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Red bell peppers and other ingredients that ruin a dish

So I think the popularity of these is because people like to burn them and peel the skin off. i'm not sure how many times i've seen this done on the food network and PBS and if there is anyone who doesn't know how to do this who watches those channels i don't know what to say.

These are also frequently used to bring a splash of color to a dish. BUT here is the problem they don't taste that good. okay for a not so objective opinion, they are incredibly strong and a little goes a long way yet they are so frequently found in "fancy" food and even more so in faux fancy food like Applebee's and TGI Fridays attempts at bringing some class to their bar menus.

Am I alone in feeling like these are far too represented in dishes? Is this really the only way to bring some red into a dish?

Anything you'd like to suggest that can single handedly ruin a dish?

too much fish sauce can make me cringe
mealy tomatoes or soft apples
cooked carrots

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  1. Were we separated at birth? Identical loathings.

    1. Rosemary - I could eat a branch from the pine tree in my front yard and it would taste the same.

      Too much cilantro - I like cilantro, but too much tastes like soap. So I guess you could say that too much soap will ruin a dish. :-)

      There's two... I know there are more, I just gotta think...

      3 Replies
      1. re: Cookiefiend

        The over use of red peppers makes me nuts....try finding a Lean Cusine, or any other low cal frozen meal without them...damn near impossible! I think they add a lot of flavor, (that I hate) and color so they throw them in everything. I also agree with Rosemary, it is like spraying perfume all over my food..ug. other offenders;
        Green peppers
        Carmalized onions
        Saffron...like it in small amounts but it can overpower
        Oregano...same feeling as Saffron

        1. re: bubbles4me

          I agree about the rosemary, oregano and I know most people won't agree with me but I LOATHE mushrooms of any kind. I would rather lick a tree

          1. re: Smileelisa

            I'd almost agree but Morels are pretty good.

      2. Sundried tomatoes -- I'll eat them, but I won't necessarily like it

        1. Smoke flavor....mesquite, hickory....never really felt strongly either way until I received a gift package from my sister from a smokehouse in Missouri called Burgers.....it included a smoked 1/2 "City Ham" and an assortment of smoked cheeses. After an Xmas ham dinner, followed by scalloped potatos and ham, ham tetrazzini, and finally ham and split pea soup....the family (4 including myself) were ready to stab me to death if any mention was made of ham anything.....more to the point, when we eventually got to the smoked cheeses , save for one exception, we were done with smoke.....the cheeses were virtually indistinguishable from each other save for the annatto used in the colby and the mild cheddar........quite possibly this was a case of to much of a good/particular thing....however my eyes rolled back in my head when I saw a package on our doorstep at Easter from New Braunfels......

          1. Amen!
            Roasted Red Peppers? Keep them away from my food!

            OMG - I HATE cooked carrots too. Love em raw, tho.

            Here's one that will confirm we are twins -
            Cooked raisins. BLECH! Stay away from my oatmeal cookies you little burnt tasting rat droppings! Cooked raisins in ANY baked good ruins it.

            And, my number one thing that ruins everything it comes in contact with:
            Miracle Whip (or any other cheap salad dressing/ imitation mayo product on the market.) It's the most vile substance I can truly think of eating. I LOVE real mayo though.

            7 Replies
            1. re: gordeaux

              Gordeaux, have you noted that there are two kinds of people in the world: those who love mayonnaise and those who love Miracle Whip? Liking one seems to absolutely preclude liking the other. I'm in your court--Miracle Whip is an abomination and mayonnaise, the food of the gods.

              1. re: gfr1111

                I like both, although I only have mayo at home because I throw out too much food as is. Anyway, it depends on where I'm using it. I like miracle whip in devilled eggs, egg salad, tuna salad... Basically it's ok if it's getting mixed.

                I'll eat mayo sandwiches, burgers, use it for dipping fries...

                1. re: miss_bennet

                  I like both as well, but with totally different applications and one is certainly not a substitute for the other.

                  1. re: ArikaDawn

                    I agree - completely different uses - and no, it's not that I like 'sugar coated fish'. Just because you don't like it doesn't mean it's necessarily bad.

                    1. re: jeanmarieok

                      Tha main flavor of MIracle Whip (to me) is sugar. It is ghastly sweet, and when combined with normally savory items, it just repulses me. Of course, to emphasize this fact, I use hyperbole. I very well do know that other people are allowed to like things that I do not care for, and I probably like plenty of things that others think are gross. But Miracle Sugar Whip in a tuna salad just makes me think of a tuna fish ice cream sundae. WAAAAAY too sugary to throw into a fish dish for me. Also for potato salad. Potatoes, onion, salt, pepper, and SUGAR?? I'll never understand it.

                      Feel free to bash me for liking:
                      Underwood Canned Deviled Chicken with yellow mustard on white bread.
                      Canned sardines with a splash of tabasco sauce.
                      7-11 microwave burritos made out of ground up "parts"
                      Chitlins' (love 'em!)

                      You can enjoy Miracle Sugar Whip to your heart's content, and I don't have a right to say you are less of a person, or that I'm better than you, or that I'm right for not liking it. I certainly hope you don't take any offense. In my opinion, however, the stuff is an absolute abomination, and has no purposeful uses. Although, if I ever accidently swallow something and have to induce vomiting, I could probably save myself an insurance copayment for an emergency room visit just by asking my s/o to run to the corner bodega, and pick up a small jar of Miracle Sugar Whip, and then open it in my general vicinity. That'll probably be enough to get the ol' tummy rumblin.

                      Although I do have a very real disdain for the product, I am using bad humor (if you can even call it that) to gloss it over. I really do not mean to imply that just because I do not like it that it is bad for everyone, although, I honestly do feel that way - lol. Sorry, I have a bad sense of humor, I know.

                  2. re: miss_bennet

                    "I like miracle whip in devilled eggs, egg salad, tuna salad... "

                    So, you like sugar coated tuna fish? EWWWWWW!
                    That sugary glop will never make sense to me in anything.

                2. re: gordeaux

                  I agree with you gordeaux, fake mayo or salad dressing of any kind is horrible. And raisins in any way shape or form are nasty too.

                3. Okra. I can't understand how Louisiana cooks can be such superb practicioners of the culinary arts, veritable geniuses, in everything from soups to desserts, and then ruin it all by throwing in okra. At least, I can eat my way around it.

                  1. Totally agree on the bell peppers (both red and green) and would add walnuts in baked goods and the ubiquitous cantelope in fruit bowls.

                    1. I can't eat a dish if it has cilantro. Done deal. I'm one of those people to whom it just tastes like soap!

                      1. Although I consider myself quite the omnivore, having even gotten over my hatred for cilantro, blue cheese & oysters (the latter two are now close to obessions :-D), I effin' hate caraway seeds. They can ruin a perfectly nice rye bread, or good sauerkraut. Why o why must there be caraway seeds? They suck.

                        1. Geez- you folks might as well list every known thing that has a distinctive flavor, no?? ;)Personally I'd gladly consume, and with gusto, everything mentioned so far, as long as it's not used in an incongruous fashion. I guess that's the issue, but personally I've rarely, if ever, come across any of these items in a way that make me cringe. Just lucky, I guess...

                          1. Amen. I'm always wary of ordering anything that says it comes with "mixed vegetables"-especially at mid to low end places- because 99% of the time that means red and green bell peppers, with perhaps some broccoli and carrots thrown in. I love almost every vegetable but loathe bell peppers, and since I'm not a picky eater at all I'm always surprised that more people do not find them objectionable.

                            1. Add me to the list of many who hate bell peppers - red, green, yellow, orange - it doesn't matter. Fortunately my dad grew very few bell peppers so I wasn't forced to eat them growing up, but to this day, to me they just completely hijack a dish in a very unpleasant way. I do like other peppers, including chile peppers, piquillos, anaheims, poblanos, etc. It's just the bell peppers that get me. Green are the worst and I can taste even a tiny bit of them in any dish. That's pretty much the only vegetable that would cause me to push the plate away. I'll eat any other vegetable, happily.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: farmersdaughter

                                My wife is like that: loathes the sweet ones, adores the chiles, so when she goes off for a week or so I always put stuffed peppers on my menu! Otherwise, I've found it not hard to substitute poblanos in recipes that call for bells. I'm doing a C.I. Test Recipe for tonight whose sauce is based on roasted red peppers, but they were pure├ęd with a lot of paprika and then simmered for about three hours. I can't taste any sweet-pepper flavor in there at all now; I'm just hoping that she won't either!

                                1. re: Will Owen

                                  I've had sauces like that with roasted, simmered and pureed red peppers and found them edible :-) so I hope your wife does too!

                                  1. re: Will Owen

                                    I am also one who adores chilis, even some of the milder ones, but I have an issue with bell peppers. I don't object to the flavor per se, but they make me burp up the flavor for hours which is just unpleasant.

                                2. I agree with the meaty tomatoes and the red peppers. I really hate it when chili or spaghetti has those huge chunks of tomatoes in it. I understand maybe some small bits, but common I would like to taste my spaghetti, not be surprised by some huge freakin chunk of tomato.

                                  1. wow I so agree with everyone. Yesterday I had a thai tofu curry that was delicious but full to the brim with red and green peppers. I also hate sundried tomatoes and capers. And I hate walnuts in dishes too.

                                    1. I don't dislike cumin all together, but I find that I always cut the amount that a recipe calls for in half and that suits me fine.

                                      I think green peppers especially ruin a dish, but I'm usually okay with the red ones.

                                      Generic "chili powder" (ie: McCormick brand) repulses me.

                                      Generic "curry powder" is right up there with the chili powder. How did these spices become so popular?

                                      Lastly, I know a lot of people love them, but olives can ruin anything. That's especially weird since I love olive oil. What can I say?


                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: puppymomma

                                        I agree about the generic spices. I ordered quite a few spices from Spice Island and what a difference in flavor and price. even with the shipping charges it was still much more affordable than store bought and much fresher.

                                      2. Hm.

                                        I love red peppers.
                                        Love fish sauce.
                                        Love cooked carrots.
                                        Love celery.

                                        Don't care for mealy/soft apples/tomatoes.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: antrobin

                                          I like red and yellow bell peppers, don't like the green ones. I like cilantro, but I can see why some people might not. Personal preference is, well, it's personal preference. But on actually ruining a dish, I think overuse of anything can do that. One of my pet peeves is the excessive use of garlic. There are some restaurants that think that all you have to do to make pasta is drown it in garlic.

                                        2. Where ingredients are designed to go, seems to me they fit perfectly.

                                          Red peppers in ratatouille.
                                          Green peppers in a Shopska salad.
                                          Miralce Whip in the trash compactor.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Panini Guy

                                            I take offense to your miracle whip comment. The trash compactor doesn't deserve to be treated by having to put up with that gloppy mess. Miracle whip should be launched straight into the sun where it will be incinerated, never to be seen again.

                                          2. Anything can singlehandedly ruin a dish if used improperly. A dish overloaded with bell peppers does not appeal to me, but incorporated correctly into fajitas, a stir-fry, or as part of a crudite, yum.
                                            So for me there is not necessarily one thing that repels me, but too much of anything is never good.

                                            1. RED bells ruin a dish? Ugh, what about green? green bell peppers permeate everything with their nasty, underripe stinkiness.

                                              I'm with the anti-rosemary people, too. A little is dandy, but restaurants just looooove to make pine tree flavored cream sauces these days. Yick.

                                              I'm really surprised nobody has mentioned dried basil. It's yucky in small doses, but it's mind-blowingly dish-ruining when used in any quantity. I'd rather skip any basil at all.

                                              I agree about caraway seeds ruining perfectly good rye bread!

                                              1. - Raw mushrooms. There is only one way to enjoy a mushroom and that is to cook it. (Who's with me on this one???)

                                                - Raw bell peppers (capsicum over here) ... Tastes horrible raw, tastes great cooked. I agree though, I don't care for the stuff in quantities.

                                                - Hard avocados ... Use a ripe one or don't use it at all!!! I'm lookin at you, shopping centre salmon-avocado sushi roll

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: Tsar_Pushka

                                                  I second celery particualry when it is in a cooked dish being used to make it look like there is more of some other more flavorful vegetable (often i have found it in chinese noodels pretedning to be scallions or pickled cabbage)
                                                  Not a big fan of the unripe peppers (green and black) never eat them raw and only eat them cooked in the context of philly cheesesteaks and sausage and peppers.
                                                  On that subject am I the only one who thinks sausage and pepper sandwiches are RUINED by adding tomato sauce?
                                                  BTW to all who hate green peppers if you are ever in Asia and are offered bitter melon DON'T accept. Imagine the taste of green pepper times several billion.
                                                  I also dislike almonds in baked goods (If I wanted marzipan, I would have bought marzipan)
                                                  Oh, and I don't like Mayo except for small potions in tuna salad and some salad dressings. I don't even use it in potao sald anymore (gone over to a yoghurt sour cream mix)

                                                  1. re: Tsar_Pushka

                                                    Good point on the mushrooms. I love them cooked, all kinds; but raw - not so much.

                                                    1. re: burlgurl

                                                      I'm a foodie who does not like fish. I've really tried too.

                                                    2. I'm sorta OK with red bell peppers (especially roasted since it seems to change the flavor for the better) but green bell peppers? They (and celery too), while not having much flavor on their own, still manage to infuse an entire dish with a subtle yet very unpleasant undertone and completely ruin it. And green bells make my husband burp like crazy. For HOURS. So they are right out.

                                                      They must be cheap, though, since about 90 percent of frozen prepared meals include tons of them.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. Peas. I have yet to meet a pea that I liked and to toss them in for "color" does nothing but waste my time when I have to go on a hunting expedition to remove them.

                                                        1. Jalapenos.

                                                          I cant do spicy.

                                                          1. Wow, I love bell peppers, roasted or otherwise, and a lot of other things on this thread (except Miracle Whip, but then again, I don't like mayo either).

                                                            I do find that when eating lemon-roasted potatoes, a little lemon goes a long way. Most times I find the lemon overpowering.

                                                            1. OK guys, I totally don't get the bell pepper/celery/carrot thing... now I am super paranoid about what I make for dinner parties! LOL

                                                              Personally I can't stand anything savory w/dried fruit added... like stuffing with cranberries or even Moroccan, etc with the raisins... blech!

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: missfunkysoul

                                                                Now that's one thing here I agree with (the fruit in savory dishes - what's up with that anyway?) Along those lines, Waldorf salad - what a mess! Apples, celery, walnuts, and mayonaise?!?! Blech!

                                                              2. I loathe when they toss chopped parsley over my food - some places do it over almost every dish. If I wanted a mouth full of bitter, I would not have ordered pasta (and they're not using italian parsley either).

                                                                1. I like red peppers, can't stand green peppers. You can't even pick out the green peppers because their flavor gets all over everything. I don't mind raw celery (like in a salad), but I can't stand cooked celery in anything.

                                                                  And I hate rosemary.

                                                                  1. is this another 'foods that disgust me ' post? Too much BBQ sauce or, in some cases, any at all.

                                                                    1. I hate almost all food. I like Cheetos and Doritos. They don't have bell pepper in them, do they?

                                                                      1. Although I love every other pepper I've ever tried, I really can't stand bell peppers. I also hate it when people put lavender in baked goods.

                                                                        1. I cook for my grandma once a week and she is on a special diet but she's picky about her vegetables and the way they are cooked. She wears dentures and likes her veggies softer and mushier.

                                                                          I use Green bell pepper and red bell pepper to up her veggie eating. The red seem more sweet to me than the green. She does not like spicy so a lot of other peppers are out of the question. She likes mild.

                                                                          I also use the red bell peppers because they tend to have more vitamins and nutrients.

                                                                          1. I know this is an old thread, but... chipotle chiles!!! YUCK!!!

                                                                            As for red bell peppers -- I really love them roasted, but I especially like them fresh. I've been known to slice up a pepper as a snack. Green bell peppers, too. In fact, when I was a kid, my mom often handed us sliced veggies to snack on while we watched TV, and my brother and I would argue over who got the larger pieces.

                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                            1. re: CindyJ

                                                                              Just curious - what is it you don't like about chipotles? Man, I LOVE them. If you have any extras, send 'em on over! :-)

                                                                              1. re: chefathome

                                                                                It's the smokiness. I also don't like smoked mozzarella or smoked turkey. That said, I DO like smoked salmon. Go figure!

                                                                                1. re: CindyJ

                                                                                  Thanks for humouring me - I am a very curious person! :) I love most smoked things except smoked herring and other fish (except salmon). Smoked mozzarella is another that does not particularly interest me, either.