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"Cooking It This Way Was A Game Changer": People Are Sharing The Food They Always Thought They Hated Until They Tried It Prepared A Different Way

"It took me a while to realize that when prepared properly, they're like an entirely different food."

Chances are, there are a handful of foods you dislike. But have you ever considered the fact that maybe your preferences have everything to do with how that dish is prepared?

NBC

Redditor u/Poocheese55 got me thinking when they asked, "What foods did you hate growing up, only to find out you just had a badly prepared version and ended up liking it later?" Here's some of what people said.

Fox

1. "Tofu. If you cook it right, it's the most delightful little flavor sponge, absorbing the taste of whatever sauce or seasonings you cook it in. If not, it's a mushy and joyless mess."

Tofu and vegetable curry
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u/taywi

2. "My husband used to hate baked chicken breast, but he couldn't articulate why. I discovered that his mom was very afraid of salmonella, so she always overcooked chicken breast until it was dry and tasteless. I brine my chicken, season it plenty, sear in cast iron, and cover with foil to finish in the oven. The result is delicious, moist chicken that even my husband can't resist."

Fried chicken breasts in vegetable oil in a cast-iron pan
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3. "Mushrooms. My mom always put those slimy, canned mushrooms in spaghetti, and I hated them. It took me a while to realize fresh mushrooms are basically an entirely different vegetable and they can taste so good."

Penne with mushrooms
Vanillaechoes / Getty Images/iStockphoto

4. "Cooked cabbage. I had really only ever eaten it raw, and the idea of cooking this vegetable sounded terrible...that is, until I started experimenting with searing and roasting it. Now I give it a nice crust and add it to stir-fries, soups, and more. It's such a cheap and delicious vegetable."

Charred cabbage wedges
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5. "Pretty much all legumes. Turns out, beans don't have to be semi-crunchy, mealy nuggets of death planted to destroy otherwise delicious dishes. Since I've learned how to cook them properly, I now love all legumes, like lentils, kidney beans, and cannellini beans."

White bean and tomato soup
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6. "Neither of my parents knew how to cook rice. They always bought boxed rice and made it on the stove top, so it tasted like completely bland mush. I thought I hated rice for years until I tried it at a restaurant and realized rice can actually be prepared to taste delicious."

Stir-fried pork with rice and fried egg
Kdp / Getty Images

7. "I had my nephew over, who is an extremely picky eater. He seems to live off of processed foods like Pop-Tarts and frozen waffles. I made him eggs, but he said he'd tried them and never liked them. I insisted he at least try them one more time. Turns out, he loved them. He had been served dry, rubber, tasteless eggs his whole life, but cooking them in butter was a game changer."

Scrambled egg on toast
Arx0nt / Getty Images/iStockphoto

8. "Most fish. I grew up eating over-seasoned, overcooked fish, and I never found a kind I liked. But once I moved out and tried cooking fish with minimal ingredients, I realized I actually really love it."

Fillet of white fish with parsley, garlic, olive oil, and lemon sauce
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u/rayin

9. "My husband used to hate most vegetables because when he was growing up, his mother boiled them to death and barely seasoned them. I often blanch mine, give them a quick ice bath, then toss them in a hot wok with some seasonings (for example, green beans with balsamic vinegar and fried shallots). My husband loves vegetables now."

Spicy haricot vert green beans in a bowl
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10. "Proper Italian carbonara with pecorino cheese, egg yolk, pancetta or guanciale, and black pepper. Honestly, I didn't understand what people loved so much about this pasta dish, but the moment I took my first bite of real carbonara felt like a revelation."

Sliced Parmesan cheese and pancetta on a cutting board
Marco_piunti / Getty Images

11. "Tuna fish. I'm a huge fan of just about any canned tuna fish, but for years my husband refused to even try it. He was so turned off by the appearance and the smell. Finally, I convinced him to try Italian tuna packed in olive oil instead of the cheap stuff. The look on his face was priceless. He couldn't believe he spent his whole life avoiding tuna."

Traditional salade Niçoise with canned tuna fish
Natasha Breen / Getty Images

12. "Like other kids of my generation who grew up in the 1970s, I couldn't stand the taste of home-cooked steak. I remember my mom (who was an otherwise excellent cook) always served us well-done, dry steaks. Now I realize that was just how people learned to cook meat — cooked until the 'pink' was gone because raw meat was 'dangerous.' When I finally ate a nicely seared medium-rare steak, it was like a whole new world."

Cooked steak on a cutting board
Westend61 / Getty Images/Westend61

13. "My husband and I both hated pork chops because our parents always overcooked them to death. I recently read that you don't actually need to cook pork chops to 165 degrees — they're safe to eat when cooked to 145 degrees. I got some pork chops, marinated them in a pretty basic marinade, and grilled them. They were the best pork chops I've ever had, and it's the only way I'll be making them from now on."

Juicy grilled pork chop with spices on a white plate
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14. "I thought I didn’t like most vegetables, like asparagus and green beans, but turns out I just don’t like canned vegetables that have been microwaved on high for five minutes. Just about any other preparation tastes shockingly good."

Top view of roasted asparagus in a white pan on a kitchen table
Edalin / Getty Images/iStockphoto

15. "Home fries. I could never make my homemade fried potatoes taste great. But then I learned to blanch them and let them cool down in the fridge or freezer before frying them again. The result: restaurant-quality, crunchy fried potatoes that are creamy on the inside and crispy on the outside."

Crispy potato wedges
Thepalmer / Getty Images

16. "Hamburgers. I grew up during an era when everything was 'low-fat.' My mom would buy the leanest cuts of meats and ground beef with no fat in it. The hamburgers we had at home were so dry and dense, I couldn't understand why people enjoyed them. Later on, I realized how good a burger can be when made with fattier meat."

Burgers, cheeseburgers, sausage, and franks on a grill
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17. "Salmon. When I was a kid, I was always served salmon from a can. I never really had cooked salmon. When I finally visited relatives in the Pacific Northwest and ate fresh salmon, it was somewhat life-changing."

BBQ teriyaki salmon on spinach and arugula with brown rice, tomatoes and avocado
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18. "I've lived in Mexico long enough to think I knew how to make a quesadilla. But then I went to a little taquería in Oaxaca that made me realize I was doing it all wrong. They took a slab of quesillo cheese (a Oaxacan cheese that is very similar to mozzarella), grilled on both sides until crispy, then put it into the tortilla. By the time the tortilla was crispy on both sides, the cheese was melty and gooey. Now I'll never make a quesadilla any other way."

An authentic quesadilla on a red plate
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19. "Spiralized zucchini noodles. I used to overcook zoodles, so they got all mushy. Now I throw them into a screaming-hot pan just to get some fast color. Once charred, I add basil, olive oil, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, and fresh Parmesan. It's the best summer side dish ever."

Fresh zucchini spaghetti with walnut and mushroom Bolognese
Simon Mcgill / Getty Images

20. "Tomatoes. I hated the taste and texture of raw, fresh tomatoes. But then I was finally introduced to the wonder that is fresh tomato and mozzarella, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It changed everything."

Cherry tomato and mozzarella salad
Burcu Atalay Tankut / Getty Images

21. "Chickpeas. I always tried so hard to like them, but I continued to find them dry and bland and unappealing. But when I finally tried chickpeas simmered in a creamy coconut milk curry sauce, I absolutely loved them. Now I often make chickpeas cooked in Thai red curry or an Indian-style tikka masala sauce. It's one of my favorite plant-based meals."

Coconut curry dish in a white bowl
Michellegibson / Getty Images/iStockphoto

22. "Parsnips. I only ever tried them mashed, which highlights that astringent, lemony note that I just did not enjoy. But roasting parsnips until caramelized and crispy on the edges is a game changer. They can be so sweet and flavorful."

Parsnips on a roasting pan
Gmvozd / Getty Images

23. "Fresh turkey. For my whole life, I always preferred deli turkey because holiday turkey tasted so dry and bland. Honestly, I thought I would choke on it. But that all changed once I had properly cooked turkey — brined, well seasoned, and roasted until juicy."

A juicy carved turkey
Jgareri / Getty Images/iStockphoto

u/Ayjis

24. "Kale salad. I never really understood all the hype around kale because I always found it sort of dry, tough, and super earthy. But then I learned the key lies in massaging the kale until it's tender. Now, whenever I make a salad, I first massage the kale in olive oil, lemon, salt, and pepper. It makes a world of difference."

A bowl of kale salad on a cutting board
Debbismirnoff / Getty Images/iStockphoto

25. "Sweet potatoes. I personally find them repulsive when mashed and sweetened. But what a difference it makes when they're roasted and tossed with savory spices."

Roasted sweet potatoes with spices
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26. "Peas! I think my mom used to overcook them, because I always found them flavorless and lacking texture. But recently, I cooked them in salted water until just al dente, and they were so good. They tasted like a totally different vegetable from what I was used to."

Pasta with peas and broccoli
Joff Lee / Getty Images

Capi

27. "Lentils. I grew up eating my mom's tasteless lentil stew, which I really disliked. That one dish formed my entire perception of lentils. Now I've learned to season them properly and cook things like Indian dal and delicious tomato-and-lentil soup."

Lentil stew with vegetables and meat
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u/LMA73

28. "Hard-boiled eggs. I grew up hating them (and egg yolk in general) because my parents would always overboil their eggs. There's nothing grosser than gray, sulfuric egg yolk and rubbery egg whites. Now I've realized they can taste pretty darn good."

Hard-boiled eggs on a plate
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29. "Truffles. Up until my late 20s, I'd tried lots of different truffle oils and some preserved black truffle products, and it all tested meh to me. I didn't get all the hype around truffles. Then I finally tried a dish topped with fresh, grated truffle, and my mind was blown. It was indescribably good and tasted like pure umami but with a freshness to it — a far cry from the preserved products and infused oils."

Ravioli pasta dish with cheese sauce and black truffles
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30. And finally, "Eggplant. I can't stand it when it's moist and chunky, but high heat does wonders for eggplant. Thinly sliced and roasted or grilled, it's delicious. It's super savory and has a creamy, almost buttery texture. It's an amazing meat replacement."

Sliced, grilled eggplant on baking paper
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Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.