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Oct 10, 2012 09:11 AM

"But You'll Like Our..."

I was watching a rerun of Bizarre Foods where Andrew Zimmern was in Chengdu, China and his guide was trying to get him to eat walnut paste. He previously expressed his dislike for walnuts and told the guide a couple of times that he did not like walnuts. She assured him it would not taste like walnuts, which of course it did. While I realize this particular segment was probably scripted, it got me thinking about other instances where someone has been encouraged to eat or drink something they expressed a dislike for.

A few years ago, I read a magazine article where the author was at a small bed and breakfast in New England. When served coffee at breakfast, his hostess encouraged him to put cream in his coffee. He said, "No thank you, I prefer my coffee black." She pressed him again to put cream in his coffee. He again replied, "No thank you, I don't care for cream in my coffee." To which she said, "But you'll like *our* cream." implying that it was somehow better than everyone else's. To be polite he put the cream in his coffee, but, as expected, he did not like it.

I have had similar experiences. When I have mentioned there was a certain food or beverage that I did not care for, I occasionally am told the reason I did not like it was because I didn't have a "properly prepared version," but if I had one that was "done right I would like it just fine." Or similar to the example cited above, I have been told, "But you'll like *our* (insert disliked food here)."

As you might expect, occasionally I found I *did* like the new and improved version, but more often than not, my opinion was unchanged. A good example, for me, is chicken fried steak. No matter how many times I have been told I would "like this version because it was the prepared the way CFS is 'supposed to be made'" I have always been disappointed.

So how about you? What have you said, "No thank you" to, only to be told, "But you like our..." Why were you told you would like it? Because it was prepared by a "real (insert ethnicity here) person"? Or was it because of more "authentic" ingredients? Maybe a "better" or "correct" preparation or cooking method?

Did you relent and try it? What were the results?

Conversely, have you ever thought you liked a particular dish, but after trying a "properly prepared version" that you liked the "unauthentic" version better?

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  1. I experienced this with ice wine, twice.

    Now, I like my wine. I like trying new wines, I like wine with my food and have tried very few alcohol drinks that I couldn't (or didn't want to) finish but I really dislike ice wine.

    We were in a wine region at an expensive restaurant. The waiter was pushing ice wine and would not take no for an answer. I am sure he was trying to upsell but also seemed to not be able to comprehend that I didn't like ice wine even after I ran down the reasons why I don't like it. He insisted on pouring a glass, I took the tiniest of sip and said no, I still don't like it. At least he didn't try to charge me for it.

    Another time we were guests at someone's home and the host ran on and on about a particular ice wine. I knew it was expensive and didn't want him to open it but he insisted even after I told him I didn't care for it. It was one of those "but your haven't had XY or Z this good" situations. I choked down two sips to be polite.

    This type of food pressure annoys the heck out of me.

    2 Replies
    1. re: cleobeach

      If you don't like really sweet wine you certainly won't like ice wine. I'm curious as to whether your dislike is limited to ice wine, or to all sweet wine, or to certain levels of sweetness in wine, to 'anything' sweet, or.................... ??????

      1. re: Midlife

        I dislike all sweet wines but in particular ice wine, it is just too intense. I am also not a dessert person. I prefer savory to sweet.

    2. Liver and Onions! I can't stand them. But, I had some friends that insisted I would like it the way they prepared it (not) so obviously I had never had it prepared right. Still won't eat the stuff!

      1. I always try to keep an open mind when it comes to food (or anything else) because I like to learn. If someone insists I will like x when I know/think I don't like x, I try it. Why not?
        I think the possibility that exists in any new experience is one of the joys of living. OTOH, it seems like the norm for most people is finding ways to avoid having to think differently about anything, food or other. Food yucks seem to leave a serious mark for some, so it's a reflex never to revisit the offending item.

        Probably the only food I really don't like is round green peas that pop when you bite them. I still don't, but I would always try a different or new to me preparation of peas, because you never know. Case in point--I love, LOVE split pea soup, but if I had been hung up on the idea of not liking peas, that would be impossible.

        I think many times people have holdover food hates from childhood or whatever that they've never bothered to re-examine. They hated it as an eight year old and never bothered to retry it as an adult because, duh, they hate it. I confess that if I suspect someone of this I can be one of those "but you'll like these" person, because IME retrying stuff as an adult and with an open mind produces revelations. And it's amazing what a considered, artful presentation can do. Personally I've had this happen with beets. I would have told you I didn't like them, but when I examined that belief I realized it had no real grounds in reality or experience. Turns out I can't find a way I don't love beets. I've seen the same happen with friends and broccoli, salmon, artichokes, avocados and sushi.
        I'll also confess that I find being a close-minded eater a character deficit.

        7 Replies
        1. re: splatgirl

          IME retrying stuff as an adult and with an open mind produces revelations.
          indeed! i abhorred coconut, cilantro, ginger, and anything licorice-or anise-flavored when i was young. now i adore all of them.

          BTW, you might want to try a minted pea dip or pea "hummus" as another non-popping way to enjoy those peas :)

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            My kid hate was curry. My mom used to make what I presume was a wicked curry chicken, and I found the smell so revolting that I would have to leave the house.
            Now I crave curry like almost nothing else.

            Minted pea anything, bletch. It's funny you mention that--one of the only things I ever cooked that went straight to the trash was some ridiculous Martha Steward pea/mint pasta dish. I still can't imagine what I was thinking by deciding to make that. It gagged both of us. I have had a pea hummus I didn't detest. And I really enjoy the super fresh snow peas I get from my CSA but I have to eat them raw. I also LOVE peapods.

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              Limas and Fava beans also make fabbaliss fake hummous. Yummous.

            2. re: splatgirl

              Isn't that funny? I *love* peas but dislike pea soup. Perhaps because of the way it looks.

              1. re: LindaWhit

                oy, but i've made things that looked worse!

                1. re: LindaWhit

                  "Well Linda, you've never seen MY pea soup!" lol

                  1. re: Midknight

                    Still looks like what Linda Blair spewed out in "The Exorcist". ;-)

              2. I have the same issue with cooked onions and wet bread meals. Please, I do not want caramelized onions, I don't care how sweet or tasty it is, I'm not tasting it, I'm not touching it, I don't want it.

                Bread pudding, french toast, french onion soup (dear God!), bread bowls - I don't like wet bread products at all. It truly disgusts me.

                One item I'm dealing with are beans - I've always hated those creepy suckers and nothing is worse than then biting into a bean that's not fully cooked. I think it took me over 10 years (since childhood) before I decided to try beans again. These days, I will only eat certain beans. Black beans that have been cooked to death are fine... regular-sized beans are just a no-no. I only go for midget beans.

                Lentils are okay, but they have to be either beluga lentils, puy lentils, or red lentils. I don't care for the color of the cooked product of other lentils.

                29 Replies
                1. re: nikkib99

                  I have never heard anyone else talk about hating wet bread. I hate it too!! I've come around a bit on really chewy sourdough or italian farm bread for pressed sandwiches (pan bagna). But omg, the nastiness of french toast, PANCAKES (ew), bread pudding, hamburger buns with grease (one of the many reasons I'm vegetarian today). So awful. YUCK!

                  1. re: IndyGirl

                    If you go on a picnic with my BIL, do not make his sandwich ahead of time and wrap it up. The bread will get damp and he will totally lose his appetite, and possibly his cookies. He's not particularly a picky eater, but wet bread just gags him.

                    1. re: jmcarthur8

                      That's the way I am. I never ever buy premade sandwiches. There are some breads that a slightly more forgiving like chewy flatbread - must be chewy - and it could be okay if the moisture were oil-based ONLY. No tomato juices, vinegar, damp lettuce, cucumbers, etc.

                      OMG, nothing irks me off more than wet lettuce leaves. I always make the dry it completely. And no, don't put wet lettuce next to my sandwich - it makes the bread wet.

                      Funny story about Jimmy Johns. They deliver to my home and I had previously had sandwiches delivered where the roll is wrapped separately and all the meats and toppings were wrapped separately as well. That afternoon, I placed my order and got a call back from the manager saying they will not deliver it separated - she said they did not want people 'testing' individual bits of their product.

                      I explained my reason but she said it has to be made because it's corporate policy. I knew it was BS, but no use arguing over a $5 sandwich. Cancelled my order and have never ordered from them again - even when passing by on my way home. :)

                      1. re: nikkib99

                        omg, they discriminate against wet-bread haters! Oh well. :)

                      2. re: jmcarthur8

                        I'm guessing your BIL would not like the muffuletta sandwiches from the Central Grocery in the French Quarter in New Orleans.

                        1. re: John E.

                          You are certainly correct, John.
                          Nor a dipped Italian Beef from Chicago.

                          I'd happily eat either!

                          1. re: jmcarthur8

                            I'm from Chicago and I get gasps when I order Italian beef sandwiches. First off, don't put the beef in the bread. I want it on the side so I can blot it out.

                            And none of that 'let's take the sandwich for a dive!' Disgusting!

                            1. re: nikkib99

                              I must say I'm relieved to no longer feel alone. My oldest friends have made fun of me for this for YEARS and YEARS! hahah!

                              1. re: IndyGirl

                                Haha. It's just so hard to explain how vomit-inducing that is for me. I hate walking by ponds because there's always a jackass with a loaf of bread who thinks ducks should be fed slices of bread.

                                And nothing disgusts me more than dunkers. Why why why. You have teeth - chew! When I see someone who does that, I almost develop an instant dislike for them.

                                1. re: nikkib99

                                  Yess!!!! Dunkers! I know I've said this here before, but someone I live with doesn't eat bread without dunking it.... milk, coffee, chocolate milk... doesn't matter what is on the bread, either. Usually it's Martin's potato bread, untoasted, with peanut butter on it, folded over. Bread into chocolate milk or coffee. For like.... 4 pieces! And if he's not dunking (i.e. not just bread), he takes a bite, and while the food is still in his mouth, takes a huge gulp of whatever liquid he's drinking and chews it all together.....

                                  I can't be in the room if he's eating.

                                  1. re: kubasd

                                    Aaaaaah! I can't even have a glass of water until a good 5 minutes after eating bread just to make sure a crumb is still not in my mouth. Ugh - u just know that sick feeling when u miss a crumb. When some does the bite-and-sip move, I look away and avoid all eye contact. If i can, I leave their presence. That is just foul!

                                    The weird thing is I LOVE bread. Baguettes, focaccia, ciabatta, naan. I just like it bone dry.

                                    And anyone else scared of having a glass of water so close to a piece of bread? What if the glass tips over and it spills on the bread? I went through childhood never doing breakfast dishes. I'd wash dinner or lunch plates, not breakfast.

                                    To this day, I always place a napkin on my plate before placing bread on it. Just in case the plate is wet... even though I double- and triple-check.

                                    1. re: nikkib99

                                      Your body is mostly water. You put the bread in your mouth, it will get soggy. All the way down your GI tract your thoughts will turn to ducks.

                                  2. re: nikkib99

                                    You know, people who dunk bread/cookies/donuts/pastries are no more unlikeable because they dunk than deeming them unworthy of your friendship because of it might be.

                                    1. re: nikkib99

                                      Thank you to all the wet bread haters, you have made my day. I thought I was alone. This portion of the thread has made me laugh.

                                      I can tolerate dunkers (married to one who taught our child the same) but I totally agree about the ducks.

                                      1. re: cleobeach

                                        Indeed, I am also quite entertained by this portion of the discussion! And, I no longer feel like a freak like my friends have always said--at least, not for this reason.

                                        1. re: IndyGirl

                                          I just wanted you to know that while I was dipping big pieces of corn bread into my shrimp bisque at lunch yesterday, I was thinking of all of you. (^-^)

                                          1. re: Fydeaux

                                            ...and I thought of getting a French Dip sandwich (which is not actually French, of course) or an Italian Beef (Chicago style). :-)

                          2. re: IndyGirl

                            Have some REAL french toast, made from ROCK HARD bread. It does NOT get soggy. Can't stand soggy, at all!
                            Pain Perdu was designed for STALE bread, so hard you wanted it softened up a bit by egg and butter.

                            1. re: Chowrin

                              No thanks. I know what exactly pain perdu is. But I know the bread was dipped in an egg/milk mixture and that's enough to make me vomit.

                              I don't even like croutons in my salad. I always order salad with croutons on the side so it does not get soggy from the lettuce or even the dressing. I eat the croutons like chips. :o)

                              1. re: nikkib99

                                I remember reading one of the Boxcar Children books when I was a kid (they were my FAVORITE!!) and they were eating bowls of cream with pieces of bread in them as a treat, and I almost threw up in my mouth...

                                1. re: kubasd

                                  Let me just tell you a quick story. I have a 1.5" very noticeable scar on the back of my foot from an incident when I was about 8 or 9. I was sick and couldn't each much and the maid insisted I needed pieces of bread soaked in a cream/milk mixture. This woman was famous for trying to force-feed us garbage.

                                  I got a look of it and bolted. I ran so fast out of the house, out the yard being chased by this crazy woman with a cup of death.

                                  I slipped, fell and got a nasty cut.

                                  1. re: nikkib99

                                    ahaha taking one for the team, for sure! I think I would have done the same! Grosssssss!

                              2. re: nikkib99

                                I SO agree with you on wet/soggy bread - vile! I watched - once was enough! - hot dog eating contest & they were dunking buns in water or even soda & I could not take it - almost vomited watching.

                                  1. re: AMrunnergirl

                                    I don't hate soggy bread, but that tripped even MY trigger! Bleah.

                                1. Anise flavouring of any kind makes me want to mimic the Tom Hanks character when he tries caviar in the movie Big. Also most smoked foods apart from bacon but particularly smoked fish. Never had a version of either that has made me change my mind, though I do try from time to time, as recently as this weekend in fact on a trip to Portland.