My 10 Least Favorite Foods
About eight years ago, I embarked on my journey as a vegetarian. It started off gradually, with only avoiding red meat initially, and I steadily restricted my diet more and more until arriving where I am now: a strict vegetarian (no meat of any kind) who eats vegan about 90% of the time. So, it would be easy for me to fill up this top ten list with ten different meat dishes and call it a day - but what’s the challenge in that? To keep things truly interesting, I will allow only one carnivorous item to grace this list, and that would be:
1. Spaghetti Meat Sauce (With Hamburger). I realized I was pregnant with my second child the night my spaghetti with meat sauce made me hurl. Until that point, it was probably my favorite thing to cook, and eat. That night though, the meat in the sauce literally made me sick. Of course, it was only the hormones causing me to have such a violent physical reaction, but what that experience did to my psyche was irreversible. Throughout my pregnancy, meat of any kind made me so violently ill that this alone was what made me decide to go ahead and eschew red meat altogether. It was the auspicious start of my vegetarian journey. ;-)
2. Bananas. Oh, how I wish I liked bananas. They are so convenient: A fruit that comes in its own to-go package! Full of potassium and low in calories they can be a perfect addition to most any meal. I just can’t stomach them. I think it’s the softness and sweetness of a banana that is so off-putting to me. But then again, maybe not, because I also can’t stand banana chips, banana candy, any smoothie that uses bananas, banana bread, banana pudding… you get the idea. I even hate plantains.
3. Penn Station Artichoke Sub. I used to go to Penn Station all the time for this Artichoke Sub. I’m telling you - easily once a week, if not twice. That sub was so hearty and greasy and cheesy and, well… sinful. Paired with their fresh cut fries and I was in junk food heaven. Until that fateful night, about four months ago, when someone decided to make me an Artichoke Chicken Sub instead (I guess they thought they were hooking me up?). I consumed enough of it to actually, literally make me sick before realizing what had happened. Needless to say, since then I have not purchased another Artichoke Sub, and I always open all my sandwiches now, from anywhere, before biting into them. Penn Station lost a faithful customer with that mistake.
4. Fruit Cake. I love fruit. And I love cake. Together? Not so much. It’s something about big chunks of dried fruit suspended in semi-moist cake (with no icing, mind you) that just doesn’t feel right to me. Or taste right either.
5. Canned Vegetables. Because canned vegetables seem like the dull, boring, distant relatives to their fresh counterparts.
6. Radishes. Since I’ve gone veg, there aren’t many vegetables I don’t like (even the ones I used to hate before, like peas and carrots). But radishes are still just too bitter - and too purple! - for me to be able to enjoy them.
7. Eggs. And not because they are baby chickens. Eggs just gross me out. They always have, and I suspect they always will. However, I am not at all opposed to eating anything that has eggs as an ingredient. After all, my life would be incomplete without triple-fudge brownies.
8. Milk. Even as a child, I hated cow milk. It was just something about the smell and consistency that was revolting to me. One of the best things about going veg was my choice to also reduce dairy consumption and switch to soy or almond milk. Not only do those options simply taste better to me, I feel that I am making a healthier choice as well.
9. Oatmeal. I think my aversion to oatmeal started as a child - that time I was staying with my aunt and she made me a bowl of plain oatmeal (no butter, sugar, syrup, cinnamon - nothing!) topped with a splatter of milk (See #8 above). And then it got cold. I probably don’t even need to say anything more about that. Even now, when I have to, I can eat the really good varieties that have lots of brown sugar, nuts and fruit chunks mixed in - but oatmeal will never be my first choice for breakfast.
10. Boca Burgers. So maybe this one is a little unfair, but Boca Burgers are just too close to the real deal, both in flavor and texture. In my opinion, a Boca Burger tastes exactly like the hamburger patty it is trying to imitate - which for me is not a good thing.
My taste buds have altered so much in the eight years I have been a vegetarian, but it is interesting to me as I look over this list to realize that 7 of the 10 items on here have nothing to do with my dietary restrictions, and they would have made the list no matter what. I guess that old cliche is true: some things never change.
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