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Sudden aversion to ketchup

I used to love ketchup. I was never the person to use it on nearly any and everything but certain foods were often eaten just so that I could have ketchup (e.g. fries, grilled cheese, burger) so it's not an overdose issue. However, in the past few months I've noticed that I've grown to not only not love, but to not like, and even to dislike ketchup. There is a long list of foods that I have grown to like and love, but I don't have many foods that I have grown to dislike and never imagined the first would be ketchup. Has this suddenly happened to anyone else?

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  1. I hope it's only temporary, because my mind really loves meat. My mind adores a slab o' nice juicy prime rib or a beautiful medium-rare steak with horseradish cream. My mind loves a fried half-breast of crispy fried chicken, or a slow-braised osso bucco.
    Unfortunately, within the past year and a half or so, meat has gotten less and less appealing no matter what meat/poultry/fish it is or how it's prepared. Because I cook for other people, I absolutely have to taste it, to make sure everything is well-prepared and correctly seasoned. I can't say that it's repugnant to me - it smells and looks wonderful - and it tastes completely "right," but it just doesn't do anything for me. Go figure, considering that my mind is still a huge carnivore. It's my tastebuds that won't comply!!

    1 Reply
    1. re: mamachef

      Yea, I hope it's only temporary as well. I love malt vinegar on fries, but the ketchup also elevated the experience.

    2. Have you started any kind of medicine recently? A while back when I started taking medicine to prevent migraines, a small handful of foods suddenly turned me off and they still do.
      Luckily, there's still more than enough stuff left to love :)

      5 Replies
      1. re: alliegator

        Nope, that's the thing, I haven't changed anything or anything that I can remember. Perhaps I should try a new brand and see if that has the same feeling.

        1. re: fldhkybnva

          Hmmm, or maybe try something sriracha or some homemade bbq sauce where you would use ketchup? Maybe a little kick in the tastebuds will get your red dipping sauce appetite going.

          1. re: alliegator

            Oh I love both the aforementioned condiments in fact had a load of sriracha and bbq sauce just yesterday and they went down quite fine.

            1. re: fldhkybnva

              My husband isn't the biggest ketchup fan in the world, but I started mixing half ketchup and half sriracha and he eats it on everything now.

            2. re: alliegator

              exactly what I was thinking, perhaps you are just getting tired of the sweetness and need to spice it up, some chipotle in adobo is nice too, but my favorite is sriracha

        2. Tastes can change, as bodies change, taste receptors and personal body chemistry can react differently to foods. If you've always used the same brand of ketchup perhaps the maker changed an ingredient, their formula, somehow, and you're sensing (and disliking) that somehow.

          A big red flag for pregnancy is sudden food aversions, if you're at risk for pregnancy. :)

          2 Replies
            1. re: afridgetoofar

              Ha, I was going to say the same thing (not evening knowing the poster's gender) . . . .great minds think alike ;)

            2. I was a moderate user of ketchup years ago, but gradually lost interest in it. That's a good thing, because ketchup has added sugar. I think it was a part of losing interest in sweet food generally. Now that I am aware of the harmul effects of sugar I have reduced my intake even more. The right amount of ketchup is zero — there's just no need for it.

              1 Reply
              1. re: GH1618

                I think this might the issue. I am not the biggest fan of sweet foods. My servings of desserts are laughable to most - the dose of sugar I can tolerate is maxed out at a sliver of pie (literally 1/16th of a regular sized 9 inch) pie so perhaps it's my sweet aversion has grown stronger. Even with ice cream, I think I'm the only person who eats 1/2 of the actual serving size which to most is inadequate by far and they tend to dollop out up to 2-3 servings in a sitting.

              2. Hunt's and Heinz have both changed their ketchup recipes in the last year or so. They have replaced the high fructose corn syrup with plain old sugar. This may in turn change the mouth feel/taste for you and hence your "aversion." Just a thought.

                1. Believe it or not, it happens occasionally to me with coffee. And I'm a caffe-phile of the first order. I take it as my body's way of saying "not so much of that for a while", and I switch to teas. Usually lasts about a month with me.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: pinehurst

                    I stopped drinking coffee once when I got bronchitis/flu/whatever. It just tasted awful. That was nine years ago, and I still don't drink coffee except very occasionally, usually w/dessert in a restaurant.

                    1. re: pinehurst

                      Yea, I totally get that and I'm a big food obsessed person so will eat the same thing for literally months and then randomly switch usually not because of dislike but I start liking something else and the old thing phases out but perhaps I sought out the new thing because I wasn't really liking the old thing so much anymore. I think I mentioned above that with certain foods I use a good amount of ketchup so perhaps I am overloaded. With fries, the ramekin with ketchup needs to be refilled multiple times although admittedly when I decide to have fries usually once a week it's a pretty hefty serving of potatoes but there really is no holding back with the ketchup at that time so you might be on to something.

                      I did experience a similar thing with coffee as well. I am actually a big fan of Starbucks and always get a black Pike Place and used to love it, but then for a few weeks I hated it, nearly detested it so stopped drinking coffee pretty much. A few months later, it was the only place open and so had to give in and to my surprise I was in love again.

                    2. I use to use ketchup on quite a few things but my taste totally changed and now the only time I tolerate it is in cocktail sauce loaded with horseradish. Not to crazy about mayo either. Now if I could only have that same aversion to chocolate.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: GIOny

                        I used to always put ketchup on fries... and burgers, etc. but then stopped liking it... It just seems a kind of silly mix of salt & sugar to me without any real redeeming value...

                      2. Ketchup is back in action! This weekend we ordered Chinese food and my favorite part has always been the crispy hot crinkle fries dipped in large amounts of ketchup and malt vinegar. With my recent aversion, I was hesitant to even bother ordering the fries as I only enjoy them with the ketchup accompaniment, but I figured I'd give it a shot. Perfection as usual! It seems that my ketchup obsession is still intact but I only like it with certain foods. I have always only pulled out the ketchup for grilled cheese, burgers, and fries. My recent aversion was a bad experience with grilled cheese and ketchup so perhaps it's not a total dislike but simply that grilled cheese is off the ketchup list and I just hadn't experienced the fries/ketchup combination in a while.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                          "we ordered Chinese food and my favorite part has always been the crispy hot crinkle fries..."


                            1. re: ttoommyy

                              Oh, oops perhaps I should have prefaced my statement as it might not make sense at first read. There was a long discussion of Chinese "carryout fries" in a previous thread http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/882521 in which several of us discussed the greatness of the great hot crispy crinkle fry. Long story, short - my takeout order always includes french fries and it's often the best part of the meal.

                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                I remember reading that thread but I did not participate (it looks like one of those threads that might be popping up forever). My question for you is, where are you located? I'm in Minnesota and while I have occasionally noticed french fries on the menu, we've never ordered them and I always tjought they were there to order for choldfen who won't eat the 'Chinese' food.

                                My grandmother's boyfriend was funny about food. He didn't want to be in the kitchen while the food was being prepared and he would not eat food he could not identify. My aunt and uncle used to take grandma and her SO to a chow mein place and he always had a ham sandwich (and maybe fries).

                                1. re: John E.

                                  I live in Baltimore. Around here there is a pretty standard Chinese takeout menu which is usually white background with red print and the "American menu" (as it is usually referred) is at the top with items such as random deli meat subs, chicken nuggets, french fries, onion rings, etc. The fries and onion rings are also listed in the Appetizers section.

                                  My fries with Chinese food obsession is fairly recent. As a kid, we never ordered fries and my parents probably never thought to. I think it was all a coincidence of a weekly Chinese food night in which me and SO really wanted General Tso's and it's familiar American Chinese food friends but I also had a serious craving for french fries (although perhaps it was a ketchup craving). Well, as we perused the menu to make sure that there weren't any random foods we left off the order, I spotted the fries and they were added. The rest is history and now all orders include fries.

                                  I think that you are probably in the majority and many people wouldn't even consider to order them because not only are they different than the Chinese food items you're probably in the mood for and the reason you're ordering but also because they are on a separate part of the menu that you would rarely look at. In fact, when I call and start my order with fries, they always respond with "no salt, right?" as in I stand out as one of few people who orders them and thus they can assume no salt.

                                2. re: fldhkybnva

                                  Thanks. I thought it might be a regional thing. I live in NJ and have never seen fries on a Chinese take out menu.

                            2. My brother developed an aversion to ketchup, but that was because a lot of our high school friends worked in the canneries where ketchup was made, and said friends regaled us with stories of unauthorized additions to the ketchup vats.

                              Mrs. ricepad developed a sudden but longlasting negative reaction to beef tongue (cooked Chinese style) when she was pregnant with our second child, nearly 20 years ago. She used to like it, but even now, just the smell of it makes her nauseous.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: ricepad

                                I read the preview of this post in my email and almost did not click as I didn't want my love of ketchup ruined by the phrase which would follow the "aversion to ketchup..because..he worked in the canneries." Thanks for not completely divulging the "mystery."

                              2. You know how being sick throws your taste buds off? For whatever reason when I'm sick the taste of ketchup changes more than anything else to me. It tastes horrible and I love ketchup.

                                Probably in no way related to your issue, just throwing it out there.

                                1. Could be climate change.