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Any foods you now like that you once hated?

This thread was inspired by the one on foods you liked that now turn you off.

As a kid I hated beets, they literally made me gag, but for decades now I've happily munched on them. I even make a mean borscht.

What about your dramatic turnaround(s) from "gack" to "yum"?

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  1. Broccoli, had an absolute fear of it, then one day thanks to a Healthy Choice frozen dinner, I thought, this isn't too bad. Now I try to eat it whenever possible. Still don't like stems though.

    5 Replies
    1. re: libgirl2

      I always find it funny how people don't like the stems. I love everything about broccoli but, to me, the stems are sweeter. If you eat them side by side, the flowerettes (or whatever you call them) are more bitter.

      Now, if you aren't peeling the stems before steaming therein lies the problem. They are a chewy, stringy mess if not peeled

      1. re: livetocook

        The ways of preparing broccoli is vast. And I agree with your assessment on the stems. Peel away the tough exterior, and you're left with succulent sweet stalks that you can sliver, slice, dice, puree, sautee, blanch, grill, ... running out of breath...

      2. re: libgirl2

        yep never EVER throw away those stems. I don't really peel the outsides, but I slice them up and throw them in with the florets. I think they have more flavor

        1. re: libgirl2

          Brocolli rabe. I hated it as a child. It was bitter and soggy -- at least the way my mother prepared it. There was some kind of old wives tale running around that boiling it first (to death) and then sauteeing in olive oil and garlic made it easier to digest -- with no gas. I then saw a neighbor plunge the wet fresh stalks into a hot pot of oil with garlic to saute them, and fell in love after tasting it. Still can't get my kid to eat it though...

          1. re: RGC1982

            Blanching rapini VERY quickly can make it less bitter though.

            I've always loved that vegetable, so it doesn't count...

        2. Eggs... Hated them as a kid, used to basically swallow them whole, but I did enjoy making them w/ my mom, using that springy egg beater, so I used to choke them down just to go through the cooking process. Now, I LOVE egg whites, particularly egg white omelettes w/ mushrooms, tomatoes, and onions. Or, just scrambled w/ garlic herbs and seasoninng and with a bit of ketchup.

          Jarlsberg and Swiss cheese in general. I used to find them "weird tasting," but I had some gruyere a few years ago as part of a cheese mix, and just had to know *what that fabulous cheese was*... too bad I can't really eat cheese, but if I want to suffer Gruyere and Jarlsberg are higher on the list. OTOH, still can't stand blue cheeses or anything else strong.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Emme

            Oh man, I had the same egg experience. I suffered through eating an egg every weekend, so I'd be allowed to eat the bacon and the rest of the "good stuff" for Sunday breakfast. When I discovered egg whites on their own I was so happy! I love an egg white omlette.

            Swiss chee was another one I didn't like until adulthood, but now I like it a lot.

            I never liked mushrooms until I was in my 20s. I still don't care for the texture if they seem slimy at all, but I love the earthy flavor.

            I never liked spinach until I had it raw or lightly cooked. I had only had it cooked to death, or canned.

            1. re: Emme

              Eggs.....hated waking up to fried eggs.,..now love to eat omelet
              with lots of bacon on the side!! Big treat!!!

              1. re: Emme

                If I can modify a little-egg yolks. It sounds like those might have been what you didn't like as well. My mom used to make fried eggs many weekends, and I was so careful to eat all of the whites around them without touching the yolks so that I could pop the yolks into my mouth and try to swallow them whole without tasting them. In my family just eating the whites would have been a hard sell. Now I savor the yolks, and whenever I plan a dinner that is shy on protein, my go-to solution is to make an over-easy egg or two and serve them on top. Very few things are not improved by runny egg yolks, for me!

              2. brussels sprouts.
                Soft, ripe pears
                Oh - CHERRIES! I used to HATE cherries. Now I eat pounds at a time when they are in season.

                Indian foods. I can't eat enough Indian food now. LOVE it. Order it for take out, make it at home, at LEAST once a week now. Just made a double batch of butter chicken yesterday for dinner. Had it for lunch today, and will finish it off for lunch tomorrow.

                I still really can't do beets. :-(

                1 Reply
                1. re: gordeaux

                  As a kid I was certainly with you on the brussels sprouts, (I was the evil teen who would ask, "May I please have the brussel instead of just the sprout?" Just to make my Mother crazy.) Now, I love them as long as they are very fresh, stir fried quickly to perfection and dressed with a high quality balsamic vinegar; or any other way that leaves them still at least slightly crunchy.

                  Love pears, still green and hard, and sweet cherries fresh picked and not cooked only. I never could understand the reason for sour cherry pie in our region. It always seemed liked a really bad use of a great pastry to me.

                2. Sauerkraut. That smell... But then I finally TRIED it...at an old German place in Yorkville on the upper East side...don't remember the name...but was converted forever.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: DBrooks

                    Oh I didn't like it as well. And being German it was around often. Now I adore it!

                  2. Mushrooms. I used to avoid them at all costs, now I love all varieties with the exception of raw white button mushrooms.

                    1. As a kid I hated tomatoes and onions. Those are the first things that come to mind. I hated a lot of things when I was a kid than I know love. You get old, you grow up, you can't believe the things you missed.

                      I still don't like milk or lima beans, and likely never will.

                      1. Yogurt and onions....Now, I love them. Could be because the yogurts before were too sour? Best yogurt I had that I absolutely could not find here in the US was from La Seu de Urgell in Spain by the Pyrenees mountains.

                        1. Fish. When I was younger even the smell of someone eating it at a table next to mine in a restaurant would make me feel sick. Now I LOVE fish, actually it makes up about 60% of my protein intake. I just figured out I liked it about 3 years ago. Total turn around.

                          1. egg yolks. specifically from fried eggs, sunny side up.

                            futomaki. the kids in the lunch room made me cry, once, when my mom made me bring it in my lunchbox to school. little did i know, growing up in lexington, KY, that i was far, far ahead of the trend. ;)

                            tofu. another 'weird' food that my friends at school didn't have to eat. they got cool stuff like hot dogs.

                            offal. i really will eat anything, now. blood, brain, haggis -- anything.

                            fresh squeezed vegetable juice from the juicer. it was my mother's favorite thing to force feed us. she made it in a very noisy, 1980s contraption that made the entire house shake when it was turned on. my siblings and i would run for cover every time we heard it...

                            sweet and salty taiwanese rice crackers, toasted nori snack squares, preserved plum, thousand year egg, etc... weirdly, i liked stinky tofu from the outset, i think because my grandma told me it was "candy" the first time she gave me some.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: cimui

                              I used to bring arare in my lunchbag in elementary school. It's not that I hated them - I liked them - the other kids who never tried them said that they smelled like poop! So this one kid who always teased me about arare finally decided to try some - revalation! From that point on, he'd approach me and ask me to share some of my "poops" with him... I told him to eat them together with his potato chips - he swooned. I hope he now appreciates that he had his first taste of umami way before most folks knew what it was...

                              1. re: bulavinaka

                                great, now poop is starting to sound really tasty. that's a heartwarming story! ;)

                              2. re: cimui

                                OT: Also from Lexington - where'd you go to school?

                              3. Only two things leap to mind. Liver, which was served at least once a week, and I always cringed at, and now I could have it every other day and still be looking forward to it. The other is grapefruit. I used to hate having a half grapefruit to begin breakfast even though it wasn't even a weekly occurrence. I found it so sour and bitter. Now I eat a whole grapefruit every morning...and sometimes another one before bedtime!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: GaryR

                                  Liver...yes, that's the one thing I still don't like much. I can deal with chicken livers done Greek style, lots of lemon, oregano, olive oil. And it's in magheritsa, the lamb guts agvolemono soup we eat at Easter (my wife is Greek), but it's not something I seek out...

                                2. olives, blue cheese, spicy food, oysters, capers, cilantro.

                                  There is a *very* similar thread to this one, though --------

                                  1. As a child, i despised fish, and spent more than one evening sitting late at the table after refusing to eat it. Now it's the only animal based protein (aside from dairy and eggs), that i will eat....even though of late..it's become a rare treat, my diet is primarily vegetarian. I came back around to it in college when my sister introduced me to cod au gratin...and i was a convert thereafter (cheese makes a convert of many i'm sure!). I also disliked egg (or at least the yolks), and for a while carrots. Not sure why. Still won't eat a runny egg if i can help it. I didn't touch lobster between the ages of 5, until i was 23 and had it once again.

                                    And on the note of veggier fare.....I am a recent convert to tofu..because i've learned how to cook it properly. In my early vegetarian days, i tried it, and tossed it....despised the rubbbery weirdness of it, couldn't understand what people meant when they said it took on the taste of whatever it's cooked in ( I was adding it too late in the process...)

                                    I am now insane for cashews....and i used to dislike them (hate being a strong word in that case, as i would eat them)...cashews don't stand a chance in my cupboard...especially the seasoned varieties.

                                    1. For me, the change in taste buds came after an 8 month trip to Korea back in 2000/2001. Most foods I wouldn't eat, I miraculously started to eat when I came back from Korea. It's not like I was introduced to weird tasting things in Korea. I found it fresh and enticing. But, when I came home...everything was different (it was also a time of personal change so maybe I stepped out of my box and was on my way to chowhoundness)

                                      Coffee - couldn't stand anything coffee. The slighest taste of it in something and I'd have to choke it down. Now, I love to drink it, eat it in this or that, whatever
                                      Brussel sprouts - I crave this stuff. People will eat ice cream for dessert, I'll have my sprouts
                                      olives - yucky, gross, disgusting.....sooooo good now!
                                      Emmental/gruyere cheese - a cheese I just couldn't eat. Really started to like it 6 months ago
                                      Oysters - love 'em

                                      Because of this change in taste buds, every once and a while, I'll eat something I've never liked to see if I do now. I still don't like liver. Tried pate last August and had to eat about 5 crackers afterwards to get the taste off my tongue. Oh well.

                                      1. I absolutely HATED cheese when I was a child. I would eat pizza, and that's about it. My mother used to threaten me with grilled cheese sandwiches when I was being bratty.

                                        Then I tried brie...loved it. Then I tried black diamond cheddar...loved that. Then feta, and so on. Now I love certain cheeses, love a lot of recipes with cheese, but still don't wholesale looooove cheese. And I absolutely deplore most cheese on salad, I can't stand it when the cheese gets wet from the lettuce/vegs.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: charlesbois

                                          My little guy hates cheese too. The only cheese he'll willingly eat is cheese on pizza, and mozzarella in general. That is absolutely it. (He also hates and I mean hates, milk.) I hope this changes as he gets older. (He also won't touch peanut butter...)

                                        2. Scallions, cilantros, and a lot of the herbs. I used to hate them so much that I must pick them all out before eating anything. Now I love them!

                                          Also, brussels sprouts. I think I just had not-so-good versions when I was small. Now I have had good ones and can't get enough of it.

                                          Watermelon. I used to hate it because there were so much seeds. Now that they have sweet SEEDLESS watermelon! :D

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: kobetobiko

                                            "Watermelon. I used to hate it because there were so much seeds. Now that they have sweet SEEDLESS watermelon! "

                                            Oh No! But seeded watermelons are so tasty!!! I find the seedless ones less interesting to eat. I feel the same way about grape pips. It is a pain, but the fruit seems tastier to me... Worth the effort....

                                            1. re: moh

                                              Oh, but they have these sugar baby watermelon (seedless) in Taiwan and Japan that are so insanely sweet! They are my favorite!

                                              moh, it's so interesting that you mentioned grapes. I have the same aversion to grapes when I was a kid because I hated the seeds. Then there are seedless grapes. Though I am still not very addicted to grapes.

                                              1. re: kobetobiko

                                                Kobetobiko, I have not had those varieties of watermelon. I bet they are very good. I greatly respect the Japanese tastes when it comes to high quality food products, I am sure those watermelons are superb.

                                                Part of my attraction to watermelon is situational. It is so very refreshing to crack into a huge ripe watermelon on a hot sultry summer night. Spitting out seeds and dripping watermelon juice over everything just reminds me of everything wonderful about summer. It is a very satisfying experience, and makes the seeds a positive thing for me!

                                          2. Pretty much everything -- onions, chili peppers, egg yolks, kimchi, salad dressing, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, string beans, beets, lamb, mayo (well, I'm still not a fan of mayo but like aioli), vinegar, pickled vegetables (but still hate cucumber pickles), many cheeses, brussel sprouts, scallions, insides of dumplings (just ate the skin) -- the list goes on and on. For the first few years of my life, I lived on milk, noodles with anchovy broth, boiled egg whites, pizza, Mc Donalds (no pickles and no onions), and White Castles.

                                            1. Summer Squash! My grandmother used to saute it with spring onions. I hated it, now I cannot get enough, I started mixing zucchini, squash and spring onions. I have all three
                                              coming up in my garden now.

                                              1. Fat. When I was a kid I used to cut every visible scrap of fat off my piece of steak; my father kept saying that the fat had all the flavor, but it was just disgusting to me - slimy and greasy. I've come around since then....

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: Bat Guano

                                                  Oh I did the same thing! I even had issues with marbled fat in my meat as well and any soup or broth that had fat droplets floating on the top. I still don't like to gnaw on huge hunks of fat but like meat with fat that's well marbled. Still not the largest fan of fat in my soup but am better able to deal with it than when I was a kid.

                                                  1. re: Bat Guano

                                                    Yes! That's a great one. Couldn't stand the fat on steak as a kid...now a well-marbled ribeye with all the fat is the best.

                                                  2. I wasn't a picky child, but for some reason I didn't really like peanut butter (too salty?). I love it now.

                                                    1. Scallions and ginger; used to hate them as a kid (which was tough for my Taiwanese mother), now enjoy and cook with them... but have to pick them out for my own kids. Tomatoes and beets, but I think the revelation with those came with finally having great, fresh versions of them. Olives - I never understood the point of olives as a kid, but again, I think that was because my main exposure to them was canned olives and sliced canned ones on pizza. "Real" ones are another thing altogether. Finally, dark chocolate. Glad to have outgrown that aversion.

                                                      1. It seems unbelievable to me now, but despite loving most fish and seafood (especially raw oysters and crab in various guises), I didn't like lobster or scallops AT ALL until developing a taste/craving for them within the past few years. Didn't like the taste, didn't like the texture, nothing. What a waste of valuable eating years!

                                                        1. Bell peppers come to mind for me. They were overpowering and ruined any dish that they were used in (Italian sausage and peppers spring to mind). Now, I love them, but find that my disdain for them stemmed mostly from the taste of green peppers (which I like now, but would rather have the red, orange, or yellow varieties)

                                                          1. eggs - especiialy cooked in any way that produced a runny yolk
                                                            coffee (anything coffee flavored, like ice cream etc.)

                                                            1. Bittermelon and ginger. I could not understand why anyone would want their food to taste like battery acid or horseradish. I've since come to appreciate the extra sensation bitterness can bring to a dish. Ginger I enjoy as a background note, but still don't like as the main attraction.

                                                              1. asparagus probably because i never had it done right.now it's a staple at our house.

                                                                1. Avocado - I hated it until our Maitre D' at work had the kitchen make her an awesome salad with avocado in it. She insisted that I try it, and I haven't been able to get enough ever since.

                                                                  Bleu Cheese - I was totally turned off by it until I had the bleu cheese dressing we put on the wedge salad where I used to work.

                                                                  If you want me to like something, apparently you just need to stick it on a salad....

                                                                  1. Gravy (like the kind you put on taters or biscuits)
                                                                    Green beans
                                                                    Salad dressing
                                                                    And steak cooked other than well done. Pink was scary!

                                                                    1. I was a pretty picky kid. Things I didn't like then that I adore now:

                                                                      Strawberry jam (it was the seeds for both of these)
                                                                      Mushrooms (I could handle cooked ones as a kid, but not raw)
                                                                      Green olives (I always loved black ones)
                                                                      Certain cheeses, though I'm still not a fan of blue or any form of goat cheese
                                                                      Whole wheat bread (we called it "brown bread" when I was a kid); now the nuttier the better
                                                                      Mustard--I have no idea why I didn't like this

                                                                      1. Tomatoes. Couldn't stand them when I was growing up. Thought they were put on this planet to kill me. Then, I did a summer study abroad in Rome when I was 16 - and with nearly every lunch, we were served a caprese salad. Now, I absolutely can't wait for tomato season. I especially like those yellow/reddish (forget the name) heirloom tomatoes. (Although, I am still averse to stuffed tomatoes. Still think that my mother makes them to try to get me.)

                                                                        Beans. Like, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, etc (not green beans). My mother never prepared them when I was younger, so I don't know from where the aversion came, and I don't know at what point I changed my mind. Maybe someone made me eat beans. I'm a big bean fan now - love making a good bean stew in the winter - although I'm still a bit wary of kidney beans, and I do not like refried beans nor baked beans. Am currently, in fact, eating flageolet beans cooked with chorizo and onions (inspired by a recipe on the Home Cooking board!)

                                                                        Beets. I was just suspicious of them - canned, they looked awful. They were a weird color. We never had them when I was young. I think my parents were suspicious of them also. Then my friend a couple of years ago roasted some beets for me and made me eat them. I was an instant convert, although I did overdose one summer when I had a few too many roasted beets.

                                                                        I'm really not as picky as it seems, I swear! I will eat almost anything now (save most condiments and yogurt - don't even get me started on the evils of ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise) and used to, save the aforementioned exceptions, when I was younger; I just need to know what's in it.

                                                                        (No, can't explain the still-persistent condiment aversion. Nobody can. Wasn't my family - everyone there loves that stuff.)

                                                                        1. Asparagus, but only, as it turns out, because my mom overcooked it. I didn't realize that it wasn't supposed to be a stringy, mushy mass!

                                                                          Brussel sprouts. So good. Funny thing, my kids love them! We had one memorable tantrum in the grocery store when I wouldn't buy $4.99/lb brussel sprouts when they were out of season.

                                                                          Collard greens. I didn't grow up eating greens of any kind, so, the first time I had them in a little soul food place in New York, they were a bit strange and different. I love them now, though.

                                                                          Spicy food. I never picked up a taste for it until about ten years ago when a friend mailed me a care package from Hawaii filled with things like wasabi peas and spicy dried squid. I've gradually become a full-on chili head.

                                                                          1. Mushrooms, I hated them, but now I love them.

                                                                            1. Sweet potatoes! Oh, I could not get far enough away from them when I was a kid. NOW? Yikes, I love them .. candied (as my grandmother did), fried, baked, boiled, mashed. MMM.

                                                                              Still can't do liver.

                                                                              1. Rice, salsa, broccoli, onions, cilantro,

                                                                                I hate rice but now I like it, Salsa seemed to strong and I hated it on top of food but now I crave on almost everything and miss it if I have none on hand, Broccoli, it must be a kid thing but yeah I hated broccoli and only liked it with cheese sauce, ok still do but I like it without also. Onions i love onions now they add so much flavor and I especially love them caramelized. Not to crazy about them raw though.

                                                                                Cilantro grossed me out but once i had them in a chicken taco with some onion and salsa I was absolutely in love with it Cilantro is awesome.
                                                                                I use to hate seeing egg whites in my scrambled eggs but now I could care less. I guess I grew out of it.
                                                                                but I still hate cooked spinach . I like it raw in a salad with strawberries, or in dip or lasagna but still hate in sauteed.

                                                                                1. As a kid I didn't like Tortilla Chips or Mustard.

                                                                                  Now I eat both often, but not together.

                                                                                  1. One food I utterly loathed was cooked carrots, and decades ago when I was a child, they were always cooked.

                                                                                    I still don't like cooked carrots very much - can tolerate them in a stew or tagine - but I LOVE julienned raw carrots and put them in salads just about every day; sometimes salads just of juiienned carrot, or carrot and celeriac or jicama... Also just warmed in Asian-type clear soups with fresh vegetables.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: lagatta

                                                                                      I'm the same with the carrots. Although, I do enjoy them roasted if I do eat them cooked. My OH is the same with carrots too.

                                                                                    2. I HATED peanut butter as a kid. Then one day as a teenager I had a strange craving for it. I don't eat it often, but I definitely like it now.

                                                                                      And asparagus. I have a feeling I thought I hated it due to my mother serving slimy stalks out of a jar. Once I discovered fresh asparagus there was a whole new world of joy open to me :)

                                                                                        1. Olives, lasagna, onions. I wasn't a fan of tea either, especially herbal teas.

                                                                                          1. Pinto beans, generally speaking. In Texas, it's a mortal sin to dislike pintos, but up until maybe 12 years ago, I wouldn't touch 'em.

                                                                                            I also like scrambled eggs, now, whereas buffore I would have nothing to do with them. But scrambled is still the only way I'll eat eggs.

                                                                                            Also, olives, avocado and asparagus.

                                                                                            1. Dates. Didn't have them growing up, but first few tries as a young adult were awful: thought they looked like giant roaches, and they were dry, dry, dry. Didn't know they had been poorly stored and were dried-out-inedible. First taste of fresher Medjools was like a chorus sang! Love dates now.

                                                                                              1. Tripe.

                                                                                                Having enjoyed other organ meats growing up, I could never find a dish that used tripe that I enjoyed. For 15 years I searched through Mexico, Greece, 4 or 5 renditions in Italy, and a couple more in France.

                                                                                                Finally tried it at that great place on the cathedral square in Strassbourg, France. Layers of sliced onion, potatoes, and tripe seasoned with nutmeg and pepper flooded with an Alsatian white and backed till nearly dry.

                                                                                                Could definately taste the tripe, but I found this recipe very enjoyable.

                                                                                                Now tripe is on the rotation in a variety of dishes.

                                                                                                1. Pineapple. Which is just so strange to me, because even at the youngest ages I adored all foods stereotypically hated by kids (beets, spinach, broccoli, yum!), but yet sweet, delicious, pineapple? You couldn't force me to eat it as a kid. I just remember something about it not tasting 'right'. I don't know when or how I outgrew it, but I love it now.

                                                                                                  1. Tomatoes
                                                                                                    "Non-iceberg" lettuce
                                                                                                    Mac & Cheese

                                                                                                    (The Chinese is mostly because my parents didn't expose me to it because my dad doesn't really like it. I have no reasonable "excuse" for the pizza and mac & cheese!)

                                                                                                    1. Believe it or not, pie. That's right: baked fruit pies. As a kid, I wanted no part of these things. I've always liked fruit, but I never wanted them in pie form...in fact, I was always quite annoyed when Mom would make one for dessert, which meant that I basically got the shaft.

                                                                                                      Fast forward to college, when the school I was at had an absolutely *dreary* food program while I was there (and yes: I know it was bad because I went elsewhere for my first year and the food program there was quite good, in fact). I truly got sick of eating many of the foods there, but one thing they had *plenty* of was pie, which I always skipped, because, of course, I didn't like pie! The alternative was usually a red delicious apple.

                                                                                                      I'll say this for the record: there is a limited number of red delicious apples you can eat in your lifetime before you can safely say that you could never eat one again, and still live a full life.

                                                                                                      Having had far, far too many red delicious apples instead of *REAL STINKING DESSERT*, I finally broke down one day and had a piece of blueberry pie...and it wasn't bad! It was actually pretty good!

                                                                                                      When I came home to my parents' house, they pretty much went nuts..."You like *that* stuff, and you've been passing on your Mom's pies for *years*?" I quickly reoriented...

                                                                                                      ...and now pie is almost *always* welcome. Still don't care at all for Strawberry Whipped Cream pie, but all her other flavors of baked pie? Magic.

                                                                                                      1. Oysters. I've been lucky enough to live in states with wonderful fresh oysters. As a child I didn't like them - even fried. I had a raw oyster as a child - my Dad loved them - and hated it. Fried oysters had the "green stuff" in it that I thought looked like poop. Now I absolutely love them - oyster dressing, scalloped oysters, oyster stew, fried oysters and my favorite steamed oysters. Still haven't tried a raw oyster again - need to give it a try.

                                                                                                        I could eat oysters at least once a week.

                                                                                                        1. mushrooms, onions, mustard, green peppers (we'd have stuffed peppers and I would cry), tomatoes, non iceberg lettuce (got that from another poster), pecans, gravy

                                                                                                          Love them all now, well. . . . those green peppers I hated, I have discovered the world or red, yellow, and orange

                                                                                                          1. Used to hate raw tomatoes.

                                                                                                            Then, on a whim, planted some in 1976. Needless to say, I had to try what I'd grown and found them fine. Still not keen on the juicy and pips and prefer them skinned - but I'm happy to eat a good tasty one. "Good, tasty one" ? HAH! That'd be good to find.