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Things that don't taste like you expected they would...

Many years ago, I was told that I just HAD to try rooibos tea. "It has a slightly smokey honey flavour -- it's fantastic," said a friend whose taste I trust. I like honey, and smokey honey sounds lovely so I was eager to try it. I ordered it when an opportunity arose after a nice meal at a restaurant. I swirled the teapot around and poured myself a cup of tea, taking in the slightly smokey herbaceous scent. Wrapping my hands around the cup and with pent up anticipation, I took my first-ever sip of rooibos...

I promptly ordered another cup of tea -- this time Earl Grey.

Based on what people had told me and from the scent of the tea, I was not expecting it to taste like the after taste you get with artificial sweeteners. Wretched stuff.

It could also be that something tasted differently than you expected but in a neutral or good way.

Anyone want to share a story? :)

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    1. Uni. Not sure what I expected it to taste like, but it was horrible. Iron Chef made it look and sound so good. :(. I still want to try it again though because it still looks and sounds good to me.

      12 Replies
      1. re: viperlush

        I have a Uni story. My former SO and I used to order sushi combos so we could try new items. One of them was Uni. It got down to the last piece left and one of us has to go first. That was me. As SOON as it hit my mouth, my thoughts went like this "OMG! The ONLY thing worth this is making sure the SO eats it too!" So I used all the control I had over my body to a) keep my face expressionless, B ) swallow. I was rewarded! My only comment is :You have to try it to understand". He did and promptly spit it across the room (and thankfully not on any other customer) We could only describe as "glad we did not step in it" Years later, and way more experienced (and no longer with that SO) I tried it again and it WAS heaven, like butter from the sea! Turns out the first Uni was bad and the second one was fresh and good. So maybe sometime a second chance is worth it.

        1. re: Quine

          Yeah, if I see it on a menu I'll give it another go. I just need to get over the texture.

          1. re: viperlush

            It should be buttery as I understand it. If that is not a texture that you like, well, it will not work for you. AND that is OK!

            But be aware, as I found out...know the sushi master and the freshness.

          2. re: Quine

            Wow Quine, I'm glad you gave it another shot. Your story brings up the possibility of a whole new thread: you try something for the first time and it's not fresh. Except it's your first time trying it, so how would you have known?!

            1. re: pdxgastro

              I am an adventurous eater by nature, and adore all kinds of fish and shellfish- raw, cooked and every way in between...except mussels. I got sick the first time I had them and have only tried once since. The flavor was immediately remembered/rejected by every fiber in my body. Haven't tried them since, and I'm ok with that!

            2. re: Quine

              This is what I am hopIng my second experience will be like. First was retched.

            3. re: viperlush

              I don't know what to make of this. I tried uni for the first time in my life in August. I am very adventurous, but for whatever reason, I had never been with anyone who wanted to try it. My SO at the time ordered two of everything and she told me to save it for last. I tasted it and can honestly say, I was furious. furious I'veen eating sushi and sashimi for 30 years and never tried it before. The most luxurious, buttery food i've ever eaten. Can't wait to have it again

              1. re: jhopp217

                One of my fondest food memories is the fish market in Santiago, Chile, where for about $6 US you can get a *plate* of fresh uni, with lemon juice to squeeze over it. Mmmmm....

                1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                  That would be heaven. Really fine uni is an amazing experience -- it's unlike any other food, you could be eating something from another planet.

              2. re: viperlush

                Other things that I thought of (all alcohol):

                Red wine- When I was a child I expected all red wines to taste sweet. Red grapes make wine, so wine is just a fancy grape juice, grape juice is sweet, therefore red wine must be sweet. It didn't help that my parents don't drink much wine, except for my dad who enjoys drinking sweet concord grape wine spritzers in the summer. I was pleasantly surprised (after getting over the shock) that they weren't. I also thought that all whites and sparkling wines were dry since they weren't red like grapes and my parents never drank the sweeter ones.

                Scotch- My dad has always enjoyed sipping single malts and I always loved their smell (Speyside). I expected to be able to really taste the vanilla, caramel, and other aromas. Every time he offered me a sip I immediately ran to spit it out. Wasn't until my mid 20's did I learn to enjoy the taste.

                1. re: viperlush

                  Hahaha... I love the logic in imagining what red wine should taste like!

                  1. re: viperlush

                    Watching adults make such a big deal out of wine, I also tried to imagine the taste by thinking of the most delicious grape-based drink of my childhood (of all time?): Welch's grape soda. Actually tasting wine for the first time was a real loss of innocence. That was when I realized most adults are actually full of shit.

                    When I tried it I was expecting foie gras to blow my mind with deliciousness but it just tastes kind of potato-ish to me. Chinese black vinegar tastes surprisingly like maple syrup.

                2. We never can know what something tastes like to anybody else, especially when it comes to unusual flavors. I've discovered that with cilantro, pastis, marzipan and sweet bean paste. I love some of them and hate others, while for friends the opposite is true. Hard to sort it out.

                  1. Arugula. The usual description of "peppery & Bitter" sure sounds good but the taste is just atrocious to me. blech!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: meatnveg

                      I loooooved arugula the first time I had it because it was peppery and bitter, but the try after that just tasted like unpleasant lettuce. I think the taste of arugula changes a LOT from bunch to bunch. I read somewhere that the pepperiness increases the later you harvest it.

                      1. re: Manybears

                        True that. Spring arugula, or supermarket arugula, is pretty mild. I bought arugula at a farmer's marketin late summer and it was so peppery I couldn't eat it.

                    2. Truffle - It wasn't disgusting, just kind of nothing. Supposedly it was a "good" truffle. If so, they're just not for me.

                      Tonic water - I was expecting a clean taste, and I thought I was drinking essence of 10,000 year old dirt.

                      Caviar - mostly salty, unexciting. Might as well let these eggs grow to full fishhood.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Jay F

                        Cheap caviar is salty and needs to be cut with chopped hard boiled eggs and double cream. Good caviar is wonderful without all the fuss. (Typically $100+/oz) It's not cheap, but it's cherished treat me and my SO have had a few Christmas'.