Britain’s most-hated foods

Although they’re heralded as an international delicacy and served in restaurants across the world, snails have topped the list as the UK’s most-hated food. Tripe, oysters, squid and anchovies also made up the top end of the ‘gastro-dislike’ list in a new research report.

The Fussy Food Nation Report, from a study conducted by Hotpoint to mark the launch of its ‘Active Oxygen’ fridge freezer which keeps food fresher for longer, also found that amongst the top 20 most-hated foods were liver, olives, black pudding, kippers, blue cheese, beetroot, sardines, and Brussels sprouts, which may not surprise many.

What may come as a shock to foodies is the fact that delicacies such as avocado, goats’ cheese, pate, prawns and mushrooms have made the top 40 most disliked foods, which shows that once and for all we’re a nation of fussy eaters.

And it’s children that are the biggest culprits when it comes to refusing to eat certain foods with 39% being fussy eaters, while 24% of fathers are fussy followed narrowly by mothers at 23%.

A staggering 54% of people in relationships say their partner is a fussier eater than they are, with a tenth of Brits even resent their partner sometimes because they don’t like a food that they enjoy eating (10%).

A quarter of the 2 000 people studied feel their own diet suffers because their mother, father or sibling refuses to eat particular foods.

It’s not just partners that prove fussy – forty percent of parents confessed they’d gone to huge extents to get their kids eating greens by bribing their children to eat the food in front of them.

The study also revealed 41% of parents sneak healthy foods into their children’s meals to ensure they are getting nutrition. Typically the humble Brussels sprout, mushrooms and spinach feature among the most challenging foods to convince our children to eat.

Under half of respondents said they don’t eat as healthily as they should – out of siimply being too busy to do so.

The study also asked people what puts them off certain foods, with almost 60% saying the texture and more than half saying the smell.

One in seven say being forced to eat a certain food as a child has left them hating it forever, while a similar number say they hate certain foods so much they physically make them ill.

Cook, food writer and broadcaster Valentine Warner said: ‘I’m astounded that so few people enjoy eating beetroot, it’s one of my all-time favourite vegetables.

‘Perhaps everyone has been put off by the slightly limp, pickled sort in jars? When eaten fresh, it’s delicious.

‘I’d implore people to try more foods and to not be put off by previous experiences; yes, even snails can actually be very tasty. Experiencing new food is a joy, you may not like everything but it’s trial and error and in my experience, the more you try things the more you get to like them.’