mushrooms

I used to despise mushrooms. Avoided them at all costs for the first 30 years of my life. Now I love them. I seek them out. Order them, specifically. “Oh, that has sliced shiitakes on it? Well, yeah, let’s go with that one, thanks”.

I have a similar tale about asparagus.

It’s funny how we box ourselves in.

“I don’t eat mushrooms. I’m not a mushroom-eater.”

I need to remind myself that I spent 30 years avoiding something that I now enjoy.

41 Comments

  1. This has happened to me so many times in the past, I revisited music that I hated, films I didn’t like and food that disgusted me as a child, it’s like discovering something for the first time and you can’t get enough of it.
    Still can’t stand the taste of peas though.

  2. Stephen says:

    I’m still at the despise and avoid at all cost stage. (28 years in)

  3. tsmTom says:

    Yeah, I used to avoid that friendly fungus like the plague, but now I’m a big fan! Especially quartered and sauteed with garlic and a dry sherry.

  4. Same here except with artichokes. I cannot get enough of them now. For almost 35 years I could not stand them. My mom would eat them at dinner occasionally and I would try them and hate them with a passion. Married my wife several years ago who likes them and now I hope that my kids won’t eat them so I can eat theirs.
    And what’s the big reward for eating through all those leaves — the heart!! Yum…

  5. Phil Sherry says:

    I avoided onions, garlic, mushrooms, peppers… anything classed as “bits” when you’re a child. That lasted until I decided to become a vegetarian (almost 20 years ago, now). I thought “oh, uh, what the hell am I going to eat?” I basically had to decide to like all the stuff I’d avoided and picked out of my food for years. Since then, they’re the first things I throw in the pan when I cook.

  6. To keep things in perspective, remember that, like all senses, your sense of taste grows more dull as you age. So it’s not that the mushrooms are getting better, it’s just that your (sense of) taste is getting worse. :-)

  7. Josh Bryant says:

    OMG Confirmed! Dan is now ditching html+css in favor of FLASH!

  8. Mau says:

    True thing… Taste changes through life.
    This is especially true with the taste for edibles, and drinkables. I used to hate Scotch Whisky, now is my number one choice.

  9. Rick Curran says:

    I think a lot of it comes down to how things are cooked, or perhaps how they aren’t cooked! I hated many vegetables when I was younger but I found that a lot of it came down to how they were cooked, taken raw or just lightly steamed the experience of eating them was completely different.

  10. Mau says:

    And I guess Peter R. Wood just made me think that Scotch is actually the worst drink I’ve ever had.
    =)

  11. Rob L. says:

    Sorry to get away from the big picture on this one, but: find yourself a Korean restaurant that serves mushroom stew… they’ve got one that features about five kinds of mushrooms; it’s heaven. Ask for “beoseot cheongeol,” with all those “eo” combos pronounced as the schwa sound.

  12. Tjobbe says:

    ha! I’m the same in that I *always* hated asparagus – but never tried them until I went round a friends house and ate them out of politeness – now I love them.
    Anyone notice any, erm, side effects from eating asparagus?
    Oh, and i hate all seafood. But never tried any.

  13. Davide says:

    Try this recipe, is fantastic!!!

  14. Phil Norton says:

    Mushrooms are the devil’s testicles. Seriously!! I avoid them at all costs, and have done for 31 years now. Can’t ever imagine liking them!!

  15. Sketchee says:

    I love trying mushrooms and reaffirming my distaste. Part of trying new things is trying things we thought we didn’t like.

  16. Simon Jessey says:

    Sorry, dude. I cannot eat ‘shrooms. We’re talking about something that can grow between your toes, and that cannot be classified as an animal, vegetable or mineral. I wrote about my hatred of the squeaky, yucky things a couple of years ago.

  17. Same thing happened to me. Used to hate mushrooms and now I deliberately seek them out when ordering.

  18. Mike D. says:

    You’re a disgrace. Don’t come around here with that fungus of yours.

  19. Ryan Irelan says:

    As an undergraduate I had a very smart and crazy Philosophy professor who upon hearing someone describe themselves as “not a math person” retorted that “everyone is a math person, you just never tried hard enough.”
    Same thing goes for food.

  20. Shane says:

    I’m still not that keen on mushrooms – like a few foods, I can eat them when they’re cooked up and in something.
    My mother-in-law recently said that I had a strange habit in that I still don’t like tea or coffee… I have tried neither for about ten years, but I’m pretty sure my feelings for them haven’t changed since I drunk chai in India in 1998.

  21. Stefan says:

    Do you know big mushrooms filled with spinach and scalloped with feta? Absolutely delicious. ;-)

  22. This post makes me hungry… had crab-stuffed mushrooms the other night.. mmmm

  23. Sameer Vasta says:

    This is the greatest blog post I’ve read in weeks. Reminded me that I often box myself in to opinions and ideas…and I need to change that. Thank you for posting this.

  24. Andy Ford says:

    As a small child, I would meticulously pick each and every mushroom and olive off of my pizza at the expense of my pizza going cold (good training for ie6 proofing a site, methinks).
    What a little freak I was. Now I loves me some mushrooms an olives. Go figure. Congrats Dan, it’s a whole new world…

  25. Who knew you would be getting so many comments with the mere announcement of you now being fascinated with mushrooms, lol, you gotta love it. I personally enjoy them in pizza but not straight out of the can.

  26. Nick says:

    Who said anything about cans?

  27. Louis W says:

    Same for me. I hated them my whole life until about a year ago. Same with swiss cheese. Now i love love it.

  28. Marko Novak says:

    It’s the same with me and onions.
    The only thing I think I’ll never eat is garlic.

  29. Well I’m still only 17, and I hate the things. Nasty.

  30. Jason Robb says:

    That is neat, Dan. Glad to hear you’re trying new things. It is totally fascinating how much we change over time. Never stop changing. I say. =)

  31. David B says:

    I was never very picky as a child, but did have a few foods I couldn’t touch (let alone taste): Cabbage; raw onion; and preserved fish were the worst. Today the only thing I won’t eat are anchovies and oysters (Yuck!).
    I’ve even developed a taste for snake, alligator, kangaroo, ostrich and squirrel over the years (when I can find them). As Emile from Ratatouille says “You know, if you can sorta’ muscle your way past the gagging reflex, all kinds of food possibilities open up”.

  32. Jambe says:

    Neat! I have wild white morels growing on my property. I’ve consumed many of them (over 50) already. I’ve a photoset over at flickr that documents my mushroom hunting adventures. They’re right good dipped in buttermilk, rolled in flour and sauteed in butter. Definitely bad for the health, but mmm, who cares!
    My tastes are always changing. Some days the shrooms hit the spot and others they don’t seem appetizing at all. I will tell you, though, that eating a cheese and mushroom pizza is being about as close to taste bud bliss as I can imagine!

  33. Dorian says:

    I used to eat mushrooms when I was really young, and at about the age of six I decided I didn’t like them any more after looking at them too closely.
    Then like you, I suddenly started eating them again about 4-5 years ago (roughly 30 too!). I now love them and fry up button mushrooms all the time to put in my food!
    I eat a lot more kinds of fish and seafood as well now, which is a good thing as I don’t eat meat!

  34. Jason says:

    In France, there is a Mushroom Museum – Le musee du Champignon – http://www.musee-du-champignon.com. The guide takes his job very seriously. He threatened to kick someone off the tour who called the place where the mushrooms were growing “a cave” when it was really a man-made tunnel. Anyway, there are better tourist attractions in France for mushrooms – such as a four star restaurant.

  35. Isaiah says:

    Always say yes. Even when you think you’ll hate it. Even if you know you do actually hate it.
    Why?
    If other people are enjoying this stuff, then you probably can to. It’s just matter of learning how to enjoy it.
    There’s a lot of weird, ugly, and disturbing stuff out there that is just crazy crazy great. But your brain is endlessly trying to dupe you into not even trying it. Don’t let your brain fool you. You can learn to enjoy stuff that other people are enjoying, it’s not as hard as your brain is telling you. You can do it!
    And life is way too short. If you don’t start learning how to enjoy all the enjoyable things, you’re definitely going to miss out on some of the most enjoyable things. This takes determination people. You have to start right now!
    By the way, this works with mushrooms, music, people, art, and just about everything.
    OK, maybe not TV. Most TV just sucks. Just turn that shit off.
    Isaiah

  36. Ken Allan says:

    Mmm. Mushrooms!
    Kia Ora Dan.
    I hated mushrooms as a child. But I loved to gather them from the fields. As a child, I lived for a number of years in Nyasaland (now Malawi). I used to collect mushrooms with my father on a Saturday morning. We found them growing in ‘fairy rings’ which were the natural way the mushrooms grow in the wild.
    But now, I live in the city and buy the mushrooms at a price.
    Mmm. Mushrooms!.
    Ka kite
    from Middle-earth

  37. Billee D. says:

    Great news, Dan! Mushrooms are almost like wine; different varieties have different characteristics that compliment different foods.
    I may have missed this in the comments above, but some of the best mushrooms are:
    Chanterelles: light, golden color with a subtle nutty, almost anise-like flavor. Great for sauces and risotto!
    Morels: These are regarded by some as the king of mushrooms. Their flavor is quite delicious and complex. These are great stuffing mushrooms.
    Oysters: These come in many varieties and are often given seafood-like flavor descriptions. Oysters lend themselves to egg and seafood dishes quite well and also go great in soups and stews.
    Enoki: These little delights are best eaten raw and crunchy in salads to help highlight their distinct flavors.
    Maitake: Commonly called “hen of the woods,” these furry-looking fungi have a light flavor similar to oyster mushrooms, but with more characteristics. Delicious in stir fry and other dishes where you cook them fast and high to help lock in the flavor and benefits.
    Shiitake: You already know about these guys. Trouble is that most commercially grown US varieties lack the true flavor notes of the imported Japanese varieties. This mushroom is as versatile as our domestic “button” varieties and can be used in their place for many recipes. One of my favorites: shiitake mushroom gravy over homemade biscuits or rolls. Great breakfast and full of vitamins!
    I hope you enjoy more mushrooming!

  38. Patrick says:

    I have the hardest getting my friends to let me add mushrooms to the pizza toppings. Anchovies are vastly underrated too.

  39. Jeff says:

    I used to hate prawn and shrimp for 25 years of my life! Now I love them so much I have them at least 3 times a week!
    My wife used to love lamb and now she does not even touch it. Yes, indeed we box ourselves. But I think tastes change as we grow older or depending on our exposure and experience in this world.

  40. rickfle says:

    The deal is you gotta cook the mushrooms. I can’t stand raw mushrooms at all, but what’s better than a saute with butter or good olive oil and garlic?

  41. Rachel says:

    I have two food issues: mushrooms and French cheeses. And as luck would have it, here in the Netherlands, the vegetarian menus usually include one of the above.
    To my great dismay!