Food Fight! You Won’t Guess The Top Thirteen Most Polarizing Foods In The U.S.

You either love these foods, or you'd projectile spit them across a restaurant if they somehow ended up on your plate. Either way, with these foods, everybody has an opinion, and they're ready to fight to the death over whether or not these tastes belong in a sophisticated palette. These are the top thirteen most polarizing foods in the good ole U.S. of A.

  1. 1


    The bane of many a taco-lover, cilantro leaves many with an unpleasant, overpowering taste in their mouths. To others, cilantro's an unoffensive addition to any yummy dish that brings a refreshing or tangy taste. There's a pretty big jump from "tangy" to "tastes like soap or bugs," making cilantro one of the most hotly contested herbs in the country.

  2. 2

    Anchovies and Sardines

    They're watching you.Two different fish, we've lumped these guys together because both anchovies and sardines are small, silvery fish usually stuffed into slime-filled tin cans. Most of us don't think of anchovies or sardines outside jokes about pregnancy cravings and Tom and Jerry cartoons, and there are whole threads on Reddit asking if there's anyone out there who actually likes these little shits. But sardines are still available in stores nationwide, and anchovies are still topping options at most pizzerias, so there must be some demand for them.

  3. 3


    Okra's a veggie that could cause blood feuds in the South. Many people say that the texture of okra is unpleasantly slimy, but others say that they could eat a whole jar of pickled okra (could doesn't mean should, JoAnne) and that any gumbo without okra isn't gumbo at all. The little "lady's fingers," as people apparently call them (and that's creepy as hell, guys), are jam-packed with nutrients, fiber, and vitamins. Not sure how many of those nutrients stay around when you fry the suckers, but it's nice to know.

  4. 4


    Apparently an aphrodisiac once you get past their looks, oysters can also cause some pretty intense arguments. On the one hand: they're usually associated with fancy parties, casinos, and hoity-toity clam bakes. On the other hand: there's that chewy texture, the fact that they spend their lives filtering fish poo, and the reality that people eat them raw. And just look at them.

  5. 5


    Licorice. It can be overpowering, cloying, medicinal. Or, is it the right amount of sweet, nostalgic, and weirdly fruity? Black licorice in particular can get pretty vicious responses, mostly that it's too salty and smells like Satan's armpits. You either love it or you hate it, and either way, you're probably pretty vocal about your opinions.

  6. 6

    Blue Cheese

    To some, it's the absolute devil. To others, it's just another cheese. Everyone admits that it smells hella funky, but the reason why most people love it and hate it is the same: its super strong taste. Lovers say that it's creamy, sharp, and helps cut down heat and pairs well with wing sauce. Haters say they'd rather not eat mold that tastes like paint, thanks.

  7. 7


    I have a friend with a mayonnaise phobia; he calls it "food lube." While it's true that mayonnaise is often used as a spread to help add moisture and bring a light flavor to sandwiches and pasta salads. It's also the base for many sauces and aiolis. But people whose skin crawls when mayo is mentioned say that it's slimy and vinegary, and again, the lube of condiments.

  8. 8


    Nobody seems to really LIKE liver much these days in the U.S. While it's heavily used in other cuisines and older dishes, it's definitely the odd one out in most American supermarkets. The debate exists because many people maintain that beef liver's very good for you, packed with nutrients and vitamins, and that if you learn to eat it, there are many health benefits. Opponents say "That sounds fake and definitely not worth it."

  9. 9


    We'll leave the debate on coconut water for another day, coconut flesh is polarizing enough. Those who like coconut enjoy its texture, both shredded and whole ("It's like biting into a papery apple!"), and especially appreciate that it's sweet without being too sweet. People who hate it? It's either too bland or tastes like you've licked a sweaty sun-tanner, and its texture - especially shredded - is like eating Easter basket grass.

  10. 10


    Particularly polarizing because of its association with vegan and vegetarian diets, tofu has vocal advocates and deniers. Many people think that it looks weird, tastes bland, and feels like you're eating a wet sponge. Yum. Note, though, that most of these people might not realize that you're not supposed to just eat it straight out of the package. Tofu lovers say that with seasoning and in a good dish, tofu's a great meat substitute that can have tons of flavor and pizzazz.

  11. 11


    Sushi's great debate arises from a pretty obvious cause: it's raw.That's all we're really going to say about that. You can catch us trying to master chopsticks in our down time and ignoring headlines about mercury levels in salmon.

  12. 12


    Look at these phallic green tubes of death.Sorry, sorry, trying to stay impartial in this debate.Look, they're warty, slimy, brine-y, and they overpower any sandwich you put them on. They're all you taste. They're little conquerors, and they're just corrupted cucumbers that have been twisted into a life of crime and chaos.Struggling to find a positive. Some people say pickles compliment savory dishes by adding a little brightness and a unique vinegary taste. Sure, guys. Sure.

  13. 13


    Fennel's a staple ingredient to many Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Indian dishes. Typically found in egg, pasta, and fish dishes, fennel adds a little something extra and deepens a flavor profile with its licorice-y flavor. People who hate it also, not coincidentally, hate licorice. See no. 5 to watch that battle perpetuate on and on into eternity.What do you think of our list? Do you love or hate the foods we've mentioned? Duke it out in the comments below, and don't forget to share this list with your picky-eater friends!

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