Are you guaranteed to be disgusted by 33% of the food on this list?
January 29, 2008 7:15 PM   Subscribe

I once heard something along the lines of there being three foods in the world all of which hardly anyone enjoys the taste, even though many people enjoy at least two. One of them was peanut butter. Another might have been Vegemite. Where might I have heard this possibly false factoid? Any idea what the three items were?
posted by billtron to Food & Drink (24 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
You might be thinking of the incompatible food triad. It is the theorem that no three foods exist, such that any combination of two of them work well together, but all three are disgusting.
posted by one_bean at 7:21 PM on January 29, 2008

It's almost certainly not what you're looking for, but the first thing I thought of was the incompatible food triad. This is more about blending of foods than personal likes and dislikes, however.
posted by wackybrit at 7:22 PM on January 29, 2008

Response by poster: although that's a fascinating puzzle, it's not what I remember. any other guesses?
posted by billtron at 8:03 PM on January 29, 2008

Not sure about the theory behind it, but in my experience there are a few foods which one either loves or hates and few people are indifferent to. The main contender is (black) licorice, especially black jelly beans. Also mushrooms, bananas, tuna, raisins, and cinnamon hearts seem to engender polarized responces. I've never noticed a 3/2 pattern though, but then, I've never looked.
posted by sarahkeebs at 8:12 PM on January 29, 2008

A friend told me that Marmite (British version of Vegemite) can ward off mosquitoes. After getting a whiff of the stuff upon opening the jar, I thought I'd temper it with some peanut butter. It almost made me give up peanut butter, it was that horrid. I managed to choke-down a spoonful by itself. It was worth it. Didn't get bit all summer.
posted by JABof72 at 8:33 PM on January 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

jesus christ, mixing marmite with peanut butter, what on earth were you thinking?

Love my peanut butter, love my Vegemite, really want to know what #3 is to disprove the theorem.
posted by wilful at 9:30 PM on January 29, 2008

I have happily eaten marmite and peanut butter sandwiches. Just go light on the marmite - its strong stuff! Curious what taste number three is. Since I like the current mentioned two ingredients, it must be something I hate, right? :) Liver?
posted by Joh at 9:36 PM on January 29, 2008

Brussel sprouts? I happen to love them.
posted by JujuB at 9:58 PM on January 29, 2008

It's probably durian. *BARF*
posted by spec80 at 10:08 PM on January 29, 2008

The correct way to eat durian is as ice-cream. A normal durian looks like shit, smells like shit and tastes like shit. Durian ice cream smells and tastes like shit, but it looks like ice-cream. A vast improvement.
posted by markr at 10:17 PM on January 29, 2008 [8 favorites]

I called this the "non-transitive property of food" as a kid.

We all know that if A=B, and B=C, then A=C.

Pretend that A=peanut butter

If that were true, because peanut butter pairs well with chocolate, and chocolate pairs well with mint, it stands to reason peanut butter pairs well with mint. No. Non-transitive.
posted by sourwookie at 12:48 AM on January 30, 2008 [6 favorites]

I routinely make peanut butter & vegemite toast, it is delicious.

You accursed heathens.
posted by The Monkey at 2:35 AM on January 30, 2008

I love the taste of all foods (I am the opposite of a supertaster) so would be extremely interested to know what this third food is, to see if I like it. And in a more question-answery vein, the list of problem foods in the supertaster link might be of use to you.
posted by thoughtless at 3:18 AM on January 30, 2008

Perhaps it's a simple as the basic sweet-sour-salty triad? Any two work together, but all three together simply won't work? Though I am sure there are examples of some yummy foods with all three traits...
posted by Thorzdad at 4:18 AM on January 30, 2008

Durian is wonderful! I did once read a description likening the durian experience to eating custard in a sewer. Perhaps the other food is something like century eggs? Or one of the really appalling cheeses?

I think the reason a lot of people hate vegemite is because they open a jar for the first time, dip in a finger or spoon and taste a big lump of it. These people are lucky to survive.

The way to eat it is to spread a molecule thick layer onto toast or crumpets. I've never liked it much because I used to have an allergy to it, though these days that's gone and in minor doses it's quite pleasant.
posted by tomble at 4:41 AM on January 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

Anchovies. Got to be anchovies.

I love Vegemite, peanut butter (haven't tried them together yet though), brussel sprouts, olives, even durian. But anchovies can go take a hairy flying jump. Liquorice, cinnamon, cloves - yum. Tomatoes, potatoes (and potahtoes), eggplant, squid: foods of the gods. Anchovies: choking death from below.

Oh, and Thorzdad: sweet-salty-sour is just 3/4 of how to make a good Thai curry -- the only part missing is "hot", aka capsaicin (you makes your curry as hot as you need and then you tempers it with fish sauce (salty), then lime juice (sour) and palm sugar (sweet) -- mmm, hungry now).
posted by 5MeoCMP at 5:08 AM on January 30, 2008

The friends that I *love* to sit by at dinner parties (more for me!) all hate avocados, olives, artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, and feta cheese -- all of which are on my list of favorite foods ever.

I know more than two of these people, and they hate everything on that list. Find me more so I can sit by them and eat everything they pick out of their salads.
posted by fiercecupcake at 5:58 AM on January 30, 2008

I think if the answers so far show anything, it is that it is impossible to create any rule about what tastes or foods humans, as a rule, like or dislike.
posted by Deathalicious at 7:31 AM on January 30, 2008

thoughtless: "I love the taste of all foods."

Oh yes? Every had boiled goat stomach sausage?
posted by Deathalicious at 7:36 AM on January 30, 2008

I bet it was cilantro
posted by meeshell at 8:52 AM on January 30, 2008

Thoughtless; have you ever tried ludefish?
posted by JABof72 at 11:13 AM on January 30, 2008

Thoughtless: ever had Balut?
posted by spec80 at 2:59 PM on January 30, 2008

Oh my gosh. Nearly forgot:

Ever had Faseekh or Melouha:
a semi-putrid form of salted and dried Grey Mullet
Emphasis on the putrid.

I actually liked it in small quantities. In large quantities it made me wonder who it was actually a food.
posted by Deathalicious at 8:29 PM on January 30, 2008

Response by poster: I'm surprised that what I thought I heard didn't ring a bell for anyone else. Oh well, maybe I dreamt it.

The one-upmanship that seems to have taken over this thread reminds me of a challenge between Gordon Ramsay and James May involving snake whiskey, bull penis and hakarl. I've had one of them, but I don't know if I particularly liked it.

The incompatible food triad made an appearance on today.
posted by billtron at 9:11 PM on January 30, 2008

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