Some foods are an acquired taste, and people may grow to like them later in life. But oh, the betrayal of finding out you missed a lot of delicious food because it was done wrong the first time you ate it. See if this list inspires you to give something a second try, and let us know the foods you think deserve a second chance.
Overcooked chicken has a texture and flavor similar to cheap leather. For some, a piece of fried chicken was the first hint chicken could be juicy and tender. Adjusting heat and cooking time is unbreaded chicken’s salvation.
People who slather their steak with A-1 make most beef eaters cringe. Generally, using the sauce was an effort to choke down an unseasoned, dry steak. Rubbed or marinated before proper cooking makes a delicious steak that stands alone.
Spear to the Tastebuds
Asparagus spears seem to top the list of foods that are truly delightful IF you get them properly prepared. Kids who grew up with the soggy, smooshy, slightly slimy version of overcooked or canned asparagus likely still swear off the veggie. This is sad because properly steamed or roasted with a bit of kosher salt and a couple of spritzes of olive oil makes them irresistible!
Made from ground corn, grits prepared poorly are tasteless and either watery or the consistency of spackle. In the right southern hands, grits become a favorite side dish. Sugar, butter, and cream make a nice sweet dish. Adding butter, cheddar cheese, and salt makes a savory version.
It’s What’s on the Inside That Counts
A couple of food items should come with instructions, or you’ll swear them off forever. Edamame eaten in the shell is a terrible experience. It’s nice if a friend clues you in on how to get the yummy beans out and put the shells on the throwaway pile. Similarly, biting into tamales that are still wrapped in a corn husk or banana leaf is a taste and texture disaster.
When boiled to a mushy mess, Brussels sprouts are nasty. People who bravely push past the first try find sliced, spiced, and roasted Brussels are delicious.
It would seem an entire generation turned their backs on veggies or fish they were cooked by steaming. Steaming cuts down on the amount of fat in a dish, but without proper prep and seasoning, it also turns out truly tasteless food. Once you get it right, you may be thrilled by how healthy AND delicious steamed dishes can be. Fish sprinkled with some pink Himalayan salt, fresh cracked black pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice is a game changer if you’ve only had it steamed solo before.
And steamed veggies, we’ve just been missing a step! Talented cooks will tell you to steam the veggies, and when they’re you’re desired level of doneness, give them an ice water dip, then finish by reheating and adding some herbs and spices.
It’s a weird color and texture, basically tasteless… unless you’ve had it done right! Well-drained tofu effortlessly takes on the delicious flavors of whatever spices and sauces cover the soy-based protein during cooking.
Focus on Fries
Around the same time steaming came on the scene, we were being told all fats are bad all the time (of course they’re not). But it led to a lot of oven-baked recipes that were kitchen disasters. Oven-fried french fries not properly prepared tend to be soggy and limp. Bumping up the temperature and cooking time can easily solve the problem. Or using the much-beloved air fryer.
The people of Belgium (world famous for their “frites”) will tell you if they’re not double fried, they’re not done.
The inexpensive roast can be a juicy show-stopper. But If you grew up eating pot roast that was dry, tough, and required ketchup to swallow, you can be forgiven for thinking you hate it.
Like so many other foods on this list, calamari (squid) is on a lot of “I hate it” lists because improper cooking turns it rubbery. Along with octopus, squid can be grilled to tender, juicy perfection in the hands of a European or Asian cook.
Some people like pickled beets. Not many. And if that was your childhood introduction to beets, you probably were not a fan. But prepared fresh and sauteed in butter and salt, then served warm makes a believer out of former beet haters.
So what if it’s not the way mom used to make it? Maybe that’s the whole point (sorry mom!) What foods would you love to love if you could find the right recipe?
This thread inspired this post
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