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#1
Old 04-04-2014, 01:12 PM
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Do you hate arugula?

In the early nineties I graduated high school and worked on a tiny farm for a summer. Most of the farm produce was delicious, and I ate it all.

Except arugula. I'd never heard of it before, and when I smelled it the first time, no kidding I thought there was a dead animal nearby. My first taste was somewhere between rubber cement and corpses, and I couldn't wash the taste out of my mouth for a long time. A single leaf of it in a salad was enough to ruin the salad for me. Even being near it was terrible.

Years of exposure to arugula have enabled me to tolerate it, but only barely: I still won't eat it if I can politely avoid eating it. And yesterday when I took my daughter to our garden and tasted a new sprout from the mixed greens we'd planted, I was horrified to realize that the mix contained arugula: even a single sprout of the plant is chock full of nasty.

Is this a common reaction to this green? I've never had another green that I dislike so intensely. I wonder (especially since my mom has a similar reaction) if there is some sort of hereditary component, similar to what may exist (I've read disputing articles) regarding cilantro.
#2
Old 04-04-2014, 01:21 PM
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It's mildly bitter, but I can't imagine having such a strong reaction to it one way or the other. Just another salad green to me.
#3
Old 04-04-2014, 01:30 PM
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It's a vege-tuh-bull!
#4
Old 04-04-2014, 01:31 PM
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Meh. I can take or leave it, and really don't like all the chefs out there who put it in/on everything.
#5
Old 04-04-2014, 01:33 PM
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I love it. In salads, on sandwiches, or sauteed and used in an omelet.
#6
Old 04-04-2014, 01:33 PM
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On the contrary, I look for excuses to eat more of it. It's my go to green alone or mixed with other letti.
#7
Old 04-04-2014, 01:37 PM
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I find it bitter and unpleasant, but not to the extent you describe LHoD. It's possible you're just more sensitive to that particular flavor than most people.
#8
Old 04-04-2014, 01:44 PM
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Whenever I eat whatever I eat, I want it to taste good. Arugula is bitter and doesn't taste good. I won't even make a pretense of eating it out of politeness for my hosts, and if it is served in a restaurant, I send it back. I find it absolutely vile.
#9
Old 04-04-2014, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silenus View Post
Meh. I can take or leave it, and really don't like all the chefs out there who put it in/on everything.
That's my opinion also.
#10
Old 04-04-2014, 02:16 PM
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Is this one of those things like Cilantro where it's fantastic for some while others think it stinks and tastes like soap? I've always liked both and never thought anything was weird about either.
#11
Old 04-04-2014, 02:25 PM
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I love arugula. To me it isn't bitter at all, but rather has a spicy taste like black pepper. Are you sure you're not confusing it with radicchio (which is purple, and bitter beyond belief). For the record, I hate cilantro with the fire of a thousand suns -- and I don't think I've ever met a person who hates arugula before (I know plenty if people in the "take it or leave it" category).

Last edited by Hello Again; 04-04-2014 at 02:26 PM.
#12
Old 04-04-2014, 02:45 PM
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I'm fine with it as an ingredient. But not as the sole or dominant ingredient.
#13
Old 04-04-2014, 02:47 PM
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Definitely arugula I'm complaining about--remember, I first encountered it because I was helping to grow a crop of it.

Thing is, I don't find it especially bitter, unless you consider rotten meat to be bitter. There are plenty of bitter foods I enjoy, including other greens and, well, bitters.

Arugula's flavor, even fresh-picked, is rancid and terrible to me. Maybe it really is just some quirk of my taste buds.
#14
Old 04-04-2014, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hello Again View Post
I love arugula. To me it isn't bitter at all, but rather has a spicy taste like black pepper. Are you sure you're not confusing it with radicchio (which is purple, and bitter beyond belief). For the record, I hate cilantro with the fire of a thousand suns -- and I don't think I've ever met a person who hates arugula before (I know plenty if people in the "take it or leave it" category).
Same here. I love it and it has a really nice slightly bitter, spicy and peppery flavor. It's great in a salad with stuff like roasted pears and nuts with bleu cheese crumbles or something similar. Crap, now I wish I had some.

#15
Old 04-04-2014, 03:35 PM
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I, too, love it. And it might be a similar situation to cilantro, but it's not the same situation: I'm also one of those who thinks cilantro tastes soapy (though I've learned to tolerate and even appreciate it in small doses).
#16
Old 04-04-2014, 04:02 PM
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It's OK, but now I am eating dandelion greens.
#17
Old 04-04-2014, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
...even a single sprout of the [arugula] plant is chock full of nasty.

Is this a common reaction to this green? I've never had another green that I dislike so intensely. I wonder (especially since my mom has a similar reaction) if there is some sort of hereditary component, similar to what may exist (I've read disputing articles) regarding cilantro.
A friend of mine has a similar reaction to cilantro. Like dead animals, apparently. She isn't a particularly picky eater either.

Tastes vary, and food tastes really vary:
http://innovations-report.com/ht...ort-40723.html

"Each human carries their own distinctive set of taste receptors which gives them a unique perception of how foods and medicines taste," explains Monell Chemical Senses Center psychophysicist Paul Breslin, PhD, who shares first authorship and is a corresponding contributor for the study. "This paper shows that a single gene codes for multiple forms of a taste receptor, with each form having a differing sensitivity to taste compounds. Further, a person’s perceptual sensitivity to these bitter tasting compounds corresponds strikingly well with their genetically-determined receptor sensitivity."
#18
Old 04-04-2014, 07:31 PM
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Several years ago my wife went to Thailand and came back with a bag full of Thai candies. Most of them were delicious.

Then there were the Durian candies. The first one I ate, I nearly gagged.

The second one I ate, I was curious if it could possibly be as bad I remembered. And yeah, it was, but it was also intriguing.

I ended up finishing off the bag.

The stinky grossness of durian fruit (at least durian fruit candy) is the closest I can think of to how I perceive arugula, only arugula lacks that intriguing redemptive quality.

It's fascinating to me that nobody else seems to perceive it that way.
#19
Old 04-04-2014, 08:08 PM
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I recall an NPR segment where a taste expert gave the host a certain chemical. The host tasted... nothing, apparently like a majority of people. But some - a significant minority- would have been gagging apparently. Taste receptors really do vary across the human population.
#20
Old 04-04-2014, 10:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
The stinky grossness of durian fruit (at least durian fruit candy) is the closest I can think of to how I perceive arugula, only arugula lacks that intriguing redemptive quality.

It's fascinating to me that nobody else seems to perceive it that way.
I do. Well, I've never had durian, but I find arugula to be the most disgusting fresh food I have ever eaten. It ruins everything it touches. It's the only single ingredient I can think of that has kept me from ordering a salad I otherwise would want.

FWIW, I grew up on a farm and love almost all fruit and vegetables raw, including cabbage and turnips. I'm not a picky eater and I'm not really opposed to bitter. I don't think it is a bitter taste that bothers me about arugula. I honestly didn't know anyone liked it and thought it was a weird food trend.

Also hate cilantro, but don't find it soapy. To me, cilantro is bitter. And unpleasant, like something that isn't meant to be food. I wonder, but don't think I can ever know, if some people taste what I am tasting and enjoy it, if some people taste what I taste and think it is soapy, or if I taste something completely different from both those groups.
#21
Old 04-05-2014, 02:35 AM
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Most vegetables in the mustard family have some degree of bitterness. I like bitterness in the right context and proportion, but there are plenty of people who can't stand it in any amount. I know someone who doesn't like dark chocolate because it's too bitter. I've met people for whom regular old broccoli is too bitter. Some people hate beer because it's bitter.

There are vegetables that are far more bitter than arugula. I think bitter melon is the champ. I like bitter melon in certain dishes, but I'd guess that most people wouldn't like it. Broccoli raab (AKA rapini or cime di rapa) is pretty bitter.

Arugula is peppery in addition to being bitter. Maybe it's the combination of the two that some people can't stand. I like it, myself.
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#22
Old 04-05-2014, 03:35 AM
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This is how I feel about arugula. (DM2 - Minions eating nasty jelly)

Arugula & cilantro are weirdly popular & infamous lately; I'm repulsed by arugula but I like cilantro in small amounts.
#23
Old 04-05-2014, 03:48 AM
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I don't mind the taste of arugula but I do seem to have some digestive problems not long after eating it.
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#24
Old 04-05-2014, 05:21 AM
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I had to Google to find out what it was (which I know I've done before and forgotten the answer) and it's what I know over here as rocket.
I was grown up before I even heard of it over here and rocket seemed a weird name for it, but now I quite like it. Quite often have some as a garnish or maybe topping on a sandwich.
#25
Old 04-05-2014, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Lichtman View Post
Most vegetables in the mustard family have some degree of bitterness. I like bitterness in the right context and proportion, but there are plenty of people who can't stand it in any amount. I know someone who doesn't like dark chocolate because it's too bitter. I've met people for whom regular old broccoli is too bitter. Some people hate beer because it's bitter.

There are vegetables that are far more bitter than arugula. I think bitter melon is the champ. I like bitter melon in certain dishes, but I'd guess that most people wouldn't like it. Broccoli raab (AKA rapini or cime di rapa) is pretty bitter.

Arugula is peppery in addition to being bitter. Maybe it's the combination of the two that some people can't stand. I like it, myself.
Fresh mustard greens are delicious. I love me some good bitters. It ain't about bitterness or pepperiness, unless when you're driving on the highway and smell a paper mill or a dead skunk, you think, "Mmm, peppery!"
#26
Old 04-05-2014, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Whitney Harper View Post
It's OK, but now I am eating dandelion greens.
This is my main beef with arugula. I see it in a salad and think it's going to be tasty tasty dandelion greens, and it ends up being inoffensive but fairly boring arugula.

It's probably the glucosinolates in arugula that some people find so corpse-like. They're not bitter, exactly, but rich in sulfur and nitrogen, which humans associate with rot and decay.
#27
Old 06-22-2014, 08:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post

Is this a common reaction to this green? I've never had another green that I dislike so intensely. I wonder (especially since my mom has a similar reaction) if there is some sort of hereditary component, similar to what may exist (I've read disputing articles) regarding cilantro.
I have always detested cilantro and arugula. They taste and smell rotten to me. Julia Child felt the same way so nobody can every accuse you of having an unsophisticated palate because you're not a fan
#28
Old 02-03-2016, 09:12 PM
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you aren't alone

I also think arugula is vile and smells like a pungent, dead, rotting animal. Almost as bad as arugula is celery. Celery is the most bitter substance on the planet. If the average IPA has an IBU of 75, celery is about a 200. Both of them will ruin a dish but I can tolerate picking very well cooked celery out of a dish. Just the smell of someone else eating arugula can ruin my appetite.

When I mention either reaction, I get strange looks from people who don't understand that taste and smell are highly personal (and genetic).

http://discovermagazine.com/2010/dec...ow-about-taste this article has some cool facts about how we perceive flavors.

Strangely, I cannot taste that truffle perfume, they are just like regular mushrooms to me, and I love cilantro, it is the defining flavor of mexican and chinese food.

Last edited by RGBlack; 02-03-2016 at 09:15 PM.
#29
Old 02-03-2016, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by RGBlack View Post
I also think arugula is vile and smells like a pungent, dead, rotting animal. Almost as bad as arugula is celery. Celery is the most bitter substance on the planet. If the average IPA has an IBU of 75, celery is about a 200. Both of them will ruin a dish but I can tolerate picking very well cooked celery out of a dish. Just the smell of someone else eating arugula can ruin my appetite.
Strange, seeing a zombie thread I started....

My arugula tastes haven't changed, but it's nice to read others who validate my hatred of it. It's cool to see that it might be glucosinolates--thanks, Whynot, for that tidbit! And no, no, no, IT AIN'T THE BITTERNESS. While I'm not a macho IPA fan, some IPAs are amazing, and I drink strong coffee black sometimes, and I like drinks made with bitters, and I enjoy high-tannin wine, and so on and so forth--even if arugula were bitter that wouldn't describe what ruins it for me.

I know some folks dislike celery. I really like it, think it gives a wonderful fresh deep flavor to food. There's nothing rotten-tasting about it to me; it's interesting to see it compared to arugula!
#30
Old 02-03-2016, 09:39 PM
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Must be like how I feel about green bell peppers. I like red, orange and yellow peppers fine. And chiles and anaheims and habaneros, but those green bell things make me want to barf, and I cannot get why other people put them in everything.
#31
Old 02-03-2016, 11:47 PM
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It's good. My back yard slope is covered with arugula but the chickens are going to town on it now.
#32
Old 02-03-2016, 11:54 PM
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I don't like it very much. It's too bitter. I'd rather have spinach.

But I don't detest it the way I do today's trendiest green: kale.

For God's sake, just give me some turnip greens!
#33
Old 02-04-2016, 01:11 AM
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I d not understand kale. It is just broccoli. Why not just eat broccoli?
#34
Old 02-04-2016, 01:59 AM
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Arugula is fine by me, cooked or raw. I do not want chicory, endive, or radicchio, however, except in teeny amounts. Urgh. I also do not get along well with broccoli and cauliflower, but I will tolerate them in mixtures/soups. But I do like broccoli rabe/Chinese broccoli. And I adore things in the bok choy family. I love collard and mustard greens, etc., plus most "yard greens" (lambsquarters, sorrel, cats-tongue, dandelion, purslane) Can barely handle kale. Love cabbage, too, as long as I don't have to smell it cooking all day.

And I can eat cilantro by the fistful, as well as parsely. But I first hated cilantro. It was an acquired taste.

Just sayin', in case anyone is doing a study.

Last edited by Elemenopy; 02-04-2016 at 02:03 AM.
#35
Old 02-04-2016, 10:03 PM
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Wait, celery is supposedly bitter now? Celery is about the most innocuous vegetable possible. It does have a flavor, but not a strong one of any sort.

And dandelion is even more delicious than arugula. Especially with bacon dressing.
#36
Old 02-04-2016, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by eschereal View Post
I d not understand kale. It is just broccoli. Why not just eat broccoli?
Because kale is leafy and you can slice it REAL thin and use it to make caldo verde, one of the most delicious soups on the planet.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caldo_verde
#37
Old 02-05-2016, 12:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Wait, celery is supposedly bitter now? Celery is about the most innocuous vegetable possible. It does have a flavor, but not a strong one of any sort.
Yeah, this makes no sense to me. I'd accept peppery, especially if you're eating the white part closer to the bulb? root? bottom of the plant but not bitter.
#38
Old 02-05-2016, 12:36 AM
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Well, celery (esp. raw) sort of tastes to me like dirty cardboard. But I still kinda like it, and we go through at least a stalk/package of it a week. I just cook with it, because it's what's in the recipes I make. And I really like raw celery stuffed with cream cheese with a sprinkle of garlic salt. But there's a lot of vegetables I don't particularly like on their own merits...it's just that I don't think about it too hard, because I love to eat and I want vitamins and such. I think that's the prime difference between me and picky eaters.

Like carrots. I think they kind of taste like ass, and they take way too long to cook compared to other things, but they're good for us and colorful, so I make do. And they're really nice done a la Vichy (I think)...simmered in butter, then tossed with parsley, brown sugar, ginger, s/p. Yum. Parsnips are good like that, too.
#39
Old 02-05-2016, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by eschereal View Post
Must be like how I feel about green bell peppers. I like red, orange and yellow peppers fine. And chiles and anaheims and habaneros, but those green bell things make me want to barf, and I cannot get why other people put them in everything.
Huh. For lunch today I had a sandwich of toast with cream cheese and bell peppers and a little mustard. That's it. We probably go thru 6 bell peppers a week. I love red and yellow peppers, and I really love ajvar (roasted red pepper salsa), but I couldn't imagine not throwing a bit of green bell pepper in most of my dishes. I'm a little iffier when it comes to the hot peppers. I do like pepperoncini, poblanos (especially for the stuffed chiles rellenos?) and pickled jalapenos, however.
#40
Old 02-05-2016, 12:54 AM
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(Glad we got the zombie thing out of the way already).

I adore arugula by any name, but also completely understand why someone would hate it. It has an odd taste...kind of like radishes, which I abhor. Yet despite the similarity I taste, I hate radishes and love arugula. Go figure.
#41
Old 02-05-2016, 01:02 AM
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Originally Posted by CairoCarol View Post
(Glad we got the zombie thing out of the way already).

I adore arugula by any name, but also completely understand why someone would hate it. It has an odd taste...kind of like radishes, which I abhor. Yet despite the similarity I taste, I hate radishes and love arugula. Go figure.
You're right, arugula does taste a bit like radishes--a vegetable I like okay, I just rarely buy because it doesn't go into my recipes. It's something I like for a relish/snack, and I'm really the only one around here who eats it, so...

But I wouldn't say no to a big plate of thin-sliced radish, salted, with aioli or balsamic vinaigrette to dip it in. It's just not something I want to do unless somebody else will eat it with me. Radish is also nice on a cold corned beef sandwich.
#42
Old 02-05-2016, 07:39 AM
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I don't care much for arugula, although my dislike is not as intense as the OP's.

I think in a salad a small amount finely divided can add an interesting flavor note, which is really the only place I could be said to "like" argula. I guess it's a bit like pepper - I wouldn't want to eat it by itself, but added to other things it can be a good thing.
#43
Old 02-05-2016, 07:48 AM
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At a recent beer-food pairing, one of the courses was fried frog legs served over lemon risotto, garnished with a piping of arugula purée around the edge of the plate. The arugula purée was a beautiful bright green and added an intense flavor to the dish.
#44
Old 02-05-2016, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Inner Stickler View Post
Yeah, this makes no sense to me. I'd accept peppery, especially if you're eating the white part closer to the bulb? root? bottom of the plant but not bitter.
I like celery but, to me, it does have a very distinct and strong taste, and bitter is part of that flavor, no matter what part you eat (I actually find the white part less bitter than the rest. To me, it's the green part that tastes bitter--maybe chlorophyl, although that's not really supposed to have much of a flavor. It does somewhat remind me of the bitterness of green peppers.) No comparing the bitterness to that of an IPA -- well, I personally wouldn't scale celery as being more bitter than an average IPA, but I'm not a supertaster.
#45
Old 02-05-2016, 11:35 AM
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Yeah, that threw me for a loop. Any beer over 30 IBU is undrinkable as far as I'm concerned but I'll eat celery until my tongue goes numb.
#46
Old 02-05-2016, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by DCnDC View Post
It's a vege-tuh-bull!
Heh. I always think of that. Glad to know it's not just me.

Arugula (or rocket/roquette, as the Europeans call it) as an accent in a salad or other dish is fine, although I draw the line at putting it on pizza. Arugula in a big heap as a salad is terrible and lazy, and restaurants need to stop doing that.
#47
Old 02-05-2016, 12:05 PM
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I'm with the OP. Arugula tastes revolting.
#48
Old 02-05-2016, 12:32 PM
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Years ago I had a dish at a restaurant, a spicy/peppery shrimp concoction served over quite a lot of arugula(mopped up with grilled naan, what could be bad?). It was excellent, and I was glad I tried it, never having eaten so large a portion of the bitter green before. I managed to make a reasonable facsimile of the entree at home, and have been enjoying it ever since.

The sainted Lidia Bastianich cautioned years ago to enjoy the primo taglio, the first cut of the season, as it was the sweetest and most refined. Successive cuttings of the same plants will be coarser and progressively more bitter. So, wait for Springtime, or grow your own, I guess?
#49
Old 02-05-2016, 01:43 PM
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I always hear Martha Stewart saying it.
#50
Old 02-05-2016, 04:21 PM
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I love arugula, in fact my garden is full of the stuff. Cilantro too (and yes it is soapy but that's what's great about it). But I'm going to side with everyone who can't stand celery. I think it is easily the most disgusting thing people put in their mouths - not bitter, or peppery, just intensely vile in some obscure way; it simply doesn't register as edible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eschereal View Post
Must be like how I feel about green bell peppers. I like red, orange and yellow peppers fine. And chiles and anaheims and habanero
Same here! When a bell pepper is still green, it needs to be left on the plant longer to ripen.
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