From the Blog

Food I Used To Dislike, But Now Like

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Okay, I started yesterday’s post thinking that this was what I was going to write about. But the whole lobster thing sort of took over. And am I going to argue with lobsters? Especially lobsters from my childhood? No. I will not fight with lobsters.

But here is where that story originated in my crazed brain. I was a finicky eater as a kid. And in some ways, I still am. If I had a taste of something as a child and didn’t like it, it’s very possible I haven’t tried it again since. Like peaches. I had a bite of a peach when I was a kid, and I didn’t like it. I couldn’t reconcile the fuzzy outside with the juicy, fibrous inside. I still can’t. It doesn’t compute in my brain. Someone gave me a nectarine not long ago and I thought I might have grown up a little. But, meh. Wasn’t super impressed with the nectarine.

So if I didn’t like it as a kid, I may not have had it since. I’m pretty sure I still don’t like it. Peppers, olives, clams, oysters, peaches and pit fruits. Pulp in my orange juice. And of course, mushrooms. I don’t screw with mushrooms. There’s no chance that I like them. Probably for the rest of my life. Oh, and Brussels sprouts. I can tolerate them if they are properly cooked. But there’s some history there. Brussels sprouts might be the reason for all my finicky eating. They made me cry.

I have experienced “new” foods as an adult that I can flatly say are gross. Stinky little fish like sardines and anchovies. I have an active imagination, and all I can think of are stink and oil and bones. Bleh. I never really had avocado as a kid, and again, with my imagination, it’s going to be hard for me to grapple with avocado. It’s green and squishy! Like, not natural looking at all. Why would you want to put that in your mouth?

To keep from sounding like a complete juvenile, there are some things I didn’t like as a kid, but did grow to like. Broccoli, asparagus, onions (cooked only, still can’t eat raw,) eggs, shrimp, sour cream. I hated all those things as a young kid. And I like them now. So see? I can grow up. Sorta.

I like food, a lot, and I do try new things all the time. I’m not a complete baby. And every once in a while, I go through accelerated food phases. In the past few months, I suddenly really like a bunch of foods that I previously couldn’t stand. Like tomato juice and bloody marys. I HATED tomato juice as a kid. My mom liked tomato juice and I thought she was insane. Even as an adult, I didn’t like “drinking” something “savory.” Tomato juice tasted like something you marinate a steak in. I could not abide.

But something recently snapped, and now I order a bloody mary with breakfast all the time. Maybe it’s just to be able to drink alcohol in the AM. But I really do like them now. I’m not sure what happened. Same thing with sushi. I hated sushi for the longest time. I lived in California for a while and I can’t tell you how many goddamned sushi pushers there are down there. “Oh no, you have to try my favorite place, and I’m sure you will love it!” Um, no, douchebag. I still don’t like it, even at your favorite place.

But not long ago, we when went out for a friend’s birthday and he wanted sushi. I figured I could get tempura or noodles or something. But I ended up eating whatever sushi they put in front of me, and I sort of liked it. I avoided the super weird looking ones, but I pretty much ate everything. It was good. I liked it.

The same thing has recently happened with swiss cheese (which I always hated as a kid) horseradish, and beer. Yes, beer. I still like pink fruity beers because I’m a girl. But I can order a couple pints and not always need my husband to help me finish them. I’m a big girl now.

I don’t know what causes the shift in my brain. Like I said, I have an active imagination, and I have to think that the opinions formed by sensory or historical data stem from some sort of self preservation instinct. If it doesn’t taste good, I’m not going to eat it. To hell with “acquired tastes.” Perhaps I’m a bit stubborn? Obstinate? Nah.

Perhaps as I get older, my rational brain pushes through the six year old that is still in control of my palate. Except now I’m an adult and I’m semi articulate. So if you are a parent with a young child who is a picky eater, I think I just wrote your kid’s dinnertime manifesto.

Oh, one more huge new dislike: fucking wintergreen. I’ve tolerated it for too long. Wintergreen sucks my ass. Brushing my teeth with wintergreen toothpaste is like washing my mouth out with bathroom cleaner.

Parents, don’t force wintergreen on your kids.


  1. Weird. A lot of the foods you listed I didn’t like until becoming an adult as well… olives, clams, oysters, peaches, brussels sprouts, avocado, tomato juice/bloody mary’s, sushi, sour cream, swiss cheese. Still don’t like pulp in my orange juice. But I love and have for a while mushrooms, broccoli, asparagus, onions (also cooked only), eggs, shrimp. I don’t like wintergreen for the same reason you don’t, so thanks. And thanks ants.

  2. Sauerkraut. Anything seasoned with Tabasco. Anything seasoned with hot sauce, for that matter. Salsa WITHOUT chips (I sometimes eat salsa straight up). Bell peppers. Tomato soup. V8 juice. Just plain tomatoes. Jalapenos. Onions. Potato salad.

  3. Aimee Wynhausen says

    *sucks nonchalantly on a wintOgreen lifesaver* what?

  4. I can’t eat cream on pasta or eat anything with mayo in it. It just doesn’t look right to me. It looks like a big mess and like my daughter says, “It’s grossy!” Anchovies are good on bread with red marinara and grilled onions. I never liked pulp in my orange juice. It gets in the way of actually drinking the juice!!

  5. For me, it’s basically liver and onions (as a dish together) that I hate. Yet, I will eat pate’ and chicken liver mousse. I’m a bit of a foodie so like most things now, but man, as a child, I never ate salad until they invented ranch dressing. I’m working my way to up hot peppers.. little bit at a time. Self acclaimed spice-pansy.

  6. Milk…..just milk. Didn’t like it as a baby, don’t like it as a adult. The thought of drinking it makes me wanna puke. Everything else (except land animals) I eat.

  7. Ah, you guys. After writing this post, would you believe I’m lying in bed in a hotel room in Portland with food poisoning? The most sudden and violent food poisoning in years? Holy crap. And all our food stories are seriously making me queasy. Funny stuff.

  8. Oh my, food poisoning? What in the beejeebers did you eat? Stay away from Key Lime pie!

  9. I like most everything you mentioned except sardines/anchovies and olives. I like olive oil. A lot. So why not olives? No idea. My husband thinks I’m really strange not to like them (he loves them), but he does enjoy it when I pick them off my pizza and give them to him. I’m still working on liking avocados because they are so good for you. I like guacamole if it’s nice and limey. But plain, sliced avocados? Not so much.

  10. It’s not orange juice unless you have to chew it.

    And how do you feel about raisins?

    • Raisins: Okay by themselves. Okay in oatmeal or granola. In baked goods, raisins are vile chocolate chip imposters. Nothing disappoints me more than expecting chocolate, and getting a raisin. Raisins are a cruel joke that is only funny to soulless bakers.

  11. I couldn’t stand tomatoes or onions as a kid. Now, they are major ingredients in my favorite fresh foods.

    I may never, ever try shrimp though. Googly eyes! Crusty bodies! STOMACHS!

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