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Have you ever "trained" yourself to eat something?

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The post on goat cheese got me thinking. Several years ago, I got tired of picking cilantro, which I loathed, out of Mexican food, which I love. So I decided that I wouldn't keep asking if the dish had cilantro in it and just go with it. Over the course of a year or so, I discovered that I really liked cilantro.

I decided to try the same experiment with olives this year. I have always hated olives. I would pick them out of any dish containing any kind of olive. Didn't matter... green, black, kalamata, etc. Hated them all. Early this year, I decided to apply my cilantro experiment with olives. After several months, I discovered that I really liked kalamata olives, oil cured olives, etc. Now, I have a blast at the Whole Foods olive bar!

For 2008, I'm attempting to do the same with blue cheese. Now, I really, really hate blue cheese. Love goat, love feta, but blue cheese? Even the smell of it makes me queasy. Wish me luck!

How about you? Ever teach yourself to like a food you previously hated?

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  1. Oysters! I was more shamed than trained. I was at a wine dinner with a French wine importer and his stunningly beautiful, elegant French wife and they ordered oysters on the half shell for the table. The wife let everyone know that there were just enough oysters for each person to have two...I tried to fade into the background because the first time I tried raw oysters I ended up gagging and having to run to the bathroom...she noticed that I had not touched mine and sat there waiting for me to eat them. I felt like an idiot and did not want to appear ungratefull or uncivilized so I scooped one up and had a death grip on my glass of Champagne, (my first love), "focus on the bubbles" I told myself and I shot that briny little sucker down my gullet and washed it down with the Champagne Oh My God!! It was wonderful and now I'm an oyster junkie.

    3 Replies
    1. re: bubbles4me

      Was it the Champagne or the oyster that "tasted" great. To me, it's not only a texture thing, but that briny taste doesn't do it for me. I could eat a dozen with a cold beer next to it, or add some hot sauce, but to enjoy them by themselves, I doubt it.

      1. re: bubbles4me

        I thought I hated oysters too. About 6 months ago I tried them again and they are probably one of my favorite foods now :)

        1. re: bubbles4me

          brave of you to not just be "allergic" to shellfish

        2. Lobster. i hated lobster all through my youth- would watch in disgust as my family pulled them apart. then i married a "mainer" and was forced to learn to like the lobster. so i just decided a few summers ago that i needed to like lobster, so i just dived right into lobster rolls from red's eats (easy with all that drawn butter) and whole lobsters from maine lobster pounds. lo and behold, now I LOVE lobster. i can eat 3 red's eats lobster rolls in a sitting (if you let me). and few things taste more like summer to me than a delicious lobster and some drawn butter! enjoy fb

          15 Replies
          1. re: frankbooth

            Frankbooth, I have a challenge for all your Imamainuh family members. I've put about a half dozen people to this challenge and I've won every time. Take a lobster lover out for dinner and give them this challenge. If you can eat a two lb lobster without anything added to it (no butter, no lemon, no nuttin') and they can eat the whole thing and honestly tell you they enjoyed it, you'll pay for it. I've done this quite a few times, and after two or three bites they are dunking it in butter and offering to pay for your dinner.

            1. re: jhopp217

              What's the point? Same is true for artichokes, popcorn, hot wings, toast, and many other things. Are all those things inherently distasteful because we traditionally serve them slathered in butter?

              1. re: uptown jimmy

                Missing your point. I don't love artichokes, I usually don't add butter to my popcorn, maybe alittle salt, and sometimes cayenne pepper. Hot Wings I order well done sauce on the side usually, no butter. Toast is bread which I put many things on. I'm missing YOUR point. My point was lobster is usually served with drawn butter. Take it away and you have a flavorless meat.

                1. re: jhopp217

                  False. Lobster meat on its on if firm and has a hint of sweetness. I'd always enjoyed my lobster the same way I ate crabs, boiled and eaten without butter until I moved out of my parents' place. Being Chinese, we do a lot of steaming seafood, and unlike most people, we skip the soy sauce part and just eat it by itself.

              2. re: jhopp217

                I love eating sea food without butter. I like the lemon but it is not necessary. I am assuming you would allow a bit of salt in the water the lobster is boiled in (or sea water). So I'll go out and eat lobster with you! Bring your wallet!

                1. re: moh

                  The other thing I would point out has to do with the science of flavor, which is pretty well-understood. Many of the flavor compounds we recognize on the tongue are only fat soluble, hence the universal use of fats in cooking and eating food. If I understand correctly, the butter is actually helping release a lot of the flavor otherwise locked up in the lobster flesh.

                  1. re: moh

                    same goes here, except i don't want the lemon either. i love lobster (particularly the claws) unadulterated. i'm not as big a fan of the tail, but i'll eat it if i don't have an appropriate dining companion (mom and i will order a 4 lber and i take claws and she tail). king crab legs are also great IMO steamed and cracked. and i'm probably the only person i know that doesn't like shrimp scampi because of the scampi. Now if only I had a friend to challenge me...

                    1. re: Emme

                      I agree with the shrimp and the crab. If the meat is really fresh it has a unique flavor all to itself. I diagree with the losbter. All the parts taste pretty much like nothing to me.

                  2. re: jhopp217

                    Lobster is enhanced by those things! You have, perhaps, not had a properly cooked lobster before. They should not be golf balls! They should be juicy, succulent and have sort of giant flakes if cooked properly. Do you hold the same feelings for shrimp?

                    1. re: Sal Vanilla

                      I have had lobster so many times it's ridiculous, because I'm waiting for it to taste good. Shrimp has a flavor to me. To me lobster doesn't.

                      1. re: jhopp217

                        I agree the tail doesn;t taste like much but, to me, properly cooked juicy claws are divine alll by themselves. Maybe you lobsters are dried out?

                    2. re: jhopp217

                      I eat my lobster plain, same as my folks did, and love it.

                      1. re: pikawicca

                        I like a squeeze of lime, not lemon, juice.

                      2. re: jhopp217

                        I rarely have butter or lemon on my lobster. I do love to have them when I have them, but when i make lobster at home, I usually don't even think about them.

                        IMO it is a foolish test anyhow, could do the same thing with beef without any salt or pepper or spice of any sort. Many would not like it without some flavor enhancer.

                        And besides, the larger the lobster is, IMO the more bland it is. The smaller ones are sweeter, so I usually go for smaller than 2 lbers

                        1. re: jhopp217

                          I eat lobster without butter or lemon. Also, crab legs as well. You can take me out to eat any day. I love, love, love the sweet taste of lobster. Butter or lemon is a condiment. It just adds to the taste, it doesn't create the whole flavor on it's own. I love my condiments but I appreciate the base food just as much.

                      3. 2008 will be a banner year for you if you emerge as a lover of blue cheese which is my absolute desert island if-I-could-only-eat-one-thing-for-the-rest-of-my-life-food.

                        1. For me, it was uni. At my favorite sushi place, my sushi guy started me w/baby steps, uni sushi w/other stuff to just introduce me to the flavor. Now I love the stuff.

                          Maybe I should try it w/bitter melon. It's the one food that I bleh! at.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: justagthing

                            That was mine too. I started eating it to impress my then boyfriend (now husband) and ended up loving it!

                          2. Interesting that most of the responses so far are from folks who used to hate something, trained themself to eat it, and now love said item.

                            For me, I still loathe cilantro but have trained myself to just suffer through it. I'll never love it and it will always taste like soap, but I understand how it is integral to Mexican and Middle Eastern cooking.

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: Carrie 218

                              It is also a part of some Chinese cooking. But also, there have been past posts on the cilantro taste. Quite interesting. I love the stuff and always ask for extra.
                              http://www.chow.com/search?search%5Bq...

                              1. re: justagthing

                                Horse meat, by accident. Years ago, I was having dinner at a low-priced restaurant in Paris (yes, there were such things then) with a Parisian friend. I was remarking about the special horse-meat butchers to be found there, and said I could never bring myself to eat horse. He just smiled, and pointed to my entrecote.

                              2. re: Carrie 218

                                As I understand it, the cilantro thing is caused by an enzyme that changes the way they taste coriander leaves, a genetic trait, but has yet to be fully researched. Those of us who have it find that cilantro tastes soapy; some people say it tastes like metal. Everyone else thinks it tastes bright and citrusy.

                                I can tolerate it in small doses and I think it might be possible to "overcome" my dislike for it, but I have no interest in trying. Should be interesting when I go to Thailand next month. hmmm.

                                1. re: chicgail

                                  thanks! it does taste metalic too me, but i could never explain it to anyone. I like the flavor it can impart to a dish, but eating it in like a salad, or where its not chopped up... not so much.

                                  1. re: chicgail

                                    Don't give up on cilantro. It used to taste soapy to me but doesn't anymore.

                                    1. re: Steve

                                      Julia Child hated cilantro, too.

                                      1. re: Emilyishere

                                        It tastes like soap to me as well. I am okay with it in salsa, and can tolerate it far better than I used to, but I don't think I will ever love it.

                                    2. re: chicgail

                                      I feel the same way about dill. No, I take it back, I can see no reason for dill at all. But I don't have the cilantro-hating gene, I can graze through a field of it and love every bite.

                                      Cilantro-dislikers, I know it's not a priority, but if you grew some cilantro during cool weather and tried it that way you just might taste a very big difference. Commercial has all those off-tastes that people hate, the homegrown not nearly as much, with much more sweetness. If you're interested. Just suggesting.

                                  2. I had to train myself to eat olives as well. Now I love them. (well except for the canned black ones. blech)

                                    Fresh tomatos. I still won't ask for them in a sandwich or on a salad but if they are there I won't pick them off now.

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: joth68

                                      I overcame my dislike of fresh tomatoes as well. As a child, my parents would always try to tempt me with tomatoes fresh from the garden, but I thought they were blech. As a grown-up I started with caprese salads and other fresh preparations. I still don't love them by themselves, but in a fresh salsa or other preparation I appreciate fresh tomatoes.

                                      1. re: dubedo

                                        I use to be such a brat about it. I could even tell if tomatoes had been on the salad and removed. My poor parents.

                                        1. re: joth68

                                          Salsa and bruschetta -- that's about it for my tomato consumption. The texture just throws me. I've never really liked them and I have really tried -- and tried. Roma's are really the only tomatoes I can stomach (if at all).

                                      2. re: joth68

                                        I have found people that don't like tomatos usually don't like olives either, observation through the years of ordering and sharing pizza.

                                        1. re: Lori SF

                                          A random anti-Mediterranean/Mesoamerican gene, perhaps?

                                      3. There was a fairly heated thread on this earlier in the year...

                                        When I was a kid, I decided I would like tomatoes. I told my parents I would eat and like tomatoes when I turned four; on my birthday, I made the switch. Now I've been known to eat pints of cherry tomatoes, and have tomato sauce straight from the jar.

                                        Same for blue cheese. The minute I realized it was supposed to taste that way, I liked it.

                                        33 Replies
                                        1. re: piccola

                                          I forgot the obvious: beer. Hated it at first, but try, try again... I'll take a beer over those sweet pink drinks any day.

                                          1. re: piccola

                                            I've been working on beer for about a year now..even going to tastings to find one I liked...and it worked!!! I'm still very picky, but I found a beer I will drink!

                                            1. re: TampaAurora

                                              Oh, do tell! I have the same problem.

                                              1. re: chownewbie

                                                I found a few He'brew beers that are ok. The best thing is to not try and sip it for flavor like wine but take a full mouth full.

                                                1. re: chownewbie

                                                  Stick to the light ones first. Maybe try some of the flavoured ones, like apricot beer. Expect the first few sips to be bitter; you'll get used to the taste after a bit.

                                                  You might want to look into your local breweries. Some even have tastings, or at least samples. Plus, they're often cheaper.

                                                  1. re: piccola

                                                    HA :) There's a local apricot Hefe that I can muster but I was "sipping" like you said not to do. I'll start with bigger swigs from now on and work my way up the ladder! Thank you for the tips!

                                                    1. re: chownewbie

                                                      You poor people, I have yet to find a beer I didn't like!

                                                      1. re: Hensley

                                                        Aggh! That's horrible!! How can you not like beer?! I mean, good beer, that is, but that is something to work on people!

                                                        1. re: Hensley

                                                          High-Five to you, Hensley. I too have been enjoying the taste of beer for a long time now. Although my very first taste of Guinness was like BLAHHH!! HOW COULD YOU DRINK THAT STUFF?? But by the time I finished my first pint I was hooked and loved it.

                                                          Rich.

                                                          GO CHARGERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                          1. re: sd4life

                                                            I hated Guinness until I tried it half and half with Harp. Now that is good drinking! I still don't care for it alone - it's just too rich tasting for me.

                                                      2. re: piccola

                                                        either get a good llambic (raspberry framboise) or try a double bock. I can't stand light beers... hate the taste of hops! A troeginator is like drinking sweet bread...

                                                    2. re: TampaAurora

                                                      As an avid beer drinker with quite the paunch, I ask this. Why?

                                                      1. re: TampaAurora

                                                        I can't believe so many people admit to once hating beer! I hate the taste of alcohol and never learned to like it. I tried very hard in college because I knew I was missing out on drunken hookups. Years later, for no particular reason, I ordered a light beer with a burger. It really tasted great. But I had no reason to drink alcohol anymore and decided not to continue.

                                                        1. re: plasticman

                                                          I not only "once hated" beer.

                                                          I STILL hate beer!

                                                          Nasty stuff! No offense to those who like it. Tastes differ, else we'd all be getting our nutrients out of a tube of paste.

                                                      2. re: piccola

                                                        Ah, me too! I was sick of sitting at the table in bars (back in my youth) and nothing but a pitcher of beer to drink, so I forced myself to drink it.

                                                        I wouldn't say I love beer, but I'm very happy with most dark beers (not Guinness-dark) and hefeweizens. I even liked the not very cold beer I had in Britain a year ago!

                                                        1. re: coney with everything

                                                          Interesting about the Guinness... I find that it's smoother, less bitter, and easier to drink than lighter beers (surprisingly). Am I nuts, or is it that you prefer the more bitter ones?

                                                          1. re: juster

                                                            I do like a touch of bitterness, but I definitely think you're right about the darker beers being easier drinking in general.

                                                            1. re: juster

                                                              same boat. if it ain't dark, i wont' drink it. and i'm a tiny tyke, so I gotta split wif someone.

                                                            2. re: coney with everything

                                                              I wasn't a beer drinker until I spent a few months working the bar in some London pubs. Unless you wanted to be laughed out of the pub, you didn't drink anything but beer (or maybe a rum and coke). After a week or so, I was converted.

                                                              1. re: piccola

                                                                Hear! Hear!

                                                                As an Aussie backpacking around Europe in the early 80's, I had to learn to like beer.

                                                                An Aussie who DOESN"T drink beer was something the British locals found HIGHLY amusing!

                                                                My gate-way to beers was ordering a lager and lime... still my drug-of-choice on a hoy Aussie summer day!!

                                                                1. re: piccola

                                                                  Spent my freshman year of College in Munich. Never looked back. Good beer is a marvelous thing.

                                                                  1. re: pikawicca

                                                                    I used to hate hate hate beer. I am a total wino. I even lived in Prague for a semester and tried- but just couldnt get into it.
                                                                    Last winter I went back to Prague and was pressured into trying Pilsner straight from the barrell....sigh*** Then I tried the local Krucovice....I spent the next 3 days of our trip maintaining a nice beer buzz!
                                                                    I am cursing myself for not having enjoyed this every day for the 4 months I was there before!

                                                              2. re: piccola

                                                                i hated beer too until i had it late one night with greasy pepperoni pizza. my boyfriend insisted it was the only way to eat greasy food, and he was right! :o) now i drink beer with fried chicken, korean hot pot, barbecue, etc...he's turned me into quite the lush.. :o)

                                                                1. re: piccola

                                                                  Definitely beer. In college, I realized that I was missing out on all of the drinking games like beer pong and flipcup by not drinking beer. I remember forcing myself to drink half a beer at a party, then a whole one the next time...now I love beer and it's my preferred drink! And to think that those beers I initially forced myself to drink were probably warm and were Keystone Light or something horrible like that! I actually did get used to those sorts of beers and, I guess you could say, liked them. My beer taste is much more refined now.

                                                                  1. re: piccola

                                                                    Yep! Hated beer but had to train myself to like it b/c that's all there was at parties in college. Now I love it and have to drink it out of a champagne glass to disguise it at some events! Ha!

                                                                    1. re: piccola

                                                                      I've always thought that with beer it's somehow different from food. Doesn't everybody have to develop a taste for it? Unlike with other alcohols. Anyway when I was young I made myself learn to like beer. Even started to get cravings, and the smell of it alone was exciting. But now that I'm not used to it I'm back to hating it again! (hope that doesn't start a new topic)

                                                                      1. re: viennashade

                                                                        I don't think a taste for alcohol is natural. Certainly wasn't for me. I hated the stuff as a kid.

                                                                      2. re: piccola

                                                                        ditto on Scotch, when my dad told mr it was an aquired taste I went on a mission to aquire!

                                                                        1. re: piccola

                                                                          I forgot about beer! I never liked until DH and I started frequenting a Japanese hole-in-the-wall eatery one hot summer. The beer was so nice and cool and thirst-quenching!. I don't love it all the time, just on occasion, but then I drink it with pleasure.

                                                                        2. re: piccola

                                                                          There is nothing better than a big plate of sliced summer tomatoes with salt and pepper. Mmmmmmm.

                                                                          1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                                            YUCK! I still can't do it. However if you cooked with a little olive oil and blended into a sauce I would eat it

                                                                            1. re: sd4life

                                                                              I'd be sd4life too. Fresh home grown & Jersey tomatoes are ambrosiatic!

                                                                              1. re: sd4life

                                                                                i guess your screen name stands for "sad for life"?

                                                                          2. Gosh where to start? There were so many "odd" foods in Asian cuisine that my parents had to train me to eat. As a child I hated dishes such as bitter melon and cha shao (the Chinese roasted pork with the red glaze that I thought signified that the meat was undercooked), but oddly enough had no problems with thousand year old eggs.

                                                                            These days I've conquered fish eyes and olives.....however, queso still manages to scare me!

                                                                            1. Sure- spinach, escarole, rucola... basically, anything green and leafy. As a kid, these foods were a nightmare for me. I can't remember why I detested them so, but I sure did. I am still not a big fan of spinach- I tolerate a few forkfuls now and then. But today rucola, and especially baby rucola, is my absolute favorite salad! And I love my mom's homemade escarole pizza! I'm not sure how or why it happened, whether it was physical (tastebuds "matured") or psychological (I "decided" to like them).

                                                                              11 Replies
                                                                              1. re: vvvindaloo

                                                                                I have to say I cannot understand this premise.

                                                                                'A year ago I hated this, I told myself to not hate it and now I love it'

                                                                                There's a very wide gulf between hating something and loving something. I can't see how this can happen in adults. Training one's self to tolerate something is quite different than training one's self to love something that one is not neutral about, but actively hates. loathes and despises.

                                                                                Nope, has never happened with me and I can't see it ever happening. What I thought tasted awful last year likely will taste awful to me on my deathbed.

                                                                                1. re: FrankJBN

                                                                                  Well, you rarely go from one extreme to the other. Though, it does happen. This is usually a result of only having been exposed to bad examples. This is what happened to me with brussel sprouts. I sought out different preparations until I found one that make that veggie dazzle me.

                                                                                  Mostly, it's like getting a kid to try something new. You have to push yourself past the instinctive "Not edible" response. It may not be about taste at all. I had to work at liking mushrooms, because th texture was very off-putting to me.

                                                                                  1. re: Terrieltr

                                                                                    I used to have the same reaction to mushrooms -- it was the texture, how it felt to bite into one, I couldn't tolerate. But, my husband loved them, so I'd cook them, and, we live a stone's throw from the "Mushroom Capital of the World," so little by little I acquired a taste for them. Now I love them. So with that behind me, now I'm working on developing a liking for stinky bleu cheeses.

                                                                                    1. re: CindyJ

                                                                                      I can handle most "exotic" mushrooms. Which is to say, anything that isn't a button mushroom. I still can't stand the texture of button mushrooms.

                                                                                      1. re: CindyJ

                                                                                        CindyJ, where's the Mushroom Capital of the World?

                                                                                        BTW- I think I have a genetic craving for stinky cheese, especially the blue ones!

                                                                                        1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                          Kennett Square, Pa, just outside Philly.

                                                                                        2. re: CindyJ

                                                                                          Hi -- I'm from Hockessin, which is also near the Mushroom Capital of the World! *waves* I also don't like the texture of mushrooms -- I like the flavor, but I hate to bite into them. A few months ago I tried them again, just to see if I liked them, but I didn't.

                                                                                          I might try harder to like them if my boyfriend ate them, but he doesn't. If I make mushrooms, I'll be the only one to eat them, and I don't even really like them. So it seems like a waste of food.

                                                                                      2. re: FrankJBN

                                                                                        This has definitely happened to me with many foods.

                                                                                        Let's face it, most Americans have no exposure to certain types of foods that are staples elsewhere in the world:

                                                                                        Unsweetened yogurt or yogurt flavored with cucumber or garlic, dried fish, many types of hot peppers, many tropical fruits, many different kinds of seafood, our scope is narrow. But all of these things are and can be loved by anyone. With a little bit of open-mindedness, I am positive that almost anyone can fall in love with food they previously found a disgust for.

                                                                                        I remember the first time receiving panchan at a Korean restaurant, I was horrified. I didn't order this! What am I going to do with all this wierd food, I thought? Four years later, it's a total delight to me.

                                                                                        1. re: FrankJBN

                                                                                          I think a large part of this phenomenon is that we decide we don't like certain foods as children. Studies have shown that our taste buds really do change as we age, but the old dislikes are still cemented in our minds, at least for a while. If you look through this thread you'll see that many people hated the same foods initially - olives, strong cheeses, raw tomatoes, mushrooms. Strong flavors, or strange textures, that are known to be difficult for a child's palate.

                                                                                          1. re: FrankJBN

                                                                                            Frank I agree with you in some regards in that you can't go from hating something to loving it overnight. But I do think you can get past something and then realize what you've been missing.

                                                                                            For example, as a child, a teenager, and young adult, I haed mushrooms. As my palate became more sophisticated, I realized that I didn't hate the taste, but I hated the texture. I love hot and sour soup, and would always pick out the mushrooms, but started to eat them and realized they take on such flavor, and add their own greatness to the dish. Then I started leaving the mushrooms on other things (lile marsala) and realize that their spngy qualities actually made them like a side order of sauce. Now I like (not sure love) the taste of them, but still have a little issue with the chewiness of them. Not surprisngly, the ones I like the least are the huge portabellas.

                                                                                            1. re: FrankJBN

                                                                                              i hate the texture of mushrooms. love the taste. happy now?

                                                                                          2. Raw tomatoes and goat cheese. There are a few veggies I don't like that I've learned to choke down if cooked properly.

                                                                                            You'll never get me to like peas, blue cheese, seafood or olives though.

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: Avalondaughter

                                                                                              I conquered my raw tomato aversion and am now working on olives. Don't think I will ever get to my final hated food - goat cheese.

                                                                                              1. re: john

                                                                                                Every time I hear about someone not liking raw tomatoes, it reminds me of my best friend in college who used to say, "God didn't finish them - they aren't done yet."

                                                                                                He didn't like the slimy insides!

                                                                                            2. Durian.

                                                                                              If you've ever encountered durian, you know what I mean. If you haven't, and you have a chance, well - - - bring a clothespin for your nose!

                                                                                              1. i am working on yogurt, sour cream & cottage cheese.
                                                                                                I used to hate mushrooms, olives & blue cheese too. For some reason I have a hard time getting past the fungus thing. Until I had them in some great dishes. Like the perfect mushroom pizza converted me and then blue cheese crumbles in a salad. smoked salmon is another one. Everyone loves it so I wanted to as well.

                                                                                                9 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: cmarie

                                                                                                  cmarie this is a great example of what I don't understand. You hated blue cheese but someone crumbled some on a salad and now you love it. Isn't it the same blue cheese that you hated? What changed your mind?

                                                                                                  1. re: FrankJBN

                                                                                                    I guess so. I remember it very clearly when i learned to like certain foods. I think with the blue cheese I never really tried it because the blue "bacteria" veins grossed me out, kind of the same with mushrooms and olives I didn't like the heavy salty taste. I was eating a salad with co workers and it had lots of walnuts & gorgonzola cheese in it, and a great dressing. I guess crumbled up it was mostly white and everyone was saying how delicious the salad was and I agreed.(plus i love all other cheeses) The same place I had an amazing pizza with properly cooked mushrooms on it.(previously they usually looked like the canned versionthese were beautifully caramelized)ever since then I've loved mushrooms this all happened when i was about 25.
                                                                                                    I guess tastes change or you have something cooked in an entirely different way than before and you fall in love with them. Although I am still working on the sour milk stuff i.e sour cream, cottage cheese & yogurt. for some reason I still can't get past them.

                                                                                                    1. re: cmarie

                                                                                                      Never liked beets; tried but did not succeed; also texture problem; never had them roasted...am I missing something spectacular?

                                                                                                      1. re: betsydiver

                                                                                                        Roasted makes most everything delicious.

                                                                                                        I grew up detesting beets, lips curling at the thought of those magenta blobs, cubes and strips, and quaking at the sight of borscht, but eventually admitted that I it was *possible* that I had only eaten beets that were either prepared in a way I did not appreciate, or was carelessly served *canned* beets that had minimal cooking to soften the metallic blow. This year I bought beets, with no coercion or violence involved, just because I wanted to see if it would be different if I controlled the cooking (I roasted them). And they were wonderful. I'm glad I tried.

                                                                                                        1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                          They're at their best roasted or -- wait for it -- raw. I've had a couple salads with raw beets, either shredded or thinly sliced, and they were a lovely discovery.

                                                                                                          1. re: piccola

                                                                                                            Thanks, I'll have to try that in a salad sometime. I've not been brave enough to try a raw beet.

                                                                                                            1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                              It tastes less beet-ish than a cooked one (along the lines of a raw carrot tasting less carroty than a cooked one). But I love beets, any way shape or form.

                                                                                                  2. re: cmarie

                                                                                                    I could never bring myself to even try cottage cheese. I can't get past the look of the stuff. It looks like fat liposuctioned out of someone's a**.

                                                                                                    1. re: ajs228

                                                                                                      Or white something else that comes out of someone's a$$. I don't think I have ever eaten it except maybe in stealth Lasagna New Jersicana instead of ricotta.

                                                                                                      Though I've never really trained myself to like something I hate (it's not like I'll starve to death if I only eat things I like), there are three foods I've allowed myself to be somewhat peer-pressured into eating, usually at dinners when these things happen to be what's being served.

                                                                                                      And they are: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and pumpkin pie. But I gave up on this a long time ago. If I don't like something, I don't put it on my plate. If it's already there, I leave it there. There's so much good food to eat, I can't imagine "training" myself to eat any other kind.

                                                                                                  3. I trained myself to like coffee black -- my mom always drank her coffee with lots of milk, so that's how I started too. But I rarely drink milk for other reasons, so I got tired of not being able to drink coffee when I had no milk (or when I was in a place without milk, and I'm not a fan of creamer). And now I much prefer my coffee black.

                                                                                                    I also changed within about a year or so (in my mid 20s) from a hater of tomatoes to a lover of tomatoes. Taste buds change. I tasted them periodically and always hated them (from childhood), and then suddenly I didn't hate them anymore, and then I started experiencing great summer tomatoes, and now I love them.

                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: JasmineG

                                                                                                      As much as I wish he was wrong, I must agree with FrankJBN. I cannot train myself to like something I don't like. JasmineG's post is a perfect example for me. I have always had my coffee with cream. I have tried many times over the years to get used to drinking it black, but I cannot. Although I hate the thought of those extra calories from half-and-half, and I sometimes go without coffee because I run out of cream, I have resigned myself to the fact that I will never enjoy black coffee.

                                                                                                      1. re: JasmineG

                                                                                                        About a hundred years ago, I did not like coffee. Loved the smell, hated the taste. I think the first real cup I drank was right before a test early in the morning when I was in college. I drank it and did not like it, but needed to be fully awake. Later, when I worked at my first post-college job, I took breakfast downtown, and bought coffee with it. That's when I Iearned to like it. I just drank it enough times until the taste was acquired.

                                                                                                        I read something fascinating recently about this sort of thing. Apparently, babies learn to best like the foods which mom consumed when she is pregnant with him/her.

                                                                                                        1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                          "... babies learn to best like the food which mom consumed when she is pregnant..."

                                                                                                          A link for this? Sounds... umm.. like fluffy reasoning to me :P I'd be curious to check their sources out!

                                                                                                          1. re: mateo21

                                                                                                            My mom craved celery when she was pregnant with me and I hate celery...haha!

                                                                                                      2. Anything dairy, especially milk, butter, and cheese; olives of any kind; tomatoes; pastries (b/c of the butter); chocolate; and mushrooms.

                                                                                                        I didn't grow up with these foods (except mushrooms, but what kid likes 'em?), and they are markedly different in taste, smell, and texture than the korean foods I was used to.

                                                                                                        My downfall is that I now love them; it just spontaneously happened one day, though years after I had first had these foods. Makes it hard to keep the weight where it should be ;D

                                                                                                        1. Is it really training yourself to like it or just changing tastebuds Used to not like oysters but now I do - over the course of a few years I tried them a few times until one day they weren't too bad. Now I'll go out of my way to eat them. Now that hasn't worked with goat cheese yet and I can't imagine a point where I will ever eat or even try animal insides - its tough being a hunter in a state of hunters and saying you don't eat liver and onions or heart and onions or whatever else and onions but I just quietly eat whatever is around and hope no one notices. And yes, it is all in my head right from that early childhood dinner where mom place a whole stuffed baked moose heart in the middle of the table!

                                                                                                          1. I've "trained" myself to eat olives, sushi, foie gras, cranberries, hummus, vindaloo, and salmon. I've trained myself to drink wine and champagne. Now I'm addicted.

                                                                                                            I still can't bring myself near fennel and mushrooms. I've tried. I just can't do it.

                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: MrsT

                                                                                                              I also find it hard to believe the anyone could eat a Mushroom and like it.

                                                                                                              1. re: Ranger05

                                                                                                                like it? more like LOVE it!!

                                                                                                                1. re: justagthing

                                                                                                                  Oooh, yes. Mushrooms are divine! I like the fresh and dried ones loads better than canned, though.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Sparkina

                                                                                                                    I always thought I hated mushrooms as a kid, but it turns out that was just because I'd only had canned ones... vile things! I "trained" myself to like blue cheese and swiss cheese because I wanted to like them. I always tried them when I got the chance, now I eat crumbled gorgonzola like popcorn (a great snack while watching tv) and can sit there with a wedge of swiss and a knife for a snack! Oh, and now one of my favorite dishes is pad tofu J with extra shiitakes.

                                                                                                                2. re: Ranger05

                                                                                                                  I like some mushrooms (white button, seriously reduced in butter, salt and marsala; or served as cream of mushroom soup), but not all. Most of them look like something you shouldn't put in your mouth.

                                                                                                              2. I really don't see the point of teaching myself to eat a food that I hate. I don't usually put a food into the "don't eat" column until I have tried it a number of times and still can't stand it. I can't tell you the number of ways I have tried eggplant or beets and I still hate the taste. I don't care what you sneak blue cheese into, I will taste it.
                                                                                                                There are plenty of other cheeses to eat besides blue cheese and there are plenty of other vegetables to eat besides eggplant, beets and lima beans.

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: NE_Elaine

                                                                                                                  I agree with you, to a certain extent. If I've tried a food repeatedly and still hate it, it's out - there are too many things I love to waste calories on stuff I don't.

                                                                                                                  1. re: NE_Elaine

                                                                                                                    Here's the reason: MOST of the time, when folks have an aversion, it's to a strong flavor or unusual texture or to the idea of eating an animal or animal part they are not used to.

                                                                                                                    However, this is ofter where the real GOLD is. It's worth panning for. Incredibly hot peppers, strong, smelly flavors, rich fatty cuts of meat, pungent cheeses, seafood that really tastes of the sea.

                                                                                                                  2. When i was young I hated anything in a cream sauce or with melted cheese. Mac and cheese was death in a pan as far as i was concerned. Pizza was a desecratopm of good bread. Made me sick just to think of it. I would gag on the taste, smell and especially the feeling of that stuff in my throat. Most of that I have outgrown. I have also become aware that it was more a texture thing than taste... although i still want to gag on hot cereal. Oatmeal belongs in cookies not in a bowl.

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                      Yes, you and my daughter have the same aversions. What kid does not like melted cheese and pizza? Drives me insane. Anything with a sauce-she won't have it. Glad to know you grew out of it.

                                                                                                                      I have learned to like oysters since moving to South Carolina 15 yrs ago-if I think about what I am eating I get a llittle naueous so I just plop it on a saltine with cocktail sauce and it is pure heaven. I have also learned to like coffee since marrying my husband 10 years ago. Now I can't believe how I made it through college without it !? (I never drank soda either-still don't).

                                                                                                                      I will never like lima beans or any kind of unusual animal insides.

                                                                                                                    2. How interesting. I'm always revisiting the few foods I dislike to see if there was something wrong about the preparation or presentation that turned me off in the first place. But then there are so few foods I vehemently dislike that it's not so hard. I just like to have an open mind. I think the "if I hated it before, I'll always hate it" shows a spirtual intransigence that is hugely limiting. And I despise being limited in any way because it robs me of experiences, so I'll always try to overcome my self-limitations.
                                                                                                                      I've overcome my initial hatred of cilantro by trying it over and over. I've read and experienced that for some people the initial "soapy" taste of cilantro changes and mutes with exposure. Having moved to Southern California and being a big fan of Mexican cooking, I kept at it and soon cilantro added a wonderful complexity of flavor to the highly spiced burritos al pastor that I love. I can't have a burrito without the cilantro/onion mixture that is ubiquitous around here.
                                                                                                                      I'm still not a huge fan of frozen lima beans, but I've found that fresh beans when properly prepared can be quite tasty.
                                                                                                                      The one food I can't seem to warm to, however, is beets. As child, I had pica -- a disorder where you eat anything, like cigarette butts, rocks, safety pins, etc. But when my dad went to feed me beets as a baby I spit every last one back at him -- two baby jars worth, and I was a kid who ate raw onion without batting an eye. I've been told that it's probably just the canned beets I despise, so I've tried roasted beets and so far no go. But you know what? If someone puts another plate of nicely roasted fresh beets in front of me, I'll still give them a try. Maybe I'll discover something new. Maybe this chef has a special preparation that opens up a whole new food vista to me. I'd hate to have my self-limitations define my experiences.

                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: Fuser

                                                                                                                        "I think the "if I hated it before, I'll always hate it" shows a spirtual intransigence that is hugely limiting. And I despise being limited in any way because it robs me of experiences, so I'll always try to overcome my self-limitations."

                                                                                                                        Perfectly said, Fuser!

                                                                                                                        1. re: JasmineG

                                                                                                                          Its difficult to expain how some things can be repulsive at some point in life, only to become appetizing as we grow older. But that's essentially the point, isn't it? All these posters who disliked something but then somehow learned to like it (whether by acclimation or epiphany) were more mature at the time. I know I hated peas as a baby -- similar scenario to Fuser -- and have never liked them as a adult. But a lot of other things (oysters, bleu cheese, etc) were acquired tasted that came with adulthood. Ive always loved some things that people cant tolerate -- olives, goat cheese, etc. I still can't understand anyone not liking tomatos, but hey .... I dont like beans and never will, so I guess that's just how it goes.

                                                                                                                          I think that variety is the spice of life, and that's what makes this forum always colorful and interesting. The saddest element for me is reading diatribes from people who are still unwilling to try something that they didnt like 20 years ago. Preparations change, and our palates do too. Unclench and taste something new! You might be surprised. Maybe THIS is the year of trying peas again for me!

                                                                                                                          1. re: Cheflambo

                                                                                                                            "Its difficult to expain how some things can be repulsive at some point in life, only to become appetizing as we grow older. But that's essentially the point, isn't it?"

                                                                                                                            Nope. it's not the point at all. (Nor is it difficult to explain how tastes change as a human grows older.)

                                                                                                                            This is not the subject under discussion. No one is talking about tastes changing over the years.

                                                                                                                            "The saddest element for me is reading diatribes from people who are still unwilling to try something that they didnt like 20 years ago" Did anyone actually posit this?

                                                                                                                            Still, it is not the disputed contention.

                                                                                                                            the topic is about consciously changing one's taste to love in the future a food that one hates currently. Very different.

                                                                                                                            This strong flavor idea makes no sense either, except for people who like nothing with strong flavor.

                                                                                                                            Essentially the theory propounded is that if one actually finds eating excrement nauseating, one can train onself to actually love it, not tolerate it, but to love and look forward to the next forkful. I dispute this..

                                                                                                                            1. re: FrankJBN

                                                                                                                              If you really think that that's the theory, you haven't been reading this thread at all.

                                                                                                                              1. re: FrankJBN

                                                                                                                                Now you're the one missing the point. A lot of people have given numerous explanations of "training" yourself to get over a food aversion. You've ignored them. And now you're just being ridiculous with your analogy.

                                                                                                                        2. I don't like coriander/cilantro - it really does taste like soap to me, but given that it's so common in Mexican and southeast asian foods, I'm trying to get over it. I hated broccoli for the longest time, not so much the flavour as the smell when it's cooking, but I convinced myself to work through it, stirfrying it and avoiding boiling/steaming because of the smell, until I was over it. Had to train myself with sushi and rare meat, the texture was a bit weird at first but now I love both!

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: babybat

                                                                                                                            Blanched broccoli doesn't smell at all. I love that about blanching

                                                                                                                          2. I was going to say that I trained myself to eat olives also, but I do not really like them still. I used to loathe them and now I can stand them on pizza and sometimes give them a try with other things. Its a big step up from a few years ago where anything that even had olives on it I didn't want to eat. I am also the one that did the post on goat cheese. The only 3 foods on my "don't like" list happen to be Goat Cheese, Olives and Horseradish. I would like to train myself to like horseradish. I am giving up on goat cheese though :D

                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. re: HelloTiffy

                                                                                                                              I can't say that I trained myself, but when I was a kid I loathed cheese, coffee, legumes. Now I love all those foods.

                                                                                                                              As for all of you olive haters: that just means more for me! I can eat them a handful at a time.

                                                                                                                              I don't get mushroom haters either. To me, sauteed mushrooms have got to be one of the most delicious foods in the entire world.

                                                                                                                            2. interesting...a lot of the foods people have trained themselves to like are the same things. For me it's been olives, cilantro, coffee, beer, shrimp and chocolate. I love them all now! The only thing I've not been able to make myself like is almond extract. I can't stand the taste of it in anything. eechh!

                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: havi

                                                                                                                                I agree on the almond flavor/aroma; I like almonds themselves but there used to be a designer "name" shampoo that I hated because it smelled like almond extract

                                                                                                                                1. re: betsydiver

                                                                                                                                  Third on almond extract. I'm always giving people in pastry shops the third degree to make sure there's no almond extract in my pastry. Yuck!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: silkenpaw

                                                                                                                                    Do either of you almond extract-haters like cherry flavor (as in cherry-flavored popsicles, soda, chewing gum, pastry jelly filing)?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: racer x

                                                                                                                                      Interesting question I hate almond extract and cherry flavor. Are thy related?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: melpy

                                                                                                                                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benzalde...

                                                                                                                                        http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/c...

                                                                                                                              2. mushrooms for sure. but that was from childhood until now. same for dark chocolate, meat fat, pie crust, scallops. i wish i didn't like meat fat and pie crust, really.
                                                                                                                                as an adult i've trained myself to like black coffee. that is training, b/c hot milk is not always available, and bad coffee just tastes worse with sugar.
                                                                                                                                i still don't like green bell peppers, plain oatmeal, peanut butter cookies, jarlsberg cheese, fake meats, cinnamon, sweet and sour sauces or salsas (especially on fish or meat bleh), waffles. but i will eat any of these without trouble to be polite, i just would not order or make dishes with these ingredients.

                                                                                                                                1. Wow -- what an interesting and inspiring thread to read through...!

                                                                                                                                  I drank coffee with four sugars and cream until 9th grade, and then I went black to appear sophisticated. Har har. I never went back but I can't say I enjoyed it until I was about 18. I love black coffee now and actually prefer a good espresso...but the espresso switch didn't happen until I spent a semester abroad in Spain, where the espresso is delicious and cheap.

                                                                                                                                  Spain is also where I overcame my hatred for olives. Hate is a strong word, I guess, but I vehemently refused to eat them -- picked them off pizzas, made a wide circle around the olive bar at Whole Foods (hated the smell, too), debated how to handle my (now ex-)boyfriend's obsession with olives. I stayed with a host family and our first meal included a salad full of olives. Didn't want to seem impolite and had no idea how to politely refuse in proper Spanish, so I ate them. Slowly. And they weren't bad! Then, since they were served in every bar as a free tapa, I got to practice getting a taste for them. I love olives now, especially with an ice-cold beer...But recently, at a party I loaded up my hors d'ouerves plate with several different olives, all excited to finally partake in previously uncharted antipasti territory, and...didn't like ANY of them! Maybe I can only do a certain type of olive. Maybe I need to go back to Spain. I'm leaning toward the second conclusion.

                                                                                                                                  Another big obstacle was oatmeal; couldn't even look at it as a kid. My mom ate it all the time for breakfast and I always thought it was gross. Then I started working as a waiter and was handed a bowl of oatmeal one morning, so I figured, why not? I am actually notorious among my girlfriends now as the one who is most likely to have a bowl of oatmeal for any given meal. It is a very strange, hard-to-explain craving.

                                                                                                                                  I pride myself on being open to food and trying everything at least once. It seems like it paid off! I don't even remember there being an option to choose whether I wanted to eat certain foods when I was little, but I was lucky that my mom is an excellent cook. There is just one thing I can't handle: licorice. I can't do anise but will eat a salad with fennel in it (if there are a ton of other ingredients). I've tried licorice several times a year since I was 5, but I just can't do it...one bite and I've got this horrible taste in my mouth!

                                                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: theannerska

                                                                                                                                    I used to hate anise and black licorice, and i still can't eat black licorice candy. However, i started to like the flavour of anise because of a wonderful Italian cookie. An employee at the hospital i work at makes italian anise cookies as a fundraiser for special needs children. They are plain biscuits with a light dusting of sugar on the surface, and they are addictive. I bought the first dozen out of duty (charity and all) but now I'll buy her out everytime she comes by the office. They are great with coffee. And now I love fennel, pernod, pastis, anything with a faint hint of black licorice. perhaps I'll even try some black licorice the next time I am offered a piece.

                                                                                                                                    I think my other comment got pulled in a duplicate copy of this post. Like the original poster, I also had to train myself to like olives, cilantro and blue cheese. I was very successful with olives, midly successful with the other two. Blue cheese was made easier to enjoy by adding either a good port or some nice accompaniment like a fig condimento. I love Stilton and port as a combination. I am still not a huge fan of blue cheese alone and in sauces, although I tolerate them much more now. Still working on the cilantro, boy it's tough to get past that taste. But I'm trying...

                                                                                                                                    I used to hate all peppers, onions and green onions. I love peppers and onions now, but I still hate green onions with a passion (the only thing I really never have been able to tolerate). This is very odd for a person of Korean descent. My mother (who puts green onions in everything) cannot understand it and has threatened to formally take away my Korean Heritage. But I am making new strides thanks to a really great Pa jon at a local resto here (Seafood and green onion pancake). An old dog can learn new tricks. (speaking of dog, I'm not entirely sure i could easily bring myself to try dog soup, another notorious Korean dish...) Hmm, another thread?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: moh

                                                                                                                                      A-ha! I thought I was alone in this licorice thing! Though I pointedly try it whenever I see it at parties and gatherings, the last time I did so was a mistake -- they were black licorice candies in the shape of little Santa hats and I thought they were dark chocolate. What an unpleasant surprise that was...

                                                                                                                                      Then, at another holiday gathering where dessert was set up buffet-style on a long table, there were these curious slices of what looked like cucumber but with a harder texture. Undeterred, I bit in -- anise! Gah!

                                                                                                                                      I love green onions and grew up eating them (thanks to my Chinese background). I never even thought of scallion pancakes as an alternative, but that's great progress! The removal of my heritage has also been threatened, due to my absolute refusal to eat durian. I REALLY tried, but as soon as that forkful came near my mouth I gagged and ran out of the room. My mom thinks it's the most delectable substance on earth, but I'll make sure everything is sealed off in airtight containers whenever it's in the house. BUT, I can stomach those little durian pastries at dim sum (they're on the dessert carts, usually next to the mini egg custard tarts). No smell, no problem! I'm holding out on the durian ice cream for now though.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: theannerska

                                                                                                                                        Haha! Durian! I just bought some Durian flavoured mochi for new year's eve in an attempt to see if i can get used to the taste! Yes I think pastries might be the most approachable way to attack Durian. On a side note, I have now seen several brands of durian cookies, and for some reason, every cookie I've ever seen has the shape and colour of a large maggot. Is this traditional? Because if it was a marketing ploy, then that is one whacked-out PR department....

                                                                                                                                        1. re: moh

                                                                                                                                          No idea -- haven't seen the cookies -- but the pastries are small and have this pineapple-like spike pattern on top, very pretty. Not sure if that's actually how a durian looks, since I've never actually been shown one whole (I've just smelled them coming, haha). All the marketing in the world couldn't save durians for me, and I am one of those people who are very susceptible to good advertising!

                                                                                                                                          Good luck with the mochi!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: theannerska

                                                                                                                                            Yeah, if I'm picturing the pastry right, that's how durians look. Those, somehow, I don't mind, but gaaah I can't stand the smell of papaya (the taste is marginally better) -- dirty feet! Yech

                                                                                                                                            1. re: theannerska

                                                                                                                                              So an update on the durian mochi. Fascinating. For the most part, an innocuous dessert, sticky and sweet like most mochi. You might not even know it was durian. But every once in a while, you get this subtle whiff of garlic and sewer... very weird!!!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: moh

                                                                                                                                                ...I don't know about the whiff of garlic and sewer. Eugh. But congratulations!

                                                                                                                                        2. re: moh

                                                                                                                                          same here in regards to anise and black licorice. I tried some white licorice or anise candy, chewy like black and red, but none of that aftertaste that I don't like from the black licorice. My only problem is that it is a very hard candy to find. I use to buy it in N. CA, but the 2 stores up there no longer carry it and I can't find it anywhere down here in S. CA.

                                                                                                                                      2. I have tried and tried and tried olives, mushrooms, seafood, truffles and game meats numerous times. Im 32. No more trying.

                                                                                                                                        However, since my younger teen years, I have grown to love hot peppers, chilis, broccoli, hummus, feta, all the bleus, edamame, rice (yes, I said rice) and cilantro. I don't know if it was just never really being offered such things but as I grew into a foodie, I discovered my love of all of the above. In fact, I am making a yum-tastic salad of tomato, feta, cucumber, chickpeas and lemon/olive oil to have with grilled chicken tonight! (south beach, phase 1...trying to flip my insulin resistance without medication!)

                                                                                                                                        Happy New Year, Chows...may it be safe, healthy, prosperous and filled with culinary delights!

                                                                                                                                        1. Only two foods I have never been able to convince myself I should put in my moouth and swallow. One is brains. Any kind of brains. They are slimy and will not go down. One of the most uncomfortable nights of my life, if not THE most uncomfortable, was when friends threw a huge going-away party for my husband and me, and their very elderly Russian refugee housekeeper made brain croquettes in my honor. Shirley said Tensela only did that for people she really loved, and I was only the third person in forty years she'd done it for. And Tensela kept bringing platters of the damned things and pushing them at me. I did manage to hold one in my hand as if I was about to take a bite when I was through saying something, Tensela would walk away, I would pass it off quickly to someone else. Have never been able to get them down.

                                                                                                                                          The other thing is tripe. I have been served gorgeous menudos, incredible looking cream of tripe served from a silver tureen, but... Can't get it past my nose. I suspect it's because as a child, my best friends family owned a huge dairy, and Marcella and I loved playing with the calfs. One day a cow licked me in the face and got saliva up my nose. And that's what tripe tastes and smells like. Cow saliva! I have watched others eat tripe with great joy and satisfaction, but I'm just an outsider. Can't help it.

                                                                                                                                          Oh. There is one other thing I haven't been able to teach myself to handle and that's beer. It's not that I can't find a beer I like. I just can't find a beer that likes me. It always always always gives me a headache from hell. I can forestall the headache by sipping the beer, but eventually that has to end, and heeeeeeeere's Mr. Headache! Better not to start. But.... I have some great recipes that use beer. I love them!

                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                            I too use to pride myself on eating everything. I even ate my dad's fried tripe and it wasn't bad, to my taste. But the brains and eggs were a deal breaker. Brains trigger a nasty gag reflex for me. I'm also not a big fan of okra, even fried okra, although I did find out I like it in gumbo.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Fuser

                                                                                                                                              With you on the brains. Can't do any cortical material. oddly enough, I can tolerate sucking the spinal cord material out of pork neck bones, and I quite relish it. But the whole brain thing is a litlle too much.

                                                                                                                                              Also understand about okra, but I am slowly coming around. I like the flavour but have a hard time with the slimy texture. However, if you are ever in NYC, go the the Pickle Guys in LES and try their pickled okra. It was awesome, and has made me willing to give another go with okra.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: moh

                                                                                                                                                Another tip for okra, and pretty much anything else: try it fried. Frying makes most things tasty.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: Fuser

                                                                                                                                                Okra prepared wrong is one of the hardest things to eat imaginable. Prepared correctly, and I could eat it for dessert.

                                                                                                                                            2. Okra. As with many foods, how it's prepared mattered. Okra took me a while to "get" but prepared at a soul food restaurant in NYC, I had a whole knew respect for okra.

                                                                                                                                              1. Growing up, the only thing I just couldn't eat because I would gag was eggs with runny yolks. I was in my 30's when I decided this was foolish and I was going to learn to like them. Power of positive thinking worked, and I overcame my aversion in a day.

                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                1. re: jjw

                                                                                                                                                  Still can't do the runny yolks and I'm 34. And I think this aversion is getting worse, not better. Ate them as a kid, but once I learned what they REALLY were, I couldn't handle it anymore.

                                                                                                                                                2. Onions. When I was younger, any sort of onion in a dish would prompt at least 30 minutes of picking and digging in my food to make sure that every last onion was out.
                                                                                                                                                  I think it was the crunch that bothered me, not the flavor. I'm better now.

                                                                                                                                                  1. No.

                                                                                                                                                    Given the choice available in the US, training to like a food is ridiculous.

                                                                                                                                                    Edit: Actually, given the number of PITO picky eaters, this is probably a worthwhile thing to do. I'm lucky that I'm not all that picky although I'm not all that fond of certain foods (mutton, boar, other gamy meats).

                                                                                                                                                    1. Great post. There are so many things I wasn't exposed to as a child that I have "trained" myself to try and try again until I now like them. I do the same w/ my kids... make them eat it again and again. While some would say it's cruel and unusual punishment, I say it works. My kids have grown to love so many out of the ordinary things that most kids would stick their nose up to.

                                                                                                                                                      That said, the things I had to train myself to like are:

                                                                                                                                                      yogurt
                                                                                                                                                      fish (salmon in particular)
                                                                                                                                                      mustard
                                                                                                                                                      olives
                                                                                                                                                      cheese (I cannot even imagine life w/o cheese!)
                                                                                                                                                      sushi (this is a work in progress - I'm not a big nori fan)
                                                                                                                                                      liver (again, I'm still working on this... I love foie gras, but chix liver... metal...blech)
                                                                                                                                                      mussels (love 'em now... still working on clams and oysters)

                                                                                                                                                      For those that don't understand how you can go from hate to love... it's more about a fear or psychological issue than it is the actual taste... at least that's the case for me. I wasn't brought up eating a lot of fish/seafood. We ate beef, lamb, veal, pork. Not even much chicken. I used to be creeped out by the veins and bones of chicken. But I overcame fears after I repeatedly subjected myself to it. I knew it was a fear of the unknown rather than a taste issue. As is the case w/ kids.

                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: lynnlato

                                                                                                                                                        My father grew up in a Roman Jewish household and while they did not keep Kosher, they never had any pork products, more out of habit than anything else. He married my mother and converted but asked that she not serve pork because he was afraid the smell would make him sick. I was about twenty when I tried my first piece of bacon. I still don't eat pork chops or any kind of ham, but can't imagine life without bacon and all Italian cold cuts, including the nasty ones.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: southernitalian

                                                                                                                                                          Wow, SI, that's very interesting. Particularly coming from you (feel like I know ya to some degree, from your posts). You crack me up w/ the Italian cold cuts... "even the nasty ones"... I think you may be more adventurous than I. I had beef tongue carpaccio once and it was the first and last time. :-)

                                                                                                                                                          Bacon... what would life be like without it? Not as juicy, that's for sure! I gotta throw sausage into the mix too tho. Surely you, as an Italian, eat sausage???

                                                                                                                                                      2. rare steak. my parents always ate their meat well-done, and any trace of pink signalled to me that it was raw, and therefore dangerous. now, i can't imagine eating steak any other way but seasoned and bloody. :o)

                                                                                                                                                        1. I'm very recently, within the last several months, becoming interested in cauliflower. It's the only veggie I don't like (even liked spinach, mushrooms (cooked), lima beans, and brussels sprouts as a kid). I think it started when I tried a little frozen pack of it in cheese sauce (not sure why I even bought it, except just to give it a go). It was okay, so I started eating the couple bites restaurants put into their mixed vegetables. Still okay. Now I find myself wanting to make cauliflower soup and to roast it in the oven! I'm pleased about this. One reason being, I must admit, that it's something to point out to get the boy to try more things :) He's acquired several tastes since I've known him, but oh, to be able to put olives and mushrooms in anything I want! (I think I'll start doing this a bit anyway, and let him pick them out.)

                                                                                                                                                          I still have aversions to pancakes (taste good, but the texture makes me gaggy). Tho, when I was 5, and already didn't like them, I entered a pancake-eating contest (how fast, not how many.. we were kids) and won! Too, potato salad (the cold kind). I really don't like things chopped up and mixed with mayo except for coleslaw and tuna. I'll eat them to be polite, but ickity. And the usual, liver. That, I don't mind, but there are quite a few occasions in which it would be helpful to enjoy pancakes and potato salad, so I'm trying to stay open to them.

                                                                                                                                                          The boy and I have both learned to like a little blue cheese, I think from the same recipe .

                                                                                                                                                          1. Has anyone else noticed that it seems to be exclusively women who have had to "train" themselves to like beer? I've been trying to remember whether I've ever met a man who didn't like beer. I don't think I have. Could there be some sort of "beer gene" that is only found in male DNA? Hey fellas, are there any of you lurking out there who don't like beer? Just wondering...

                                                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                              After too many hours at the cigar bars to count, this conversation came up...most of the guys said that they never drank the beer for the taste in the beginning but for social reasons and to just get buzzed. Drinking beer for the tasting pleasure came later. They will drink the cheap stuff to get cooled off but go for a higher-end for flavor.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                Well, it wasn't exactly training, more like getting used to the taste. Same thing with tonic water, another bitter drink I had to try a few times before I really dug it.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: piccola

                                                                                                                                                                  Tonic w/ lime is delish, just tried it this weekend. What else is training besides getting used to something new? Training wheels are for learning to ride a bike, are they not? Going to a 'training" is to get used to implementing a new idea.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: TampaAurora

                                                                                                                                                                    Well, what I meant was, it's not that I actively disliked it, it was just new. As opposed to others who mentioned hating ingredients and having to really work to appreciate them.

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                  When I was an early teen, I couldn't stand the taste or smell of beer. At one of my bros bachelor parties a few years later, I got quite drunk on beer and presto Zamo! Beer tasted good!

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                    dad hates beer. got beat good after drinking it when 16. never again.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. Cook it. I started with garlic bread with gorgonzola... then someone fed me pasta with blue cheese in the tomato sauce. It was a slow adjustment for me, but important too.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. Does breakfast cereal count? I couldn't get past the idea that North American kids ate candy for breakfast.

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                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fmed

                                                                                                                                                                        I grew up in America and we hardly ever ate cereal for breakfast. Still don't care for the really sweet stuff myself. And yes, it does count.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. I grew up on a dairy farm, and once I moved away to college I had to train myself to drink store-bought milk because I no longer had access to farm-fresh milk. To me, store-bought milk tastes like the packaging and has a bitterness to it. I still don't really like it, but I've trained myself to use it on cereal.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. I loathed olives... then we started cooking with olive oil and I gradually got used to the taste. First we used the 'extra-light' stuff that's been processed, then I found out how many chemicals they use in it so we moved up to plain... and then extra-virgin. And after using that for awhile I tried some actual olive and I liked it. Now I love olives, except the extra-salty ones.

                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Kajikit

                                                                                                                                                                            Funny, in my early twenties, I didn't like olives either. I also had little experience with or desire for Martinis. We were living in New Mexico and my best friend's father, from NYC, came to visit and mixed up pitcher of Martinis. It was at that point I remember saying to my wife, "Ya know, people really like olives. There must be something good about them. Let's give them a try." By the end of the evening, we very much liked olive and Martinis. Hmmm, curious.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                              LOLOL!

                                                                                                                                                                          2. Coffee. Beer. Cigarettes (not a food, but the same idea). Learned to love them -- unfortunately with the cigarettes, I only let myself have a couple once in a great while. If I truly detest a food I can't see the point of trying it again and again. That being said, there aren't many foods I don't like!

                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sweetlikesugar

                                                                                                                                                                              Love cofffee. Beer gives me a headache. And I quit smoking more than a decade ago. But...! Every once in a while when I'm deeply engrossed in creative work, I find myself reaching for a cigarette on the ashtray that is no longer there. I have promised myself a pack of Turkish ovals for my 90th birthday! And as far as tobacco and food, in the Turkish language one does not "smoke" a cigarette. You "drink" it! So at least there are some people on the face of the planet who associate tobacco with food and drink.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. Anchovies. First time I tried one, the only thing I could think of was the smell of opening a can of 9-lives for my cat when I was a kid. Come to think of it, it matched perfectly the idea of what cat food would taste like also. Then, curiously, I tried a pizza with basil, pecorino ramano and anchovies and my aversion evaporated. Still can't eat the fishies alone, though. They are definitely an accompanying food

                                                                                                                                                                              1. I also plan to try to eat blue cheese this year. I love cheese so much it is silly that I have never had real blue cheese. All because when I was younger my brother told me that the blue part was still alive. After that I swore I could see it moving and have refused to eat it ever since. I have dipped hot wings in "blue cheese dressing" and enjoyed the flavor so I think I am off to a good start.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. Oysters. My grandfather would take me to the basement and together we would "slurp down some ursters". This was from an early age. Over the years I went through phases where I loved them and then the times that I gagged them down. The look on Grandad's face each time was totally worth the "gagging" moments and his proud smile. Now I like them, especially the saltier ones. Could eat roasted oysters all day!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Blue Cheese

                                                                                                                                                                                    I detested the smell and was never fond of the taste. While dining at Morton's one evening with my family I noticed my mothers salad. It had a blue cheese dressing and small chunks of cheese. Nothing too fancy, but it captured my attention and made my plain old caesar seem bland. One bite and I was hooked. I asked for another and from that point on my opinion changed. Within a years time I became a real aficionado and it is one of my favorite cheeses to this day. I go to great lengths to get my Forme Sauternes (Forme d'Ambert soaked in Sauternes) any time I can!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Interesting thread. I don''t feel an urge to "train" myself to eat something unless it has a high nutritional value. To me, the training concept is different than revisiting foods later down the road to see if my taste has changed. The first time I had roquefort cheese (I was 11), I had to spit it out. I tried it again at 22 and loved it.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I'd rather train myself not to eat things that are nutritionally void.

                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                                                                                        Isn't it true that taste buds die as we get older? Therefore some flavors that were too strong when we were children are now appreciated?

                                                                                                                                                                                        Personally as a chowhound, I just can't abide having a whole category of foods off limits to me. So I try to get over my hangups. I can now eat and even love:

                                                                                                                                                                                        mayo (in salads and such)
                                                                                                                                                                                        anchovies ( when melted into things)
                                                                                                                                                                                        raw onions
                                                                                                                                                                                        steaks cooked medium
                                                                                                                                                                                        nuts (I used to prefer fudge and cookies without)
                                                                                                                                                                                        coconut
                                                                                                                                                                                        wine (work in progress)
                                                                                                                                                                                        cooked fruit (especially apple and peach pie. I still usually only like my own.)
                                                                                                                                                                                        fruit and meat together

                                                                                                                                                                                        I still have not (and can't imagine it changing): blue cheese, offal, oysters/squid, bananas, raw sushi/sashimi. However, I refuse to say that I will never like them.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Becca Porter

                                                                                                                                                                                          Yeah, but I don't think that's the case until after you're 40 or 50. I know adults are more sensitive to sweet things than children. I'm still in my thirties and I can eat pretty much everything (except for cucumber pickles -- I find the thread with the pickle juice nauseating). I was the pickiest young child. I couldn't/wouldn't eat:

                                                                                                                                                                                          lettuce, onions, anything pickled, cucumbers, peppers, spicy food, mayo, fat on meat (even if it was marbled in), strong cheese, kimchee, vinegar, anything spicy, egg yolks, watermelon, apple, cottage cheese, cabbage, salad dressing -- the list goes on and on.

                                                                                                                                                                                          I was quite the challenge for my parents.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Interestingly, I loved anchovies, smellier fish, fermented black bean paste, fermented little shrimp, tripe and tongue.

                                                                                                                                                                                          At the age of about six, my palate gradually expanded and I started eating a larger variety of food.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Becca Porter

                                                                                                                                                                                            kid brains work differently, methinks

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. This is going to sound weird but I think I trained myself to eat eggs.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Growing up, I HATED eggs...omelettes, hard boiled, all kinds. But now I love them. I pretty much forced myself to eat them whenever my mom kept making them for my brothers so that may have done the trick.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Chew on That

                                                                                                                                                                                            Not that weird. As a child my BF randomly decided that eggs were nasty and that he wouldn't eat them anymore. He even told his sister that she wasn't allowed to eat eggs anymore. It wasn't until college that he began forcing himself to eat them again. Now it's only hard boiled that he won't eat. I don't know if his sister ever started eating them again...

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Broccoli, just started eating it a couple years ago. Glad I like it now as so many veggie dishes include it. But I still can't eat it raw.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: libgirl2

                                                                                                                                                                                              The texture is ALL WRONG when broccoli is raw! It is like eating a hair brush! GAG!

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                                                                                                libgirl and sal,

                                                                                                                                                                                                is the "hate-raw-broccoli" club accepting new members? my cred: even though i know i should eat some from the salad bar, i only put on two pieces, and they are ALWAYS the last thing to be eaten. come to think of it, that is sort of masochistic -- leaving the WORST for last! but, can i still get in the club? huh? can i?

                                                                                                                                                                                                uh-oh....wait, it *is* good in that broccoli salad that my sister makes, like this: http://goatinacoat.blogspot.com/2008/... (using spanish peanuts).

                                                                                                                                                                                                i had to learn to like beets for some weird 3-day diet my mom and i would do. now i love beets.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Well, I must be a freak of nature! I just spent 20 minutes reading through this entire post because I could not think of anything off the top of my head, and after 111 replies, I have not had one of these foods that I did not like!

                                                                                                                                                                                              Hum...no wonder about the constant weight struggle!!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sparkalina

                                                                                                                                                                                                Not a freak of nature, sparkalina. Just someone who gets a lot of pleasure out of life. It is a good way to be.... Here's to many more good meals to come in 2008.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I can't believe all the people who don't like olives!!! I can eat hand-fulls of the things - of any variety.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Anyway to answer the question at hand:

                                                                                                                                                                                                Mustard.

                                                                                                                                                                                                I hated mustard as a kid. HATED it. I really can't decide how it happened, but now I love a good hearty mustard. I think at some point I realized how close it is to horseradish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm still not too fond of the impossibly yellow stuff from the squeeze bottle though...

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                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Chris Newkirk

                                                                                                                                                                                                  You know, the funny thing about the impossibly yellow stuff is that it is really good on those giant pretzels... and on corndogs. Although I love a good artisanal mustard, somehow, it just doesn't cut it on pretzels and corndogs...

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: moh

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have loved olives ever since i was little and would sneak ones out of the jar we seemed to always have in the fridge, probably saved for cocktail parties..

                                                                                                                                                                                                    i like bitter anything really....sweet pickles and relishes really don't do it for me. And i love mustard. I could eat a good dijon straight from the jar. I think i have about five (at least) varieties of mustards in my fridge right now....a smoky maple one....two different dijon's....the whole seed stuff....and the regular yellow variety (used mostly when i make my mac and cheese)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: moh

                                                                                                                                                                                                      i had to buy that impossibly yellow stuff for my sister's visit. it actually has it's own place in my pantheon of mustards. i use it on pretzels, yes. and with bologna on white (childhood memories), deviled eggs, tuna salad.....hot dogs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      sometimes i just like its particular sharp bite.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Chris Newkirk

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'll never forget the day my dad came home from work and I was (10 years old) having an after school snack at the kitchen table. He looked in the bowl and began pacing and waving his hands in the air saying

                                                                                                                                                                                                      "50 olives??? Who gave this kid 50 olives for a snack??? Who eats 50 olives???"

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think I made it my self and just dumped the whole jar in a bowl!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. White milk. Chocolate milk i can handle...soy milk i like.....protein shakes etc made with milk i like.....plain old white milk in any fat percentage....really dislike it . I will however at times, force myself to drink it, because i know it's good for me in some capacity...when i'm on my health kicks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      it actually grosses me out to watch people drinking glasses of white milk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Fresh milk was not introduced in our family until later in my childhood. Until then, i remember carnation evaporated milk, on cereals and such. My father loves the stuff.....but my mother hates it. She could not stomach it at all during all her pregnancies....couldn't keep it down. She jokes that she would drink one glass, and puke two (sorry !!!) So i'm sure i got it from her!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thankfully i like lots of other dairy products and don't lack for calcium.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: im_nomad

                                                                                                                                                                                                        oh god while reading your post I gagged a little. I HATE the taste of milk and I am one of those people who loves/eats everything. I don't like chocolate milk either and soy milk is good (tastes nothing like animal milk). But yeah milk is so thick and gross and ugh I was forced to drink it as a kid and I remember gagging on it and almost throwing up everytime I had to drink it. Holding your nose while drinking it doesn't help out either

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Soy milk and not all are created equal but have learned to like it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Lori SF

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Black pepper.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Blue cheese.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Olives.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Beer.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Wine.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Raw tomatoes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I can't recall hating anything and trying to convince myself to eat it. There are things I hate, but I have no desire to "train" myself to eat them. In fact, I'm surprised at some of the things people have pushed themselves to enjoy because a lot of those foods are expensive (e.g., lobster) or not particularly healthy or desirable for various reasons (e.g., beer). I can see getting yourself to eat vegetables and fruit or soy protein foods, but not expensive seafood or alcoholic beverages.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Orchid64

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Olives, once i tried "real" olices as apposed to canned and tatsed quality olive oil I was hooked...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Bourbon. A friend of an old college boyfriend once told me bourbon wasn't a "girl thing" so I, of course, insisted on having bourbon. And of course I hated it, but I'd never let him know it, and drank it whenever he was around. I eventually developed a taste for it, and it's still my favorite spirit. I have yet to get over my dislike of olives, but perhaps if I someone told me they weren't a girl thing either I'd force my way into them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cutting off my nose to spite my face is clearly an act with which I am familiar :)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: dagwood

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Mmmmmm.....Mint Juleps.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: dagwood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Funny you said, that because as I was reading this thread I realized that something I truly hated 5 years ago, is something I've grown to love and appreciate (also because I've spent the money to try better varieties), but Scotch. Dining out at some nice steakhouses has made me appreciate Scotch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. yes, I have.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I used to HATE meat. the thought of it on a plate. chewy and fatty. ick. it's not even from an animal rights standpoint, but the fact that I hated (and still hate) the taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                then I tried gyro meat. I'm a convert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I still order lobster at mortons. haha.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Ilove cilantro, and don't think I can go a week or two without a bleu cheese fix. I kind of agree with the olives thing. I got so tired of picking around them in certain dishes that I started to eat them. I can't say I love them to the point I'd sit down and eat 20 of them, but I do enjoy them, especially in a nice greek salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If you can get past your bleu cheese hatred it will make meals so much more exciting, bleu cheese on salad, on burgers, on steak, on almost anything! And there are so many varieties. A nice English Stilton - there might not be a more heavenly taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Add me to the raw tomato club. The smell practically makes me queasy. Finally I got fed up with everyone talking about heirloom tomatoes all the time and decided to train myself to eat them. The first time was on a camping trip, where my friend toasted some sourdough bread over the campfire and then chopped up tomatoes from her garden with some garlic, fresh basil and olive oil and topped the toasted bread with it. I found it was delicious as long as I sprinkled some salt on it. Now I can eat raw tomatoes on grilled cheese sandwiches too, as long as I sprinkle a bit of salt on them. I seem to need the bread, though. Still can't do a green salad with tomatoes or caprese salad.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've never encountered brains or tripe but have no particular desire to try them. Maybe someday. I'm not wild about uni, but I'm sure if I got to have sushi more often I'd get used to it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'll pretty much eat anything otherwise, so I'm glad I conquered the tomatoes.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Chowpatty

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A lot of foods are better with the addition of a sprinkle of salt. I'm not talking heart failure amounts, but salt is underestimated. In combo with tomatoes = divine. Just last night at a resto I had the blandest cream of tomato soup EVER, and a sprinkle did wonders to it. It helps awaken the flavor. No need to go overboard, but undersalted food is a crime imo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. No. Rather than waste time, money and meals on something I don't like until I get used to it, I prefer to eat only things that I like, or things that I have never had to findout if I like them. If I do, I continue to eat them. If not, they get added to the list of time, money and meal wasters.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: SuzyInChains

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        What if you try something the first time and hate it, but it's because it was prepared poorly? If you didn't like it thr first time, you'd never try it again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I had Blue Fish once and it was terrible. Smelled terrible, looked oily, and tasted almost sour. Then I went fishing once, caught some blue, went home and soaked them in milk, and my father prepared them two different ways. Absolutely amazing. If I used your approach I would never have given it a second try. The same goes (for me) for Swordfish, pork chops, and okra. The first time I had them they were terrible. When I tried them again they were great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jhopp217

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Not to mention, tastes change. I hated asparagus when I was younger. Now I'm looking forward to the summer crop so I can grill them and sprinkle with a little salt and balsamic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Twice in my life that I can recall I have "trained" myself in such a way. One was with "hot" foods in general. Early on I realized that a lot of the world's food came spicy hot, and if I couldn't handle the heat I was going to miss out on things I might like. So I started using Tabasco in soups and such to build up a tolerance. Good thing I did--it opened many dishes and even whole cuisines to me that I would otherwise have missed. The second was baked potatoes loaded with sour cream and/or butter. At some point I decided that all those calories were a bad idea and I should learn to get along without them. So I started reducing the fats until now I generally prefer baked potatoes with only a bit of salt--the flavor really comes through that way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. For the most part, foods I hate I allow myself to roll with it. I don't particularly feel left out because I won't eat bananas or olives - however, my loathing of black pepper I decided this year was getting in the way of eating well. Not that I needed to start adding it when I cook at home, but to reject an item on a menu or at someone's home because of black pepper was becoming petty. So I'm working no over coming that aversion. I'm no where near ordering pepper steak or something, but I can order a dish that has pepper - ask for it to do done lightly and enjoy the dish. Slowly, but still working on it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          In relation to blue cheese - be careful! For those of us who like it, or learn to, fantastic. But for a small group of people, blue cheese has a natural reaction that will cause you to vomit. I have a friend like this, and it's just unfortunate. It's not an exact allergy, but it's also not something I'd want to train my body to change.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: cresyd

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            One of the more interesting and less known "natural" pairing of foods is strawberries with black pepper. If I were trying to train myself to like black pepper I might try it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: johnb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Black pepper and strawberries sounds like something I should try. I have no issue with spicy food in general, and crushed red pepper and white pepper I have no issue with. Something specific to black pepper really icks me out, but in light quantities I've been getting used to it in cream or cheese sauces.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In general I feel just fine with my food dislikes, but I feel that being fussy about black pepper is getting in the way of food in general.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: cresyd

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I find strawberries with (fresh) green peppercorns to be a better combo, as the peppercorns have a soft-ish consistency...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: cresyd

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yay, I never find people that hate bananas and olives... I don't mind being left out on these either... black pepper I have learned to like over the years; I hated how "hot and spicy" it was before, but I've gradually gotten my tongue accustomed to a little on salads, and actually find that my tongue looks for the bite and craves pepper on some things.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Blue cheese... yep that's me that has the gag reflex response :-/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Emme

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm so happy that other people don't like (or used to not like) black pepper! I never use it, but I love crushed red pepper, so it's not like I don't like the spiciness. I just don't like the flavor. I also don't like bananas...well, I don't like eating them straight. Banana bread is fine. I don't HATE them, but I will not go out of my way to eat them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I do like blue cheese and olives, though. I used to love green olives so much when I was younger that I would sort of suck on them for a couple of minutes until they got soft, letting my whole mouth experience the flavor and then finally chew and eat them. Weird, I know!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. Thought about this even more, and realized that the one thing I taught myself to like, was the smell of curry. I always liked the taste, but couldn't get past the smell. It was bad, to the point where I would smell it and become violently ill. I slowly got past the smell, and now I love it (the taste, still have times where the smell gets me).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jhopp217

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Just out of curiosity, how were you able to get past the smell to even discover that you liked the taste in the first place?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ajs228

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I somewhat had to. My brother loved it, and my mother cooked with it for him. I was forced!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Leeks, licorice, and sprouts. For each, one day I decided my dislike was arbitrary and flipped my vote on them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. foie gras - still don't love it, but can enjoy it

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I trained myself to eat it when I was much younger. I think I did it as a response to an internalized sort of peer pressure: it's on the menus of so many "good" restaurants, people rave about how wonderful it is, there must be something wrong with me not to like it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Nowadays I would never consider training myself to ingest something I don't like. There are so many other choices, why bother?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've never liked alcohol. When I was younger, I tried to train myself to at least tolerate beer and wine for social reasons, now I just avoid them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: racer x

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm sure many hairs will curl but I am with you about the foie. Since it is a part of almost every fine dining tasting menu I keep trying and trying to like it. Unfortunately I haven't even been able to get to the point where I enjoys it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have been successful on many other fronts. I hated seafood until about 4 years ago and now I love it, sushi, oysters, snails, anything really. Another was wine. Now I have really developed a taste for many varieties and love the wonderful flavors when paired with the right food. But no matter how many times I try foie gras I don not like it. I hope one day their will be a turn around.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: racer x

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Man. I wouldn't need to enjoy the taste of wine to enjoy wine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I am absolutely not able to eat foie in certain perparations, but crave it in others. I find it inedible when cold and plain, but if you sear it, or if it is in a terrine mixed with other ingredients, I love it. It's an ingredient that can be sublime or awful, IMO. And I'm quite sure many restaurants get it horribly wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Gosh, I think I am late to the party but had to chime in on a few things:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      - Jeffrey Steingarten wrote a book, "The Man Who Ate Everything". The intro. covers his 6 step program to, as he states, "liberate my palate and my soul". It had me in stitches... completely hilarious. It is a definite must read for CHs.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      - A few people mentioned this but your taste buds do change as you grow. It is related to your hormone levels as well. My daughter is well trained in that just because she didn't like something last year doesn't mean she won't like it this year. If your hormone levels are high so are your taste buds. Try giving broccoli rabe or anything that has strong bitter flavors to a teenager or a pregnant woman.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      - My personal things I can't get past... they are all texture issues: fresh coconut in desserts, tripe and weird meat parts.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      - My daughter, age 11, eats everything except cooked Spinach, arugula, broccoli rabe and coconut. She will only eat brussel sprouts if they are bathed in pork fat. Thank God!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: WineUnleashed

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Highly interesting thread. I had difficulty learning to like avocados when I was young, can you imagine? That was definitely textural...fatty, greasy, etc. All my adult life fatty and greasy have been my nemesis, I can eat a pig snout to tail, foie gras by the pound, butter with a spoon, etc,etc..I must have really learned something from avocados. As a child, yellow squash reminded me of something found in a diaper and I had to wait a long time before I learned to like that one. Offal was never a problem for me, don't know why. I guess meat was meat. I did get sick on tacos in Mexico once and all I tasted for 3 days was cilantro. I never thought about it before then and it did take me some time to be able to eat it again but I gradually accepted it. I have noticed many people have an aversion to olives and I've never understood that except maybe the oil..similar to avocados? Now, wait, if ever anyone gets sick from a food while pregnant, it's a pretty good bet they won't forget that one. Barley soup, yuk, akin to maggots. Texture wise, I can do without lima beans, peanuts, coconut and soy products...all starchy and I'm not a big carb fan. So are the aversions mostly distasteful associations or textural issues? or both? Something that smells bad is not easy to get down and stay down. I'm pretty lucky that I'm not a picky eater and am happy to have eaten a great variety of foods.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. When I was trying to lose weight a few years ago, I started leaving the cheese off of my burgers and sandwiches and leaving parmesan off of my pasta or soup. I've tried going back to eating those things with cheese now that I'm no longer on such a strict diet, but I've found that I basically trained myself not to like it anymore.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Al_Pal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh, I find that so sad. I always tell people... you need to nurture your taste buds. When I go on diets I find that my taste buds begin to atrophy. Then everything begins to taste lively and bright!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: WineUnleashed

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I feel the pain, buy I do agree. You grow away from certain tastes, but with a little practice you embrace those old tastes. For me unfortunatelly, I got heavy again

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I read in a bathroom reader one time that you can learn to like anything after you eat it 14 times. It worked for me for dill pickles. My buddy hates dill pickles, so i told him about my experience, and he replied that there's no way he wants to put himself through 14 times of hating them just to like them. He had a good point! Olives and "fishy" fish are next for me!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Sea urchin eggs. I am still working on it. My husband loves them and gets downright testy when I refuse one even if it is still chilling out in the urchin. I try. I gag.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sea urchin roe! They are unfreakingbelievably scrumpdillyicious! I say it every time I read such things. ;-) Just kidding, but in fact, I admire your tenacity - keep trying.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Does it help to know that it's not really roe but the gonads or sex organs of the critter you're eating?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And don't expect an answer from OP, she hasn't posted in a year, not long after moving to DC from Boston.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Am I the only one saying to her/himself: "What? No to cilantro (olives, cheese...)? How can this be possible? They are unfreakingbeliebably scrumpdillyicious! I say it every time I read such things. Oysters I get (they look weird and thnking about chewing then and what the guts look like... yeh, I get that. I love them, but I understand. But it is as foreign to me to hate cilantro (etc) as say... to hate champagne!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              OK - I must go lie down with a cold compress now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Broccoli, because it prevents cancer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Cilantro was one of mine. I first tasted a little too much, because I had just been assigned to make Pico. I didn't hate it, but it was strange. I can't imagine how I could live without it. I've tried to like celery, but I just can't. I'll cook with it, but it has to come out. I've even tried liquifying it, to see if that will help. I think we're just not meant to be. I did have to work myself up to the hot sauces. I'm addicted to spicy so much that I make my own hot sauces now. I guess you could say I trained for that. With everything else, there's just been that moment where I was like "why didn't I always love this?!? What was wrong with me yesterday?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Yeah, c-rations. The choice was that or pho.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      i presume you now love both

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yeah, C-rats are right up there w/ Spam. My humor was that if captured, the assumption was, we'd be forced to eat rice and pho. I haven't eaten C-rats (or Spam) for 42 years, but have a recently awakened love of pho.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Pax Americana

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Strong-flavored seafood. Used to eat only canned albacore, totally fresh-frozen halibut, shrimp, crab, etc.. When I saw friends enjoying things like kipper snacks and skinless/boneless sardines, and even anchovies. I got curious. It was a learned behavior from my mom, who didn't like any of the deeper-flavored mariscos. Fortunately, I learned. And I love anchovies and fish sauce. Actually, so do a lot of people I've cooked for, only they don't know it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Cilantro - I had exactly the same experience as the OP with it. It happened because it kept arriving in foods that I otherwise loved.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There is a very small handful of foods that I truly detest (watermelon being first and foremost) that I can't train myself to like. I actually tried time and again to train myself to like watermelon when I was a kid because I adored spitting the seeds - but finally I just gave up. Seed-spitting, no matter how pleasurable, just wasn't worth it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. It's funny how a site that devotes itself to "hyperdeliciousness" has a thread about people forcing themselves to eat foods they don't like until they learn to like them. There's nothing wrong with not liking a particular food. Now I will say that if you turn up your nose at something you've never tried I'll look at you askance, but if you say "I tried it but really didn't like it" that's cool with me. I don't like olives, but I've tried just about every sort of olive to find that out. I'm not crazy about seafood but I will eat crab, tilapia and am going to try sardines because I've never had them. Life's too short to eat food you don't like or to force yourself to develop a taste for something because it's "healthy" or everyone else seems to like it. Besides, if you don't like it, more for me. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          19 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MandalayVA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Try, olives in Martinis. I, many years ago, did not care for olives either, but knew there must be "something" to them. To pun on Katerine Porter by the 4th Martini I was on top the hostess, eating olives from her navel. Now I love olives, Martinis and remember the hostess fondly.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Don't get me started on how I used to hate whipped cream.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              LOL. Actually I don't like martinis either--gin tastes like dead flowers to me (and I've had the good stuff).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: MandalayVA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "Life's too short to eat food you don't like or to force yourself to develop a taste for something because it's "healthy" or everyone else seems to like it."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I disagree. Life is too long to go the entire time missing out on a delicious flavor just because you didn't like it the first few times.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Some of my favorite foods are things that used to make me gag.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My dad LOVES oysters and he used to make me eat it as a kid - and i literally had to fight to not throw up. I started eating oysters again as a grown up becuase "everyone else" seemed to like it. I remember sitting in front of a spread of oysters at parties and eating them while trying not to gag, determined to eat them until I "got it".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Now I can't imagine life without oysters. It's one of nature's perfect foods.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I've had similar experiences with some of my other favorite things - uni made me almost throw up the first time I had it. So did liver, yellowtail sashimi, and soy sauce marinated crab. Some of the stinkier cheeses and fish gave me some problems initially as well. Love them all to death now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yah, totally agree. I used to be on the cilantro hating side, and now I love it. Continuing to try to like it has enriched my culinary life, as has "learning" to like (love!) oysters. It has impoverished my account, tho.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "Delicious" is subjective. If I eat something and don't like it initially, my first question is "does it have something to do with how it was prepared?" Maybe it tastes better cooked than raw or vice versa. Maybe whoever prepared it didn't know what they were doing (that happens pretty frequently). But with something like oysters, which I've had every way known to man, it seems, they just don't taste good to me and I don't see the point of making myself eat them on the outside hope of some sort of magic epiphany taking place. Again, life's too short and there's plenty of other things I enjoy immensely. To each his/her own.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MandalayVA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Well, all I can say is that I've continued trying oysters over a couple of decades -- whenever I had a chance -- and only two years ago something clicked.... raw oysters is what we're talking here. I'm not much interested in eating them prepared any other way. But I HATED them raw. It was actually the aftertaste I despised, the initial briny flavor was ok, but the aftertaste was reminiscent of old seawater to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Obvy, this has changed. And I am very, very happy about it. Of course, there is also nothing wrong with drawing the line at some point and saying "fuck this, I'm never trying it again".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: MandalayVA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tastes have to be developed. I say life is too short to miss out on so much.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I don't like to use the term 'forcing yourself.' Yeah, if you're going to appreciate something, it's true you have to be ready for the experience. But preparing yourself and getting to that 'place' is worth the effort just like reading long novels or listening to jazz.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I can't see how any American can just suddenly enjoy Korean panchan if they were raised on meat and potatoes. I was one of those meat-and-potato kids. But a few months of intellectual curiosity can lead to a lifetime of astounding pleasure. There are tastes out there worth developing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Steve

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    What if one missed out on saltnas because they were, oh, my gosh, Bolivian?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I agree w/ you 100%.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Two of our sons are in DC right now. I forwarded them the DC thread on saltenas.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    May we break saltenas some day.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Carpe Chow

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      There's only one solution: you must visit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I hear a lot over the internet that Chowhounds just want to be snobs (or reverse snobs!) and enjoy bragging about their conquests.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Most Chowhounds I know are seeking out deliciousness in whatever form it takes. They want so desperately for that place they cherish to stay in business. So they talk it up. Any place, whether it is a chef's table or a taco truck, is economically vulnerable if it is dedicated to quality.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Steve

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My philosophy exactly! Yes I will contact you when we visit. When our son gets a real job, beside delivering pizzas (He was the one who always knew everything.) and get a bigger place, we will be down. We just met a wonderful LA Hound last month on our trip to Orange Co.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Believe it or not, I had a hard time getting to like beer in high school. It took one time getting blottoed w/ my older brothers to finally get me to be a beer hound.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "Life's too short to drink cheap beer." Wurtseiner bumper sticker.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "Drinking lite beer is like making love with your clothes on, what's the point?" Dimkeg's motto.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: MandalayVA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I couldn't ride a bike the first time I got on one either. I've skinned my knees a few times before I got the hang of it, but now I love it. Much like oysters and cilantro.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: thinks too much

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Great analogy with learning to ride a bike. I mean, it's not like parachuting out of a plane:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Arrgh, first jump, my chute wouldn't open. I'm never doing THAT again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: thinks too much

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        But how many times do you try it? Five? Ten? A hundred? Why is it so terrible to say "sorry, I don't like that?" if you've given the food some legitimate tries?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MandalayVA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Food epiphany! The ahaaa moment when one sees and appreciates what all the fuss is about. It is truly hard to believe what a fussy eater I was as a kid. But Sister Mandalay, I seen the Chow light and it is worth the effort.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Is it an oral conversion or sensual delight?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Or as the bookish school teacher told earthy Zorba at the end of Zorba the Greek, "Teach me to dance!".
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Carpe chow,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The Dumbest of Kegs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hey, I like okra and chocolate-covered grasshoppers, I've got my Chow Cred. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: MandalayVA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              MV, I in no way meant to impugn your chow-worthiness! I'm just speaking about my own experiences. Why, I still won't eat a Pop Tart!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: MandalayVA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You can totally and legitimately dislike a food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Personally, I'll keep trying at every opportunity, provided I don't have to pay for it (ie, at a restaurant, where I'd lost money if I don't like my dish).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: MandalayVA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This is a great question.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I don't think I've ever gone to a restaurant and ordered a big plate of intestines(for example) just to see if I'll like them the next time. But to split something among a few people.... or to have that as just one ingrediant among many in a dish...... Or to get a taco (in some places it's just one or two bucks) of intestines every once in a long while... not much of a commitment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Of course, if I eat something that I don't like, I'm in no rush to try it again. But keeping an open mind doesn't cost too much.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MandalayVA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Many sources on expanding children's palates say that you shouldn't give up until they've been exposed 7-10 times. I think that's about fair with me, keeping in mind expenses as Steve says. Bear in mind that these exposures can occur over a long expanse of time. So many things to eat and so little time after all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. Sushi. It goes against every bit of knowledge I have every learned in a classroom to eat raw fish and risk getting a tapeworm or parasites. I started with lame (cooked) California rolls and then moved on to anything I could disguise with wasabe. Eventually, I actually learned to like most items, but I still can't deal with smoked eel. I did this totally because of social pressure at work-related gatherings. I still prefer basics, such as tuna nigeri or salmon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oddly, though, I LOVE most varieties of oysters on the half shell, so my objection really wasn't so logical.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: RGC1982

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It took me awhile to train myself to sushi. At first, I always felt queasy afterward. I now attribute this to eating cheap sushi in the midwest and terrible, terrible abominations to sushi like "volcano rolls," etc. Turns out, I like nigiri or sashimi, with good fish. Mackerel, snapper, live scallops, all kinds of stuff. Seared fatty tuna, but that's a treat. Not so much eel, but I don't hold this against myself - it doesn't taste like what I'm in the mood for, it tastes like BBQ. I do not like tempura everything, kitchen sink rolls. If I wanted something like that, I'd order vegetarian rolls and save the good fish for something I can taste it in. Anyway, now I get cravings, and I always feel great after I eat it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I trained myself to eat healthier versions of food I was already eating:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Brown rice instead of white
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              bread with at least 3 grams of fiber (not necessarily whole wheat, which sometimes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              doesn't, hello!)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Black Tea milk no sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Every other type of tea that's good for you: green, rooibos etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I didn't set out to learn to like to eat blue cheese, but I started eating Dolce Latte (mild Italian type of blue) and that got me eating Gorgonzola, Stilton etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Coffee and Scotch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hated both but, as I was graduating from college, I figured I'd need to learn to tolerate them for the sake of a business career.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Pinto beans and tomatoes. As a kid I wouldn't touch either (ketchup and tom sauce/paste excepted). Nowadays, however, I love pintos as long as they're not refried, and I can eat tomatoes as long as they're finely diced. Will not, however, haw into a whole tomato. No way, no how.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Honorable mention eggs and okra. As a nipper I wouldn't eat eggs, but now like them scrambled, as long as they're cooked dry. Similarly, I will now eat fried okra as long as it is crispy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I'm working on blue cheese, but I might have to give it up. I've been sprinkling it on my salads, and I now find I'm avoiding salad altogether. I have had success with beer, after I lived in the south for a few years. When it's a hundred degrees for days on end, beer, the right beer, is heaven. I never liked gin either (my martinis are always vodka), but when I tried it mixed with sweet and citrus, the gin lost the perfume that had, initially, drove me from it, and became a lovely dry taste. The only aversion I feel compelled to maintain is my longstanding hatred of raw onion. I won't even try to overcome that one. See, now I feel a flutter of panic, just at the thought of eating it. My father used to eat them like apples, sending me running from the room in revulsion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. In response to the original questions, I believe we are biologically determined to eat things that taste good. So if people in the world eat something, assuming it is empirically cooked correctly, then it must taste good to them. Therefore, if I don't like that something, I see it as a problem with me that I have to change.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      So I take that approach to all things related to food and drink - I would like to say that there is literally nothing that I have not learned to like. If I don't like it and other people do, I continue to try to learn to appreciate what it is that tastes good to them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Specifically, most recent examples are lima/fava beans and Fernet Branca.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Very good post, great thought- as long as people have a choice. If you're stuck in Mali eating nothing but millet 'five ways,' then maybe I'll assume it's because of some kind of food scarcity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        For those of us with a choice, there's no reason to give up quickly or forever. A moderate amount of perseverance can pay off handsomely.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Bob, I don't follow your logic.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You seem to be assuming that all of our tastes are biologically determined to be the same. There's abundant evidence that they are not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          (I'd also add that human beings are also biologically determined, generally speaking, to behave in ways that allow us to live together. That includes sharing food tastes - to a point.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: racer x

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Steve - correct - my premise assumes a choice of food, and not purely out of need or scarcity. So wondering if the cultures that eat bugs will stop eating them over time, as conditions improve and McDs colonize nearby?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Racer, interesting point - there is definitely some variability as to sweet, sour, umami, cilantro, etc. - so my premise assumes the main parts of the bell curve, that we are all generally predisposed biologically to favor sweet over bitter...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You might remember some sort of study on smell a few years back - they claimed that they exposed newborn babies to all varieties of smells, and only two - basically decaying human flesh - evoked a negative response. All other smells that we normally associate negatively - like garbage - did not elicit a significant response. This got me to thinking about why I love and crave a great marinara sauce vs. say a mole sauce - being raised Italian, I figured it was learned, rather than ingrained. So I can learn to love mole...or other food tastes that the vast majority of people tend to like...or even a dedicated minority...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Or maybe all I am talking about are the people who say "I hate tomatoes." I don't understand those people AT ALL! ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. As a chef , you have to do this all the time. For me there were silly foods from my childhood that I had preconceived notions about eating. This became pretty comical for me when I got serious about food, for instance I could spend months in love with finding the richest most pungent Durian all over southeast asia.... But I couldn't eat egg salad here!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          There's also many complex flavors that take time for one's mind & palate to build up... Such as the basics like stinky cheeses, heavy wines and bold caviars... And the weirder stuff like different types of insects, pretty much all seriously fermented food, cured eggs... etc....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I have no interest whatsoever in subjecting myself to multiple experiences of profound revulsion in order to be able to eat a snail or a lamprey. There is such an ample variety of food out there I already love that I have no need whatsoever to engage in a masochistic exercise to "enrich" it further.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Personal perspective. I have no problem w/ snails or lampreys, natural fresh food. A masochistic exercise would be for me to eat the chemical processed concoction that is a Pop Tart or a Ranch Barbeque Sour Cream ersatz potato chips.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Too bad you didn't learn to enjoy Jersey tomatoes. They are the best.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Maybe food deprivation is the best leveler of food prejudice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                If you find certain foods so repellent that they cause you to involuntarily retch (what you term food prejudice), and you still insist on eating them out of some misbegotten drive to be more open-minded than thou, then it is an exercise in masochism. An exercise in stupidity as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Now I love chemical-saturated processed foods including Pop Tarts, and--horribile dictu!--BBQ potato chips. Eating them gives me pleasure rather than pain and is therefore the very opposite of masochism. More like hedonism. And if, having defied the protocols of the waffen organik health police, I should die a couple of years before my time, having foregone a prolonged stint in some wretched nursing home, I shall count myself lucky. At least I will have lived my culinary life on my own terms rather than having slavishly succumbed to the mores of a society so insipidly politically korrekt that it bans the use of one's faculties of judgment and criticism.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I am confused about your use of pronouns. Who is the 'you' in the first paragraph?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Steve

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I found no such grammar confusion, but I do tend to sink to the common demoninator, and see both sides to this. Passadumkeg himself just said, "Maybe food deprivation is the best leveler of food prejudice." There have been times in my life when the lowly processed food, such as poptarts (always on sale) and the like, were what kept me somewhat nourished, and sated. I have been so poor that a can of soup, with *crackers* seemed like the largesse of the universe. If I had lived in another culture, then perhaps grubs would have been my bare sustanence, while others had a richer fare. I've swung this pendulum in my life more than once, and consider expanding my palate to be a strength, and a blessing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I can now afford this expansion, much to my gratitude and delight . . . but I still would not eat a raw onion. Honestly, I hope never to be that poor. Also, raw cabbage. And I'm not digging on the goat cheese, save for the one particular pairing that made me like it in the first place but has not, sadly, been duplicated since.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Goat cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sheep/lamb meats.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Raw onions. The bane of my culinary existence. I absolutely hate them with a burning passion

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Tried training myself to like em, but nope. Can't do it...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I trained myself to like blue cheese and coffee. If you want a good starter blue cheese, try Gorgonzola Dolce. It's very creamy, mild and spreadable. It's a bit pricey, but worth it. I got through about a 1/2 lb a week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I also used to hate Brussels sprouts and cooked carrots, until I figured out how to cook them in a way that helps them taste good. For Brussels sprouts, sauteeing them or roasting them works best. I also love making a gratin of them with butter, cream, and fresh parm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Carrots are simple too. I steam them until lightly tender, then sautee them in olive oil and butter until caramelized in places. The last minute, I add a BUNCH of chopped garlic. Talk about heaven.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I learned to like Brussels Sprouts by eating them raw. You slice them thin, toss with some olive oil, a little lemon juice, Parmesan cheese and marcona almonds, and you have a really nice salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I haven't really trained myself to eat anything but have surprised myself in recent years by loving some things I wanted nothing to do with before. Lobster and scallops come to mind. Ate them extremely reluctantly before, now can't get enough of them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Call me weird, but as a child I used to dislike BURGERS and PIZZA. However, I was never a picky eater so I did eat them, but was never enthusiastic about it and always wished I were eating something else.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        When I was 14, my best friend introduced me to Domino's pizza with lots of chili sauce (I hated chillies). For some reason, I was hooked, and pizza remains one of my favorite foods today. Burgers don't get a bad rep from me either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Spicy foods - I always hated anything spicy except for tabasco on pizza, but I worked at a Nepalese restaurant when I was 19 and fell in love with curry and naan. I can now tolerate moderate amounts of spiciness, and can eat kimchi with no trouble.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: marimorimo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Beans. I had an aversion to nearly all the members of the legume family, primarily because of the texture, for the first 35 years of my life. Because beans are packed with such great nutritional benefits, I have 'taught' myself to like most of them. Red lentils (daal) are my favorite, with black beans and chick peas and soy beans coming in close behind (overcooked peas, Lima beans, and butter beans are still out). The key seemed to be to add them to things i already loved (soups, salads, etc), or to alter their texture in spreads such as hummus.....oh yum, I think I'll make some hummus today!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bliss40

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I read this whole thread to see if anyone has an aversion to beans. I grew up in the South, have graduated from culinary school, had a career in food service and I am an adventurous eater. However beans simply taste like vomit to me. Part of the reason could be that my mother was not a good cook when I was a child. Her idea of cooking was 1 can of beans + protein + s&p + 5 minutes cooking = dinner. Chili was a can of kidney beans heated up with a can of tomatoes and ground beef and chili powder. I was well into my 30's when I ate chili again, without beans of course. The thought of baked beans makes me retch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have trained myself to like hummus. I would like to learn to like beans so that I could enjoy authentic Mexican food without worrying if beans are in the dish. I would also like to enjoy the rice and peas that come with a Caribbean entree.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have learned to like wine, olives, and beer but beans, legumes, and peas are still firmly on the DO NOT EAT list.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: amethiste

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Try Sichuan-style stir-fried green beans. I think they'd convert *anyone*.... I dream about that dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Now I do like green beans. Szechuan green beans are one of my favorite things. Green beans don't have the texture that say kidney, pinto, navy, cannellini etc. beans have.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: amethiste

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yah, I hear ya. I used to loathe kidney beans, and for a while they seemed to be in every salad. Urgh. I like em cooked, but I'm not supposed to eat 'small beans' anyway. Not a big loss for me '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: amethiste

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My dad also hates beans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Durian fruit which is loved in SE Asia is hated by most people who never grew up eating it. It's sweet mushy and smells like something rotten to the inexperienced person. when I first stayed in Singapore I tried it and gaged. Local friends told me it was normal, most Europeans don't like Durian. I decided I had to get over it and tried Durian icecream and I actually could tolerate it. Slowly I grew to like the icecream. Finally when I thought I was ready I bought some Durian I was assured was good and put it in the freezer. It tasted just like the icecream but abit stronger, after that it was chilled in the fridge. Now I eat Durian fresh and love it and can be abit picky if it isn''t creamy enough (not perfectly ripe). Now I live in Sabah and have a goat farm and there is a local Red Durian only found here in Sabah which I love! The smell is more nutty, less sweet, and very sitcky full of carbohydrates! If you don't like Durian you are missing a real treat so try training yourself on icecream first!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jdsaario

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Bravo! That's exactly why it's worth trying foods even if you hate it the first time. I've only tried durian twice and really didn't like it both times. But I'm getting to a point where I'm starting to tolerate durian shakes. Maybe some day I can enjoy the beauty of actual durian!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I have not yet trained myself to eat the slugs infesting my garden. Maine Escargot? Land Prawns? It doesn't matter I just can't get up the nerve to eat one. Batter and deep fry? Not raw. How? Has anyone ever eaten a garden slug?

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have learned to like beer, but more commonly, I've started to enjoy things I never liked simply because my tastes have changed. Blue cheese is a good example. Cilantro is another. I never tried. Just one day I liked them. Conversely, there are things I used to love (fresh Jersey tomatoes) that all of a sudden I can't stand. Any tomatoes. I have no idea what causes these switches to flip. I still can't eat things that have textures that bother me - eggplant, mushrooms, avocado. I tried to learn to like asparagus. I really like bitter foods, but for some reason, the bitter taste of asparagus tastes terrible to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Mushrooms! Growing up, I hated mushrooms of any kind. But - as a teen, I got a new boyfriend that would only eat mushroom pizza. I did not want to appear to be a big baby. So I ate mushroom pizza when we went out. Who knew that I got to like mushrooms so much that even today, I probably could eat mushrooms on almost anything (but the boyfriend - he went off to college and that was that - ahhh, summer romance). I love, love, love them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Yes, black coffee.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Not something I hated, but years ago I taught myself to drink hot tea without sugar. I drink a lot of tea and all the sugar calories were adding up. I didn't do it gradually, just stopped adding any sugar to my tea. The bitterness was difficult to deal with at first. Now sweetened tea tastes odd.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think what you are describing is the process by which we come by acquired tastes. You keep eating something you may not be crazy about until you finally find the essence in it that attracts you. And then you can start appreciating its other facets as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And definitely, good luck with blue cheese, which was also an acquired taste for me, and which I now love.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: silkenpaw

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      When I first started drinking coffee in my 20's, I put milk and sugar. I forced myself to use artificial sweetener for a few years, then I forced myself to use no sweetening agent at all. I can't imagine sweetening coffee now. (I still have to have some kind of dairy product though. I can't do black!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Trixie Too, you obviously have never been in the military. In the 60's I "trained" myself to eat 3 meals a day. If Cookie's mess hall chow wasn't bad enough, go "train" yourself to live on c-rations for weeks on end in the field under combat.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I am so thankful today for every meal I eat.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This is one of the sacrifices that I don't think we realize the folks in uniform make.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Ha, I spent a two week holiday in S.Korea, my eldest son worked for Samsung at the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        He treated me to all he liked to eat and I made certain I ate Kimchi twice a day, within the week I was loving it and seek it out now I am back home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        But I passed on the small live crabs.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Naguere

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I had a very similar experience. We've had 2 sons teaching English in Seoul (one to Samsung executives.) I grew up on saurkraut, but learned to love kimchi. I have a batch that I made last weekend ready in the fridge.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I ate all kinds of raw seafood, what I tried to learn to like, but failed was the silk worm larvae. I cared for neither the flavor or gritty texture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I grew up up with silkworm larvae in Korea but still haven't learned to like it...I do love the smell of them, but the grit and flavor make me gag a little...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Nope. There are plenty of things I like to eat that I don't get around to, I don't have time to waste on stuff I really hate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That's not to say my taste hasn't changed over time, which is a different kettle of fish. As a kid I would eat all sorts of things I no longer care for - peanut butter with maple syrup, for example. By and large they are things I didn't need to be eating to start with.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Food in my household was an excuse for abuse. My mother was a control freak, especially about food, and all of my siblings have some food aversion or other. For me it's liver. A brother can't even look at a Waldorf salad without serious risk of ralphing. So no, the idea of sitting down to force myself to eat one of these items turns me off totally.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          There are some things I didn't like as a child that I did eventually learn to eat, such as sesame seeds on buns, onions, and similar normal childhood dislikes. And there are things I loved as a child such as beets and lima beans that I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole now. I don't know why. My taste just changed. But it was no conscious effort on my part.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Well in a few cases I know why. Drumsticks, for example, were a favorite of mine - until at around age 6 I bit into one and was faced with glaring evidence of the former living status of that bit of food. I've never been able to eat a drumstick or most pieces of fried chicken again, though I have learned to eat chicken skinned, deboned, and cut up in something.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Until the age of 6 you weren't aware that you were eating animal parts?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm going to assume you were being funny.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I knew that, intellectually. However, I did not know it VISCERALLY until I bit into that last drumstick and found myself face to face with a huge, fully intact, dark with cooked blood, vein.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Of course I knew the things that I was, after all, cooking, originally came from animals. But it wasn't meaningful to me until that moment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                No, I wasn't being funny. I was just surprised. I mean, it's chicken. Chicken is a familiar animal to kids. But ok, dog only knows what I thought I was eating when I was 6.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Most kids don't give too much thought to what they are eating. It's just food. Food can be yucky or it can be good. The fact that something died to give you that food doesn't really enter into the equation for most kids.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  After my drumstick epiphany, however, I was so startled and mortified that I had to make up little stories about how even my vegetables (which had clearly had to die ere appearing on my plate) really WANTED to be eaten, because that was their Cosmic Purpose and they would go into the afterlife unfulfilled if this did not, in fact, happen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Of course the whole helping-my-food-to-fulfill-its-cosmic-purpose thing did not apply to *shudder* LIVER, a minion of the forces of Evil (on the dinner table at least) if ever there was one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Liver....I've been able to work my way up to chicken livers, and disguised pork and calf liver in things like pate, but still can't dig into a big plate of just liver. I just can't get past the smell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://foodtourists.blogspot.com/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I'd like to share something my grandfather once said...roughly translated, it goes: "If something is edible and you can't eat it, you're a retard." Still cracks me up! lol

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. My dad drank espresso after business dinners because everyone else did. He hated it. Over time he developed an affinity for it and now visits Starbucks. But he still makes a pained expression after the first sip.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Beets Trained myself to love beets. I hated before but I felt I was missing out on something. Now if I could only do it with olives.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: YAYME

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Try the olives in Martinis. After the twee Martoonis, you'll love olives.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've already trained myself to drink Gin. So that might be easy or not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        HAHA, so funny. I hated olives until I started drinking martinis

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I hate beer - tried to drink it many many times. Three years of being in the military hasn't changed me, I don't know what will. I still hate beer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I also used to hate those preserved chinese duck eggs (thousand year eggs, the white folk call them) as a kid, and now I love it. Splash of brown rice vinegar, dash of seasame oil - it's perfect.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: k4kashi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        K4, the military trained me for a lot. I wuz a fussy college kid and after mess chow, c-rats and eating solely for calories to survive, I eat anything, but am at the same time, very choosy about the quality of food which I consume. A warm Bud, however, sitting on top our bunker, watching B-52 Hell rain from above on the Ho Chi Minh Trail was ambrosia. A true "Magic Carpet Ride"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Nice one Passadumkeg.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          No warm Bud memories for me, but the Military taught me to love Spam™ Fritters.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Naguere

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The only Spam I care for is the Broadway play Spamalot!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I'm currently trying to get myself to like salad. HEALTHY salad. Only fat-free dressing, no corn syrup, low sodium. No nuts, seeds, avocado (gotta watch my fat intake drastically). Just veggies, tiny bit of freshly ground pink sea salt, pepper and vinegar. The only way I seem to like it is by eating each piece of lettuce as finger food. Dip in vinegar/pepper mixture. I'm a little desperate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm also trying to like drinking water/seltzer. I mix lemon seltzer with coke zero to make lemon zero. Half juice half water.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Anyone else have some "fun" techniques to make yourself like stuff?

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: PotatoPuff

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hey, speaking of acquired tastes. I grew up drinking seltzer instead of flavored sweetened soda, and my husband hated it at first. I really think it's just that you expect the sweetness, but you're really drinking it for the fizz. That helped him get his head around the idea and now he loves it. It only took a few months of regularly drinking it instead of soda.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          On the salad thing...try crudite instead? Find some veggies you love and dip them in the pepper/mixture? And expend the cash for really good seasonal produce since that's going to be mostly what you're tasting. Also, I really like green olives in my salad for flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Raids

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            good idea raids... maybe like steamed haricots verts or celery sticks?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Spinach.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It's not always a matter of 'training' but can merely be a change of attitude. As a boy I did not like horrible, disgusting spinach and refused to eat it - that is, until I saw my first Popeye cartoon.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It is amazing how fast my taste for wonderful spinach changed!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I use to hate oatmeal, but I trained myself to like it (started with the flavored instant, then moved to rolled oats with brown sugar and cinnamon and now eat it everyday with just cinnamon. yum!) Along the same lines, I used to only be able to eat plain Greek yogurt if it was drowned in honey or brown sugar, along with some fruit. I still have to eat it with some fruit (either an apple or a banana sliced in), but I don't need the sweetener anymore. and I really love it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I am currently trying to train myself to like red wine. My doctor recommended I drink less beer and liquor and more wine. Never really liked it at all but am trying to acquire a taste for it- trying different varieties, etc.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LorenM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I hope you find one you like. In the meantime, you can get the benefit of red wine by eating red grapes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I'm training myself to like Cilantro.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Whenever i opt not to put it in my pho or when i pull it out of mexican dishes, the dishes tastes like they're missing something.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                So right now, what i do is i soak the cilantro in my pho then pull them out. I pull out about 2/3 of the cilantro from mexican dishes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Cilantro is really good for you. I want to be able to drink cilantro tea.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Jenn1234

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You can DO it!! I used to hate that stuff myself, but my love for Thai and Mexican food made me overcome that and now I love it. Genetic predisposition be damned '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Jenn1234

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    you might also try roasting a bunch of the fresh leaves. it takes on a whole new sweetish flavor. i can't stand the stuff raw, but roasted i've learned to tolerate and even enjoy...ish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Maybe wine. Though I still only appreciate it, but don't love.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Things like cheesecake, sashimi and blue cheese were things I hated at first. I didn't train myself per se. But having it again at the right moment, place, time and point in your life (and how it's prepared) will change your perspective on anything. A lot of times, it's more the context when you eat that food rather than what it is that determines your taste for it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. yes. growing up I hated: mushrooms, green peppers, big pieces onion, raw celery in salads, fat on my meat.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      As a teenager or shortly afterwards I made myself eat these things because I thought it was silly not to eat something. All of this I eat now, though I still prefer tuna salad without celery.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. nutritious veggies and fish...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        veggies? didn't grow up eating anything but iceberg or lame romaine once in a blue moon; as an adult I learned- you gotta eat vegetables (and not just canned)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        fish? as a child I loved fish. I remember eating the sardines whole out of the can like nobody's business- I craved them as a snack. Then something unfortunate switched in me after a fishing trip. I spent a morning on a boat with Spanish fishermen. I watched them hook and clean the fish on board. Then they took their morning's catch home and made a killer soup that I had already had before and loved. Well not that day- I tried to eat it but felt so nauseous. From that moment on until adulthood I hated fish. When I started again, it was boring Tilapia, etc. Then I moved up to seared tuna, eventually to salmon. Til this day though the taste of fish fat or skin grosses me out. When I cook salmon I do not eat the parts (grey) that touch the skin and I hate the globs of fat (white). Somehow that fishing trip traumatized me. If only I could remove that day from my history...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        But I had to train myself to eat a variety of fish because I became a pescetarian. How ironic is that?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. A Big Mac in 1972. I failed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. In Nepal they eat "dal-bhat" twice a day, very little else during the hot, dry months when veggies -- and the cows -- dry up. I didn't exactly hate dal-bhat but it certainly became monotonous. Nevertheless I stuck with the program. Eventually reached a point where a meal without it just didn't seem like a meal.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LADave

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Me too! I was in the Peace Corps there - were you?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. When young, if I managed to really, really irritate my mother over a few days, she would respond by "punishing" me by serving liver and onions for dinner. I despised liver and onions. She loved live and onions. After this happened a few times I forced myself - with great self-control and effort - to eat them, then asked for seconds with a smile, then followed that up by eating a third plateful in front of her. At that point she burst out laughing and never did it again.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Pzz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                So it sounds like you weren't very successful at training yourself to like liver and onions -- but you did a great job training your mother to not serve them to you!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Artichoke hearts! Now I think they're DELICIOUS! I know there are other things, but none spring to mind at the moment. I can tolerate spicy better than I used to. Oh, guacamole! Wouldn't touch the stuff til a couple years ago (so good now), same with plain avocado.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I'm training myself to eat vegetables. This morning my scrambled eggs contained 4 slices of bacon, 1/4 cup Edamame, about 1/2 cup cooked fresh Spinach, and 1/2 of an avocado mashed and mixed with the eggs before cooking. I don't know if I should be proud or sad that my eggs contained more veggies than meat. LOL

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    you should definitely be proud for making the effort...but will you hate me for pointing out that avocado isn't a vegetable? i'll give you the edamame though ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    it's interesting how many people learn to love avocado as they get older.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      From the wiki article on vegetable: "Languages other than English often have categories that can be identified with the common English meanings of "fruit" and "vegetable", but their precise meaning often depends on local culinary traditions. For example, in Brazil the avocado is traditionally consumed with sugar as a dessert or in milkshakes, and hence it is regarded as a fruit; whereas in other countries (including Mexico and the United States) it is used in salads and dips, and hence considered to be a vegetable."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You must be from Brazil!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: applehome

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        nah, just studied food science, and botanically speaking, avocado is a fruit...as is tomato. anyway i was just messing with PotatoHouse - i know most people think of it as a vegetable, and i actually use it in both sweet and savory preparations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Actually, vegetable just means edible plants or the edible parts of a plant, so all fruits are technically vegetables.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Terrieltr

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            okay, i know i'm picking nits, but if we're talking straight botanical science:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            - a vegetable is the part of a leafy (non-flowering) plant that's grown primarily for food.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            - a fruit is the seed-bearing ovary of a flowering plant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            but those scientific definitions/classifications tend to muddy the waters because things like squash, tomatoes, peppers, cucumber and eggplant technically qualify as fruits...so in the interest of keeping it simple, the *culinary* classifications are more of a flavor-based divide:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            - sweet = fruit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            - non-sweet = vegetable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Yes. I used to not be able to eat hot food, but now no problem. I wasn't crazy about olives, but I really like them now. Oh, I am still not crazy about blue cheese, but some are better than others. Maybe start with a Gorgonzola. However, I find it depends what else I'm eating or drinking. My best blue cheese experience was Stilton, walnuts and grapes with a nice vintage port (kind of sweet).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh, I just saw someone say oysters and that took me some time to overcome my mind telling me it was slimy. However, once in your mouth (raw), you can get a nice fresh taste of the briny sea...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. My mothers cooking, unfortunately :( Sorry Mom, but that's why I decided to learn how to cook! Plus, Laura and my friends like the fact that I cook, so it's not a total loss!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: bwinter714

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        best answer in this thread :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. When I was a kid, I was pretty picky but I knew that I had to learn to eat certain healthy things.Since I didn't always eat enough fruit, he started buying flats of Dole juice at Cosco and making me and my brother drink a glass of juice every morning. I hated it. But I knew I had to do it for the vitamins so I just drank it really fast. All I could taste was the bitterness. Eventually, my dad started buying juice which wasn't from concentrate, which was sweeter and it was easier for me to get myself to like it by just drinking a glass of it every day until I suddenly realized that I actually really liked that stuff. From there, I went on to whole oranges and other fruits. It's funny, though; I barely drink juice anymore and I just eat whole fruit instead.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I also got myself to like broccoli, also when I was a kid. I was very picky about vegetables and there weren't very many I would eat. Although my brother was just as picky as myself, he did like brocccoli so my dad made it all the time and at first he made me eat just a little bit (one of the only foods I ever "had" to eat) but then I decided I was going to take more and just make myself eat it because I knew it was really good for me. I started out hating that stuff (the texture especially; I wonder if my dad was overcooking it?) then I progressed to cutting off the tops and eating only those (leaving the stems on my plate) and finally I came to like broccoli very much. I eventually took over cooking it so that it wouldn't be overcooked (or at least if it was, I could only blame myself).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I trained myself to like eggs because they're so fun to cook.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I used to HATE cheese when I was younger, but now I love it! Also, I used to hate sushi (wasn't a big fan of the dried seaweed), but now it's one of my favorite foods. (:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Most foods I dont like turns out I am at least mildly allergic to. (sadly I am almost mildly allergic to some foods I ADORE).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              However I did train myself to eat thinner balsamic type dressings over the gloppy creamy salad dressings I used to love. Now I love a thin dressing with some bite.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Cheeses! I am currently expanding my cheese palate. I tend to like salty, hard cheeses best, but I'm trying to train myself to like softer, milder stuff, even though I don't like the texture. I find sheep and goat cheeses easier than cow cheeses, for some reason. I love Manchego and I had a wonderful herb-crusted goat cheese called tomme fontenay, but I still don't like most cheddar. Go figure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hot sauce! My capsaicin tolerance is still not as high as some people's I know, but a dose of Marie Sharp's livens up a dish nicely. I don't know WHY I wanted to increase my hot sauce tolerance, though! It's probably because people who like hot sauce are considered more adventurous, tough, cosmopolitan -- but that's stupid and I should know better. Whatever. The damage is done.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Black coffee. This happened by accident when I went to Italy, and all the coffee was super-strong, and I wasn't sure whether or not I'd look like a stupid American if I asked for cream or sugar. So I drank it black, and it was unbelievably bitter at first, but then I got used to it. When I went back to the US, anything but black coffee tasted bland.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Onions, of all things. Couldn't stand them for years, but my bff kept putting them in things and eventually I got tired of picking them out. Now I'm an onion junkie, they go in everything!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Breakfast. It took nearly 35 years, but I finally stopped eating ANYTHING after dinner, so I'd wake up starving and shovel only healthy food into myself. It works. And I'm no longer turning my nose up at breakfast every day and then eating continually throughout the second half of my waking hours.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mashed potatoes. Just to be nice to whoever made them. There's no better reason because it's not like 99% of them are particularly nutritious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Zucchini and grilled vegetables. I now love zucchini (it's a matter of how it's prepared, and apparently my Southern mama didn't have a clue. It's got an ITALIAN name for a good reason--because they know how to cook it!!). And the grilled vegs... Well, they're everywhere and I can't escape them. I still shudder as they squeak, half-cooked, between my teeth, with every bit of delicate vegetably freshness seared right out of them, but they're ubiquitous and I need my vitamins. What the hey. I still maintain that a half-cooked piece of eggplant or crook-neck yellow squash is just wrong, wrong, wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hot tomatoes. Cool, raw fresh tomatoes or tomatoes cooked all the way down to marinara sauce, sure, but I could not be enticed to enjoy anything in between. I can manage it now. I don't seek it. I just don't gag on it anymore.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: staughton

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "Mashed potatoes...There's no better reason because it's not like 99% of them are particularly nutritious."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      What makes you say that only 1% of potatoes is nutritious? Michael Pollan would strongly disagree.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: pdxgastro

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I didn't mean that 99% of all potatoes are not nutritious. I said MASHED potatoes, most of which are made without the potato peel and with gobs of butter or other full-fat dairy products loaded in saturated fat. Most are also either made with a lot of salt or served with gravy (more saturated fat). So, yeah, I'll maintain that the vast majority of MASHED potato preparations out there are not particularly nutritious, regardless of your Michael Pollan--whoever that is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: staughton

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Some would argue that dairy and or butter are actually better for you than the potato.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          But I'll leave that to them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. No. If I don't care for something, I just don't eat it, and manners be damned.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      For example, I dislike the taste of mustard - every kind of mustard. When I can't taste it, as in a vinaigrette dressing, I've no problem eating it. But if a host slathers mustard on my hot dog or hamburger, which is really taking a liberty, I ask politely if I can have one without.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Who knows, my taste may change. It's happened before. When I bite into a sandwich and only then discover there's mustard in it, that could be an opportunity to reassess. But the last time it happened, a couple of months ago, I made myself swallow my bite but put the rest of the sandwich aside.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Fortunately there isn't much food I dislike, and I don't suffer from food allergies, a related issue. But the world is so full of wonderful flavors and textures, why put up with the other kind?