Acquired Tastes [NOT 18/3/22]

Instinct, Schminstinct

Black Olives
Credit - Wikipedia -

Everyone has things they dislike. Some aversions are natural — hot peppers, for example. Others are cultural — you can’t expect American kids raised on Nickelodeon to be interested in sixty five year old black and white Swedish film dramas.

But! One of the marvels of human existence is we can acquire tastes for things we originally disliked. Our minds and opinions aren’t fixed in stone. Flexibility is one of the things that makes us human.

So, Deadsplinteri, what’s a taste you’ve acquired? For example, I used to hate olives. Bitter and supersalty flavors are one way nature warns away animals from dangerous foods. But in my 20s I was at an art reception for a very long time and there was nothing to eat except bowls of olives. Hunger wore me down, I started eating a few, and by the time dinnertime finally arrived, I had changed my mind.

What about you? Maybe you started appreciating pounding music after a great concert. Or maybe you never cared for dogs until your 20s when a roommate adopted one and you became a dog lover. Never cared for basketball until your school made the Final Four? Never liked Russian novels until you picked up Crime and Punishment? Tell us about a taste you hated until something changed your mind.



  1. well..the first time i smoked..i thought it was horrible…same goes for beer actually

    wierd one i did learn……heavy bass soothes my headaches

    pounding headache….and that helps?

    yep…does for me

      • i found a full pack on my way to school when i was 14

        figured it was god telling me something

        (just kidding….i dont believe…found a full pack and back in the 90s smoking was still i figured that was my way into the cool kids club…pretty fucking stupid reason to start….never made me cool either) welp….if i’d known then what i know now

        i’d have probably behaved much worse than i did the first time round

  2. I was the same with olives. Although, I don’t particularly like them on their own – my local pizza place has a house salad with green and black ones that I actually crave from time to time. I also didn’t eat tomatoes for many many years – would pick them out of spaghetti sauce if they were too big. Now, I put tomatoes on everything pretty much. Onions – though – that’s still a big nope.

  3. also..i generally hate having my hair cut…..but that bit just around the ears with the trimmers

    oh yeah…thats the good stuff

    it like a brain massage

    brrrrrzzzzzzz *giggles*

    and that why i call trimmers hairbrators

  4. I’ll second bleu cheese. I wouldn’t touch it as a child, now I love it but it gives me terrible heartburn. I regret all the years when I could have been eating it and didn’t. 😭

  5. Beer. Hated it as a … uhh … teenager (SHIT WAS DIFFERENT BACK THEN). Now I need a beer guy.

    Doctor Who. I was always hung up on the cheesiness and couldn’t appreciate the thought that went into it. I’m still not gonna go back and watch all those things but I can watch one and see beyond the crappy production values.

    Hanna-Barbera cartoons. I know a lot more about the constraints and limitations they faced and I can really appreciate what they accomplished within their really narrow windows.

  6. Tomatoes. I decided when I was in grad school in Alabama that I should start liking them because getting food without them was annoying. Took less than a summer of getting them at the farmer’s market and now they’re one of my favorite veggies.


    • There are times when people get annoying trying to convince people to try something because they’ve (supposedly) just never had the right kind.

      But with tomatoes, the difference between crummy hothouse unripened ones and really good, fresh off the vine in summer ones really is absolutely enormous.

      If you don’t like diner coffee, it’s reasonable to think you won’t like fancy barista coffee either. But tomatoes are in a much different class.

  7. I was a weird kid. I loved olives, mushrooms, tomatoes, dill pickles, strong cheese… all the stuff that most kids “ewww” at.

    Onions were an acquired taste, though, for sure, and even now I can only eat cooked onions. Raw ones make me gag. Feta cheese (still can’t do blue cheeses… can’t get past the moldy taste) is another one I had to learn to like, but now I love it. Pickled jalapeño peppers I couldn’t get into until recently although I always liked spicy food.

    • It’s interesting how some kids can also wade into things like super-loud noises or wildly barking dogs and not blink an eye, while other kids instinctively shy away.

      The human brain is remarkably flexible sometimes.

    • Onions. That’s another one I’ve developed a taste for (in the case of cooked onions) and a tolerance for (in the case of raw onions). You couldn’t have paid me to touch one as a kid.

  8. I’m still on the fence about blue cheese. I think I like it. I will only eat it if it is presented* in small quantities with a side of crackers.

    *not by me. The bigger the slice, the more my imagination has to work with (like seeing microscopic maggots).

    • But you’re giving it a second chance? That’s the spirit!

      I give props to people who maintain the mental flexibility to look at a piece of chunk of curdled milk filled with mold and decide they don’t need to be a seven year old anymore, and can listen to other people they trust who say it’s worth a try.

  9. Fish. I liked other seafood, but whitefish and salmon or trout really did not appeal to me. Until pretty much my 30s, and then people starting cooking fish in interesting ways and I started appreciating it.

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