I’m Not Eating That!

Craig McCord

Craig McCord › Craig possesses 23 guitars and cannot play any of them. He likes fresh grilled sardines with a ...

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Frank Bruni, in today’s New York Times, writes about foods that make you say “I’m not eating that!”.

Picky eating has been around since we humans learned to have enough of food around to be choosey.

But Mr. Bruni is making a broader point in his article, “A Taste You Hate? Just Wait”. He write:

Are there really foods that we don’t like, or just foods that we haven’t liked yet? And are we cheating ourselves as we ceaselessly expand our culinary horizons with new tastes by not circling back to old ones? I increasingly suspect that the greatest pleasures-in-waiting aren’t in some foreign land or fringe neighborhood. They’re right in front of us, if only we’d be adventurous enough to give the ingredients we’ve exiled a chance to return to our plates.

Are there really foods that we don’t like, or just foods that we haven’t liked yet?

Some of those that food one can’t stand are called out (in order of appearance) in his article. Items such as beets, oysters, cauliflower, broccoli, lamb, skate, coconut water, mushrooms, (the Italian cocktail), the Negroni, papaya, sushi, fennel, conch, calf liver, rhubarb, walnuts, tofu, brussels sprouts, crab, beer, and organ meat. Are there foods on this list that you can’t stand? Which one(s)?

Mr. Bruni argues that our dislikes are “… psychological. Emotional. It’s a function of expectation, emulation, adaptation.”

An “expert on the science of taste at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia” backs up the author’s position saying:

“We’re built to be wary of something novel, but once it’s not novel, we can develop new food preferences into old age,” said Gary Beauchamp, an expert on the science of taste at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia. Precisely as a child’s diet broadens, so can a 40-year-old’s or a 50-year-old’s, because in every instance, Dr. Beauchamp said, “it’s not about something that’s going on in the mouth or the taste buds but something that’s going on further up in the brain.” Our palates matter less than our perspectives, and over those we have some control.

We all currently have favorite foods and drinks that heretofore did not interest us. One need only to peruse the list above to be reminded of a couple of those “offenders”.

Experiencing new tastes, trying new foods, experimenting with different wines, juices and cocktails are all part of a healthy perspective toward this thing we call life.

Frank Bruni had a beet aversion well into his thirties, but he’s over that now. His last line of his well-written article reads:

I’d recommend a side of beets.

What foods gross you out? What are you thinking about trying?