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6 Picky Eating Habits You Can Fix (And Not Just With Bacon)

Throughout my life, I have always been a bit of a picky eater. I can't explain how it happened, and frankly I think some of you should be explaining to me how the fuck you keep eating tomatoes.

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I suppose the fact that my parents were both murdered by a tomato in an alley after taking me
to the theater may have had something to do with it.

I have gotten better with age, however, and in the years since I've left short pants, I've added a number of foods to my digestive repertoire. For anyone who happens to be in the same boat, below I present a list of some of the most hateful foods in the world, and suggestions on how to choke them down.

#6. Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are essentially baby cabbages, and although that might make them sound cute and fun, in reality it just means that all that awful cabbage taste is getting crammed into a smaller container. Brussels sprouts are concentrated awfulness, and I'm not alone in thinking so. They arouse an unusual amount of hatred in many people, apparently stemming from a particularly traumatizing Thanksgiving dinner that we all went through growing up.

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"You know the rules, son. No pie until you take a turn."

The reason almost every kid has the same story is because Brussels sprouts taste quite a bit more bitter than other vegetables, and as bitterness is one of those fundamental tastes that kids don't like, almost everyone's first contact with Brussels sprouts is an unpleasant one. It's not until our taste buds (and souls) die a little bit that they become palatable.

How You Should Eat It:

Because bitterness becomes more palatable with age, try Brussels sprouts out again if it's been a decade or two since you last threw them back in your grandmother's face, because you might find you like them now.

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If not, feel free to trot on over to Grandma's grave and spit them out.

If they still taste like hot garbage, you can step things up a bit and roast the bejeezus out of them. By letting the Maillard reaction smooth off the rough edges of their flavor, you can make them way tastier. Throw in some nuts and bacon, cover the whole mess in gravy, and you should be laughing.

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"AHAHAHHAHAHHHAHAHAHHHAHA!"

#5. Spinach

Spinach is another one that seems to have a bad reputation stemming from people being forced to eat it during childhood. It's one of those vegetables that's just lousy with nutrition, so you can sort of see why parents would do this, and like all vegetables, it doesn't come in Fruit Roll-Up form, so you can see why kids hate it.

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Kale Roll-Ups got absolutely nowhere on the market.

Also, according to Popeye cartoons, spinach used to be put in cans for some reason, which couldn't have helped anyone's opinion of it. Canning any food is a good way to make it several times grosser, and to do it to a leafy vegetable might be some kind of food crime.

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"Yeah, that's good, but what if we could make it slimier. Like a thousand times slimier?"
-Canners

How You Should Eat It:

Now that we no longer live in the past, when food was delivered by fucking horseback or something, we can back away from the canned spinach and eat the fresh stuff, at which point it's not particularly different from any other lettuce-like leaf. Without a word of a lie, almost all of my favorite salads as an adult use spinach in some way, probably because spinach salads always seem to include nuts, fruit, cheese, meat, and no other vegetables at all.

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This is basically my kind of salad.

#4. Cilantro

Although all right-thinking people love a burrito, the exact ingredients that should go in one is a matter of personal preference, and every good burrito joint will be filled with customers who have made their own individual choices about what goes in a burrito, and yet are still somehow all living together harmoniously.

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Burritos are deep, man.

This state of content breaks down completely when the matter of cilantro comes up. Cilantro, also known as coriander for those of you from non-burrito countries, provides for many people a fresh or citrusy scent and taste, while others find that its taste is irredeemably "soapy" or "awful, just awful."

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WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO MY BURRITO YOU TREACHEROUS LEAF?

How You Should Eat It:

There's some evidence that the reason some people like cilantro and some people don't is genetic. Which is interesting, although I can't help but be a little suspicious of what the funding request for that research looked like.

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Did someone actually give these people $8 million to eat burritos for seven years?

On the other hand, there are cases of people seemingly able to get over their cilantro aversion, mainly by eating lots of other foods. None of them have to contain cilantro, but eventually, after experiencing enough cilantro-like scents and flavors, the taster's mind begins associating cilantro with food and not soap. That sounds like an awful lot of work to begin eating an herb that is, at best, OK. But if you think you're missing out on something, go for it.

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Or just use the room you save on cilantro for more meat.

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Chris Bucholz

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