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dougery

Acquired tastes

82 posts in this topic

Natto

Raw Oysters

Kim-Chee

Pumpkin Pie

Although Natto and Kim-chee smell really bad, I really like them both (I wonder if I'm trying to re-live childhood odors?)

I'm still working on trying to acquire a taste for Oysters and Pumpkin pie. I'm starting to like deep fried oysters but prepared any other way I have a rough time.

Every year I try to appreciate an savour pumpkin pie (this year I got through 2 bites) but I still can't do it. Even if it's covered with whipped cream.

Any others?


"Live every moment as if your hair were on fire" Zen Proverb

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Hot foods (chile-laden)

blue cheeses

dulse seaweed (The first time I ate it, I thought it was poison - now I adore it!)

gazpacho

The older I become, the more my palate has changed to appreciate hot or sour foods.


I'm a canning clean freak because there's no sorry large enough to cover the, "Oops! I gave you botulism" regrets.

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Anchovies - don't mind them in a dressing for caesar salad but have been trying them in other preparations and it's a hard sell to my palate. I just think I OUGHT to learn to like them. Once HATED olives but now............ can't stay away from them.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Olives... I totally forgot about olives. I used to hate em too.

Also Spam. Until I went to Hawaii I couldn't stand the stuff, now I love it!


"Live every moment as if your hair were on fire" Zen Proverb

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I've never quite understood the idea of an acquired taste. I mean, if I eat something and I don't like it, I don't feel motivated to keep trying again until I do.

But then, tastes do change over time, without even trying. Heck, I was a typical won't-eat-my-vegetables kid, and now I'm a vegetarian. Still can't deal with kidney beans, though.


"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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In the case of Spam, it wasn't so much trying it until I liked it. I think what changed my feelings about spam was my first trip to Hawaii, I was immersed in an environment that made Spam seem (believe it or not) exotic and new. I immediately started loving Spam musubi (Spam on rice wrapped with nori). I now make this for picnics all the time!

I also fell in love with Portuguese sausage on that trip. First time I ever had, but not the last.


Edited by dougery (log)

"Live every moment as if your hair were on fire" Zen Proverb

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It seems acquired tastes are very varied depending on one's background. I can't imagine pumpkin pie being in any way offensive, but at the same time I used to not be able to stomach squash of any variety, or okra, and now I love both, and perhaps these are things you love and have always loved.


He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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It's the texture of pumkin pie! It's like having a mouthull of cold, sweet mashed potatoes with sugar and cream...

I'll try it again this Thanksgiving but I fear the outcome looks bleak...


"Live every moment as if your hair were on fire" Zen Proverb

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I think most tastes are acquired. After all, the only thing we all start out eating is milk of some sort. Everything else has to be introduced to our palates. Either we open ourselves to the experience, or we don't. It's so much more fun to be open! :laugh:

That said, I still have not "acquired" a taste for natto (only had it once) or sea cucumber (more a texture issue than one of taste, as it has none).

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It's the texture of pumkin pie! It's like having a mouthull of cold, sweet mashed potatoes with sugar and cream...

I'll try it again this Thanksgiving but I fear the outcome looks bleak...

You eat your pumpkin pie cold? Never thought of doing that...


He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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I don't really understand the term "acquired taste". It's like one is being forced to enjoy something he or she dislikes. "Keep eating it! C'mon!! You'll stop gagging eventually!! :biggrin: "

:blink:

How about the term "Stretching My Palate."

"I stretched my palate to include cilantro..." Still tastes soapy in some foods but I love it in my salsa.


Edited by Pickles (log)

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That's interesting... My dislikes are texture related too. Pumpkin pie, uni, raw oysters. It makes me wonder what characteristic is the most common one which contributes to the dislike of foods.

Really offensive things aside (cow pies etc) I find textures to be the most decisive factor. Smell I can deal with, tastes I can aquire, but I just can't get over certain textures. Usually mushy, gelatinous, grainy stuff... come to think of it, mashed potatoes were never really that high on my list of foods.


"Live every moment as if your hair were on fire" Zen Proverb

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For All Pumpkin Pie Haters This is a staple at our Holiday Tables and has been for 40 years and even before I was born. It's light, and not too sweet. You have to try it. Why wait for the holidays? Easy as PIE:

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

1 cup pumpkin puree

3 eggs

1/2 cup white sugar

1 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

2 tablespoons butter

1 (.25 ounce) package unflavored gelatin

1/4 cup water

One prepared, baked pie crust

1 In a saucepan over medium heat cook pumpkin puree to heat through, stirring frequently.

2 Separate the eggs. Combine the egg yolks, 1/2 cup sugar, milk, spices and butter or margarine. Add to pumpkin and cook, stirring frequently until mixture is of custard consistency. Remove mixture from heat.

3 Soften gelatin in the cold water and stir into the pumpkin until dissolved. Chill mixture until it begins to stiffen (about 1 1/2 hours).

4 Whip egg whites until stiff. Fold whipped egg whites into the pumpkin mixture. Spoon mixture into the prepared pan and chill until set (about 3 hours). Serve topped with lightlty sweetened whipped cream. :biggrin:


Edited by Pickles (log)

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Caviar is always said to be an acquired taste. It took me years before I could eat it without making a face, and even today, I can't eat it straight, it has to be with creme fraische, butter or some other rich fatty ingredient to balance out the saltiness.


Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Scotch whiskey. I thought it tasted downright medicinal at first (and second, and third.)

I kept at it, though. :raz: Now I really enjoy both blended whiskeys and single malts, and there really is a wide flavor spectrum to be appreciated especially among the single malts, which are often quite unlike each other.


Edited by enrevanche (log)

enrevanche <http://enrevanche.blogspot.com>

Greenwich Village, NYC

The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you'd rather not.

- Mark Twain

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Scotch whiskey. I thought it tasted downright medicinal at first (and second, and third.)

I kept at it, though. :raz: Now I really enjoy both blended whiskeys and single malts, and there really is a wide flavor spectrum to be appreciated especially among the single malts, which are often quite unlike each other.

I agree there, although there are still a few ones, especially islay malts which I can't handle.

Olives were a thing I had a definite 'learning curve' for.

Use to pick them off anything before I could eat it, then I wouldn't mind the odd little bit, if masked by something else (On a pizza I would fold it round the offending item, to hide it!). then I would eat them on pizzas reasonably happily, but wouldn't order them.

Now I am completely addicted. Will happilly munch an entire pot full, pick them off other peoples plates, detour to go past stalls where I know I can 'sample' the olives.


I love animals.

They are delicious.

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I never understood the "acquired taste" thing either. I always thought, there are so many foods I like, why bother forcing myself to eat something I don't like until I can enjoy it? Now I understand, the answer for me is because the things I LIKE are all the same and are boring!

Acquired tastes that I haven't managed yet: coffee, beer, green olives, sweet and sour, sour in general

Things I might work on because my choices will be limited if I don't, but ohhh, that scary texture: shrimp, scallops...probably not worth working on raw clams/mussels because I live in Wisconsin and I've yet to be at a fish counter that doesn't smell strongly FISHY.

Tastes I have acquired: asparagus, swiss chard, capers, non-fish-stick fish, black olives, black tea, food with more heat than I'm used to, food with vinegar in it, curry, cilantro

Foods I wish I could get over my personal distaste for so I could acquire a taste for it and be able to utilize more of my cookbooks: shrimp, crabs, lobster, fish with skin on it, whole fish, jalapeno/chipotle (just too damn hot)


Rachel Sincere

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Ok Pickles, I'll give your recipe a try. When I eat it, I'll sit here and read through these articles (rsincere's offered some good inspiration).

I'll consider it a major accomplishment if I can make it through 4 bites.

Addendum:

beef liver, floured and and pan fried in butter with sauted Walla Walla's. I used to hate it (perhaps "hate" is an understatement) but it kind of grew on me.


"Live every moment as if your hair were on fire" Zen Proverb

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Olives, definitely. Thought they were vile little things, now I love them.

As for the "acquired taste" thing -- I never thought of it as meaning I have to force myself to learn to like something. Tastes change over time all by themselves. I hated olives when I first ate them, and so I just didn't eat them for years and years. I mean, why bother? And then one day I decided to try them again, and I thought they were great. I never "tried" to like them. I just suddenly liked them. I "acquired" a taste for them. Passively, not actively.

But I'm sure it will NEVER happen with liver. I have no intentions of ever giving it another chance. :raz:

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Olives... I totally forgot about olives. I used to hate em too.

Also Spam. Until I went to Hawaii I couldn't stand the stuff, now I love it!

My grandmother used to say that once you ate seven olives, you would like them.

As a kid, I hated olives. But, apparantly, Grandma was right.


I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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I never understood the "acquired taste" thing either.  I always thought, there are so many foods I like, why bother forcing myself to eat something I don't like until I can enjoy it?

I'll tell you my reason. There is exactly one thing I hate, and it's parsley.

I have no problem with it in cooked foods--in fact I grow it and use it--or even uncooked in an Italian salsa verde, where the flavor is actually transformed, not just muted, by the process of turning the leaves into a paste in the presence of garlic and anchovies and so forth. But put parsley in a salad, or sprinkle it over new potatoes, or anything like that, and I can't stand it. Oh, I can get whatever it's in/on down without nausea, but it's ruined for me.

Even I think this is odd. I can understand disliking the strong flavors of many of the foods I love--olives, anchovies, rosemary, liver, kidneys--but to most palates parsley is not a strong flavor. In fact, most people must experience it as practically neutral, since they strew it over pretty much anything. But to me the flavor is powerful, intrusive, and as unpleasant as hell.

Would you want to go through life hating something as common as parsley? And aside from the impracticality of that, I think of being a picky eater as childish, which I don't want to believe myself to be. And so for years and years and years I've been trying to acquire a taste for raw parsley. I did it with cilantro, which I started out loathing. But parsley has defied all my efforts to come to terms with it.

I'll never give up trying. I just can't believe that I can't do it, in spite of all evidence to the contrary.


There is no love sincerer than the love of food.

--George Bernard Shaw

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On the acquired taste topic: Humans are capable of acquiring a taste for virtually any flavor, texture, etc (even poisons, e.g., tequila :wink:). We can even overcome acquired taste aversions (frequently developed in conjunction with developing the initial taste for tequila).

Steingarten wrote an amusing essay about this when he started his food essayist career. He cited studies that showed that if you eat a food that you have an aversion to (either an acquired or just because you don't like it) something like a dozen times, you can overcome the taste aversion. He then listed the foods he disliked and set out to overcome his aversions.

Why would one do this (besides Steingarten's professional reason)? So that you can semi-objectively decide if you like a food as opposed to being nauseated by it. This might be useful if you have a desire to expand your experiences, to find out why others like a particular food, or for reasons social, environmental, practical (e.g., if you live in New Zealand, you might want to get over your mutton aversion).


Knowledge is good.

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Humans are capable of acquiring a taste for virtually any flavor, texture, etc......  Steingarten wrote an amusing essay about this when he started his food essayist career.  He cited studies that showed that if you eat a food that you have an aversion to (either an acquired or just because you don't like it) something like a dozen times, you can overcome the taste aversion.

I remember that piece, and I remember sitting down to read it in hope that it would reveal to me how to conquer my parsley problem. It did not. I did not. I have eaten raw parsley at a conservative guess a thousand times in my lifetime, and it still tastes godawful to me. Alas.


There is no love sincerer than the love of food.

--George Bernard Shaw

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