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The Nause-AA: Round of 64, Flight Hurl
August 20, 2012


Since I came to no real consensus in Suffering Succotash about the most hated food -- though an awful lot of people talked about tomatoes -- we're going to make this determination ourselves with our highly scientific polling system.

Head on over to Tomato Nation to register your displeasure: remember vote with your gag reflex, vote for the most disgusting choice, vote to vomit!

Today's write-ups for The Nause-AA brought to you by yours truly.

1 zucchini vs. 16 avocado (PSSST! Bunting really hates zucchini, y’all!) To be fair, zucchini was high up on my Stephanie’s Most Hated list until a few years ago. I actually didn’t mind it raw, speared, and digging up dip, but I hated it cooked. UNTIL we got a grill. Then I had those spears grilled and topped with shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano and we also learned how to grill, oil, and salt long, thin zucchini strips so they don’t mush up and are pretty tasty. (I also have a genius raw salad recipe I’ll share if zukes sticks it out and which Bunting has promised to try it and record her reactions. ["My mother did find a way to get me to eat it without maximum drama, finally; it involved a cheese/zuke ratio of something like four to one, but it worked. I'll eat it raw, but any cooked format that makes it gooshy is no go." -- SDB]) I do recall a time I hated avocado – because, let’s face it, it’s kind of a weird fruit – but I believe the zucchini haters will hate on through to the other side.

8 Brussels sprouts vs. 9 green peppers One of my greatest loves against one of my greatest hates! Actually, I can tolerate raw green peppers at times (but never cooked!) but it’s only occasionally, and I don’t seek it out. Beloved Brussels sprouts are like a stray cat: they just need to be treated right to be sweet and wonderful. They’re not trying to be bitter and punishing, they just want to be loved! Green peppers, however, I don’t know what your excuse is for grossness, but it’s just not on. Brussels sprouts are the misunderstood brassica of the vegetable kingdom, so they’ll push forward.

5 string beans vs. 12 broccoli In the middle of his SNL “chopping broccoli” sketch, Dana Carvey heaves a “hwaugh!” that ably illustrates how a lot of people feel about the Lilliputian tree. Just like Brussels sprouts, broccoli was one of my Great Overcomes in my quest to de-pickify myself. And just like Brussels sprouts, you gotta roast that shit! String beans, however, need to stay the hell out of my kitchen. ["And off my teeth. What's with that infernal squeaking they do?" -- SDB] They just taste so bland and how I imagine the color green would taste (and not in an earthy-crunchy-hybrid-engine-clean-happy-world way, either), just green and nothing and bleh. That’s it! String beans taste like bleh, so you can count on them bean there for the next round. (I know, I know: I’m fired.)

4 kale vs. 13 succotash Suck-o-tash! It is a tash of SUCK! I don’t know what a tash is, right at this moment, but I’m willing to coin it as “big nappy purse that contains a wet mass of narsty veggies.” To be fair, the bag of frozen succotash I grew up eating and hating is probably now called “mixed vegetables,” but this is what made it up: lima beans, cubed carrots, corn, short cuts of green beans, and peas. The only thing I liked was the corn, and it was SCARCE. Traditionally, succotash is a Native American dish comprised of corn (maize) and lima beans with the option of some red peppers thrown in (hoarf). Meanwhile, kale, which is the newest food that will make you immortal, is incredibly bitter and so rough and hearty you can actually feel it toilet brushing your insides as it goes down. (All the way down.) (And out.) BUT, I’m trying to love kale. Not in the oven, though. I’ve had and liked the kale chips I’ve made but I’m lazy. Instead, I eat it raw after it’s soaked in really garlicky-lemony vinaigrette for at least 30 minutes to soften it up. (Even then, it’s still pretty toilet-brushy.) As much as kale is preaching, most are not the choir. It’ll kale succotash and keep on being grosser to the next round.

6 melon vs. 11 peas Melon bugs me. It’s out there for me to like it with the sweetness and being a non-banana fruit, but they all totally miss for me. I hate the flavor of cantaloupe and it’s slippery-slimy texture, and watermelon is SO wishy-washy! Is it water? Is it melon? CHOOSE A FREAKING SIDE! Honeydew is a honeydon’t, and for some ungodly reason the name “Crenshaw” makes me think of a cranium burst open. Also, it’s impossible to know when they’re ripe – I can thump and thump but I don’t know to what end – and do you know how easy it is to get deadly food poisoning from a melon rind? You’re supposed to wash the cursed things with BLEACH! But peas for me are like green beans. They’re meh. The only way I truly like them is during the few spring days when Evvia makes fresh ones up with super-special feta, lemon juice, dill, olive oil, scallions, and cilantro. It says a lot about Evvia that I don’t like dill, cilantro, or peas, but I adore that dish. I think more people like melon than we’re predicting. Peas will come out as more hated.

3 chard vs. 14 olives This is tough. People who hate olives REALLY HATE OLIVES, whereas chard is often something people don’t bother trying. Like, they know they dislike other veggies or greens, so they just don’t go there. But olives get SUCH a huge reaction from people. Tannic and tough as bad chard can be, I think olives will push through here. ["I'll take that bet, because the 'you can't spell "olive" without "love"' people are just as passionate." -- SDB]

7 asparagus vs. 10 spinach I really want to like asparagus, I do. I even had a passionate, long-term affair with it not that long ago, but then I started ducking out of dates and avoiding its long, green gaze at the grocery store and farmers’ markets. I enthused along with everyone else when spring and the purple spears rolled around, but in my heart I knew I was living a lie. The other night, I had it over for dinner and I finally had to come clean and admit that I just don’t enjoy it overmuch. I don’t hate it and I will always respect it, but the love has gone out of the relationship. Spinach and I are friendlier, distant, but friendlier. I like it raw in salads and barely sautéed with lemon juice and garlic. Asparagus will move on to the next round.

2 celery vs. 15 Lima beans I think we were smoking crack with these rankings. Is celery REALLY that hated? I had no idea. Personally, I do love its innocuousness, and strings really don’t happen anymore, so tell me: what’s up, folks? Why all the celery hate? Lima beans, however, are so famously foul, they were one of the final nails in the coffin of Alexander’s “woke up on the wrong side of the bed” day. I think lima beans will advance and celery will crunch into obscurity.

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Stephanie Vander Weide Lucianovic