Tag Archives: food

Cooking Fails: I’m Not Alone!

My cooking fails are pretty legendary (not quite as legendary as this triple-layer-fail above, but pretty amazing). From burnt popcorn that set off my dorm’s fire alarm to Hamburger Helper that overflowed out of the skillet and covered about half the stove, I’ve made some pretty big kitchen bloopers in my day. But it looks like I’m not the only one with problems in the kitchen–at least, if these pictures are to be believed!

Someone took the directions a little too literally–and mathematically. XD

We’re having fried eggs for breakfast…and fried shells, too, apparently.

The plaintive note along with the aforementioned chewy cupcakes makes this all the funnier.

Hey, I’ve made those pancakes before–they make great Frisbees!

This is, um…a rather creative take on boiling pasta…

Mmm, melted cutting board, my favorite!

I’m sensing a distinct lack of a muffin tin here.

Yep, that’s an ELECTRIC kettle burned onto a stove eye. I think Grandma may have been oblivious to what “electric kettle” means.

I’ve heard of sticky rice, and I’ve heard of rice cakes. This right here is a giant rice CLUMP.

That egg is not just hard-boiled, it’s PURPLE-boiled.

Um, I know dry spaghetti looks like long fireplace matches, but dang.

Methinks somebody microwaved this can with the metal lid on.

Whatever this may have been before the oven got to it, it is now “Unrecognizable Nom.”

And these three images teach us that food should never be cooked on a bare oven rack…

Yep, I’ve burned several thousand calories with this method, and it did help me lose weight–sorta, in a roundabout way…LOL

In case you were wondering, plastic doesn’t really cook things that well on the stove.

This has to be the laziest addition of cheese to pasta I’ve ever seen.

Pro tip: When there’s heat in the oven, that’s a good thing. When there’s an actual FIRE in the oven, something is WRONG.

My Fading Love Affair with Processed Food

As an adult picky eater (and I do mean picky), the simple process of eating has been ridiculously hard most of my life. Thus, when I find the rare food item that I really enjoy (i.e., food that tastes great, has a good texture, and doesn’t make my tummy roar at me later), I tend to stick with it.

But over the last few months, I have observed with distress as my taste buds have slowly turned away from once-favorite foods. The common denominator between all these foods? All of them are processed within an inch of their lives.

The First Sign: Fast Food is No Longer My Friend

At first, I thought I was just reacting to a lower quality of food in my local fast food restaurants. First, the beef at Taco Bell started tasting “off,” as if it had been kept too long in the fridge. Then, the meat on McDonald’s burgers started tasting and feeling like crumbling shoe leather in my mouth. Other food quality issues arose afterwards, and soon I was even pickier than usual at all the local fast-food places.

I thought it was strange, but I tried to work around the “new” rules of my picky taste buds. No more McDonald’s meat, no more ground beef tacos, etc…

But Fast Food is Not the Only Issue

…Unfortunately, the pickiness did not stop there. I began eating less of the American sliced cheese I had loved since childhood, simply because it didn’t really taste like cheese anymore. There was an odd, plastic-y overtone to the taste, which I had never detected before–and it was utterly disgusting. Even switching cheese brands didn’t seem to help. I still liked cheese, most definitely, but the sliced cheese product didn’t suit anymore.

Not to mention that many of my favorite boxed meals from the grocery store started tasting funny. For instance, I used to live on Velveeta shells-n-cheese, yet I began getting sick at the taste–both the cheese and the pasta sometimes tasted like plastic to me. It didn’t seem like just being tired of eating a certain dish, since I try to switch up my food choices as much as possible. It just seemed that certain foods, which all happened to be processed, didn’t taste right anymore.

The Result: One Hungry Tummy

It seemed like all my favorite foods, all my go-to foods when going out to eat, were vanishing off my “favorite” list, one by one. And it was not the biggest list in the world to start out with, because of my lifelong issues with food texture (and a strong gag reflex that gets set off at the slightest thing). When 70% of “adult food” is off-limits because of pickiness, and 95% of what you DO like has suddenly become anathema, what DO you eat?

That was the burning question, and it still is. In desperation, I’ve gone back to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, basic breads and pastas, or anything that doesn’t have the awful processed taste in such abundance. Yet I still walk around hungry most of the time, as if what I’m eating isn’t providing me with any nourishment.

Most people who look at me would think I eat all the time, to be the size that I am (flirting with 300 pounds at the moment). But instead, I eat significantly LESS than all my skinny, less picky friends, and I simply stay hungry–so much so that I have had low blood sugar attacks due to the reduced food intake. I WANT to eat, but almost nothing appeals to me anymore. And I have begun to suspect that the “plastic” taste and texture which has become so revolting to me is actually the result of processing food for longer shelf life.

Where to Go from Here?

Since my taste buds have apparently shifted allegiances for good, I honestly don’t know what to do with them anymore. Most of my favorite foods date back to childhood, and it’s frankly disconcerting to suddenly dislike foods that I remember loving and indulging in. Not to mention that these foods have sustained me while I avoided all sorts of other “normal” adult food.

Quite simply, I find myself at a loss every time I get hungry, because I have no idea what my taste buds will accept and what they won’t accept. And since I hate wasting money on food that I won’t end up eating, it makes it difficult to try new foods. It feels suspiciously like being caught between a rock and a hard place.

An Odd Side Note: Lettuce is a New Food Friend?

Yet, in the midst of all this loss, I have noticed something strange–I find myself thinking longingly of dishes like dark green Romaine lettuce with ranch dressing. For anyone who knows me, this is WAYYYYYY out of character; I historically have avoided most lettuce because it just tastes like crunchy paper soaked in water. Yet recently, the darker green lettuce types have become more appealing to me, as have spinach (when blended with cheese) and scallions. I also have no idea why this is happening, either, only that it began around the same time processed food began tasting strange to me.

Is This My Body’s Way of Saying “Eat Healthy?”

I honestly don’t know what to make of all this change in my appetite. Has anyone else experienced a sudden negative reaction to processed foods after eating them most of their lives? Or has anyone experienced a sudden positive reaction to lettuce and other “healthy” foods? I’d be glad to hear about it in the comments!

Getting Fit the RIGHT Way, part 3: Feed Your Exercise

Fitness is not achieved just through exercise; you also have to feed your changing body the types of fuel it needs.

This week I’m stepping on my own toes here, since I am a very picky eater and have a lot of difficulty eating what I “should” eat. I’ve often rebelled against the bland or nasty flavors that I discover in “healthy” food as opposed to unhealthy food…but I’ve noticed that when I do not provide my body with enough nutrients, I get tired faster, I hurt more, and I’m more likely to quit my exercise routine. I would guess that I’m not alone in that.

Eating “right” has become such a cliched phrase in our culture, and yet no one seems to know what it means anymore. What I have discovered is that you should plan your eating around your exercise and your daily routine, rather than the other way around. You’ll need different kinds and amounts of foods than you might be used to eating…and, as I discovered during my research for this post, there ARE tasty healthy foods you can eat to fuel your body!

Pre-Workout Snack: Light, Easy to Digest

Yes, you CAN eat before a workout without getting sick! I didn’t think it was possible until I tried some of the following ideas; I didn’t realize that my heavy food choices were the main culprit behind my waves of nausea during intense cardio exercises.

Small portions of lighter foods (which don’t take a lot of energy to digest) will kick into your bloodstream faster and provide you with more energy during a short workout. You’ll want to avoid foods that will kick your blood sugar up too high, though. Don’t do what I did one time and scarf a bunch of very sweet cookies before my workout; I ended up lightheaded 30 minutes into Zumba because my body’s insulin response to the cookies was so strong.

One caveat: if you’re going to work out for longer than an hour, you’re going to need foods that take just a little longer to digest, so you have some fuel left over for the long haul. Foods that have a little more protein, fat, and/or fiber (like beans, cheese, egg, etc.) are best bets, but still keep the portion small so you don’t end up with stomach cramps.

In general, a pre-workout snack, consumed about an hour before your workout, made up of fruits, whole-wheat bread/crackers, cheese, yogurt, eggs, or legumes (beans, lentils, etc.), will be good for you. Here are some specific snack ideas:

  • Bread with cheese or egg
  • Grapes and cottage cheese
  • Banana with almond butter
  • Whole-wheat bagel topped with jam
  • Half an avocado spread on toast
  • Black beans with brown rice
  • Multi-grain crackers or pretzels with hummus or cheese
  • Protein shake with fruit and oats
  • Small sweet potato with steamed broccoli in olive oil
  • A slice of whole-wheat bread with crunchy peanut butter
  • Apple with a handful of walnuts
  • Oatmeal with your favorite fruit added
  • Half a banana blended into half a cup of yogurt
  • Greek yogurt, with fruit if possible
  • Brown rice with chicken

During Your Workout: Just Water and Honey, Honey

You can take in food/drink during your workout? Sure, why not? If you find yourself in need of a little energy boost, it’s not a sin to munch or sip on a little something. It’s better than passing out in the gym!

Hydration is mainly the key here; since you lose a lot of fluid while working out, you need to replace what you’re sweating out. You want to avoid very sugary sports drinks, though, as they are little better than sodas.

Read the labels carefully on any sports drink you’re thinking about getting, and make sure that the drink will provide carbohydrates and sodium as well as fluid. The folks at WebMD suggest that a good sports drink has at least 14-15 grams of carbs in 8 ounces of fluid, and should also have 110 milligrams of sodium and 30 milligrams of potassium in 8 ounces of fluid.

Flavored water with very little sugar or other additives has also proven to be a good idea mid-workout, especially for people like me who hate the taste of plain water. This option is better for weight loss, whereas the sports drink is a better option for athletes.

As for actual foods to eat during a workout, some studies have shown that honey, especially darker honey, can provide not only a carb boost, but antioxidants and vitamins as well. A spoonful of honey might be just the thing when you’ve been going hard and need a little sustenance!

Post-Workout Foods: The Foods to Rebuild and Recover

After their hard work, your muscles need protein and carbohydrates to recover and repair themselves. It’s best to eat as soon as you finish your workout–giving your body immediate fuel helps it absorb more of the nutrients from your food, and it also stokes your metabolism, helping it burn more for a longer period of time.

You can generally eat the same kinds of foods after your workout as before your workout, but you can have a little larger portion post-workout to help keep your metabolism going. Here are some more food ideas:

  • Burrito made with 1/2 cup beans, 1/2 cup brown rice, 2 tbsp. guacamole, and a little salsa
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole-wheat bread
  • Protein shake: 1/2 banana, scoop of protein powder, some almond milk, and some hemp seeds
  • 8-ounce glass of chocolate milk (or plain milk)–I’m not kidding!
  • Salad with 1/2 cup roasted chickpeas, light olive oil and vinegar
  • Banana with peanut butter
  • A cup of sauteed/steamed vegetables with a half cup of tofu
  • Tart cherry juice (helps with sore muscles)
  • A cup of quinoa, mixed with a cup of black berries and 1/4 cup pecans
  • 2 slices of multi-grain bread, spread with raw peanut butter and agave nectar

Other Real-World Nutrition Hints from My Experience

  • I find that trying to drink very cold water during my workout leads to chest pains–the chill of the water shocks my working muscles and leads to not-happy time. To combat this, I set my water bottle outside the fridge for about an hour before my workout.
  • Sometimes I get really nauseated during my workouts, especially if we’re doing very intense cardio work. If this happens to you, don’t be ashamed to step back completely from your workout for a few seconds and take a few sips of water; I’ve tried this and it helps me a lot.
  • One of my favorite post-workout meals is a small serving of fettuccini alfredo; I ate this one evening because it was leftovers from lunch, and I noticed I felt much more energized and didn’t crave all the sugary stuff in the cupboards. (I admit, this is a calorie-laden snack, but it did the job of restoring protein and carbs!)
  • Pre-workout, I enjoy eating either a cheese stick (usually the low-moisture part-skim mozzarella kind) or a slice of bread spread with peanut butter. I had chosen this because it was lighter and was made up of some of my favorite food–funny that these two snacks appeared in similar forms in my research for this post!

For Further Reading

I couldn’t have written this post without the information included on the following pages. Check them out for even more nutrition-linked fitness info!

WebMD: What to Eat Before, During, and After Exercise
USNews: Best Workout Foods: What to Eat Before a Workout
Shape.com: Best Foods to Eat Before and After Your Workout
FitSugar: Bad Weight-Loss Technique: Exercising on an Empty Stomach
EatingWell: The Best Fitness Foods: What to eat before, during, and after a workout
SportsMedicine @ About.com: What to Eat Before Exercise
Bonus: USNews: 8 Foods to Help You Lose Weight

Next Week: Starting Slow

Want results from your workout quick and easy? Unfortunately, your body doesn’t work that way. We’ll see the importance of getting in shape gradually in the next installment of “Getting Fit the RIGHT Way!”

Culinary Creativity: Twists on Old Favorite Recipes

It takes an average cook (like myself) to successfully craft regular recipes in the kitchen. (“Success” meaning that the food is edible and the kitchen isn’t burnt down. xD) But it takes an excellent cook, and a creative one, to start improvising on old standard recipes and using staple ingredients in different ways.

For this week, I thought I’d showcase 10 amazing recipes I found on Punchfork.com, all using familiar foods, but with innovative new spins. (Even more amazing? All 10 recipes suit my picky taste buds!) Get ready for some foodie inspiration!

Baked Chicken Nuggets

Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Sausage & Cheesy Hashbrown Popovers

PB&J Roll-Up Cookies

French Cheese Puffs

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes

Duchess Potatoes

Chicken & Spinach Rollatini

White Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken Pot Pie Soup


Check out PickyPalate @ Punchfork.com to find even more creative recipes. (You have to be pretty innovative to please a picky eater!)

Try the “White Slime” in NEW and IMPROVED Ammonia/Spoiled Flavor!

A few days ago, I got a few chicken tacos from my local Taco Bell, fixed like I always have them fixed–just chicken and cheese. (It’s been months since I’ve eaten the beef at Taco Bell because the quality has REALLY gone down, at least in my opinion–more about that later.) But the chicken has usually been a refuge for me.

I bit into the first of my tacos, only to realize that the chicken had an unusual sharp flavor, almost a cleaning-product flavor. Not only that, but it was oddly-textured. One more bite, and I realized there was another dimension to the bad taste–it tasted off, as if it had been kept past its expiration date.

As I peered into the depths of the taco shell, wondering if I’d gotten hold of some strange ingredient by mistake, a piece of “chicken” fell out…and it didn’t look the slightest bit like chicken. Instead, it looked like something that had been formed into the vague shape of chicken pieces. The color was nearly pure white–it almost looked like meat fat that had been reshaped.

I honestly don’t know what I got hold of that day, but all three of my tacos were like this–I tried bites out of each one, in the hope that maybe only one or two was affected. That wasn’t the case. Unfortunately, it was what I had spent my eating money on that day and I had long since left the store, so I had to try to salvage what I could of the meal. I ended up eating around the meat entirely and just throwing away the horrible “meat” product I had been served.

This disgusting taste, plus the slight nausea and dizziness I experienced about an hour and a half after eating what I could, convinced me that I had gotten hold of something terrible. And it looked and tasted a lot like what most people are describing as “white slime.”

What Exactly IS “White Slime?

The technical term is “mechanically separated chicken” (some pictures are available here). During mechanical separation, meat is basically sieved like flour (just under really high pressure) to get all the bones out, making it look a lot like meaty cake batter.

While the process sounds (and is) a little disgusting, in ways, it’s a more efficient way to get all the meat off an animal carcass, and it does reduce waste. And, after all, mechanically separated meat forms bologna and hot dogs, two things I’ve eaten in great quantities most of my life. In fact, this process has probably helped food prices over the years since it was introduced back in the late 1960s, according to the Wikipedia article.

So What’s the Big Deal?

There have been health concerns about MSM before, especially concerning connections between mechanically separated beef and mad cow disease. But, since outlawing beef from mechanical separation, this has been widely reduced. Unfortunately, keeping mad cow disease out of the meat does not stop other health concerns. The standout issue to me is that both mechanically separated chicken (“white slime”) and pork (“pink slime”) are treated with ammonia to kill bacteria before being packaged.

Knowing that ammonia is poisonous, and knowing that it’s used in a lot of industrial-strength cleaning supplies, this bothers me. Is ammonia what I was tasting in those tacos? Was the meat perhaps treated a little stronger with “bacteria-killing” solution to disguise the fact that it was a little past its expiration date, perhaps?

I worry that the addition of ammonia is actually making the meat product less nutritious and more poisonous. Whatever was in those tacos (whether it was simply spoiled meat, ammonia-treated meat, or a combination of the two), it did make me nauseated and dizzy afterwards, and I don’t usually react badly to any food. I don’t have the answers, but I do have some disturbing questions which need to be answered. Are we cutting corners too much just to make a profit, if slightly-spoiled or over-treated meat products are now being served?

The Wider Picture: General Fast-Food Quality

In the last few years, quality in fast-food cuisine has gone measurably down–I used to love Taco Bell’s ground beef, for instance, but ever since they got sued over it recently, the taste is no longer rich and slightly spicy, but kinda flat and over-reheated. Most people I talk to don’t seem to notice a difference, but then again, I get my tacos without lettuce, tomato, and sour cream, so the flavor of the meat itself is not overshadowed for me. I’m left wondering what exactly I’ve been eating all these years, to be honest.

It’s not just Taco Bell, though; foods at other fast-food restaurants that I used to love are no longer as good as what I remember, and I’m a very picky/sensitive eater, so I pick up on taste subtleties more often. The “cleaning flavor” has been sneaking into other types of food, too, and I’m wondering if the addition of ammonia is as necessary as people make it out to be.

Now, I know fast food is definitely not health food, but at least it’s supposed to taste like food, right? Even if what I got in those terrible tacos wasn’t “white slime,” I’d like to know what it was (or what it was supposed to be). The production of “white slime” and “pink slime,” while having existed for decades, seems to have taken a turn for the worse, and I’m afraid it’s mostly because of the bottom line.


More (and professional) research is needed to discover whether these strange tastes are a result of individual franchisees trying to stretch their dollar, or whether corporations are trying to cut corners to make a little more profit. But I really hope we all can get to the bottom of why cheap food production seems to be going a little too cheap. After all, when one cannot afford to eat anywhere but fast-food places, as is increasingly the case, that cheap and available food should still be edible!

For More Information

Mechanically-separated meat (MSM) article @ Wikipedia
Meat Product Chart @ ProPublica
Specified Risk Material article @ Wikipedia
Meat slurry article @ Wikipedia
Pink and White Slime: Videos @ Gothamist

Kitchen Creativity: 5-Minute Lazy Food Hacks

Generally, I hate cooking. I hate standing on a constantly-sore ankle in the kitchen, with hot vapors from a pot engulfing my face while I stir and stir till the world ends. I hate waiting over an hour for food to be done in the oven, or having to do series after series of repetitive steps (or just lots of steps in general) to cook one meal.

Basically, I’m impatient and kinda lazy when it comes to cooking. If I wasn’t already really hungry, I wouldn’t have walked into the kitchen to cook in the first place, amirite? 😛

I’m trying to get better at cooking, but it’s a slow process…so I decided to get creative, and tackle the problem of cooking cheaply with a little Robinesque innovation.

The following three food hacks came from two motivations: 1) I wanted to eat yummy food; 2) I wanted to be able to fix it without having to turn on the stove, because heat elements are scary. Thus, I give you the following food hacks. May they brighten your kitchen experience as they have mine!

5-Minute Soft Garlic Bread


  • 1 loaf of barbecue bread (stocky loaf with thick, soft slices)
  • Butter/margarine, amount adjusted for preference
  • Garlic powder (from the spice aisle)
  • 1 jar pizza sauce (trust me)


  1. Spread each slice of barbecue bread with as little or as much butter as you wish. I tend to like a little bread with my butter. 😛
  2. Sprinkle on garlic powder to taste. Try going easy on it at first–you can always add more when it’s done.
  3. Pop up to 4 slices in the microwave at a time on a paper towel, for about 30-40 seconds on default settings.
  4. For each diner, pour a small amount of pizza sauce in a little bowl, and microwave it for about 10 seconds.
  5. Serve, either by itself for a light meal or with a larger meal as a side. Pizza sauce makes an excellent dipping sauce for this soft bread (getting hungry just thinking about it, LOL).

5-Minute Chicken Tacos

Ingredients (all amounts will vary with number of people being served)

  • Deli-sliced chicken
  • Taco shells (can be hard or soft as preferred)
  • Optional: Shredded cheese, preferably Mexican blend
  • Optional: Veggie toppings, hot sauces, salsa, and anything else you like to cram onto a taco 🙂


  1. Lay out taco shells on microwavable plates, in groups of one to four per plate.
  2. Pull 8 deli slices of chicken out.
  3. Roll up the 8 slices into a tight roll, then use a knife to cut the roll into small sections. Think sushi-style.
  4. Layer 1-2 cut sections of chicken into each taco shell; you can roll up and cut more meat if you want more meat per taco.
  5. If you want cheese, sprinkle it on to taste.
  6. Pop each plateful of tacos into the microwave for 60 to 90 seconds on default settings.
  7. Once the tacos are done, add all the veggie toppings, hot sauces, salsa, etc., that your heart desires.
  8. Serve, and enjoy your nom. 😀

5-Minute Strawberry Shortcake


  • 1 plain pound cake or angel food cake
  • Whipped cream, preferably chilled
  • Strawberry jam or jelly

Basic Instructions

  1. Slice the cake into preferred portion sizes, and lay each one flat on a small plate.
  2. Spread jelly or jam all over one side of each slice (like you’re making a PB&J, but only with J).
  3. Spoon a dollop or two of whipped cream on top of each slice.
  4. Serve it before someone runs off with it. xD

For More Epic Results

  1. Instead of serving each slice individually after spooning whipped cream on top, stack the slices together in groups of 3 slices.
  2. Re-slice each stack into 3 or 4 fairly thick slices (so all the whipped cream, cake, and strawberry jelly/jam sticks together better).
  3. The stripey pieces that result should look kinda like a British ribbon sandwich at this point. If it doesn’t, that’s okay–it’ll still taste of awesome.)
  4. Serve (carefully), and listen for the oohs and aahs of amazement from your dining party.

Tales from the Picky Eater’s Plate

As my parents could probably tell you, I’ve been a picky eater as long as I can remember (and probably even before that). One of the first coherent thoughts I expressed aloud, as a child, was “Don’t want. Not good. Bad taste.” XD

My relationship with certain types of food, therefore, has been a tenuous one. Most vegetables and “healthy” food has instead tasted horribly bitter to me–and I don’t think I’m alone in that. Not only that, I experience aversions to certain food textures as well, which I’ll elaborate on in a moment–and I’m also not the only one to be particular about food textures. Some consider it a mild eating disorder, some think it’s part of a sensory disorder, and others are simply talking about their own food texture hates.

Through my growing-up years and into adulthood, I have kept trying new foods that contain the ingredients I didn’t like. But I often find myself spitting out the non-favorite food anyway, either voluntarily into a napkin or involuntarily (gagging and sometimes even throwing up). This is not an entitlement issue–it’s actually quite restricting to my diet, and makes it 3 times more complicated when I have to order things specially made, or have to do “surgery” on a meal to remove all the crap I’m not going to touch.

Example: People don’t realize how lettuce and tomato flavors RUIN a burger, for instance–you can take the lettuce leaf and tomato slice off, but the bitter juices remain, tainting the bun, cheese slice and meat patty beneath, not to speak of all the condiments you lose in the “burger surgery” process. And if I ask for lettuce and tomato to be removed, I still have to pay regular price for it; I’m basically paying for lettuce and tomato I don’t want and don’t get. NOT fair, much?

When I have tried to explain my particular food tastes to others, the general consensus is that if “I’d just try it, I’d like it.” But I don’t like wasting money on food I just flat won’t eat. And, most of the time, I have tried these foods, and I still didn’t like them, or I experienced such a violent negative reaction to them that it’s not worth it. It seems my taste buds are very particular, and though I’d like to get healthy and eat “healthy,” most of the good-for-me foods don’t even taste like food to me.

Non-Favorite Foods


  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Corn
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Lettuce (especially Iceberg lettuce)
  • Olives
  • Broccoli (if not cooked in anything)
  • Spinach (if not drowned out with cheese)

  • Pineapples
  • Apples
  • Oranges (if left whole)
  • Bananas
  • Strawberries (if left whole)
  • Cherries
  • Peaches

  • Steak
  • Bacon
  • Southern-style barbecue
  • Most seafood
  • Fatty bits hanging on any meat product

  • Chocolate in too large a quantity
  • Twinkies
  • Shredded coconut
  • Anything drowning in grease/fat
  • Yogurt

How This Stuff Tastes to Me

  • Broccoli and spinach are only good mashed up in casseroles with loads of cheese on top so I can’t really taste ’em. Otherwise, they both taste like crunchy grass. (As in, I eat it and I’m tempted to moo afterwards.)
  • Chunky chopped tomatoes/whole tomatoes taste like acidic water and soil, and nothing else. And the texture is nasty as well–slippery and slidy in my mouth, dodges my teeth. Yuck. But I can eat ketchup just fine; go figure.
  • Bananas have too flat a flavor to really enjoy, but it’s the texture that kills me. Soft and mushy right until you get to the middle, and then your teeth crunch through this hard bit in the center. Um, no thank you, I didn’t want cardboard in the middle of my banana.
  • Eating olives feels like I’m eating cooked eyeballs. HECK to the NO.
  • Eating cooked onions is like eating spicy slivers of tapeworms. Pull the onion slice out of a breaded onion ring sometime and you’ll see exactly what I mean. BLEGH!
  • Iceberg lettuce (the really pale green/white kind) is basically crunchy, bitter paper impregnated with water.
  • Mushrooms have an odd rubbery texture that kinda feels like I’m eating a bodily organ of some sort. Combine that with an utter lack of flavor, and you get why I hate mushrooms.
  • Pulp and fiber in most fruits and vegetables is like eating a wad of Silly String, or gum that has long since lost its flavor. Examples: celery (bite into it, and it looks like split ends), oranges (yuck, pulp that gets all over my tongue and I can’t swallow it)
  • I’ve tried and tried to enjoy Twinkies and other “just-sugar-and-fat” foods, and I can’t take ’em. They are literally too sweet–my mouth dries out and I choke.
  • Very greasy food, like Taco Bell’s new beef recipe = not awesome.
  • I can take chocolate in small quantities, but I have to have something to drink with it–otherwise, the back of my throat burns like I’ve tried to swallow rubbing alcohol.
  • Strong fishy odors make me think of women’s health issues, NOT food. Seafood is largely yuck for that reason. (Seafood is also very chewy/oily)
  • Yogurt is okay in smoothies–just PLEASE do not serve it to me plain. The “live, rotting bacteria” taste has to be covered up with a much stronger flavor.

Not Just Taste, but Texture, Too

It’s true–I generally pay attention to texture of food as well as taste. One more reason that I hate most vegetables and fruit is because of the natural crunchy or pulpy texture–I don’t like too much crunch and too little taste, like in Iceberg lettuce, nor do I want 75% of what I ingest to be tasteless wads of pulp or seeds, like oranges and bananas.

Along with crunchy and pulpy, the tough, chewy foods are generally not on my happy list; thus, why I rarely eat most forms of pork and steak. Bacon? No, thank you, all you are is crisp and grease, or too tough to pull apart. BBQ pork? No, you’re just possum meat in a different animal (longer you chew it, bigger it gets). Steak? Why pay 16 bucks for meat that either tastes like leather or is mooing at me?

Basically, if the food feels disgusting in my mouth, I’m not going to be able to eat it, even if it tastes okay. Example: as much as I love oranges’ flavor, I can’t stand the texture of the pulp in my mouth–thus, no whole oranges for me. Literally makes me want to gag.

Other Picky Food “Rules”

  • Vegetables and meats are supposed to be salty, and fruits and desserts are supposed to be sweet. No crossovers allowed (i.e. sweet corn, honey barbecue flavored meat, watermelon with salt on it, brownies with salted nuts included).
  • Sweet and salty flavors are not supposed to mesh in the same food. Instead, sweet should be cleansed from the palate first before taking a bite of salty, and vice versa.
  • If the meat is pink, has blood running from it, or if the meat looks too much like the animal it came from (i.e., leg of lamb that still LOOKS like a leg), no way I’m eating it.


Since we all eat but experience food differently, food is both an intensely universal and personal experience. My experience is just one among many–yours is likely completely different. But it’s interesting to share what foods we love and hate, and why.

I also wanted to raise awareness of the food texture issue, since that seems to be a much more common phenomenon than I ever dreamed. Who knew I had compatriots in the hatred of orange pulp and banana seeds?