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I am quite a pernickety eater, if something doesn't look right or smell right then there's no way I'm eating it. Many of my dislikes come from either my Mum trying to do best and getting me to eat certain foods 'because they're good for you' (which just made me dislike them even more!), or from primary school dinners. Granted, my dislikes are pretty tame compared to some of the foods I've seen other people list, but to me, they are still my idea of the worst meal I could ever eat.
In no particular order, here we go.
Number 1. Pork. Not for religious reasons - I simply cannot stand the stuff. Pre-packed ham that's been injected with brine leaving it un-naturally pink, shiny, wet and plastic looking is truly awful. If I'm in the work kitchen and someone comes in and makes a ham sandwich, I have to beat a hasty retreat. Bacon is a weird one as I love the smell of it raw and I can happily munch store bought bacon sandwiches as they get the bacon dead crispy - I can't do this and home cooked bacon sandwiches are to me, the worst snack food. Pork is a very lean meat which means that it can end up quite dry when roasted or grilled. I find it quite tasteless, plus, it's so dry it squeaks when you cut it (I was about 5 and my dad jokingly told me that it was the 'piggie squealing' which put me right off!).
Number2. Angel Delight. When I was a child growing up in the 80's, this was the easy desert of choice for many mums. I was such a picky eater that when my mum found something I liked, that was it, I'd get it served to me at least twice a week until I couldn't stand it anymore and my mum would stand there saying "but why don't you like it - you've eaten it for a month without any problems?". We must have gone through the whole gamut of Angel Delight flavours but the worst ones stick in my mind, those being Apricot (it tasted furry) and Butterscotch (too sweet).
Number 3. Jelly
& evaporated milk whisk. This is one you may not have heard of and I blame Blue Peter for this concoction. You remember how they would do recipes about once a week? my Mum always used to watch this part of the programme thinking that if the recipe was sent in by another Mum it must therefore be good. This one was packet jelly made up in the normal way and poured into a bowl to set. When it was about three quarters set, open a tin of evaporated milk and whisk it like a demon. Gently stir this into the setting jelly - you can either stir in fully or partially so it ends up marbled. You end up with a set milky foamy jelly. At first this was quite nice, but when it's served every other day and you reach Orange Jelly flavour, my stomach rebelled. Even typing this brings back memories of being on a caravan holiday and my Mum making a massive bowl of the stuff and me realising I was trapped and had to eat it as in a caravan, there is no-where to hide!
Number 4. Tinned fish. I can handle tinned tuna and tinned flaked salmon (at a push), but the idea of those tins of mini fish covered in tomato sauce is just too much. Unfortunately for me, the Boyf AND my mum both love them so for me there is no escaping that fishy saucy odour. The tins they come in are a nightmare too, as there's no way you can open them without the lid pinging fishy ketchup over you / the kitchen worktop. I cannot go into further detail as I can already picture those tiny silver fish bodies covered in ketchup.
Number 5. Brussels sprouts. This is one that is going to be on everyone's list. My reasons for hating them are that my Mum (again!) always insisted on putting 4 of them with my dinner each Sunday. They smelt awful so of course I'd leave them and then try the "can't eat them - I'm full up" routine only to be told that they're good for you so eat them. By then they'd be freezing cold and my Mum would sit and watch me struggle to eat these green balls of satan and I'd be fighting back the urge to be sick at the horrid indescribable bitterness. She eventually realised one day when I ate one and projectile vomited over the kitchen table that I REALLY didn't like them and recently apologised to me for being so awful (bless her).
Number 6. Carrots. I love carrots - raw. Tinned carrots being heated through give off the vilest sickly sweet smell that catches in my throat and sets the stomach a heaving. Another one my mum always insisted I eat as I would be able to see in the dark. My protestations that I could just turn the light on fell on deaf ears.
Number 7. Snails. Now, of course my Mum never cooked me these, although growing up in the East End she probably could have got hold of some if a friend told her they were good for you! I remember as a child running bare foot through the garden after a rain fall the previous day and crunching on one of these - the sight of the crushed shell and the twangy gunge between my toes is just one of those memories I really don't want so there's no way I'm ever going to try them sautéed with a little butter and garlic thank you very much. Who on earth thought these things could be nice (and did they try slugs first I wonder?).
Number 8. Liver. I went to a primary school and they did that 'fish on a Friday' thing which was fine as it came with chips (the staple diet of all 7yr olds!), but they also did liver and bacon once a week too. The food was cooked in the kitchens in huge metal trays and regardless of size and thickness of the individual portion of liver; it was cooked for the same length of time as all the others meaning that the whole school stank of the stuff by 11am and everyone (even some teachers) had a sinking feeling in their stomach of what was to come. As a result of being cooked for 3 hours, by the time it was served the liver was curled up, dry, tough shoe leather which sucked all the saliva out of your mouth. Even the gravy couldn't make this any better as when the liver cooked, blood came out which then cooked into those wobbly jelly lumps which you couldn't pick out. Considering 99% of the children hated this and the majority of it went into the bin, I'm surprised they bothered cooking it. I can still remember one child absolutely bawling her eyes out as her Mum hadn't thought to include liver & bacon on the list of foods she couldn't eat (if it was on the list kept with your records, you were safe!!), and three teachers and a dinner lady were cajoling her into eating the stuff but to no avail.
Number 9. Blamanche. Another school dinner 'delight' which many children loved. To me, the sight of semi-set gloopy neon-pink strawberry flavoured slop turned my stomach and its weird cold lumpy texture turned my stomach. Needless to say I got my Mum to add this to the list of foods I could not eat pretty quick!
Number 10. Bananas. I have a love hate relationship with bananas. When I was little, I was handed a peeled yellow banana by my Gran and I bit into it, it was hard and crunchy and I must have thrown a hissy fit as my Gran phoned my Mum who told her I will only eat bananas when the skin has gone really brown (when most people throw them away). I know that when this happens, the banana inside isn't as good for you as it's whole composition has changed and it's now mainly sugar, but to me, this is the way I've always eaten them and will never change. I absolutely hate it if I'm in a confined space and someone peels a banana as the sharp smell makes me feel quite ill.
As I said, all 'basic' stuff that we probably all grew up eating (with the exception being snails!). The Boyf says that as we grow older, our taste buds change, things that we loved we now hate and vice versa. I daresay that is true but there's no way I'm sitting down to liver and bacon, Brussels sprouts and carrots, finished off with a nice portion of apricot Angel Delight to see if he's right!