My Irrational Food Aversion Makes Me Feel Like A Big Baby

mushroomI’m not sure when I developed a strong aversion to mushrooms but it’s been with me a long time. I truly wish I could eat them like a normal person because they’re a whimsical, cute and apparently beloved fungus. But I can’t–I just can’t, not for lack of trying. Believe me, I have tried. One time I ate an entire Portobello burger at a barbecue. I was impressed with myself as if eating a fancy mushroom smothered in cheese is a feat of bravery. I wasn’t being brave so much as I was avoiding the shame of calling attention to myself by saying “No thank you, my fine host, the mere thought of putting that in my mouth makes me want to run away.” Most of the time, I’m not so courageous about mushrooms. Usually, I’m downright fussy.

It’s genuinely embarrassing as a grown woman to try explaining why you stopped eating your meal: you unwittingly took a bite of something containing mushrooms and now you’re convinced that the whole plate is contaminated. Yes, it’s irrational. No, I can’t eat around them, I don’t want to pick them out and I can tell they’re in there no matter how thinly they’re sliced. I’m like a truffling pig, but instead of fancy truffles, it’s any mushroom.

When you’re repulsed by any specific kind of food, you can’t really expect anyone to understand. Pickiness is difficult to explain and people hate hearing that you don’t like something they love to eat. Some even try to make you like it or convince you that you are wrong. Even people who share my dislike for mushrooms probably think my reasoning is bizarre, at best. At this point, I mostly don’t like mushrooms just because I just don’t, but if wheedled into explaining, I could tell you why they repulse me so: that bandaid-like texture and those creepy little ruffles on the underside of their caps. Maybe you know what I mean.

Some of my coworkers shared their irrational food aversions with me and I no longer feel like such a baby-freak for having such highly specific hatred. Here’s all the weird food they won’t touch:

“I will not eat peas. They make me really anxious, and I have no idea why. I also don’t eat fish because of my irrational fear of fish. I don’t care if they’re dead or cooked or sushified. Fish literally terrify me, and I just can’t.” -Caitlin

“This isn’t that weird, but here goes: I love tomato soup and could probably eat it every day, but I’ve hated tomatoes (any other way) my whole life. I have no idea why. I also cannot share any kind of milk product with anyone. Ever. When I see people do it I get so grossed out that I want to throw up.” -Jess

“I am pretty adventurous about food, but I really can’t get involved with nuts of any kind. Just the sight of an almond ruining a perfectly good brownie makes me really angry.” -Julia

“I have the same thing about mushrooms.

Also:
- Pickles make me gag to look at or smell
- I only like popcorn when it’s stale
- Coleslaw looks like jizzy salad
- Olives repulse me
- The phrase “puffed wheat” makes me feel like I’m going to throw up
- I have never eaten pecan pie because it looks like cockroaches crawling in sticky vomit” -Sam
“I’m perfectly fine eating many other things that grow under the ground like beets and carrots and whatnot, but potatoes always taste like dirt to me. In any and every form except for mashed potatoes, for some reason. (I suspect butter, garlic, and cream as the culprits.) I think it might have to do with the skin, but I have no idea. I also don’t understand the point of watermelons. Vaguely-flavored water that you have to bite out of an inconvenient rind and chew up? I’m all set.” -Alexis
“Okay, here I go: I don’t understand how people can stand the taste of mint chocolate. Not just stand, but revel in it. I like mint. I like chocolate. But together they form the most dark sided combination since baconnaise. Thin mints? Hate. Andes Mints? Hate. York Peppermint Patty? Hate. Mint chocolate ice cream? Hate so much that the very sight of it makes me want to heave. How can anybody eat an entire helping of such an overwhelming flavor of awful?
I just don’t get it.” -Ashley

“Pickles make me vomit. Literally. Someone in fifth grade thought I was making it up and threw one into my mouth. I proceeded to vomit, as promised. I make up a lot of things, but not when it comes to foods I hate. Everyone else in my family loves them and I grew up in a household that always had a jar in the fridge. But for as long as I can remember, I’ve found them foul. And yes, before you ask I like vinegar AND cucumbers. I cannot explain my disgust.” -Jenni

Do you have an irrational revulsion certain foods? Let your baby-freak flag fly.

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    • Elizabeth

      I totally understand the mushroom thing! But I’m slowly getting over it, because I love the flavour — I just can’t deal with the texture.

      I also have a thing about any kind of fish or seafood. I really don’t know why. I feel gross even eating something that has fish sauce in it.

    • CMJ

      I dislike both Olives and Mushrooms. They are the two foods I really just can’t eat. The worst part? I LOVE briney foods…love them and olives actually look so delicious (especially when stuffed with cheese and other glorious things). Every once in a while I try an olive just to make sure I still hate them…and the reaction is always the same – pure, unadulterated hate.

      And even though my mother calls me a “horrible Arab” because of my hate, I still cannot – and will not – eat them.

    • Mary

      Garlic and onions. The smell and odor make me gag.
      I also agree with the chocolate mint testimony. I don’t care for that flavor combination at all.

    • DeanaCal

      I will not eat them in a house
      I will not eat them with a mouse
      I will not eat them here or there
      I will not eat olives or mushrooms anywhere!
      Seriously I can’t stand the taste or texture of either one, although I do like olive oil. Also Walnuts. Nuts are supposed to be crunchy like peanuts. Walnuts are kind of…squishy…which tells my brain they are rotten. ugh!

    • Katie

      “bandaid-like texture”
      Well… there goes any possibility of me ever liking mushrooms. Ever.
      I actually DESCRIBE myself as a baby when I talk about food aversions. I say “Sorry… I don’t like most vegetables unless they’re pureed… like a baby.” Its totally a texture thing. Also figs. Not totally sure why but it probably has to do with the first time I ever bought them and stored them with some fresh cilantro and the flavor creeped in to the figs and made me spit it all out.

      And yes, I REALLY don’t understand pickle love. In Texas, they sell snowcones that are pickle-flavored. Also, you can just buy giant pickles in bags at gas stations.