The Practical Cook loves converting food haters to food lovers. Nothing is more satisfying than convincing someone in the anti- or never-before-tried camp to cross over. And this blog is full of tips on getting people to try new things. I like to think of myself as a well-rounded eater, with just a couple of things on the “absolutely not” list. But then came the day I tried to explain my position on hazelnuts.
Gentle readers, the Practical Cook really hates hazelnuts. They taste like rancid to me. Recognizing this is a violation of the foodie creed, I won’t touch Nutella with a 10-foot spoon. Thankfully the internet provides a safe haven for all sub-genres, and I found this image on the Facebook page devoted to the cause.
The thought of hazelnut flavored coffee is gag-inducing. While discussing this with my local barista, I noticed a pattern forming. I was, still am, and probably always will be, particular.
I choose the term “particular,” because picky is so negative. I learned to cook because I didn’t like Sloppy Joe’s, wanted to eat pizza all the time, and provided a lot of feedback to my mom in the kitchen. She said, then do it yourself. I did. Peace was restored.
(**Don’t be fooled into thinking the Practical Cook’s Mom likes everything TPC makes. Key phrases are “that’s interesting” or “I wouldn’t make that myself.” Sometimes she takes off the Southern gloves and says, “where did you come from, I have no idea how or why you eat that.”)
So here are 3 things I just don’t like, in no particular order.
1. Licorice, fennel, anise. Three representations of one flavor profile. I file this in the love/hate category—very few people are neutral on the subject. And there is no covering up the taste. My kids like the coated fennel seeds at the Indian restaurants, so maybe the gene didn’t pass to them.
2. Gummy candy. Not a flavor, but a texture. Keep your gummi worms, gummi bears, gummi rodents to yourself. Perhaps they are too shrimp-like (allergy!) for my comfort, and my mouth rejects them in self-protection.
3. Most sweet beverages. I like my coffee black and almost bitter. I don’t like soda, sweet tea (a serious Southern party foul on my part), or most juices. I like my lattes decaf and skim, thanks, no flavor added.
There are more things on the list, way more than I expected when my barista friend, Judo Java, challenged me on this one. The point of this—you can have strong opinions about food and still cook and eat a wide variety of things. Particular doesn’t mean giving up. Being the cook is a great way to direct the food conversation.
I revisit the flavors and textures from time to time. Sometimes tastes change. But don’t ask me to drink a root beer float and munch on gummis and Ferrero Rocher.
The Practical Cook confessional booth is now open. What are the things you won’t eat? Are you in denial or closeted about these preferences? Confess at practical cook at gmail dot com.
Coming up tomorrow, Beets and Sweets Chip Recipe!