Young and Hungry

Food Phobias? Our Readers Have a Few.


Earlier this week, I wrote about the many different foods, from beets to bones, that people will avoid at all costs. Many of you wrote in with your own food phobias. Below is a sampling of some of the e-mails we received at Y&H Central.

Jennifer M sympathizes with my wife and her loathing for celery:

I despise celery as well. I cannot abide cooked celery either. I have trouble finding soup that I will eat because of this. When my friends make potato salad, they make the chunks of celery really big, so I can pick them out easily. And, I don't like celery seed either!

My boyfriend's family talks about his pickiness as a child too. He only ate McDonald's hamburgers with no bun, pizza with no cheese, and hot dogs plain. When we started dating I decided to make grilled cheese one rainy weekend day. He looked at me like I was crazy, and said he did not like melted cheese! Well, I made him eat it anyway and he loves it now. I don't think I could have continued seeing him if he couldn't get over the melted cheese thing.

Elizabeth E won't get within sniffing distance of melons:

Mine is melon — especially watermelon. I can't be in the same room with another person who's eating it because of the smell. It's literally nauseating to me. "Fruit garnish" on a menu usually means melon so I need to ask before I order something described that way. I love all other fruits and most foods. When I was a kid, I tried eating it several times; I wanted to like it because spitting the seeds was so much fun, but I gave up. Watermelon is something I can't learn to like.

Josh R has a problem with wet condiments:

Someone suggested to me that I had a food phobia and I agree. I don't like the texture of wet condiments and thus have never tried most of the moist options on sandwiches and salads. I've never had mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, most salad dressings, and several other items. However, I know if I tried them I'd probably like them, and thus recall all the times I've tried things (i.e. butter, BBQ sauce, salsa) that I love. Also, I love most international foods and sauces, it's just those damn wet condiments.

Claudia P has conquered her phobia:

I was terrified of poached eggs until realizing that my fave Cuban dive in Hoboken had huevos rancheros with one. So I ate a poached egg on top of a salad at Bar Americain at Foxwoods some weeks back. Fear conquered. Moving on.

Donna F is constantly on the prowl for offensive green peppers:

I can't stand the taste of green pepper, raw or cooked. Unfortunately, it is an ingredient in many dishes, often hidden and thus ruining for the unsuspecting green pepper-hater what might otherwise be a tasty dish. I scour boxes of prepared food and read the fine print on menus and even ask waiters to see if the dread ingredient is present. Alas, all too often, it is. And it's no use trying to pick the green pepper off the top of a pizza or out of a salad or lasagna or a stir fry. Once it's in there, it contaminates everything else with its green pepperiness.

Beth D used to room with a violent walnut spitter:

I have a friend who is so averse to walnuts that if she accidentally eats something with a walnut in it, she reflexively spits it out. And not a dainty little spit. The offending walnut will coming flying, violently, out of her mouth. We were roommates, and when I made brownies or banana bread with walnuts, I'd wall off a little walnut-free section of the pan with foil.

The only food I can't handle is halavah. I find even the smell so offensive that I can't even be in the same room with it.

Ruthie (just Ruthie) feels punished by arugula:

Arugula tastes like punishment. It's hard enough skipping deep fried sides to order a salad; but when restaurants get sneaky and hide tiny bitterness bombs among the romaine, it's an act of war. And let's not forget the worst food crime of all: arugula on pizza! It's like a stripper with hairy legs — against God's plan...

Judi G thinks pickles are cucumbers soaked in evil:

Your article made me laugh at the nonsense of not liking celery but then thought that I too should be ridiculed for my fear of some foods...

Pickles. I love love love cucumbers, but hate pickles with all my being. I even own a shirt that says "Pickles are cucumbers soaked in evil." I won't eat french fries if they've touched them and I have to sop up the little puddles they leave on my plate — even though I've asked for no pickles on my plate. For some reason, I can not stand them or their flavor — it's too much and it overpowers whatever they're in or on. I know it sounds so silly but I have such an aversion to them and my husband knows this and purposely orders his food with pickles so I won't ask for a bite!!

Another one? COOKED FRUIT. That's right. I hate all mushy fruit. Sorry cherry pie or blueberry crumble .. .. I've been told I'm un-American since I hate apple pie but cooked fruit is totally a texture thing and I think it's gross. I don't venture to the "fruit on the bottom" yogurts either — I'm not a fan of lumpy, mushy strawberries in some gross syrup .. I'd rather add my own fresh fruit!

Hope neither of these come as a surprise to you .. I know some folks who have gasped at my food aversions .. especially knowing that I've eat chicken feet and love foie gras & escargot! I'm adventurous ... to a point, I guess 😉

Photo by FotoDawg via Flickr Creative Commons, Attribution License

  • Betts

    Sooooo agree on the green's vegetable infanticide. Let them grow up to be the peppers they should be...yellow, red, purple, whatever. It just amazes me that anyone would want to eat an unripe veg.

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