Wednesday, January 26, 2011

hey, Ferran Adria hates bellpeppers, ok?

so pretty, and yet they repulse me

Circa 1991, a 5-year-old me was confronted with something that, to my little girl mind, was truly terrifying.

My parents had ordered pizza with artichokes on it.

Of course, I had no idea what artichokes were, only that they were green and must be gross. Mom and Dad quickly nipped that one in the bud, telling me I didn't have to like them, I just had to try them. You can see what's coming next: little Kathy (yes, I was Kathy then***) tastes artichoke pizza; little Kathy loves artichoke pizza; little Kathy grows up to order artichokes on her pizza all the dang time.

The valuable lesson I learned there was, of course, my parents' philosophy on food adventurousness: you don't have to like everything, but you ought to give everything a try. This has served me well and maybe later I will do a post on the weirdest or most interesting things I have eaten and liked, but for now, I want to talk about the failures. The foods where I tried them, usually really wanting to like them, but couldn't stand them just the same.

First up: raw tomatoes and raw onions. It's a tie for these two - raw onions taste abrasive and have a horrifying texture, and raw tomatoes are gag-inducing and have a horrifying texture. The tomatoes one causes me a lot more grief, though, because people are always getting good tomatoes in the summer in NC and making sandwiches out of them and I know I'm missing out.

Second: Chorizo. I know, I know, I live in Spain and don't like chorizo. The horror. Actually, come to think of it....

Second.five: all cured meats. That's right, country ham, jamon serrano, proscuitto, bacon that is not from America, and all their cousins. I don't actually hate these usually, but never do I love them. Of course I suck it up here: I will eat jamon on things, and obviously when someone gives me a piece of their jamon I eat it and praise its deliciousness. I'm still Southern, people. But sometimes when those cured meats taste really stinky, I do hate them. I'm looking at you, you nasty piece of Virginia country ham messing up that biscuit I was going to eat.

Third: bleu cheese. I go through phases where I am OK with it and where I hate it, and right now I hate it.

Fourth: horseradish. I can't even explain to you how much I hate horseradish. Except you know when you have mustard on something, and the first bite is just a little sour and spice, and then you taste the horseradish in the mustard in that second bite? Yeah, I can't go past bite 1.

aaand fifth: canned tuna on or in anything but tuna salad. Which I made. On a tuna melt. Here tuna winds up on everything: salads, pizza, you name it. True story: once I went with my roommates to a telepizza (think Domino's but much, much worse) to get pizza for a party. They started looking at jamon and tuna pizzas, and I, thinking I was getting around this problem of pizzaingredientsKatadoesn'tlike, requested a 4-cheese pizza. Guess what one of the 4 cheeses is here? BLEU. Cultural adjustment fail.

So... there it is, the embarrassing edibles a self-purported foodie can't bring herself to get on board with. Feels freeing to get that off my chest.

***side note for people who only know me from Spain/this blog: you most definitely canNOT call me Kathy. I go by Kit in America (or "real life"), which you may call me if you promise not to introduce me to a Spanish person as Kit, because then they will forever call me "Keet" which, let's be real, sounds like an ugly bug.


  1. 1. We should definitely get an artichoke pizza one day. I love them.
    2. You're not alone on not loving the cured meat here.
    3. Have you had horseradish served on something here or were you just talking about it with the foods you don't like?
    4. Feel free to give me anything with tuna on it.
    5. Love the cultural adjustment fail.

  2. love this...but, seriously, illa, give embutidos a chance! I will set you up with a Montero and you'll be set for life. And, yes, the tuna is nasty and has taken over the comedor at my school.

  3. Salchicón is seriously the best. I understand the aversion (well, basically) but it's sooooooo damn good. But I don't get the raw tomato aversion. Do you like the whole pan con tomate thing? Bread, olive oil, tomatoes? I dieeeeeeeeeeee...

  4. thomas - 1. yes please; 3. nope just detest horseradish in general

    cat - i love your work. haha.

    kaley - i wish i could eat that thing with tomatoes and bread and olive oil, it sounds delicious, but raw tomatoes aren't exactly a "dislike," it's more like i physically can't eat them without my gag reflex going off. am i ridiculous for this? absolutely. salchichon, however, i have no problem with!

  5. I found your blog through Cat's, and I totally understand your pain. I wish I liked blue cheese because the people who do don't shut up about it... but it just tastes awful to me!!!

  6. Ha ha, thanks Lauren! good to know there's at least one other bleu cheese hater out there!