Do you have a dislike for certain types of food that puts you off even before trying? It’s like having a love-hate relationship. Take the durian, for example – either you love it or you hate it. And those who have never tried it, don’t even want to attempt it as the smell puts them off.
However, for some people who were brave enough to get past that first hurdle, they found that they actually quite like the taste!
My philosophy is simple – try everything at least once in life. So even if you don’t like the food, at least you can say you’ve tried it before and made up your mind about it! — Compiled by PATSY KAM
1. “I’m not very adventurous when it comes to food. I guess you could say eating stinky tofu was my biggest challenge. I didn’t think I would be able to accept the smell and taste. I first tried a piece locally and it was just alright. Later, I also had some in Hong Kong and Taiwan. It was mostly out of curiosity, and probably peer pressure as well that made me try it! It’s really smelly, but once you eat it, the taste is something else, quite unexpected. Perhaps, it’s a love-hate kind of food – like the durian!” — Yen, graphic artist.
2. “This was for a food review that I did some years back. When the chef brought out the Cempedak pizza, everyone kind of went, ‘Errrr...’ like you can’t ‘brain’ the combination! It smelt like cempedak but looked like pizza. When you eat it, the taste is sweetish and chewy, yet savoury with pasta sauce. It was weird, but not altogether bad. You have to give it to the chef for thinking of this unusual pairing! Strangely, I did enjoy the pizza, but I’m not sure if I would want to order this again.” — Rina, freelance writer.
3. “I would have to say it’s tempeh. When you think about it, tempeh isn’t appealing at all as it’s mouldy and looks yucky. But as someone who is into health and organic foods, I was willing to give it a try since tempeh is said to have a host of benefits. The first time I tried it was in Bali years ago. I tried the raw version; it tasted like fermented soybean and it wasn’t so bad actually. The chef at the restaurant cut it thickly and braised it, and then lightly fried it. It tasted so good! Nowadays, I eat tempeh once a while, usually just stir-fried with other veggies. Its health benefits are what drives me to continue eating this.” — Patricia, home school educator.
4. “I never thought I would try eating insects. I mean, nobody really consciously sets out to eat bugs, right? But when I was in Thailand, there was a stall selling all kinds of insects. I told myself that I would try it at least once. And it was surprisingly not so bad. I ate crickets and I think I would try it again.” — Ryan, film editor.
5. “I didn’t eat goreng pisang (fried banana) as a child as I didn’t like the look of it! When I was in my teens, I finally tried a piece and I realised I had been missing out! But I would have to say what really put me off was mantis prawns. It looked quite disgusting as it reminded me of cockroaches, and I don’t like anything to do with bugs or insects! My parents, however, have quite an adventurous palate, and my father especially, have no qualms about eating strange or weird foods. They ordered a dish of mantis prawns cooked Chinese style and made me try some. I was surprised it was so tasty! These days, when I’m out having dinner with my family, I might order a plate of mantis prawns, either cooked in buttermilk or with salted egg, and it’s one of my favourite dishes!” — Venoth, safety manager.
6. “It has to be escargot! I told myself I would never want to try this as I feel it’s disgusting to eat snails. But recently my cousin ordered some, baked with cheese, and convinced me to try one. I did and I’m never going to have another one again. The texture was rubbery and tasteless. And I still think it’s yucky!” — Angela, PR consultant.