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Too immature to be a Chowhound?

I am so happy I stumbled onto this site a few months ago, but there is one thing I've noticed. I have very immature taste buds, at least compared to most of my fellow Chowhounds.

I saw on the "condiments" topic most mentioned fancy hot sauces or chutney's I've never seen and I'll be honest.... I was expecting the typical mayo and mustard type stuff. Okay, well fancy mustard at least.

I've also mentioned things that everyone else who loves food enjoys, but I loath. For example; dark chocolate, goat cheese and sushi.

I think I have SOME sophisticated tastes like stinky cheeses, good steak tartar, anything duck and any beautiful, not nauseatingly sweet pastry.

I will admit though, I still like an old fashioned grilled cheese made with "cheese product" and 10% natural canned tomato soup. I like making my own little Lunchables with Swiss cheese and turkey and fried egg sandwiches with no fancy frills.

Is it because I have 4 young children? Is it because I sit at a computer at my office all day? Or is it just because I've not been exposed to some of this cool stuff? I hope my taste buds grow up before I'm 50!

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  1. Don't let anyone Yuck on your Yum, and be sure to check out the threads of horrible food secrets and disgusting food loves. Or even the chains thread. You are not alone. A few years ago I started making a list of 5 new foods to try every New Year's. I haven't loved them all, but I can at least say I tried them. (I'm looking at you, Durian.)

    10 Replies
    1. re: Firegoat

      I ha made a few food goals in the past as well. It is kind of fun!

        1. re: mrbigshotno.1

          THINK I remember Durian being described as smelling like ROTTING MEAT?? WHO in their right mind would even consider putting THAT into their mouth?!?

          1. re: kseiverd

            It doesn't smell like rotting meat. More like rotting garbage.

            It does taste better than it smells.

          2. re: mrbigshotno.1

            To each his own. I love durian, but it has to be fresh, like bought from the roadside stalls in SE Asia. The frozen stuff doesn't do it justice. It's definitely an acquired thing, but I grew up visiting family in SE Asia so it's not "weird" for me like it may be for someone who didn't get exposed to it early on.

            My SE Asian cousins who visited a couple years back thought blue cheese was the worst thing they had ever smelled. :)

            1. re: boogiebaby

              My husband is Sri Lanka. He and the vast majority of his family and relatives hate durian. I only know two who don't.

            2. re: Firegoat

              Please try Durian!!! the one I tried didn't smell that bad but maybe that was because it was in the fridge before I ate it. Some people love or hate the smell, I actually like it. When I tried it the fruit tasted like what I imagine a cashew nut pudding would taste like. A very nutty creamy fatty flavor. Also I think I read somewhere that there are different types of durian. The one I had the flesh had a creamy white to off white/light yellow color.

              1. re: valleychip

                Spot on, valleychip. When I first tried durian in Indonesia I couldn't understand what all the fuss had been about. Okay, the odor was pervasive; but the flavor was subtle and lovely. It just wasn't the tasting hurdle I'd expected it to be. Not at all.

                1. re: JoanN

                  I love, love, love durians!!

                  Indonesia durians are the *worst* I'd ever had! The fruit bore no resemblance to those lovely fruit we get in Malaysia. Thailand produced fleshy varieties, whilst Vietnam's are just a shade above Indonesia's.


            3. I think your confusing a chowhound with a food snob or a gourmet.

              As a chowhound, I don't think you need to have a sophisticated palate or need to turn your nose up and "common" foods to be a chowhound.

              A chowhound is someone that's willing to try different foods and enjoys food. All types of foods. However, you don't have to like everything, especially if it's trendy.

              We all have our "trashy" dishes and recipes we like and cook.

              1. Don't let the sophisticates get you down. Like what you like, and if anybody gives you grief over your tastes, tell them to go to hell.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Perilagu Khan

                  And REAL Chowhounds will help you draw the map in case they don't know how to GET to hell!

                  We are here for you. Be passionate about your passions!

                  1. re: Monch

                    Yes, passion fruit is so versatile, great in every stage in a meal, soups, salads, mains, desserts and drinks. Palate cleansers too.

                2. There seems to be room for everyone here. Plenty of us have "downmarket" tastes for certain foods. The common denominator here is that we all like to eat/cook food. It sounds like you qualify.

                  But I've learned a lot from reading from adventurous eaters and cooks here. And if you ask a question, you will often get good answers. So pull up a chair and stay awhile.

                  1. Welcome. The most heated debates often involve hamburgers, hot dogs, or tacos. I, too, am not as adventurous as many chowhounds but I sure learn a lot . Cheers!

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: LA Buckeye Fan

                      Just mention hotdogs, ketchup and mustard in one post and you're bound to find a lot of discussion

                        1. re: James Cristinian

                          JIB tacos can not be replicated anywhere. They are a delicacy.

                          1. re: TroyTempest

                            Hmm ........

                            If they are a delicacy, they are a delicacy my stomach cannot handle.

                            1. re: foiegras

                              Certainly, like all fine things, they are not to be partaken of too often, lest one get spoiled and heartburn.

                        2. re: LA Buckeye Fan

                          and jarred spaghetti sauce, peanut butter and mass market breakfast cereais...

                        3. Geeze, I was hoping by the title the post was going to involve at least one fart joke!!

                          Don't sweat what you do or don't like vs. what you read about others. I view this like many other things in life, it's not about how I size up, it's how I enjoy the experience. Don't compare yourself, your tastes, your likes or dislikes to others, what's the point? They aren't making your dinner!!

                          Take what you enjoy about the site and use it to your benefit. Maybe reading about some of these chutney's will motivate you to try some and expand your palate, maybe they won't. Don't sweat it and enjoy!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: jrvedivici

                            Yeah, I was hoping it was some overly serious CH scolding other CHers for their juvenille humor, punniness or sarcasm. Oh well . . .

                            As others have said, don't sweat what other CHers may think of you and don't let them yuck your yum. We're a pretty diverse group here. Personally I don't like cheese "product" (just not raised on it, so it's not comfort food for me), but a plain grilled cheese with white American cheese on white bread or a no-frills fried egg sandwich? Invite me over any time.

                          2. The site's called Chowhound for a reason--it's an earthy, unpretentious Anglo-Saxon word form. Now if it were "Cuisine Inquirer," then you'd be expected to up your game.

                            1 Reply
                            1. i saw one phrase in your post that shows you do indeed belong here " I like making my own" . CHowhound is about loving food. ABout having an interst in food. it isnt about being a food snob or one of those Scantomommys that only have gourmet kids. It is about having an interest in creating meals or even about maybe feeding others. I love the aspect of food brings people together. Maybe you can read with your kids and experment with food from books together? Ratoullie from the Ratoullie movie...clotted cream from Ann of Green Gables ..marmalade from Padington Bear... stuff like that..

                              13 Replies
                                1. re: pikawicca

                                  I think girloftheworld means Sanctimommy (sanctimonious+mommy), a term that I first encountered on UrbanBaby.com. Not that I spend a lot of time on Urbanbaby.com, because I don't. I'm just interested in language, generally. (And proofreading. I am very in favor of proofreading.)

                                  And to the OP, as far as I'm concerned, this is a site for people who think enough about food to know what they like and don't. If you've determined that you like cheese product and hate dark chocolate, you're obviously thinking about what goes into your mouth. That's all a Chowhound is to me - someone who thinks about what goes into her mouth.

                                  1. re: small h

                                    I don't spend a lot of time on ub/ybm either. First rule of ybm...

                                    1. re: fara

                                      The scary thing is, I don't even have children.

                                    2. re: small h

                                      To me, a Chowhound is somebody who thinks with his mouth.

                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                        I'd like to leave things up to my mouth. But my wallet & my bathroom scale often make some very salient points.

                                      2. re: small h

                                        Thank you for the scantomommy clarification-

                                    3. re: girloftheworld

                                      where did the word "scantomommy" come from? I've never heard it before (or seen it in print)

                                      1. re: EWSflash

                                        spelled correctly...whichis sometimes not my strong point,,,Sanctimommys are a breed of mothers who feel they are better than all other moms and never give up a chance to let the other moms around them a chance to know that their way of doing things are so muchbetter ...sanctimonious and mommy

                                        1. re: girloftheworld

                                          I can shed some light. First, the Scantomommy has two main manifestations: the one whose is scarcely a mommy and then that one who favors, shall we say, less rather than more fabric in her attire. At times, drug addiction can bring both manifestations out in one specimen.

                                          As to the Sanctimommy: I am male but live in one of those "good schools" midwestern USA suburban communities, and as a single father with primary custody of my son, I have learned I cannot compete with the Sanctimommies. They generally have husbands who earn good money, and they can spend every day at the school helping out.

                                          Can't hold it against them, but I have to confess to some mixed feelings when I go to school to get my son for whatever random Dr. appt., and there are some mom's I NEVER fail to see there. They're seldom really sanctimonious, actually, but they make me feel guilty.

                                          1. re: Bada Bing

                                            they are filling up their own lives with their children's lives.
                                            doesn't necessarily mean that their kids are going to turn out better.
                                            i should know, i threw myself into my kid when it looked like she was on her way to being a professional in the performing arts:
                                            dance lessions, piano lessons, agent, manager, acting lessons, voice lessons, auditions, etc.
                                            all required full-time parental involvement.
                                            in the end, when she hit high school and her peer group wasn't impressed with her accomplishments, she chucked the whole thing. . . ..

                                            1. re: westsidegal

                                              Children are always a gamble, but should your daughter have stayed with it her life would have been different. Even though it didn't turn out as you had expected, it was really good you made the effort.

                                              1. re: Tripeler

                                                my sister was a gifted equestiran(sp)she started riding when she was three on a tiny pony... my mom was one of those barn mothers up at five am driving her to shows we are not rich but rich people would call and want her to ride their horses she was such a beautiful rider they beg her to ride for their stable wfich made it very affordable . Then when she was 13 she said the horses told her they hated jumping and she wanted to quit. My mother said " Baby I cant want something more than you want it for yourself" and even though I know it killed my mom a little inside my sister quit riding.

                                    4. Being a Chowhound, first and foremost, is to know what you enjoy, and to be confident in yourself as a culinary creature.

                                      As the saying goes, "It's ok to be a lemming, just don't be one"

                                      1. Mango chutney is really good on a grilled sleazy cheese sandwich.

                                        1. To me it is not a question of sophistication, but a question of practicality: how can you easily procure fantastically, other-worldly delicious food on a regular basis? How can you get your kids used to eating all kinds of delicious food?

                                          First step is to check to see if you are going around with 'blinders' on.... do you ignore eating at places because you are unfamiliar with them or the the type of food they serve? Do you ignore shopping at certain food stores or avoid certain products because you are unfamiliar with them?

                                          If so, you may be passing by all kinds of wonderfully delicious opportunities on a regular basis, and you may be missing out on exposing your kids to all kinds of terrific experiences in the future.

                                          The great thing about Chowhound is that it is a shortcut to finding out about all those places, those stores, those ingredients that can give you a convenient path to enormous pleasure.

                                          A food writer once wrote that food is a convenient way for ordinary people to experience extraordinary pleasure. But you won't get that unless you find practical ways to broaden your horizons.

                                          So hit up you local board for all sorts of great tips on specific places/menu items to try, and scour the other topical boards for food knowledge.

                                          I'm glad you are already enjoying the site, now hopefully you can put this resource into action.

                                          Where do you live? How is your familiarity with Asian or South/Central American food?

                                          1. Listen, babe! You are MORE than entitled to enjoy what you enjoy. No permission or exceptions required.

                                            There are lots of people here who like McDonalds and Paula Deen. And besides, food trends shift all the time and one day you will be the authority on your style of cooking. ...for at least 5 minutes. ; >

                                            Contribute away and solicit help and ideas without limits. Mostly, enjoy yourself and the things that make your life rich!!!

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: rainey

                                              exactly. Come join us on the Chains board. :)

                                              1. re: rainey

                                                I don't actually know who Paula Deen is. Should I hang my head in shame?


                                                1. re: LMAshton

                                                  Nope! I'd be grateful if I ware you but lots of people think she makes the sun rise and set. And that's fine too.

                                                  1. re: LMAshton

                                                    LMAshton- You must not live in the USA, and I'm not being snarky.

                                                    1. re: EWSflash

                                                      You're right - I don't live in the US. Never have. I'm a Canadian who's been in Asia for the last decade.

                                                2. Sounds to me like you fit right in!

                                                  1. WOW! You guys are great. Now I will feel a lot less intimidated and less guilty about my simple tastes.

                                                    Maybe I'll change my handle to Champagne and Pizza or Caviar and Bud....

                                                    6 Replies
                                                    1. re: bugablue13

                                                      Everybody has some things that they love but cringe to necessarily talk about it public. I can well remember when Julia Child did an interview discussing the Big Mac when it was first rolled out. ...she loved it and completely surprised everyone who expected her to look down her nose at it. ; >

                                                      1. re: rainey

                                                        she also thought that McDonalds fries were the bomb, until they changed to healthier oil, which she was very sad about.

                                                        1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                          And she was right! Being only a decade or two younger than JC I remember them well. Those fries made with beef tallow were fantastic! AT LEAST as good as anything I ever had when I lived in France.

                                                          I know why McDs has been forced to switch in a more health conscious America and I think it's important and only right that people know what they're eating but if they offered the choice of both vegetable oil- and beef fat-fried potatoes on their menu I have absolutely NO doubt which would be the best seller. ; >

                                                          1. re: rainey

                                                            All the fast food places used it and it was only a percentage of the total fat used, and the fries tasted good, same thing with national donut chains and pastry companies. Dunkin donuts are terrible now and so is Entenmans. I think it's halarious when you see people who claim they are eating right and don't include transfats but the will drench their food with ranch dressing and/or cheese sauce and eat 3 times the standard portion size. But they are not eating transfats!

                                                            1. re: mrbigshotno.1

                                                              Beef tallow is saturated fat, not trans fat, correct?

                                                    2. You're missing out on sushi.

                                                      1. I have a neighbor who really does not care what she eats. We have a neighborhood potluck once a month, pretty evenly split between creative food and tortilla chips/KFC. Probably half the folks, including this neighbor don't care at all what they are ingesting, and don't want to give it any thought. It's not immaturity, but a lack of sensory appreciation, perhaps?

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: pikawicca

                                                          Perhaps a lack of interest, a lack of a sense of adventure and curiosity.

                                                          1. re: LMAshton

                                                            These people are adventurous in other ways; they just don't see food as being worth their curiosity. They simply don't care.

                                                            1. re: pikawicca

                                                              looking at their behavior, i believe that they simply don't taste what i taste.

                                                        2. a. You are where you are, and as long as you and your family enjoy the food you prepare, what does it matter?

                                                          b. People here are all over the map, both in the geographic sense as well as in what kind of food they love and eat.

                                                          c. Seriously, what does it matter? :)

                                                          1. Just the fact that you already like this site is a step in the right direction. I find there are so many different types on this site but the common denominator is obviously a passion for food ranging from those that make their own burger at home to dining at a Michelin star restaurant and I'm sure that most who dine at these establishment love to make their own burgers at home.

                                                            I think the access to information on this site is limitless, whether it's discovering some new cut of beef that you never knew existed or a great home cooking tip. For me personally It's about discovering all the new places that open up in our city and the old places that I had never heard about. The cooking tips and the media stories i.e. finding out the China ban on US poultry is lifted and that processed chicken products like nuggets will now be made in China with US poultry.

                                                            And you don't need to like every single food out there to be here. I love fish but I don't really care too much for sushi! Oh oh did I just say that out loud? :)

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: JerkPork

                                                              I emphasize your point that there's a lot of information to be had on this site, and encourage people to search for it before posting a question that has already been answered at least once. The CH guidelines suggest searching, too. But the site's search engine is not the best. Many people have better success googling some key words including "chowhound". For example, for durian uses, google: durian recipes chowhound.

                                                              1. re: greygarious

                                                                Agree that Google works better ...I can't even find my own posts using CH's search 'engine'/pretend search tool.

                                                                1. re: foiegras

                                                                  The CH search is a complete waste of time and energy.

                                                            2. Everyone has already said it - you like whatz you likes when you likes it.

                                                              I don't like very spicy (hot) food - and my "very spicy" would be considered wimpy by many others. But for me, I don't like when the heat overwhelms the taste of what the food is.

                                                              I wouldn't pay an exorbitant amount for a fancy-schmancy burger - the idea of a Kobe Wagyu burger topped with sauteed foie gras, shaved truffles, and black Perigord truffle sauce just doesn't entice me, nor does a $50 price tag. I know I like a grilled ground chuck 80/20 burger with cheese (American yellow or a melty Swiss), several slices of crispy bacon, and ketchup on the bottom bun, with and potato chips on top if I can have them - on a lightly toasted bun.

                                                              If you want to try new stuff? You still can - even with the kids. Go to a gourmet food store, and buy one or two new-to-you items. It could be a sauce, it could be a chutney, as you noted. Figure out the main flavors and see what it might go well with - the chutney on a pork tenderloin might be a good way to try it out, or even mixed into a meatloaf! If the kids see Mom and Dad trying new stuff, they'll be more likely to do so.

                                                              But - we all like what we like. So use the site as you can, and leave the rest. :-)

                                                              1. Obviously everyone has a different definition. I think it's caring about and enjoying what you are consuming. For each person that is unique due to desires and life consequences. Just enjoy the experience.

                                                                1. I bought this book a couple of years ago and it has expanded my culinary horizons.


                                                                  1. You have started one of the more interesting discussions I have read lately. While expanding your world may in general be a good thing, I think it is also good to be comfortable with expressing likes, dislikes, and things in between, such as hesitation, and to develop a sense that will help guide you to try things you will like and help you to avoid those situations where you think, "Wow, I wish I could spit this out!" One of the things I enjoy is using posters with similar tastes to gauge new ideas. Oh, and any time you want a reinforcement of your self image as an unsophisticated person, wander into the Wine board!

                                                                    I'll also confess that even though my children are grown, I love fried egg sandwiches with no frills!

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                      1. re: tim irvine

                                                                        I do love an egg sandwich. I have at least two a month. On WHITE BREAD. With HELLMAN'S MAYO. Nobody's taking my CH card away.

                                                                        1. re: rockandroller1

                                                                          Sometimes the squishy white bread makes or breaks the sandwich. Scrapple, softshell crabs, egg and pb&j all have to have it!