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Jul 10, 2013 07:20 PM

Deal-Breakers in Salads

Generally speaking, salads are wildly permutating collections of ingredients we all know and love, but sometimes hate. So what ingredients cause your heart to sink and tastebuds quail when you see them in a salad? These ingredients are capable of ruining an otherwise excellent salad.

For me, the three horsemen of the apocalypse are hot peppers, raw mushrooms and raw spinach. Although I'm a confirmed chilehead, I find that hot peppers overwhelm and undermine salads. They just don't belong. With shrooms, it's just a texture thing. And I don't mind spinach if it's combined with other greens, but as the exclusive base of a salad, its slightly soft and mushy texture is a real turnoff.

So what's on your hate parade?

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  1. I second these and although it's not really fair because in general I don't really like lettuce salads...
    chicken or any kind of meat (fish is ok, great even)
    raw broccoli or cauliflower
    any kind of store bought dressing
    grape tomatoes whole
    cucumber with the peel on it, even a little
    crunchy chow mein noodles

    give me a nice vegetable salad with herbs, tomato, cucumber and perhaps some feta- then I'm in heaven.

    2 Replies
    1. re: fara

      What a shame about the chow mein noodles - I love those! Things I despise in my salads are onion (although I'm good w/ green onion), green peppers, blue, goat or feta cheese, over dressed / drenched salads.

      1. re: JerryMe

        I also love the chow mein noodles. Actually, I love almost anything crunchy one would put in a salad.

    2. Raw mushrooms for me, too, plus raw green bell peppers. And sometimes garbanzo beans are just mealy and gross, maybe they're canned, or stale, I don't know, but I try to avoid them in salads.

      1. Pine Nuts - though I love them, I'm afraid of getting pine mouth

        Green Bell Pepper


        ...and I really dislike store-bought croutons

        ETA: should have also mentioned - too much dressing. Who wants soggy salad?!!

        6 Replies
        1. re: Breadcrumbs

          Preach it, Breadcrumbs. Ditto on the dislike of green bell pepper and celery. I take BIG (think Elaine) salads to work most days and will use store-bought croutons if I haven't made any. We have a brand down here made from Texas toast that aren't too crunchy to break a tooth, as most store-bought ones can do.

          1. re: KrumTx

            i love those texas toast croutons.

            1. re: alkapal

              I'm not much for croutons, but the Texas Toast croutons are amazing!

          2. re: Breadcrumbs

            "I'm afraid of getting pine mouth"

            Please tell: what is pine mouth?

            1. re: jettthecat

              It's a nasty taste and long lasting condition that some folks get from Chinese/Asian vs. Mediterranean pine nuts. The smaller, darker ones are the bad ones, with the larger dark ends.

            2. Most fresh fruit. Dried fruit is fine but don't put strawberries in my greens or grapes in my chicken salad. But raisins and cherries and cranberries are fine.
              Nuts, any nuts. Seeds like sunflower and sesame are fine but no nuts
              Mushrooms raw texture issues
              Macaroni or potato salads on greens. I like chicken, ham and tuna salad on greens but sometimes they serve my sides on a salad. Not a fan

              1. #s 1, 2, 3, etc. is cucumbers. We both loathe them. But we just pick them out.