We all probably have that one friend who has been unanimously dubbed the "picky eater," because they won't touch anything green, or pretty much anything that falls outside the lines of a "meat and potatoes" diet. We happily judge and flaunt our adventurous meals of things like sushi, caviar, or maybe even ribs made from jackfruit. However, sometimes we fail to consider that just because we're more adventurous eaters, doesn't mean we're not picky about certain types of foods.
A vast majority of us even are united together by one component in particular of a variety of foods: texture. If your stomach churns because a substance is too slimy, crispy, soggy, chewy, or one of the many other textures of the culinary world, you might just be texture-picky, so here's a list of the most texturally despised foods out there to aid you on your quest to potential texture-picky self-discovery.
15 Fried Eggs
Oh, eggs. You'd think such a great source of protein would never cause such a controversy in the food world and yet here we are. If they're baked into a cake, texture picky people won't even bat an eye, but frying them? That's a whole other story. Since they're unhealthy to eat raw because of the risk of salmonella, a common go-to to solution is to throw them in a pan with some butter or oil and fry out all the bad stuff. That's all well and good, except it changes, well, pretty much every texture in the egg.
For those who like to really fry their eggs, this means there's going to be a sort of crispy halo along the circumference of the egg, but to texture picky eaters this halo is anything but holy. It's pretty flavourless and the crispy texture just really feels out of place in general. On the other hand, the people who don't like the crispiness might offend some other picky eaters with the smoothness of their preferred whites.
On both sides of the egg white preference spectrum, there's yet another opportunity for distaste: the yolks. A whole lot of people can't stand runny yolks while others feel beckoned by the velvety texture. However, the haters probably wouldn't describe the runny yolk as velvety, they'd most likely choose something along the lines of ooey, gooey, or "ew"-ey.
14 Orange Juice (with pulp)
There aren't too many controversial breakfast beverages out there, but orange juice definitely ranks pretty highly among the ones that are, and it all comes down to one thing: the texture of the pulp. The argument over pulp versus no pulp has brought forth a divide so great, even juice manufacturers market both versions to make sure they appeal to all orange-juice drinking demographics. Personally, I love pulp, but I know many, many people who won't touch their favourite juice drink if the fleshy substance is inside. Pulp can be considered too slimy, too clumpy, or just something the naysayers would prefer not to have in their juice, since most other juices have a smooth water-like texture. Whatever the reason is, this juice makes an easily-agreed-upon balanced breakfast that much more difficult than one would hope.
Maybe it brings back happy memories of your childhood lunches, or maybe it brings back memories of that time you got your tonsils out and had to eat it for a week straight: you guessed it, folks, the food in question is Jello! Basically gelatinized flavoured sugar, this weird substance has been a schoolyard snack for ages, but just because it's popular definitely does not mean it isn't hated by tons of people (and this time, I'll be putting myself at the top of that list).
Jello might be one of the weirdest things you can put in your mouth, texturally, because there's really nothing else comparable to it's jiggly composition. The only way to eat it is to basically let it slide down your throat, which honestly makes sense of the fact Jello shots have become so popular. As soon as you chew, as a texture-picky person, it's game over. Your teeth barely have to touch the substance for it to dissolve, and all the while parts of it are slowly running down your throat. I genuinely can't understand how this snack has gained such cult following, but at least we can all agree it's pretty fun to play with.
There really doesn't seem to be an animal out there that hasn't been killed and thrown on a grill, pan, or deep fryer just for kicks. The delicacy that has become octopus certainly seems to fit that "just for kicks" mentality, since it looks like just about the least edible thing on the planet. To some people, the chewy texture is a fun exploration and the flavour brought in by the way the octopus is cooked is enough to satisfy them. For some
saner other people, this is certainly not their philosophy. Octopus' extremely rubbery texture definitely ruffles a few texture-picky people's feathers, and not to mention the bumpy feeling of their suckers on a person's tongue. Even worse to some people are the baby fried octopi, complete with chewy head and crispy tentacles, all wrapped up into one golden and life-like package.
11 Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is yet another iconic childhood snack that some people just don't seem to buy into. Despite its deliciously nutty flavour, the consistency of this blended peanut concoction has been found to be a little too thick by some people. It's a little hard to chew when it's in something like a sandwich, sticking everywhere from the little crevices in your molars to your hair if you're not careful. It may be a little safer to eat it off a butter knife or a spoon, but this food is certainly one that is not easy to swallow, no matter how you go about it. This is a good reason some peanut butter haters do like peanut sauce, due to it's watered-down consistency that makes it still a little messy, especially if slurping noodles, but definitely much easier to ingest.
Even those who do like peanut butter might not like all kinds of peanut butter. Much like the aforementioned orange juice drinkers, crunchy versus smooth is a battle as old as time. While smooth seems to have the general public's vote, crunchy still manages to inch its way onto grocery store shelves and into the hearts of the few completely un-texture-picky people who don't mind their favourite creamy spread being interrupted by some harder textures.
Okay, I realize this food isn't hated by texture-picky people world-wide due to the fact it isn't even known world-wide, but if you're from the South or have ever even been to the South, you've probably been confronted with this tension-inducing breakfast/side dish. I spent the majority of my childhood in North Carolina and for years, and I mean years, I wouldn't even touch this stuff. It looks like mush, it smells like nothing, and it doesn't really offer anything healthy to the table. It wasn't until high school when I was at a friend's house and didn't want to rudely refuse a bowl of cheesy grits that I realized that's kind of the point. Grits is pretty much an excuse to eat straight up cheese and butter, with a little tiny bit of added texture thanks to the savoury grain that is grits. So yeah, maybe I warmed up to it, but the arguable "mushiness" of this Southern cuisine definitely is not loved by everyone.
If you really think about it, quiche is a pretty weird food. It's full of whipped eggs, meats, vegetables, with a savoury crust, and it's not even considered a breakfast food. Those who like quiche can look past that fault, while those who are texture-picky...I'm sure you can guess the rest. It's not just the odd fluffy airiness of the quiche that brings this food onto the blacklist of many texture-picky people, it's the crusty top, the soggy crust, and the excessive amount of liquid that always seems to seep to the bottom of the filling. Is it the milk mixed with the eggs that adds all these unwanted textures? Perhaps the water in the vegetables? Whatever the answer may be, it's pretty well agreed upon that quiche is not a texturally sound dish.
8 White Bread
Let me clarify what I refer to as "white bread" in regard to this list. I do not mean that fresh out of the oven, fluffy, delicious bread your grandma makes to go with her homemade jams. I'm talking overly soft, overly processed, and overly bleached white bread found in plastic packaging in almost every grocery store ever. It's the kind of stuff that becomes immediately soggy no matter how soon you remove it from the plastic bag if you make a PB&J to go. As far as texture goes, there's not much going for it in respect to this kind of white bread. All it really is is soft, and who wants soft when you're making a sandwich with not many other textures in it begin with? If you like white bread, power to you, but I'm sorry, I grew up secretly throwing away any sandwiches made with this kind of bread, and apparently that runs in my, and many other families, so yeah I think it's safe to say this stuff is on a whole lot of texture-picky eaters' "no fly" list.
Another dish especially popular in the South, in the picky eater world okra might as well be called "oh-kra-p." It can be stringy, slimy, and crunchy, so it pretty much covers every texture that is a "no" in most people's books. Now, okra does get an arguably bad rep considering its remarkable versatility. It can be fried, pickled, and, of course, stewed. The latter is the main way of cooking it which turns this hum-drum vegetable into a texture nightmare. Rather than masking the dreaded sliminess, as done in fried and pickled okra, stewing it actually highlights the sliminess. Making sure the okra is nice and tender, this method leaves nothing but the annoyingly crunchy seeds to contrast the slime factor. Needless to say, this stuff is feared by many, but, as it goes with many things that are feared, the lovers of stewed okra have a bit of a cult mentality when it comes to the slimy little veggie.
6 Boba Tea
Alright, I'm pretty sure there's no debate over how DELICIOUS the tea in one of those beautiful cups of Boba Tea is, but the little black balls of death on the bottom? Yeah, not so much. So technically those little black things that taint the otherwise flawless drink are "tapioca balls," but I'm not buying it. These drinks are supposed to weed out the week, the ones who can't navigate around those horrendously chewy monstrosities, despite the straw being a good three times the size of the regular straw. It's not an easy feat, but oh man is it ever doable. You just have to have the fine motor skills and the pure hatred of "tapioca balls" as I do, and voila, you're all set, the game has been won. Alternatively, if you're one of the heathens who actually enjoy chewing on literal rubber then you've lost the game (big time).
Bananas are such a versatile fruit. You can use them as fillers in smoothies, make breads with them when they're too ripe, eat them raw, or, you know, throw them in the garbage. If you don't like bananas you probably don't like the taste or you don't like the texture, and if you fall in the texture category, then you'll probably eat them in banana bread, banana pudding, or really any banana flavoured thing that contains no evidence of a banana's texture. Why is this? For starters, they're kind of mushy, especially past a certain point of ripeness, that's for sure, and we all know mushiness is not a plus on this list. In addition to that reason, there are those little strings that cling onto the banana when you peel it. Some people choose to eat them, and some of them don't (aka the ones who actually love themselves).
So here's the deal, I stand by the argument that if you don't like tofu then you probably just haven't had some that's cooked to your liking, because it take on so many different textures and flavours! However, there are some people that appear to be impossible to convince, so here are some of my theories why. A lot of the time tofu is cooked in a way where it feels kind of spongy. It's naturally springy, and if the person preparing it prefers to leave a good bit of the water giving it that bounce inside before cooking it, it'll probably maintain a texture that is not unlike are friend Spongebob's. Then, you get your occasional more silky tofu, which is very common in miso soup. For those that enjoy it, it's a melt-in-you-mouth treat, but for those who don't, it's a waste of space in a perfectly fine soup. While I enjoy all the textures listed, tofu can also be cut thin and cooked in a way that resembles your favourite meat. I've even had cubed "chicken fried" tofu that even my meat-eating friends went wild over. In conclusion, there are a lot of texture-picky people out there who say they don't like tofu, but honestly, they probably just haven't found the right style.
Soup might be a surprise on this list to a lot of people, but trust me, there are plenty of people out there who won't go anywhere near anything with broth as a base. A friend of mine who hates it claims she "doesn't see the point in eating hot liquid when it's easy to cook the ingredients within the soup by themselves." Another has compared it to baby food, and wants to feel like he's eating something more substantial. To be fair to them, they do have points. One could even say it's a little baffling that soup exists. Someone apparently cooked some vegetables and meat one day and said, "alright, now throw some flavoured water over it," and years later someone even said, "now puree it!" Maybe the people who claim to not like the texture of soup just don't get the beautiful and versatile thing it has become, but who are we to judge? Do you, soup haters, do you.
Some of you may be asking yourselves, "why did peaches make it onto this list?" because theoretically peaches have a very similar texture to their neighbouring fruits like nectarines and plums. However, peaches have a special little addition that make them a good few texture-picky people's nightmare: a fuzzy skin. I must say, I am one of those people, and I get shivers down my spine whenever my front teeth touch that chillingly pet-able skin. If we're talking in these terms, we might as well lump apricots into the mix, but since peaches are the more common fruit, those are the ones who got a star spot on this list. There's just something about eating something that soft that makes you think "there's no way these were meant to be eaten." Perhaps, in another life, fruits could have served as pets, and peaches would be the most coveted of them all, with little apricots acting as their offspring.
1 Hard-Boiled Eggs
Rounding out the list, I'm bringing it back to that ever-controversial topic that is eggs. The other most popular way of cooking eggs, and arguably a more portable one, hard-boiling them results in what might just be the most detested food by texture-picky eaters of all time. They seem harmless, right? All shapely and remarkably smooth, with a nicely cooked yolk in the middle to appease those who avoid runny ones. Except there's the texture of that shell that makes oh so many people cringe. It's rubbery, yet soft, leaving us to ask ourselves, "why?!" There are so many ways to cook eggs, and yet the general population of the world decided that they were going to turn to boiling the delicate food until they were basically bouncy balls with a surprise centre. As someone who has never been able to stomach a whole hard-boiled egg in my entire life I'll leave you all with one last remark: oh, the humanity!