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What's your LEAST favorit food?

  • w

I know it's a board about food and how we love different kind of food. But I am also curious on people's dislikes.

I'll start. I CAN'T stand cottage cheese! I think they are tastless, bad to look at and the texture makes my skin craw. I gave it a try as part of a failed and misguided zone diet. Never again...

  1. Cream of mushroom soup. Yuck.

    That's the only "common" food I just can't eat. I think it must have made me sick once, or something, 'cause it is so specific.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Peter

      There are a zillion places to chat on the Internet, but Chowhound is different. We aima to be a data trove, not a chatroom.

      This discussion isn't helping folks eat better, and will be no use to users coming to us for chow tips, or for hounds later searching our archives. Our great signal to noise ratio is what makes this site useful. Please help us maintain the qualities that brought you here in the first place by resisting the urge to chitchat. There's a whole Internet for that, but there's only one Chowhound, so please keep it chowy (to ensure a highly informative forum for all).

    2. I have a strong dislike for margarine and generally anything that pretends to be butter but isn't. Oh yes, I CAN believe it's not butter!

      The sight of Crisco makes me very uncomfortable, but I have used it in recipes a few times and it worked OK.

      Basically any ingredient that makes it difficult to imagine just how it became that way without going through some mysterious chemical processes. Garishly colored cookies and other food. And I hate it when things have just a trace of peanut taste when what I am led to expect is just a nut taste (hazelnut, walnut, etc.) I like peanut butter in its honesty, but hate that whiff of peanut you sometimes get from chocolate(s), cookies, nut spreads, etc. that are not called "peanut anything".

      1. Egg salad. As you described, it makes my skin crawl. I can't stand not only the way it tastes, but the way it looks, the way it smells, and even the way it sounds when people eat it.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          But, Ruth, I'm bringing egg salad to the San Francisco Chowhound picnic tomorrow and since you're the food contest judge you'll HAVE to taste it! (VBG!)

          1. re: jenniferfishwilson

            I'm sure if Jennifer made it, it would be superior egg salad.

            But just the same, I'm glad she was teasing (and even if our food contest had judges, no one could possibly have tried everything, although I think some people made valient attempts).

          2. re: Ruth Lafler

            There are few things that I truly hate, but I couldn't agree with you more on egg salad. It repulses me. The way it looks when people bite into it and chew it. Vile! I feel the same way about hard boiled eggs.

          3. Brussel Sprouts.

            1. Liver but only as a slice. I do like liverwurst and other liver based sausages

              6 Replies
              1. re: Gene

                I can't stand the thought of eating any "innard." But I didn't know liverwurst was made of liver. That would mean bratwurst is made from ... brats?

                1. re: Sarnie

                  Hansel and Grettel, to be specific.

                  1. re: Sarnie
                    Carolyn Tillie

                    Ya know, it is getting harder and harder to find good Shepherd's Pie made with a real shephard these days...

                    1. re: Carolyn Tillie

                      Yeah, but the french still fry up pretty nice.

                      1. re: Carolyn Tillie

                        Ah, memories of March 1979 at the Uris Theatre with Angela Lansbury and George Hearn waltzing away about her ideas for meat pies:


                  2. Tripe. The idea, how it looks raw, and even worse, cooked. The single worst thing I've ever had in my mouth has been menudo--tasted like sucking on a cow butt (or so I imagine a cow butt taste).

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: berkleybabe

                      I agree on menudo. It was during my less-adventurous days that I tried it for the first and only time, but I stand by my conclusion that it tasted like the upholstery of a '66 Impala smells.

                    2. It's a tie: liver (but I love foie gras, all kinds of pate and chopped chicken liver)and lima beans.

                      13 Replies
                      1. re: Dena

                        I hate liver,in any form; pate, froi grat, liverwurst ect.....

                        1. re: Susan

                          The items on my list right now of things I CANT eat seemingly are bitter melon and spleen (and probably chitlings). Ive had some chinese dishes with an excess of ground szechuan peppercorn where the flavor of the pepper was totally offputting too.

                          Those of you who hate broccoli, limas, cilantro, brussel sprouts, liver, take hope - I once could not abide any of these things - but have had either a total change of heart (I LOVE prop. cooked liver and cilantro now) or have found ways of having them where they are delicious for me.

                          I had hated liver all my life (my Mom's shoe leather, my God) until with a leap of faith on a business trip I ordered sauteed liver med rare at a superb rest in Beverly Hills in 1978-Maisonnette or Ma Maison, I dont remember which. Now that I know how wonderful it can be properly prepared I seek it out and cook it.

                          Re veg, we grew limas and broc and asparagus when I was growing up - seemingly a great opp to try them at their best. Wrong! All were overcooked in my home to a slimy point - and the limas were a mealy kind. Only much later did I discover that I very much liked the stems of broccoli, crisp-sauteed (the tops still put me off majorly), that asparagus was wonderful if not cooked to slime, and that baby lima beans (like tiny baby peas) were not mealy and quite tasty, as are dried limas. Even succotash (a truly hated food) is good if made with these baby limas, fresh corn, some good cream, etc.

                          Brussel sprouts are still an issue, but I cling to the memory of a delicious serving of them in brown butter some 20 years ago.

                          Dont give up. For vegetable haters, I recommend being adventurous in Chinese restaurants - order some of those unfamiliar sauteed greens and you may have your veg horizons expanded.

                          1. re: jen kalb

                            You have struck the proverbial nail...its the overcooking that ruins veggies. I grew up in the South where all green vegetables were cooked in "pot likker" with a hog jowl to create the necessary grease. Cabbage was not ready to eat until it could be smelled two blocks away cooking. I learned to hate "greens" of all kinds. Then I began to eat barely cooked veggies and can now enjoy them. I can't believe some of the dislikes in this thread, but it usually comes from mommies who never learned to cook.

                            1. re: Jim H.

                              I admit, I am a great fan of brussel sprouts, I serve them cooked, with lemon and parmasan. Though, do try them raw, they are a little nutty and spicy. Very surprizing.

                              I can't do aspic......

                              1. re: savannah

                                If there's a food I dislike, I guess I haven't eaten it yet. Pat

                                1. re: Pat Hammond

                                  Low fat mayo? ;-)

                                  Or are you still denying its status as a food stuff.

                                  1. re: Pat Hammond

                                    Try chitlins, if you can get past the cooking smell.

                                    1. re: Jim H.

                                      Chitlins or chitterlings should be washed in many changes of water and should be cooked with all manner of delicious things like lemon, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, onions, red pepper pods, and vinegar. Cook at the simmer for a long time. Open the windows. Leave home for a while. Serve with some mustard greens that have been cooked in dry white wine, and cornbread. I like 'em!

                                      1. re: Pat Hammond

                                        So the point of your preparation technique for chitlins seems to be to remove all chitlin flavor, replace it with the flavor of "delicious things like lemon, garlic, thyme, [etc.]", and then serve it alongside lots of other delicious things, so as to help you forget that you're actually eating chitlins. I think you could do the same thing with, say, burlap, and it would taste pretty good. Are you sure you like chitlins?? :)

                                        I don't like chitlins.

                                        1. re: Tom Meg

                                          Yes, I'm sure. I like chitlins. I like tripe, as well. But it too most be well cleaned and seasoned, as it cooks. The trick is to take a humble ingredient and create something delicious with it. Cooking is often about gilding the lily. Pat

                              2. re: jen kalb

                                My mom used to fry up 3/4" slices of beef liver in bacon fat. It was the toughest, grizzliest liveriest liver you could ever imagine.

                                1. re: jen kalb

                                  no matter what you do to limas, they're mealy, and I guess that's what I hate, because I have to add kidney beans to the mix. Or any large bean. And I can eat almost anything!
                                  Don't like sea urchin either - bad texture. But LOVE raw oysters, and littleneck clams are one of my favorite foods on earth, raw or cooked.

                                2. re: Susan
                                  Lynne Hodgman

                                  You are right about liver being wonderful if properly prepared. I have loved liver -- and also spinach -- since I was a kid, probably because my mother cooked them properly. Liver is great when it is 1) tender -- only calves' liver 2) cooked hot and fast 3) cooked like you like your steak 4) cooked in BUTTER 5) not decorated with onions or bacon! Then there is the story of chicken livers (with butter, salt, pepper, a dash of nutmeg or spoon of sherry)...again, cooked medium-rarish. YUM!

                              3. Oysters. I'll eat most anything put in front of me---tripe, jellyfish, escargot, mussels/clams, brussel sprouts, mayonnaise, etc---but not oysters. Must be something about how slimy they are, and how you're supposed just slurp em up. I tried it a few times and it just wouldn't go down my throat: I gagged. But I do get whistful when people rave about oysters; wish I knew what the fuss was all about.

                                1. l
                                  Lynne Hodgman

                                  Can I give a list?!

                                  -- Cottage cheese. It's a texture thing.
                                  -- Anything jellied. Texture...
                                  -- Candied fruit. The first time I tasted it, it came right out of my mouth. My mother laughed because she can't stand it either.

                                  -- American green olives. How can I like red pepper and hate pimento? (And Spanish ones are heavenly!)

                                  -- Gefilte fish. Don't want to be in the room when the jar is opened. It's an aroma thing. [It also falls into the jellied category!]

                                  -- Herring. Same as above.

                                  -- I Can't Believe it's not Butter. I can *smell* it a mile away. Hate baked goods that use it. I must have a super-taster for whatever chemical that is. And there are some poor souls who love it??!!!

                                  Have also been over-rosemary-ed, over goat-cheesed, and over-fenneled the past few years. A little goes a very long way. And why mess with the goodness of mashed potatoes by drowning them in garlic?

                                  On the other hand, I will never get enough risotto, polenta, or balsamic vinagrette. Or tiramisu or gelato. Bring back the zabaglionne of the 70s, too, while you are at it!

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: Lynne Hodgman

                                    Combining two of your favorite foods - have you had Hagen Dazs Tiramisu flavored Gelato? Mmmmm!

                                    1. re: Sarnie
                                      Lynne Hodgman

                                      Thanks for the tip! Since I think their coffee ice cream (just the plain ole good stuff) is better than anyone else's, I will try that! (My hips shudder with the knowledge of impending calories, but hey! what the heck!)

                                    2. re: Lynne Hodgman

                                      yes, anything over-rosemary-ed is bad. Progresso minestrone is a big offender.

                                      1. re: sc
                                        Lynne Hodgman

                                        I don't hate rosemary per se, just think it must be used VERY moderately. Example: I have the same jar of rosemary I bought when I set up my first kitchen (30 years ago, so it is STALE to boot!) I can tolerate a little on lamb, especially when mixed with mustard, but it scents everything else like bad perfume! (Can't stand gin either...it's drinking perfume?!) (Fennel is just behind on the list, too...but I LOVE cilantro. Go figure...)

                                    3. Popcorn with imitation butter flavored recycled motor oil--er, "buttery" on it.

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: ironmom

                                        That reminds me of a "Bloom County" comic strip from about 15 years ago. Opus the Penguin is at the movie concession stand, and the kid behind the counter asks, "With artificial butter-flavored grease or without artificial butter-flavored grease?" I repeat that line every time I go to the movies. And I also go *without* the artificial butter-flavored grease...

                                        1. re: ironmom
                                          Christopher Oliver

                                          Yes! Oh fie on people for bringing back memories
                                          of microwave popcorn polluting the air at several
                                          schools and offices where I worked. The fumes were
                                          overwhelmingly awful, and I often had to pack up my
                                          work and move to a different floor to be productive.

                                          I CAN believe it's not butter! I don't even have
                                          to try very hard. Gag!

                                          1. re: Christopher Oliver

                                            I actually have a physiological aversion reaction to microwave popcorn since eating some once triggered a gall bladder attack.

                                            Nothing like associating a food with extreme pain (and not the good, endorphin releasing kind).

                                            Fortunately, microwave popcorn seems to have gone out of style in my office.

                                          2. re: ironmom

                                            I read a piece in the Wall Street Journal the other day that reported that workers at a microwave popcorn plant had developed lung conditions from inhaling the 'butter-flavoring' used to coat the corn kernels. It was severe enough to require hospitalization.

                                            So, if you needed any inspiration at all to stop eating microwave popcorn, there it is...

                                            1. re: ironmom

                                              Ugh! Yes! I actually get migraines from that stuff.

                                            2. What a strange collection of idiosycratic food tastes...hates liver but likes chopped chicken liver???
                                              I had an employee once who hated tomatoes but loved spaghetti sauce. How in the name of heaven did we miss chitlins? The list of dislikes so far is nirvana compared to chitlins.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Jim H.
                                                Vital Information

                                                Not wanting to read every post in this thread, but who ever said they like chop liver, but not liver, well here-here, me too.

                                                and tomato sauce over raw tomatos, well that's pretty easy too.

                                                for what it's worth (sorry if this has already been mentioned, getting tired of reading thread) my all time least favorite food is liver sausage. i remember my mom trying to get me to eat a liver sausage sandwich. she tried adding strong mustard, swiss cheese, pickles, nothing could remove that taste.


                                              2. Brocolli. Nuff said.

                                                1. OK, so it's a cliche (but cliches get to be cliches for a reason): can't stand to be in the same room with lima beans.

                                                  Also (and this is much less of a cliche): I like to think of my life as being represented by one of those red circle-slash symbols with a jar of mayonnaise in the center. No mayo for me!

                                                  -- Paul

                                                  16 Replies
                                                  1. re: Paul Lukas
                                                    Caitlin McGrath

                                                    Here, here! I despise mayonnaise.

                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                      My pal Pete was at a tender age left under the watchful eye of his much older brother. Said older brother took this unparented opportunity to kneel on Pete's chest and force-feed him a family-sized jar of mayonnaise. With a spatula.

                                                      Pete can't even look at yogurt or sour cream now, let alone mayonnaise without a hand clamped over his mouth and his wife patting him gently on the head.


                                                      1. re: Kat Kinsman
                                                        Caitlin McGrath

                                                        Unlike many who posted on an earlier mayonnaise thread, I never had any mayonnaise-related traunas as a child, I've just always reviled its smell and taste. I don't even like its relative, hollandaise. Maybe it's genetic; my mom hates mayonnaise, too.

                                                        1. re: Kat Kinsman
                                                          Christopher Oliver

                                                          This is a highly saddening and disturbing story
                                                          and one that should move us to learn more about
                                                          sibling abuse and its prevention.

                                                          I feel deeply sorry for your friend.

                                                          1. re: Kat Kinsman

                                                            the older brothers of a friend of mine fed her cat food

                                                        2. re: Paul Lukas

                                                          Why is it you never see lima beans outside of your mother's house? Because they are nasty nasty nasty!
                                                          I guess you can imagine what my least favorite food is.
                                                          My mom never serves/eats them anymore, I wonder if she was punishing us?

                                                          1. re: Heather

                                                            My poor mom, she also thinks Schiling's Lemon Pepper is a food group. ACK!

                                                            I swear she is a great cook when she sticks to her best dishes (coincidentally none of them call for lemon pepper).

                                                            1. re: Heather

                                                              My mom doesn't own any actual spices--all the myriad of bottles and jars on her shelves, her walls, in her cupboards, are mixes and blends. When I wanted to cook something that needed hot pepper, she offered me a bottle of grayish brown Tabasco, many years old, from the back of her stove, and all kinds of inferior special-purpose blends for people who want someone else to season their food for them.

                                                              Mind you, she doesn't actually USE any of these, she just buys them all the time, so the stock is continually increasing. (And going past its freshness date.)

                                                              I ran out to the store and bought a can of red pepper.

                                                            2. re: Heather
                                                              christin a z

                                                              I know lima beans are widely loathed. In fact limas may be one of the least popular foods ever. But I'm struck by the fact that in recent years fava beans have been all the rage. They are just like limas only bigger (and a bigger pain in the @#$ to cook). Why are favas so popular when limas are so hated?

                                                              1. re: christin a z

                                                                Fava beans are in style. The fact that they are harder to fix makes them all the more desirable.

                                                                1. re: christin a z

                                                                  Fava beans and lima beans are completely different in taste and texture. I can't stand recipes that says you can subsitute lima beans for fava beans just because they look alike.

                                                                  1. re: christin a z

                                                                    Because they are good with liver and a nice chianti. That's why you eat fava beans.

                                                                    Trust Hannibal. What a gourmand.

                                                                    1. re: Lynn

                                                                      Here's some Chowhound trivia.

                                                                      In the book the line is
                                                                      "I ate his liver with some fava beans and a big Amarone"

                                                                      in the movie (dumbed down version)
                                                                      "I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti"

                                                                      I leave it to the wine mavens to discuss Amarone vs. Chianti in this context, if they wish to

                                                                    2. re: christin a z

                                                                      despite the hype, I've never been tempted by favas, for their similarity to the dreaded limas, which my mother LOVES (but she eats cold baked beans - yuck!)

                                                                      1. re: DF

                                                                        Your mother is my kind of woman! If the baked beans were good hot, they'll be good cold. I like to smear a thick slice of good, sturdy white bread with some of the salt pork left over from baking the beans and top with cold baked beans in an open faced-type sandwich. Cole slaw on the side, if you must gild the lily. A cold beer doesn't hurt either. pat

                                                                  2. re: Paul Lukas
                                                                    CatherineC in NYC

                                                                    Amen to that! Lima Beans, ick ick ick. The smell, the texture--they're so horrible. And I grew up in the south, where my grandmother would cook all vegetables forever, so her limas were always olive green and wrinkly! I am actively shuddering as I type this. Yet, they are my sister's favorite vegetable. I have seen her eat a gigantic bowl of them on many different occasions. There's no accounting for taste.

                                                                  3. Only thing worse than cottage cheese, is cottage cheese with canned peaches and a maraschino cherry on top. Also dislike sweet pickles or sweet pickle relish, chutney, cold cereal (Cap'n Crunch being the worst), PB & J sandwiches, miracle whip, chestnuts or chestnut puree, garbanzo beans, 3 bean salad in vinegar.

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Leslie T.

                                                                      You hate Cap'n Crunch? Heresy! I have 16-year old son who lives on the stuff! :)

                                                                      1. re: berkleybabe

                                                                        I grew up in a household where no presweetened cereals were allowed, which also means no colors, no cartoon characters...

                                                                        Now I never eat cold cereal, regardless of how unAmerican that may be.

                                                                      2. re: Leslie T.

                                                                        Have you ever been classed a "feeding problem?"

                                                                        1. re: Jim H.

                                                                          Yes...my husband does. I'm picky, but I do happen to like a lot of things the other posters don't like...ie. I love broccoli, brussel sprouts, microwave popcorn, herring, egg salad, raw tomatoes, raw oysters, tripe (in pho), escargot, liver, squash, and mayo, to name a few.

                                                                          Just thought of something else I could not be tempted to eat under any circumstance...blood soup as listed on an earlier thread, and any of those wacky sandwich fillings...no thanks!

                                                                      3. Canned asparagus, canned spinach, and canned green peas. In general, I don't like canned vegetables at all, but could probably force them down if I was awaiting rescue on a desert island and that was all I had to make it 'til then. But the three above...I don't know that the need to survive would be strong enough to quell the gag reflex their very appearance triggers. Surely hope I never have to put it to the test!

                                                                        1. Not only do I hate licorice, I can't even be in the same room with someone eating it. The merest whiff nauseates me. The same goes for any licorice or anise-flavored thing: fennel, ouzo, sambucca. My boyfriend had to choose between his Tom's Fennel toothpaste and being kissed. He switched toothpastes.

                                                                          1. g
                                                                            gail o'connor

                                                                            Water chestnuts. I'm sure it's the texture--that sudden, unexpected crunch in a dish that shouldn't crunch. Ish. I also really don't like apples, though I used to eat them and I can't recall when I started hating them. And chewy candy that sticks in your teeth like caramels and Starbursts.

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: gail o'connor

                                                                              I don't like waterchestnuts either. I think it's a filler ingrident in Chinese food. It does nothing for a dish in my opinion, but makes it look like a bigger plate!

                                                                              1. re: gail o'connor

                                                                                Water chestnuts are the only thing I refuse to eat, too!
                                                                                And I don't really like apples either, unless they're cooked in a pie or such. I'll never pick an apple over any other fruit, but I'd never connected it to my dislike of water chestnuts until I read your post. (My handle is an acknowledgment of my sister, who loves apples.)
                                                                                And I LOVE tripe.

                                                                              2. Hi everybody,

                                                                                Okay, I'll finally confess:

                                                                                I hate raw tomatoes. The taste, and texture, just give me the heebie-jeebies.

                                                                                I grew up in Northern California, and was exposed to fabulous tomatoes. Sorry, don't care if it is a juicy, ripe beefsteak right off of the vine, or the sweetest cherry tomato, (which I actually tried a couple of weeks ago, when I was back in the States), just can't handle them. Fresh salsa? No problem. Any cooked tomato product? Love 'em! Just no fresh, raw tomatoes.


                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Andy P.

                                                                                  Same here, Andy! I think it's mainly the texture (I find most foods I don't like I don't like because of the texture) -- that weird combination of squishy and crunchy. I actually use them raw in salsa, but I put everything in the food processor and chop so finely it's just short of puree. Cooked tomatoes are okay, as long as the peices are small -- anything much bigger than my thumb nail is going to get picked out, though. When I make salads for other people, I use cherry tomatoes, which are easy to avoid and don't leave gross slimy seeds all over the lettuce.

                                                                                  I'm actually a weirdly picky eater -- I eat a lot of things most picky eaters won't touch (Brussels sprouts, Asian greens I don't even know the name of, almost anything spicy), but I don't like most common salad veggies (tomatoes, cucumbers (except pickles, which I adore), radishes, avocado, mushrooms). By my teens, my mother finally started serving the salad like a salad bar, with a big bowl of lettuce and small bowls of additives (g).

                                                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                    I hate raw tomatoes too. Maybe it's because they are usually so awful in quality, but I made a fresh mozzarella tomato and basil salad recently with the most delicious tomatoes and it still didn't work for me. But cook them any way, broiled, stewed, as sauces or an ingredient...wonderful!


                                                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                                                      Vital Information

                                                                                      I too was a raw tomatophobe, that is until I went and lived in Great Britian. It made me realize that it was tomatoes that i disliked, rather bad tomatos that I disliked. The same thing happened with cucumbers.

                                                                                      On the other hand, I can imagine legions of people growing up "over there" who would feel the same way about hamburgers.


                                                                                      1. re: Vital Information

                                                                                        Nope, I've tried "good" tomatoes, including fresh from the garden tomatoes (even English garden tomatoes!). They don't do it for me.

                                                                                        I wouldn't say they're my least favorite food (I just chimed in here to keep Andy company). I don't find them repulsive (my boss was teasing my just today about my egg salad phobia), I could eat them if required by a social situation or extreme hunger. I just don't like them.

                                                                                  2. h
                                                                                    Heidi Claire

                                                                                    Thousand Island dressing.

                                                                                    That ubiquitous baby corn tossed in so much mediocre Chinese food.

                                                                                    Various types of mushroom, raw and cooked: moonlight, enokii, straw and oyster. Love most others. I think it's definitely a texture thing.

                                                                                    Fortunately, these are all things that I can avoid or pick around to get to the stuff I like.

                                                                                    1. Canned vegetable soup! Yuck, makes me want to heave!

                                                                                      1. Cooked carrots actively depress me, and there's one Chowhound who has seen me actually start to cry a little when faced with a cafeteria-style tuna noodle casserole at Junior's. The combination of the sweet, gluey smell and canned green peas winking through the glop must have brought back some grade school era sense memory that just swelled my throat shut and made me tear up. Made up for it with a good long sit in Ruby's on the boardwalk, but damn, that was nasty.

                                                                                        There is no substance on this earth more vile than succotash. Bring on all the sweetbreads, bloodsausage and nasty fishy foulness you want and I'll be happy, but succotash...uuuuugggghhhhhhh...


                                                                                        1. There are few foods I dislike, but I absolutely loathe canned tuna (why would you do THAT to tuna??), coleslaw, and spaghetti squash. I simply dislike raw broccoli and chicken breasts. Otherwise, I basically love everything from canned spinach to steak tartare!

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: Minty

                                                                                            Oh, I forgot, there's one more thing that never crosses my lips - brown rice. Wild rice, yes, brown... ugh!

                                                                                          2. I love fish and I love dairy but not the two together. Lobster thermidor, cod mornay, some cheesy tuna bake thing etc = my idea of hell.

                                                                                            1. c
                                                                                              Carolyn Tillie

                                                                                              I can't believe no one else has mentioned it because it is widely despised (Jacques Pepin, for one!):


                                                                                              I know it is an enzyme thing -- many of us have a taste bud that makes cilatro taste like soap. There is no way around it and whatever it is in makes it taste as though the plate has not bee washed.

                                                                                              Horrid stuff - although I frequently cater Moroccan which requires a lot of it, I can barely stand to chop it because it makes my hands smell so bad.

                                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: Carolyn Tillie

                                                                                                A friend just asked me if the tamales we were going to prepare for the holidays would require that Cilantro be in the house! For her - we'll do cilantro free tamales. She wants to know if there's a support group? :)

                                                                                                1. re: Celery

                                                                                                  Sign my husband up for the Cilantro Free World support group. He says it tastes like soap.
                                                                                                  My least favorite food is tongue.

                                                                                                  1. re: jenniferfishwilson

                                                                                                    Sign me up too. I think it tastes like wax.

                                                                                                    1. re: efdee

                                                                                                      I'm cilantro-intolerant as well... I've always said it tastes like my feet smell. Ditto olives. But I have noticed one weird thing - almost every cilantro hater I know (myself included) absolutely LOVES the spicy green sauce that you get with samosas. Imagine my surprise to find out that it's main ingredient is the Great Offender. Perhaps there is a sacred cilantro/vinegar ratio that makes it palatable.

                                                                                                      1. re: Shmingrid

                                                                                                        oh! oh! me too! to add to the disgusting things cilantro tastes like, it's always reminded me of someone else's saliva. i hate this stuff. ruins everything from salsa to tacos for me. i'm tolerant of my cilantro loving friends, but the stuff freaks me out. glad i'm not alone.

                                                                                                    2. re: jenniferfishwilson

                                                                                                      I used to feel that way too! Actually, when I was 10-15, anytime my mother was chopping it in the kitchen, I would start to gag and occasionally would throw up. (Believe it or not, it's her favourite herb.)

                                                                                                      Something has happened recently (in the past few years) and I have started to tolerate cilantro and now I kind of like it. If it's in bad shape at the supermarket, I still can't go near it.

                                                                                                      Does anyone know if there is an allergy or something to it? Otherwise, why would there be such a strong reaction that seems to have little to do with background (my mother has cooked with it from day 1 of my life)?

                                                                                                  2. re: Carolyn Tillie
                                                                                                    Michele Fuchs

                                                                                                    Cilantro is also on my top three:

                                                                                                    Cilantro (always leave it out and nobody seems to notice/ mind)
                                                                                                    Fennel (or anything anise/licorice flavored)
                                                                                                    Flying Fish Roe (though I LOVE caviar, these little orange crunchy things make my skin crawl! )

                                                                                                    1. re: Carolyn Tillie

                                                                                                      The problem is, of course, that the 75% of people who don't have the enzyme conflict tend to *love* cilantro and usually go through a phase where they put it on anything and everything (think of it as the foodie version of ketchup....).

                                                                                                      1. re: Carolyn Tillie

                                                                                                        Never had a problem with cilantro, but used to hate fennel. Although my exposure to fennel was from the Taiwanese way of cooking the parts above the root, the whispies if you will, as a vegetable dish. That's major flavor overload, much stronger than the bulb.

                                                                                                        Also, the first time I had Thai food with lime leave I thought I swallowed a bar of soap!

                                                                                                        Now I love both. Can't have a bowl of Thai soup without lime leave.

                                                                                                        So does that mean my enzyme make-up had changed over time?

                                                                                                      2. I don't really hate any food but there are some things I eat that seem to skeeve everyone around me out. I like eggs 'reeeallly' soft boiled and seeing me eat them that way horrifies some people I know. Also, I love okra but there are people who run away at the mere mention of okra. Raw clams and oysters disgust some people as well and I've gotten really weird looks when I order them and when I order sea urchin with a raw quail egg on top in a sushi bar.

                                                                                                        1. without a doubt - green peppers, cooked or raw. blech! love red peppers tho

                                                                                                          1. Several things:

                                                                                                            1) Stuffed bell peppers. Nothing grosser.
                                                                                                            2) Carrot salad. (That gross stuff with the raisins that they served in elementary school. Blecccch.)
                                                                                                            3) Waldorf Salad. Who thought that one up? I can't even look at it. My mother-in-law makes it, and I gotta tell you, I wouldn't eat it to save my marriage.
                                                                                                            4) Tripe. Mom used to force feed it to us as a child. It's texture is just nauseating. Like rubber...

                                                                                                            That's about it...

                                                                                                            1. Anything gelatinous (except jelly or jello) or gristly. After a few tries, I realized that I could only handle the chicken or vegetarian versions of Pho. The meat that they use is inedible! Yuck!

                                                                                                              1. Hi, new here. Couldn't resist on the least favorite food.

                                                                                                                Peas. Small, round, disgusting peas--cooked or fresh, it doesn't matter. I loathe 'em.

                                                                                                                Don't like hominy, cottage cheese, clams, oysters, or tapioca either. But peas--they definitely are the top of my "wouldn't eat them if you paid me to" list.

                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: Lynn

                                                                                                                  Hi Lynn, Welcome to Chowhound! As you make yourself at home here, you might want to consider a more distinctive nametag than "Lynn". We have tens of thousands of hounds here and we'd like to remember you among the crowds. You can get creative or just add a surname.

                                                                                                                  Sorry for the interruption, everyone. Back to the Chowtalk!

                                                                                                                  1. re: Moderator
                                                                                                                    Michele Cindy

                                                                                                                    Hi Moderator - I've recently seen your title here and there, is this a new feature? I've never really noticed a "Moderator" before, just Jim.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Michele Cindy

                                                                                                                      Michele--this sort of discussion belongs on "Site Talk". I've just started a new thread, called (logically enough!) "Moderators"

                                                                                                                      1. re: Jim Leff
                                                                                                                        Win (Boston)

                                                                                                                        Jim, shouldn't your post be on Site Talk?

                                                                                                                2. There are only a few foods I just really can't stand: eggs, mushrooms, and avocados. I think prunes would also make the list, but I have only been forced to eat them once.

                                                                                                                  Like most people, I have plenty of foods I'll eat, but would never choose to eat: most cole slaws, pork rinds, curry, and non-fried okra. I wouldn't walk across the street for lobster, either -- it's okay, but I could dredge a boot in lemon-butter sauce and it would taste good.

                                                                                                                  Blue skies,

                                                                                                                  1. add me to the liver bandwagon - except for fois gras.

                                                                                                                    I really hate the gristly bits of meat that come in canned soup - I think I'm pretty much off canned soup in general.

                                                                                                                    I don't like the globby little piece of white gunk that clings to the yolk of an egg. EggWHITES have to be thoroughly cooked (which makes it hard to acheive the degree of yolk runniness I prefer).

                                                                                                                    I dislike the cheap, mass-market brands of olive oil. (Pompeii, Bertolli, etc.)

                                                                                                                    Most people gasp with pity when I tell them this, but I cannot have raw garlic. It gives me migraines. Same for fake movie-theatre popcorn butter. I also don't like grilled onions when they are big, stringy slimy things. Carmelized DICED onions are okay.

                                                                                                                    I love hummous when it's made the way I like, but if it's not, yuck! The way I dislike has raw garlic added and has somehow misused the tahini, making the whole thing taste like toe-jam. Instant hummous mix is criminal. You know, stale, cardboardy, prepackaged pita bread is on my list, too.

                                                                                                                    I hate the way my mom makes spaghetti. Tough, gritty, overcooked bits of ground meat, jar sauce. I don't like tough little bits of meat.

                                                                                                                    Miracle Whip.

                                                                                                                    1. I've been reading this thread with some interest. Amazing that chowhounds dislike so many perfectly wonderful foods with so much negative gusto. I can say that I don't like many commercial "convenience" pre-packaged, canned, frozen or microwavable foods. I wouldn't go out of my way to eat tripe or alfalfa sprouts if other choices were available. But if either were involved in an interesting dish, I would find them enjoyable. The only foods I won't eat are ones that I am allergic to. Apples and apple products (sob!), walnuts, and pecans all make me itch, wheeze, sneeze, and on several occasions have necessitated a trip to the emergency room for an adrenaline shot. Believe me, if I could eat them, I would. I used to love them. For those 'hounds whose food dislike lists are long, I recommend that you read the introduction to _The Man Who Ate Everything_ by Jeffrey Steingarten, where he describes how he analyzed, confronted and self-treated his various food dislikes, which he called phobias. He realized his food dislikes were a handicap and likened it to an art critic who couldn't stand the color yellow.

                                                                                                                      So, I understand that your mother was a terrible cook who regularly ruined lima beans or liver. As I say to the psychiatric patients I work with: the world is not the same now as it was when you were growing up. You are not dependent on your mother anymore. You can decide how you want it to be, and you can do it differently. But since you are not my patients, I can say what I sometimes would like to say to them but can't, because it is not sufficiently empathic: GET OVER IT!!!

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: zora

                                                                                                                        Yes, I have read Jeffrey Steingarten's book (isn't it a WONDERFUL read?) and yes, I confess I have a number of silly food phobias, but I don't think I have the courage to follow his method and eat one food a day that causes gag reactions. I know it's a failing not to be able to eat everything. Perhaps one day I'll feel motivated to try overcoming it. Right now, there are too many things in the world that I enjoy eating, and I don't want to waste precious time eating the things that I don't enjoy.

                                                                                                                      2. For a long time, I couldn't stand parsley. I know this is a bit strange because parsley is suppose to be the mildly-flavored garnish no one has a problem with and cilantro the strongly-flavored garnish that quite a few people dislike. Maybe this is because I grew up in a Chinese household and my mom used cilantro regularly, but never parsley. At any rate, when I first tried parsley I REALLY disliked it and couldn't understand how people thought it was mild and unobtrusive. I've grown accustomed to it now, but the flavor still really jumps out at me.

                                                                                                                        1. Here are some particularly horrible food rememberances from my childhood:

                                                                                                                          Kasha Varnishkas
                                                                                                                          Buckwheat Pancakes
                                                                                                                          Sirloin Steak baked in Seven Seas Salad dressing
                                                                                                                          Hot Dogs and Beans
                                                                                                                          Spaghetti with Tomato paste and cut up hotdogs

                                                                                                                          and my main food dislike these days would have to be...
                                                                                                                          jeez, this is tough, there is very little that i won't put in my mouth, but perhaps Uni. i tried it once and regrettably, did not spit it out. Tastes and looks like baby poop. Maybe the stuff i had was bad, but damn, it was not tasting or resembling anything that should be digested.

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: Jupiter

                                                                                                                            You're bringing back memories...

                                                                                                                            I was in Hawaii once long ago, and my ex- and I stopped into a restaurant which was having some sort of a budget tourist special (a twofer). I ordered "hulihuli chicken", which was chicken which had been gently heated in "Italian" dressing until it was cooked but the skin was still entirely gooey. Yeeeh...

                                                                                                                          2. Ooh! This is fun! Cottage cheese, definitely. I have a real problem with 'snack cakes' by Little Debbie, Hostess, and the like. Especially if they're pink. I just wasn't brought up on them like other kids, and so to me they're like the grubs people eat in other countries that I ALSO wasn't brought up on. Speaking of which, when I was in Korea, I decided I would try one of the steamed maggots that street vendors were selling from pots like... like fresh-roasted nuts on the streets of Paris, you know? Yeah, like that. Only not. It really wasn't that bad, to be honest ...except for the sour, bitter, unclean-feeling, lingering taste of mud (or something far worse, that I dare not even contemplate) in my mouth for the rest of the night. That part... not so great.
                                                                                                                            Ok... I must admit that I have a problem with enjoying things with suckers on their appendages, though it's really more of a problem with the chewyness of octopus that bothers me.
                                                                                                                            I've never liked beef or mutton or anything, even before I knew what the word vegetarian was, and now I just don't bother with red meat. I miss pork, to be honest, but I know that if I included it as one of my 'edibles' I would really probably develop an arterial problem within a week or two.
                                                                                                                            Turnips, I find very unpleasant, especially when you want them to be potatoes. Sigh.
                                                                                                                            I used to love lobster. Then I went scuba diving. And this lobster came up to me and wiggled his... you know, his antennae-things at me, and I was like, ohh... And I don't know, I just haven't felt the desire to eat lobster anymore. I don't miss it, or anything, either... I just don't want it when it's available. I find this very curious.
                                                                                                                            I can't stand those thick, white, waxy creams you find in cream puffs and boston creame pies and those donuts... *shudder* It's so... heavy... thick... like something trying to kill you by clogging all your pores from your inside out... gah. Then again, maybe I just read too much science fiction, I don't know.
                                                                                                                            I still don't get sauerkraut. Or beets. But I'm working on it.
                                                                                                                            Pepsi is pretty bad. It makes me feel like I've been chewing on iron filings, which doesn't seem healthy to me. Ah. Beer. I really hate beer. I mean, I don't drink in any case, but there is nothing like just whiff of beer to turn Miss Stomach of Steel into a trembling, cringing mass of unsettled misery.
                                                                                                                            Hmm. Trembling... I don't know what the deal is with Jello, but I don't trust it, man! And what is with those molded things??? Whoever got the bright idea to allow people to call them "salads"??? Nothing distresses me more than finding a recipe for "Walnut and Orange Salad" turns out to mean "Potentially Yummy Things Suspended in Gook to Match Your Decor." Sigh. Life is so very challenging.

                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. re: silvernutmeg

                                                                                                                              Ah yes, jello "salad," one of mankind's worst food inventions, esp. when including those little marshmallows, or EVEN WORSE, Mayo! I've never been able to eat one bite of these. Plain jello makes me gag, so you can just imagine....
                                                                                                                              As for individual foods: I vote for Okra (both hairy and snotty!), and canned lima beans. Talk about gag material. The fresh ones are probably OK, but I've never tried 'em.

                                                                                                                            2. I had initially decided to avoid this thread totally, feeling I had no interest in hearing people sound off about perfectly good food just because of their own limitation.

                                                                                                                              But last night I pushed my chowhounding to beyond my limits. I was going to start a new thread about stinky fermented tofu, but took a random plunge into reading someones LEAST favorite before starting to write. Then I saw that instead of singling out the stinky tofu, I should just add my voice to the chorus of limitations.

                                                                                                                              First I will start with canned green vegetables: particularly asparagus and green beans. I once vomited at the dinner table when my father told me (I was probably in the 6th grade) that I could not leave the table until I ate all my green beans. I don't know what affected me more, the taste of the beans (which I definately did not like) or the authoritarian efforts of my father (which I also definately did not like). To this day I accept neither of them.

                                                                                                                              Next on my list is uni. There are many fermented fish things in Japanese cuisine I have heard about that I would probably not like, but uni (not fermented of course) has never tasted to me like anything edible. It is acrid and burning in my mouth and all the way down. One time I had uni presented to me in a small cone of nori and shiso. I like shiso so much that it made the uni (which I was told was particularly fresh and good) acceptable. But although I did not let on to my host who was presenting me with a delicacy, it seemed to me that if the only uni I found the least bit palatable was the freshest top of the line most expensive stuff then it was a waste for me to consume it. To me top of the line only meant that I didn't have to stifle my gag reflex.

                                                                                                                              But last night I had to concede fully that I never wish to put another bite of Taiwan stinky tofu in my mouth ever again. I had it in a dish served over canned heat with very spicy pork and "broad beans." It surprises me, but I accept it. Although I find a place on my palate for virtually any pungeant cheese, fermented tofu will not again pass my lips.


                                                                                                                              1. Love this post! This may sound strange, but I cannot take the taste of mustard. It's a shame, because there are so many great dishes that use mustard. I don't like when people mix the spaghetti sauce and spaghetti in a big bowl and serve it "family style." This creates a big bowl of pasty spaghetti. Oh, and one more, as a child Mom made us try bludwurst, which is basically a big, bloody, nasty sausage!

                                                                                                                                1. I know some people love this, my sister in law for one, who orders pizza this way with no concern for others tastes. There are appropriate foods where a overpowering preserved seafood flavor works for me, nam pla and many asian dishes. But not on pizza...please.

                                                                                                                                  1. somehow i just came across this 4 year old thread and it seems like fun to revive it. Not surprised to see all the cilantro haters. So does hubby. I will eat a little. Is there really an enzyme?? cuz i think it must taste like soap to everyone, but some learn to like it anyways..
                                                                                                                                    Also hate capers, rosemary esp in giant sprigs, water chestnuts, baby corn. My sisters and I used to love to try to eat horehound candies when we were kids just to gross ourselves out, make lots of faces and gag noises and see who could keep it in their mouths the longest!

                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                    1. re: chompie

                                                                                                                                      Cilantro tastes like soap only to some people; your taste buds are a little different. Lots of threads on this, one is http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                                                                                                                                    2. This is awful from a 'hound, but for me it's white potatoes.
                                                                                                                                      I can eat really good, crispy and heavily-seasoned fries, but baked/mashed/roasted potatoes, even when prepared by someone who really knows what s/he's doing, just feel like filler to me.
                                                                                                                                      The one I cannot stand unless dramatically altered as a minor ingredient is beer. Any beer. Blegh.

                                                                                                                                      1. Raw CARROTS...yuck yuck yuck!!!

                                                                                                                                        It's going to really suck when I have to pretend to like them so my baby eats them...the thought alone makes me gag!

                                                                                                                                        1. I am really sensitive to chemical/artificial additives and colorings. So, I kind of get nauseous when I eat things which use large amounts of those additives.

                                                                                                                                          Other than that, I like everything.

                                                                                                                                          1. Truffle oil, baby corn and tripe. Yuck.

                                                                                                                                            1. Eggplant. It's the sliminess. Fortunately DH hates it too.

                                                                                                                                              There are things I would prefer not to eat, and in fact would never eat,like raw fish or meat.

                                                                                                                                              Baby corn is a pet peeve.

                                                                                                                                              1. corned beef (parents used to try to tell us it was ham), sauerkraut (hubby loves it, says I should try to make it from scratch and I asked him if he would stay married to me if I didn't!)
                                                                                                                                                lima beans here too.....i don't like kidney and cannelini beans, but I love garbanzo, great northern, black beans
                                                                                                                                                I am not big on the seafood and cheese combo like someone mentioned.....love lobster but not mornay, love scallops but not Coquille St. Jacques
                                                                                                                                                just recently got over my dislike for fresh tomato, but only because I was growing them organically. I can eat those with just a little sea salt and cracked black pepper, but no other tomato will pass my lips that way. In a salad, yes.
                                                                                                                                                Liver, or any other internal organ of an animal. Come on, I mean.....ick....eating an organ that filters WASTE! Yeccch!

                                                                                                                                                1. For me it's raw onions, although I will eat green onions in moderation, or occasionally small amounts of red onion in a salad or sandwich. I also don't like mayonnaise, and anything that's made with mayo and raw onion picks up that raw onion taste, so consequently I don't like American-type potato salad, or macaroni salad and similar things. Otherwise I will eat nearly anything, including liver of all descriptions, and practically any innard.

                                                                                                                                                  But here's the funny thing: My husband doesn't like raw tomatoes, but both of us like pico de gallo, and what is that made of -- raw tomato and raw onion!

                                                                                                                                                  Sarah C

                                                                                                                                                  1. Tongue, tripe, but the absolute worst is kidney! I first encounter this in the most amazingly scrumptious-looking beef and kidney pie that my father ordered at a restaurant in England. The pie was a thing of beauty, baked in its own individual dish with a burnished crust and dark, dark gravy. I was happy when my father offered me a taste. I was very unhappy after I put it in my mouth and realized that the bad smell I had just noticed was not due to our proximity to the restrooms. Why would anyone eat something that smells and tastes so strongly of urine???

                                                                                                                                                    1. Two things come to mind that will cause me to lose my lunch: asparagus and the boiled bread and tomatoes my mother used to make. The bread came out just like strings of snot and it was absolutely revolting.

                                                                                                                                                      1. the 3 "common" things i cannot even smell let alone eat:

                                                                                                                                                        sauerkraut (sp?)

                                                                                                                                                        the worst part, when i was a server and someone would order a gin & GF. UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

                                                                                                                                                        1. Tripe. Fried pork rinds. Sliced American cheese. Cauliflower.

                                                                                                                                                          1. no one mentioned the dreaded....

                                                                                                                                                            1. Hello-- great topic! I just found this thread when googling for: Genetics, tastebuds and food dislikes. (Many food dislikes are inherited tastebud sensitivities. Ever hear of "super tasters"? About 25% of the population has more taste buds on their tongues and experience taste in a more intense way than your average "taster". About 25% are called "non-tasters"-- they have fewer taste buds and are less sensitive to flavor.


                                                                                                                                                              No one's mentioned disliking sour milk products. In my family, there are several of us that dislike sour cream, yogurt and cream cheese. (I discovered as an adult that these relatives disliked the same foods-- didn't know it as a child.)

                                                                                                                                                              I don't like cottage cheese or egg salad either for the same reasons listed by other members 4 years ago.

                                                                                                                                                              1. I'm fairly picky, and everything I don't like, I've at least tried to like. Avocadoes, olives, bananas, bell peppers, and ginger... all make me gag.

                                                                                                                                                                As a side note, my grandfather won't eat onions (I LOVE onions), and my great-grandfather not only wouldn't eat onions, but he wouldn't enter a house in which there were onions.

                                                                                                                                                                1. Hated onions as a child; love 'em now.

                                                                                                                                                                  Still dislike milk (except on cereal) and beer. I also avoid brussel sprouts (though I'm okay with cabbage) and lima beans (though I like most other beans).

                                                                                                                                                                  Food dislikes are a quirky thing.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. I have to agree w/ cottage cheese...I mean, the mouthfeel is reminiscent of somebody else's bolus.

                                                                                                                                                                    (And yes, I know what somebody else's bolus feels like...)

                                                                                                                                                                    1. Boiled Bread? WTF????? Why, why?

                                                                                                                                                                      Mine would have to be brains (from any animal) and cottage cheese which I've tried with honey, fruit, nuts, herbs, anything, but it just looks, smells, and tastes like something quite abnormal!