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Food Shame -- What is a fairly common food that you've never tried. Even though you are probably an adult now and can go and try whatever you want?

My current secret common food I haven't tried shame -- "Tamales"

I've worked in many businesses where coworkers had very authentic cook relatives bring them to work. Live in a city with many places I could have tried them. I watch shows about how to make them.

My shame? I'm not exactly sure how to eat them so i avoid them. What is you secret common food you just haven't tried. and feel maybe guilty, or maybe not guilty about.

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  1. As to the tamales, you just peel back the husks and dig in! Not much to it. I think you should try one--authentic tamales are like nothing else you'll ever eat.

    My list is too long to even get into.

    4 Replies
    1. re: nothingswrong

      I swear, I was watching some dumb show on food network and I saw the host eat part of the husk. Seriously... do I eat the husk or not. I want to say not.

      1. re: Firegoat

        Don't eat the husk. You wouldn't eat the husk from an ear of corn on the cob, right?

        When you get into southern Mexico, sometimes a banana leaf replaces the corn husk as the wrapper, don't need to eat that either.

        Enjoy.

        1. re: Firegoat

          That's like eating walnut shells or pistachio shells. You can certainly do it mechanically, but there's no reason to either nutritionally or taste-wise.

          1. re: Firegoat

            We refer to some of those shows as "dumb shows" because some of them are indeed dumb :)

            Don't eat the husk. Just peel it back and eat.

            I haven't had a tamale in many years, but my Mexican nanny took me to eat them every week when I was a kid. We would take the bus to an old Mexican lady's house and walk up to the back door of her kitchen, where she sold several flavors of tamales out the back for a buck apiece. There was always a line of men, women, children. Still the best tamales I've ever had, no doubt because they were made with a recipe that had been tweaked and practiced for decades.

        2. After decades of being a habitual experimenter, I struggle to think of anything common that I haven't tried.

          I do sometimes wonder what to make of a few foods that I have so far resisted from a sense of unease, which is at odds with my more general rule to try anything once, at least. I have passed on sweetbreads, for example. But I've tried other things that gross out many Americans (say, chicken feet; and a surprising number of Americans just won't go near seafood apart maybe from canned tuna, if that).

          And as for tamales: yum!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Bada Bing

            Had the opportunity to try chicken feet last weekend but had to pass it up. Couldn't deal with the way the bones felt between my chopsticks.

            Love oysters though.

          2. I was going to type raw oysters. Then I thought about it. Why should I feel shame about not eating something which appears to be unappetizing?

            22 Replies
            1. re: RelishPDX

              You shouldn't feel shame about it, you should just try it, at least once. It seems really limiting to never try things just because they appear unappetizing. That's just me though.

              1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                When there's such a bounty of things to try which do appear appetizing, why waste my time on things which do not? Instead of limiting, it's actually quite freeing not to have to feel as if I must bow to peer pressure or dares to eat something.

                It isn't going to matter one bit when I'm dead and dust whether I've tried a raw oyster or not.

                1. re: RelishPDX

                  I often agree with your line of logic in other areas so I totally get what you are saying. Though, with food, I've found that I like to try a lot of things. I've certainly found some great stuff that way, and it seems like the benefits outweigh the costs drastically, but that's just me.

                  MY rationale is: If you have to try 25 new things to find 1 thing you really like, it seems worth if if you eat the thing you like 25 more times in your life.

                  Example: oxtail doesn't look particularly appetizing but it's some great stuff.
                  For what it's worth, when you are dead, nothing will matter. That doesn't really have a lot to do with trying food though.

                  1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                    If you read some of my post history, you’ll see that I’m the curious type who’ll add Kool-Aid lemonade powder to hollandaise to try out someone’s suggestion, or spend a couple of hours at a pan-Asian store poking around, delighted at finding new things. But in order to try a new recipe, technique, or food, there must be an appetizing element behind it.

                    In my youth, my parents went on a health food kick in the early 60s. I happily ate tofu back then when the only way you could buy it was to hail down the produce guy at the Co-op store to whack a piece off the huge cake of it sitting in a galvanized metal tub in the store room’s refridgerator, which was then packed in a Chinese food to-go carton with the weight and price on it. No pretty little pre-packed plastic tubs of it of varying texture and firmness, no sir. It was just tofu. Take it or leave it.

                    My sister and I even choked down “green drink” (a concoction I later found out was raw sunflower seeds soaked overnight in pineapple juice, whizzed up in our old Waring blender with all sorts of raw greens), after my parents at least put the reward of a maraschino cherry in the bottom of the glass for finishing it, sort of like finding the prize in a box of Cracker Jack. Chocolate wasn’t allowed, so we ate those carob-coconut bars instead for a sweet treat, and settled for Nesquik strawberry flavoring instead of Bosco in the cottage cheese-based smoothie we also had to down—that was dubbed “pink drink”.

                    The irony of it all is that while my parents were stuffing my sister and I full of “healthy” whole grains and Roman Meal bread, I was developing what has been diagnosed as refractory sprue—having had undetected celiac disease for so long that it’s now untreatable even by the GF diet.

                    Does something look or sound appetizing? If yes, I’ll give it a go to satisfy my natural curiosity and adventurism. Not everything pans out, and many things I don’t try again for one reason or another.

                    I’m an adult now. I absolutely refuse to accept guilt, shame or judgment over my food choices. If that isn’t up to someone else’s standards, so be it. That’s for them to tough out, not me.

                    1. re: RelishPDX

                      I think we had the same parents. Oh god, the ever-present loaves of Roman Meal bread!!! Also, "dessert" in our house was often prunes (before they were re-branded with the more pleasant name of "dried plums," of course). And co-op peanut butter, with the oil floating on top of the re-used jar we brought in. We should start a separate thread called "How my hippie parents tried to kill me with healthy whole foods..." ;)

                      1. re: team_cake

                        «"How my hippie parents tried to kill me with healthy whole foods..."»

                        LOL! I'm game. Although our stories would probably scare the heebee jeebees out of half of the Special Diets board. ;)

                        When I think of all the money they spent on not just the food, but sourcing the food as well, my parents should have just sent off a check to a faith healer every month instead, for all the good it did in the end.

                        1. re: RelishPDX

                          oh lord - too funny and reminds of me of a roommate I had in SF, we'd gather all the jars and bags in the house marked with the tare weight and spend most of the afternoon taking the bus to (IIRC) the Rainbow Market to stock up on flavorless stuff. eh I wasn't doing anything better and she was fun to hang out with.

                          1. re: RelishPDX

                            Unfortunately, I think I was one of those hippie parents :/
                            Lol. I tried to make it all "tasty" !

                            I used to grind/ toast/bake all of my own "whole grain" breads, make wheat grass smoothies, etc. now that I have a grown kid that is gluten intolerant and another one that bloats at wheat...I wonder if we didn't cause all these problems in the population :(
                            Seriously, history will tell....

                          2. re: team_cake

                            Great idea for a thread. I've always wondered if anyone else had to eat slimy tofu fished out of huge five gallon vats at the food co-op. Or homemade tempeh after it "cured" on the counter for a week. And the textured vegetable protein my mother put in everything -- from bread to spaghetti sauce. I remember my mother squeezing bean curd through cheesecloth and wondering how I was going to slip that to the dog - and if he was even going to eat it. And then the invention of the Vita Mix -- God only knows what was in all those strange colored chalky drinks.

                            1. re: Jenifood

                              Probably wheatgrass and spirulina, with a bit of rose hips and kelp.....mmmmm....

                        2. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                          Oxtail us a braising cut. You eat the meat so who cares what bone it comes off from.

                    2. re: RelishPDX

                      RelishPDX I held out on raw oysters until I was sixteen or so. The key is not to eat just one, it took six or seven until I was hooked for life. Now, fried eggs and hard boiled, I will never eat. I tried scrambled and hated them, no eggs for me.

                      1. re: James Cristinian

                        I had the same experience with oysters, only recently started eating them and now I can't get enough.

                        1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                          I never met an oyster I didn't like, Rockefeller, fried, broiled, or raw you name it, I'll eat it.

                        2. re: James Cristinian

                          Hard boiled is on my list. Have had a bite in things and I don't like it. Refuse to take a bite of a whole one.

                        3. re: RelishPDX

                          Oysters, clams and mussels are OK if you devein them first.

                            1. re: chococat

                              I leave them in a bucket of clean water for a day or so. Amazing how much black "sand" accumulates in the bottom.

                              1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                I sometimes see people recommend putting cornmeal in the water, the idea apparently being that the cornmeal irritates the molluscs leading them to release more sand. Any truth to that?

                                (I have tried it but never in a side-by-side impression. I suspect the cornmeal itself is somewhat gritty so it APPEARS that more sand has been released, even if that's not actually true.)

                                1. re: drongo

                                  I've heard it gets eaten and helps to 'clean out' the bivalve's GI tract, like how one feeds snails green leafies for a while before cooking

                            2. re: emu48

                              I assume you mean de-beard the mussels? Clams and oysters don't have beards. They go for the clean shaven look.

                          1. I can't think of anything . And I wouldn't be ashamed in any case.

                            1. chitlin's (AKA pork chitterlings) and I have no excuse.