Friday 24 August 2012


Everyone has one. At least one. One particular item of food (or drink) that can't be faced and who's taste turns the stomach. I have a friend who gags at the mere thought of carrots - which baffles me. I think of carrots as being crunchy orange water, innocuous enough and a good addition to a salad. He, however, will sit and pull every grated morsel from a meal before continuing - or better still leave the meal altogether, as he claims that he can taste the carrot residue. He is equally bemused by my nemesis.

The bane of my life is the humble mushroom - or the devil's shite, as I like to call it. Just typing the word 'mushroom' makes me feel uneasy, the smell makes me nauseous and if I ever unknowingly put a piece in my mouth...well, you can imagine the results. This unfortunate set of circumstances wouldn't be so bad were I not a vegetarian - not so difficult now perhaps, but when eating out at the dawn of the 1990s, the veggie option (if indeed there was one at all) would invariably consist of a big pile of 'em, in one form or another. Even now though, when dining in an unadventurous pub, I'll find I have a choice of mushroom stroganoff or veggie chili, the latter sounding great, until I discover that it, too, is loaded with the ghastly fungus.

On my gastronomic journey through life thus far, I've managed to overcome a handful of similar, though not quite as extreme, food hurdles, not least of which is the tomato, one of which I was literally forced to eat, despite my tears, by an unpleasant teacher whilst on a school trip when I was five years old. Looking back, I honestly believe that single event had a profound effect on me and it's only in the past ten years or so that I've been able to ween myself onto tomatoes, in any kind of solid form. I always knew I'd eat them one day though, I just had to keep working at it. Not so the mushroom. I know for certain that I'll never have a deep, fulfilling relationship with a shiitake or button or portobello......

Excuse me, I'm feeling a little unwell.

(These ramblings were inspired by this terrific post)


Old Pa's Corner said...

Have you tried 'magic mushrooms' and turn the music up!
Seriously I don't have any real dislikes, just like or dislike some things more or less than others.
A nice big thick Argentinian steak medium rare...mmmmmmh!

The Swede said...

OPC - needless to say, there was never any danger of me getting into magic mushrooms, however good they might have made music sound!

As for steak...I feel queasy just thinking about it!

C said...

Ha ha! So I can't tempt you to my broccoli, letuce AND mushroom surprise, then?
It is funny though how some seemingly innocuous foods just have that effect. I must say I do love mushrooms, but I can sort of understand how one might not, because they are fungus after all...
I have a problem with raw celery - although I like it cooked or souped, weird that.
Btw, I had completely forgotten Tones On Tail and was stunned at hearing that again after so long and how familiar it was, what a memory-jogger!

(And a big thank you too...)

Anonymous said...

Don't mind the taste of mushroom (what little taste they do have) but I'll admit the rubbery texture is hardly a delight. I'm also a vegetarian of long standing and empathize completely regarding the problems of eating out in unimaginative places (i.e. most pubs). I can't stand cucumber myself. Just don't see the point of it.

The Swede said...

C - Raw celery? Lovely! Essentially crunchy water again, but I like it's fresh taste. Glad you enjoyed the tune. I never got into Bauhaus or Love & Rockets, but have always enjoyed Tones on Tail. Definitely a touch of Syd era Floyd about 'Slender Fungus' don't you think?

SB - To use current teen shorthand...OMG!!! Mushrooms have an overwhelming taste, not to mention the rancid stench! (Did I mention I don't like mushrooms?)
I know where you're coming from with cucumber though. I'm ok with it. If it's there I'll eat it, but if it isn't I don't miss it.

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