Food

What Foods DON’T You Like?

Every few years, I will be at a market that has an array of the most beautiful olives and I’m tempted…

…to buy them all. I love how colorful they are, how varied their textures are, how elegant they look when served with a hunk of Parm or spicy nuts. The one problem? I detest them. It’s not like I’m a fan of Kalamatas but not of Castelvetranos. Or that I like the oil-cured but not the pimento-stuffed. I don’t like any of them. And this is not some picky-eater hold-out situation, either. Every year I’ll try a bonafide bite — like not a nibble — to see if I’ve outgrown the aversion, and every time, I’m reminded how fast I’d like to run in the opposite direction of a Puttanesca.

I’m not proud of this! But I do take some comfort in the fact that other people who write about food also harbor unexpected aversions. Ina Garten famously despises cilantro and Ruth Reichl steers clear of honey.

What about you? Do you have any food aversions that people might find surprising?

P.S. Trader Joe’s meal hacks, and “why I never feel alone when I cook.”

(Photo by Pixel Stories/Stocksy.)

  1. Diana says...

    Yay! At last someone brings to light a dark truth. Some foods taste awful! We are not less because we don’t like everything.
    It is definitely a texture and smell thing for me. I have a long list :)
    Fish and seafood – so smelly! I have tried fish others said didn’t taste like fish, those liars!
    Dairy, except for small-curd cottage cheese, and I only use it as a dip for buttered fries – kind of like sour cream on a baked potato. Cheese – yuk!
    Eggs, unless well-mixed and baked in something.
    Cold meat, except ham.
    Ground meats – I hate how they feel in my mouth.
    Mayonnaise – so slimy, and it stinks.
    Ketchup, mustard, relish – just give me onions.
    Sandwiches – no matter what, they always get soggy.
    Soggy bread – bread pudding, French toast, et cetera.
    More than 3 ounces of meat at a time.
    Meat that isn’t extra well done.
    Organ meats and innards – liver and tripe – shudder.
    There are more, but I don’t feel so alone now :)

  2. Kate says...

    Goat cheese and lamb and to me they taste the exact same – horrible!

  3. Emma says...

    Mushrooms! When I was younger I called them the devils fungus. During lockdown I decided to give them another chance and NOPE still the devils fungus.

  4. Nancey says...

    Beets
    Shrimp
    Lobster

  5. Katy says...

    Papaya and coconut water. Really wish I liked them both, but detest them.

  6. Shannon says...

    Runny eggs
    Green olives
    Steak
    Any large roast of meat
    Melons, except watermelon is okay

  7. Eggs in any form as true eggs. Now, if they are in cake or cookies, I am fine!
    It is a texture “thing”!

  8. Mary Smith says...

    I agree with a lot of you! I will not touch tofu or any other soy product.
    I cant stand coffee or the smell of coffee. I won’t eat beef, except for corned beef or pastrami. Sushi, oysters, mussels or any raw fish, ugh! Fish that has been frozen or bought anywhere but at my trusted fish market where I know if it the freshest it can be. Canned peas, okra, raw spinach, kale, just icky. I dont like red wine or clear booze. Bananas that have even one tiny brown spot on them. Buttermilk unless it is baked goods or salad dressing. But, Im not a picky eater! LOL

  9. Patricia A Pond says...

    Tripe. Yes that’s it, tripe. I don’t care how tender it is, what sauce it’s in, how long it’s been braised in milk or apple cider or beer or whatever. I can’t stand the texture, the smell of it, even it’s appearance.
    Aside from tripe, if there’s another food out there I don’t care for, I haven’t met it yet.

  10. Jen says...

    Omg! Me too! I consider myself to be a True Foodie but I cannot get myself to like olives. And like you, I keep trying them again to see if I’ve outgrown that. Nope! We took a trip to Spain a couple of years ago and did an olive oil tour and tried several types of olives and did not like any of them. I also don’t like goat cheese. Tastes like grass. But I’ll eat almost anything else!

  11. Deborah N Flanagan says...

    Goat cheese makes me gag. Lamb tastes like spoiled meat to me. The idea of snails grosses me out, like garden slugs, yuck.

  12. Hi Jenny Rosenstrach!
    Thanks for this experience share.
    Yes, I had also a food aversion. I didn’t like bitter gourd. But one day my dad forced me to eat that gourd and he also promised me If I would find that dish unpleasant to eat I could easily give up. Now surprisingly it is one of my favorite dishes.
    Your article makes me nostalgic by remembering my childhood.

  13. Hadley says...

    Water chestnuts ARE vile!!

    A major no to every member of the melon family with cantaloupe and water melon being the absolutely worst offenders.

    Also, runny egg yolks. Shudder.

  14. Elena says...

    I mean, I missed this post and the comments are great. (I’m bummed I wasn’t in the thick of it) For me it’s all about texture, ever since I was a little kid. Lima beans too gritty, a super soft fruit will make me gag (think peaches, avocados, etc.) and the worst offender on the texture scale is okra. I cannot! Luckily, growing up I didn’t eat a lot of okra, but I battled lima beans at the dinner table on the regular! My lucky child doesn’t even know lima beans exist… they’re never on the dinner table. :)

  15. Amber says...

    Beer-uggh!
    Rare and medium-rare meat, bleeding all over my plate, No sir.
    Certain shellfish like mussels
    Snails
    Sashimi
    Sunflower and pumpkin seeds
    Any chocolate over 72% dark
    Mousse-filled cakes
    Fondant icing
    Undercooked omelettes with the egg oozing out. I know it’s just so unstylish to want one’s eggs and meat to be fully cooked but I just cannot handle the raw bits
    Barbeque sauce-gives me heartburn every time.
    Fat-free yoghurt
    Oreos

    • Kate says...

      I never saw myself as a picky eater before but I actually agree with almost all of your dislikes.

      – truffle chocolate – yuck!
      – sunflower seeds – NOPE
      – undercooked eggs – NO WAY

  16. Abigail says...

    I eat almost everything but I HATE HATE HATE olives and blue cheese! Gross.

  17. janine says...

    I can’t stand plums. And every so often someone will say “Oh, but try THIS plum” and I try it and it’s disgusting. I do not understand the appeal.

    • Liz says...

      I dislike fresh plums, but I LOVE them cooked in cakes and pies — have you tried that?

    • Erin says...

      I don’t like plums either! I wouldn’t say that I detest them, but they just taste like a big nothing to me. Not worth the mess. I’ve always thought I was alone in this.

      In general I find most fruits kind of “meh.” Far prefer vegetables.

  18. Kiki says...

    I DETEST:

    Ripe Bananas-The smell, the taste is so repulsive to me especially when they start browning
    Cashew nuts – they are just too oily and tasteless to me
    Dark Chocolate- Its too bitter
    Raisins- But why are they in most pastries???
    See Food- Too fishy and slimy
    Cheese- They smell like dirty socks especially in their raw form. Only eat when on pizza and even then depends on which cheese is used
    And…Black Coffee its too bitter. Always have mine with milk.

  19. Cece says...

    I like to think of myself as a fairly adventurous eater, but there are a few things that I just can’t do:

    – Water chestnuts (luckily my husband also hates them). What is WITH them? They’re vile.

    – Marzipan. I can tolerate a little bit, like inside a fruit cake that’s then been iced, but no more.

    – Tonic water. I’m English, not drinking a G&T is a cardinal sin but I just hate the bitterness.

  20. catherine briand says...

    How no one as mentioned okra is a real surprise to me. Okra, okra and okra.

  21. Ailyn says...

    I hate salmon, which really annoys me because salmon looks so good and I try it every time, but I also hate it every time.