“I wrote 63 songs this year. They’re all about Jeter.” Just kidding. The game we love, the players we hate, and more.

Culture and Criticism

From Norman Mailer to Wendy Pepper — everything on film, TV, books, music, and snacks (shut up, raisins), plus the Girls’ Bike Club.

Donors Choose and Contests

Helping public schools, winning prizes, sending a crazy lady in a tomato costume out in public.

Stories, True and Otherwise

Monologues, travelogues, fiction, and fart humor. And hens. Don’t forget the hens.

The Vine

The Tomato Nation advice column addresses your questions on etiquette, grammar, romance, and pet misbehavior. Ask The Readers about books or fashion today!

Home » Culture and Criticism

The Nause-AA: Elite Hate

Submitted by on September 13, 2012 – 9:48 AM37 Comments

Today’s write-ups by both of us, as marked. To vote, scroll down; to see the bracket, click here. We’ll leave these open a few days, so tell a friend (or queasy enemy).

You’ve probably got it knocked by now, but just in case, you’ll want to vote for the food or taste you like the least. Against, not for, Survivor-style.

Sarah D. Bunting
12 licorice/anise vs. 3 organ meats/offal
I love black licorice, the stronger and saltier and more it tastes like creosote, the better — and I don’t mind organ meats at all (it’s what makes my mom’s gravy so awesome), but I can’t eat them anymore, so for me, that’s that. For you, it’s a tougher call; offal strikes me as the more disgusting, but you guys hate licorice much more than we’d anticipated. [“LEAD POISONING.” — Keckler] I’m going to bet the underdog, but won’t be surprised if haggis works its old brown magic on the results.

12 licorice/anise vs. 3 organ meats/offal

  • organ meats/offal (67%, 581 Votes)
  • licorice/anise (33%, 287 Votes)

Total Voters: 868

Loading ... Loading ...

9 creamed vegetables vs. 3 raw oysters
Well, shit. Two of my favorites. In fact, inspired by our unholy-combo discussions from the Sweet Sicksteen, I wouldn’t mind a big bowl of creamed spinach topped with a few salty Cuttyhunks. A little fresh pepper, a little Old Bay, a little oh hey you just totally speeyarfed on my Chuck Taylors okay then.

This isn’t that tough a call for me voting-wise — you know that green-bean casserole you just flinched at like it burned you? I made that, and I’m actually hoping you avoid it so I can take it home and scarf it down in front of All On The Line — but while I’ve got to wave bye-valve to our pearly friends, I think creamed veggies stay the course here.

9 creamed vegetables vs. 3 raw oysters

  • raw oysters (70%, 594 Votes)
  • creamed vegetables (30%, 249 Votes)

Total Voters: 843

Loading ... Loading ...

5 fake cherry flavoring vs. 3 okra

YOU GUYS OKRA IS SO GOOOOOD! Seriously, I just got back from Washington, D.C. where I cooked okra over a live flame at the 14th and U farmers’ market and converted a crapload of citizens. (Probably shouldn’t use the word “crapload” here, sorry.) I get the slime worry, I do. But I sliced those pods up the night before and let them hang out in the fridge and I think that actually helped de-slime them, truly.

I am just so sad you guys won’t ever know what it is to love this vegetable that slices up into beautiful little green octagons. You can taste the mathematical perfection! But I know when I’m beat. Okra will slide through and I’ll just have to eat enough for the rest of us.

5 fake cherry flavoring vs. 3 okra

  • fake cherry flavoring (50%, 421 Votes)
  • okra (50%, 413 Votes)

Total Voters: 834

Loading ... Loading ...

13 succotash vs. 15 Lima beans
I mean, it IS the name of my book, right? And I did say in that book that I would never not ever eat a speck of succotash, agreed? But still: Lima beans. They’re IN succotash. They’re part of the whole revolting development that succotash turned out to be. On the other hand, my mother hated Lima beans as a kid so we never had to eat them on their own, which makes me feel more kindly towards them compared to the slew of succotash I forced down my gullet.

However, this is an upset I never would have called, so what do I know? I think you guys will push succotash through, since it includes things like carrots, peas, frenched green beans [“Hew!” — SDB], and red peppers — all which have the potential to be hated.

13 succotash vs. 15 Lima beans

  • Lima beans (51%, 420 Votes)
  • succotash (49%, 396 Votes)

Total Voters: 816

Loading ... Loading ...



  • attica says:

    The only dog in the hunt I don’t have is creamed veg v oysters. Neither offend, and after a thoughtful gut-check, I can’t even decide which one I like more (or less, as is the point). So I yield that to the majority of the Nation.

    On the other hand, succotash has stuff in it I can bear. Lima beans are caulk.

  • Maru says:

    I’m with attica on the succotash. Everything in it can disguise the lima beans – well, as much as you can hide those pellets of death.

    On the other hand, I’m having a hard time deciding between licorice and offal. But on a desert island I’m giving up delicious black licorice in favor of decadent pate, braunschweiger, liverwurst, and their kin. With raw onions, please.

  • avis says:

    I may have oysters and creamed spinach for lunch just to take away the sadness of them both being in this bracket. Living in south Louisiana, I can walk three blocks and make that happen for under $10!
    OTOH I *love* how much hate is generated by fake cherry flavoring! The only thing I might hate more is licorice and that’s not a fight we’ll get to see. le sigh…

  • Anlyn says:

    I’m completely with Keckler on okra. I love it in all it’s forms…boiled, fried, or pickled, doesn’t matter. Love it.

    And thank God for licorice haters, because that just leaves more for me! :)

  • Lianne says:

    Remove the lima beans from succotash and I’d probably like it. So those have to get my vote.

  • Erinwithans says:

    Keckler – After reading your book (loved it, passed it on to my mom, as I too am a picky-eater-turned-foodie), I cooked up okra for the first time using your recipe. My dad hates okra more than anything, but my mom was visiting and we tried it… and I love it! Love love love, ‘get at the farmer’s market, and then get greedy and eat it too fast and run out’ level of love it. Thank you! (though recently it’s been overcooked by the time it’s getting crispy on the outside – am I not heating up the oil enough first? Any pro tips?)

    Thank you for giving me a new food love!

  • FloridaErin says:

    I don’t understand how lima beans are losing, here! There are delightful vegitables in succotash that are perfectly innocent. In a bowl of lima beans, all you have are . . . lima beans. Nothing to save it.

    Also, I hate black licorice, but I would eat an entire handful of black jellybeans (why? why would you put that in with all the fruity ones? who is that cruel to children?) before I would touch organ meat. Remind me to tell you the story about how our family friend/farmer put a bag with a frozen cow tongue in the hood of my winter coat when I was a child and traumatized me for life…

  • Jeanne says:

    Dang, the only hated foods left for me are licorice and creamed vegetables. I’ve never had oysters or okra and I either like or am indifferent to the rest. I suppose I should thank my mom for not making me eat lima beans thus allowing my love for them to grow naturally.

    And good succotash is awesome. I had some at a restaurant recently that roasted the corn and had little bits of feta cheese and red bell peppers in it, it was sooooo good.

  • ferretrick says:

    Can I just say that I love “Elite Hate?” Also doubles as a campaign slogan!

  • Jen S 1.0 says:

    I could only vote for the first two. I actively hate black licorice (the paving tar of hell) but have never knowingly eaten organ meats, so that one was easy.

    And lovely creamed veggies vs wads of ocean mucust? No prob.

    But I have never had okra and am pretty neutral on artifical cherry flavor–I like cherry Lifesavers, does that count?

    And I like both limas and succotash! Especially cooked with sausage and cream to neutralize any healthy side effects from all those veggies. Hell, that’s technically creamed veggies right there.

    I am looking forward to the final showdown! Die, oysters and licorice, and embrace each other as you hurl towards Hades!

  • Sherry says:

    I had to vote for black licorice over offal meats. Offal is POTENTIALLY more gross (eew, haggis) but also includes things like braunschwieger and liver, both of which I like. Black licorice, however, is always disgusting.

    FloridaErin, I also don’t get how succotash is getting voted in over lima beans. The lima beans are the worst part of the succotash, so JUST lima beans in a pile on a plate–gah. Who wants to eat that? At least with succotash you can potentially find some bit of it that is inoffensive to you and eat that.

  • scout1222 says:

    I actually voted fake cherry over okra, which I say is one of only two vegetables I do not like. Because honestly, I’ve only had okra a few times, mostly in stews where it is slimy as all hell. I’m willing to concede that prepared other ways it could be good. So Keckler, you won me over.

  • MaryBeth says:

    I cannot believe that organ meats are beating licorice. Organ meats are not a monolith – each has its own level of offensiveness (or not). They can also be avoided fairly easily.

    But licorice is conniving and diabolical. It infiltrates a nice handful of jellybeans, disguised as grape-flavored. It infiltrates ouzo and pastis, which look like they would be so much fun. It infiltrates sausage and other wonderful pasta dishes (in fennel form). It infiltrates pfeffernusse when someone decides to add anise. It even infiltrated my life-saving medicine when I was young (liquid Tedral; it was thick and yellow and licorice-y and I’m still not sure it was worth surviving the asthma attacks). It is pure evil.

  • frogprof says:

    @Sherry: I’m with you. I’d forgotten about braunschweiger [my grandmother used to run out when we’d visit because I found her stash every time] … and I do love me some real pâté de campagne as long as it doesn’t have the lard lid. With some good cornichons? Mmmmm. Gonna have to go back and VOTE OUT THE LICORICE.

  • JR says:

    *quietly* I love lima beams. I feel so alone.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    [takes JR’s hand] It’s you, me, and the garlic butter, friend.

  • Patty says:

    Joining the lima bean hate backlash…they’re a favorite in our house!

  • dwbsfo says:

    [Shhh…] I like the limas, too. (Well, the baby ones; I kinda get the hatred of the chalky, weirdly wrinkled adult ones.) Try them with a squeeze of lemon and some freshly grated parm! No, really! Oh, well, more for JR, SDB and me. (And I’ll have some black jellybeans for dessert, please. I heart them, but no other form of black licorice, oddly. I think it’s the sky-high sugar content of the beans. Growing up, we had a family friend who was a wholesale candy distributor who used to give my mother and me a FIVE-POUND bag of black jellybeans every Easter. Christ has risen, indeed. It was heaven.)

  • Allie says:

    Raisins were ROBBED!

  • Jen S 1.0 says:

    And me! I’ll bring the sausages!

  • texasannie says:

    I also love lima beans. I don’t mind succotash at all, but I’ll go out of my way to eat lima beans. In fact, I either like or tolerate everything left in the bracket except raw oysters and offal. (Black licorice is borderline, but doesn’t make me actively retch)

  • LonOtter says:

    I can think of a couple-three recipes for limas that sound pretty good, but that does not include contaminating my sweet corn with them. And limas are less offensive than cooked sweet peppers, so succotash got my vote.

    The lima treatments that sound good to me:

    (1) Making a hummus-like substance from them.

    (2) Slice onions. Brown in olive oil in cast-iron skillet while preheating oven (400-450-ish). Add rinsed, drained canned beans, olive oil, salt, and what would seem like insane amounts of black pepper. Mix. Roast until the beans are browning. Nom. Haven’t tried it with limas yet, but works with garbanzos and/or generic “white beans”.

  • Kim from Canada says:

    Aw, green lima beans with butter and lemon are super yummy. And lima beans baked in tomato-basil sauce with lots of parm? Super duper yummy.

    I don’t really get succotash as a concept – it must be an American thing – but can cheerfully vote against it based on the peppers alone.

  • Elizabeth A says:

    @dwbsfo: I love so much about your comment I might have to marry it. Specifically:
    “Well, the baby ones; I kinda get the hatred of the chalky, weirdly wrinkled adult ones” … is the answer to so, so many life questions, isn’t it?
    “a FIVE-POUND bag of black jellybeans every Easter. Christ has risen, indeed.” … made me snort Diet Coke out my nose. For serious.

  • Sophie says:

    Yay! People loving the limas! The heavenly recipe I mentioned last week (from Cochon in New Orleans) is actually available online! I don’t want to link to it because I’m not sure the republication is legit, but if you Google “Donald Link Cochon lima beans,” you’ll find it. Happy eating!

  • Cora says:

    I feel I need to represent here. FloridaErin, I hear you and agree, but as an adult, I LUUUUURRRRRRVES me some black licorice — and not just because my dad once played Kaspar and sang about it. (Scroll to about 4:08 if you only want to hear the licorice part).

  • Cora says:

    Oh crud — that’s NOT my dad in the video, I should clarify. I just added the link for fun.

  • Melissa says:

    Black Licorice…how do I love thee? Even as toothpaste – check. I’m still bitter because Altoids discontinued my beloved after only 18 or so months on the market. They remain the only Altoids I never had to share.

    My personal meal from Hell as a child was Lima beans and Liver (kill me now). I can’t count how many nights I spent sitting at the kitchen table, alone, for hours after everyone else ate. And departed. *sigh* I always won, though. One of the parentals would eventually parole me.

  • Kat from Jersey says:

    Wow, these are tough! I can’t stand anything licorice-flavored… Good N Plenty, Sambuca, etc. But organ meats/offal mostly have the function in animals’ bodies filter out crap, so, ewwww.

  • Tcreole says:

    Here’s a question for you, Sars – why is the “I” in “Lima” a long I, when the city in Peru they are presumably named after is pronounced “Leema”? Are we Americans just mangling the city name but getting it right when referring to the green bullets my mother killed my taste buds with?

  • JeniMull says:

    Well, it’s certainly a diverse Nation – you Offal lovers are like Michelle Bachmann voters to me. But I embrace you anyway. Just stay away from me with that nasty liverwurst breath!

    And oysters – I do not get the love. Anytime I try slurping them down (and yes – in Ireland with a bit of sea salt, they tasted good) – I am stuck for the next few hours thinking about how those mucousy nightmares are just sloshing around in my stomach. Blerg. I have to go barf now.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    That I do not know. But I have just learned the taxonomic name of the Lima (phaseolus lunatus), and it gives me joy.

  • Delia says:

    really, oysters are still here, but mushrooms are gone? raw oysters are seriously like my favorite thing to eat. no kidding.

  • cayenne says:

    I love lima beans. Fresh lima beans with butter & lemon are a gift from the universe. All the other stuff in succotash just effs up the lima beans.

    Licorice vs. organ meat/offal is a tough, tough call. I detest licorice (and anise and fennel) and can’t understand how it can be used in candy. It ruins the sugar, and worse, it comes back in grepsing for HOURS. However, childhood trauma dictates that any category that contains liver must win.

    Raw oysters are congealed snot.

    Okra – maybe I’m too far north (Canada), so I’ve never had okra that wasn’t the consistency and taste of mucilage. Blerf. And I will be the last person to diss fake cherry; I consume cherry Coke, Dr. Pepper and Dr. Brown’s by the keg.

  • meredithea says:

    Looooove black licorice (red licorice is nasty!) and looooove Lima beans. I’m making a big ole pot of chicken soup tonight and I always chuck some Lima beans in there. My kids adore it. (So happy soup weather is here!)

  • Kim says:

    I took a new medication this weekend that…disagreed with me, STRONGLY–like pull-the-car-over-and-hhooaarff-in-traffic-TWICE strongly–and am now really really prepared for the eventual Onomatopoetic Vomit AA when it rolls up. I think I made every one of those sounds at least once.

Leave a comment!

Please familiarize yourself with the Tomato Nation commenting policy before posting.
It is in the FAQ. Thanks, friend.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>