21 Of The Most-Hated Foods In The World Will Give You Serious Opinions

April 09, 2019

When I was younger, I hated peas. Seriously — there was something about them that turned my stomach. The kind we had just seemed so small and wrinkly, and almost slimy. I couldn’t believe that adults actually ate food like this for enjoyment. My tastes have since changed — and now I find them to be the perfect add-on to any pasta dish.

Seriously — have you tried macaroni and peas before? It’s the best way to make a somewhat unhealthy dish feel like a nutritional winner.

But, there are still some people out there who hate peas. There are people out there who, in general, can’t swallow vegetables no matter how many different ways they’ve tried to cook them. Not all foods please everybody.

Even though everyone has different tastes, there are certain foods that people agree are just gross. Often, it’s a texture issue. That’s one of the reasons why toddlers are such picky eaters, but it’s an issue that can also bleed into adulthood. Other times, there might be trauma attached to it. Did your parents refuse to let you leave the table until you ate an entire bowl of cooked broccoli? Well, that may be why you’re not reaching for it at the dinner table two decades later.

With this in mind, here are some of the top foods that make people cringe, worldwide.

1. Beets

Dwight Schrute may be a fan, but he’s in the minority. Plenty of people out there think they taste like dirt. Time Colonist reports that it’s not actual dirt that gives the vegetable such an “earthy” flavor. Instead, it’s an organic compound called geosmin, which many people are pretty sensitive to.

2. Olives

This is one that I personally disagree with.

I love olives — both green and black. (It’s the pimentos I have an issue with, but that’s an easy problem to fix.) Most people can’t stand the way they taste, and happen to omit them from their Greek salads whenever possible.

3. Cilantro

Now, this one has a real scientific backing behind it. If you ask a room of 100 people, around 14% of them would likely say that cilantro tastes just like soap. “How cilantro tastes to you has a lot to do with your genes,” SciShow’s Hank Green said to the Huffington Post back in 2015. So technically, you’re not wrong if you think there’s something a little off with the herb.

4. Mushrooms

I identified as a vegetarian for seven years, and the worst part about it was that a common meat substitute for events like weddings was a giant portobello mushroom. Now, I dislike mushrooms in all forms, but eating one as a main dish is seriously not my thing. I’m not alone in this — plenty of people have listed mushrooms as being their least fave salad topper.

5. Tomatoes

This is another one I disagree with.

Is there anything better than picking a tomato from your own garden, slicing it up, adding a little salt and basil, and eating it as a snack? According to tomato haters, yes. There’s plenty better. Tomatoes have a mix of textures, so it makes sense as to why people may be keen on leaving them out of their sandwich.

6. Durian

Food fanatics may have heard of durian before, even though it might not be readily available at your local market. It’s a tropical fruit that has a wonderful taste, but the awful smell is enough to turn people off forever. It’s so bad that the consumption of durian was actually banned in certain areas of Japan, Thailand, and Hong Kong. You can’t say the same for a banana or Red Delicious.

7. Bitter Gourd

It’s also called bitter melon, but the name difference won’t change people’s minds about it.

Sure, it has plenty of good medicinal traits, and seems to be especially good to eat if you have diabetes. But, it’s not the most pleasant. GB Times even listed it as being the #1 most hated food in China.

8. Eggplant

You might not know what to expect when you try eating eggplant. Sadly, it tastes nothing like eggs. It has a bitter skin and doesn’t have a very flavorful rind, so it may be puzzling as to why people still eat it. But, it seems like if you cook it just right, your opinion might be swayed.

9. Circus Peanuts

As far as candy goes, Circus Peanuts are one of the least popular. And it makes sense as to why. They obviously don’t even taste like peanuts, and they’re a bit chewier than your standard marshmallow.

10. Bologna

Back when I was a kid, bologna and cheese was a staple lunch sandwich.

But, it wasn’t my favorite. As time went on, ham became my preferred deli meat. So, what’s the deal with bologna? It’s made of either beef or pork, which makes sense, but it’s usually the parts of the animal nobody likes talking about. And when you find that out, it may make you a little nauseous.

11. Pineapple Pizza

You could say that pizza, in general, is a universal favorite. It’s hard not to like pizza. But the topping of pineapple is controversial, and nearly broke the internet some time back. Personally, I dig it on occasion, but can see how it could be seen as totally gross. Pineapple is a sweet fruit, after all.

12. Liver

Remember that episode of Doug, the one in which he’s terrified that Patti will be serving liver and onions for dinner at her party? I feel like I’ve referenced this episode a lot in my life. He didn’t want to be rude, but liver was one of his least favorite foods — and he’s not alone. In 2015, liver was near the top of the list of Britain’s most-hated foods.

13. Ginger

Ginger may be popularly used in Chinese dishes, but it doesn’t mean everyone is a fan of it.

GBTimes reports that it’s the 4th least popular food in China, based on its smell and the creepy way it’s able to camouflage itself in many meals.

14. Mayonnaise

When it comes to mayo, people either love it or hate it. For some people, it simply overpowers a sandwich or a noodle salad. The fact that it’s notoriously not good for you is yet another con. The thickness, caused by egg whites, is also a turn off for some of us. “You will find this kind of polarization in other countries around the world,” food sensory consultant Herbert Stone said to Popular Science. “And it’s not just Western Europe — you will find a similar degree of like/dislike in Asia as well.”

15. Spam

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My husband likes to cook, which is wonderful. But there is one dinner I will never forget — he told me it was Spam after I ate it, and I literally had trust issues for about a month afterward. (Seriously — it’s always important to be up front with food.) There are a bunch of Spam lovers out there, but the meat-in-a-can often gets a bad reputation because, well, it comes in a can. And has a smell.

16. Candy Corn

On the topic of unpopular candies, there’s also candy corn.

It used to be a staple of Halloween, but it usually only gets eaten in times of sugar emergencies. In a heated Spoon University article called “6 Reasons Why Candy Corn is the Worst Part of Halloween,” writer Rachel Abramowitz states that the ingredients alone are enough to turn people away. “There are 5 ingredients in candy corn: sugar, corn syrup, carnauba wax, artificial coloring, and binders,” Abramowitz states. “I rest my case.”

17. Tuna

My mom used to make the best tuna sandwiches. Seriously. She often made little tuna fish squares for neighborhood events and they were always gone within minutes. But tuna comes in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes, people make it too mushy. Other times, it’s just an off brand. AJC out of Atlanta actually labeled tuna salad as being Georgia’s #1 hated food, which seems too random to be untrue.

18. Black Licorice

It’s known to cause an irregular heart rhythm in some people who eat too much of it, but these findings are still fairly new.

(Because not too many people are binging black licorice.) In the candy world, it’s not known as a top favorite, and is actually deemed “repulsive” by many.

19. Pickles

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Pickles are another in the “love them or loathe them” category. Delish mentioned three reasons why they may turn people off — their phallic shape, their sour smell, and the fact that they make an obnoxious crunching noise when you eat them.

20. Cantaloupe

DAE: Hate cantaloupe? from r/DoesAnybodyElse

Ah, cantaloupe.

It’s a sweet summer fruit, but arguably the least popular addition to a fruit salad. Especially since most fruit salads load up on it as filler. After eating the other fruits around it, the cantaloupe itself seems a little bland.

21. Brussels sprouts

Turns out that there’s a scientific reason why so many people have negative feelings toward Brussels sprouts. “Innately, we’re born to reject bitter foods because for every one plant or potential foodstuff in nature which is bitter and good for us, there’s probably 50 which are bitter and poisonous,” nutritional scientist Dr. Adam Cunliffe told Cosmopolitan. Makes sense.