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Taster’s Choice: Why I Hate Raw Tomatoes and You Don’t

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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I have a confession: I hate raw tomatoes. Really hate them. Really, really hate them. It’s a positively visceral reaction, beyond my conscious control. Even the smell makes me slightly nauseous. Once, as a kid, my mom got fed up with watching me shove tomatoes to the side of my plate, and insisted I couldn’t leave the dinner table until I ate them. I put it off as long as possible, but finally, desperate to get away and lose myself in the book du jour, I shoved the offending food into my mouth… and promptly gagged and spit it up. My mother, to her credit, threw up her hands in resignation. Her daughter would never eat raw tomatoes.

This intense hatred of raw tomatoes was incomprehensible to my mother; she loves them as much as I despise them. I suppose it’s equally incomprehensible to all the rest of your tomato-lovers out there. Frankly, it’s even a little incomprehensible to me, seeing as how I love ketchup and spaghetti sauce, provided there are no huge chunks of tomatoes — boil and puree those suckers, and season with tons of garlic, olive oil, basil, thyme, and oregano, and it overcomes even my rebellious palate. All my life, I’ve been vaguely ashamed of my dislike, probably because it was such a profound disappointment to my mother, and naturally I craved her approval.

This would totally make me gag....

But no more! I just discovered that I am not alone in the blogosphere when it comes to hating raw tomatoes. Kylee Baumle of Our Little Acre just came out of the closet as a “mater hater.” [UPDATE: Apologies to Kylee for spelling her last name wrong originally -- and then getting her blog name wrong.] So did Steve Bender, a.k.a., the Grumpy Gardener, and Chris Tidrick, who blogs at From the Soil. They recently discovered their mutual dislike while at a Garden2Blog event in Arkansas. Like Chris, I, too, carefully remove all bits of tomato from food and leave it on the side of the plate. Solidarity!

We mater-haters have to stick together. As Grumpy notes, “Telling people you hate fresh tomatoes is like saying you hate giggling babies or that you loathe the prospect of world peace.”

I’ve wondered about this strange aversion for years. Why raw tomatoes? It might have something to do with the chemistry, and how it changes when tomatoes are cooked.

Oh, yes, cooking can change a foodstuff’s chemistry. For instance, there is an antioxidant called lycopene, found not just in tomatoes, but also watermelon, pink guava, red bell peppers, and papaya. In tomatoes, it seems to be affected by heat. I found a 2002 study in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry that determined levels of cis-lycopene rise 35% after tomatoes are cooked for 30 minutes at 190.4 Fahrenheit.

Rui Hai Liu, a food scientist at Cornell and the author of the study, thinks it’s because the heat breaks down the thick cells walls, and this makes it easier for the human body to absorb the nutrients bound up in those walls — including lycopene. This seems to be confirmed by a 2008 study in the British Journal of Nutrition, which found that 198 test subjects who followed a raw food diet had low levels of lycopene, compared to other nutrients (Vitamin A, beta-carotene).

The same journal published a 2007 study by Steven Schwartz, who analyzed the structure of lycopene molecules and concluded that while the basic chemical properties of the molecule are the same whether cooked, processed, or raw, the form of lycopene that shows up in the human body has a bent molecular form, while the form in your standard raw tomato is more linear — limiting how much can be absorbed into the bloodstream.

Schwartz developed a technique that subjects tomatoes to intense heat, and then combines them with fat (like olive oil), that changes the form from linear to bent. And that makes it more likely to be absorbed into the bloodstream. A small test study (12 subjects) did, indeed, find higher levels of lycopene in the bloodstream after consuming tomato sauces made via this process. Traditional home cooking techniques — long, slow simmering times, reheating sauces day after day — can have a similar effect. So cooking tomatoes does seem to change them in a chemically significant way.

Perhaps lycopene isn’t the culprit, however. I like watermelon, pink guava, red bell peppers and papaya, after all. Maybe it’s something to do with the smell, or one of the myriad other flavor compounds that’s at fault. People like me just lack certain key taste receptors, preventing us from appreciating the rich, sweet, meaty flavor of raw tomatoes that the rest of you are always rhapsodizing about. The problem is that tomatoes have something on the order of 400 volatile compounds and who knows which one of those (or combination thereof) might be responsible for the harsh reaction many of us experience in response to raw tomatoes?

Per a recent Wired article, Harry Klee, a plant molecular biologist, has managed to narrow things down a bit, identifying around two dozen compounds that seem to be involved in the tasty appeal (for people who are not me) of tomatoes. And it’s not the most likely suspects: a class called C6 volatiles. Instead, three compounds in particular — geranial, 2-methylbutanal, and 3-methyl-1-butanol — contribute to the sweetness of tomatoes, at least. Or maybe it has something to do with furaneol, another compound found in tomatoes that contributes to sweetness.

Frankly, the scientific community has been sadly remiss in getting to the bottom of the mystery of why raw tomatoes make some of us gag, despite a few scattered flavor studies. But they’re hot on the case of cilantro, an even more polarizing herb. I love cilantro. To me, it tastes fresh and citrusy with just a tinge of an herbal edge to it. But to some people, it just tastes like soap. Or worse. They have as strong a visceral reaction to cilantro as I have to fresh raw tomatoes.

Celebrity chef Ina Garten (a.k.a. the Barefoot Contessa) admits to disliking cilantro, and Julia Child memorably confessed in a 2002 Larry King interview that if she spotted cilantro in her food, she would pick it out and “throw it on the floor.” There are Facebook groups devoted to the haters. Sometimes people post haiku about how much they hate cilantro. (“The curry sickens/ It looked good on the menu/ Alas, cilantro.”)

... but this? Mmmmm! Pile some more on my plate!

At least cilantro haters can point to a smidgen of scientific evidence that there is a genetic component to their dislike. A couple of years ago, behavioral neuroscientist Charles J. Wysocki (who works at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia) attended a twins festival in Ohio. He asked 41 pairs of identical twins and 12 pairs of fraternal twins to rate their reactions to the taste of cilantro, on a scale of plus 11 (yummy!) to minus 11 (gross!), with 0 indicating a neutral response.

More than 80% of the identical twins (who share 100% of their DNA) rated the taste of cilantro on a par with their siblings, compared to just 42% of the fraternal twins. A new study in the journal Flavour breaks this down into ethnic groups, finding that 21% of those with East Asian roots hate cilantro, compared to just 3% of those with Middle Eastern roots.

Wysocki thinks those who hate cilantro are reacting to its odor more than its flavor, and that the haters can’t detect certain pleasing chemicals in the leaf — instead, they just detect that soapy aspect. From a chemical compound perspective, cilantro is less complex than raw tomatoes.

According to food chemistry expert Harold McGee, there are around six substances that contribute to the telltale aroma of cilantro, mostly fat molecules known as aldehydes. And yes, similar aldehydes can also be found in soaps and lotions — and bugs, which make use of aldehyde-drenched body fluids as either an attractant or a repellant.  In contrast, Wysocki says that the fresh, flavorful, pleasantly herbal compound derives from dodecenal.

Wysocki conducted an experiment involving gas chromatography, a device that uses heat to separate the various molecules in something like cilantro, so subjects can take a whiff of each separate compound. People who like cilantro first detected the soapy scent, followed by the stronger citrus-y herbal scent we savor; but cilantro haters couldn’t smell the latter. At all.

“The person who hates cilantro is, in fact, detecting the soapy odor. But what they seem to be missing is the nice, aromatic green component,” Wysocki told MSNBC in 2011. “It’s possible that they have a mutated or even an absent receptor gene for the receptor protein that would interact with the very pleasant smelling compound.”

Broccoli and Brussels sprouts also have Facebook groups for the haters. And here there is even stronger evidence of a genetic link — in this case, the ability (or lack thereof) to taste bitterness, or certain bitter chemical compounds. I share the ability to taste bitterness with roughly two-thirds of the population.

In 1931, a chemist named Arthur L. Fox accidentally released the powdered form of phenylthiocarbamide (PTC) in his lab. He didn’t notice anything unusual, but his lab mate sensed a bitter taste. Subsequent experiments confirmed that this variation existed in the broader population, and that not being able to taste bitterness was a recessive genetic trait.

Perhaps, as Faye Flam mused last year, it is a side effect of some other gene or genes that adapted so we’d be sensitive to the acrid bitter taste of dangerous toxins, although this is still in the realm of speculation. One could argue that those without the bitter taste ability should have died off long ago as they blissfully munched on toxic plants – mass extinction through poison. Yet people still inherit that recessive trait.

Blech! You can keep your Brussels sprouts too.

Those who can sense bitterness are probably responding to compounds called glucosinolates, present in most cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. I happen to dislike all three, although not on the same visceral gag-worthy level as raw tomatoes. (I can, and have, eaten all in a pinch.) But on this front, at least, I can claim that part of that aversion lies in my genes.

About 25% of the population can’t taste propylthiouracil (PROP), a chemical that is similar to the bitter compounds found in cabbage, raw broccoli, coffee, tonic water, and dark beers. They are, in essence, “taste blind.” I do not fall into that 25%; I’m sensitive to this particular bitter taste, thanks to a gene called TAS2R38 that encodes taste receptors on the tongue.

I have the (GG) variant; that and the (CG) version both result in being able to taste bitterness, since (C) is the dominant allele. The (CC) allele is the taste-blind version, although even then, there is a 20% chance that one still might be able to sense some bitterness, depending on what other genes they inherit.

There are 25 “bitterness” genes known thus far; different bitter foods act through different receptors, and people can be high or low responders for one but not another. This is probably why I don’t mind grapefruit or tonic water, but balk at cruciferous vegetables.

Of course, genes are only half the story when it comes to, well, just about any trait, including taste preferences. No one gene could ever be responsible for whether we love or hate specific foods. There are so many different compounds related to flavor and aroma, not to mention texture (mouth feel), all of which contribute to how much we savor or loathe a food.

Furthermore, those tastes are subject to change. There are lots of foods I disliked as a child that I’ve come to tolerate, even savor. Raw tomatoes, though, still make me gag; that preference has withstood the test of time. Consider this a plea for everyone to be less quick to pass judgment on those who like things we loathe, or loathe things we love. It’s not like you’re going to shame anyone out of their dislike. Some of us just can’t help it.

Images: (top) Via Mrs. Dull’s Nourished Kitchen. (center) Thamizhpparithi Maari, Creative Commons/Wikimedia. (bottom) Eric Hunt, Creative Commons/Wikimedia.

References:

(Don’t judge me! Behold teh SCIENCE!)

Bufe et al. (2005) “The molecular basis of individual differences in phenylthiocarbamide and propylthiouracil bitterness perception,” Current Biology 15:322-327.

Dewento, Veronica et al. (2002) “Thermal processing enhances the nutritional value of tomatoes by increasing total antioxidant activity,” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 50(10), 3010-3014.

Drayna (2005) “Human taste genetics,” Annu Rev Genomics Hum Genet 6:217-35.

Duffy et al. (2004) “Bitter receptor gene (TAS2R38), 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP) bitterness and alcohol intake,” Alcohol Clin Exp Res 28(11):1629-37.

Garcia, A.L. et al. (2008) “Long-term strict raw food diet is associated with favorable plasma beta-carotene and low plasma lycopene concentrations in Germans,” British Journal of Nutrition 99(6), 1293-300.

Hayes, John et al. (2010) “Allelic Variation in TAS2R Bitter Receptor Genes Associates with Variation in Sensations from and Ingestive Behaviors toward Common Bitter Beverages in Adults,” Chemical Senses, 36(3), 311-319.

Mauer, Lilli and El-Soheny, Ahmed. (2012) “Prevalence of Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) Disliking Among Different Ethnocultural Groups,” Flavour 1(8).

Onsekiz, Canakkale. (2001) “The Chemistry of Fresh Tomato Flavor,” Turkish Journal of Agricultural For. 25, 149-155.

Prodi et al. (2004) “Bitter taste study in a sardinian genetic isolate supports the association of phenylthiocarbamide sensitivity to the TAS2R38 bitter receptor gene,” Chemical Senses 29(8):397-702.

Tepper (1998) “6-n-propylthiouracil: a genetic marker for taste, with implications for food preference and dietary habits,” American Journal of Human Genetics 63:1271-1276.

Tieman, Denise et al. (2012) “The Chemical Interactions Underlying Tomato Flavor Preferences,” Current Biology 22(1), May 24, 2012.

Unlu, Nuray Z. et al. (2007) “Lycopene from heat-induced cis-isomer-rich tomato sauce is more bioavailable than from all-trans-rich tomato sauce in human subjects,” British Journal of Nutrition 98(1), 140-146.

Jennifer Ouellette About the Author: Jennifer Ouellette is a science writer who loves to indulge her inner geek by finding quirky connections between physics, popular culture, and the world at large. Follow on Twitter @JenLucPiquant.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.



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  1. 1. streepie 7:35 am 05/29/2012

    Thanks! Now I finally understand why my sister hates raw tomatoes, but eats them cooked in any form. And it explains my ambiguous relationship with cilantro (which I call dhania)….

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  2. 2. kwakley 7:52 am 05/29/2012

    I have a similar problem with apples.
    I love raw, fresh, apples, but give me some cooked apples and I almost have to throw up.

    I once thought it was one of those childhood dislikes that you grow out of, this was until I tried some cooked apples again as an adult. I still find them disgusting…

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  3. 3. Kokoba 8:47 am 05/29/2012

    Have they done studies on Splenda (whatever the chemical name of Splenda really is, rather)? That’s not sweet to me, it’s just copper. And it’s also in all but the frou-frou designer organic yogurts these days, it seems. =/

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  4. 4. nmtucson 11:20 am 05/29/2012

    Great article! I have not run into mater haters, but I can so empathize. My problem vegetable is celery, and when I say that out loud, most people look at me like I’m crazy. “Celery has no taste!” they say. Oh yeah? To me, it’s sharp and peppery and dominating–when it’s around or cooked with other food, it’s all I can taste. Interestingly, I used to kind of like it when I was a kid, but only raw, and only the tiny very pale whitish centers stalks. The greener celery gets, the more repulsive I find it. Also of interest, I have overcome several other childhood food aversions, like broccoli and Brussels sprouts (helped along by lots of butter instead of the vinegar my mother liberally applied!) but celery still falls on the yuck side of the ledger. Genetics? I don’t know–turns out my maternal grandmother felt this way about cucumbers, which I have always loved, and my mother, her daughter, would eat anything, the bitterer the better. Definitely a complex issue!

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  5. 5. k-dub 11:43 am 05/29/2012

    I’m glad I’m not the only raw tomato hating cilantro lover out there.

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  6. 6. brynnscott 3:38 pm 05/29/2012

    I like most cruciferous vegetables raw (or pickled) but can’t stand them cooked – makes me ill just smelling them. I also can’t stand peppers cooked with the skin still left on but love raw peppers, pickled peppers and roasted bell peppers where the skin has been removed–it is again an issue with both smell and taste.

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  7. 7. hanmeng 4:15 pm 05/29/2012

    This was interesting. My only problem with cilantro is that it has no taste at all, good or bad.

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  8. 8. none12345 9:26 pm 05/29/2012

    “I have a similar problem with apples.
    I love raw, fresh, apples, but give me some cooked apples and I almost have to throw up.

    I once thought it was one of those childhood dislikes that you grow out of, this was until I tried some cooked apples again as an adult. I still find them disgusting…”

    Ditto that hate. Love raw apples. Anything with cooked apples tastes like crap.

    Raw broccoli is horrible. Cooked broccoli if done right is great, if done wrong its nasty. Most places seem to cook it wrong, if broccoli tastes bad you aren’t cooking it right.

    Tomatoes i don’t get at all. Maybe you are eating the wrong kind of tomatoes. Grow some of your own, its night and day difference over the crap you will find in a supermarket.

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  9. 9. Jennifer Ouellette 10:56 pm 05/29/2012

    Oh, I see. If YOU don’t like something, it’s a perfectly valid dislike. If someone else doesn’t like something YOU like, clearly they’re just not eating the right kind of that thing. Interesting thought process. :)

    Note that the three bloggers I linked to, fellow mater haters, are all part of the gardening blogging community. As in, THEY GROW THEIR OWN. And it doesn’t change how they react to raw tomatoes.

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  10. 10. jandore 11:23 pm 05/29/2012

    I have exactly the opposite problem with tomatoes: love them raw, can’t stomach them cooked. Whatever the underlying issue is, it runs in my family, and (something that’s extremely strange) tolerance changes over time. I used to not be able to eat even trace amounts of cooked tomatoes, but now I can handle, though not enjoy, small quantities. Meanwhile my sister, who used to eat any kind of tomato happily, now can’t handle them at all. I would dearly love to know the molecular basis for this!

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  11. 11. NerdyChristie 12:09 am 05/30/2012

    Hating raw tomatoes? That’s blasphemy!… but maybe that’s my Italian heritage talking ;)

    Nice article – very cool stuff.

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  12. 12. qtsypootsy 1:40 am 05/30/2012

    Very interesting. Tomatoes are probably one of my favorite foods; I eat them like apples. But only if they’re practically underripe. I can’t stand cooked tomatoes…

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  13. 13. MycoSteve 1:49 am 05/30/2012

    I also hate raw tomatoes and coffee. However, I do love me some brussel sprouts and broccoli. Although, I think they are narrowing in on the tomato volatiles that cause some people to dislike them. I was at a recent seminar (grad student in Plant Biology and Pathology) where they had some interesting findings. Hopefully, they publish soon so I can know exactly why I hate tomatoes!

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  14. 14. dearth 9:16 am 05/30/2012

    I have the same reaction to tomatoes. However, I have actually determined why that is in my case. For me it’s a combination of bad smell and texture. More specifically it’s the slimy uncooked innards that bring on a gag reflex before I can even contemplate eating one raw. Slimy foods of any type are just unpalatable.

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  15. 15. rhwells 9:27 am 05/30/2012

    Good read, thanks! For more info on Klee’s research and the team’s findings about chemicals related to taste and smell, please see: http://news.ifas.ufl.edu/2012/05/24/uf-researchers-uncover-secret-recipe-from-nature-for-a-great-tasting-tomato/

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  16. 16. Joseph C Moore, Cpo USN Ret 9:48 am 05/31/2012

    I haven’t read the full article, but am going to put my two cents worth in regardless. At a very early age, I saw a jar of tomato jelly in the refrigerator and assuming it was raspberry, made a jelly bread. The first bite initiated a gag reflex and from then on, until adulthood, I would gag at the feeling and taste of raw tomato. I did however, LOVE my mother’s homemade stewed tomatoes especially over rice.

    As an adult at a friend’s house, not wanting to be impolite but with inner trepidation, I took a slice of salted,peppered and oregano seasoned tomato and found that not only did I not gag, but it was delicious! Revelation: all those years of preconception formed in childhood were dispelled.

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  17. 17. Lynx636 5:38 pm 06/1/2012

    My husband also hates raw tomatoes, but loves them cooked into sauce. Understanding dawned when he told me that, to him, a raw tomato has a disgusting, “bitter-sweet” smell and taste. I marched into his garden and found some ripe, red berries of a deadly nightshade plant (Atropa belladonna); tomatoes are in the nightshade family, and another name for deadly nightshade is “bittersweet”. And, to me, nightshade berries have a revolting smell. When I crushed a nightshade berry and held it up to my husband, he recoiled and said, “YES, that’s the same smell.” Whatever the compound or compounds may be, they must be present in greater concentration in deadly nightshade than in tomatoes. My husband seems to be a “supertaster”, as he also tastes the bitterness in cruciferous vegetables and all kinds of other subtle things many people can’t. He also loathes the smell of tomato plants (their leaves, etc.) I’ve taken to referring to those I plant as “tomato SAUCE plants” to reassure him that the end results are worth the gaggy smell.

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  18. 18. Lynx636 5:49 pm 06/1/2012

    Must also add that I’ve never cooked a nightshade berry to see if the smell disappears. : ) But must ALSO geek on this a little more (thank you, Jennifer, for this article!!) Master chef Paul Bertolli, in his book “Cooking by Hand”, describes a way you can put what he calls “the flavor of fresh tomatoes” back into simmered tomato sauce. You do this by…get ready…adding some fresh, green tomato LEAVES to the pot. He insists that they aren’t poisonous, and that they bring back the “freshness” lost in long cooking. I suspect that his “fresh flavor” is my husband’s “nightshade pong”, and have never tried the recipe. See this link for some discussion: http://www.tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=19476

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  19. 19. WizeHowl 6:03 am 06/3/2012

    I eat eggs raw, poached, fried and boiled and cooked with other foods, but if you offer up a plate of scrambled you better have a bucket beside me! The thing is I like the taste, but my gag reflex does not, one mouth full is all it takes.

    I am allergic to so many foods I have to be very careful when I go out for dinner, but I have one very good advantage I am hypersensitive to smell and can smell most foods, but that can cause a few problems, if someone nearby is eating something I am allergic to. Especially garlic or pepper, both of which can very quickly kill me.

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  20. 20. MattF 11:05 am 06/4/2012

    I was a raw-tomato hater as a child and teenager– but I grew out of it. Also a cilantro hater (still) and an asparagus-in-the-bathroom sniffer.

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  21. 21. timbo999 11:16 am 06/4/2012

    Goat cheese is another ingredient that provokes a similar primal response. See here:

    http://ask.metafilter.com/148058/Goat-cheese-How-I-hate-thee

    I can detect it in any food in tiny quantities. Unlike other ingredients that I might dislike or choose to forego, goat cheese makes my body go into red alert. It immediately stops the flow of the meal. It makes me anxious. I HATE goat cheese.

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  22. 22. materhater 11:48 am 06/5/2012

    Thanks for this. I can’t stand the taste of raw tomatoes — even a little residual goo can ruin a sandwich — but as the author says, people are incredulous when I say “no tomatoes, please.” Solidarity!

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  23. 23. shreyaskreddy 6:23 pm 08/7/2012

    I have the same problems with raw tomatoes (well, even lightly cooked tomatoes, as long as the pulp is still there), while being more than comfortable with ketchup, soup, and to some extent juice. As a young kid in primary school I used to put it down to not being able to deal with oxalic acid (I didn’t know much else about compounds in tomatoes at the time), but after accidentally ingesting oxalic acid in high school I realised that wasn’t the case, and have been curious about this phenomenon ever since. This article is extremely interesting for someone such as I :)
    I’ve also had issues explaining this to people, partly because ‘I hate tomatoes’ doesn’t go over very well and partly because they do make me a little nauseous. At the same time, my taste for other forms of tomato (including juice and pasta sauces without large chunks, as you noted)would suggest that it’s not specifically a terrible allergy. An in-depth look at the specific components would be quite useful, but the analysis you have done makes for good reading for now. At the very least, it is good to find others such as myself :)

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  24. 24. DixieSkullpopper 1:27 pm 08/20/2013

    I don’t like raw supermarket tomatoes. I will eat raw farmer’s market tomatoes in salsa (where there’s plenty of salt, garlic and lime helping the flavor). The only raw tomatoes I’ll eat in salad are the ones from my garden. Doesn’t mean I don’t get not liking raw tomatoes, though. :-)

    Cilantro is just plain nasty to me. I have friends telling me fresh cilantro is better, that the stuff at the supermarket is gross but the stuff at the farmer’s market is great. Nope. It all tastes like awfulness to me.

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  25. 25. seanthomas85 2:49 pm 02/18/2014

    Holy 3-years-later comment Batman… but I don’t care.

    I just stumbled across this blog article and have to say I’m right there with you. I have despised raw tomatoes ever since I was a small child. For the vast majority of my life my parents and family regarded my stout refusal to ingest raw tomato as rebelliousness and childishness.

    It was not until, somewhere around my 20th birthday, that my mother decided to prove, once and for all, that I was making it all up.

    She made a giant bowl of her seafood salad (imitation crab, pasta, mayo-dressing, bell pepper, onion, diced hard-boiled egg, etc). Something I always liked. And into this giant bowl, she secretly added a single small diced tomato, trusting the red bell peppers to mask its presence (she always put red bell peppers in it). I took one bite, and spat it out. “Ugh… why’d you put tomatoes in it? You know I hate tomatoes.” That was the point when, at last, she gave up and accepted that I really genuinely couldn’t eat them raw.

    The best way to describe the taste I experience when even the juice of a raw tomato touches my tongue is “toxic.” Their smell doesn’t bother me. Their basic taste doesn’t even bother me. It’s some undefinable extra “something” that just overpowers every other flavor and overwhelms me, making me want to vomit. Whatever that something is, a reasonable amount of cooking either chemically alters it or evaporates it out. I love a wide assortment of tomato-based cooked foods. Canned tomatoes also lack it, so I tend to use them just to safe, and also when I make “fresh” salsa because using raw tomatoes would just be a disaster for me.

    Curiously, when I was 22 I had a tonsillectomy. For about 3 months following this surgery, I was able to enjoy raw tomatoes. That horrible, overpowering toxic taste was gone. I assume that something during the surgery altered my taste buds and made them stop responding to it. Alas, despite my hope that I was “miraculously cured”, it was not last. A mere 3 months after the operation, THAT taste returned with a vengeance, and I again cannot stand raw tomatoes.

    As for your article, I greatly enjoyed the quote… “Telling people you hate fresh tomatoes is like saying you hate giggling babies or that you loathe the prospect of world peace.”

    BECAUSE IT’S SO TRUE.

    Link to this

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