I am reading a paper on the emotion of Disgust. It is not going quickly for the mere mention of things disgusting evokes disgust as the author correctly point out. Disgust is a universal emotion and quite fascinating really. There are the ubiquitous things that evoke Disgust: other people’s effluvia, dead or decaying things, insects, vermin, and Edith Massay. Evolution shaped us to find these disgusting as they are health hazards. The caveman who cringed away from the dog droppings lived on while the dimwit who thought them something to eat dropped dead.(1)
These things make sense, but what about food? Why is it something considered a delicacy in one culture be beyond question in another? Monkey brains anyone? Curiouser and curiouser.
Someone loathes mayonnaise. Loathing is too mild a word. Even saying the “M” word gets the poor man heaving and we must quickly change the subject. Sometimes at mystery meals I act as food sampler to tell him the coast is clear or a discrete ‘not for you dear’. Yet I find mayo quite yummy especially in deviled eggs.
On the other hand I have graciously declined an invitation to eat fried grasshoppers “the food of the future” on the grounds they are not kosher (true) but the real reason is it makes me gag to think upon it. A Chinese acquaintance from college learned early to keep mum about his fondness for cat (or was it dog?) as it would clear the table like a bad fart.
I haven’t gotten too far into the paper but it seems if you grow up eating fried rats than this doesn’t phase you later on when you learn most people would rather starve than eat such a abomination. (2)
There is no accounting for taste. In my youth the notion of eating squash in any form was enough to make me sick up yet I ate Jello. Now it’s the other way around.
I was curious to find the foods that hit highest on the world’s ‘Disgust-ometer” so I foolishly googled the topic and found “The top 10”. I did not get past #3 as my stomach was beginning to rebel. (3)
I am curious to hear from Spo-fans if you have any particular food stuffs you find especially disgusting, your sooner I’d eat rats at Tewksbury tidbits.
I will start. I always finish Chinese food for cold leftovers transform into a gelatinous cube, that goes slurp as you remove it from its carton. It stays in that form, long enough for me to retch and push it down the waste pipe with plenty of water to follow.
(1) Yes I am channeling “John Waters”, but hey this is about Disgust. Connect the dots folks.
(2) Do I dare say it? Sooner I’d eat rats at Tewkesbury than eat rats on a stick?
(3) It was the soft-boiled fetal duck in the shell recipe that did me in. Please don’t go there.