Food phobias


One of the foods I will not eat is peas. Dates to childhood. I will not give peas a chance. This means there are pastas, fried rices and occasional other dishes that I won’t order at a restaurant or buy in a store. Chicken pot pies almost always have peas, for instance.

Usually I’ll check for suspicious ingredients, but I let my guard down Sunday at Fresh and Easy when I bought the seemingly innocent Lemon Salmon Quinoa and Brown Rice entree. Then I heated it up for dinner and discovered peas. Plenty of them. I began fishing them out with a fork. And kept fishing, and kept fishing. This wasn’t easy, as the dish also had asparagus, which is also green but which I will eat.

Have you ever tried separating an objectionable item from a dish? Just when you think you’ve got them all, you find more. I thought I was done, then found probably 10 more. When I started eating, another pea turned up almost immediately. Eventually three more hidden peas were spotted. All in all, this 9-ounce serving had something like 60 peas. It should have been called Lemon Peas, Etc.

I won’t be buying that entree again, obviously. (The rest was tasty in a healthful way. It might be less work to make the dish from scratch, sans peas.) Your turn: Is there an item, or two or three, you resolutely refuse to eat?

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  • Mark Allen

    Buh … hate to rain peas on your parade, but these contaminants appear to be quinoa seeds. They did you the favor of putting “quinoa” in bold print.

    • Tim

      He probably wouldn’t have liked that either.

      • davidallen909

        Some of the quinoa came out along with the peas, but believe me, they were peas, and the ingredients list included peas.

        • Mark Allen


          • Tim

            Nasty frozen peas!

  • Tim

    It’s frozen peas that put me off. They taste completely different than fresh peas do. Unfortunately, many restaurants will use frozen vegetables in their preparations.

  • SAWZ

    I absolutely love peas! We had a garden on the farm in WY and always ate them raw. I love peas in everything–pea salad; peas in macaroni and cheese. My mother used to make creamed peas over toast for dinner–yum, yum!
    What won’t I eat or even try? Squirrel. It was a stapel in OK where I went with my spouse to visit his parents. His mother asked me if I liked squirrel–I said, “No”. Of course my answer made no difference either way. Squirrel was the main dish at every evening meal.

    • davidallen909

      Memo to self: Never eat at Shirley’s house.

  • Marilee Weiss

    While dining with our family in San Francisco at the Firefly, peas and carrots were the vegetable side with their specialty, Fried Chicken. The Firefly makes everything from scratch and only uses fresh organic herbs and veggies grown locally. My youngest daughter Jennifer ordered the fried chicken and then asked them to “hold the peas.” I can still see the look on the THE CHEF when he received her order. It was priceless. The waiter returned sheepishly and told her that it was not possible. 🙁 She then ordered a hamburger but that wasn’t possible either. “We don’t do hamburgers,” was the raised voice response.

  • Bob Terry

    I know I am probably in the 5% minority here…but I hate cucumbers! I love pickles, but why in Ygnacio’s name do they have to ruin a perfectly good green salad with cucumbers? If you go to Red Lobster, their house salad has a “plethora” of chopped cucumbers and it’s harder then hell to pick them out because the lettuce is damn near the same color…oh the horror!

  • Denise Pappas

    My husband and I seem to be the perfect couple. He likes greens and I
    don’t. I like beets and he doesn’t. So when I buy fresh beets nothing gets
    wasted. 😉

  • Andy Sze

    I don’t eat bugs. My last opportunity was about a year ago in Belize. Eating termites out of a tree. They were supposed to be minty

    • davidallen909

      Termites probably have a lot of fiber, too.

      • Andy Sze

        I usually end up somewhere that has bugs on the menu at some point about every other year. I usually pass. I pass on the chapulines tacos too in Westlake/McArthur Park.

  • davidallen909

    There, there. Personally I don’t mind cucumbers, but I prefer them sliced thin. Lots of times laziness in the kitchen means they’re sliced too thick to eat whole, so we have to do the work of cutting them into pieces.