Eyre Affairs

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Friday, August 18, 2006

"You would be in hell..." ~ Jane Eyre

Despite being a foodie and enjoying all kinds of cuisines and dishes, there are some foods that I just cannot consume. Its not because I have not tried them or consider myself a picky eater (like some people I know). On the contrary, I have tried the foods and loathed them.

A few nights ago I was discussing foods that I disliked and then became inspired to write a post about some of the foods that would exist in Hell for me...

1) Olives ~ I think if one is Armenian or Greek or Italian, the love of the olive should be in one's ancestral blood. Unfortunately, everyone in my family loves olives except for me and my twin sister. I don't know what it is. Actually, I do. I eat an olive and get a severe chill down my spine and the urge to spit it out. However, I happen to love olive oil, especially flavored olive oil for dipping bread into. I also really love the color olive; its a nice shade of green.

2) Cilantro ~ It tastes like soap. Thankfully chefs like Ina Garten also assert that cilantro tastes like Palmolive. Of course there are chefs who love using cilantro, such as Rachel Ray. Come to think of it, Rachel Ray is hell personified. I would rather chew cilantro than have to listen to her for even an hour. If I had to choose between having my entrails eaten by vultures all day, then have them regenerate at night just to have vultures eat them again the next day OR have to hear Rachel Ray say "Yum-O" for eternity, I would have to just say ciao to my entrails for the day.

3) Raw Tomatoes ~ A raw tomato's texture is too pulpy and juicy for me to enjoy. When I prepare bruschetta, I always use a paring knife and scrape out the innards of the tomato, otherwise the dish would become watery and tasteless. I love any kind of cooked tomatoes, and ketchup is the condiment of choice always. During the ketchup/mustard/relish race at the Brooklyn Cyclone's game last month, J. Sarah and I vehemently cheered on ketchup whilst J.Sarah's fiance cheered for mustard. I am sorry, but mustard is not a universal condiment; ketchup is. (This was a serious discussion complete with email banter back and forth in addition to arguing the day of the game)

4) Balsamic Vinegar Dressing ~ Blech. I use balsamic to cook only (it actually is great to add to sausage and peppers for an excellent caramelization). I hate vinegar on salads. I hate most salads, too, but especially ones with balsamic vinegar.

5) Marzipan ~ I am always the first to say that there is no such thing as a food being too sweet, but marzipan is the exception. Indeed, it should just be utilized for decoration, because I have actually sucked sugar from a raw sugar cane and realized that marzipan is sweeter. I also dislike anything almond flavored except for an actual almond.

Hellish food is a topic that came up in discussion with the Naked Manatee a few evenings ago. This morning I chatted with some friends and loved ones and decided to share and comment on some of their foods in Hell...

John ~ He said pickled herring, pickled eggs, and miso soup. I am with him on the pickled parts, but I can't agree with the miso soup. He disagrees with me, but seaweed and tofu in broth is just delicious. John is definitely a meat and potatoes kind of guy. The irony? His girlfriend is Swedish and the Nords pickle everything. The more I think about it, the more I realize that there was not one meal he and I have had that did not involve meat; our first dinner together was Peter Lugers.

Lime ~ She said Indian food or anything with curry. Personally, I love Indian food (except when its a dish made with cilantro) and consider tandoori chicken and any kind of curry heaven. Still, I am not a fan of spicy Thai food because it includes tons of cilantro.

Robin ~ Being twins, she and I share a loathing for olives, grapefruits, and "Taco Hell" (as she put it). Still, she dislikes mushrooms (I love shrooms) and artichokes (spinach and artichoke dip is heaven with a chip). Other than those items, our tastes are fairly identical.

D.R. ~ I wasn't going to include him because he is, by far, the pickiest eater I know, and to write about the foods he hates would be a dissertation in and of itself. His eating habits are an enigma to me; how he survived the mess hall at West Point is beyond my cognitive skills. Food in hell for him includes pork chops and ham. Now, consistency tells us that bacon would be on the list as well. But no, it isn't. D.R. told me that "bacon is in heaven." Another hellish food item he listed is buckwheat; I suppose he hates blinis? I mean, what else is really made with buckwheat? Rounding out his list is fish, broccoli and cheese pizza pockets, and the mints left on pillows in a hotel. Are mints considered a food? And for that matter, are pizza pockets considered a real food?

Jack ~ He did not refuse anything to eat until the other day he was given a jar that was accidentally bought by his mommy: corn and squash. I shall not describe how we knew that he disliked it.

I would enjoy hearing from others about their choice of hellish foods...


Anonymous Robin said...

Great topic my twinny except you've always been a weird one about the raw tomatoes...i just don't get it. Anyway, I forgot how much I hate marzipan - ick! Thanks for making me remember that horrible taste. Honorable mention should be ginger, stinky cheeses, and any internal organs. Gross eh?

11:22 PM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

Sista, Sista ~ You do realize that when our brother-in-law and I are eating sweetbreads at Greek tavernas in Astoria when we are all out that he and I are eating cow pancreas? Mmmmm. Just checking. ;)

11:26 PM  
Blogger Seskel said...

Peanut butter. Ugh.

12:26 AM  
Blogger afromabq said...

tiny, how can you not love olives???? THEY ARE SOOOO YUMMY! salty, chewey, with just that right amount of sourness that makes you pucker the first time you pop one in your mouth. what's not to love??

totally agree w/you on cilantro...it's weird shit and don't get why it's in so many southwestern dishes when all it does is make you feel like you've cussed for days and mom just washed your mouth out.

tomatoes and balsamic...yummers again! but that might have to do with late night cravings while pregnant with my boys! :)

i don't think i've ever had anything with marzipan? huh?

1:18 AM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

Selkel ~ PB?!? Wow! That is a heaven food for me, especially if its in a cup form with chocolate surrounding it. :-D

PS ~ My taste buds responded to your caps and state they are quite stubborn when it comes to olives and they refuse to change! They are happy that they are in agreement with yours when it comes to soaplantro.

5:58 AM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

FYI to all Ladies: I just found the most amazing website that helps women with counting calories and eating right:


6:26 AM  
Anonymous J Sarah said...

You know - just because you have some weird genetic mutation that makes cilantro taste like soap whereas for the rest of us it tastes like CILANTRO - don't malign the poor herb. Or consign it only to the likes of Rachel Ray. Otherwise, I might just have to try to serve you this yummy sounding recipe I just found for green olive-cilantro salsa! Ha ha ha.

7:44 AM  
Blogger Ryane said...

Thursday: In the immortal words of Anne Shirley, "we are kindred (foodie) spririts": I detest olives and cilantro, as well!! I have hardly ever met anyone else who doesn't like cilantro. How gratifying...

Some other foods I tend to avoid: lima beans (texture issue) and black walnuts (just plain gross issue)and I actually don't really like marshmallows either--unless they are wrapped around 5 cups of Rice Krispies. =-)

Rachel Ray: I am convinced that I get dumber everytime I watch her: does she really say Yum-O??

8:42 AM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

J. Sarah ~ At least I know cilantro and olives won't be around at the wedding. After all, foods like green olive cilantro salsa would be quite a bitch of a stain to remove on the spot from a white dress, wouldnt it? ;)

Ryane ~ Our taste buds must be buddies, indeed! I am not a big fan of a plain marshmellows either, except with rice k treats, such as your darling self, or toasted on a s'mores! As for lima beans, I really havent tried any, but they have that slimey texture, right? Yep, Ray Ray the Dum-O says Yum-O. :P

9:06 AM  
Anonymous lime said...

i'm with you on the cilantro, tastes like palmolive. don't know how i missed that. but tomato and olive...darling, i don't know who you are anymore.

RR is not a chef, she's just an idiot. eek. and she has ANOTHER show? argh! we must take her down, somehow.

9:18 AM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

Lime ~ Maybe we can totally sign up to be audience members on her new talkshow and then when she leasts expects it, stand up and start to pelt her with olives, raw tomatoes, and cilantro-filled salsa?

9:23 AM  
Anonymous Ariella said...

I second your opinion of cilantro (ugh! it does taste like soap!) and of Rachael Ray (HOW did this woman get to be famous? WHO buys all those cookbooks?).

I think my Hellish Food would have to be eggplant. I don't know if I've just never had it cooked well, or what, but it always seems to be overly greasy and the texture is off-putting.

Everything else, I'm pretty much game for -- I like internal organs, I like fish, I like meat, I like most vegetables... just put it down in front of me and I'll eat it (or at least give it a fair shake).

9:26 AM  
Anonymous lime said...

oh that sounds awesome. i think it would be fun to see her in person anyway. we'd have more negative things to say about her after that for sure.

another problem with cilantro...my furry roommate loves it. too bad you can't buy it buy the leaf. the smell turns my tummy, but makes her follow commands and act so nicely.

j. sarah, i remember having this cilantro conversation with you more than once.

oh, and love the marzipan.

9:27 AM  
Anonymous Jack Krikor said...

At least you all have teeth and can chew any foods you want. At the moment, my diet consists of soft mushy foods and cheerios!

9:31 AM  
Blogger Clearlykels said...

I am with Robin- no mushrooms!!!! I do not like olives however I love tapenade-- right, weird, I know. My friend G likes to give me lots of crap about that. I take the insides out of tomatoes too and do not like stewed tomatoes. I am much more of a white sauce person but do enjoy a red sauce occasionally. I think that is it--- well, probably not, but that is all for now.

9:32 AM  
Blogger Ryane said...

hahahahahahahaha!! RayRay the Dum-O says Yum-O.

I actually am laughing soo hard that a co-worker came into my office to see what was soo funny..

How on earth do I explain Yum-O?? hahah. =-)

10:18 AM  
Blogger ThoughtsGalore said...

Ok you haven't had southern cali salsa made by me with some yummy cilantro. LOL! You can't have salsa without cilantro.

I HATE OLIVES. I'm Italian and hate olives. Yes.

Olives would be my #1. I will pick them off of anything. oh and I don't dig vietnamese food, either. Just don't.


Glad we're in agreement..lol.

10:54 AM  
Blogger Josephine said...

Thanks for stopping by my site...moving on.

I love this topic. I have a very limited palette, so I'm always talking about food I don't like.

My most hated:


My absolute favorite:

raw tomato

Go figure!

10:58 AM  
Blogger K9 said...

/bark bark bark

i hate mushrooms. hate the colors, hate how they look, hate the texture and hate the flavor which is dirt. have i made myself clear here? i live in abject terror as i approach a dinner party table...will mushrooms be involved? if i have to get by in polite society i may gulp them down like a pill...or if a dog happens to be nearby.........

i hate cheap chocolate. ditto robin on organs. i hate gin, scotch and jaegermeister. in hell theyd serve jaeger not water. okra's not a favorite unless its cut up rolled in cornmeal and fried which makes it a chip not a vegtable.

oh heck im ranting.....i could write for another 15 minutes. just give me a steak and i'll shut up.

josephine's funny: makes you want to "hurl?" howl!


2:39 PM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

Ariella ~ Hmmm. I am looking for some good Armenian eggplant recipes that you might enjoy! I love eggplant, though sometimes the skin can annoy me. As for Rachel Ray, wanna come with? ;)

Lime ~ Think about it. You love sugary almond paste? Eech.

Jack ~ Good point, kiddo. :)

Kels ~ No shrooms?!? What about at least a grilled portobello mushroom?

Ryane ~ Check out here altered photo on this great site:

TG ~ If the cilantro bits are too big in the salsa, I pick them out. ;)

Jo ~ *Everything* else makes sense except for the ONION and GARLIC. There is nothing better than the smell of onion and garlic sauteing in butter. The only time I can deal with raw tomato is when it is sliced thin on top of a piece of fresh mozzarella along with some basil and extra virgin olive oil (or for you Ray Ray fans out there, E.V.O.O.). Dammit Ray Ray, is "extra virgin olive oil" too hard to pronounce so you need a stupid acronym?

Rottiepooch ~ All dogs to to heaven, so you need not fear a thing, my sweet puppy!

3:25 PM  
Blogger Ryane said...

Thursday: I just checked out those hil-arious photos of the Yum-O Dum-O on the community website link. HAHA. If you get tickets to her show, sign-me up. I'd happily pelt that women w/EVOO or anything else we can think of, just to see if she keeps her joker smile affixed to her face. haha.

4:37 PM  
Blogger Lady Wordsmith said...

Ghah ... and hear all your previous posts had me thinking we might be gastronomic sisters ... but alas, your hellish foods are all divine to my palate. Oh well. we still share sushi, and glad to note you at least hold favor for olive oil.

But as to what Beelzebub would serve special for me? Beets, pickled herring and gin.

Gee Considering how those three are adored by all other Nederlanders I guess that would make the Dutch equivalent of thee?

6:17 PM  
Blogger David said...

Excellent list of food hell, m'dear. (Is this the opposite of food porn?) I think you know my specifc phobia...the dreaded pea. I had a psychological breakdown as a child when forced to eat canned peas. I swore on that day not to chew peas, but eschew peas. I have made good on that promise.

In Idaho we have the Rocky Mountain Oyster Feed. I stay away from that.

6:33 PM  
Blogger Bird said...

tofu. i cannot stand tofu. try indeed have i, but not matter - hard or soft, or inbetween. marinated or not, sauteed, crumbled - it simply doesn't matter. can't eat it. won't eat. won't bother trying anymore.

did someone say mushrooms? oh! oh! what blashemy! what sacrilige! for years, mushroom was a staple in my house - nary a meal went by without mushroom (button, shitake, portabella - grilled - yeah). alas, i no longer crave them and rarely have them, but wish i did.

i ate peanut butter nonstop when pregnant with my first child (odd, the kid loved pbjs later on). with my second, the smell made me sick.

7:34 PM  
Blogger schaumi said...

......blue cheese, boiled okra, anything with a slimy texture, cooked oats (slimly texture thing), ummm, liver, other organ meats.....

9:07 PM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

Ryane ~ I kid you not, Ray Ray's first show tonight was her making an olive spread. Eeew! So timely, so timely...

M'Lady ~ Indeed, gin is certainly a beverage I would add to my list, as well as vermouth. J. Sarah knows I that hell for my mouth is sipping a martini (with an olive, of course!).

David ~ Its always a bit sad when a peer doesnt like a pea. Would it appease you if they were mixed with carrots and buttered? Oh, and how is Melville's Moby Dick a story about the loathing of peas? ;) I think I got ya!

Birdie ~ This is a bad time to mention that Saveur mag just did this entire segment on tofu. I like it in my miso soup and some vegetarian dishes, but I certainly don't cook with it myself. The mag highlighted smoked tofu...yech?

Schaumi ~ I had okra when I went to New Orleans two years ago and loved it. I guess I am ok with slimey textured things...like escargot. ;) As for blue cheese, it is my least favorite cheese indeed.

9:29 PM  
Blogger Mayden's Voyage said...

I don't like brussel sprouts...blech! :)
Fried grub worms are off my list too- tried some in Asia- it was a cultural experience I will leave within that culture!

Most organ meats are off- though a good pate' is nice sometimes.

I had some funky things in South Africa- don't remember what all they were...
Other than that- I'm ok :)
This was fun :)

3:01 PM  
Anonymous lime said...

sugary almond paste? of course i like it. love it. i'm not one for sweets (remember i'm not into chocolate) but i love marzipan shaped like things...like olives.


11:43 PM  
Blogger Steph said...

I think olives are an aquired taste, although the term aquired taste makes no sense to me. Why bother?
Cilantro is straight from hell. Period. One tiny little disgusting green flake of it will ruin my mouth until I can brush my teeth.
Raw tomatoes - that cracks me up. I like them, but a friend of mine in college was so extremely disgusted by them that her boyfriend once ran to the fridge during a fight and bit into one in front of her just to watch her cringe. :)
Indian food - also of Satan. And trust me...the authentic stuff, actually served in India, is ten times worse. Went there once and lost ten pounds.
Marzipan IS way too sweet, and miso soup rocks.

2:29 AM  
Blogger Darius said...

For me it's easy: bananas. Ugh. The texture - I think that's the main thing. I'm ok with banana flavoring though.

12:46 PM  
Blogger puerileuwaite said...

Hmmm, very interesting ...

7:00 AM  
Blogger Clearlykels said...

ugh! no mushrooms...not ever.. I barely like cream of mushroom in stuff. :-)

10:17 AM  
Blogger beachgirl said...

Good heavens!! This really blew up!! You know, being from the south, it is practically a mortal sin not to love raw tomatoes! I'm surprised I haven't been excommunicated...

I hate raw onions, butlove onion rings!

Here's a good one for you..it sounds gross, but it's soooo good!!

Stuffed Hot Dogs...
Mix up one package of Instant mashed potatoes as directed..

split open hot dogs, place on cookie sheet,

spoon mashed potatoes into split hot dogs,

cover with slices of american chesse.

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes...

So yummy!!!!!!

12:55 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

strangely, i like *all* your hellish foods...but i couldn't agree with you more about rachel. yum-o indeed.

1:33 PM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

Cora ~ The mere fact that you even dared to try fried grub worms has me in awe of you! :)

Lime ~ The next time you are home in NY, I am taking you to a bakery in Glen Cove that makes good marzipan (according to others, not moi!). You can eat it while I eat their amazing chocolate cake. ;)

Steph ~ Oh that story is hysterical! Biting into a raw tomato is probably worse than nails scratching on a blackboard. So glad that there is yet another person who hates soaplantro!

Darius ~ You and Seskel are killing me here. Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches are served in heaven, perhaps even by the King himself. (No, the OTHER King - Elvis!)

PW ~ You like all foods?!?

Kels ~ I admit that dried mushrooms are kinda where I draw the line. They are so pungent and powerful...its usually too much. The smell of them reconstituting for a recipe totally icks me out.

BG ~ I am not a fan of the raw yellow onion either, but we can eat onion rings together anytime. :) Thank you for that recipe! That sounds SO delish, dahling.

Kate ~ Welcome back to NY! :) I can't wait for Pie in the Sky this fall. So will you also come with us to Ray Ray's new show so we can pelt her?

6:56 AM  
Blogger ThoughtsGalore said...

Look at you Ms. 35 comments! LOL.

9:21 AM  
Blogger K9 said...

i prefer zalm and flesh of tender hind.
and snow cream. i avoiding grains of all kind.
in hel there is only mints and never water.

11:06 AM  
Blogger Connie said...

You hate all of the foods I love. Dern.

Foods I hate:
Tofu (even though I force myself to eat it)
Broccoli (allergic)
raw onions
candy bars, unless they are HIGH quality DARK chocolate.

1:16 PM  
Blogger question girl said...

during the picked convo, did anyone mention pickled pigs feet?

10:40 PM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

C ~ I hope you are enjoying all kinds of great foods in your new kitchen!

Auto ~ Chocolate bars?!? CHOCOLATE BARS?!? GAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

QG ~ Oh man, did you see that episode of Alton Brown's "Feasting on Asphalt" when he took a bite out of one?!? Eeep!

12:46 PM  
Blogger Morgen said...

cilantro & Rachel Ray = two of my least favorite things!
glad to see someone else NOT lovin' them!!!
(and I thought I was the only one who thought cilantro tasted like soap -- when I said that to a friend last week, she looked at me like I had blasphemed! Nope, tastes like soap, said I.)

4:25 PM  

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