All right, let me start this off by saying….if I was hungry enough, I would eat any of the foods on this list. I realize that people’s food choices are sometimes based on availability. This is not meant to be derogatory. Besides, many of these foods are considered delicacies, haute cuisine. That’s my disclaimer!
1. Raw onions
This should come as no surprise to those of you who are regular readers of my blog. I have never, never, never, never liked raw onions. Ever. Got that? The smell (I mean, I can get past it when I am cutting them, but beyond that…no). The taste…burning, lasting, never leaving. The texture-that crunch. Please make it stop. I’ve tried. You have to believe me. I can do it in salsa, guacamole, etc….as long as it’s chopped up finely enough. Beyond that no. Emphatically, no. I don’t even like to eat a slice of tomato or a lettuce leaf on my sandwich that has touched a raw onion. I honestly can’t think of any other vegetables I just won’t touch, though. Fruits, either (except maybe durian, a famously smelly Asian fruit, but then I’ve never even seen one of those in person, so I’m not too concerned…..).
That is, organ meats. Brains. Liver. Etc. When I was a child, my grandmother would cook chicken livers. And I would eat them. Then one day, I guess I learned what a “liver” was. That put an end to my chicken liver eating. Sorry. They might taste wonderful, but there is just something about an internal organ that I just. Can’t. Do. Philip likes to eat the (cooked) turkey heart at Thanksgiving. I can’t even watch. It makes me shiver just thinking about it…..
So it isn’t a food. Close enough, though. I’ve said this before…I realize that I totally blow my foodie street cred by proclaiming on my blog that I don’t like wine. But I just don’t. I’ve tried, I have. I just can’t do it. It’s too sour, too bitter. Don’t try to make recommendations about what kind of wine I might like. I won’t. It’s unnecessary, and I am okay with my lowered foodie status. I will, however, continue to freely open the bottle when it comes to cooking.
Snails. Escargot is French for snail. They are served on a platter in their little shells. I’ve heard they are delicious, more or less swimming in garlic butter, but again, no. They’re snails.
5. Canned ham. Or potted meat. Or anything of that nature.
Why, why, why?????? What is so wrong with ham that you need to chop it up and put it in a little can so that it can be spread on a cracker or bread or whatever? The color is so off-putting, even if it is pretty much the same color as ham. It’s spreadable ham. It’s cold. It just grosses me out. I used to eat Spam. Man, I used to love Spam. Until I realized that I didn’t know what Spam was. Game over. There is just something about canned meat. Canned chopped meat.
6. Generic mayonnaise
When I was a kid, my cousins would always have JFG (my dad called it “junk food groceries”) mayonnaise at their house. I realize that JFG is technically a brand, but to me it always seemed “generic”. Anyway, my mom always bought Kraft. I could always tell the difference. JFG just tasted off. I would much rather eat a dry sandwich. Now, I’ll happily eat some Hellman’s (my sister won’t-it’s Kraft or nothing), and you know I like to make my own, but store-brand? Not even willing to try. Oh, I don’t eat Miracle Whip either. My grandfather used to eat that mess all the time. Thank God my grandmother liked Kraft mayo or I would have been in trouble. I remember my aunt making me a sandwich at my grandparents’ house and putting Miracle Whip on it. I refused to eat it. She argued with me that it was the same as mayonnaise. It is not. Not at all.
7. Canned potatoes
Have you ever tried them? The taste is just so bad. Philip has a great story about canned potatoes. When he was a kid, he had a babysitter who tried to make him eat canned potatoes. He flatly refused. She told him he couldn’t leave the table until he ate the potatoes. He sat at the table until his mom got there. I married well.
This is one of those biggies that hits me when I watch Bizarre Foods. Eating bugs is fairly common in other cultures, and I am sure that if I lived in any of those other cultures I would be fine with it. But I don’t. So I’m not. Shows like Fear Factor send me into a tailspin. Watching people stuff live praying mantises (or whatever) into their mouth really freaks me out. For the record, I love the show Bizarre Foods but would never watch Fear Factor of my own accord. I just don’t do reality TV.
9. Any Pepper Hotter than a Jalapeno
I’m a total pansy. If my food’s too spicy I won’t eat it. I just can’t.
10. Grit (not grits)
Okay, again…not a food; grit, however, is frequently in food. I wash my leeks to excess. I once nearly burst into tears when I bit into a California roll in a restaurant and there was grit in it. I’ve only eaten clam chowder once, and I won’t do it again because while it tasted fine, it was gritty. I’m too afraid of the grit. Like sand between your teeth. For that matter, I can’t listen to other people chew grit. I once had a kid in my class who thought it was funny to eat the sand from the sandbox. I nearly died. Shopping at the farmers market has made me acutely aware of how carefully I wash my veggies. Because they are often picked almost immediately before being sold, and because farmers don’t have time to sterilize the food, it’s dirty. Which I appreciate, because I think we’ve come to expect too much sterility from our food system…but I don’t want to eat grit, so I have become very good friends with my salad spinner.
I guess my list isn’t as long as I thought it was. I recently conquered one of my food fears, sardines. Maybe one of these days I’ll overcome some more of these on the list. Raw onions and wine probably won’t be among them, though.
What are your “under (almost) no circumstances” foods?