or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › How to "condition" your taste-buds to eating foods you may not really like?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How to "condition" your taste-buds to eating foods you may not really like?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
(I'm pretty sure I'm in the right forum section with this question, if not my apologies)

I just started culinary school the other day and we're currently working on very "dry" sanitation material...but I have a lingering question ..and this is really for all cooking and not just the cooking I'll be doing in school.

There are certain foods, I cannot stand (I'm sure I'm not alone here)...I'm not a picky eater by any stretch and even foods that I don't think I'll like, I'll try if given the opportunity. However, there are just some foods that no matter how much I try and force myself to eat or prepare a certain way I just can't do...I'll give a list and maybe somebody can come up with a remedy or a way I can like some of these foods or even tolerate them...because a lot of this stuff is common food that most everybody eats.

-ASPARAGUS---yuck yuck yuck, can't do it
-PICKLES (and cucumbers)---the smell alone makes me sick, I cannot even use those cucumber washes or hand soaps.
-DILL-I think this is perhaps the thing I hate about pickles the most
-BABY EGGPLANT (never had the big purple kind as of yet)...I'm talking about the type you find in thai dishes...I find them incredibly bitter and sickening.
-MAYO DISHES--I can tolerate tuna, hamburgers and mcdonalds chicken sandwiches with it but everything else...forget about it. I hate mayo bases salads like pasta or egg salad. I also hate dressings where the mayo overwhelms.
CELERY-I can stomach to swallow small chunks in my soups but I absolutely hate the taste and smell of this stuff and the texture. I pick around them in my stuffing and can't eat them in tuna sandwiches.
GRAPEFRUIT---this is not a fruit...fruit, to me, implies sweet goodness and the last time i had one of these all it tasted like was citrus' e' earwax. bleh!

so is it possible to make yourself like things that make you want to gag??? or will I just have to continue hating some of these all popular ingredients and dishes?
I'd like to be able to eat this stuff but I just can't ever see it happening. I also wonder why?
but at any rate, any suggestions?
anybody else have the same problems?
post #2 of 11
I can relate. There are some things I don't like too. I'm also in culinary school and I just made a decision to try everything. I chew and give it a few seconds to kind of disect the sensation in my mouth an swallow. School has given me the chance to taste things I've never tasted before and rediscover foods I thought I knew in a different way. BTW I used to hate eggplant too (probabaly due to my Mother's version of an Eggplant Parmesean). We made Ratatouille in class and I thought it was awesome so don't count out foods for good. It just may be the method of preparation.
post #3 of 11
I think the main part of 'conditioning' is to eat the food you dont like more often... like building a tolerance or how people say 'its an aquired taste'. I find if im gonna be a cook for the rest of my life, being picky about food will be the end of me... you have to just take that risk and broaden your horizons...

I personally hate olives with a passion.. ive tried brined, cured, pickled, marinated and fresh off the tree. Not only have i eaten them in America and disliked them but ive had crazy olive concoctions in france and still hated them. I dont know what it is but that salty/bitter zip they have just tweeks my palette the wrong way.

Salmon is my second least favorite. The intense fishy smell puts me off along with the taste of this coral colored and sometimes white creature of the sea.

as for why you hate these things..

Asparagus - how have you had them prepared? grilling them gives them a different
taste than sautéing them.. you can put them on a sizzler with white wine
and butter too... my favorite way is marinating them in a bals vin. and
charring them..

Pickles/Cukes - i like em, but not as much as pregnant women.. hehe

Dill - dill has a strong flavor and aroma, so you can easily overpower a dish with too much of this stuff..

Baby Eggplant - Are you talking about the japanese eggplant or the White eggplant?
both are smaller than the larger purple counterpart, the japanese kind
is still purple but smaller and the white is well you guessed it, white but
sorta shaped like a large egg. Personally ive never had the white but
the japanese kind is mildly sweet.

MAYO - OOOOOO boy.. it definitely seems like it would be tough as a cook not to like
mayo... especially with all the applications that you would use it for.

Celery - Same goes with celery... have you tried using celery salt instead in your dishes?
it will still impart the flavor profile but you wont have the chunks that you hate
so much.

Grapefruit - I love this fruit.. cut it in half and sprinkle some sugar on it, mmmmm
good. Perhaps u had an unripe grapefruit.. ruby reds are the sweetest ive
encountered and im not sure where ud get the waxy impression unless your
eating the pith honestly.

The flavor of all food comes down to how a person approaches and manipulates the ingredient at hand.

No matter how gross something looks, smells or sounds i find it important to always try something once.
post #4 of 11

It's pretty intense, and most would argue unhealthly (let's not argue that here please!), but something like the master cleanse, I do it 1-2 times a year, and after each time, I find my palate changes for the better every time.

I usually do it for 7 days at a clip with 1-2 lead-in and 1-2 lead-out days of just fruit/veggie and fresh OJ.
post #5 of 11
Several years ago I interviewed an incredible self taught chef running a high end white linen place in Mid-eastern MO.

when he was younger he hated vegetables....pretty much across the board, he had grown up in a German rural household where they butchered hogs each year and made sausages/hams etc. Anyway at the ripe age of 23 he was working in a restaurant when the chef left, he was offered a sous position and that day he walked down to Subway and got the veggie sandwich. Just figured that if he was going to cook for a living in a fine dining restaurant he'd better start learning to like vegetables.

By the time he was 30 he was running the kitchen of this primo space, catering massive events, holding top notched wine dinners ....serious multicourse wine dinners, demoing at the local farmers market, buying lots of local products, etc.....
He was making the fougasse they used at the restaurant, when I walked into the kitchen he had products I'd not seen in other restaurants....tasmanian honey, various salts....he was using pink salt 6 years ago, wild game that was certainly novel.....his menus were creative yet intriguing as in, man I wanna try that......he bought lots of top notch cookbooks and threw himself into the culinary world. I've met alot of good even great chefs, he impressed me.

Why limit yourself?
cooking with all your senses.....
cooking with all your senses.....
post #6 of 11
I don't know how valid this might be, but I've read that younger people, especially children, usually don't like much intensity in flavors.

Perhaps as a young culinary student, you taste buds will mature as you age and gain more exposure and experience.

I was a very picky eater when I was young. But then, my mother's cooking was pretty bland. Well done roast beef was two orders of magnitude more well done than any well done I'd ever seen anywhere before or since.

On the other hand, I learned to cook starting at the ripe old age of 8 or 9. I had to survive! She'd never use garlic, as my dad didn't like it. He wanted all his meat extra well done, and they cut the roast beef in big fibrous chunks. She wouldn't use any seasoning as she thought she had gall stones and didn't think spice was good for you. i\it was ok when we had the family dog, but he bit through his chain and ran away.

Then all I could do was swallow whole chunks with milk.

post #7 of 11
With repeated tasting of many of these things you will come to like or at least tolerate them, but even if you don't like them ever, it is not the end of the world. There are still foods I don't like, heck, there are things I can't hardly stand, but I have learned what they taste like and while I may never "like" them I can taste a dish that contains those items and still be able to "objectively" (people please don't get hung up on this word, I know all taste is subjective to a point) tell whether the dish is good or bad or needs something. You don't ever have to like these items but you do need to rise above the stomach churning feeling you get when tasting them.
post #8 of 11
I don't think there is need to worry, we all have likes and dislikes and it can't be controlled. The good news is that your palette does grow and change as your learn more about food. If I were you I would focus in on one ingredient at a time so that you get used to the food slowly (believe me there was a time when I thought cilantro tasted like soap, but now salsa feels incomplete without it).

I would focus on CELERY to start with. This is an extremely important ingredient in your culinary career. You will need to use it whether you want to or not. It wouldn't be mirepoix without it. Ok so you can't eat it raw. Me neither, unless it's completely slathered in peanut butter but even then I ignore the celery and try to only taste the peanut butter.

On to PICKLES - I hate pickles with a passion so I understand your plight, since I can't stand when food makes me pucker. But if you use it sparingly here and there you can learn to appreciate it. I started chopping up about a tbsp of very finely diced pickle into my tuna sandwich mix. Try it, you might like what the puckeriness does when it meets the dreaded MAYO. One helps you like the other.

MAYO - make your own. Make aiolis of all sorts and you will eventually learn how to pair it corrently with other things.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."


"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

post #9 of 11
I can understand that you might find it awkward if the things you hate appear all the time and so you end up not being able to eat anything, so you might want to get over your dislikes. But for the most part we all have thnings we don;t like and so what? Food is for pleasure, what;s the point of eating things you don;t like unless your dislikes range to everything that could be healthy so you get no protein or vitamins or something.

I think that if you try to force yourself to eat something you;ll end up hating it even more. There are so many things it took me ages to get curious about because i was forced to eat them, and many people have the same thing. They end up giving us a gag reflex because of having had to eat them.

take it easy on yourself, eat what you enjoy, explore foods, and ytou'll probably find your palate becomes more curious and more daring.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
rpm murphy that detox you talk about sounds like an idea lol.

well, to be fair and honest a lot of that stuff i tried when i was like 10 years old (asparagus and grapefruit)...the pickles..i just..absolutely hate them and i think it may have something to do with me eating them everyday all the time (dill in the jar) when i was a kid. I used to eat broccoli all the time as a kid too and hated that until only last year when all of a sudden i started loving it and craving it again too.
the eggplant i'm talking about is that egg shaped white one...it's actually probably one of the worst tasting things i've ever had..however i can see how it works well in sauces and soups..just can't eat the darn things.

and with celery and mayo...i can tolerate tasting them..but not in pure form. Like i just really hate it when things are overwhelmed with mayo. It has it's place and can compliment things fine..and i'm cool with that..and i know you need celery and celery salt in things, and i'm fine with that..but don't ever ask me to eat a celery stick or eat a spoonful of mayo..

thanks tho guys..
post #11 of 11
First, what is dry sanitatation?
Next , your upbringing may be adding to your likes or dislikes. Would you or I eat fried grasshoppers or weevils on a stick,? most likely not, but the chinese in china buy it off carts on the street. Should you force yourself to eat it.
No. As I grew older things I would not eat when I was younger I began to eat. I hated yogurt, cottage cheese and sour cream now I like them. We are all victims of our background,ethnics and income groups as well as overall enviorment.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Food & Cooking
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › How to "condition" your taste-buds to eating foods you may not really like?