Polarizing Foods… You’re Gonna Eat That!?!?

There was a list of polarizing foods on Yahoo! a while back.  I thought it was pretty durn interesting… foods that you either hate with a passion of 75 purple hair bows or LOVE like a fat kid (coughcoughMEcoughcough) loves cake… no in between.  If you are an in betweener on one of these particular foods, pin a gold star to your nostril and immediately check yourself into the nearest facility of Above Average Eaters!  I’m definitely a picky eater.  Texture is my biggest thing… anything that’s mushy, gritty, slimy, with a strong odor, etc., I cannot stomach.  I have a sensitive smeller and this gag reflex of mine ain’t for the weak of heart.  The top 11 polarizing foods are as follows (with my snarktastic comments bolded at the end):
1. White Chocolate: The “chocolate” part trips people up. It’s really just a sweet
confection (no cocoa involved). Moving on from terminology, when good, it’s
creamy and vanilla-y, but like “normal” chocolate, when bad, it’s just waxy
***  ELLE TO THE FANNING, NO!  White chocolate is just leftover soap product from the Dove Soap factory.  Ick, ick, ick… if you’re going to whiten up my dream food, I have no reason to go on living!!  Milk chocolate is my best friend… dark chocolate… eh… but white chocolate!?!?  SACRILEGE!  Do not even!
2. Cilantro: Soapy, rotten, or just plain vile are popular complaints from cilantro haters. Did you know Julia Child hated the leafy herb? But behavioral neuroscientists would argue that America’s food darling had no control. It’s all about genetics. Studies have linked liking
cilantro to being able to detect the “pleasing” chemicals in the leaf.
*** Oh Julia… you and I are kindred spirits… I just knew that we had something else in common besides oddness and the love of food!   I cannot stand cilantro!  My family loves it, but if you put it in my food, I can’t eat it.  It overpowers everything else and I don’t like the flavor!

3. Eggplant: For some, it’s an old purple sponge and others, the soft-firm texture is what makes a veggie sandwich or an Italian pasta dish. Raw is never good, but fried, grilled, or roasted (always doused with gobs of olive oil), eggplant deserves another chance. Or, the vegetarian sponge will always make you nauseous — and the roof of your mouth mysteriously itch.
*** I’ve only tried eggplant a couple of times… but both times I found it tasteless and more importantly SLIMY!  EWWWWW… nothing worse than a mouthful of slime, I say!
4. Coconut:  The smell in shampoo and sunblock is one thing. But the sawdust-like shreds of real coconut can mean chewing and chewing forever until you eventually swallow the darn lump. Sprinkled on pies, cakes, and chicken, coconut either adds a mild tropical zing, or a vile, never-ending chewing party. That’s when it comes out that a lot of coconut haters don’t even know about young fresh coconut which is as soft as a Hawaiian baby’s bottom.
*** I love me the sweetened coconut stuff… not so fond of the fresh coconut straight from the shell.  Oh, and the coconut milk straight from the shell ain’t my favorite either. 

5. Tomato: This one really comes down to texture. Slimy and gritty is never good for the tomato world. The cooked, soft version brings in a few fans. Others are only in it for the vine-picked version during their peak season in August (cut to romantic images of Italian countrysides). Others can only bare them on pizza or completely masked inside ketchup.

***  Love, LOVE, LOVE me some tomatoes!!  I’ve been eating grape tomatoes like they’re candy of late.  Seriously, Whitney… do you want a bit of lettuce with your tomaters on that salad.  Of course, if the tomato is mealy, I’ll pass… I can’t stand a bad tomato, but then you get a fresh one straight from the garden, and it’s heaven!

6. Sardines: Cat food or human food? A small whiff can make you seasick or have you loading them on pizza and Caesar salads. Whether fresh or in flat metal cans, the salty little fish has some so obsessed, they’ll eat the bones.
*** My dad used to get tins of these when mom was gone and we’d eat them.  I never liked them… actually does remind me of cat food.  I also am not a fan of fish (back when I ate meat)… I can’t get past the smell and the texture of it. 

7. Black licorice: Even the red licorice-tolerant may draw the line here. Black licorice gum, jelly beans, tea, Good n’ Plentys, and Jägermeister get it. Along with any herb, like anise or fennel, that resembles the flavor. Lovers say it’s an acquired taste, but I think the little kids have it straight here. Not a real candy.
*** I’d never go out of my way to buy black licorice… red or brown is my fav… but I don’t mind it if I do eat it.  Ooo… does this qualify me for a gold star pinned to the ole nostril?   
8. Stinky cheeses: If this smell came from something else (a shoe or dog), I might take issue, but knowing it’s from a dairy gob, growing moldy in a controlled environment, I’m fine with the pungent aroma. When others sniff Gorgonzola or Roquefort, they’re convinced that feet or laundry were actually involved.
***  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!  If it stinks, I dry heave.  I cannot even stomach smelling the cat’s food, let alone have to eat it.  I love me some cheese… but leave the stinky ones for the athlete’s foot medicine. 

9. Mayo: Whether Hellmann’s or even Miracle Whip, does the creamy off-white slime strip the taste off food or magically make anything better? Haters have been told to try it homemade, but for many, this won’t make a tuna or egg salad look any less scary.
*** Miracle Whip is my favorite of the two.  On a sandwich, in a pasta salad, etc.  The tangy zip of Miracle Whip… 😛 
10. Bell Pepper:   To some, all those colorful strips are a mouthful of crisp freshness. To others, they’re the backseat driver of vegetables. On a pizza or in pasta, they’re supposed to be one of many veggie passengers, but no. The bell pepper’s always got to be the loud guy telling your taste buds where to go — and green, he’s the loudest. Green is actually unripened, picked from the vine before its more sweet (and edible) brethren.
*** Peppers are delicious!!  Stir fries, plain, in fajitas, on sandwiches, plain, oh, and did I mention plain?  Yes, please!

11. Beets:  Despite all my white T-shirts you have stained purple, I still love you, beets.  People fear you from an early age, but roasted or pickled, you take on a whole new form. The other camp believes the beet smell is such a toss-up between ick and gross and the beet taste is like a metallic vitamin that it’s just not meant to be.
*** NEGATIVE to the 5 millionth power!!  Cannot stand the texture of a beet.  My mom and sister are fans of ordering an extra side of beets on their salads, and then I end up giving them my portion of beets.  To each their own!
Question of the Day:  Which of these foods are you a fan of?  Which do you dislike? 


Filed under Food

17 responses to “Polarizing Foods… You’re Gonna Eat That!?!?

  1. Jen Jen

    Here is my list of likes/dislikes (very similar to yours)
    1. White Chocolate: hate it
    2. Cilantro: love it
    3. Eggplant: haven’t tried it enough to form an opinion
    4. Coconut: love it
    5. Tomato: hate it (unless in salsa or spaghetti sauce)
    6. Sardines: haven’t tried but pretty sure I will hate it
    7. Black Licorice: hate it
    8. Stinky Cheese: hate it unless it is melted down into a pasta sauce
    9. Mayo: love it, but Mayo only; no Miracle Whip for me
    10. Bell Pepper: love it
    11. Beets: hate it

  2. Avster

    Lets see… the like list… white chocolate :b, generally like coconut, sometimes like stinky cheese… love beets and mayo is okay.

    Definitely don’t care for tomatoes (in any way, shape or form), can live without peppers, and loathe black licorice.

    I’ve never tried cilantro, sardines :S, and eggplant. There’s some eggplant growing in the garden this year so I’m sure in a few weeks I’ll be able to let you know what I think of them.

    There was a guess-the-jelly-beans in the jar contest… one jar was mixed jelly beans, one jar was white jelly beans, and one jar was black jelly beans. Which jar do you think I won? Yup, that’s right. The jar of black jelly beans. I promptly gave away the jar of black jelly beans. I loathe the taste and loathe the smell so there was no way I was going to give them to someone in the family.

    • Avy Sue… I think it is VERY ironic that you like you some white chocolate!?!?!? It ain’t even chocolate… SHAME! 😛 Your jelly bean contest winnings made me laugh!! Try again when they have a guess how many chocolate bars contest! Then, give it to me!

  3. Louisa a.k.a. ProudMomOfTwo

    Question of the Day: Which of these foods are you a fan of? Which do you dislike?

    My list of likes and dislikes:

    1. White Chocolate: Not a fan! Give me milk chocolate
    2. Cilantro: If it is in a dish when we go out to a restaurant and it isn’t heavy, then I am ok.
    3. Eggplant: Fried only
    4. Coconut: Only in a few things ( like on a cake )
    5. Tomato: LOVE THEM !!
    6. Sardines: I have only tried the ones in mustard and I liked them ( once you get past the lil fish heads ) I think they make a BBQ flavor now – that might be ok.
    7. Black Licorice: Loved them as a kid but then I ate too many and threw up and I haven’t been able to touch ANY flavor of licorice since.
    8. Stinky Cheese: Not a fan but I love cheeses in general
    9. Mayo: HATE IT – I am a 110% mustard person
    10. Bell Pepper: My tastes have changed over the past 5-7 yrs and I used to not like peppers or cucumbers but now I LOVE THEM
    11. Beets: EW! Hate them but my Dh & daughter like the pickled ones on their salads when we go out to dinner and there is a salad bar.

    Keep on…keepin’ on…

    • Isn’t it funny what you won’t eat after you have a bad experience… barfing, etc. I had the same problem with lasagna for YEARS! Wouldn’t touch it. Now, I will eat it here and there (without meat), but it took forever to get over that one bad experience.

  4. cl2

    Glad to hear it–can’t stand cilantro. I’ve never had egg plant (now I never will). I like mayonnaise as my mother NEVER had mayonnaise around. I didn’t know what I was missing. I was raised on MW. Fresh tomatoes–nothing better. Those fake pieces of leather in the store. My ex has planted tomatoes in my flower pots this year–maybe my kids will finally get to taste the real thing. My dad had a farm in Corinne and the tomatoes we grew there were the best! (So were the potatoes, cantaloupe, corn–we used to have sell them in front of our house in Brigham as kids.)

    Let’s see–stinky cheese. Don’t mind most. Have you had “mizithra cheese” at the Spaghetti Factory? OH MY!

    White chocolate–I love good white chocolate. Love coconut–almond joy! Oh and Cracker Barrell has these coconut chocolate patties–I just had some last week.

    I do like the Australian black licorice–those soft kinds. I’m eating some now (as Mike loves the stuff and has it around).

    Sardines. OHMY! Never tried them, never will. Mike tried to get me to try raw oysters last week–ha ha ha. He got sick. My ex got sick on them once, too.

    • Colleen… that’s awesome that you all sold things in front of your house in Brigham. One of my favorite things to do in late summer/early fall is to go down and hit all the fruit stands in Brigham City!! You can NOT beat a home grown tomato… can NOT!

      As for the oysters… ewwwwww… I do not blame you. Too slimey for me… and fishy!

  5. cl2

    Oh–I forgot BEETS! How could I forget? (I hoed sugar beets half my life on the farm.) BUT my mother made pickled beets and we had them for almost every meal. Have you noticed that when someone dies–even if you have the recipe, it never tastes the same? My mom’s pickled beets, another thing that died with her. Yes, I like beets.

  6. Liz

    Black licorice, stinky cheese and sardines are all evil! My husband used to live in Paris, so when we went back to visit we had his/hers cheeses (i.e. stinky/non-stinky). And when I lived in Africa I did actually feed my cat little sardine looking dried fish called kapenta (minnows). Made my villagers so mad that I was “wasting” food…
    Coconut (especially fresh), cilantro (especially fresh) and white chocolate are all yummy by my account. The rest I can take it or leave it.

    • Bwahahaha… his and hers cheeses!! I just cannot even think about eating something that smells like rotten toe fungus! So funny about the minnows being “wasted” food!! I seriously could not live in a country where it was the norm to eat weird foods… I’d die of starvation!

  7. Karen

    Cannot stand cilantro and egg plant. Do love ripe tomatoes. Pretty much eat cucumbers, tomatoes and corn on the cob all of August. I’m neutral on some of the other foods, but probably do not seek them out. Appreciated your rodeo comments. As a child my aunt and uncle took me every year to the huge rodeo in California. I always felt sorry for the animals. Have been following your blog in Northern Idaho. I’m here for a few days with the new baby. Will be heading home by the first of next week. Always enjoy your comments on life. Hang in there.

    • Karen… I did not know you were in ID for a new grandchild! Congratulations!!

      I did feel really sorry for the poor little roping calves… I mentioned that several times while I was watching. Travel safe!

  8. This was fun. I wish I liked seafood and the veggies I don’t just because they are healthy.
    1. White Chocolate: I guess I’m a weirdo. I love the stuff. When I was little the Easter Bunny would bring me a white chocolate bunny because I hated milk. Now I just love both. Dark is alright.
    2. Cilantro: I’ve developed a taste for it. Wasn’t love at first bite though!
    3. Eggplant: Haven’t tried it.
    4. Coconut: Hated as a kid but like it now!
    5. Tomato: Yum. I’m the only one of my siblings who will eat them. I don’t love them cooked and chunky though. Smooth is the way for me.
    6. Sardines: I don’t think I could eat them plain but when I learned they made Caesar dressing with them I was shocked because I like that stuff.
    7. Black Licorice: Gross!!
    8. Stinky Cheese: Not so much.
    9. Mayo: Like it but I’m a MW kid all the way.
    10. Bell Pepper: Don’t like ’em but wish I did.
    11. Beets: Same as with the peppers. My mom loves them and always gets mine when we are eating out.

  9. Ally

    Wow! That was right on. I either loved it or hated each one except eggplant. I can take it or leave it.

  10. Pingback: I’ll Take a Bag of Sagebrush and a Kumquat… « craving a life

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