Top 10 Foods I Won’t Eat

Hearts-of-Palm-VegetableAt my family reunion last week, we ate well. Really well. Every meal involved at least 10 dishes cooked by a number of people. I was really impressed by the sheer variety of the food and peoples’ willingness to try new things.

That said, we have some picky eaters in the family, and at least one point in the week I said with a small amount of pride that I’m not a picky eater.

Then I started listing things I won’t eat. And I realized that it’s a much longer list than I thought.

So in no particular order, here’s my list of the top 10 things I won’t eat:

  1. Sauerkraut: Also known as “the devil’s skin,” even the smell of sauerkraut makes me gag a little. My parents made me eat it a few times when I was young, even though it almost made me throw up every time.
  2. Olives: On principle, I refuse to be in the same room as an olive. Olives belong in glass jars–never to be opened–on the shelves of Italian delis.
  3. American Cheese: If this even counts as cheese, why does any restaurant use this over a basic cheddar? It makes no sense.
  4. Fake Sugar: Aspartame, sucralose, and other fake sugars will give me a migraine within a few minutes after consuming them. No thanks.
  5. Nato: Here’s the first of two weird Japanese foods. Nato is a type of bean that the Japanese put in places where you would not expect a bean, like ice cream and pizza.
  6. Umeboshi: Here’s the other weird Japanese food. It’s some kind of a fruit, and it has a truly pungent taste that hurts my brain.
  7. Anchovies: Okay, I’ll be honest: I’ve never eaten an anchovy. Maybe they’re awesome. But it just doesn’t seem like a good idea.
  8. Cheetos: For some reason I enjoy Doritos but not Cheetos. I think it’s the cheesy residue that turns me off.
  9. Hearts of Palm: This food gives me the heebie jeebies. What is it? It seems like something you’d expect to find growing on an alien planet, all white and tubular and squishy. I don’t trust it, and I don’t want it.
  10. Liver: The smell of liver cooking is something I simply cannot handle, and the taste doesn’t help. The one exception is that I’ve found that I do like pate, which I think is comprised of liver.

I’m sure even the least picky eater out there has at least one food that makes your stomach turn. What is it for you?


14 thoughts on “Top 10 Foods I Won’t Eat”

  1. I love food so much, I invented a game… but no-nos that first come to mind would be asparagus and rhubarb. My food choices are often tinged with political/environmental concerns. We try to only buy free-range eggs, chicken, and pork products and I’ve been boycotting Nestle all my life, which takes work as they have their fingers in a lot of pies. Stopped eating orange roughy when I realized they bottom-trawl for it and in fact, most seafood is on Greenpeace’s don’t eat list in New Zealand.

    • That’s great that you’re selective with the companies and types of food you support! I generally try to do the same, but you’re definitely doing a better job than me.

  2. First Welcome back Jamey! Nice to see your regular posts again and hope the reunion went very well for you. Now to food well Im a huge foodie so will eat most things- but the thing I wont eat is an odd one- Ketchup, Ill use it as an ingredient but never ever eat it. I had some family members obsessed with the stuff putting it on pizza, substituting it for spaghetti sauce, and even putting it on ice cream! Just cant get past the memories of vanilla ice cream and Heinz enough to ever eat it direct…

    • Thanks Bill! I must admit that ketchup is a food most people enjoy in some form, but it certainly is an odd food, especially the glossy smooth consistency of it. It definitely doesn’t belong near ice cream! 🙂

  3. Hi Jamey! Olives are the good kind of bad. Like, we all know that they don’t taste good, but there’s something enjoyable about that. Especially the green ones with the garlic inside.

    Here’s one I was just thinking about: Bugs. I read some article a while back about how bugs have 0 fat and have a ton of protein, and how much better for the environment it’d be if we cultivated bugs instead of pigs, chickens, and cattle.

    Yeah, no. I am not into eating bugs.

    • Tom: “The good kind of bad.” Yeah, I can see that–they just don’t turn that corner for me.

      No bugs! I ate several cricket protein bars during my family reunion.

  4. The biggest one for me is onions. People sometimes tell me, “Oh, you won’t taste the onions in this. It’s just there to enhance the other flavors.”

    They’re almost always wrong. I can spot the pungent taste of an onion that snuck into my mouth, and I have to get it out before I chew. Once it’s bitten, that taste will ruin my food and stick in my mouth for the rest of the day.

    I can usually order my food with no onions at restaurants, but they sometimes don’t even mention it as an ingredient, leaving me with an unfortunate surprise when the food shows up. This distaste also makes being a guest at friends’ houses difficult, as many dishes include onions, and many people very much enjoy them.

    I also don’t care for seafood (excepting some sushi), as it has a distinct taste I don’t like, but that’s easy enough to avoid by just not ordering it.

  5. Aside from my noble attempts to stay free of gluten, refined sugar and artificial sweeteners for dietary/health reasons, the food items I’m turned off by come from bad experiences I had with them as a kid. One example is “fishy” fish… if it tastes strongly of fish then I usually can’t eat more than one bite. Trout and Salmon have the strongest effect. Toss in anchovies and sardines because just the thought of either unsettles my stomach. If it’s served bone in or head on. Ufff. That said I love stuff like shrimp, crab, sushi and fish & chips. Otherwise, I’m very adventurous and will try just about anything.

    • Brent: During my family reunion, I commented to my aunt that the grouper I was cooking had a fishy taste to it. She said, “I want my fish to taste like fish!” So apparently some people like that, but I definitely get why you don’t. 🙂

  6. Fake sugar is my enemy. That is not food. You can put it in your mouth, doesn’t mean it’s food and good for you. I had the displeasure of consuming some fat-free poppy seed dressing in a salad not too long ago and I felt sick and gagged for a good five minutes trying to puke. What makes that dressing fat-free is that they take out the sugar replaces it with something else. I tasted it the first bite and should have exchanged it, but I was too hungry to think clearly and make good decisions. I regret eating that whole salad. Still feel sick thinking about. I’m going to eat some delicious, 100%-all-that-fat-is-there ice cream to make me feel better.

  7. Jamie, I am a very picky eater, so my list would probably run to 40 or 50 items, but I’ve gotten better over the years.

    Totally agree on the olives and sauerkraut. I also very much dislike pickles and mayo, to the point where I gag when near them. Ketchup is cool, except on eggs. I just don’t get those people.

  8. I used to hate Sauerkraut too… until I ate a proper homemade one. A couple of years ago a friend of mine told me “if you don’t like a certain food you haven’t had it properly prepared”, which completely changed my mindset towards food. It’s rather inexactly translated from norwegian, but what he meant is that everything can be made to shine and be used in different ways.

    My wife and I prepare everything from scratch nowadays and it feels rather good skipping the entire dried and frozen sections in the store except for pasta (takes too long to make from scratch every time) and rice.

    Food I won’t ever eat: anything from McDs or similar places. The very air in there makes me sick to my stomach.

    • Thomas: That’s an interesting perspective about preparation, and I’ve definitely known that to be true for many foods. I’m not sure it works in every case (like, olives really just don’t mesh with me), but perhaps a homemade Cheeto would be delicious! 🙂


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