Taste Buds: What's something that....?

Joined Dec 30, 1999
This topic is inspired by monpetitchoux's response under the rhubarb topic.

They say your taste buds change every 6-7 years. Now, although they might not change completely, you may suddenly not like something you've loved for years and begin to have a craving for and like something you never thought you would.

Just within the last year for me it was chicken. I wouldn't touch white meat with a mile long pole for decades because it had no flavor and is always dry as cardboard unless it is flash fried and would occasionally have dark meat cooked only in specific ways. Now I eat chicken more at least twice a week and it has absolutely nothing to do with health benefits. (Especially since we fry the skin and I eat them like chips.)

So, the question for this topic is....
What's something you NEVER liked for years and one day wanted to try it, liked it, and surprised yourself?

Joined Nov 19, 1999
I like beets. My grandmother used to serve them pickled. The same thing happened to me with the cilantro, Linda. The first time I tasted it, it tasted like soap. :) But somehow it magically transforms a recipe. My start with it was white chili. The chemistry involved in cooking is fascinating.
Hmmm, I wonder if we could dump in a little soap if out of Cilantro. JUST KIDDING! :D
Joined Apr 24, 2001
Cilantro is on the list for me, too. But I remember the precise moment when it changed from soap to zest (hee hee). It was at an Indian restaurant and it was on everything. Another thing on my list is celery. I hated it for about 20 years and then about 5 years ago, I started eating it again. At cooking school, I developed a liking for stronger cheeses. Now Roquefort is a joy for me.

On my list of still don't like is the aforementioned rhubarb and sage. Bleck!
Joined Dec 12, 2000
Hollandaise sauce. I used to hate it, but I tried some the other night at work and it turned out to be pretty good.


Joined Apr 4, 2000
I always refused to taste onion soup as a kid, until my father told me that it tasted nothing like raw onion. He was right. I loved it.
Joined Aug 29, 2000
Pastachef, you hit it on the head about cilentro- it tasted like soap to me, too, until I tasted it in a well-prepared salsa. Now I love it. Beets.... the only way I will consider eating them is in harvard beets or pickled. Otherwise: they look like bloody snowballs and taste like dirt. Graphic enough? I also don't really like sweetbreads. Maybe I'll try them again, but I can't get past the thought of the words "thymus gland" when I see them on a menu.
Joined Apr 30, 2001
For me it was mushrooms. I hated them all! I gradually started to like mushrooms when I took a Chinese cooking class and have found more and more ways to eat them over the past 10 years. I still can't stomach canned cream of mushroom soup, though.

By the way, I used to love Harvard Beets - I lost my taste for that. I still like pickled beets once in a while.

[ June 29, 2001: Message edited by: nancya ]
Joined Aug 11, 2000
First cooollllll flower Nancya....I love it!!!
Cilantro...yuck, I used to get sick just smelling it. I had clients that adored it and wanted it weekly, I got over the sick part but still don't add it to my food, I eat nominal amounts out.

Beets, first off get fresh beets with green leaves still on....I adore the silver dollar size or now there is a cylindrical dark beet that is wonderful. Ok you can peel, chop and bake on a cooky sheet with olive oil, salt and pepper (addtions could be parsnips, turnips, garlic)
2) boil or steam until tender, chill and slice add chevre and a sherry vinegar dressing.
3) Cold beet soup...a take on the salad....peel and slice beets, add water to level of beets and cook until tender.
puree, cool, add sherry vinegar that has been boiled down with a bit of suger to make a syrup add to soup, top with chevre.
4) I'd do the cucumber, onion, beet salad with apple vinegar dressing.
I'll think more on this.
Joined Aug 11, 2000
Gotta be beets, I grew up thinking they were nasty and now they are such a great addition to my market basket.
Joined Mar 30, 2001
Shroomgirl. I am interested to hear about your beet metamorphosis. I still can't stand em. Every year I try and I cannot for the life of me choke them down. How did you prepare them when you discovered you liked them?

For me it was cilantro. The first time I tasted it was in cooking school. Tasted just like soap - GAG. Now , too many years later to mention, I can't get enough of the stuff.
Joined Mar 4, 2000
My husband was a beet-o-phobe, until last month, at Charlie Trotter's. We were served a first course that was basically a study on beets. Beets in vinaigrette, beet sorbet, roasted beets, golden beets, some chevre, and olives, I believe.

He likes beets now.

I can't taste dirt at all, but a lot of people do.

[ June 30, 2001: Message edited by: momoreg ]
Joined Jan 26, 2001
Foods I used to hate and now sometimes crave-

Peanut butter. It's weird, but I didn't eat it until college. In college, I looked around at the food choices, and often just had a bagel and peanut butter. I can only eat the natural stuff, but it tastes better anyway.

Wheat bread. My Mom would only buy the healthy stuff, so I had to have a break from it, but now it sounds good (mmm... with peanut butter!)

Sushi. Thought I hated it, and it still makes me somewhat nauseous at times, but every once in a while I get in this sushi mood.

Miso. Same as sushi.

Onions, peppers, olives. Hated them as a child, now can't imagine food without them.

Espresso. Was never going to start, and now... well... I love the stuff. Even without chocolate!!

Spicy food. Didn't know I liked it, but I do!

Well, the list might go on, but suffice to say I have had many many food discoveries, and as a result, I have many and unique cravings!!!

Joined Nov 19, 1999
Hi Shimmer, You mentioned eating at college. I am curious as to whether you had your meals on campus or whether or not you lived in a sorority house. I've seen several chefs, fresh out of cooking school come into our sorority kitchens with wonderful meals that are too fussy for this age group. They always end up leaving, or changing their opinions of what the young uns' should eat. The entire group could change in one sememster. The new group could demand the fussy menus. It's sometimes hard to stay on top of things, but the girls rule :) Mine get lots of fresh foods every day. I'm not fond of opening cans and boxes unless I'm so pushed for time that there is no other way. In my free time, I find myself searching for recipes that will likely please the young palate that is still developing, so I am 'working' all of the time :)
Joined Jan 26, 2001
Pastachef, I went to a small private school where we were required to eat in the cafeteria the first two years. There was a chef there for one of those years, and every once in a while there would be something wonderful for dinner, but it was run by Marriot, and it seemed like they focused the good food and energy on the catering they also did.

All the other workers were work-study students or part-time employees of the university. And since I organized a few retreats while I was there and we got our food from them, I know what it was. Eggs in a bag. Stuff like that. And often there would be random weird food combos that nobody woudl eat, but I'm sure they followed some kind of nutritional guideline (or maybe the guideline of, "Hey we have these ingredients left in the fridge, how can we throw them together!")

Joined Nov 19, 1999
That sounds like quite a situation, Shimmer. I know that sometimes a few of the sororities will get rid of their cooks and have to quickly replace him/her, so they hire catering companies to bring food back and forth. They usually are not too happy with them, although I'm sure some of them are great. The best part about having a cook in the kitchen all of the time is that we keep supplies on hand for them. If somebody doesn't like something or has a sudden craving they can do their thing :) I'm off for the summer, but the mention of 'bagel' just brought me back to my kitchen :) College kids eat a lot of bagels.
The latest thing has been to tear out the inside, toast the crust, and fill them with scrambled eggs. They even got me into craving them :)
Joined May 6, 2001
My sister went to a college that had Marriot food service too. They fondly reffered to it as "Marri-ROTT"
Joined Dec 23, 2000
I used to hate beets until I read James Beard's advice- don't EVER break the skin before you steam/boil them. Don't even clean them vigorously, because that's likely to break the skin. The dirt will come off with the skin, after you cook them. Cut the tops off a couple inches above the beet, and don't trim the root end. After they're cooked, the skin slips off easily.

That works, and they're quite good. I like them even better when pickled, Harvard style.

Joined Mar 13, 2001
I should pay a visit to Trotter's... to cure my beet-O-phobia!

[ July 11, 2001: Message edited by: Kimmie ]
Joined Aug 14, 2000
Put me on the cilantro list. For years even the thought of it made me gag. Now I seem to love it. Go figure.


Made an hors d'ovre (SP) the other day. Diced roasted beets & Stilton served on the bottom third of little endive leaves. It was out of someone's book and it was awesome.

[ July 11, 2001: Message edited by: KyleW ]
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