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Food textures -- do they ick you out?

I've always had an issue with food textures. Some I just can't outgrow. The problem is, some of the textures belong to foods so common that they totally limit my food cooking and tasting ability.

I know I'm not alone, a cousin has the same problem. It isn't that we don't like the food. Or the flavor of it, its just when that texture hits between the teeth.... an instant gag reflex starts.

Some of the textures that do it for me are onions cooked in something. (onion rings are fine and love onion powder, and the smell of fried onions.) Tomatoes cooked in something. (ketchup, tomato sauce, marinara is fine.... love salsa but won't eat the chunks.) Pickles in a sandwich. (Pickles alone with a bit of mustard is fine.)

So here is my problem. I've tried and tried, and just can't get past it. The gag reflex is fast and certain.

Does anyone else have this problem? And have you found a solution?

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  1. I am totally grossed out by the mucilaginous texture of boiled okra. Eeuw! Slime! My solution? I pass on gumbo, and stick to crispy fried okra, either Southern-style coated in cornmeal, or in the spicy Indian dish Sunheri Bindi. Of course, it's much easier to avoid gumbo than dishes prepared with onions or tomatoes! Like you, my DH detests the slippery feel of onions and tomatoes, raw or cooked, and feels the same about mushrooms. Sigh! That really limits his menu choices, but we've been married 33 years, and I accepted a long time ago that he simply isn't going to outgrow these antipathies. I cook what I please for myself, and prepare dishes for Himself that I know he will enjoy. Sometimes we have the same food for dinner, sometimes not.

    3 Replies
    1. re: WendyBinCT

      I too can't stand that slimy texture of boiled okra. That's why pickled okra and fried okra are so much better!

      And no steamed oysters!

      1. re: WendyBinCT

        As a child of someone from New Orleans, I was forced to eat okra and grits as a child. Yuck.

        Grossed out by pudding like items like tapioca. Reminds me of disecting a fetal pig brain. (sorry, don't want to put nasty images in y'all's heads).

        I can't stand tomatoes that are so ripe that the seeds begin to germinate, they look like little worms to me and I have to seed and juice them before using. Eeuuwww!

        1. re: WendyBinCT

          I am not a fan of boiled okra, BUT, when used in a good Seafood Gumbo, I have no issues.

          Not a big okra fan, in general, but crisply fried, or raw from the farm, it is not bad.


        2. Unlike you, I delight in food textures.. slippery, crunchy, grainy, chewy.. tripe.. cooked tomatoes.. okra.. I don't care as long as the flavor is there. I used to be impatient with people with taste and/or texture "problems" with food, thinking it was some kind of childish leftover from the parent-kid food wars. Since learning that some people (like two of my sisters) have twice as many tastebuds (and scent receptors) as most of the rest of us, I can accept that cilantro or oily fish could be a problem for them. Maybe there's a gene for extra-sensitive tongue-feel or something. That you have a cousin with the same thing may speak for either genetics or a family culture of forcing children to eat what they don't want to eat. WendybinCT's husband may share either genetic with you or early childhood food-trauma!

          3 Replies
          1. re: fromagina

            When I was a baby I guess I was told I had a "backwards tongue thrust" which they've tried to use to explain it. I don't know that that is it. But I do know that it was a huge accomplishment for me to be able to eat a drive-thru burger with minced onions on it without gagging. Bite into a pickle on that puppy? It's coming up all over.
            No food trauma as a child at all to report. I'm glad to hear Wendy's dh may be the same. Its not the flavor or taste at all. Its that weird bug crunching sensation in my mouth.

            1. re: Firegoat

              Thanks for launching this fascinating topic, Firegoat! Genetic sensitivity certainly seems to be a possibility in our family. Given my DH's virtually allergic reaction to onions, I never served them at home when our kids were young. When our son was a toddler, and I took him out for a kiddie meal, he freaked and tore every tiny scrap of onion off his burger. Definitely not learned behavior, or a rebellious reaction.

              1. re: WendyBinCT

                I didn't realize my cousin had the same reactions til just recently when we discussed it over a thanksgiving dinner. My cousin was not raised anywhere near me, and we'd see each other at most twice a year for holidays. I can eat minced onions in things..... if I don't chew them. If I sense them in something in my mouth I just try to center it and swallow. I'm interested that your DH has a similar response.

          2. I am very sensitive to textures and find that they get in the way of appreciating flavors sometimes. My biggest regret is not being able to get even the littlest bit of uni down my throat.

            1. I have never been able to eat cottage cheese. The soft, wet curds feel like I'm eating somebody else's bolus. My solution: don't eat cottage cheese.

              2 Replies
              1. re: ricepad

                For some reason cottage cheese doesn't bother me. It seems more like textures that have a skin that you bite through and into that get me. I wonder if I sat down with a plate of minced onions and tomatoes and just plowed through it with a bucket beside me if that would cure me. Sadly, I don't think it will. It's not just the texture, but the texture combined inside other foods that really triggers it.

                1. re: ricepad

                  Although I love textures (even tripe and sweetbreads) cottage cheese gives me the willies! Same as pearl tapioca. Ick.

                2. I have a really hard time enjoying a raw tomato because of the texture. It's something about the mild flavor combined with the slimy quality that gets me. I persist in trying to like them, though, because I love to grow tomatoes. Last year our CSA sent out tomatoes that seemed to be a cross between plum and pear tomatoes, and they were so firm on the exterior even when fully ripe that I could enjoy them.

                  It's a weird quirk, though, because I love other soft textures. I adore pudding, custard, cottage cheese, etc.

                  19 Replies
                  1. re: Vetter

                    The tomato is one of my biggest problems. I love to grow them. Love the way they taste and smell. But I can't eat one. If I puree it into sauce, fantastic. But chunks? No way. Slices in a sandwich? Gag reflex is full on. Even on pizza, if the sauce has chunks of tomato in it rather than a smooth sauce I either won't eat it, or if no choice, will lift up the toppings and scrape off the sauce. This is probably the reason I learned to make my own spaghetti sauce at an early age because I couldn't take the stuff my mom bought or made that had chunks of tomato or onion in it. Again if I isolate the tomato, so its not mixed with anything else, and eat it. I can do it (but it is hard). But in other food..... nope.

                    1. re: Firegoat

                      I used to hate raw tomatoes when I was a kid, but grew to like -- and then love -- them when I was in my 20s. Wondering how old the two of you are? Maybe you could still outgrow it :-)

                      1. re: DanaB

                        I'm 40. Do you think there is still time?

                        1. re: Firegoat

                          LOL, I don't know. I'm 41 now, but like I said above, I overcame my aversion when I was around 20 or 21, when I was in college and trying to find edible things in the dorm cafeteria. Somehow, in that atmosphere and with few appealing choices, I decided that raw tomatoes weren't that bad, if eaten sliced and sprinkled with a little salt and pepper. Since then, it's only been uphill, and now I love tomatoes in any form.

                          Have you tried eating some really nice home grown and perfectly ripe tomatoes? I can see how the texture of mealy, off-season commercial tomatoes could be off-putting, but when in-season and ripe, I find there are few things better than a raw tomato.

                          1. re: DanaB

                            Absolutely. I grow my own in an organic garden. Always have a ton of the big sunny ripe things. My boyfriend eats the cherry ones right off the vine.... I plant some of those in hanging planters on the porch for easy access for him. The smell great, and they taste great...... in a puree or sauce.....

                              1. re: ldkelley

                                My brother is 43 years old and he's not even contemplating eating raw tomatoes.

                                1. re: PDeveaux

                                  Okay I'm proud to announce I had a break through texture-wise this weekend. I was visiting up at my parents, and mom made lunch before we left Sunday. Burgers..... with little plates of mom's home-grown tomatoes.... home grown onion slices.... I just couldn't do it. However...... mom made a can of Bush's Baked Beans, doctored up a bit with some brown sugar. In my 40 years I have never been able to bring myself to try beans... its the texture thing. For some unknown reason.... I took one spoonful. And. No gag. And it was good! I took more. No one at the table knew I had a break through other than me... but I was pretty happy about it.

                          2. re: Firegoat

                            Definitely, I'm 52 and there's stuff I'll eat now that I would not touch when younger. The bad news is there's stuff that I won't touch now that I would happily gobble down before.

                        2. re: Firegoat

                          My brother is the exact same way. I cook for him a lot, and learned early on that if there was a trace of tomato chunk, the entire meal was set for the garbage can.

                        3. re: Vetter

                          My husband was the same way, liked tomatoes in every form but raw. One day he finally mentioned that the slime grossed him out. The light went on for me and I started using meatier tomatoes (roma/plum, some beefsteak types) and "gutting" them (scraping out seeds and slime) before serving them. Now he happily enjoys raw tomatoes and gutting them is no inconvenience for me. Now if I could just get him past dry, overcooked eggs (same slime problem).

                          1. re: morwen

                            Slime is my ick factor. I must seed my tomatoes.

                            1. re: TampaAurora

                              Yes. I peel 'em too. Flavor's great, texture not so much.

                              But I have given up on raw celery. It *must* be cooked, and preferably pureed afterwards.

                            2. re: morwen

                              Maybe it's the brine? I am an olive-oil eater but not an olive eater as well. I like pickles, so it's more to do with the just bitterness to me. The oil was an acquired taste and only when I found out how "fruity" it tasted. I will eat your slimy turnoff's but it depends on the prep. Your non-slimies are my arch enemies. Eating dinner at my vegan friends home is torture.

                            3. re: Vetter

                              Fresh raw tomatoes are not slimy. I love good tomatoes, but would never eat a slimy specimen. You need to find a different tomato source.

                              1. re: pikawicca

                                Nor mealy tomatoes just as bad as slimy!

                                1. re: Ljubitca

                                  I've had icky mealy tomatoes, and they are very bad. I've never had a slimy tomato, and don't know what that could be, other than a really rotten tomato.

                                2. re: pikawicca

                                  The seed part is slimy to me, not the flesh.

                                  1. re: TampaAurora

                                    Right, my husband was objecting to the jelly-like stuff that surrounds the seeds. His description of it was "slimey". Now he happily eats raw tomatoes if they've been gutted. Personally, I like them both ways but especially warm from the sun with fresh ground pepper and salt!

                              2. I'm not crazy about jello-like textures, which means I don't eat jello or aspic, and it sometimes gives me pause with raw fish or meat--especially in big slabs.

                                1. This is fascinating! So many people with a similar food reaction has got to have some kind of genetic base. Now I'm wondering what the evolutionary "reason" there might be for this. As an amateur anthro-geneticist (I have a Celtic-based inability to properly digest wheat sugar) I wonder whether this is trans-racial or whether it appears within certain ethnic communities.

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: fromagina

                                    No idea. But if it amuses you, the side of the family that both my cousin and myself are from is about 50% Swedish as a common denominator between the two of us. Neither of us were raised on any sort of Swedish cuisine. No one else in my immediate family has any similar food reaction.

                                    1. re: Firegoat

                                      Now I'm trying to think of how to use scientific method to word a query re. ethnicity of, for example, people with tomato chunk reflex (or reflux), and other mouth-feel reactions. This thread is fascinating to me!

                                      1. re: fromagina

                                        Hmmm... my DH's ancestors came from Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. All along the northern edges of Europe. And his issue is entirely texture, not flavor. Like Firegoat, he's perfectly fine with onions and tomatoes in soup, gravy or pasta sauce, as long as I puree them in a blender before serving.

                                        1. re: WendyBinCT

                                          Well.. so far we have two Northern Europeans with probable heavy Celtic influence.. any other N.Euro texture-phobes? Maybe somebody has a potential doctoral thesis here.

                                          1. re: fromagina

                                            Yes, neither my irish husband nor I (half irish half italian) will eat chunks of cooked tomato. I will occasionally in a tomato sauce, but that's about it.

                                          2. re: WendyBinCT

                                            No way. I could have written your post WendyBinCT...my husband's ancestors came from the same places, heavily on the Northern Ireland part, and his issue is entirely texture. It's frankly annoying to me. But he uses the term gag reflex...he literally gags. Which I think a taste-related aversion wouldn't induce (or at least doesn't in me. I just endure).

                                      2. re: fromagina

                                        Huh! Celtic-based. That answers the question about why so many of the B&Bs we stayed at in Ireland stated they offered celiac-friendly alternatives for breakfast. I was curious about that given the many restricted diets out there that that was the one repeatedly mentioned. I'm of strong Celtic descent myself and am extremely lucky to be gifted with an iron stomach and omniverous appetite.

                                      3. Cooked cherries - bit into a black forest cake not expecting cherries and not knowing what it was that was unexpectedly in my cake. The gag reflex on that was instantaeous and have not eaten cherry pie, chocolate covered cherries, or black forest cake. The slimy coating just does me in.

                                        3 Replies
                                          1. re: foodhypnosis

                                            I'm sorry to hear that. Just pass your Black Forest this way. It's one of my fav's!
                                            Raw sea Urchin is a weird texture for me even though I like the sea taste.

                                            1. re: foodhypnosis

                                              No cherries of any kind. No bings, no tutti frutti ice cream, no cherry flavored cough syrup. Hate them hate them hate them. I think it was those horrible fake cherries on my bakewell tarts!

                                            2. Let me add "shark fin soup". First tasted in a meal in Hong Kong hosted by a local gourmet who was trying to introduce me to the finest Chinese food. I hated to tell him why I was unable to eat it because I couldn't stand the mouth feel.

                                              1. Texture is what kept me from eating mushrooms for years and years. I hated that fungal-crunch I'd experience whenever I chewed a mushroom. But, living here in the self-proclaimed "Mushroom Capital of the World," they were always wonderfully fresh and plentiful in the local markets, and I cooked them often, even though I didn't eat them. It took a long time, but I finally got over my repulsion. Now I cook AND eat them regularly.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: CindyJ

                                                  Ugh, I cannot eat them. I try and try, they are so "trendy" but I can't do it. Have no problem with the flavor, only the texture. Oh well, no shrooms for me.

                                                  1. re: CindyJ

                                                    I will NOT eat a portobello mushroom that has been roasted and allowed to sit - to me that is slimy and I cant palate it.

                                                    1. re: CindyJ

                                                      Me, too, no mushrooms for me, however trendy and omnipresent they may be. Definitely the texture. Chewy in an unpleasant way. I also can't swallow plain cream cheese (i.e., not mixed with sugar and things and baked into a cheesecake); my throat closes and I gag.

                                                      On the other hand, in the summer I eat raw tomatoes for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

                                                    2. For me, it's the slime factor that grosses me out. Funny, but I don't find mushrooms, onions or tomatoes slimy. Slime= eggplant, okra, zucchini. As far as non-slimy turnoffs, cottage cheese, most forms of tofu and any kind of olive...they're just too bitter and overpowering to me. (Strange, because I adore olive oil...go figure?)

                                                      1. I can't stand mealy textures--no watermelon, no red delicious apples. But I have no idea why, whether it's genetic or what. And that slime and goo...I hate jello, my okra needs to be fried, and sauces and gravies thickened with cornstarch aren't my favorite, especially when they've sat around for awhile. That's just nasty.

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: revsharkie

                                                          Cooked raisins. Love them out of the box. But if they are baked into muffins or carrot cake....foul. Why? I guess because they are a dried fruit, and when they are put into a batter and cooked they plump up, and that just ain't right. I can deal with them in cookies because cookie dough is prety stiff, and cookies bake in less than 10 minutes, and they raisins maintain their integrity as a dried fruit. I know... I am a freak.

                                                          1. re: la ciclista

                                                            I'm the opposite about raisins. Don't want them out of the box. Yuck. Put them in something, and they're fine.

                                                            I LOVE fruitcake, too, by the way. I suspect I'm the freak...

                                                          2. re: revsharkie

                                                            I'm with you on the mealy textures. Pears always seem the worse. As I've gotten older I've become better with this, but I still don't seek out pears or apples. Cooked or in juice they have always been fine. Dried apples I like, dried pears still are too gritty for me to enjoy. Watermelon fortunately never was in this category for me!

                                                            1. re: meatn3

                                                              i'm another one who can't stand mealy textures.

                                                              thick-cut tongue is another one. way too realistic. bad experience when i was a kid. ugh.

                                                              but my absolute worst is desiccated/dried coconut...*instant* gag reflex. and i'm so happy to see from reading some of the other posts that i'm not the only one! the mere thought of those nasty little strings squeaking between my teeth when i chew makes me shudder.

                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                Oh..... just reading your description of those strings "squeaking" between your teeth sent a shudder down my spine.

                                                                the horror..... the horror......

                                                          3. The only thing that has ever gotten me for texture is sesos (brains). The texture is exactly as you would expect, which made it all too real for me.

                                                            I am curious about people's responses regarding tomatoes. My sister has always had an aversion to the texture of raw tomatoes, with me being the beneficiary of her castoffs. I'll have to tell her that she's in good company.

                                                            1. Oatmeal...yuck! Had to eat it as a kid, tried putting all sorts of other stuff (peanut butter, fruit, various sweeteners, etc) in it but the texture remained a major grossness factor. I didn't mind eating raw oatmeal cookie dough or baked oatmeal cookies as a kid. Now I'm gluten-free so I avoid oats all together.

                                                              Had heard about the slime factor of okra before I ever tried it. The ways my husband fixes takes away that factor.

                                                              I also dislike raisins (dead grapes) for both taste and texture reasons, though I will now eat them in a couple things where they're well disguised. They were often added to the despised oatmeal when I was a kid. I will however eat other dried fruit including currants. Neither my husband nor I will eat red delicious apples because we had too many mealy ones when we were kids.

                                                              1. Oh, one other one I nearly forgot about. Shredded coconut. Biting into a chocolate with some of that inside will also trigger it. Nothing will work but to get it out of my mouth ASAP. And again, its not the taste.... its the texture.

                                                                8 Replies
                                                                1. re: Firegoat

                                                                  I am with you 100% on shredded coconut. I like the taste of coconut, but I absolutely gag on the texture. If I unknowingly bite into a chocolate with a coconut center, I have to spit it out, and then I have to do whatever it takes to get the residue out of my mouth. I won't touch a coconut cake or coconut shrimp or anything else with coconut. But give me a pina colada and I'm in heaven!

                                                                  My DH cannot stand peas. He loves split pea soup, snow peas and sugar snap peas in the pod, but he won't eat peas out of the pod, again because of the texture. So sad for me, because peas are one of my favorite vegetables.

                                                                  1. re: lisavf

                                                                    If he had canned peas as a kid, that would explain it, IMO. Frozen peas are a different story. Maybe he'll try them still slightly frozen in a salad? Crisp vs. mushy...

                                                                    1. re: lgss

                                                                      Nope. Not fresh, not frozen, not raw (my personal favorite). And I NEVER overcook them - I like them firm. (Sigh.) Maybe that's why my favorite meal when he's not home for dinner is rice and peas.

                                                                      1. re: lisavf

                                                                        I had brown rice, green peas, and guacamole every night for dinner for about a year a number of years ago.

                                                                  2. re: Firegoat

                                                                    Hmm.. I the non-squeamish must now accept that there is a yuck factor for me too.. not the texture of grated coconut, but the smell of coconut oil in everything from cake mixes to suntan oils. If I'm downwind of a bunch of coconut-oil basted sunbathers I have to move. The smell of it in cake mixes has driven me to become a scratch-cake maker.

                                                                    1. re: fromagina

                                                                      I have the same issue with banana flavoured or scented things.

                                                                      1. re: Ljubitca

                                                                        Grape flavoring and banana flavoring. Maybe has to do with a overindulgence in Runts candy as a kid.

                                                                        1. re: TampaAurora

                                                                          Clintons grape juice - gross. Came in a box - school lunch. And there where these banana like twinkies that were horrid and I remember having them one and a half times that made me wretch.

                                                                  3. Pigs feet (though I've only had French style)! I enjoy fois gras and bone marrow, but a giant plate-covering mass of pig-foot tendon/cartilage "mucus" was very difficult for me to finish.

                                                                    1. The jumbo Pacific oysters are my fete noir. The texture somehow reminds me of something I've never eaten and never will (to avoid grossing people out), Pacific oysters were considered inedible up to World War II, and still should be.

                                                                      1. The texture of yogurt generally grosses me out, especially if it has gums or starches in it. I don't know why. Things like sour cream and pudding don't bother me, even the thick Greek style (Fage) yogurt is okay. But most regular yogurt has always made me gag.

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: Non Cognomina

                                                                          The texture of lobster and shrimp...

                                                                          1. re: Non Cognomina

                                                                            I can't stand that stuff either, but is it really a food?

                                                                            I love real yoghourt with no additives (not non-fat or low-fat, so it isn't something I'd eat in quantity every day).

                                                                          2. Oh, you mean it isn't just me?

                                                                            No slime / squish and no seeds. I don't eat unpureed tomatoes, cooked green peppers, berries, or any type of squash. I have an allergic reaction to uncooked tomatoes, but even cooked, it has to be pureed. On the rare occasion I use packaged salsa it comes out of the jar, is blended and is poured back into the jar.


                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: ldkelley

                                                                              I never thought about pureeing the salsa. That's an interesting idea I might try. As it is.... I love salsa....but basically dip my chip into the juice and scrape off all the chunks.

                                                                              1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                Yep, that's what I do at restaurants. I much prefer smooth salsa. And don't get me started on 'chunky' tomato sauce. Ick.

                                                                            2. I wonder if texture sensitivity is primarily a Western phenomenon. I've heard people pass on okra because it oozes "mucus," but I love okra and appreciate the even more pronounced viscosity of Birds' Nest Soup. A lot of people also detest "mushy," but what would Asia be without congee or juk, let alone uni? The idea of not being able to eat something simply containing onions and tomatoes boggles my mind, but I come from a region of the world that snacks on duck fetus. With the wide variety of textures encountered in the Asian diet, I wonder if early and frequent exposure makes textural variety a non-issue.

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: JungMann

                                                                                I think it must be. Have you read Fuschia Dunlop's book Sharks fin and <whatever?>---whole thing talks about the importance of texture in Chinese cooking.

                                                                                I can't think of any particular textures that get me---tastes, yes [kidneys! blech] but not textures per se---just concepts like eatting brains or whatever. But I'm still thinking......................

                                                                                1. re: JungMann

                                                                                  this is all i have been thinking as i read through this thread! people can claim a DNA based aversion to slimy/gooey/mucusy/gelatenous texture, but its simply cultural. nothing wrong with that, I mean every culture has its issues. Imagine all the people in India that would be grossed out by a rack of beef ribs!?
                                                                                  I think to get over an aversion so firmly rooted, Its an exercise in self reason.

                                                                                2. I'm not much bothered by texture, but...... as I said before, the "live" octopus, I had in Seoul at my son's wedding, was a bit much. Thank God for So Ju, after I got "So Juish", no problem w/ the octopus.

                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                    I'm willing to display my ignorance. Tell me about getting "So Juish."
                                                                                    Hmmm live octopus. I think I'd have better luck with that than with hidding tomato chunks in food.

                                                                                    1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                      So Juish is a bad pun for getting very drink on So Ju:)
                                                                                      Ya put the octis in a dipping sauce, watch 'em wriggle, bite down hard to kill 'em and swallow fast, so they don't stick. Yum!

                                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                        I have a hard time with foods that don't require chewing....jello, pudding, flan..let the gags begin!

                                                                                        1. re: bubbles4me

                                                                                          Bananas. Just can't do it. Squidgy yet mealy at the same time. Really annoying as they are tubes of goodness nutritionally and so convenient. The irony is I buy them all the time for the SO to snack on :-).

                                                                                          1. re: grayelf

                                                                                            What if you freeze them and make them into a smoothie with other fruit?

                                                                                            1. re: lgss

                                                                                              As long as they're really pureed, it's okay.

                                                                                              Thought of another one as I was making my panini at lunch today: lettuce "bones." You know, that ribby thing that goes down to the root. Gotta cut 'em out. Makes eating romaine lettuce a waste of time and vegetable matter :-). Totally a texture thing as the bones have no taste.

                                                                                              1. re: grayelf

                                                                                                Im with you on this one, grayelf -- I really dislike that rib down the middle of romaine too. I often find myself dissecting my caesar salad to get these "spines" away from the leaves. At home I buy the whole romaine "head" just so that I can slice otf the green leafy part and enjoy just that.

                                                                                                I also have texture issues with cooked vegetables, especially beans. Have never been able to get them down, regardless of the length of time they are cooked, or whatever you put on them. To me, baked beans were mealy, nasty mush.

                                                                                      2. re: Firegoat

                                                                                        Think again---they [the octopus] often fight on the way down.....................

                                                                                    2. Jello, tapioca, and Korean sea squirts. Ahhhhh!

                                                                                      1. Eggwhites not completely cooked, Whether in mucous form or jelly-like I find them repulsive.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: Sharuf

                                                                                          Ew! I don't even like egg yolks not completely cooked. Yuck.

                                                                                        2. really only two things that bother me and they are still things I like:

                                                                                          Food that has to be chewed for long amounts of time and take up too much space in my mouth. Certain cuts of (tough) steak and some sushi rolls are my two examples of too much chewing that will make me gag, but I love the food and the taste! After a minute of solid chewing, the gaging is involutary. I really wish certain sushi places would make a petite rolls.

                                                                                          The other is that I cannot eat without gaging is yougurt or pudding for breakfast or my first food of the day. The total lack of chewing, with it being a just taste and swallow food will make me gag. But I can eat those foods no problem after I have eating something that requires chewing.

                                                                                          1. I love good fresh real tomatoes, but my mother used to make tomato juice. I couldn't stand the texture of that with the seeds and everything. I also can't stand the pulp in oj. My husband likes the kind with extra pulp, I get No pulp. And strings on bananas (my husband eats them, yuck) and the strings/pith on oranges and other citrus fruit.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: lgss

                                                                                              Amen to no pulp in OJ and banana strings!

                                                                                            2. I'm there with the "jelly" avoiders. I can manage one, maybe two bites of jello, pudding or banana and that's my limit.

                                                                                              Strangely though, I love chocolate mousse.

                                                                                              1. Fat. Even as a kid, I was a surgeon with my steak, cutting every little piece off. And I still remember gagging on some veal stew meat which had a thin layer running thru it - fat or some kind of gooey stuff. I see everyone going nuts over pork belly and it makes me gag to think about it. I haven't eaten red meat in years and I can't stand fatty fish.
                                                                                                Now butterfat (ie, icecream, butter, etc) is quite alright!

                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: BeeZee

                                                                                                  Me too! Although I'd love to be able to at least try pork belly. Not being a fat lover drives my foodie friends crazy.

                                                                                                  1. re: BeeZee

                                                                                                    Me too...but with me It seems limited to beef. I lauphed out loud at your "surgeon with my steak" comment cuz I was the same way. I love a good ribeye but that band of fat in the interior just chaps my ass.

                                                                                                    As a kid it drove my father nuts. He threatened to spank me one time if I didn't eat my fat. I told him to go right ahead cuz I ain't eating that fat.

                                                                                                    I don't mind the band of fat around a pork chop...In fact I like it. I can eat less than crispy bacon and the oily fish are some of my favorites. But to this day if that band of fat around my steak isn't properly chared and slightly rendered it gets surgically removed

                                                                                                    1. re: BeeZee

                                                                                                      It's been so long since I've even attempted to eat fat I had forgotten that. I was the family surgeon, too, and was so grossed out watching my parents and siblings munching down on that rubbery, slithery badness.

                                                                                                      1. re: BeeZee

                                                                                                        James Herriot, vet and author, has a hilarious story about clients who didn't know about his loathing for fat who served him a literal slab of the stuff, which he suffered through only with the help of some very spicy relish.

                                                                                                        I relate, as fat from meat makes me gag, no matter how many people tell me that's where all the flavor is. I'm another steak/pork chop surgeon. And my bacon better be extra crispy, because if there is white, I'm not eating it.

                                                                                                        I also cannot eat chicken skin- I pick the crust off the fried chicken skin and eat that, but I cannot put a piece of the skin in my mouth. Wings are completely out of the question.

                                                                                                        Because of all this, if I can't see the meat clearly enough to inspect due to sauce or preparation method, it doesn't go in my mouth.

                                                                                                        My mother is the same way, so perhaps this is a learned behavior, though the gag relex feels natural enough.

                                                                                                      2. I have a problem with white/beige creamy foods. I can't even really look at them without being repulsed- mayo, sour cream, cottage cheese, ranch/creamy salad dressings. I can handle frosting/whipped cream but usually just scrape those off where possible. I have improved enough to be able to tolerate cream sauces and creamier soups, but even that can be a struggle sometimes.

                                                                                                        I also share your problem with onions. I can eat them in pasta sauce or salsa, but otherwise I want nothing to do with them.

                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: queencru

                                                                                                          My DIL has the opposite problem: she refuses to eat foods with "too many colors" (her words) in them. For example- a garden salad, an egg or spring roll, a stuffed crepe or omelette, a burger dressed with lettuce, tomato and onion. Too many colors? I just don't get it.

                                                                                                          1. re: queencru

                                                                                                            I have the same issue as you, except I think it has to do as much with taste and smell (mayo, ranch) as texture. My mother would make a "shrimp dip" similar in appearance to mayo that absolutely repulsed me. I love whipped cream and cottage cheese, however.

                                                                                                          2. I have a couple of texture issues for sure..

                                                                                                            The oddest one is I can't eat spaghetti or udon noodles. Anything thicker than angelhair is unappetizing to me. But if it's a flat noodle, i.e. linguini, that is fine. It's just the thick round ones that gross me out.

                                                                                                            Gelatinous types of things also make me queasy. I love seaweed salad, when the seaweed is cut very fine, but if it remains in thick pieces I can't eat it. I love to try new things, especially in Asian cuisines, but this particular texture issue has turned a lot of promising dim sum dinners into unpleasant experiences.

                                                                                                            1. My biggest texture issue is cream cheese. Ick! Don't like cheese cake either, although I try.

                                                                                                              As a kid and young adult tomatoes and cabbage both gave me the gag reflex - even if I had no idea they were in my food, so I don't think it was a learned aversion. Tomatoes I can do now, IF they are farm-stand fresh and in season. Mealy tomatoes = no way. (I also don't get why people love watermelon. Mealy, mealy, mealy.) Cabbage, on the other hand, has been a break-though food for me this year. I ate and enjoyed coleslaw!

                                                                                                              I think the cabbage issue was one of taste, though, whereas the cream cheese and tomatoes are an issue of texture.

                                                                                                              PS Very Irish with some Welsh and Native American thrown in.

                                                                                                              1. I gotta be weird then, because the 'ick factor' textures that show up the most on this thread [tomatoes, cottage cheese, okra, jelly] I fully love just for those reasons. However, the two things guaranteed to ick me out in texture are [1] strings on any fruit, like bananas or oranges and [2] even the smallest vein of gristle or fat or cartilage in any piece of meat/chicken etc.- especially those rubbery pieces in chicken legs. I know neither of them are 'foods' per se, but most people eat them without the reeling disgust that I have [i.e. I am laser-like in my ability to search and destroy them so they don't enter my mouth]. I have such a panic response to 'weird/what-the-hell-is-that' textures in foods I haven't prepared myself a few times I've been embarassed by projectile spitting them out in restaurants, and missing the napkin!

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                                                                                                                1. re: Smorgasbord

                                                                                                                  I also hate the banana strings.... although they don't gag reflex me, like say a hidden chunk of tomato or onion does.

                                                                                                                  Orange pulp.... I had forgotten about that. Bless the people who invented pulpless juice.... I spent many a time as a kid pouring it through a strainer much to my mother's disgust.

                                                                                                                2. Peanut butter in anything repulses me, although I enjoy eating it straight or on celery or bread. Seems weird, but I can't swallow peanut butter cookies, Reese's cups, peanut butter cheesecake, etc. As a child I didn't like peanut butter at all. Even the smell made me feel ill.

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                                                                                                                  1. re: Seeker19104

                                                                                                                    I hate peanut butter in any form, including straight. But I enjoy peanuts. Also can't stand white/yellow onions (red ones are fine raw), or any sort of fat/gristle.

                                                                                                                    I love tomatoes (especially raw ones with a little salt this time of year).

                                                                                                                  2. I had a tough time in elementary school with the canned spinach. It was like a giant heap of snot.

                                                                                                                    1. Well in Children - who wont eat solids - and have a tongue thrust reaction - its called a sensory integration disorder. My nephew is 8 now and still cant eat solids other than cheerios. But I have to say this is much more tolerable in children than it is in adults. I had an ex who wouldnt eat tomatoes either. For my family tomatoes are part of our blood so this was hard for us to digest. My DH loves tomatoes thank god! In any case if you find a tomato that is slimy dont eat it - tomatoes arent supposed to be slimy. I also have a friend who cant mix food on a plate and a another friend who turns her eggs into a sanguine mess with ketchup the looks of that would make anyone gag.

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: Ljubitca

                                                                                                                        My best friend in high school had a big sister who had the same food mixing phobia. To this day she eats all her meals out of one of those grade school types of compartmentalized trays.

                                                                                                                      2. It's funny... I'm fussy about what I eat because of the FLAVOUR of certain foods (I can't stand anything remotely bitter...) but I actually like the nice soft comforting texture of a lot of the foods mentioned here as 'squickers'. About the only food texture that puts me off is mealiness, specifically in Jonathan apples. They're so floury and dry and generally tasteless. I bought some awhile ago that looked gorgeous on the outside, thinking that it was well past time to overcome my childhood aversion, but I found them just as gross as they were then! Sometimes tomatoes trigger it too - the mealy tasteless supermarket ones are horrible... I like my tomatoes sweet and juicy, and the juice and seeds that so many people hate is the best bit because that's where all the flavour is!

                                                                                                                        1. I avoid sashimi/sushi because of the texture of the raw fish. If I join friends at a sushi bar, I get the vegetarian options or tempura shrimp rolls. Rolls are easier than sashimi, but still.........no.

                                                                                                                          1. Sea Urchin is the texture I just can't overcome. There is simply something about it that sends my Japanese friends into umami overload and me under the table. I've tried to train myself into liking it but it remains gaggably elusive to me. They, OTOH, can't understand my love of tripe or salt cod.

                                                                                                                            1. Fresh oranges. It's both the texture and the smell. I like orange juice (pulp-less) and other orange things, but just not the orange itself. Hate the texture and the smell reminds me of afternoon at elementary school. We didn't have a cafeteria so ate at our desks and there was always some kid with an orange.

                                                                                                                              Agree with the undercooked egg whites, although runny yolks are fine. Too much like snot for me.

                                                                                                                              And any wilted green. Caesar salad must be eaten immediately after being dressed and don't even make me look at cooked spinach (unless it is chopped up in a sauce).

                                                                                                                              1. My theory is that most people have a problem with the texture of foods and not the flavor.

                                                                                                                                I love the various flavors in bread pudding but I loathe wet, sweet bread. It's the texture that throws me off.

                                                                                                                                The great thing is that sometimes you can overcome an aversion to the texture of a particular food by focusing on the flavor.

                                                                                                                                Except for okra, which has simply the worst flavor of anything on the face of the planet. I've never even had slimy okra but the last time I tried it - as fresh, crisp baby okra, sauteed and not remotely limp or slimy - it took two days to get the foul taste out of my mouth.

                                                                                                                                1. "Stringy" meat is my ick factor. Pot roast, stew meat, corned beef, most brisket... I can't do it. I think it comes from a childhood of cheap, long cooked cuts of meat being what we could afford, and "you won't get up from this table until you clean your plate" forced eating.

                                                                                                                                  1. I usually don't like squishy jelly-like textures (like lychee). They gross me out.

                                                                                                                                    1. I absolutely cannot stand when you're eating something smooth and there is suddenly one crunchy bit. For example, this could be caused by a piece of onion that wasn't cooked enough (this being the reason why as a child/teen I always hated onions). I also absolutely hate the texture of bananas but eat one blended with soy milk every day.

                                                                                                                                      1. Oh yes, textures are huge, just ask a kid! Fortunately most adults outgrow them but there are a few that have stuck with me. Maybe these don't technically count as a "food" but I cannot stand the texture of circus peanuts (you know those fake orange, marshmellowy candy) or peeps. I could gag thinking about them! Now that I think about it, I think it's a marshmellow issue. I can only eat them melted as in the middle of a smores.

                                                                                                                                        1. Once I discovered the awful tomato peels, the way when the tomato flesh is cooked it seperates from it and due to it's thinness rolls up into a little roll. Doesn't matter the size of the peel it always rolls up even if it's very very tiny.
                                                                                                                                          I began testing everything, from prepared pasta sauces, canned sauces, to tomato paste and even ketchup!! All you do is take a while plate and put a bit of whatever you're testing and then smear it a bit, and look up into the light, if you see those awful little peels then I won't eat it. I've become so sensitive to this that I avoid eating out at restaurants unless the tomato is perfectly strained, I specify only a specific strained tomato that is free of any peels and I gag at the thought of them in my throat/mouth. Surprisingly I don't have such an issue with pepper skins!
                                                                                                                                          Once I started pointing all this out my sister was convinced as well and together we've become really picky when it comes to tomato peels/skins.

                                                                                                                                          Other textures I can't stand are marshmallows, the squishiness in my mouth makes me want to throw up, I don't find it yummy or "melt in your mouth goodness" it's just a big gummy thing that I can't swallow.

                                                                                                                                          Can't stand cottage cheese either, it's not salty and too "wet"

                                                                                                                                          I know a lot of people hate okra but I love it!

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                                                                                                                                          1. re: BamiaWruz

                                                                                                                                            bump! when i see cooked tomatoes with peels i can't eat them until i take the peel off. Especially pizza. I love pizza with slices of tomato on it, but i have to remove that circle of peel, or else i gag. The other thing is the pith of oranges. I can't even eat raw oranges unless the pith is completely removed.... Or i gag like crazy!! That's why i stick to clementines.

                                                                                                                                          2. I think I've outgrown most of my food texture issues. As a kid I would not eat *any* fresh fruit. However, I would eat most any vegetable. I really disliked the soft, slimy texture (think peaches) combined with with the fruit being cold or room temperature. I eventually allowed Granny Smith apples in my diet, on the account of their being very firm (not mealy) and also I liked tart things. Even cooked fruit I hated. I remember being about five or six and refusing a neighbor's warm, homemade apple pie. As a teen, the first major victory was grapes. I was probably 18 or 19 before I would willingly eat apple pie or strawberries. Even then I was hesitant the first few times. Now I love any and all fruit. I can't believe I missed out on about two decades of fruit consumption. I've got to move to the middle of an orchard and make up for lost time.

                                                                                                                                            I think the only fruit I won't eat now due to texture is bananas. I keep tryin' 'em. Still can't force it down. I don't mind the texture of melons, but I hold contempt for them due to their grossly over-proportional presence in commercial fruit salads and platters. Bland, cheap filler, like all those crappy songs on the CD that you bought just for the catchy single.

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                                                                                                                                            1. re: Agent Orange

                                                                                                                                              Banana's in most things I won't eat, especially fruit salad, yuck it totally ruins everything else in there, including the juice with it's starchiness.
                                                                                                                                              I don't like apples either, or oranges, not sure why because I LOVE lemons but something about the apple texture (especially asian pears!) I can't tolerate, Oranges too for their skins/membranes.
                                                                                                                                              I need my grapes crisp and hard, crunchy and very plump, no soggy grapes, nothing squishy or sort, nothing with seeds or a though skin.
                                                                                                                                              Never realized I'm so picky, haha

                                                                                                                                            2. My top 5-I like the flavors of them and will eat them in dishes but find the texture grody
                                                                                                                                              seeds/slime of tomatoes, but I don't mind them in okra-go figure

                                                                                                                                              1. Unmelted butter or margarine. I can't see how anyone can eat a roll with a big old blob (or even a little blob) of "raw" butter. The texture is so revolting to me.

                                                                                                                                                1. As I re-read this thread, I am thinking there are A LOT more grown-ups with sensory integration issues than one might realize. hmmmm, interesting. . . . .

                                                                                                                                                  As for me, still haven't found any texture issues but still not liking the taste of those kidneys.........

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                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jenn

                                                                                                                                                    Yea same with tomatoes. Absolutely vile any other way except in the form of a smooth sauce as such like on a pizza or spaghtti. I will be the chick you take out on a date and if tomatoes are on my effin salad, yes I will fling those b*tches across the table. And with pizza, I make sure to emphasize very clearly to the waiter/waitress i want SMOOTH tomato sauce and no tomato chunks (like I know Uno Pizza or Macaroni Grill among other places will throw chunks of tomatoes on top their pizzas)...

                                                                                                                                                  2. I think that texture certainly plays a problem for many people. I know that texture is an especially big problem for some people who are tactile sensitive including those who are in anyway even slightly autistic Which includes me but I have learned to like almost all textures most people consider revolting. Only one I cannot get over is the strange dried paste texture of canned chickpeas, lima beans, and the like.

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                                                                                                                                                    1. re: falerin

                                                                                                                                                      If I didn't know that something (er, edible) was in a dish, I probably wouldn't mind as much. The buck stops at raisins though, for some reason. I can eat them just fine when they aren't mushy, and choke 'em back when it comes to bread pudding, but cooking a raisin is a good way for me to not eat a carrot salad/dessert.


                                                                                                                                                      1. re: falerin

                                                                                                                                                        Exactly, falerin. There are lots of people on the spectrum in my family (and I know I have some of the traits myself), and all have issues with texture. Meat fat, gristle, and skin are two things I've never been able to stand. Never understood why people liked prime rib, because it has so much fat in it.

                                                                                                                                                      2. Absolutely. Milkshakes, bananas and sometimes yogurt and pudding get me. I can never tolerate milkshakes or bananas which is a shame as I love the taste of them. Sometimes I'm able to eat yogurt and pudding, other times I automatically get grossed out and have to spit it out. I just cannot force myself to swallow.

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                                                                                                                                                        1. re: deputygeorgie

                                                                                                                                                          cottage cheese, ice cream, milk all leave a mouthfeel i cannot abide. the texture of rice or tapioca pudding also grosses me out, but i think that also has to do with residual mouthfeel. am fine with yogurt, but i think the acid cuts the problem for me.

                                                                                                                                                          hot oatmeal is a dickensian punishment that made me cry as a child, but i do like a good oatmeal cookie.

                                                                                                                                                          another who cannot eat bananas out-of-hand, but i do like the flavor, like in bread or cake.

                                                                                                                                                          certain foods i can eat only with a particular texture, like zucchini. it's a horror to me when cut into rounds, but shredded or as ribbons i just love it.

                                                                                                                                                          and to you uni and fat haters? i could have uni draped with lardo everyday of my life. :)

                                                                                                                                                        2. Was making Strawberry Shortcake for a backyard grill out, asked my brother-in-law's girlfriend if she liked fresh strawberries. Her answer was no, didn't like the texture. She also thought Miller Lite and Animal Crackers made a complete meal....

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                                                                                                                                                          1. re: 3MTA3

                                                                                                                                                            But were the animal crackers frosted?

                                                                                                                                                          2. No. Textures are something that I pay close attention to. I will grade a dish down, if the textures are not right, and perhaps elevate and otherwise mediocre dish, if the chef got that right, and made it interesting.

                                                                                                                                                            Man does not live by gruel alone.


                                                                                                                                                            1. I can't stand floaties in my cocktail. ie: lemon seeds or even coffee beans in an espresso martini. That goes for bubble tea, as well.

                                                                                                                                                              1. the worst for me has to be:
                                                                                                                                                                avocados - the texture and taste are so wrong! it's too sweet to be mushy and a vegetable

                                                                                                                                                                chicken/pork/most cuts of meat- the ligaments and tendons taste different in various parts of it, makes me want to gag.The safe bet is the breast. (one of the reasons making the decision to go veggie was so easy)

                                                                                                                                                                tomato; again, something about it being sweet and slimy is so weird to me - being a vegetable.

                                                                                                                                                                dairy; cottage cheese/any cheese; the texture combined with the flavour. Curdy and disgusting. butter is clumpy and gross raw, will only have it in baked goods, or garlic bread

                                                                                                                                                                mushrooms; too bitey, and quite frankly, the idea of it being a fungus i've never been able to outgrow.

                                                                                                                                                                cooked egg yolk; kinda chalky, too flavoursome.

                                                                                                                                                                anything seafood; dear lord. slimy, crunchy, briney - dont go there.

                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Josaaayy

                                                                                                                                                                  I could go through life enjoying only your dislikes!

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                    I would agree with you myself. Except that I do not like cooked egg yolks alone. Soft egg yolks are fine. So are cooked egg yolks in the context of hard boiled eggs solely. I like them in deviled eggs and egg salad but only because of added moisture from condiments. Dried pasty textures like lima beans and over hard eggs are just hard to swallow. Perhaps because they actually are somewhat literally so.

                                                                                                                                                                2. I am particularly odd that as a person on the autism spectrum I actually like varied food textures. I do have tactile issues generally but slimy and unusual foods are actually pleasing to me. I deliberately seek out Avocado, Guacomole, Tapioca, Okra and the like. Dried food textures however, like Lima Beans, are vulgar. Oddly I like Chickpeas and Hummus but they are the odd food out there and its because of flavor. I have however numerous times been able to force myself to overcome physical aversion, generally it has required the cooperation of another and the texture coming as a surprise and in rapid conduction with something else I like the taste of. In other words overriding the reflex by lack of expectation. The same way that doing a shot or taking a spoonful of liquid medication quickly overcomes the reflex. Sometimes a chaser is absolutely needed.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. Only Okra & butternut squash. Both make me gag. Not too hard to avoid them!!