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Dear brain trust: I do not like beans. I have never liked beans.… 
2nd-Jan-2010 09:54 am
Dear brain trust:

I do not like beans. I have never liked beans. We are talking gag reflex, mom would put three on my plate as a kid because we had to try everything and I would swallow them whole because it was the only way to get them down. It's a taste, smell, and texture issue.

However, as an adult, I've discovered a few specific applications where I don't mind beans or bean products:

- chickpeas turned into chickpea cutlets (everyone likes these, thank bob)
- falafel
- edamame, which I can eat like it's going out of style
- peas, whole, uncooked, defrosted, usually in a multi-layer salad
- hummus (alas, Jeff's mom doesn't like hummus)
- tofu (alas, Jeff's mom doesn't like this either)
- green beans (just the outside green part)

I'd like to like beans. I live in a household with two other people who like beans. They're cheap, healthy protein.

Any suggestions on where a lifelong bean hater might start on retraining her tastebuds, or other applications of beans I might like, from the list above?

2nd-Jan-2010 04:34 pm (UTC)
What about refried beans?
2nd-Jan-2010 05:54 pm (UTC)
They failed on the texture front, the last time I tried them (which, admittedly, has been a little while).
2nd-Jan-2010 05:22 pm (UTC)
Well, first I'd say, what is it about the bean options you do like that makes you like them?

From your list it looks like you like beans that are harder, not squishy or soft. Or at least was when you were a kid. It also appears that you like the flavor of your beans masked with something else. I'll see if I can think of some specific recipes, but I'd guess that if you tried out some more Indian and Mediterranean cuisine recipes you might find some more things that you like.

It's funny how our minds work sometimes. It may even be that you may think you don't like beans and have that initial reaction when you eat them now out of some sort of Pavlovian reflex your brain says you don't like them.
2nd-Jan-2010 05:56 pm (UTC)
You're spot on - harder, and mixed with something else, are two pretty consistent trends.
2nd-Jan-2010 07:27 pm (UTC)
Have you tried lentil soups? or dal? They might be a more gentle introduction...
2nd-Jan-2010 08:01 pm (UTC)
I was just getting ready to suggest lentils, and specifically dal, because there's a lot of other strong flavors there that might help.

I don't really think of them as beans, but since you mentioned peas: sugar snap peas are delicious raw, and snow peas are great raw or in stir-fry. When it's the right season for them, fresh garden peas are also delicious, and are best only-just-barely cooked, when they're still firm.

I love the flavor of white beans, or rather the flavor of them mixed with olive oil, garlic, and rosemary and put on top of toasted bread, but I'm not sure the texture would work for you. Maybe white bean and kale (and sausage) soup, where the beans are pureed and there's kale (and sausage) to give it flavor?
3rd-Jan-2010 02:20 am (UTC)
Oh, I love sugar snaps and snow peas. I forget they're beans, too, which is why they didn't make the list.

I like the white bean soup idea. :)
3rd-Jan-2010 02:20 am (UTC)
It's been awhile since I've tried lentils... they did nothing for me last time, but I'm willing to give it a whirl.

Dal looks like it would hit the "mixed with other stuff" spot, so it looks worth trying. :)
2nd-Jan-2010 09:18 pm (UTC)
If you like hummus, have you tried something like it with other beans? I've made a white bean puree a few times recently, with lemon, garlic, and parsley, which is very hummus-like. It goes well as a starchy component of a standard meat/veg/starch meal, I think.

I can't think of much else that might fit the bill. A cold black bean salsa maybe? When they're cold, they're less mushy, and with some chopped peppers, onions, and garlic, pretty good with steak or grilled chicken.
3rd-Jan-2010 02:21 am (UTC)
White bean "hummus" is a great idea. And trying cold black beans can't hurt. :)
2nd-Jan-2010 09:19 pm (UTC)
The first thing I ever ate that made me consider beans charitably was cassoulet. Because everything is better with duck fat. I too think they have severe texture problems. Gwoss.

I will eat hummus, edamame, and not-overcooked bean soup. I will not eat chili, baked beans, or refried beans.
3rd-Jan-2010 02:27 am (UTC)
Baked beans are the work of the devil, and chili should always come sans beans.
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