I’d rather eat raw meat than a whole mushroom, assuming of course that there’s a compelling reason like if a crazy man burst into a restaurant and knew me and demanded I choose one or the other or it would all be over. Mushroom are 360 degrees of disgusting to me, with all of the senses being offended just thinking about them. They have a gross, rubbery texture, they taste like mud encrusted slugs and smell similarly, they look like shriveled up poops, and they sound awful (just go with it, aight?)

This isn’t to say that I haven’t tried them or like them in some very limited ways. If you’ll remember last week I was excited to find vegetarian oyster sauce that is made from mushrooms, but the texture and taste factors are removed because it’s in a sauce form and is also swimming with enough soy sauce to drown most of the original mushroom-y offensiveness.

In the first year of my and Patrick’s relationship, we were at his parent’s house grilling out, and they knew that I didn’t eat meat, but hadn’t thought to mention my loathing for mushrooms. You can see where this is going, and his dad handed me a plate full of grilled vegetables, topped with the biggest motherloving portobello mushroom I’d ever seen in my life. It took everything in me to pull it together, pick up the slimy, flaccid brown disk with the most tactically offensive ridges underneath and take a bite. Then I went ahead and ate everything else and disposed of the mushroom discreetly, later.

Since the portobello incident the only way I’ve eaten pieces of mushroom is at the Hunter Gatherer. The other day I went to lunch there with Emma and had their tofu marsala again. It’s a savory and rustic dish with the tofu taking on a steak-like flavor profile (though obviously not a steak texture), but it does happen to be dotted with mushroom chunks and bits. The bits I bravely coupled with onions and bites of tofu and tried to pretend didn’t exist, and the bigger more obvious ones got pushed to the side and left as the only remaining bits on the plate. Add in the sauteed green beans and the country style mashed potatoes and seriously how do I resist not going to HG for lunch every single Friday when it’s just right there?

What are your food hates, or have you ever thought you hated something then liked it years down the road?