Taste is weird

Over on another thread, I suggested that there is literally no arguing in matters of taste, because the taste experience can vary so widely between different people.

Unlike vision, there is no widely-available standardized testing for taste buds. Yet people insist on being food snobs and policing other people’s food and drink and flavour likes and dislikes.

There is ample everyday evidence that one person’s taste delight is another person’s disgusting no-go zone.

Cilantro is the best-known example. To me, it doesn’t taste like much, but two family members are adamant that their food be uncontaminated by it.

I once went to an olive oil shop, the kind that lets you taste a dozen different kinds before you buy. My husband liked most of them, and was in raptures about a particular type. When I tasted it, it was quite bitter! This was extra weird because normally my husband is picky about food and I am much more tolerant.

People who eat spicy food grow more and more tolerant of the heat— another example of our own bodies changing the response to the same stimulus.

Overcooked steak isn’t just tough to me, it actually tastes like liver (blech)! However, some people actually enjoy it like that. I wonder—did I learn to be over-sensitive to that liver taste, did they learn to like it, or do we just taste entirely different things when we eat the same piece of meat?

What examples have you seen of stuff that you dislike and most people like? Or vice versa? Is there some taste that you learned to like—or to hate?


Well not so much food but drink. People basically live by Dr.Pepper/Mountain Dew but I tried both and they’re so bad I needed Cola or Ice Cap to wash it down with! I still have to try Rootbeer but that’s the final drink expriment unless I want to try engery drinks like Red Bull or Monster (only two things I could think of since I already had Gateroade in the past a long time ago)

I used to dislike the taste : S’mores/Rice Kripsies square, Kimchi and olives before my 18th year but in my 18th year I started to like them.


I loathe coffee, and lots of people tell me i could like it if i just keep at it. Same with beer.

Why, though? Why spend loads of money training myself to like something that is expensive and/or not that good for me?

There are things i like that people loathe, like broccoli and brussel sprouts.

Oh, and cold Ready Brek


I like broclli but I’m a bit “eh” on brusell sprouts. I’m a bit eh on beets as well but I can eat them

(and no, I didn’t mean to do a Canadian impression even with me being Canadian with the eh it just happened)


Stephen, I don’t know what Ready Brek is (I’ll have to Google it later lol), but I’m with you on everything else: I don’t like coffee or beer, and I love broccoli and Brussels sprouts!

I can slowly sip on wine if it is a sweet wine, but can’t stand dry or semi-dry wines. I do like an occasional Amaretto Sour or other fruity mixed drink, but not enough to have them more than once or twice a year. On the other hand, I love UNsweetened iced tea, which seems to make most people look at me funny, especially when I say, “no, I don’t need any sugar or sweetener, thank you.”

Cilantro tastes fine to me (not soapy), but I don’t like liver (of any kind). However, the liver dislike might be more because of the texture and knowing its function in the body. lol It’s been probably 40 years since I tried it, but since I like so many other foods, I don’t see the point of trying it again now. I’ll just leave my share for someone else who wants it. :grin:


Ready Brek is powdered oatmeal. To me, it’s lazy porridge. Which I don’t logically understand as porridge is lazy anyway…


I tried alchol a couple of times a child but I ended up spitting it out both times.


I dislike a bunch of “normal” things, so people think I’m a picky eater. To me olives, fish, capers, mushrooms and spinach are absolutely inedible.

Since coffee has been mentioned - I like it. I like it a lot. But I think it’s awful with sugar


I can’t stand dried coconut. The texture is horrible.

I also never used to like olives, but now I love them!


Tomato is the one that tends to get most people. I just can’t stand either the taste or texture of them at all. And, yes, this includes the red sauce used on pizzas. Olive oil and alfredo-based pizzas are far superior, sorry, I don’t make the rules :laughing:

I also can’t stand most of the more popular sodas, onions (unless they’re chopped small and fully cooked down so I can’t feel them), mushrooms, and probably some other common things I’m forgetting.

And, being from New Orleans, I’ve met so many people who can’t seem to wrap their heads around the fact that I hate shrimp in any form despite loving crawfish… Same thing with tea, some people here cannot comprehend a southerner who doesn’t like sweet tea and yet, here I am!


I’ll have your tomatoes, onions and mushrooms - I love them!

Another thing that people hate but I love is gherkins, but I have to make sure they’re safe - I’m intolerant to sodium metabisulphate (preservative).


For me it’s usually more about the smell of something that stops me before taste. Seafood, coconut, anything with chili or spices. I love the smell of coffee, it’s a meh thing for me. Tea, and I’ve tried a whole bunch of flavored stuff from David’s Tea, all tastes awfully bitter.

I don’t drink coffee, but I do drink lattes- the real deal, no powdered anything. I’m picky about my espresso, I abhor charbucks, am indifferent to McD’s, enjoy second cup, and really like a local roasters blend.


If I make coffee it has to be the good stuff. I absolutely despise instant coffee. I just have never found any that taste good.


Diet Coke tastes like bananas to me. I also tend to taste banana very strongly; if I have a smoothie with any banana in it, then that is the flavor of the smoothie. A strawberry smoothie with a cup of strawberries and half a banana is a banana smoothie, but pink.

Also, cheddar cheese on pizza smells like chocolate.


I love coffee. Drink coffee black and prefer dark roast.

But only if its hot. If anything has any coffee flavoring it and is room temp or colder it is gag inducing disgusting to me.


And you see I’m the opposite with my coffee! I mostly prefer blended drinks because there’s something really satisfying to me about the texture of the ice.
Honestly, though, I don’t really like hot drinks in general. I prefer my hot cocoa to be more along the lines of lukewarm cocoa :laughing:


I like salt and vinegar potato chips, dark chocolate (sans the Hershey’s stuff) and coffee with only creamer and no sugar. My mom can’t stand any of this. I also like iced coffee if it’s done well. She cannot stand coffee any cooler than the surface of the sun.

Conversely, she likes stuffed peppers and putting tomatoes in plain macaroni. I can’t stand either.


Foods that have moved out of the “hate” column for me include coffee (but it has to have a lot of milk and sugar, and some beans taste better than others) and raw tomatoes and cucumbers (hated them as a kid, like them now). I learned to drink my tea weak but black, because that way I could drink it at work after it had gone some cold. That’s still the way I drink it now, although I sometimes make chai tea with milk and sugar.


I can’t stand tomatoes in pretty much any form (can tolerate on pizza if there is enough cheese to overpower the taste, but only just). I also really can’t stand the smell of bacon and sausage (have never actually eaten them so can’t say anything about the taste). Other than that I pretty much like everything, including common foods people dislike like mushrooms, oysters, brussel sprouts, etc.

I also very much like the taste of a lot of alcoholic drinks (like whiskey), and pretty much all of the drinking I do is more about enjoying the drink then getting drunk.


I love the taste of tomatoes but I hate their texture. Aniseed is my big flavour dislike, I can’t stand it in anything.