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Kerry Beal

Ethnic foods I'm supposed to like - but don't.

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One point of clarification: I have only tasted Indian curries, I didn't know there were curries in other cuisines.

Will I ever try the curries of other cuisines? Probably not. The risk outweighs the opportunity. Is there a chance this will mean I miss out on a flavor I might enjoy? Yes. Can I happily live with this missing out? Yes.

I do happen to like that "typical" curry flavor profile, with turmeric, the strong flavor profile that I think is so unpleasant to so many, the one that "cheap motel lobbies" smell like, and the "undercurrent" that someone "can't put her finger on," etc.; but, that said, I do think the Thai curries are my very favorites. Coconut milk, chiles, spices, shrimp or duck or chicken, lemon grass, wild lime leaves... OMG, and sometimes I think god must live somewhere in Thailand. All that food is just so damn good.

In fact, come to think of it, I have some of that Thai cucumber & onion salad that always comes with satay in the fridge right now.

As the kids say, BRB.

:rolleyes:


Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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You tell us, huiray. I recall you getting angry with me about your characterization of half the world's cuisine as Asian.

To me, "Asian food" means food from Asia. Just as "European food" is from Europe.

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Not sure - when I was a kid I could not stand the smell of curry cooking - ate it (also a child of depression era parents) - but don't recall enjoying it a whole lot. Can't recall when I got over that - but enjoy most Indian curries now unless they have too much coriander which tends not to sit well on my stomach.

could be that " tastes change with age" ?

as kids, my sister and i HATED cilantro (and rucola aka rocket aka arugula, and in fact most herbs and vegetables) and would pick them out of our food, much to the annoyance of our parents, who would then claim that we were not their kids but were adopted.

i dont recall consciously trying to acquire a taste for cilantro, but by about age 20, we stopped picking them out and just ate them, and still did not use it in our home cooking until a few years later. When my sister bought her house with a backyard, the first thing she did was to grow cilantro, and she now uses cilantro almost like a vegetable. I am a bit more restrained.

Go figure. As for those who believe that liking cilantro is gene related, in our case our genes must have mutated? :-))


It's dangerous to eat, it's more dangerous to live.

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Not sure - when I was a kid I could not stand the smell of curry cooking - ate it (also a child of depression era parents) - but don't recall enjoying it a whole lot. Can't recall when I got over that - but enjoy most Indian curries now unless they have too much coriander which tends not to sit well on my stomach.

could be that " tastes change with age" ?

as kids, my sister and i HATED cilantro (and rucola aka rocket aka arugula, and in fact most herbs and vegetables) and would pick them out of our food, much to the annoyance of our parents, who would then claim that we were not their kids but were adopted.

i dont recall consciously trying to acquire a taste for cilantro, but by about age 20, we stopped picking them out and just ate them, and still did not use it in our home cooking until a few years later. When my sister bought her house with a backyard, the first thing she did was to grow cilantro, and she now uses cilantro almost like a vegetable. I am a bit more restrained.

Go figure. As for those who believe that liking cilantro is gene related, in our case our genes must have mutated? :-))

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/14/dining/14curious.html

http://www.nature.com/news/soapy-taste-of-coriander-linked-to-genetic-variants-1.11398

http://www.flavourjournal.com/content/pdf/2044-7248-1-22.pdf

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I hate oatmeal (cooked as porridge, though I love the flavour of oatmeal in things like oatmeal cookies). Technically, that could be considered "ethnic" to me (where in SEAsia do people grow oats?). But I eat it even though it sometimes makes me gag.

I think there are two (three?) camps within food haters.

In the first camp, there are people who hate certain foods probably because they have sensitivies (ex. undiagnosed allergies, etc.) to those foods or ingredients in them. They associate those foods (and/or ingredients) with those negative reactions and so they make blanket statements like "curry is disgusting" even though it's really "curry makes me feel disgusting" that they're feeling. Or they associate those foods with negative experiences, and for whatever reason, they cannot overcome those associations (oatmeal is like that for me, and chocolate cake used to be.).

In the second camp, at least with regards to caucasians eating more "complex" Asian foods, there are two subgroups. Subgroup 1 probably grew up as plain eaters in plain eater families. Experimentation in food was likely not encouraged, or for whatever reason, their predilictions (and dislikes) were indulged and in their adulthood, they remain without rhyme or reason. Subgroup 2 may have had a similiar upbringing, but they developed into the types of people who were "risk takers" with regards to food. They approached the unknown or unfamiliar with open minds, and so developed palates that enjoyed, or at least appreciated, foods they used to despise (or thought they despised).

That's what I've observed re: people with strong food preferences, anyway.

And re: vinegar and sushi, gari is less "pickled" than western-type pickles--less of a vinegar flavour. But the primary flavouring in sushi rice is vinegar. So a person who claims to dislike vinegar so much it makes him gag, yet loves sushi ....

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I'm actually intrigued that most of what people have posted has had to do with flavour, rather than texture. There are some things that I find genuinely offputting not because of the taste, but because of the feel. Okra is among them - I actually like the flavour, but the sliminess of even deepfried okra is so offputting that I will actively avoid dishes in which it features. Granted, the steak-n-eggs/churrasco ecuatoriano thing I mentioned above has more to do with my rather strong allergy to the eggs involved, but I could just have easily mentioned file gumbo, which I can't stand not because of the flavour but because the okra gives it this completely cow-boogers texture that I cannot get past my lips.

Yes, this, mostly. That's the problem I have with a lot of Korean food -- and some Chinese food, too. They tend to like gelatinous textures and I tend to hate gelatinous textures. (Kimchee is still a problem, no matter what the texture.)

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Not sure - when I was a kid I could not stand the smell of curry cooking - ate it (also a child of depression era parents) - but don't recall enjoying it a whole lot. Can't recall when I got over that - but enjoy most Indian curries now unless they have too much coriander which tends not to sit well on my stomach.

could be that " tastes change with age" ?

as kids, my sister and i HATED cilantro (and rucola aka rocket aka arugula, and in fact most herbs and vegetables) and would pick them out of our food, much to the annoyance of our parents, who would then claim that we were not their kids but were adopted.

i dont recall consciously trying to acquire a taste for cilantro, but by about age 20, we stopped picking them out and just ate them, and still did not use it in our home cooking until a few years later. When my sister bought her house with a backyard, the first thing she did was to grow cilantro, and she now uses cilantro almost like a vegetable. I am a bit more restrained.

Go figure. As for those who believe that liking cilantro is gene related, in our case our genes must have mutated? :-))

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/14/dining/14curious.html

http://www.nature.com/news/soapy-taste-of-coriander-linked-to-genetic-variants-1.11398

http://www.flavourjournal.com/content/pdf/2044-7248-1-22.pdf

Great references huiray. My own experience with cilantro includes both soapy taste in the leaves and stinkbug taste in the frilly dill-like foliage that grows as the plant is going to seed. Elsewhere on eG cilantro lovers have described the taste as slightly minty and fresh...which is foreign to me.

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on the texture note: I can't stand grated coconut, ie coconut gratred on say a cake, or in cookies.

I love the flavor of coconut milk, it Thai etc. its the texture that gets to me.

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I hate oatmeal (cooked as porridge, though I love the flavour of oatmeal in things like oatmeal cookies). Technically, that could be considered "ethnic" to me (where in SEAsia do people grow oats?). But I eat it even though it sometimes makes me gag.

I think there are two (three?) camps within food haters.

In the first camp, there are people who hate certain foods probably because they have sensitivies (ex. undiagnosed allergies, etc.) to those foods or ingredients in them. They associate those foods (and/or ingredients) with those negative reactions and so they make blanket statements like "curry is disgusting" even though it's really "curry makes me feel disgusting" that they're feeling. Or they associate those foods with negative experiences, and for whatever reason, they cannot overcome those associations (oatmeal is like that for me, and chocolate cake used to be.).

In the second camp, at least with regards to caucasians eating more "complex" Asian foods, there are two subgroups. Subgroup 1 probably grew up as plain eaters in plain eater families. Experimentation in food was likely not encouraged, or for whatever reason, their predilictions (and dislikes) were indulged and in their adulthood, they remain without rhyme or reason. Subgroup 2 may have had a similiar upbringing, but they developed into the types of people who were "risk takers" with regards to food. They approached the unknown or unfamiliar with open minds, and so developed palates that enjoyed, or at least appreciated, foods they used to despise (or thought they despised).

That's what I've observed re: people with strong food preferences, anyway.

And re: vinegar and sushi, gari is less "pickled" than western-type pickles--less of a vinegar flavour. But the primary flavouring in sushi rice is vinegar. So a person who claims to dislike vinegar so much it makes him gag, yet loves sushi ....

And while not apparently anyone's complaint here, there is also the time when you were a child, ate something, became violently ill (which may or may not have been the food's fault) and have never eaten it since, due to the power of the negative memory. Don't almost all of us harbor at least one of those?

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Bill Klapp

bklapp@egullet.com

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And while not apparently anyone's complaint here, there is also the time when you were a child, ate something, became violently ill (which may or may not have been the food's fault) and have never eaten it since, due to the power of the negative memory. Don't almost all of us harbor at least one of those?

Fishsticks. I had a horrible incident where a stray bone caught in my throat and I had to go to hospital. It left me with a deep-seated distrust of Captain Highliner and his ilk.


Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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And while not apparently anyone's complaint here, there is also the time when you were a child, ate something, became violently ill (which may or may not have been the food's fault) and have never eaten it since, due to the power of the negative memory. Don't almost all of us harbor at least one of those?

Fishsticks. I had a horrible incident where a stray bone caught in my throat and I had to go to hospital. It left me with a deep-seated distrust of Captain Highliner and his ilk.

And I was certainly not a child but, rather, had just become the legal drinking age of 21 when a handsome young Air Force officer invited me to dinner at the Officer's Club, with drinks first with his flying buddies at the O-Club Bar. I was not accustomed to drinking much and that first Tom Collins tasted so harmless and delicious, that I imbibed way way way too many of them. And then we were led into dinner where I started my meal with a wedge salad - topped with plenty of Thousand Island dressing.

About fifteen minutes later, there was an extremely unpleasant incident involving me and a ladies room bathroom stall that I won't go into here.

But suffice it to say that I couldn't stand even the smell of Thousand Island Dressing for several decades afterwards.


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Pana, one of my brothers had a similar incident with fresh fish. He still refuses to eat it now, 40 years later. More for the rest of us!

Prasantrin, I've tried explaining the vinegar in sushi rice, et cetera to him. He looks skeptical, but then he is 16. I'm pleased that he is an adventurous eater now. His brother who refused to eat anything but bacon when he was a toddler, recently emailed me a picture of him making pesto. Perhaps my cooking many different cuisines when they were small (included the accursed curries) has caused them to strike out on their own and embrace new things.

Jaymes, I feel your pain. Tom Collins seem harmless when one is a young'un . . .


Edited by annabelle (log)

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It isn't the turmeric, folks. I have enjoyed dishes with turmeric, especially chicken or pickles, and cannot abide curries. I think it's the cumin. I came by my prejudice honestly and early, having had a mother who added curry powder to canned green beans from the grocery store. Not enough to generate heat, just enough to make the taste obnoxious. Or should I say MORE obnoxious.


Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

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I hate oatmeal (cooked as porridge, though I love the flavour of oatmeal in things like oatmeal cookies). Technically, that could be considered "ethnic" to me (where in SEAsia do people grow oats?). But I eat it even though it sometimes makes me gag.

I think there are two (three?) camps within food haters.

In the first camp, there are people who hate certain foods probably because they have sensitivies (ex. undiagnosed allergies, etc.) to those foods or ingredients in them. They associate those foods (and/or ingredients) with those negative reactions and so they make blanket statements like "curry is disgusting" even though it's really "curry makes me feel disgusting" that they're feeling. Or they associate those foods with negative experiences, and for whatever reason, they cannot overcome those associations (oatmeal is like that for me, and chocolate cake used to be.).

In the second camp, at least with regards to caucasians eating more "complex" Asian foods, there are two subgroups. Subgroup 1 probably grew up as plain eaters in plain eater families. Experimentation in food was likely not encouraged, or for whatever reason, their predilictions (and dislikes) were indulged and in their adulthood, they remain without rhyme or reason. Subgroup 2 may have had a similiar upbringing, but they developed into the types of people who were "risk takers" with regards to food. They approached the unknown or unfamiliar with open minds, and so developed palates that enjoyed, or at least appreciated, foods they used to despise (or thought they despised).

That's what I've observed re: people with strong food preferences, anyway.

And re: vinegar and sushi, gari is less "pickled" than western-type pickles--less of a vinegar flavour. But the primary flavouring in sushi rice is vinegar. So a person who claims to dislike vinegar so much it makes him gag, yet loves sushi ....

And while not apparently anyone's complaint here, there is also the time when you were a child, ate something, became violently ill (which may or may not have been the food's fault) and have never eaten it since, due to the power of the negative memory. Don't almost all of us harbor at least one of those?

Reese's Cups....BARF!

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It isn't the turmeric, folks. I have enjoyed dishes with turmeric, especially chicken or pickles, and cannot abide curries. I think it's the cumin. I came by my prejudice honestly and early, having had a mother who added curry powder to canned green beans from the grocery store. Not enough to generate heat, just enough to make the taste obnoxious. Or should I say MORE obnoxious.

It's probably different things for different people. But where I am - Southwest - there is a lot of Mexican food around, and it almost all has cumin. Folks lap it up. But bring out an Indian curry with that strong turmeric aroma and they scrunch up their noses and head for the door.


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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And while not apparently anyone's complaint here, there is also the time when you were a child, ate something, became violently ill (which may or may not have been the food's fault) and have never eaten it since, due to the power of the negative memory. Don't almost all of us harbor at least one of those?

Does Lemon Gin count here?

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You drank Lemon Gin as a child?

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And while not apparently anyone's complaint here, there is also the time when you were a child, ate something, became violently ill (which may or may not have been the food's fault) and have never eaten it since, due to the power of the negative memory. Don't almost all of us harbor at least one of those?

Does Lemon Gin count here?

Perhaps it's time for a spinoff thread? "Unfortunate Booze Memories"?

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I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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And while not apparently anyone's complaint here, there is also the time when you were a child, ate something, became violently ill (which may or may not have been the food's fault) and have never eaten it since, due to the power of the negative memory. Don't almost all of us harbor at least one of those?

Does Lemon Gin count here?

Perhaps it's time for a spinoff thread? "Unfortunate Booze Memories"?

Indeed!

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And while not apparently anyone's complaint here, there is also the time when you were a child, ate something, became violently ill (which may or may not have been the food's fault) and have never eaten it since, due to the power of the negative memory. Don't almost all of us harbor at least one of those?

Does Lemon Gin count here?

Perhaps it's time for a spinoff thread? "Unfortunate Booze Memories"?

I'm out on that one. Statute of limitations isn't up yet. :)

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I beleive that in the "curry haters club" it might be the fenugreek that gets me. I've had cumin, cilantro, and various other herbs and spices in different things, some I liked, some were meh, but fenugreek only, I think, in curry. Maybe it's the grocery store curry powder that I object to. Who knows?

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"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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Im kinda in the same boat on refried beans. I just dont like them that much, but oddly i am asked to make them for any get together with mexican food, or asked for my recipe. Its just doctored up beans because i was looking for some flavor or textur. I use peruano beans and i never can understand it. Its like paste to me. Maybe a texture thing. Not a fan of mashed potatoes either

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It could be that the "Unfortunate Booze Memories" may already exist under other titles in some of the barkeep-driven threads. You know, like when somebody threw a shot of Cynar in a drink with 43 other ingredients without knowing what Cynar tastes like...


Bill Klapp

bklapp@egullet.com

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I beleive that in the "curry haters club" it might be the fenugreek that gets me. I've had cumin, cilantro, and various other herbs and spices in different things, some I liked, some were meh, but fenugreek only, I think, in curry. Maybe it's the grocery store curry powder that I object to. Who knows?

Do you have a similar dislike for "maple" flavoured syrups (not the real thing, obviously, but the Aunt Jemima type corn-syrup based "alternative")? I ask because fenugreek is the main flavouring agent in fake maple everythings.


Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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