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Nov 4, 2011 10:19 PM

Hey, It's Not So Bad

There are certain foods from my childhood that I remember in a less than favorable light. As such, I have avoided the like the plague since.

Then at dinner at a friends house, Brussels sprouts were served. To be polite I put a couple on my plate. They were pretty good. I went back for seconds.

Recently, while making DW a liverwurst sandwich I tied a bit "just to see if it was as bad as I remember." It wasn't. It wasn't great, but it wasn't that bad either.

O.K., Spam is still just as bad I remember.

So, what have you thought you hated, but due to changing taste, better preparation, or something else, now say,"Hey, that wasn't so bad."?

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  1. Timely post. Just last week I working on a Caesar salad at a seafood restaurant, and I waved an anchovy at my husband. He responded with his usual "Oh I hate those." I sliced up a few salty bits and strongarmed* him into eating them. And magically, the years of dislike melted away. Now he wants to re-try the classic anchovy pizza. :)

    (*"Strongarmed": before anyone protests about peeps being forced to eat things, this is my husband, this is how we work together, and we're very cool with it. Relax.)

    5 Replies
    1. re: DuchessNukem

      Roast and peel a couple of sweet red peppers and lay them on a plate
      Drape a few of those anchovies over the top.
      Drizzle the whole thing with a good olive oil.

      I predict a "discussion" over who gets to finish it!

      1. re: sunshine842

        wow, sounds delicious. i've been wondering how to doctor up roasted red peppers.

        1. re: fara

          I'm one of those who doesn't need to do anything to them -- I have a hard enough time having enough for the recipe I'm working on after I've done sneaking a bite!

          1. re: sunshine842

            haha they pretty much never make it past the IC Chairman "eat it like an apple" stage at my house

        2. re: sunshine842

          I'd be wrestling whoever was reaching in for the last of it!

      2. About every 5 - 7 years I'll try the few dislikes left from childhood. Sometimes I now like them, sometimes not.

        I had a horrendous "pea" experience as a child. I have had a few "it's not bad" moments with them when served at a friends. But I still have such a big mental blocK that I won't seek them out.

        1. As a child I hated raisins because I thought of bugs every time I saw one. I remember encountering cookies I thought must be choc. chippers, only to find they were raisin cookies. Boy, was I disappointed. If I encounter a raisin today, I will eat it and say to myself, that's not so bad. But I still don't really like them, and almost never cook with them.

          Other stuff: summer squash--surprisingly good when not cooked and mashed to resemble something someone threw up; hominy--tolerable in Posole, but really not interesting at all in anything else I know of; canned peas--wrong in many ways, although I am fine with frozen.

          13 Replies
          1. re: sueatmo

            EXACTLY my story re: raisins. I can, and do, eat them now, but not enthusiastically, and I still have to consciously fight the "dead fly dead fly dead fly" thoughts as I do.

            The main food that I have gone from ahting to loving so much sometimes I think I could live on it is shrimp/prawns. I haaated them as a kid (although not sure I ever *tried* them, my parents often tried to push them on me in restaurants and since we never had them at home, I got it into my head that shrimp was something exotic and weird and to be avoided), tried them when I was about 14 and have loved them ever since. I can eat a whole plate of shrimp and nothing else I love them so much.

            1. re: montrealeater

              EXACTLY my story re: raisins. I can, and do, eat them now, but not enthusiastically, and I still have to consciously fight the "dead fly dead fly dead fly" thoughts as I do

              Yes! I understand totally.

              I always liked shrimp though.

              1. re: sueatmo

                Rabbit turds. Not helped by the fact that my father referred to my pet rabbit's droppings as raisins. But basically I just found them too earthy/tannic tasting and still do. However, I have always loved golden raisins (a.k.a. sultana).

                1. re: greygarious

                  I feel so guilty. I told my then young DD that raisins were rabbit droppings once, as a joke of course, but she would not touch them for years and years after. my bad.

              2. re: montrealeater

                All these years thought I was a freak -- for thinking raisins = flies' bodies -- thank you, thank you all!! Still won't touch them...

                1. re: Sarah

                  Honestly, I thought I was the only one too.

                  1. re: sueatmo

                    add me too the list. years ago, i swapped out chopped chocolate for the raisins in an oatmeal scone recipe.

                    hey, they're both brown...

                  2. re: Sarah

                    I always thought raisins looked a lot like ticks- but I stil llike raisins.

                  3. re: montrealeater

                    Dead flies? No, no, they were big black ant segments!

                  4. re: sueatmo

                    Your feelings about raisins are similar to mine about dates - I love them, but have such a hard time eating the whole ones because I think that they look like dead cockroaches.

                    1. re: jw615

                      Okay, I thought I was the only one who thought dates looked like roaches! But now I love them--especially stuffed with a walnut, rolled in sugar, and added to my fruitcake.

                      1. re: jw615

                        LOL! My sister can't eat them for the same reason. Which is ironic becaues my grandfather's favorite, and long-time family tradition is date-nut cookies. Delicious!

                      2. re: sueatmo

                        When I was little, my brother told me the dead flies on the window sill were raisins and I ate them. I was to young to remember (but, of course, families love to tell these kinds of stories). Luckily it didn't affect my enjoyment of raisins.

                      3. Ive actually been finding that most things i disliked as a kid I really like now. the problem was often not that what I liked was bad, but the times I had it, it was prepared very poorly. brussel sprouts, spinach, broccoli, salmon burgers, sweet potato casserole, pork chops, and several others are all on this list.

                        my mom used to have a problem with severely overcooking vegetables and (still) is bad about overcooking meats. Led to several of these aversions that I have discovered are almost ALL misguided. moral of the story: cook your food correctly! it tastes better!

                        8 Replies
                            1. re: mattstolz

                              I always thought steak was horrible until I had it med rare in my mid 20's. My mom was a fan of shoe leather.

                                1. re: mattstolz

                                  Spinach and broccoli for me! I still think raw broccoli is gross, but damn, super garlicky spinach or creamed spinach or spinach and artichoke dip is a far, far cry from the frozen stuff my mom used to heat up and serve as-is. Broccoli I don't think I even tried; my brothers and I had a strong, strong aversion to things that were both green and cooked, and let's be real, the smell can be challenging for a picky eater. The texture also squicked me out--it seemed...vaguely cancerous. I finally started eating (cooked) broccoli when I ordered some highly-recommended dish from a food truck in college. I was very dismayed to open my styrofoam tray and find that the primary vegetable was broccoli. I started with a stem and was incredibly pleased to find out that whatever magic alchemical mix of sriracha and other hot sauces were in the "spicy chicken" made broccoli not just tolerable but WONDERFUL. That's still pretty much the only way I eat broccoli--stir fried, with sriracha and soy sauce. (And I get to feel virtuous for eating cruciferous vegetables. Cauliflower is still too smelly.)

                                  1. re: dashrashi

                                    Try that cauliflower braised - put some olive oil in a large pan and brown the cauliflower, then add some chicken stock, S&P and put lid on it, let it cook for 20-25 minutes, add a Tbsp of capers, cook it uncovered for a few minutes to dry up most of the stock, put it in a large bowl, add some roasted fresh bread crumbs (or panko) and serve it. One of my favorites!

                                    1. re: dashrashi

                                      cauliflower isnt smelly when nicely roasted! its crunchy and a little charred and delicious

                                  2. Fried or any kind of oysters. I got sick on them @ age 5 and didn't eat them for 50 years. I am so very glad I tried them again, under the premise that I loved all other seafood and clams & scallops. Have made up for lost time in the ensuing 17 years. Absolutely love them on the halfshell and we have an oyster house nearby that has about 15 different varieties that way on any given day.
                                    However, butternut squash shall never pass these lips again. Spent too many nights at the dinner table til bedtime not eating them because I gagged.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Nanzi

                                      Getting sick on something in childhood will do it for you. They gave me cod liver oil in pineapple juice. Guess what happened. That was in about 1938, and I still don't drink pineapple juice.

                                      1. re: Querencia

                                        I used to LOVE egg drop soup, -- until I succumbed to a bout of food poisoning just after finishing a bowl of the stuff...while recovering from a dry socket after having my wisdom teeth removed. (yeah...I felt awful for *days*)

                                        It wasn't the soup that did it -- it just was bad timing -- but the two are now irrevocably linked in my mind, and I couldn't eat the one bowl of egg-drop soup that I tried years later.