Gag Reflex

This article sparked my interest simply because I have a personal “worst dish” (one I will never eat, under any circumstances):

Irish Stew

Seriously, just looking at the pic makes me gag.

It’s a strange thing because lamb is one of my favorite meats of all — if roasted or barbecued — but I think it’s the lamb fat released in the cooking of the stew which revolts me — after eating it, one’s mouth and teeth are coated in a furry slime which

Ugh, I can’t write anymore or I’ll puke.

So, Gentle Readers:  what’s your  won’t-eat-at-any-cost dish?


  1. Can’t / won’t eat dishes . . . I have several

    Japanese salmon roe. Makes me want to projectile heave every time. Blech.
    Same w/ the seaweed wrap used to make maki-rolls. Ick.
    Raw oysters. It’s a texture thing. See salmon roe. Ironically, raw clams . . love ’em !!!
    Oily fish like bluefish, sardines, mackeral, anchovy fillet, etc.
    – I do use a bit of anchovy paste when making lemon/oil salad dressings. I don’t understand either.
    Ketchup on a hot-dog. Heresy, pure & simple.
    – here in greater Chicago, we *KNOW* how to properly dress our ‘dogs !!!
    Any of the “Beyond Meat / Impossible patties” plant-based bovine excrement preparations. (/shudders)
    Once, in Spain, had pan-seared veal brain. NEVER again. NEVER.
    Liver & onions, grilled chicken livers, deli-style chopped liver, etc. Yuck.
    – However, Foie Gras, oh, baby, COME TO PAPA !!!!

  2. Liver. Or any internal organs. My mother used to make liver and onions weekly and none of us kids could stand it but her and my dad skarfed it down like they were depression era people – they were. We could smell that shit cooking on the stove half a block down the street coming home from school (5 o’clock suppers) and that set the tone for the rest of the day. The flavor, the dense consistency, all the veins. Jeez, I’m getting the dry heaves just writing about it. It’s been almost 50 years since I ate that shit and I still don’t like thinking about it.

    1. Liver mush! Our dad loved it, so mom would make it, the kids had to eat it or go hungry. Take a liver, boil it to death, then mince it up and mix it with corn meal mush. Spread it on a baking sheet and let it set up, then slice it thin and fry it like bacon. Ewwww. I read once that when Ben Franklin was a kid, his family was so poor that all they had to eat was liver mush. He remarked at supper one night that the liver mush looked a bit thin, his father beat the tar out of him. Ben ran away from home, and never ate liver mush again.

  3. I wish I knew the name…it was a kind of sausage, served in a restaurant in France, in a small town on or near UTAH beach.

    I was a young Army officer, stationed in Germany. Myself and two other LTs went for a Memorial Day holiday weekend visit to the invasion beaches. None of us spoke French, so we each ordered something different off the menu.
    I ended up with this sausage. I took my first bite, and it was horrible. I managed to choke it down, with my buddies giving me a ration of crap, that it couldn’t be that bad. Until they each tried a piece, and neither could manage to swallow it.
    This restaurant had a dog, as many in Europe do, so I snuck the remainder of the sausage onto the floor for the critter. He took one sniff and ran away.

    So, yeah. French sausage so bad even a dog won’t eat it.

    1. Kilo: that s__ is called andouilette if I remember right. Smells and tastes like the floor of an overcrowded dairy barn. It is weird because in general French food (even most of their sausage) is uniformly delicious, but that stuff literally smells and tastes like merde. I ordered it once by accident just hearing it was ‘french country sausage’.
      Not a mistake one repeats.

  4. In descending order of vileness:
    1. Lutefisk,
    2. Durian,
    3. Tripe, and
    4. Escargot.

    There are many ethnic food abominations like monkey brains, blood soup, and raw dog meat that could be added to the list, but I am convinced that most of these concoctions are pranks by indigines to make Westerners turn green and puke for their amusement.

  5. Aside from things like bugs, I can’t think of much. I didn’t like liver as a kid, but have considered trying it again just to see. I tried scrapple (all the parts of the pig not good enough to put in sausage) for the first time a couple weeks ago, wasn’t crazy about it, the texture is weird, but I ate it. Never tried lutefisk, but I probably would if I were someplace it was being served.

    There are a few things I don’t LIKE and try to avoid, lima beans and coconut come to mind. Don’t care for peas but if they’re in a dish (like stew) I eat them.

    A lot has to do with preparation. I was an adult before I encountered any vegetable that had some actual TEXTURE, Mom tended to boil veggies until you could literally mash them into a paste with a fork. You mean broccoli can actually CRUNCH when you bite into it?

  6. Balut
    Hákarl (Icelandic fermented shark)
    Casu marzu

    Seeing a pattern?

    Also, raw oysters.

    1. I’d have to agree with your choices, even though I’ve never tasted any of the first four. Just the thought of it.

      Raw oysters used to be a rare treat, but after a 72+ hour bout of “vibrio” from cooked crab that damn near killed me, I won’t risk it again. Cheers for gallons of diluted gatorade.

      Near starvation could change my mind, however.

  7. Head Cheese.
    Plain fried Egg Plant. It can be mitigated somewhat by combining (some of) it with ground beef in a dish like Italian meatballs.

  8. What a lot of fussy eaters! it’s been reported in the papers here of a 17yo boy who has gone permanently blind and deaf from fussily only wanting to eat sausages and crisps!
    If I get hungry enough, (not so much these days), I’ll eat any damn thing

  9. Lots of things I have eaten in the past I probably don’t need to eat any more however with a few icy cold martini’s lots of stuff like Rocky Mountain Oysters, Escargot, Rattlesnake, Frog Legs, Alligator, calf brains – heart – liver & lungs, and few few others, nevermore.

    Oysters on the 1/2 shell, grilled lamb chops, clam bakes, octopus and stuff like that I still like from time to time.

    Never could make myself try Balut, those little chicken eyeballs are too creepy looking.

  10. I lived and worked all over this particular planet.
    I prefer food carts to restaurants.
    I seem to believe they are a way to toughen-up my immune system.

    So, I probably ate pretty much everything on the ‘no way’ list.

    Lately, I avoid smoked oysters because
    1) they are farmed, and
    2) they come canned in cottonseed oil… cotton is the most sprayed crop on this planet.

    I avoid dairy. After I weaned, I see no need for dairy in my diet.

    I avoid grains. Just now, the thought of bread or oats gurgled my stomach.

    As for Irish lamb stew, the satisfying ‘fuzzy teeth’ is a reminder of an hour well-spent.

    But, real live sauerkraut! By the fork-full!

    I got food poisoning twice, both from established popular restaurants in Frisco, California.
    Another reason to avoid California?

  11. What Bluey M said about locals playing with foreigners – I think the Japanese and Chinese version of the redneck “Here, hold my beer and watch this!” is to see who can eat the strangest stuff.
    At one Japanese restaurant, my local business contacts ordered me fried fish backbone (ribs attached) garnished with cast off locust shells (salty and crunchy, otherwise – meh), and followed that with squid eyeballs in raw quail egg. The latter raised my gorge.
    For ‘normal’ foods, my hate list is
    and the King of Repugnance and Gagging – Brussels sprouts.
    I have to turn on the exhaust fan and leave the house when my wife cooks those damned sprouts; just the smell gives me a headache and since childhood, one those vile things in the mouth WILL make me vomit if I don’t spit it out.

  12. Bologna. No excuse for it, I’m fine with hot dogs. It’s a texture thing. I can choke down a lot of things I don’t care for, but I can’t get bologna down.

    Love Irish stew. I’m down the oysters, and pate, and all the other stuff here. Don’t care much for liver but I don’t have a problem getting it down.

    Bologna on the other hand, there is some kind of mental block.

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