Treating Food Like Wine

I don’t like pineapple, melons, or kiwi. I don’t like cottage cheese, either. But I’ve tried all of them in 24 hours. Here’s why.

You remember the face you used to make when you had wine as a kid? The grimace, and the way adults around you chuckled? And do you remember how you learned to like it? Why does that not happen with food?

A lot of the foods I don’t enjoy I had simply given up on; one example, radishes, is so bad that I’ve told people I’m allergic; but I’m not. I barely remember what they taste like, though; I’ve just psychologically crossed them off the list. Just like that– never again will I have a radish. Well, I’m starting over.

I learned to like beer, and wine, and a bunch of other foods over time. Now, I’m rebooting. I will try any food again, and I’m betting I’ll learn to like it.

Don’t give me your George Bush “I hate broccoli” speech. Real adults like a lot of food. It’s time for you to try something new.





16 responses to “Treating Food Like Wine”

  1. Dave Delaney Avatar

    Wine! Gasp, you drank wine as a child. Quebec is terrible with their children. In Ontario we’re fed beer:

    Funny you should post this. I just tried goat yesterday for my first time. It reminded me of brisket, but I’d choose brisket any day over goat. But I TRIED IT!

    Nice post.

  2. Joel Avatar

    I totally agree. growing up i always HATED olives, i thought they were just the worst tasting things i’d ever tasted. Even just thinking about them would give me horrible shivers. But then about 12 months ago, for some unknown reason (i don’t really know what i was thinking) I tried them again. And i actually really quite liked the taste. I tried them again about a month later to make sure it wasn’t a fluke, and it wasn’t! They were really good. So now i eat olives, more or less. The biggest hurdle for me now is psychological. My mind still thinks i hate olives, so i really have to will myself to eat them, but once i do they’re delicious!

  3. Julien Avatar

    Haha, great picture Dave. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Cliff Ravenscraft Avatar


    I’m very picky eater. However, now that I’m getting older (36 now), I’m finding that I am not going to live long on just steak and potatoes.

    I’m not sure if I’ll give everything a try again.. But I’m certainly finding that while I thought I hated all salads, it was really only that I despise iceberg lettuce. I found that romaine lettuce is actually quite nice.

    Thanks for this post. Perhaps I’ll take a few foods off my “never in a million years” list and try them again.

  5. John Avatar

    Excellent! People are such crybabies with the I don’t like this, I don’t like that nonsense. I have learned to love brussel sprouts and now I can’t get enough of them. It took me over a year to like Marmite and now it’s fantastic!

    Keep working and you’ll be eating radishes in no time!

  6. Martin G. Avatar
    Martin G.

    You’re right Julien, I think we can learn to like any food, it’s just a matter of risking it and trying it a couple of times. Some food are simply an acquired taste.

    I used to be a very picky and difficult child. Now I eat pretty much anything. The only thing that I can’t seem to be willing to taste again is mushrooms. It just disgusts me and makes me want to puke.

  7. Zeke Avatar


    And this: is what you should listen to while doing it…

  8. Brent Morris Avatar

    I was this way about Crab Cakes when I was a kid.

    About 5 years ago, I did this exact same thing. I called it “defragging my tastebuds”.

  9. CT Moore Avatar

    Some things to try, despite how they sound:

    1) one part Redbull and 2 parts beer (and preferably something blonde)
    2) Whisky and chocolate (I mean sipping a rye or bourbon casually while eating chocolate covered raisins or nuts)
    3) Devils Food Cake a big glass of orange juice.

  10. Whitney Avatar

    What’s interesting is that preparation can be everything, and if your Mom didn’t make it, you may not have even eaten it as a kid- I know I am the funnel for many things my kids are exposed to as a kid, especially since I am the main cook and grocery shopper.
    I’ve become a real fan of eating with the seasons- we have a community supported agriculture farm we belong to, and get a share of the produce all summer long, allowing us to try things like Edame that we might not have tried before hand, nor bothered to look up how to prepare it properly. Besides, eating everything, especially fruit & veg when it’s in season gives you a whole new perspective on how things should taste. The only bad thing- off-season tomatoes are off my list, because they taste NOTHING like stuff fresh off the farm (and that goes for radishes as well, actually.)

  11. Christopher S. Penn Avatar

    And even re-tasting isn’t a guarantee. Put two executive chefs in the same kitchen and ask them to prepare any common dish, and you’ll likely get two very different tastes.

  12. Matthew Bibby Avatar

    That is a wonderful picture!

    I agree with you about how we psychologically cross foods off the list. What amazes me is the amount of time that we can fool ourselves! How many people go through life without ever challenging their beliefs in this way?

    Another common food aversion scenario:

    * You try a new food for the first time
    * You get sick shortly afterwards (even unrelated illnesses, not necessarily food poisoning)
    * A new association is made in the mind: food type = illness.

    Try food again + remain well = new association.



  13. Shawna Nelles Avatar

    Good to hear! I got lots of new food for you to try in MEX! ๐Ÿ™‚

    For instance, I had psychologically crossed off the idea of eating grasshoppers but I did it anyway. Not so bad really, the chili helped. Downside was trying to tongue out the leg that was stuck in my teeth afterwards.

    Now the trick is to learn to like them. There’s a place in Coyoacan that serves them with pasta… maaaaybe.

    Also, my son told me kids have more sensitive taste buds – he read it in Chickadee He tries things, and if he doesn’t like it he’ll say “maybe when my tastebuds get older”. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. Collette Avatar

    I trained myself to like (love!) the crust on brie, and these days I’m about 80% over my aversion to green peppers. I even crave them in Denver sandwiches and omelets sometimes! although I still won’t eat them raw. next on my list of things to learn to like is blue cheese. trying it over and over again is really all I need to do. eventually you get used to the taste, and then eventually it starts to taste good. I think with blue cheese the trick will be to eat it with crackers and on salads – pair it with something nice, rather than just nibbling at it on it’s own.

  15. Evan Avatar

    Recently, I put on a few pounds and realized that I was starting to eat compulsively on a regular basis. The reason, food in general wasn’t very satisfying anymore because I was eating really rich foods all the time.

    So I took a 3 day fast and then an all fruit diet for a week. It was like resetting my taste buds. Plus I lost most of the chub. Now I just have to get back into exercising regularly (booooo)….

  16. erland josephson Avatar

    There’s a fascinating article about the neurological reasons behind the way our tastes change here:

    I think you should reconsider the radish, julien.

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