There they are, my food hates. I feel really exposed right now.
It's taboo to admit to not liking certain flavours in the food world. In fact, on the first day of class, the food writing teacher told us we weren't allowed to have any dislikes if we were going to write about food. There was silence in the room. It hadn't occurred to any of us that writing about food would require us to eat the foods we detest. I have a strong aversion to coconut. It would be so much better if my hate had more group conformity, but I seem to be one of very few people who don't like it.
My worst food hate secret?
I used to hate beer...I can hardly imagine it but I was in my late twenties before I developed a taste for beer.
Repeated exposure. The more you taste a food you dislike, the less you hate it and sometimes you'll even grow to love it, as I did with the refreshing and bitter deliciousness of a great beer.
I have tried to use the same approach with other foods and flavours that I dislike, in order to eradicate the quivering, stomach churning revulsion. This also works if you had an evening of over indulgence and the scent memory related to gin or tequila or whatever you had too much of, now brings back a flood of horrifying memories. It's just your brain trying to protect you. Taste a small amount again a few times and you should eventually be relieved (there was a solid decade where I couldn't drink orange juice). You can read more about the studies behind this and other fun facts about food aversions here.
Of course, aversions are not the same as allergies, please be a considerate restaurant patron, for the establishment as well as the sake of diners with very real allergies. Aversion = Ew, gross. Allergy = Hospital, dying. It's a very important distinction.
I tried several different coconut products, but in the end I went with the Coconut Dream. It's hardly my ideal choice, the ingredient list isn't stellar but it's the only one that worked in the drink. I'm happy to have a reason to do something other than farm fresh, but this was another tough draw (MxMo pineapple was difficult too). The whole coconut just didn't have any flavour, the cream had the least added ingredients but was difficult to work with and the can and box were about the same, so I went with box for convenience and texture. I appreciate a good challenge and this falls in line with my other work for packaged foods companies. I have to help them showcase their products, my personal tastes are not relevant.
|I'm so Canadian, I didn't even notice it was facing French. Little known fact about English speaking Canadians, we all have certain products for which we use the french name because of the dual labeling.|
All that said, this coconut themed MxMo was a tough challenge for me.
I did what people have been doing forever to choke down a food they dislike, I covered it with flavours I do like. In this case a strong flavour match exists between coconut and ginger, a flavour I love. Both of those ingredients have an affinity for lime, which I love. And, lime and ginger match with gin, which I also love. So, how bad could this coconut experiment be?
|I've had my torch out again.|
1 1/2 oz gin
1 1/2 oz Coconut Dream (unsweetened)
1 oz ginger syrup*
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
2-3 drops Angostura bitters
candied ginger and lime zest for garnish
In a shaker add all ingredients, fill 3/4 with ice. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Double strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with fresh lime zest and candied ginger.
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c water
3 inches fresh ginger, sliced
pinch black pepper, fresh cracked
In a heavy bottom sauce pan over medium heat bring sugar and water to the boil, add ginger, salt and pepper. Reduce heat simmer gently for 15 mins. Remove from heat, cool and fine strain. Store in fridge for up to one week.
I have repeatedly exposed myself to coconut and I'm over the shivers but I still don't love it. I can handle it in curries and I won't die if it's in a dessert, although I still don't understand it on a spiritual/emotional level. This drink scored surprisingly high with me, I'd maybe even order one...but probably not.
What are your food hates? Any alcohol you haven't been able to drink? Hated a food and now you love it? Tell me about it in the comments.
As always, a big thank you to MxMo. I appreciate the opportunity to get out of my comfort zone. Rated R Cocktails came up with this one. I love Tiki and I love their site.
Here's the round up post. Check out what everyone did. I'm so glad to see other people who also don't love coconut & how they approached. It really turned out great.