Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The 10 Most Polarizing Foods

After writing a mini-novella about coconuts a few weeks ago, I did some Googling for other foods that people love to hate.  While there are some foods people dislike but don’t really complain about (such as mustard for me), and then there are the common foods that people HATE and tend to get quite opinionated about (coconuts).  I found an aptly named article from Huff Post, The 10 Most Polarizing Foods, and have decided to give my two cents on each contentious food.

1. Cilantro: Apparently this is the most debatable food out there, and I’m quite surprised by that! With the exception of guacamole, where I feel cilantro really makes the dip, I seldom notice the presence or lack thereof cilantro.  Usually, I skip cilantro when a recipe calls for it, but that’s only because I rarely have fresh herbs on hand.

2. Celery: It’s got zero calories (right?) – what’s not to love!? I’m also partial to ants on a log, celery topped with peanut butter and raisins, because it reminds me of my childhood.

3. Licorice: Red Twizzlers are good. Black licorice and black jelly beans are not.  Whenever I get a jelly bean delivery from the Easter Bunny, I immediately discard the black ones, although I should gauge KK’s feelings on licorice and barter with him for a black/purple jellybeans exchange if that works out in my favor!  I also despise all things licorice, anise, or fennel.  This is one of the flavors I can catch if there’s even the slightest drop of it in my food. Update: KK shares my disdain for licorice, so any black jellybeans from the Easter Bunny will be discarded. 

4. Green Pepper: Although I don’t hate green peppers, I certainly like red peppers better.  Who doesn't!? I was shocked to read that Dan Barber, chef and owner Blue Hill restaurant in NYC and one of my favorite Top Chef guest judges, refuses to have green peppers on his restaurants’ menus.  Love to hate!

5. Marzipan: Although there hasn't been much baking on 3D Dinners, I have a serious sweet tooth! One version of marzipan’s history recalls the nuns of the Convent of San Clemente in Toledo, Spain.  After a long Spanish battle, many, many years ago, there was no wheat to be found in Toledo.  There was, however, plenty of sugar and almonds, and the nuns used it to make a paste to feed to the starving people.  Marzipan saved Toledo! In October 2011, KK and I took a daytrip to Toledo.  The city’s streets were lined with so many marzipan shops that it was nearly impossible to decide on a purchase.  This conundrum resulted in marzipan purchases from multiple shops!

6. Mayonnaise: In moderation and light-versions, I think mayo is a good thing.  A little bit goes a long way on a sandwich.  Now that mayo's gone fancy, I love trying the more creative flavors of mayonnaise: chipotle, olive oil & cracked pepper (a new favorite from Kraft!), sun dried tomato, horseradish... the list is almost never-ending!

7. Blue Cheese: I've just had another flashback to our October 2011 Spain trip.  We took a Mad Ride free walking tour of Madrid, and our tour guide recommended Cervecer√≠a 100 Montadito as an inexpensive yet delicious lunch option.  If I recall correctly, sandwiches were ~€1, mugs of beers were €2, and a side of French fries was €3.  Perfect.  Except I mistakenly ordered a "queso azul" sandwich instead of a "queso blanco."  One bite of the queso azul and I had a look of utter disgust on my face.  KK couldn't help but laugh!

8. Vegemite/Marmite: Skip. I know nothing about Vegemite, but I don't like what I'm reading.

9. Coconut: See post for One Pot Thai Chicken Pasta.  Although I gave it a shot, and would probably cook the pasta dish again, coconut is still on my personal "love to hate" list.  I will still continue avoiding, but at least I know I'll live if it contaminates any of my other foods.  I did just come up with one coconut thing that I tolerate/like - Girl Scout Samoas! Yum!

10. Liver: No thank you.

So there you have it - my thoughts on the Huff Post's most polarizing foods.  Surprisingly, I'm OK with 50% of the foods.  I thought my percentage would be much lower! Without consulting with him, I'd say KK's most hated foods are raw onions and goat cheese.  Missing from the list for me? Olives, broccoli, capers, mushrooms, oysters.....

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