The term “picky eater” wasn’t commonly used before the 1970s, when it became a convenient label for children who would only swallow mac and cheese (and adults who rarely tried new things). But what do you call it when a person simply has a few items that make them deeply unhappy? That’s certainly not picky. It’s a preference — one that others often share. Hawaiian pizza, candy corn, and cilantro are always going to be contentious — with people falling strongly on both sides of the issue. Because what constitutes a “good” food is often in the eye of the beholder.
To discover which eatables the food world feels are being given a bad rap, we consulted a group of chefs from across the country. They came back with a super varied list, including some real surprises. Read through their answers and hop into the comments to declare your love for a vilified food. Or why it should stay out of kitchens forever. We will do our best to support you in these trying times.
Beets and Fermented Foods
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Duncan Holmes, Executive Chef of Beckon | Call in Denver, Colorado
“For starters, I would say beets get a bad rap. I’m not really sure why so many people are generally opposed to the sight and taste of beets. After that, I would probably say fermented foods generally are looked over. As a concept and way of living, fermenting is an interesting thing to explore. Fermenting used to be more of a common practice than perhaps it is now. Flavor-wise, fermented items can add incredible depth to dishes. Most specifically fermenting meats and fishes to add to vegetable dishes is really quite remarkable. Beyond that, it is possible to conceive that if fermenting food products was brought back into play a little more and more widely taught, it could potentially do a lot for us in the way of food waste (both on the commercial and personal household level).”