AUTHOR: Dolores Quintana
People have extreme opinions about food, and this tendency also extends to food ingredients. Some passionately favor certain ingredients, and some are almost violently opposed to those same ingredients. Food opinions are as rigid as those found in entertainment and sports. In a fashionable Internet forum, food-savvy users argued about what ingredients were the culprits that destroy the potential of any dish.
Table of Contents
1. It Tastes Like Soap
Cilantro, or coriander as it is also known, is a frequently used food ingredient in more than one culture. Specifically, Mexican and Asian cuisines feature dishes that have cilantro as an ingredient regularly. However, some people have a gene that causes them to interpret the taste of cilantro, which usually has a mild citrus flavor, as tasting like soap.
No one knows why but about 4 to 14 percent of people have this gene, and interestingly two of them are famous chefs, namely Ina Garten and Julia Child. There's no way that you can change how cilantro tastes to you if you have this gene. It's in your DNA, and cilantro will repulse you unless you like the taste of soap.
2. Where There's Smoke, There's Fire
Liquid smoke is a food flavoring made by condensing smoke from burning wood. The idea is people love the flavor of flame-grilled meats and vegetables so much that there was a need for a flavoring that would replicate flame broiling.
It seems simple, but commenters agreed that liquid smoke was obnoxious mainly because people don't realize that the product is condensed, so you only need to use a small amount. The flavor is intense, so using much of it is exceptionally overpowering to the other ingredients. It obliterates any taste different than the liquid smoke.
3. No Licorice, Please
Most offending ingredients are flavorings, and many tend to be piquant flavors. For example, fennel, which tastes almost identical to licorice, is not a favorite in this discussion. Recipes that use fennel as an ingredient tend to be savory, but licorice flavoring is sweet. The tendency for fennel to dominate any dish makes it so unpleasant for me.
4. A Rose By Any Other Name
Rosewater is another flavor that draws boo and hisses from the gallery. Arab and Persian cuisines use rosewater to flavor desserts, but like liquid smoke, cooks who aren't used to the ingredient can use too much. The essence of rosewater is very fragrant, and since taste and smell are related senses, this can lead to rosewater dominating a dish.
5. Not From A Can
Mushrooms are an incredibly versatile and popular ingredient in our food. The issue commenters have with mushrooms on this topic concerns the use of canned mushrooms. It is a textural issue. Canned mushrooms have an unpleasant rubbery taste and texture that repels numerous users in this forum. When mushrooms are fresh, they are spongy and tender when cooked, which works much better for the fungus.
6. Blue Cheese Makes Them Mad
People either love or love to hate blue cheese. People will start gesturing and shouting if you accidentally give them this kind of cheese if they dislike it and they find it genuinely disturbing. Blue cheese does have a very pungent flavor and smell, which is why it gets such a reaction.
There are some other controversial ingredients on this list, but I have rarely seen or heard of such a large number of aggressive haters of any different type of food. Users stated that blue cheese tasted rotten or like someone's stinky feet. Blue cheese has a mold, Penicillium roqueforti, which might be another reason people feel strongly about it.
The funniest comment on this subject described finding a raisin in your food as similar to finding a "semi-baked insect" inside. Raisins are a visual disaster to people in this forum. However, they didn't seem to mind the flavor as much as objecting to the raisin's appearance, and I can't say that I blame them for that.
8. The Eyes Have It
Olives are another food that horrifies a certain number of people. In this case, the complaint is based on appearance and taste. One user said they wished that cooks would keep their "salty eyeballs" to themselves. Another said that even if you pick the olives out, they can still taste the brine of the olive all over the rest of the dish.
9. Turn On The Fans For The Rest Of The Day
Durian is a popular fruit in Asia and is related to jackfruit. The taste of the fruit is lovely, like custard, but tons of people in the discussion are appalled by the heinous smell of the fruit, which has been compared to rotting meat, gym clothes that haven't been washed, and even raw sewage.
10. It's Not Real
Truffle oil is another controversial ingredient, especially among chefs. Chefs have famously rejected it as a legitimate ingredient, and a commenter stated that they found it overwhelming and synthetic.
The components of truffle oil are extra virgin olive oil, which is good. Still, instead of using the flavor of real truffles, which are prohibitively expensive, companies frequently use an artificial substitute that gives it a chemical taste.
This thread inspired this post.