5 Ick Foods

Monday, October 23, 2006

After reading the posts on the attitudes of picky eaters at Cooking with Amy, and Tigers & Strawberries, I got to thinking. I myself am not a picky eater and don't have a picky eater attitude, though my mom is sure to have a story or two that might state otherwise from way back when. Now it's more like "Ox tail? Pile 'em on!" "Fried scorpions? SURE!" "It might kill me? Life's about risk, right?" It's all about experience.

When invited anywhere, I will eat whatever is served to me and be gracious about it. If I should not like it, I will eat (as much of it as I can) anyways. I'm lucky enough to be able to eat everyday, and have friends who are happy to cook for others, so why would I throw that away? I will cook around religious and health diets with no complaint, but will not cook for fad eaters, a.k.a. "I started the new South Carbo Squash and Raw Pork Diet" people. If you are gonna be like that, then I suggest you bring yourself a candy bar before you come over. I'm also irked by people unwilling to try new things based off of some "because" bullshit reason like the color or texture is "icky" or because it doesn't look like something they've had before. That's the point behind trying new things, to test the unfamiliar.

However, even the adamant food lover has limits. There are certain foods I will not touch with a 10 foot pole. Maybe someday someone will change my mind with a new presentation of them, or my tastes will further evolve or alter, but these are just some foods that will never touch my lips. They aren't linked to a child hood food trauma or anything like that, I just hate them cause they taste nasty to me.

Licorice Candy - It's just so ick. It doesn't even fall into a taste category. If cheap vodka could go bad like produce, this is what it would taste like I bet. Red is bad enough, but black? Oh sweet Jesus. Humans and animals instinctivly spit out poisonous material if it's tasted. Ever see a healthy baby eat licorice? I thought not.

Jellyfish - The texture and flavor are just so uncomfortable. I just have nothing else to say about it. You have to try it to really get a dislike for it. It's like crunchy strips of brittle jello.

Raw Tomatoes - Apparently, I am not alone on this. In the past few years I have met a lot of people who agree. They just have the pungent sweetness that's almost like rotting. I'll eat tomato suace, soup, ketchup, etc. but just chopped with a quick oil or salting? Pass.

Flan - I tried it a thousand times from a zillion different places and sources. I have yet to have a flan I enjoyed. Sorry 'bout it.

"That Greasy Mush" - I had it at a Sikh wedding. I still don't know what it was. Tasted like old coffee grains and flour mixed together with overused deep frying oil to form this nasty mush. I reverted to old 5 year old habits and I hid it in my pocket (I didn't have a big glass of milk to hide it in) so I could throw it away later because it was absolutely inedible to me. No offense to the Sikh religion, but I just could not eat it.

There are things I have eaten other I am sure would not. I have had a deep fried scorpion; something I'll grant most people will probably avoid. They taste like gourmet spicy cheetohs. Shibby indeed.


  1. My Five:

    1) Tarragon: No matter how many Franch recipes call for it. I can't stand the stuff.

    2) Bleu Cheese: Except in two things: the pear-bleu cheese pizza at CPK and the tomato-bleu cheese focaccia from a local bakery.

    3) Beef: My most damning. I haven't touched the stuff or any of its byproducts in eleven years, mostly for environmental-sustainibility reasons.

    4) Campari: The devil's drink. So bitter, it makes me feel like my mouth has turned inside out.

    5) Salmon Roe: One of the most disgusting things I have ever tasted. The fish oily-ness that coated my entire mouth after the egg popped... I never want to ingest this again.

  2. I couldn't agree with you more about the licorice, especially black licorice! I don't know if I will ever understand what the draw here is :)

  3. I used to hate raw tomatoes too--until I tried a really good, homegrown tomato. Totally different experience, especially when sprinkled with coarse salt and drizzled with good olive oil.

  4. I don't especially like raw tomatoes (I'll pick them out of my dishes), but I hate them much less in France. Isn't that weird? They taste better here.


  5. You lost me at raw tomatoes...I love them. But my BF refuses to touch them, so I'm well aware that there's a group of people who would prefer all tomatoes go straight to the Heinz plant.

    And I'm totally with ya' Meredith. Campari IS the devil's drink -- blech. And I think Clamato is its brother's beverage of choice. So gross.

  6. I feel you on the licorice. I was in Spain over the summer and purchased some nice Orbit gum, expecting it to have a typical mint flavor. Not so. All 3 packs I got were licorice in disguise. I gave some USA-proud "Winterfresh" to a native Spainard and she thought it tasted disgusting. guess that figures.

  7. You know, I am a pretty picky eater, as well...but out of all of your 5 Ick things, I actually liked 2 of them and would try one of them. Jellyfish, however, is one I will NOT bring myself to try. I'm not a fish fan and I've heard stories of jellyfish! Tomatoes I don't like period, unless it's a sauce. they are just too bitter.

  8. My five...

    Octopus..can't do it.

    Pork rinds...ick.

    I agree about Campari! What are those Italians thinking?

    barracuda (sp)-had this in Honduras..icky fishy ick bottom feeder.

    BBQ'd eel...no.

  9. Awesome description of jellyfish. I too think it is truly disgusting. In Thailand they used to serve it in strips and would say eat, eat, this is special. Ugh!!! I still shudder to think of that odd texture and salty non-flavor.

    I can't agree with the tomatoes. As Sarah said, a good homegrown tomato is delicious. There's nothing like a sun-warmed tomato eaten straight from the garden like an apple.

    My can't do foods:
    Jellyfish - as above

    Durian - you either love it or hate it and I can't stand it. It tastes worse than it smells.

    Chartreuse - oddly bitter mix of herbal flavors that instantly imparts a feeling of nausea. I can't understand how this became a consumable.

    Corn - corn chips are fine, polenta is tolerable, but fresh corn just tastes awful to me.

  10. My five most hated foods (all but one of which has already been mentioned):

    1. Licorice--yeah, it's bad--and other things that remind me of same taste family (fennel, anise, etc.).

    2. Tarragon--the only herb I hate with a passion.

    3. Salmon roe and other slimy things found at sushi bars--but love sushi and sashimi. What is that green slimy stuff anyway?

    4. Bleu cheese *dressing*--the cheese itself is OK in recipes or on sprinkled on salads but HATE the flavor of bleu cheese dressing.

    5. Yellow mustard--makes me gag just looking at it or smelling it. Dijon is OK in recipes and sweet mustards are tolerable but yellow is the mustard from hell.

  11. Whats with the hate on tarragon? I use it with butter and garlic as a fondue dipping sauce for steaky bits heated in hot oil.
    Mmm... tarragon butter on steaky bits. *drool*

  12. Mmmm tarragon...It is the main herb in many of the sauces that form the foundation of classic French cuisine. ;)

    Thanks for the love, Garrett,
    Tarragon Appreciation Society.

  13. I like tarragon and LOVE black licorice but I'm with you on the raw tomatoes. Other people seem to enjoy raw tomatoes so much that I wish I did like them but I just don't. I do however like cooked tomatoes and fried green tomatoes.

  14. You hate flan! I love you ... I think I've commented on this before. I HATE flan. And tomatoes.

    But I like gross things like licorice or campari. My cooking teacher told me it was because I have a "European" palate.

    Which would help explain why I was born with a cigarette in my mouth and a baguette and a bottle of wine in my little tiny hands.

  15. Flavour outcast sez:

    Red licorice is not licorice, and black licorice, if it's good, is one of the most delicious foodstuffs on earth.

    Callard and Bowser used to have these black licorice toffees that were face-meltingly good. And I think that I loved them even as an infant.

    Licorice, like bitter tastes (Campari) is one of those things that American palates seem not to have gotten the hang of. My favorite drink as a young goof was Schweppes Bitter Lemon, hard to find here, but delicious and worth the hunt. I guess you could mix your own with tonic water and some lemony soft drink.

    Licorice and bitters. I don't know how they'd go together, but apart they are at the pinnacle of flavor experiences. Yum.

  16. My Five:

    1. Ketchup. Really, this could be 1-5, my hatrid is so extreme. That said, I love raw tomatoes, tomato sauce, pretty much tomato anything, except for ketchup. It's too sweet, and it stinks. And people slather it on inappropriate foods, like eggs and macaroni and cheese. Super ick.

    2. Popcorn. It tastes burned. And it stinks.

    3. Lengua, or whatever that cow tongue stuff is that is often served at authentic taquerias.

    4. Port and other dessert wines. Way too sweet, and not in a good way.

    5. Prunes, figs, dates, raisins and all manner of sour, dried fruits. Dried apples, bananas, apricots, etc., are fine. But if it resembles a raisin, I stay away.

  17. re flan: you should visit the flan queen in tallahassee aka my sister.
    re your blog's name:the other day i was served a garlic croissant.yes someone had been chopping garlic and without washing the hands picked up my croissant. at first i was grossed out but then found a e ne sais qois to it.
    re ikky: food pigs feet and natto.

  18. I am like you - I will try just about anything :)
    My 5 :
    *Anything gelatinous - ie: knuckles and cartelage and feet - yuck! (however I love marrow....)
    *Licorice, anything anis - no way I will not go near it (food or drink)
    *Blue Cheeses - I don't care how they're served I won't eat them
    *Calamari and Jellyfish
    *Sardines.....actually, almost any animal where you eat the whole thing right then and there just gives me goosebumps!

    Raw Tomatoes - yum! I eat them (and Bell Peppers) like apples - they're great!
    For Flan you must find a Cuban to make you flan, they make it with tons of eggs and condensed milk - to die for!! (I'm spoiled now and won't eat it any other way!)


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