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Get Over it!


Sabrosita
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I was inspired by the success stories in the "Food Neuroses" Topic to start a thread on this.

How did you help someone get over hating a certain food, type of food, etc.?

I've found that its often just that they had bad preperations. My poor boyfriend comes from Indiana and insisted he hated Chinese food. Living in Seattle, this was going to be a problem. Come to find out he had only ever had mall buffet Chinese food. That was an easy one. What else? I can't wait to hear sneaky stories!

Gnomey

The GastroGnome

(The adventures of a Gnome who does not sit idly on the front lawn of culinary cottages)

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My fiance used to hate steak (he's from Alberta, where they have great beef!), because his mum cooked it to shoe leather consistency - well well well done! The only way he could choke it down was to douse it in steak sauce, and for years that's how he thought steak was supposed to taste like. I introduced him to a properly cooked, juicy, medium-rare piece of striploin, no bottled sauce. Now it's one of his favourite meals!

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My husband has always said he didn't like cauliflower. He didn't think it had any flavor. Well, it shouldn't suprise anyone here that after eating roasted cauliflower, he has become a convert. "Wow, this has so much flavor," he said. :wub:

Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you and be silent. Epicetus

Amanda Newton

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There's a big list of foods I've converted DH to over the years! (His mom is sweet as can be, but a TERRIBLE cook, so some of it is understandable. But some of his dislikes were just weird!)

Among the things he thought he didn't like:

Many veg, including broccoli, asparagus, butter/lima beans, brussels sprouts, squash of all kinds, sweet potatoes

Lamb

Cheese of any kind, including cream cheese (he's still picky on this one, but likes a lot of good cheeses)

Melon (he still won't eat watermelon, but likes other types)

Shrimp and other shellfish prepared any way but fried

Meatloaf

Artichokes

Dates

Strawberries (Huh?)

He converted me on spinach (I always liked it raw, but now I like it cooked)

He still hasn't won me over on blueberries or oatmeal and I haven't convinced him on cheddar or cottage cheese

In the 35+ years we've been together, we've enjoyed learning to love lots of new foods together.

Pam

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My son and tomatoes. I am still in the progressive stage with him. Every sandwich order has to be "no tomatoes". If the tasteless round slice is there it gets tossed into the back of the car where the dog will wolf it down. We have come so far that the salsa he prefers is my dad's home grown tomatoes (raw) with the other ingredients. It is very smooth so we are working towards rougher, bigger chunks of the good stuff. I probably contributed to his confusion because I would eat the tasteless slices since I was starving and not eating the drive thru crud, so he thought that cardboard was acceptable as a tomato. Lessons learned and still learning....

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My partner pretty much hated anything even remotely spicy when I met him (along with a whole host of vegetables and anything that looked "slimy or gross"). So I made a deal with him: if he promised to try anything I cooked once, and hated it, I wouldn't make him try it ever again.

Long story short, he now eats Indian food with pleasure, enjoys quite a few vegetables, and has even got over his black pepper "allergy." He's still pretty picky, but it's a lot better than it used to be. Even better, he's become a master baker / pizza maker and gardener, and is always surprising me with new flavor combinations. It's amazing what happens when you let go of your food hang ups and TASTE everything!

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My daughter would not eat broccoli when she was little. Would not even try. So we hit on the idea one day after reading The Lorax to her, that we could cook the stems and tell her they were truffela trees. It worked for years until she caught on that we always had brocolli when she had trufellas. By then it did not matter.

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My husband has always said he didn't like cauliflower. He didn't think it had any flavor. Well, it shouldn't suprise anyone here that after eating roasted cauliflower, he has become a convert. "Wow, this has so much flavor," he said.  :wub:

This has got to be my number one, too! I have converted a LOT of people to cauliflower this way.

Brussels spouts are another one. My husband hated them until he tasted mine. I learned from my English dad, Ted Fairhead. Steamed until almost tender, cut in half and sauteed in butter. Mr. Kim's mom had always boiled them to death. Now she cooks them like us!

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While I'm sure it's true that some people dislike some foods because they've never had them prepared well, it's not always the case. For instance, I've always hated blue cheese of any kind -- Roquefort, Stilton, Gorgonzola, Danish blue -- if it's blue, it makes me gag (literally). I often hear, "Oh, but if you had it this way, you'd like it" and I can say, with absolute confidence, "No, I wouldn't." (Incidentally, the last time I inadvertently tried it was at Alinea, and I figure if they couldn't make it palatable, no one can.)

So don't always assume that you can change someone's mind with a new preparation.

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There are some foods -- I'd number blue cheese among them -- that are likely to be more repellent the better they are. The qualities that connoisseurs appreciate tend to be more pronounced as you go up the scale, making them even less pleasant for the reticent.

Olives also come to mind. My kids grew up knowing olives as those dime-sized black Os on take-out pizza, and they claimed to love them. Wanting them to experience the real thing, one day I brought home a selection of honest olives from a decently stocked bar. They not only hated them, they quit ordering them on pizza.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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One of my earliest memories is of sitting in the sunshine outside my great-aunt's little grocery store, in that Mississippi heat. Daddy sat on an upended wooden Co-Cola case, I sat on another, as he opened and distributed dripping salty olives with the tip of his pocket knife---one for him, one for me.

The little narrow bottle held perhaps fifteen, I think, and we ate every one. I buy lovely glistening ones now, dipped from various brines in the big store, ladling them into the plastic containers. We love all the brown and the gold and the green piccolines, the cling of pepper and the garnish of garlic; we serve them scattered on Caprese, in little containers distributed along the table, in their store-bought clamshells for a picnic.

And occasionally I happen upon one of those small, cylindrical bottles of the green ones, salty and rich with their little tongue of pimiento, and I take it home, hear the tunnnk as I twist open that lid, and enjoy it, just for the remembering.

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I've never helped someone else with that, I figure they can eat what they want, but my usual method with my own dislikes that I have an interest in getting over is to just keep eating it anyway. Sometimes I have to cook things I don't care for. If I have to cook it, I have to taste it so it's easier in the long run to try to get over the dislike if possible. I'd say nine times out of ten I eventually end up at least being ok with whatever it is, often I actually learn to really like it. For example, I was never a fan of raisins. Now, I still wouldn't say I love them but I won't turn up my nose or pick them out either. I used to hate raw onions, now I eat them all the time and enjoy them. Liver/foie/pate/etc. isn't going to happen. I tried. I tried again. I made yet another series of attempts. It's not happening.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I am horrified to report I have a son who hates vegetables. I've tried everything, everything that is, but pureeing them and sneaking them into food. I'm just not a fan of that technique. My three other boys are more adventurous, but me eldest is set against them and he tends to be an, "all, or nothing" kind of person. Not even frying helps. I wish I had a way to get him over this.

Blog.liedel.org

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Daddy sat on an upended wooden Co-Cola case, I sat on another

Ah, "Co-Cola!" That takes me back. :biggrin:

Thanks!

That's what you call the stuff in the little glass bottles that have been fished from the the hand-freezing ice-water bath they've been in since the store opened this morning.

Also the best depository for a bag of salty Planters peanuts.

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A few weeks ago, we had two visitors. One will eat anything and would love to have some of my home cooked meals as his wife cannot (wouldn't???) cook even if her life depends on it. He loves visiting us because I love cooking -- even on short notice practically. If only we live next door...

Anyway, the other guy who came with him was not only picky with his food, he also think that he get sick with most food that he eats. So to cut a story short, two days before they are due to arrive, I called him up and asked him what food he is allergic to. Cauliflower, onions, tomatoes, broccoli, cabbage, etc. He said he reads everything on the label to check if they have onion powder...and all sorts of things. I told him that I cook my own broth so he need not worry about having all those nasty things he thinks the store bought ones have.

On the day that they are supposed to come, I cooked my broth -- with all the things that he said he doesn't like in it. :shock: Then I sieved it all so it'll look like clear broth. I serve that clear soup with just one meatball in the centre. He had it, he think it was the ant's pants!!! He loved it. I did not say anything to anyone. I was waiting for him to fall down dead in front of me practically, as Mike, the other guy said that if he eat something bad for him, he is known to just collapse. Well...dinner happened, chit-chat in front of the tv, etc., before going to bed. I was awake almost all night from what I did!!! Nothing happened...in fact he was even able to attend the seminar they needed to attend here in Missouri (they are from Florida).

Weekend came...and went. I called up Mike to ask how Gene was doing lately. Had he suffered any maladies lately? I must have asked so many questions that Mike (he is an attorney) suspected that I must have done something wrong...legal eagle mind he has... :blink: ...so I 'fessed up and told him. He said Gene is OK, well, was OK last time he saw him, which was yesterday actually... :rolleyes:

In short, sometimes it is all in the mind...you think you will get sick, then you do because you are feeding that negative thought to happen. And so it does.

austramerica

Life is short: Break the rules...Forgive quickly...Kiss slowly...Love truly...Laugh uncontrollably...And never regret anything that made you smile. Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we're here we should dance...
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There are some foods -- I'd number blue cheese among them -- that are likely to be more repellent the better they are. The qualities that connoisseurs appreciate tend to be more pronounced as you go up the scale, making them even less pleasant for the reticent.

Olives also come to mind. My kids grew up knowing olives as those dime-sized black Os on take-out pizza, and they claimed to love them. Wanting them to experience the real thing, one day I brought home a selection of honest olives from a decently stocked bar. They not only hated them, they quit ordering them on pizza.

That's basically what happened with my father. He LOVES those cheap black things but hates every other variety.

At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since. ‐ Salvador Dali

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I was inspired by the success stories in the "Food Neuroses" Topic to start a thread on this.

How did you help someone get over hating a certain food, type of food, etc.?

I've found that its often just that they had bad preperations. My poor boyfriend comes from Indiana and insisted he hated Chinese food. Living in Seattle, this was going to be a problem. Come to find out he had only ever had mall buffet Chinese food. That was an easy one. What else? I can't wait to hear sneaky stories!

Firstly there is nothing you can do to make someone “like” food. As a case in point I went t India with my mother (who had been in the Peace Corps there) and my father. I was thee. He was a bit older. Since we were traveling the back roads, visiting her friends, my mother made sure that I would not “hate” any food. It was what was what your host put in front of you or nothing. Because there was NOTHING ELSE. These people had taken food out of the mouths of their children to feed you so you better…

My poor dad HATED the food. He smuggled in Slim Jims so he wouldn’t collapse on the street. I had my epicurean epiphany.

I think that if you keep eating something in front of someone with visible enjoyment, you can hope they jump on the band wagon. For the love of god, hope they don’t jump on “the wagon” as well.

Or if you want to get nasty (children excluded) make them feel like shit for being a neophobe. Make sure they know all the "cool" kids are doing it. Uni is awsome. Cucumbers are what built the British empire. And there is no sex until they get over the "allergy" to raw onions and kimchi.

So that is my advice. If somebody hates olives, anchovies, and garlic… take them to Sicily. Degrade and humiliate them. Make it their mission to expand their palate. But when it comes down to it. It’s food or starvation.

If not they can write a diet book.

Maybe not subtle, but it works.

Sometimes.

If not...

You will have a very skinny lover. (children excluded)

Edited by Alchemist (log)

A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

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On the day that they are supposed to come, I cooked my broth -- with all the things that he said he doesn't like in it.  :shock: Then I sieved it all so it'll look like clear broth. I serve that clear soup with just one meatball in the centre. He had it, he think it was the ant's pants!!! He loved it. I did not say anything to anyone. I was waiting for him to fall down dead in front of me practically, as Mike, the other guy said that if he eat something bad for him, he is known to just collapse. Well...dinner happened, chit-chat in front of the tv, etc., before going to bed. I was awake almost all night from what I did!!! Nothing happened...in fact he was even able to attend the seminar they needed to attend here in Missouri (they are from Florida).

I've been sorely tempted to crochet a scarf out of dog fur for my sister in law, because of the very reasons you describe.

That said, my husband's aunt thought my non-dramatic and very un-problematic husband was faking his soy allergy. She made him deviled eggs with soy mayonaise. On the bright side, she offered to pay the hospital bill. So it's probably not a plan of attack for everyone :biggrin:

Blog.liedel.org

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My Mum, who prides herself on "eating what [she] is given" hates cauliflower, because it reminds her of when she was younger and they used to eat their own caulis out of the garden. There were a lot of caterpillars involved....now the smell of cauli cooking puts her off. I sneak it in things that have lots of other flavours, and she says she doesn't mind as long as it isn't huge pieces that she can really smell and taste!

My brother is very fussy about veg (he's nearly 20 though, not a little kid!), but we try and sneak the things he doesn't like in curries and stews and so on, just because it's impractical to cook a whole meal that everyone can eat if he refuses to eat so much. He's actually a lot better with it now, he does try things if they are cooked in a new way.

I think that sometimes people don't like or are "allergic" to things just because they get the idea in their head and then they can't let it go. Maybe they tried it once when they were really young, and can't accept that their tastebuds have changed. Or maybe they have a bad memory asoociated with it, like my Mum. On the other hand, maybe they've never tried it all, they've just decided that they don't like it! People like that deserve to be "tested", because their tastes might change.

However, there are some times when a food does just not taste good to a person, no matter what you do! I've tried olives so many times, and I just can't eat them. I like the idea of them, but something about them just makes me gag. I've tried them in sauces, in bread, in vinagrettes, I've had stuffed ones, different colours....nothing helps. Even the smell of them makes me feel a bit ill. When someone has repeatedly tried something, in different ways, and still doesn't like it, then I think they are allowed to be "picky" about that food!

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