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Oct 28, 2009 08:41 AM

I may be ready to try to not hate beets

As a kid, I developed a real hatred of beets, but I only had the red ones out of a can. The smell and texture still bother me to this day, and they remain the only food aversion I have as an adult. I was searching for some interesting Thanksgiving side dish recipes and I came across some using root vegetables, including golden beets. I assume fresh vs canned is a big difference. How about golden beets vs red ones? I'm thinking of taking a big step.

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  1. I also hate beets and hadn't eaten them in years. I decided to give them another shot this year and bought some golden beets at the farmer's market. They are supposed to be a little sweeter than the red ones. Frankly, I didn't like them any better. I'm sure, though, that you'll hear the opposite from beet lovers. I don't know why people feel that they have to learn to enjoy foods that haven't appealed to them in past. I'm all for giving something another try, but I don't feel guilty about disliking a food that others are crazy about. We all have different tastes. Buy yourself a few beets at the supermarket and see what you think. There's no sense in waiting until Thanksgiving and spoiling your meal with something you won't like.

    1. 1.Fresh is best.
      2. Golden is easier to deal with
      3. Roasting is wonderful (I peel before rather than after)
      4. You probably don't like the kind of sweet-and-sour approach to beets that was common in the past. You are not alone.

      Most importantly, beets taste like...sweet corn. If you were to dice beets finely to the size of corn kernels, in a blind tasting you would be amazed at the similarity in flavor.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Karl S

        I'm not denying the validity of your claim, but your taste buds and mine must work differently. I love corn, loathe beets, and don't find any resemblance in flavor or texture between them.

        1. re: cheesemaestro

          Texturally they are different, but that can be minimized if diced (which makes the otherwise obvious grain of beets much less obvious).

          I was a beet hater until 2 years ago, when I discovered the similarity in tastes in a dish at a restaurant. The beets were roasted, not caramelized nor given any extra sugar or vinegar counterpoint. I discovered their flavor was hard to distinguish from the corn kernels. (And, if you use golden beets, the visual differences are not as great).

          After this, I discovered that other people have noted the similarity in flavor, too.

          I generally dislike overly sweet vegetables: I only like carrots in certain ways, for example.

        2. re: Karl S

          +1 on tasting like sweet corn. Very similar taste. Plus beets are nutritionally awesome and pooptastically colorful. Try roasting them with other colorful root veggies like squash, pumpkin, potatoes, and carrots drizzled w/ olive oil and sprinkled w/ salt, pepper and garlic. It's good and no one veg stands out enough to repulse you if you have an aversion to it.

          1. re: GoodGravy

            re: "...pooptastically colorful." Yes, and great fun for long as you remember that you ate a bunch of beets. Otherwise, you might have a moment of panic at the shocking color in the bowl!

          2. re: Karl S

            Beets taste like sweet dirt. Corn tastes like corn. I think this is one of those palate things. Some of us just can't be sold. I wish I could--they're just gorgeous veggies.

          3. As silly as it sounds, I learned that I liked beets by adding fresh shredded beets to my salad at the Whole Foods salad bar. I wasn't totally sure what it was, but it was pretty and colorful, so on the salad it went. You might try that - raw, shredded beets mixed in with a salad and dressing you like. Cooked beets have a stronger taste, imo, and the raw ones just taste sweet and not as earthy as cooked. From there, I tried roasted beets with butter (yum) and now I love beets. I prefer the red beets to the golden - they have more beet flavor and a better texture.

            2 Replies
            1. re: akq

              Great suggestion! Those fresh, shredded beets always taste so mild.

              1. re: akq

                I love raw beets. I frequently make a salad of them shredded with sliced onion, lots of fresh herbs (usually cilantro, mint or marjoram, depending on my mood- they all work well) and sliced chiles, dressed simply with lemon juice. It's even better topped with feta or shredded haloumi cheese.

              2. I think beets taste like dirt. I can stomach borscht w/ lots of sour cream but don't go out of my way to eat it.

                3 Replies
                1. re: sparkareno

                  This. Just like dirt to me. I've just accepted that I lucked out in the cilantro dept, lost out on beets.

                  1. re: sparkareno

                    I agree that beets taste like dirt. However, that's one of the main reasons why I like them: they taste like dirt in the best possible way.

                    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                      I completely agree. Yum. Plus good fresh beets come with good leafy greens. I get an absurd thrill using so much of a vegetable.

                  2. I understand food aversion even though I am a beet lover.

                    I don't like the pickled ones in the can; but I love fresh roasted beets.