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13 Foods Everyone Either Loves or Hates

The endless debate: Does cilantro taste like soap?

Coriander (cilantro or Chinese parsley) green leaves backgroundDory F/Shutterstock

Cilantro

Soap, dirt, and metal shavings are just a few tastes some people have when they eat cilantro. People either love it and use it to top everything from tacos to chili, or they avoid it like the plague. There’s a scientific reason you either love or hate this herb—and it depends on heritage. According to a survey from 23andMe, cilantro haters share a common genetic variation found in people with European ancestry. Likewise, another study from 23andMe found that environment plays a big part in whether or not you like cilantro—fewer South Asians, Hispanics, and Middle Easterners disliked the herb.

Delicious Hawaiian pizza topping background texture with pineapple and thinly sliced ham on melted mozzarella cheese viewed from above in close up detailstockcreations/Shutterstock

Hawaiian pizza

There’s a lot of love and hate for pineapple on pizza. Those pizza-eaters who like pineapple on their pizza appreciate the combination of sweet and savory, while the haters prefer traditional ‘za. Some haters go as far as to say people who like this topping are equivalent to Hitler. But some people claim those who find pineapple on pizza gross have simply never actually tried it themselves.

closeup of black licorice candy Josep Curto/Shutterstock

Black licorice

Loving or hating black licorice likely comes down to the senses of taste and smell, according to Marcia Pelchat, an associate member of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, a nonprofit center that researches taste and smell. The combination of anethole, which smells like fennel or anise, and glycyrrhizin, which tastes like an artificial sweetener, is the key to your love or hate of black licorice, NBC News reports.

Freshly picked green bell peppers on display at the marketZigzag Mountain Art/Shutterstock

Green bell pepper

The real reason green peppers taste so different from the red, yellow, and orange varieties is that green peppers aren’t ripe before people pick them, according to Good Housekeeping. Since these peppers aren’t ripe, they have a more harsh, almost bitter taste in comparison to the other, sweeter peppers. Here are 20 food facts that will change how you eat.

Close-up of mayonnaiseHikoPhotography/Shutterstock

Mayonaise

Mayo is either the perfect, necessary condiment for a sandwich or the bain of existence. According to Popular Science, one reason people might dislike mayo is thanks to the viscous texture. Americans are more apt to enjoy a dollop of mayo than countries in Asia and Western Europe, where the dislike for the condiment is strong.

PeepsJulie Clopper/Shutterstock

Peeps

Sugar-coated marshmallows shaped like chicks don’t seem like anything to get angry over. Alas, the internet thinks otherwise. One headline from The Guardian simply reads, “Sorry, But Peeps Are Disgusting.” Others have more specific gripes with the Easter treat including the sticky texture, the colors, and the lack of flavor. Yet, some people are perfectly happy with all of this. In fact, Peeps have actually made their way into other holiday treats and beyond with Peep-flavored milk, Spoon University reports. These are the 17 foods chefs never order in restaurants.

Close up of blue cheese. Cheese backgroundMarek H./Shutterstock

Blue cheese

Some people can’t get past the smell of stinky cheeses like blue cheese, let alone eat them. Others, however, may not like the smell of blue cheese but enjoy the taste. That’s because of something called backwards smelling, according to Bon Appetit. The taste and texture aspect essentially trumps the smell which only releases back into your nose post-eating—meaning the taste is worth the stench, for some.

Green olives backgroundThasneem/Shutterstock

Olives

Salty and briny, olives make a great appetizer, salad-topper, or even as a single-serving snack—but some people won’t touch the stuff. Those who hate olives typically claim they have a slimy, chewy texture. It all really depends, however, on the type of olive, since the fresh stuff has a different feel and taste from those that have been processed and canned, Mic reports. These are the 8 foods you should be eating raw.

Sugar cookiesCheryl E. Davis/Shutterstock

Store-bought frosted sugar cookies

These Lofthouse cookies have a soft, crumbly texture and don florescent icing and rainbow sprinkles. Although these cookies seem harmless, people are ready to battle over these sugary treats. Some claim they are “bottom of the barrel” and “flavorless” cookies, while others defend them as “a national treasure,” according to Buzzfeed.

Opened Oysters on metal plate with ice and lemon.Anton Petrus/Shutterstock

Oysters

This chewy seafood is a hit or miss with most people. Although a dash of lemon or hot sauce is all some people need to slurp oysters, others wish they would stay in the sea. They have even been compared to “bogeys” by some foodies, per lovefood.com.

Bright colored candy corn for halloween.Dan Kosmayer/Shutterstock

Candy corn

In a TODAY.com survey, candy corn was the second most-hated Halloween candy. One of the most popular complaints is that it doesn’t have any taste, or it’s just too sweet. For people with less-sensitive palettes, its appeal might actually be the pure sugar this candy is made from—and the very little else it includes. Plus, it’s seasonal and knowing that it’s available for a limited time only might add to its allure. Here are 10 more debatable topics that’ll get anyone talking.

Pieces of cocoa butter, white chocolate on white paper.Antonio Gravante/Shutterstock

White chocolate

Technically speaking, white chocolate isn’t considered actual chocolate in some countries since it contains no cocoa solids, according to the Food Network. That might be one reason why people like milk or dark chocolate, but not the white variety. White chocolate specifically lacks chocolate liquor, which comes from the center of the cocoa nib and gives chocolates their taste.

anchovies just caught, close upFausta Lavagna/Shutterstock

Anchovies

Most people hate anchovies for a few main reasons. One, they are uber salty and fishy; two, they have little hairs on them; three, people don’t know how to eat them. People who enjoy them appreciate the rich fish alone or atop Caesar salads. Next, see where you stand on these 13 differences in regional food names you’ll argue about forever.

Emily DiNuzzo
Emily DiNuzzo is an associate editor at The Healthy and a former assistant staff writer at Reader's Digest. Her work has appeared online at the Food Network and Well + Good and in print at Westchester Magazine, and more. When she's not writing about food and health with a cuppa by her side, you can find her lifting heavy things at the gym, listening to murder mystery podcasts, and liking one too many astrology memes.