More Veggies Please!
October 25, 2007 9:48 PM   Subscribe

Does the Sneaky Veggies tactic work for adults? I'm a big time picky eater.

With all of the hullabaloo over Jessica Seinfeld's book "Deceptively Delicious" and similar cookbooks like Missy Lapine's "The Sneaky Chef", I was wondering if anyone has any experience with using these kinds of recipes to get more vegetables into your own diet.

I have always disliked vegetables, the leafier and greener the more I disliked them. At best, I can tolerate broccoli and kale (with smoked turkey hunks to flavor it), but not enough to actually want to eat them unless I have to. I've read other AskMes with suggestions on eating vegetables, especially with regard to trying to flavor them better or eating them at restaurants where they supposedly taste good. My problem is I have a strong negative visceral reaction to just the sight of green vegetables. Also, they smell and taste bitter to me.

And worse, I do not have a good palatte. I don't like strong flavors in general, and I don't trust myself to be able to experiment with flavors until I find the right combination. My palatte is really not the best. When I cook, I follow recipes exactly. But I really want to get some vegetables into my diet in some way. Right now, it's basically french fries or onion rings maybe twice a month and that's it. Seriously, that's it. So this is a bad situation. I need more variety in my diet and I want to eat healthily. I think my physical health is being impacted.

Now that you know the situation, can anyone give me the scoop on these "hide your vegetables" kinds of recipes? And does anyone have any of their own to share?
posted by Danila to Food & Drink (35 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I'm actually about to review these two books head-to-head for a parenting magazine so I won't say too much, but I've played around with them a little and...meh. I appreciate the possibilities of adding extra nutrition, since even my one kid who isn't picky is only capable of eating so much in a sitting, but it would never replace the art of trying to present vegetables in something like their natural state, for me. In the recipes I've tried, I can either taste the secret vegetables or I can taste that the recipe is just "off". My kids don't seem to notice or care, but then again, there's not a full serving size of spinach in a brownie that has spinach in it, so it's all kind of pointless unless you're going to eat a whole pan of brownies. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Do you like fruit? Because there are a lot of fruits that can make weight, so to speak, in your nutritional balance. And squashes are really nutritious and easy on the palate, especially winter squashes that can be mashed and seasoned or buttered or dusted with brown sugar or maple syrup.

The nutrients in green vegetables are amazing, but you can get them elsewhere if you must.

I'm a pretty adventurous eater, but historically there have been foods I couldn't stand. Reading Jeffrey Steingarten's "The Man Who Ate Everything" inspired me to face my food fears and figure out how I could incorporate those foods into my life without wincing. It's kind of an exciting journey, and I've tried to take my picky daughter on it with some measure of success.
posted by padraigin at 10:02 PM on October 25, 2007

Start small. Have you ever had a V-8 juice? It's made from several veggies and you can pat yourself on the back if you can choke one down (they aren't too bad, I like them myself). Maybe finely chopping veggies and making tasty soups or adding to things you make anyway, like cutting only the tips of the broccoli buds and adding them to the spagetti sauce. There are also some very good vegetable pancakes in the frozen food aisle. They are only made from veggies and you cook them like a hamburger (they are not veggie burgers, they are called pancakes) they are very good.

Also-- go shop at a farmers market or organic grocery. It is a whole different taste and smell sensation to get genuinely fresh food and food that has been grown locally on a small farm. So different than the tasteless styro-food that most supermarkets have. To have a really fresh tomato and some good cheese, a little fresh basil and a nice balsamic vinegar, that should win you over.
posted by 45moore45 at 10:04 PM on October 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

Any chance you might be a supertaster? It would be good to find out because then you'll know which foods to avoid altogether because your tastebuds just cannot deal with them, and which ones you at least have a chance of learning to like.

Also, if you read the articles about Deceptively Delicious and The Sneaky Chef closely, it sounds like in many of the recipes the vegetables are cooked in such a way that they lose all their nutritive value, so there might not be a point in eating them that way at all for your health.

I didn't eat a single vegetable other than the humble potato from 2 till 15, but I'm slowly getting over my hatred of vegetables by trying different things prepared different ways in different restarants. I love eggplant now and even happily order the occasional salad, two things I never thought possible before!
posted by lia at 10:08 PM on October 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

Yeah, is it just the green leafies you don't like, or is it ones like carrots, beets, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, etc?

Soups are a classic way to get veggies. Commercial soups tend to be very high in sodium, but it's laughably easy to make your own if you have a blender/food processor. You can make a batch over the weekend and freeze most of it for lunch during the week, dunking a nice crusty bread into it.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:09 PM on October 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

Second 45moore45's suggesting to go organic and local, really fresh produce grown with love tastes radically different. An heirloom tomato will blow your mind, they look weird but taste 100% more tomato than what you get in a grocery store.
posted by lia at 10:10 PM on October 25, 2007

Also, check out The Man Who Ate Everything.
posted by craniac at 10:13 PM on October 25, 2007

Best answer: I'm a recovering picky eater who has learned how to hide all sorts of vegetables that I appreciate but don't actually like all that much in their macro state. I don't try to hide veggies in sweet stuff, but savoury, umami-rich dishes are sturdy enough to survive the subterfuge.

My pasta sauce and beef stew include finely diced celery (not all that nutritious, I know) and pureed black olives (I can sometimes eat them whole, but I find the texture rather offputting). I sometimes steam kale, then puree it with the canned tomato I use in my pasta sauce. Work up to strong veggies like kale bit by bit until you;re putting in a huge bunch in one pot of sauce.

How do you feel about fruit? There's a lot of nutrition there, too, and you can probably eat a lot of them straight. Kiwi (especially golden kiwi), raspberries, blueberries and even the good old apple can help you balance out your diet with vitamins and great phytochemicals.
posted by maudlin at 10:17 PM on October 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I'm pretty sure I'm a supertaster. It's not just green veggies, but also sugar and anything strong. I won't even eat things like cake icing, too sweet. Same with salt. Will only eat natural applesauce, not regular applesauce.

Another issue is that I often use very few seasonings in my food, because I don't like anything strong. I often don't even notice if there's no salt or pepper in a dish, much to the chagrin of people I cook for! I'm scared of buying organic, fresh produce because I am not adventurous when it comes to food. I've experienced too much unpleasantness.

But I do love fruit. It's just sometimes you don't want anything sweet, you know? I am definitely going to go to a farmer's market soon, and I'll try.

Padraigin, thanks for the info on the recipes. I don't want to be able to "taste" the vegetables, so that's important to know. I've already had that experience when I attempted to eat soy and veggie versions of meat foods. Shockingly awful for me.
posted by Danila at 10:19 PM on October 25, 2007

You are a food sissy.

With every microwaved meal, with every bland bite, with every glob of pasteurized processed American cheese food product that you shovel down your insensate gullet, you become more of a food sissy.

Stop it.

Get over yourself.

It doesn't taste bad, it just tastes DIFFERENT. The only way to learn to like veggies is to EAT THEM CONSTANTLY until you like them. Fix 'em however, doesn't matter.

This is the advice of a reformed food sissy who tonight had brussel sprouts with pancetta, grilled asparagus, and a spinach salad for dinner.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:21 PM on October 25, 2007 [17 favorites]

Response by poster: The Supertaster Problem foods according to the linked wikipedia article:

alcoholic beverages[10]
Brassica oleracea cultivars
Brussels sprouts[12][13][14]
grapefruit juice[13]
green tea[13]
soy products[13]

Yes, I HATE all of those, with the major exception of kale, which as I said, is something I can tolerate if heavily seasoned with the taste of meat.
posted by Danila at 10:23 PM on October 25, 2007

Best answer: I found that I could grate lots of vegetables into a slow-cooked tomato sauce for pasta without noticing the flavour - I mostly do carrot and zucchini, and can't taste either of them. I do this to bulk it up instead of meat, but it might help you as well - you could probably try it with any vegetable of gratable texture.
posted by jacalata at 10:45 PM on October 25, 2007

I used to hate veggies, too. Most of my veggie-hate had to do with how long it took to prepare them and then choke the damned things down. Don't try to dress them up fancy - try to make them easy to eat.

Find a juice bar that makes fresh carrot juice. It feels good in your tummy and tastes good, too. If that's too much, try carrot-cantaloupe. If you like it just as is, slowly add stuff like parsley, apples, etc.

Sweet potatoes are great for veggie-haters. Slice them thin, drizzle some olive oil on them and bake them for 40 minutes or so at 350.

This sounds gross, but it's magic for veggie haters. Throw a head of romaine lettuce, a sliced apple, the juice of half a lemon and a handful of fresh mint into a blender with a cup of water. It's green, but delicious.
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 11:03 PM on October 25, 2007 [4 favorites]

I'm kind of the same. I have been slowly increasing the vegetables that I eat, just by gradually trying things I never would have touched. I still can't stand zucchini, cucumber, asparagus. On the other hand, I love -- to the point where it's one of my favourite veges -- brussels sprouts.

One thing that's helped me has been eating out at nicer restaurants. If you know the food is good quality, and that you're paying a lot for it, it's easier to take a risk on things you wouldn't normally eat.

The other main thing is living with someone who relentlessly pressures me into eating more vegetables.

And I've been putting in an effort, too. I decided to try eating vegetarian for a week last month, so we borrowed some cookbooks from a vegetarian friend and picked a menu from that. It worked out pretty well. I missed the texture of meat, but I'm not planning to be a full-time vegetarian, just to occasionally push my vege-eating boundaries.
posted by robcorr at 11:54 PM on October 25, 2007

Response by poster: Actually, I take back what I said about not wanting to be able to taste the vegetables. Ultimately, I'd like to be eating green vegetables outright (I do like starchy ones like potatoes, corn and carrots). If hiding them in food I already love (i.e. tomato sauces) will help me to gradually increase my tolerance, I can see myself working up to being able to consume them in larger quantities, in plain sight, with maybe a little sauce or whatever.
posted by Danila at 12:25 AM on October 26, 2007

Best answer: The terribly wrong message sent by Jessica Seinfeld and Missy Chase Lapine. - By Mimi Sheraton.

In a nutshell she says it's crap.

I agree.
posted by derMax at 12:36 AM on October 26, 2007

Does the Sneaky Veggies tactic work for adults

Yes, of course it works: you mask the appearance and taste of the disliked item. It works better if someone else prepares the food, however, because then you might not notice that there's spinach hiding in your snack.

But don't try to hide vegetables in fatty, sugary, salty sauces and the like, which could be lot worse than not eating vegatables at all. Just put some vegetables on your plate and eat like an adult. It's easily done. And if you don't, you'll die early.
posted by pracowity at 12:46 AM on October 26, 2007

Look, you won't eat what you don't like, so you need to try everything until you find something you like, either by stumbling across a veggie that you enjoy the taste of, or a recipe you like that incorporates veggies.

You can always push for the acquired taste, but vegetables are varied and different; there are some I hate and some I love. Try a little of everything and maybe you'll be surprised.

Also consider alternative delivery methods. I can't really sit and eat a carrot, but I can chug carrot juice all day long.
posted by davejay at 1:34 AM on October 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

Oh, and remember: when it comes to food, we're more like animals than we let on, inasmuch as we'll eat heaping gobs of anything with a good flavor without real concern for what's inside.

Thanks to the miracle of processed foods, we can eat "foods" with perfect flavors and no nutritional value all day long (until we die from malnutrition, or diabetes, or what have you, because you're not eating food, you're eating "food".)

The immediate consequence for you is that your brain knows there are perfect-tasting "foods" out there, and they're also very convenient (after all, it's just chemicals swirled together in an airtight container and whatnot) so you're not willing to settle for less perfect flavors and/or the inconvenience of preparing them properly.

Which is a shame, because there are really fascinating and complex flavors and textures out there in RealFoodLand, and if you elect to experiment you'll find there's more satisfaction in those flavors than in "foods", just as there is more satisfaction in a fine wine than in a Diet Coke, even though it takes more effort to find the good wines.
posted by davejay at 1:38 AM on October 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

By the way, my corollary for your picky veggie tastes is my wine tastes; that comparison above wasn't casual. I have always hated wine, would never touch the stuff, never liked any of it. Then my wife took us on a wine train excursion, and I had a wine that absolutely blew my mind, just fantastic. Since then I still hate most wines, but I'll put in the effort to find a good one, because it's rewarding.
posted by davejay at 1:39 AM on October 26, 2007

Actually, I take back what I said about not wanting to be able to taste the vegetables. Ultimately, I'd like to be eating green vegetables outright (I do like starchy ones like potatoes, corn and carrots). If hiding them in food I already love (i.e. tomato sauces) will help me to gradually increase my tolerance, I can see myself working up to being able to consume them in larger quantities, in plain sight, with maybe a little sauce or whatever.
posted by Danila at 2:25 AM on October 26

Food sissy, food sissy, food sissy!

Eggplant parmesan!

Spinach calzones!

Pesto pizza with roma tomatoes and artichoke hearts!

You have BRAINWASHED YOURSELF. Somewhere along the line you convinced yourself that good wholesome natural food was repulsive. Wah. Get over it. Everyone else in the world thinks veggies are tasty, and YOU WILL TOO, if you will simply FORCE YOURSELF TO EAT THEM REGULARLY and get past this inane mental block.

Please. Really. I spent YEARS living off cheeseburgers and Frosted Flakes, and then I GREW THE FUCK UP and learned to eat my veggies.

And you know what? They're tasty. And easy to cook. And you can drizzle as much bacon fat as you like into the lima beans and STILL FEEL RIGHTEOUS.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:40 AM on October 26, 2007 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Pracowity, it really is not easily done for a lot of adults. I like veggies (a lot, in fact) but plenty of people have serious taste and/or texture issues with vegetables. I'm not prepared to tell them to suck it up and soldier on any more than I am prepared to tell you to eat crickets just because I can. (Very crunchy, by the way.)

Danila, might I suggest spirulina? You want the little pots of the fresh stuff for cooking, not the tablets, but they're about the same size.

It's green. It looks disgusting, like wet, food-processed spinach goop. Its AMAZINGLY nutritious and tasteless. You can get pots at health food stores or maybe Trader Joes. You can dump it into spaghetti sauce, soups, and meatloaf (account for the extra liquid in meatloaf.) It is a great way to sneak extra nutritional benefits into food for adults and for kids.

I nth grating carrots into stuff. If you have one of those four sided stand up graters, you can start with the finest grater and work up as you get more confident.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:52 AM on October 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

I wrote this answer a while ago in response to a question about helping a partner eat more veges, but it applies equally here, particularly if your issue with veges is texture-related. Get a stick blender! Whenever you make food with gravy or a sauce (pasta, curry, tacos, shepherd's pie, etc etc) cook veges into it then puree. You get the nutritional benefits and can learn to appreciate the flavours without having to deal with the actual vege-ness of the whole thing - and to wean yourself to solid veges, gradually increase the proportion of non-pureed veg you leave in the sauce.
posted by goo at 3:26 AM on October 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

plenty of people have serious taste and/or texture issues with vegetables.

Describing it as taste or texture issues makes it sound almost as if you think they have some sort of medical syndrome. They just don't like veggies. I have known many children who didn't, but I think they all grew out of it with the help of parents who wanted them to have a decent diet. I have never known an adult who didn't like vegetables. Maybe I didn't have spoiled friends.

Adults who don't like vegetables have to do for themselves what perhaps their own parents failed to do: make them eat what's good for them.

(Very crunchy, by the way.)

I'm fully aware of that. Worms, on the other hand, are not. Ants are crunchy and rather tasteless but add an interesting texture to chocolate. Spiders can be eaten on a dare. I won't touch flies because flies like nothing better than to spend a pleasant afternoon taking in the air along the length and breadth of a fresh dog turd, the fresher the better. And generally I avoid bugs these days because I've become a vegetarian.
posted by pracowity at 3:36 AM on October 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I like to hide vegetables too. You can hide aubergine (eggplant) in chillis and casseroles if you dice it finely. Try some sweet potato recipes as thats a veggie thats good for you and doesn't taste green.

A favourite hidden veg dish is spinach and ricotta frittata - use loads and loads of spinach, it doesn't taste green, I promise!

You can't really hide them since they can be a strong flavour but I found that overcoming my aversion to bell peppers opened up some lovely Mediterranean style vegetable dishes for me.
posted by Ness at 4:11 AM on October 26, 2007

I am with BitterOldPunk. I was the same way. I was SO picky. I mostly ate pasta and potato chips because that was all I could eat. And now I eat vegetables every day and love them. I also eat other things now that I hated with a passion back then (mushrooms, olives and tempeh come to mind). Finding good recipes helped a lot. I still don't like the way my mother used to make veggies (boiled potatoes with boiled leek, for example). I don't care much for salt either, but sometimes a little garlic or ginger or another method of preparing (broiling, baking, roasting) makes all the difference.

But if you want to sneak veggies in your diet, I suggest a green smoothie. Take some frozen banana and other fresh fruit, add a little water and a few handfuls of kale or spinach. Blend in a blender. If you use only one handful of greens, you will not taste them at all. You can gradually add more. Even one ounce of greens a day is already incredibly heathy. One ounce of chopped kale, for example, is less than half a cup, and provides almost the daily value for vitamin A, and almost three times the daily value for vitamin K.
posted by davar at 4:34 AM on October 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

pracowity, my only issue with what you're saying is that you're speaking in absolutes.

Describing it as taste or texture issues makes it sound almost as if you think they have some sort of medical syndrome. They just don't like veggies.

People with Asperger's Syndrome can, in fact, have intractable issues with food textures. I'm sure if you did research, you'd find other conditions.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:09 AM on October 26, 2007

Best answer: Hi, I'm picky. I'm sure if I was on an island with no hope of rescue and all of my food was green and leafy, I could choke it down. But since I'm not, I see no reason to not go on concealing foods I don't like in ones that I do. (P.S. I was spanked and forced to eat everything on my plate a whole bunch of times as a kid, all it did was increase my resolve to never eat anything I didn't care for if I didn't have to.)

Anyway, my current favourite concealing mechanism involves making everything very bland with lots of rice and a mu shu wrap. Steam the rice. Steam anything else that you feel absolutely needs to be cooked. Separate into two piles -- veg you like, veg you don't like. Chop up the first pile into pieces you can eat (pea sized is good). Chop up the second pile into mush. Mix whatever sauce you prefer into the second pile (I usually use low sodium soy sauce, because I like bland food). Drizzle a tiny amount of sauce on the first pile of veg and over the rice. Mix the lot of it together, add (cooked) protein if you like, wrap in a mu shu wrap.

Alternatively, you can make some fruits and berries more savoury and less sweet by eating them with cheese or peanut butter... Apples, bananas, raisins. Cheese or peanut butter can also be used to conceal veg (e.g. celery), but you have to be careful about how much you use.
posted by anaelith at 6:17 AM on October 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

+1 to Bitter Old Punk, but also I'd suggest the smoothies in the fresh veg section @ the grocery store. They're darn tasty, although expensive. I forget the brand, but there are about 20 varieties from all-fruit to carrot-algae-andsomething else. These sorts of threads blow my mind---my parents were of the "eat it or go hungry" type, and so I eat just about everything, and try to grow as much of it myself as possible.
posted by TomMelee at 6:55 AM on October 26, 2007

If you're a supertaster or even if you just find the strong odor and taste of brassicas overwhelming at first, don't steam broccoli, kale, and Brussels sprouts. Instead, try bringing a big pot of water to a boil, tossing in a spoonful of salt, and blanching the trimmed broc or greens or cauliflower for just a few minutes. This treatment tames the potent (for some people, intolerably so) flavor just a bit.

Blanch very briefly --- with broccoli florets, I may blanch for as little as a minute, depending on what I plan to do next --- and then saute in a few drops of oil with seasonings as desired. My usual treatment for blanched chard/kale/beet greens involves garlic, chili powder, and lemon juice, but if those seasonings are too strong, try blanched greens tossed in a saute pan with a sliver of butter and a generous splash of apple cider, cooked quickly over a high heat until the cider reduces a bit to glaze the greens. Mmmmm. Autumnal.

Yes, blanching will reduce the nutrition a bit, but what use is it to preserve the full nutrition in the preparation if you can't bring yourself to eat a full serving?

Incidentally, though I blanch most things as briefly as possible, I rarely cook kale for less than five minutes. It's a tough leaf, and letting it boil for five or six minutes makes a huge difference in its texture, but leaves it still bright green and fresh-tasting. (Cook it any longer, and it turns gray-green. Ick.) Drain it well, then you can quickly saute it with your hunks of smoked turkey and enjoy!
posted by Elsa at 7:35 AM on October 26, 2007 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Here's another vote for green smoothies. I make a huge one every morning to share with my two little kids (one of whom is at the "I will live off crackers" stage, but who will drink smoothies most days). One banana, a cup or two of plain yoghurt, a cup of frozen blueberries, as much spinach as I can cram in the blender, and enough orange juice to make it blend easily. It looks awful, but tastes delicious.

I give my kids theirs in plastic cups with lids and straws -- could that help you? You don't taste the spinach at all, but perhaps you wouldn't want to see it.

I buy washed spinach. It makes life easier, and it's one less hurdle to getting the vegetables eaten. I also buy baby carrots, for the same reason.

(In the summer I make smoothies with kale from my garden and peaches, but that's Level II.)
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:01 AM on October 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

I do like starchy ones like potatoes, corn and carrots and tomato sauce

This is good!

Potato-based soups (which gives you the creaminess without too much heavy cream) can take in all kinds of green veg goodness. They can be very mild tasting to start out with; you can add only ingredients that you want, no black pepper or the like. You might like potato-leek soup, or a potato-carrot-celery soup for starters. Later you could try making a broccoli-cheese soup. Gradually you could increase the variety of green veg you include - though you can just avoid adding the ones you have a bad reaction to.

Also: Don't start with the bitterish ones you know cause you problems (kale, spinach, etc), start with expanding your existing comfort zone until you can look around the produce section and think "wow, so many options" rather than "eww, I'm surrounded by the enemy".

There is a huge variety of taste among the different leafy greens. Talk to the produce person at your grocery store and ask them to point you to the most mild-flavored lettuce other than iceberg. It will be baby [something] lettuce, a lightish green and uniform all over the leaf surface, not mottled. (Sorry, can't think of the name.) Try having it in a sandwich the first few times, so there are other tastes you like surrounding it.

Do you like fresh green peas? Sold in supermarket as "sugar snap peas" or "snow peas". You can just open the pods and take out the peas and eat them straight (or boil them for a few minutes and do the same): very mild tasting. You can buy just a few to start with.

How about green beans? Cut the ends off, steam them for a few minutes until they are bright green, and eat maybe with butter.

How about acorn squash? It's very similar to the others you list, very easy to prepare, a bit sweet and starchy. (Cut in half, scoop out the loose seedy parts, butter on the inside -- and brown sugar if you're feeling daring -- then microwave for something like 5 min. Most supermarket ones come with a sticker that gives the recipe!)
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:31 AM on October 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you to those who answered the question. There were a lot of good answers, and I only marked those as best which directly and revelantly addressed my question. But I did appreciate some of the other answers that speak to some of the underlying issues.
posted by Danila at 11:43 AM on October 26, 2007

Best answer: It doesn't taste bad, it just tastes DIFFERENT. The only way to learn to like veggies is to EAT THEM CONSTANTLY until you like them. Fix 'em however, doesn't matter.

This is just terrible advice. When you force yourself to eat something, you grow to dislike it even more. I've done this to myself by trying to make myself eat a ton of baby carrots before every meal. I started out thinking they were "ok", but now I want to throw up if I even think of them.

I live with a supertaster who does not like most veggies. I find that certain veggies seem less offensive (zucchini is a great one) and that if I mix them in with a dish they are more likely to happily eat it. For example, I like to use chopped zucchini in my chili, and this is well received by almost everyone I know. I also try & stick handfuls of vegetables into otherwise tempting dishes like macaroni & cheese or lasagna ... not a ton, but a nice smattering. I'll toss a half a cup to a cup of baby peas into mac'n'cheese or some more chopped zucchini into lasagna.

Good luck!
posted by dumbledore69 at 11:54 AM on October 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

This is just terrible advice. When you force yourself to eat something, you grow to dislike it even more. I've done this to myself by trying to make myself eat a ton of baby carrots before every meal.

Well, if you don't like something, why would you eat a ton of it?
I'm a supertaster, and I learned to eat almost everything I didn't like by trying just a little tiny bit of something any time I came across it. The only thing I still don't care much for is brussels sprouts. But then, I hate being limited in any way, especially food.
posted by oneirodynia at 2:47 PM on October 26, 2007

I think it was Steingarten in The Man Who Ate Everything who said that you have to try something several times before you can get over the shock of "eww, new flavor" and start to actually appreciate it. So after I read that, I made a rule that I have to try something half a dozen times before I'm allowed to say I don't like something. And you know what? I went from a picky eater who doesn't like anything but potatoes and corn... to a happy omnivore whose only disliked food is mushrooms. (But I'm still workin' on that one.) So start keeping track of what you try, and be sure to give things more than one shot.

(I'm interested to see whether Steingarten updates his book for all this trendy "supertaster" business. He has a big rant about people who claim their food dislikes are actually "allergies" when in reality only an extremely tiny percentage of people have true food allergies. Methinks claiming to be a supertaster may be the new justification for being a picky eater.)
posted by web-goddess at 3:46 PM on October 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

« Older Apple Remote - More than iTunes   |   Anyone got some tricks and strategy for whirlyball... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.