Nicky Park: What food do you hate?

(Clockwise top left) Food that may not appeal to all tastes: Avocado, tripe, black pudding and snails. Photos / Thinkstock
(Clockwise top left) Food that may not appeal to all tastes: Avocado, tripe, black pudding and snails. Photos / Thinkstock

As I've grown up my tastes have changed. Somewhere during the timeline of life, candy floss fell out of favour and a love of lattes came about. I can't handle too much sweet stuff and now add a sour squeeze of lemon to just about everything I eat.

I used to be a pretty fussy kid. As a grown-up I've totally turned in to an experimental eater. I'll try most things once - jellyfish, grasshoppers, chicken feet and guinea pig are some of the more unusual things I've sampled overseas.

But there have always been a handful of foods that don't float my boat. I'm one of the few people that doesn't dig avocado. And there's something about raw mushrooms that I can't swallow.

Oysters, pate and mussels are just too slimy, and the insides of animals don't really appeal. Other foods I avoid because they just don't feel nice to digest, leave me feeling sluggish or just seem to suck a little bit of the zest for life out of me.

I've always found the texture of food to turn me off more than taste. As a kid, I'd get stuck in to a bowl of creamy tripe every week. My grandma would dish up a pile of steak and kidney and whip-up home-made brawn using the meat from a pig's head.

Then I found out what all these things really were and I vomited a little bit in my mouth. As The Guardian food blogger, Oliver Thring, points out, it's our association with food that make us cringe.

A new survey of 2000 Brits reveals their most hated foods are snails, followed by tripe and oysters. "Snails are snails, for God's sake: maggoty, warty little pellets sliming their way across the garden," Thring writes. And fresh oysters don't taste bad, just salty. "But it's a "slopping, snotty, slippery, squelchy thing, and it's alive," he says.

The Fussy Food Nation report also featured liver, olives, black pudding, kippers, blue cheese, beetroot, sardines and brussels sprouts in the top 20. In the top 40 were some of my icky picks - avocado, pate, prawns and mushrooms.

Check out the top 10 most hated foods here.

The study, commissioned by fridge maker, Hotpoint, asked participants what put them off food.

Almost 60 per cent admitted it was the texture that was a turn-off, while more than half said it was the smell.

One in seven said being force fed certain grub as a child has led to hate forever, according to the report published in the Daily Mail.

Thring says some of the most delicious foods are the ones you have to train yourself to eat. It's true, the first sample of an olive doesn't hit the mark, but the tenth is on the money.

Despite this, there are some foods I'm prepared to banish for life. All the old offal favourites won't be making their way on to my menus. And I only need to try a portion of guinea pig one in Peru to know it's not for me.

Follow Life & Style Editor Nicky Park on Twitter.

What foods do you hate? What's the weirdest thing you've eaten? Have you trained yourself to like certain foods? How have your tastes changed over time?

Nicky Park

Editor of Life & Style.

Nicky lives to wine, dine and thrive. As Life & Style Editor at the New Zealand Herald online, she feels lucky she can call this work. Nicky crafted her writing skills as a cadet for an Australian news wire. Amongst the coverage of sport, news, finance and courts she found a favourite in features. A stint as a foreign correspondent sent this chipper Aussie across the Tasman, covering the big issues of the Pacific Islands. Every single day Nicky relishes the opportunities she has to mix and mingle with interesting people, feast on delicious food, visit new places and write all about it. Nicky wants everyone to make the most of their minutes, learn lots and live their best life.

Read more by Nicky Park

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