The Food You Fear

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Corribus
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The Food You Fear

Postby Corribus » Jul 10 2006, 21:32

True Story:

I purchased some tomato sauce the other day to use with some spaghetti I was planning on making for supper. I usually am in the habit of checking the labels of such things to avoid the type of unpleasant situation that fate had in store for me that evening, but I was in a rush and so neglected this vital pre-purchase grocery ritual that has become a staple of my increasingly neurotic lifestyle. $2 and some odd cents later I was the proud owner of one jar of Wegmans Italian Classics Puttanesca Sauce, "a savory sauce with kalamata olives, portabello mushrooms, artichoke hearts and capers."

Had I known this ingredient list prior to shelling out my hard-earned two bucks, that jar would have gone back on the shelf faster than light travels in a vacuum. The reason being: I am afraid of Mushrooms.

Now, when I tell people this, they think I'm sort of kidding, that maybe I just don't care for the taste or the texture, but really it goes well beyond that for me. This isn't some casual food dislike. I don't LIKE asparagus. I FEAR mushrooms.

Sadly, I was also in a rush when I was preparing dinner and I committed the cardinal sin of cooking: I didn't check the label before USING the product. So there I was, a hot bowl of spaghetti in my hands topped with (unbeknownst to be) a rich, lucious tomato sauce that was just swimming in fungus and mold spores.

Can you imagine how aghast I was to learn, when I looked down, that there were huge hunks of fungus floating in my bowl? I considered just tossing the whole damn thing in the garbage (because that's where mushrooms belong), but I was also hungry and so I fell into the trap that has tripped up food-snoops since the dawn of time, and that is: The Pick-Around.

There's a definite size cut-off (and I have this down to a science, I swear) that determines at which point mushroom pieces are too small to be reliably separated from the rest of the edible portions of a given meal. It is precisely 3/8 of an inch. Anything smaller, and you seriously risk Esophageal Fungus Contamination. The pieces of fungus in my spaghetti were closing in on that sacred protective metric, and some I saw immediately fell in the RZ (red zone) but I was brash and arrogant that day, and thought I could succeed in removing every last mushroom molecule from the rest of my food despite the glut of smaller-than-should-be-legal mushroom particles.

Let it be said right now that there is no maximum time limit for food contaminant removal. Whether eating a TV dinner by myself or at a job interview, protecting my internal organs from exposure to anything in the Fungi Kingdom supercedes even the most important social conventions. I have been known to spend upwards of thirty minutes checking and rechecking an entree known to contain mushrooms, while my wife has sat mortified as I scrutinize every brown piece of matter no matter how outwardly innocent-looking. For mushrooms are sly, nefarious creatures, folks, because only the most dastardly of foods (and I use the term loosely) would dare impersonate the most prized of male-loved culinary delectables: beef.

But I digress.

So tossing all common-sense aside, I went to work, extricating those fungal pieces from my spaghetti with the tenacity that Joan of Arc worked to repel the English from France. Parry, thrust, scoop and retreat - slowly but surely I piled up the mushrooms on a poor paper towel that did not deserve such an ungodly fate. And finally, after twenty minutes of hard work, I sat down my fork, got a new one (the old one would have to be heated in a kiln for 24 hours before reuse), and prepared to eat my now fungus-free dinner.

But, unfortunate for me, a single fungal morsel still lurked below the surface of my sauce, prepared to wage guerilla warfare against my mouth. Not knowing this, of course, I dug in, trying hard to ignore the obvious fact that there were probably still microscopic spores dispersed throughout my spaghetti. I was starving, and ate quickly, shoveling it in
with a speed that would make Mario Andretti proud.

And then, the fungus struck.

I was chewing and I felt it. A squishy, slippery, slimy thing on the side of my tongue, to soft to be a hunk of hamburger and too slippery to be a noodle. Those whackos known as mushroom lovers delight in describing the mushroom's flavor as "earthy", but "earthy", my friends, is not a flavor. Dirt is earthy. Food is not. And as my jaw proceed in its reflexive bite even as the most primordial section of my brain screamed "STOP!!! FOREIGN BODY DETECTED!!! CODE RED!!", I tasted that subtle but nasty earthy flavor as it spread to my horrified taste buds.

And that's when my reflexes took over. The same reflexes that jerk your hands away from fire and protect you from every manner of danger faster than your conscious mind can react. The same reflexes that are hard-wired into our minds from birth as a result of eons of life-and-death struggles with all types of threats to our well-being.

In this case, my reflexes caused me to spit my entire mouthful of spaghetti out, sending gobs of chewed up pasta, meat, sauce and one lonely vile mushroom flying across the room and going SPLAT against my television.

I sat back and tried to catch my breath. My heart was racing. I was sweating. My pupils were dilated. I thought about rinsing my mouth out with rubbing alcohol, but settled for listerine.

Yes, it was close, my friends. I almost wasn't here today to tell you this story. Mushrooms are a fear for me. An irrational fear, perhaps, but I'm deathly afraid of them nontheless. They are the one food item I cannot tolerate under any circumstances. I will not eat them even to be polite. If I was stranded on a desert island and all that stood between me and death was a handful of fresh mushrooms, I'd probably die. And I'm not even kidding.

So am I the only one out there that has such an irrational fear of a type of food? I'm serious - this is like a whole separate level for me. I break into a sweat around them.
Last edited by Corribus on Jul 12 2006, 18:57, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby theLuckyDragon » Jul 10 2006, 21:58

What is this called? Fungophobia?

I have a thing with radishes, which manifests in both psychological and physical ways, but I don't think it's as intense as yours.

Now, I hope I won't offend: :rofl: (you have a marvellous writing style :) ).
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Re: The Food You Fear

Postby Fenris » Jul 10 2006, 22:05

I hope you don't mind if I'm laughing. Because I am; rather much actually. Personaly I rather enjoy mushrooms. Probably even more now. Although the use of the words "fungus" and "spores" made me understand your point of view better...

Can't think of any food that I really hate. There's this coughmedicine though that makes you realize how wonderful life was a few seconds ago, before you drank the cursed thing. Horrible, vile thing. The taste is of the vile kind that you just won't get rid of no matter how you try.

Corribus wrote:And then, the fungus struck.


Now there's a quote that might reach immortality. Makes me think of the old movie Day of the Trifids.
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Postby DaemianLucifer » Jul 10 2006, 22:08

Nah,no fears here.At least not of food.Although there are food types I hate,and food types that make me vomit(boiled vegetables for example).And I like mushrooms very much.I once even had a whole mushroom lunch,from soup to salad.Mmm,yum! :devious:

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Postby Corribus » Jul 10 2006, 22:19

DaemianLucifer wrote:Nah,no fears here.At least not of food.Although there are food types I hate,and food types that make me vomit(boiled vegetables for example).And I like mushrooms very much.I once even had a whole mushroom lunch,from soup to salad.Mmm,yum! :devious:

There are times when I'm at restaurants and I see something like "Grilled Portobello Sandwich". I don't know who in their right mind would think to base a sandwich off a mushroom, but there it is. Onetime, a friend of mine ordered such a sandwhich in front of me and I must have been wearing my "What the hell is wrong with you?" horrified expression and then he asked me what was wrong.

I think I just pointed at the menu, mouthing the words, "Ewww." And he said something absurd like, "You should try it. It tastes kind of like steak."

Uh: If I want something that tastes like steak, I'll order a damned steak. And I'm certainly not going to eat a mushroom the size of my face and try to convince myself it's almost like cow.

Oh and I'm not too fond of blue cheese either. I'm not stupid and I know where cheese comes from, but I certainly don't need to see the mold growing on it. You just KNOW that the only reason people eat blue cheese is because one day in the 15th century some French peasant was pretty frickin' hungry and found a piece of moldy cheese in someone else's garbage and decided to dig in.

And I just love people who go and hunt for their own mushrooms to eat. Notice where mushrooms grow: under dead trees, in damp basements, on rotting corpses, on feces. Not where I usually go looking for food. I find it quite ironic that people continue to go foraging for their own mushrooms to eat despite the fact that every year a handful of these people die from picking and eating mushrooms with such colorful names as "Deathcap" or "Angel of Destruction" or whatever they're called. There's no Deathcap Carrot, I'll tell you that.

Eat Mushrooms? I don't think so. :)
"What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were like a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?" - Richard P. Feynman

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Postby ThunderTitan » Jul 10 2006, 22:26

Mushrooms don't actualy taste like anything. I find them rather pointless in food. But i'll eat them if i'm hungry.

There are plenty of things that taste like crp IMO, but nothing i fear. Well, maybe live scorpions with rice or something.
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Postby Sir William S Titan » Jul 10 2006, 22:29

Mushrooms are the worst! Man, I can't stand those things. If anyone tries to decieve me, and put mushrroms in my food, I'll never trust their cooking again.
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Postby theLuckyDragon » Jul 10 2006, 22:31

Corribus wrote:such colorful names as "Deathcap" or "Angel of Destruction" or whatever they're called

A certain species is called in Romanian "Cow's Fart". :|
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Postby ThunderTitan » Jul 10 2006, 22:56

Actualy picking mushrooms can be a good money maker.

You want something to fear? How about finding worm in your food. Or a dead mouse inside bread. That's why you should only buy sandwitches that they make in front of you.
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Postby Paulus1 » Jul 11 2006, 0:01

The mushrooms seems like the only edible thing in that sauce to me.
Olives, artichokes and capers makes me want to :vomit:

There's a lot of things I don't like, some I can't stand, but none that I really fear....

Come to think about it, there are some things, that I've really not wanted to taste - and still doesn't want to. Maybe I actually do fear things like frog legs, oyesters and mussles. Just the thought of those makes me shiver :S

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Postby asandir » Jul 11 2006, 0:16

Mushrooms are delicious!!!! i love them fried, raw, in sauce, whatever .... they are sensational ....

thou i loved your felicity-of-style C

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Postby DaemianLucifer » Jul 11 2006, 2:54

ThunderTitan wrote: You want something to fear? How about finding worm in your food. Or a dead mouse inside bread. That's why you should only buy sandwitches that they make in front of you.


You know whats worse than biting an apple and finding a worm?Finding half of one :devious: But its actually a good thing.A worm inside the apple is a sure thing that none of the lethal pesticides were used.Id rather swallow a worm then poison myself with pesticide.

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Postby asandir » Jul 11 2006, 3:01

I'll take the pesticide thanks

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Postby protecyon » Jul 11 2006, 3:38

theLuckyDragon wrote:What is this called? Fungophobia?


It's called Mycophobia and is one of the more common food phobias.

Alas, if it weren't for fungi we wouldn't have penicillin, which saved quite a few lives.

Personally, I'm more afraid of Almonds (Originally contained enough cyanide to kill humans), then of mushrooms.

Nonetheless my worst food related fear is that of worms in apples.

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Postby Omega_Destroyer » Jul 11 2006, 6:04

I'm not afraid of mushrooms, but I certainly don't trust them. I read a poem years ago in 8th grade about how mushrooms were plotting to take over the world and it seems to have stuck. They're plotting out there; acting all smug and cool, as to throw us all off. Just wait. Wait and see that they aren't a bunch of fungi after all!

I'm sorry. That was lame but I don't have a lot of chances to use bad mushroom pun.

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Postby ThunderTitan » Jul 11 2006, 12:17

DaemianLucifer wrote:A worm inside the apple is a sure thing that none of the lethal pesticides were used.Id rather swallow a worm then poison myself with pesticide.


I rather have a worm inside an fruit then in something containing meat. :ill:

And i live my apples green.
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Postby Derek » Jul 11 2006, 17:06

:D

Have fun with that Corribus.
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Postby DaemianLucifer » Jul 12 2006, 0:31

ThunderTitan wrote: And i live my apples green.


Indeed,nothing beats green apples.Live them to the fullest :devil:

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Postby Kristo » Jul 12 2006, 2:14

Food is far too good to be afraid of it. :yummy:

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Postby asandir » Jul 12 2006, 6:05

Kristo has the right of it .... love food!!!


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