Food Aversions: What the Test Kitchen Won't Eat
Even food editors are picky sometimes.
Find out what's been happening in the world of 42 Burners, aka our test kitchen, with our weekly series.
It's safe to assume that anyone who works in the food world has a pretty adventurous palate, and the 42 Burners crew is no exception. Experimenting with both familiar and unfamiliar ingredients comes with the territory. However, even the test kitchen team has foods that they can't stand. Food director Sarah Carey, for instance, hates bell peppers of all colors but can't completely avoid them in the test kitchen. "We have an entire story on bell peppers in an upcoming issue, and I had to taste all of the recipes at least twice-once during development and again in testing. It was the worst!" she says. "But I do it because I love our readers, and I know they like bell peppers, so I'm not going to deny them that."
For senior editor Lauryn Tyrell, it's not just bell peppers, but specifically roasted red peppers. It's one of the food aversions she developed during the first trimester of her pregnancy. "In my normal life, there isn't really any food that I am unequivocally opposed to. But as a pregnant person, the list is long," reveals Lauryn. Tasting recipes has become a serious challenge for her, as even things she usually loves, such as garlic fried in olive oil, have become off-putting.
Meanwhile, recipe tester Riley Wofford has a confession: meatloaf isn't her comfort food. In fact, she's repulsed by the dish. "If you turned the meat mixture into meatballs, I would happily eat it," says Riley, "but there's something really upsetting to me about a loaf of meat." She continues, "I had to taste it in development for an upcoming issue and hated every minute of it. This life isn't always so glamorous!" Riley is also allergic to avocado, "which has made growing up as a millennial pretty difficult," but she still eats it once in awhile, when she's craving chips and guacamole.
Editor at large Shira Bocar doesn't care for raisins, especially in baked goods. "I will remove them and make a little pile, like a 7-year-old," she says. "And I'm not crazy about ketchup. But for tastings, I'll try everything!" Deputy editor Greg Lofts recently developed a brownie recipe with raisins that Shira approached with great skepticism. Spoiler alert: The bars didn't make her a raisin convert; she's still partial to these Fudgy Double-Chocolate Brownies.
Greg doesn't have any food allergies or dislike any particular ingredients. His edible pet peeve is if a dish is unbalanced. For example, "a pasta with too much oregano in it is a deal-breaker," he says, "because the oregano goes soapy-medicinal and overwhelms everything else." So don't start adding oregano willy-nilly while you're cooking because you want to use up the whole bunch-instead, turn to Greg's guide to fresh herbs to learn how to make the most of each sprig.