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Polarizing Dishes
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marius



Joined: 26 Aug 2005
Posts: 3
Location: Lausanne, Switzerland

PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2005 5:10 pm    Post subject: Polarizing Dishes Reply with quote

In July my girlfried and I spent some time in Paris, Rome, Venice and Austria. Just a few days into the trip she got quite irritated with my food obsession: Every morning I would draw up a plan of where to eat that day (it was agreed that that would be my department), using the always helpful Lonely Planet and Le Guide Michelin. Museum and neighborhood visits (her department) would be fine in between, but for heaven's sake don't get anything between me and my carefully selected dining places.

Long story short, as we were in Paris, we dined at Le Pied de Cochon. I had to try their signature dish: La Tentation de Saint Antoine (St. Anthony's Temptation), consisting of pig's foot, snout, ears, and tail.

Needless to say it was more than delicious. Pig's snout must belong to the tenderest, most flavorful pieces of meat I've ever tasted. My girlfriend, however, did not quite share my enthusiasm (she had the fish). Even today she still likes to tease me with recounts of her friends' grossed up reactions upon her telling them my choice of food.

So my question to the readers: What other kinds of food can you think of that are either loved or loathed? And which category of people (the lovers or the loathers) do you belong to?
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2005 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh god! You may be sorry you asked.

I'm pretty open to new things so I don't have any strong feelings but this http://www.thesneeze.com/mt-archives/cat_steve_dont_eat_it.php might be of interest on this topic.

Do NOT read it when you're drinking anything if you don't want to have to clean off your monitor and most of the walls/floor around it.
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bluedog



Joined: 03 Aug 2005
Posts: 135
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2005 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am sure that I will think of something more intersting later, but pate was the first to come to mind. (Any organ food for that matter). Those who like it usually adore it, but those who don't, well, they seem to be offended just by the smell.
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Pockymonkey



Joined: 02 Aug 2005
Posts: 63
Location: Northfield, MN

PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2005 2:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never met anyone who was ambivalent about caviar - strong reactions all around. I'm not a fan of it myself. I prefer my salt intake in other forms, and I'd rather eat fish as...well, as fish.

I'll grant you that a little dollop of salmon roe can look pretty on something else but as for taste? Blech.
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jessa



Joined: 19 Aug 2005
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2005 2:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't really think about good that I like that other people hate. I'm not sure there's much of it. Maybe my obsession with homemade applesauce. I find a lot of people don't like it as much as the jarred stuff.

Now, as to foods that are polarizing (and find me on the loathe-er side):

Fennel. Don't get it. Never will. It's currently in vogue and I just...it's like licorice and I don't think licorice is really <i>intended</i> for human consumption. Really. I'm very firm on this point. If you want to watch food polarization in action, put out jellybeans in front of people. I guarantee that only 2 out of every ten will go near the black. (Also the white, but that's because they taste like cleaning product.)

Dried fruit. Hate. There are people who are really into the texture of it. This Passover, one of my coworkers was talking about her family's charoset...which involved dried fruit, stewed. This was bizarre to me as I was only familiar with chopped fresh apples, excessive cinnamon, and pecans/walnuts. But I just couldn't stand the idea of it a perfectly good dish corrupted by the presence of dried fruit. Same with dried apricots. And dried cranberries. In fact, the only dried fruit I like is dried blueberries. My mom made these really awesome cookies with oats, dried blueberries, cinnamon, and very fine pecans. Really nice. Otherwise, get away from me with your cinnamon raisin bread and salads with the apricots and whatnot.

I'm sure there are other things that don't come to mind right now. Oh, like Dr. Pepper! But we'll just save those for another day. I could go on for hours about my likes and dislikes. And to think that I don't consider myself a picky eater!
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Pesto Man



Joined: 17 Jun 2005
Posts: 185
Location: New Orleans Louisiana

PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2005 2:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ANYTHING with cilantro! It is the most polarizing herb while many adore it to the point of addiction, there are those who have an aversion almost physical in nature, the antis say it tastes like soap, while the pros just say yummmmmmmmmmmmm!!! Laughing

oddly enough, few if anyone is in the middle
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2005 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pesto Man- I'm halfway there with you! I used to HATE cilantro. ...or think I did. When it was trendy everyone used far too much of it both in quantity and in places were it really didn't belong.

Now I appreciate it in the right places. There are foods that I'm very fond of that would not work without it. I can't imagine salsa that doesn't have cilantro. It's essential to my favorite mulligatawny soup and many chilis. It's just important to balance the flavors and not overstate it.

I also find it helps to use the leaves and not the stems. I think more of the objectionable flavors are in the stems.
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2005 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tomato aspic and any other jellied salad!!

It's really fun to watch the polarization in an ethnic restaurant. We go for dim sum on a regular basis and it is difficult to miss that when the carts are laden with chicken or duck's feet, congee, tripe or a few other eastern delicacies the waiter usually just walks right by tables with only clients of European decent without so much as a sideways glance.

And, referring back to the watermelon/feta/basil(or mint) salad in another thread----I was terribly enthused and was blabbing it out to anyone who would listen----but was amazed how many people cannot tolerate watermelon!!
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Crow4ever



Joined: 25 Mar 2005
Posts: 16
Location: Washington State now but from South Australia

PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2005 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am another person who dislikes cilantro, and I dislike it with a passion! I am also not fond of corn syrup and avoid all products containing the syrup.
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Lakritz



Joined: 07 Jun 2005
Posts: 120
Location: Birmingham, UK (via Essen, Germany)

PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I have very few real food dislikes but quite a few of my family's absolute hates have already been mentioned:

fennel, licorice, (water)melon: my husband (he also hates radishes, beetroot and olives)
cilantro: one of my sons (they both hate mushrooms)

Of course, I love all of the above...
The only thing I can think of that I absolutely loathe is MARMITE - even their adverts play with the fact that people either love or hate it.

But there are certainly foods I'm reluctant to eat (i.e. have't tried and am not keen on trying...), and your pig's snout etc would feature amongst those. Also: testicles, tripe, that sort of thing... and that includes fresh oysters -- I'ver just come back from Cancale in Britanny, which seems to be the oyster capital of France, but I just couldn't bring myself to slurping a live animal...
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simona



Joined: 11 Mar 2005
Posts: 696
Location: israel

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome back, Lakritz, hope you've had a wonderful and tasty time!
Cancale, oh Cancale!
I've had many dozens of oysters over the years in Cancale, not in those fancy restaurants, only on the seashore, where the oysters sellers opened them in front of me and served them on a special plastic plate, with half a lemon. I haven't been there the last five years, but hope to return soon.
I adore cilantro ( my husband hates it), I love it most added to a simple tomato and onion salad with olive oil, or in a guacamole, or anywhere.
I don't like licorice ( sorry Lakritz) and most of the indian foods: I can't stand the smells. Lakritz mentioned Marmite, which I understand is a sort of Vegemite. Ouch! I'll leave that to the anglo-saxons and their colonies over the seas.

No more war, more yummy food!
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Lakritz



Joined: 07 Jun 2005
Posts: 120
Location: Birmingham, UK (via Essen, Germany)

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

simona wrote:
Welcome back, Lakritz, hope you've had a wonderful and tasty time!
Cancale, oh Cancale!


Yes, we had a wonderful time - despite the occasional all-day rain and the usual bickering and quarrelling between the kids.
Ate too much, of course -- as soon as the cheeses are eaten up, and the confit de canard etc, we have to go on a diet!
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Lakritz



Joined: 07 Jun 2005
Posts: 120
Location: Birmingham, UK (via Essen, Germany)

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

simona wrote:
Welcome back, Lakritz, hope you've had a wonderful and tasty time!
Cancale, oh Cancale!


Yes, we had a wonderful time - despite the occasional all-day rain and the usual bickering and quarrelling between the kids.
Ate too much, of course -- as soon as the cheeses are eaten up, and the confit de canard etc, we have to go on a diet!
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Debbie



Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Posts: 861
Location: Paris

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had to laugh at the marmite comment.

Myself, I eat vegemite, Marmite, Mighty Mite, whatever. Love them all, but use them with different toppings.
Mighty Mite (Australian black savoury spread) is good on toast with cream cheese.
Vegemite is great in soups or on toast with cheese and tomato.
Marmite is good in soups and yummy on fresh bread or toast with butter.
My husband will have the occassional vegemite on bread or toast, but otherwise he won't touch the others.

Mum is coming to visit from Australia (Yay, so excited) and the first thing she has packed in preparation is vegemite and Bundeburg Rum. Most people can't stand the vegemite, so I will have supplies for another year. I absolutely cannot stomach the taste of rum, so my husband will be happy for a while as it is his favourite.

Coriander/cilantro, is one of those things that I have to agree was overused for a long time. I hated it then. Every dish in a resto seemed to be overwhelmingly flavoured with it. Now the trend has changed, and so I enjoy dishes properly seasoned with coriander.

The only other thing beside rum which I don't like is licorice (sorry Lakritz). It is true that people will either love or hate the black jelly beans. I have seen people (who hate black ones) get quite snippy over someone (who likes black ones) eating the coloured jelly beans.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't like licorice either. Tho at one time there was a soft English kind that was quite wonderful. VERY unlike other licorice. It wasn't Cadbury — mabbee Cadwell or something like that? Came in silver wrapping with black stripes. The same company made killer toffee!

But what I reacted to in Debbie's post is the idea of jelly beans. I'm an absolute sucker for jelly beans. I like the fruity pectin ones! And there's nary a licorice one among them. Wink
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