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Have you ever had this conversation with someone? “Would you like some of this thing I cooked?” – “No, That’s gross, I don’t like it.” – “Have you ever tasted it before?” – “No, but it’s gross.” I have, and it drives me crazy. How can you say you don’t like something if you’ve never even tried it? What is your basis for not liking it? Because someone told you not to? Because you don’t like how it looks? You can’t possibly know that you actually don’t like a food until you’ve tasted it.
Brussel sprouts, like the ones in the photo there, get a really bad rap, but they’re delicious. Tons of people who have never tasted them say they don’t like them. I thought I wouldn’t either, but I always try new food when I get the chance. So when someone cooked some, I took a taste. I now eat them several times a month!
Here’s the thing: You can’t base your like or dislike of a food on someone else’s opinion or how the food looks. No one else has your sense of taste, so what someone else hates you might love, or the other way around. Looks also mean nothing. I have eaten plenty of foods that looked awful, but they tasted fantastic. You also can’t base your opinion on something you tasted ages ago. Kid’s palates are different than adults, so what was gross when you were young could be delicious now. I used to hate pickles, mustard and other foods that I adore now.
Another thing to be wary of is how good was the cook who gave it to you the first time? For ages I thought pork roast was disgusting. Someone made some and reminded me that I taste everything at least once, so I had to give in and follow my own rule. It was really good! It turns out that the reason it tasted so bad when I’d had it before was that my grandmother couldn’t cook worth a flip. There are lots of foods I like now that I used to hate, and it turns out it’s all in the preparation.
Also, the age or brand of the food can mean a lot. For instance, I despise most brown gravy, except Heinz. I’ll eat Pepperidge Farm stuffing but not Stove Top. Brussel sprouts are great if they’re young, but when they get larger and older they’re disgustingly bitter. So you need to keep things like that in mind before you say you hate some food. You may just not have had the right brand, age, or preparation of it yet.
Try to make a habit of tasting every single food you can when the opportunity arises. If you haven’t tasted something in five or more years, give it another try. Your tastes change over time and you may discover things that you love, even if you hated them in the past. Trying new things opens you up to a wonderful world of meal variety. You shouldn’t be closed-minded about your food any more than you should be about anything else in life. Try new stuff and re-try old stuff, and keep your mind and mouth open to the wonderful world of food.