Foods I refuse to eat

I think I’m pretty darn fortunate to have had parents who exposed me to so many “exotic” foods when I was growing up that nowadays I’ll eat almost anything.

ALMOST anything. That means there are still a few things I absolutely refuse to eat, and with (I think) good reason.

  1. Brussels sprouts
    The demon of all things leafy. I have never, ever liked Brussels sprouts. They smell like feet past their prime and taste even worse. I’ve tried them occasionally throughout the years, just to see if my taste has changed as I’ve grown older (it worked for asparagus and tomatoes), but alas. Brussels sprouts still make me gag at the first whiff.
  2. Celery
    I avoid this tasteless collection of watery strings for a purpose: I am allergic. I don’t know what’s in raw celery, but there is something in raw celery that makes my lips itch like mad and swell up like Angelina Jolie’s. It would be pretty cool if it didn’t hurt so much, and if I didn’t know in the back of my mind that itchy lips are a preliminary symptom of one’s throat closing up in anaphylactic shock.
  3. Sauerkraut
    When I was in grade school, my lunch was usually lovingly packed by my mom in my Jem and the Holograms lunchbox. On occasion, though, she would pack me not a sandwich, but a couple dollars with which to buy lunch in the cafeteria. I usually stuck with the cheese sandwich and pudding combination, trying to push my way through the line so I wouldn’t have to stand next to the pile of shredded translucent goo whose stench permeated all the adjacent lunch options. You heard it here, gentle readers: my elementary school served sauerkraut to little kids for lunch. Who in their right mind who is not 110% German would serve sauerkraut to a first grader? It wasn’t even fresh, which I am told by connoisseurs is a tasty treat. No, this was most likely prepackaged stuff that had been fermenting for years. Maybe this was the real way children had to prove they could make it through school and survive in the real world. “If you can eat the cafeteria sauerkraut, kid, then you can move on to second grade.” I was too smart for them, though. Show’s over, sauerkraut.
  4. Macaroni and cheese
    My avoidance of this American classic can probably be traced back to that same cafeteria: plastic-tasting processed cheese-like product over slimy, overcooked macaroni. Nowadays it doesn’t matter if it’s boxed or homemade. I can’t put my finger on it, but something about mac and cheese grosses me out.
  5. Babies
    Not human babies. Come on, people. That’s disgusting. And so is the idea of eating animal babies.  Lamb and veal – forget it. I think this point kind of explains itself.
  6. Scrapple
    This delightful loaf of untouchables is a regional delicacy where I live. For those of you gentle readers who don’t know, scrapple is all the leftover fat and trimmings and innards and gross parts of the animal that no one in their right mind should want, all chopped up and held together with flour and spices. I believe the colloquial description is “everything but the oink.” The result is a congealed loaf of dry-heave-inducing
    nastiness that is sliced up and fried. Apparently, people eat it. I understand that someone had the bright idea of a way to not waste food. Trust me, I’m all about recycling. But come on, people. Ew. 

    Speaking of congealed things…

  7. Congealed salad
    At almost every family gathering on my mom’s side, my grandmother serves congealed salad. There is nothing salad-like about this stuff. Her version is basically Jell-O, fruit, nuts, and I think mayonnaise all mixed together, topped with Cool Whip. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am all about each one of these items on their own. But mixed together, the taste and texture are somehow transformed into something inedible. Jell-O isn’t supposed to be chunky. And that brings me to my last point:
  8. Liquids with chunks
    Foods and drinks in liquid form should be just that: liquid. Solids have no place in my liquids. Therefore, cuisine such as the aforementioned congealed salad, yogurt with fruit on the bottom and orange juice with pulp are not part of my culinary repertoire. The consistency reminds me too much of vomit. If you haven’t gleaned already from the previous items on this list, I am a big proponent of proper food texture. Vegetables should not be squishy, and liquids should not be chunky.
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