A true omnivore?

I just realised that coffee, chocolate, gin, tonic water and licorice are the only foods or drinks I cannot imbibe without having to spit ’em out. There are no savoury foods I hate. I’m down with much that revolts other folks: anchovies, sweet breads, liver, blood sausage. All of them are mucho yummo. I loves me some offal! Hell, I love all food that wobbles!1

I think of myself as an unafraid eater who’ll find something to eat no matter what situation I’m thrown into. I only get into trouble at dessert which is no big deal.

But there’s got to be people out there who truly will eat everything.2 Do any of you have no food or drink hates or intolerances or allergies? Cause how cool would that be?

Or are there no true omnivores anywhere in the world?

  1. Unless it’s been contaminated by the aforementioned five dread substances. []
  2. And I mean someone with functioning taste buds—I met this guy once who had no sense of smell or taste. Food was just fuel to him. He didn’t care what he ate. And, yes, he was very depressed. []


  1. sara z on #

    Pudding, flan, creme brulee, custard, or anything with a pudding, flan, creme brulee, or custard-like texture.

    And I once upchucked on the dinner table when my parents insisted I at least try the liver.

    (You’re joking, though, right? About the gin, coffee, and chocolate? Those are in my top 10.)

  2. veejane on #

    I *can* eat almost anything, but there are many things that aren’t pleasureable for me to eat. The big one that gets me in trouble is hotness: the active chemical in hot peppers just registers on my tongue as pain, not as enjoyably spicy.

    But none of the “gross” stuff freaks me out. At dim sum once, a friend dared me to eat chicken feet, and the poor woman tasked to bring me this delicacy was like, “They’re feet. Feet of chicken. Really, I am not kidding.” After considerable nodding on my part, the dish emerged and I ate the chicken feet. They were greasy and scrawny, just skin and tendons around the bone really, but perfectly edible.

    I mean, as long as it is dead, and if culturally appropriate, cooked. I don’t feel the need to go all Fear Factor on my food.

  3. Little Willow on #

    I am a vegetarian. I do not eat any meat, any seafood, anything along those lines. I am not vegan. I love bread. I like cheese and ice cream. I like yogurt. I stay away from gelatin. One thing I have been told exists but never been able to find is vegetarian gummy bears.

  4. Sean on #

    I thought I read something somewhere (wow for being descriptive) that you and Scott are vegetarians? Maybe that was just him…but how does that work? He doesn’t eat any meat, and you eat the…oogy parts. (Vegetarian)
    I want vegetarian marshmallows. Because marshmallow fluff isn’t very easy to roast. (It involves a blowtorch)…

  5. Ray Davis on #

    I will eat your list of down-mits, plus coffee, chocolate, gin, tonic water and licorice. At one sitting, if you like.

    Will my mature allergy to soft-shell crabs disqualify me? I ate them with relish and plain for years before the allergy developed, and I ate them three times again afterwards to confirm the results, which at least demonstrates a game spirit / idiot gluttony.

  6. cherie priest on #

    I’m with you on Licorice. I can’t stand it. I can’t even deal with Greek food that uses anise as a seasoning … too close. Too grody. Nasty nasty nasty.

    Also, for some reason – peanut sauce. I like peanuts fine, and I do peanut better sandwiches with the best of them. But peanut sauce is just revolting. I can’t eat a lot of Thai food because of it.

  7. Diana on #

    I love licorice and have been known to crave chocolate upon occasion (though other times, it’s no big deal). Coffee, tonic, etc. are fine.

    I cannot stand even the smell of gin. When I waitressed and a customer ordeered gin, I had to make sure that the tray was downwind of me at all times. If a date drank a G&T, he was guaranteed not to get kissed. For a long while, I thought it was teh juniper, but i have had meats with juniper sauces that were fine. I wasn’t crazy about the juniper flavoring, but I think that might be because it reminded me of gin. I could, however, eat it, and enjoy it. So I don’t know what it is with gin.

    I strongly dislike miso soup, and there’s this tiny candied crab a friend brought back from Japan once and I tried it and almost threw up. Not a huge fan of tofu in general, though I will eat it if necessary. And though I love sushi (with the exception of the big seafood cone filled with eggs and topped with warm raw quail egg), tempura, and teriyaki, that’s about it for me and japanese food. Again, will eat if necessary but I’m not planning any trips to Tokyo.

    Never got into the kidney pies they liked so well in Australia, and it’s the rare cake that can tempt me. I will still eat each if served to me. Other than that… bring it on.

  8. marrije on #

    I can eat almost anything, except tomato soup (all other tomato things are just fine to exceedingly wonderful, like dried pomodorini) and chili con carne. both taste vomity to me. I think I would draw the line at raw sheep’s eyes or something, but brains and blood sausages and such would be OK.

    plus I love tonic, chocolate and licorice (a requirement for citizenship in holland, of course). coffee is OK, gin I don’t think i’ve ever drunk.

  9. Justine on #

    So far no true omnivores.

    Veejane, if you don’t do spicy you’re not doing some of the major cuisines in the world.

    Ray you can maybe claim to once have been an omnivore, but not no more.

    Marrije if you’re drawing lines and describing things as “vomity” than you are not an omnivore.

    I am saddened.

  10. Rajan K on #

    I am not a true omnivore either, but 4 out of the 5 things you mention are among my favorites. All except licorice. But chocolate and coffee are right at the top of the list.

  11. veejane on #

    Yuh-huh, I am! I just, I “accidentally” leave out most of the cayenne when cooking it in my own house. (I haven’t figured out how to handle actual hot peppers yet, but I presume it’s just using fewer of them than the recipe calls for.)

  12. Justine on #

    Veejane: You are not an omnivore. Cayenne isn’t even that spicy! Go delude yourself elsewhere! If you cannot eat habeneros and jalepenos then you cannot eat everything.

  13. josh on #

    veejane, the secret to handling hot peppers is the seeds. All the heat in a pepper is in the seeds and the white-ish veins they’re attached to. To which they’re attached. Whatever. Take those out and they’re not really hot at all. Or if you want a little spice, but not burning hot spice, take most of the seeds out but leave some of them in. As for actually handling them, wear rubber gloves! That was the best thing I ever learned about cooking. My fingers would burn forever after cooking anything with jalapenos until I started wearing gloves.

    I can’t call myself an omnivore either. I can eat almost anything, but I absolutely detest mushrooms. Nasty, disgusting, repulsive fungus. Gross.

  14. niki on #

    what about just not tolorating badly cooked food – so you’ll eat absolutly anything as long as it’s prepared well – will that count? Not that I would place myself in this catagory – just wondering 🙂

  15. Rachel Brown on #

    I like coffee, chocolate, and gin, neither like nor revile tonic water, and dislike licorice but not as much as i abominate all organ meats except for heart (which is a muscle) and natto.

    i do like food that quivers, though.

    ps. It was great having dinner with you and scott! please send me a pdf!

  16. Stuart on #

    Late to the party, but I think I might only be half an aversion away from omnivorism (omnivoracity?).

    I’ll eat anything quite happily, hot, cold, spicy, raw…(not live as yet)….but I might grimace a bit eating overcooked fava beans. The dryness. Like biting into a capsule of fuzzy mould. Ick. If they’re done well, I don’t mind but don’t like them.

  17. Justine on #

    I’ve been thinking about Niki’s question: “What about just not tolorating badly cooked food?”

    And I reckon that being unable to eat something without pulling hideous faces i.e. fussiness or allergies or whatever is not the same as being a discerning eater. So if you’ll eat raw meat if well prepared but not frozen out of the freezer, or, you know, rotting, you’re still an omnivore.

    So I think (but am not entirely persuaded) that we might have an actual omnivore in Stuart. If you’ll eat fava beans when not over-cooked that might be enough. It certainly wins you the crown amongst this finnicky whingeing lot. (I include myself.)

  18. Stuart on #

    Seriously, though, you can ask the missus.

    The first time I realised I was amore adventurous than most was when I asked a waitress in Spain what ‘Sepion’ was and she said ‘You know, white things’ and I ordered it anyway. It was a sort of big white sheet of seafood with tiny little tentacles around a hole in the middle. I have yet to find out conclusively. It was quite nice. Too much olive oil though.

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