Can you learn to like foods you’ve hated since childhood?

That’s the case for al b. darned. “There are certain foods from my childhood that I remember in a less than favorable light,” al b. darned says. “As such, I have avoided them like the plague since. Then at dinner at a friend’s house, Brussels sprouts were served. To be polite I put a couple on my plate. They were pretty good. I went back for seconds.”

For mattstolz, preparation changes everything. “I’ve actually been finding that most things I disliked as a kid I really like now,” mattstolz says. “The problem was often not that what I liked was bad, but the times I had it, it was prepared very poorly. Brussels sprouts, spinach, broccoli, salmon burgers, sweet potato casserole, pork chops, and several others are all on this list. My mom used to have a problem with severely overcooking vegetables and (still) is bad about overcooking meats. Led to several of these aversions that I have discovered are almost ALL misguided. Moral of the story: Cook your food correctly! It tastes better!”

Sometimes it’s more a matter of association than of taste. sueatmo hated raisins as a child because they reminded her of bugs. “If I encounter a raisin today, I will eat it and say to myself, that’s not so bad. But I still don’t really like them, and almost never cook with them,” she says. montrealeater feels the same way about the tiny dried fruits: “I can, and do, eat them now, but not enthusiastically, and I still have to consciously fight the ‘dead fly, dead fly, dead fly’ thoughts as I do.”

And sometimes you just need to give detested foods another try. “Just last week I [was] working on a Caesar salad at a seafood restaurant, and I waved an anchovy at my husband,” says DuchessNukem. “He responded with his usual ‘Oh I hate those.’ I sliced up a few salty bits and strong-armed him into eating them. And magically, the years of dislike melted away. Now he wants to re-try the classic anchovy pizza.”

Discuss: Hey, It’s Not So Bad

See more articles