiday weekend, so let’s chat. What food or foods do you hate? Is it because of texture, taste, or a past experience that put you off it for all time? Is it based on what you think about the food in question, like a vegetarian shuddering at the flesh qualities of meat?
First, though, one very big ground rule:
Cultural issues often come to play in discussions of food. Flippant dismissals of a nation or culture’s entire cuisine are out of bounds. If you find yourself tempted to say something like that, at a minimum you ought to stop and contemplate whether it’s because you’ve been told it’s acceptable to dismiss that culture’s food. Let’s not have any “I just can’t eat [Indian/Mexican/Thai] food” type generalizing comments—these are big, diverse cuisines that you are unlikely to have experienced the whole of—and especially let’s not join in the racist tradition of blaming food poisoning disproportionately on food from non-European cuisines.
I’ll go: Texture is the main issue in many of the foods I really can’t eat. I like the flavor of mushrooms, but that rubbery texture? It makes me gag. Same goes for most shellfish. Honestly, chicken thighs are not a big favorite of mine for the same reason unless they are very well done.
As for flavors, the two I really can’t abide are licorice and mango. I knew throughout my childhood that I loathed Major Grey’s mango chutney, but I didn’t realize it was the mango part until a high school homestay program in Mexico, when one morning at breakfast I took a drink of what I thought was orange juice and had to struggle to politely swallow with a smile on my face as I fought off a full-scale retch. I have encountered mango in multiple settings without knowing what I was consuming and I have hated it every time, is what I’m saying. And getting a black jelly bean by accident has always been a trauma.
Okay, banana is also vile, combining both flavor and texture.
So, fine, there are a lot of foods I don’t like. What about you?
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