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There are certain foods out there that are known as love-hate foods. What do all these items have in common? They all have very interesting or strong flavors and that makes ambivalence difficult.


There’s a genetic component to disliking cilantro. About half the population has an olfactory receptor (something in your nose that helps you smell food) that detects aldehydes in this plant. The result? It tastes soapy. For those who can’t perceive this flavor, you’ll enjoy the original-recipe guacamole!

Pineapple Pizza

There are a few reasons pineapple pizza is so controversial. First, some people are opposed to putting fruit on pizza. Second, some people dislike pineapple, so adding it to pizza seems like a cruel prank. Finally, the sweet-and-savory combination of flavors is off-putting for certain groups of people. They believe that salty foods should just be salty and sweet foods need to be in a their own corner. Combining the two and throwing them onto a pizza? Disastrous!


Real licorice comes from the licorice root, but the candy also contains anethole, made from star anise and fennel. Both of these plants have a very strong, pungent flavor to them, a flavor that some detest. In case you’re wondering, absinthe also uses anethole, which is why it sort of smells licorice-y. There’s also some who just find black candy to be strangely weird. Whatever the reason, licorice continues to be a love-hate treat.


Who doesn’t love tiny, super-salty fish all over their pizza? For those who hate fishy flavors, anchovies are too much. To properly enjoy them, you need to either love seafood flavors or at least be used to it so that the smell doesn’t bother you. One benefit that anchovies have is that they’re high in calcium, so it’s a good option for people who cannot consume dairy products. On the other hand, if you can’t get over the overwhelming taste, there are always milder canned fish to try.

Cottage Cheese

When doctors use cottage cheese as a way to describe certain types of bodily discharge, it can turn a lot of people off to the food itself. It doesn’t help that the analogy is spot on either. When served in a bowl, this cheese tends to bleed water, a gross-out for others. It’s too late for this food item, but someone needs to tell the medical community to stop using food references to describe symptoms.

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