Adult Picky Eaters UK

For Picky-Eating Adults in the UK and worldwide

Operation Fruitalicious Part III: Raspberries November 12, 2008

Filed under: Personal Stories,Reducing Pickiness — Claire @ 6:59 pm

Luckily for those of you who are enjoying my Operation Fruitalicious posts, I happen to live very near to a fruit and veg market of world reknown. Which means (oh joy of joys) there isn’t really any excuse not to keep pressing on with my mission.

Now, you may remember I still have a pear which is ripening in my fridge as we speak. To be honest though, what with all this fruit excitement, I didn’t really feel up to it. For all I know, it may be gone off by now anyway. So by way of a displacement activity, I decided to choose something else from the vast array of fruits with whom I have yet to become acquainted.



After some deliberation, I chose raspberries.  I would have gone for strawbs, but they didn’t have a lid.  They look nice, don’t they?


The thing I thought was good about berry-type fruits is that they come in bite-sized pieces.  This means that if you want to try them, you don’t have to commit to a whole great big thing, you can just try one, with no harm done.  I must say though, that close-up and personal, raspberries are rather funny strange things.  I think they might even be hairy, if that is possible. From a visual inspection, one can see that not all the raspberries are the same, but of course, one has no means of telling a good one from a less good one, so you’ve just got to take pot luck.  And if you inspect them too closely, they all look potentially revolting in one way or another.   

Still, nothing ventured, nothing gained. I popped one in my mouth, albeit I had to pop it out again almost immediately.  Now, like with the orange, what you find is that the thing is basically sealed, so it’s quite hard to get a feel for it just by having it in your mouth.  Again, too, you’ve got to be careful to keep it only at the very front of your mouth, to minimise or postpone the wretching as much as poss.  You can taste some taste of raspberry from the inside at the top, if you try, but what overwhelmed me was the tasting of the outside of it.  Because of course you’ve got all the plantiness and none of the juiciness.  Still, I kept trying.


I’m afraid I didn’t get very far in terms of biting raspberry.  I mean, I did try, but I was getting pretty close to being sick again (not my most favourite pass-time).  I have to say that I am still amazed that what my instincts told me as a toddler (that such things would make me vomit) is as true as it has so far turned out to be.  Still, I thought, there has to be a way to get to grips with the inside of a raspberry, so I took one and cut it in half, and popped that in my mouth.  I’m sorry to report that this caused instant vomiting.  The texture/structure is what did it.  An hour later I went back and tried again.  You know, just to see.  I had to spit it out almost immediately, but the post hoc recollection of that juicy raspberry feeling was that it was actually quite nice.  Something wholesome and wonderful that’s been missing from my diet all these years.  And it did taste a bit like raspberry jam, only purer.


So, I didn’t manage a swallow this time.  Maybe I am getting slack and lazy, and losing my verve.  But I would definitely try these again. 

The more I do this, the more I am convinced that it’s all about gaining familiarity.  And even having tried just these three fruits so far, the trying of things in general is becoming a more familiar thing to be doing.  I’m learning how to try things just as much as I’m learning about the specific fruits in question.  I’m beginning to think that once I’ve got the hang of the trying, the whole thing is going to suddenly get much easier.  If that should be true, then we might have a “cure” on our hands…


18 Responses to “Operation Fruitalicious Part III: Raspberries”

  1. Robert Says:

    Excellent work on these Fruitalicious posts. For us non-picky-eaters, the source of wonder and perhaps irritation comes from the refusal to even try something. These experiments negate all that.

  2. Claire Says:

    Do they? Why? They’re only a concrete demonstration of what my instinct has always told me, but which very few people in my life have ever had the respect to take my word for.

    If I were being irritable, I’d say it was rather annoying that other people might find my preference for not vomiting (especially in public) “irritating”.

    If someone refuses to try something, could you not have envisaged that they might have a very good reason for that?

    I still think it is really off for someone to be irritated by another person’s disability or limitations.

    And it makes me be a bit cross if someone would prefer me to put myself through something as unpleasant as what I’m doing, before they’re prepared to believe what I’ve already painstakingly explained. I mean, if I’d said to you “I will die if I eat these things”, would you have needed me to put that to the test? And how would you have felt when I was proved right? Why should I have to suffer, just to assuage someone else’s irritation?

    Whether you knew it or not, your argument was negated way before these 3 posts. I’m sure you can conceive of there being things in the world that you don’t know or understand, but which are still true. Why can you not credit this in the context of food? Is it not arrogant in the extreme (not to mention insulting and hurtful, and not very multicultural) to insist that everyone who isn’t like you must be wrong?

    Thanks though x

  3. Claire Says:

    ps, I knew a small boy once, who would vomit, or nearly vomit at the sight or smell of lemons. You might know him. I wonder how he would have felt to have been met with this attitude of yours?

    And wasn’t there a boy once who threw up because his mother wouldn’t buy him chips? Why was that, I wonder?

  4. Anna Says:

    Yes, I always wonder at the audacity of people who think they somehow have the right to try to dictate my (or other picky eaters’) eating habits. I will never, ever understand why they think they should have a say.

    I try new things occasionally – last night I tried guacamole for the first time in my life. It wasn’t bad, but it isn’t something I’ll go out of my way to eat. A month or so ago I tried hummus; similar reaction. It is possible that if I try it hummus a few more times, I may grow to actually like it as opposed to merely tolerate it. I have my doubts about guacamole, though.

    On the other hand, there are things that I’m pretty sure I will never try. Lobster, for instance, and most other seafood. Calamari. Anything with any kind of whole animal, like chocolate covered insects. I could go on. Even the thought of eating those things makes me feel slightly ill.

    If I’m ok with the fact that I will never eat those things, nobody else has the right to have a problem with it, no matter what they may think. It’s just food, and it’s our food at that. I will never, not if I live a hundred years, understand why other people think it’s any of their business.

  5. Anna Says:

    Also, I want to add, I really really dislike red raspberries but if you ever manage to find black raspberries (not blackberries, black raspberries, they’re out of season though so you’d have to wait until next year) they have a very different texture and flavor. It is still fruity, of course, so it would almost certainly still be unpleasant for you, but I like (some) fruits and even I dislike the texture of red raspberries. Black raspberries have a milder flavor and a, well, different texture. Smoother, maybe? I don’t know. Anyway, just a thought.

  6. Tineke Says:

    Yesterday I ate chicory for the first time in my life. Well, I really did like it!

  7. Robert Says:

    The small boy in question had tried lemons and didn’t like them. Hence the nearly vomiting.

    That same small boy did certainly not throw up because his mother didn’t buy him chips. He vomited because she did buy him some macaroni pasta, which he thought he might not enjoy, but tried anyway, and did not enjoy.

    So he was very much of the “You don’t know until you’ve tried it” attitude, I would say.

    And I might add, he grew up to be someone who eats both lemons and macaroni, sometimes together.

    And yes, I was that boy.

  8. Al Says:

    I find this blog a source of complete fascination to me. I am glad you’re trying to get to know different fruits, and i really enjoy them.

    Maybe one day you might like to try durian, if you can get it there. The sight and smell of it is really offputting.

  9. Sharon Says:

    Wow! I only just came across this site, and your fruit posts remind me so much of my own attempts at eating fruit!!

    I consider myself a ‘medium’ picky eater, although rather than labelling myself as fussy I prefer to say that ‘there are a lot of foods I don’t eat’! Not sure it’s much of a distinction but there we are.

    Anyway, I don’t eat any fruit, haven’t ever eaten it, since I was about two and rejected my first banana! It has never been negotiable, I simply don’t eat fruit, I don’t understand why anyone would want to. However, I’m now in my early twenties and over the past year or two I have been making regular efforts to try different fruits as I worry about the effects on my health of skipping such an important food group.

    I love your descriptions of the texture of the fruit, and your reactions to it – so similar to my own!

    Raspberries – too hairy and bitter, hate the way they’re made up of little bubbles
    Oranges – can’t bear the pith or the segments and the ‘popping’ but love the juice. Also, it’s really hit and miss as to how they taste.
    Apples – hate the crunch but could get used to the taste – drink a lot of juice from cartons. Will never eat the skin though!
    Peach – cannot BEAR the furry skin but peeled and eaten in tiny chunks and slowly I managed half of one…once…which is an achievement I’m sure you can appreciate! I was breathing through my mouth the whole time though (to minimise the taste by blocking off my nose), and holding my tongue in the back of mouth and the fruit in the front – which is quite an effort I can tell you!
    Strawberries – very unpleasant, hate the seeds, and the taste is just so bitter I don’t understand how people consider them a dessert!

    Um that’s all I can think of for now, just wanted to let you know how lovely it was to find someone else has been making attempts at fruit in much the same way as my humble efforts have been developing…thank you! 😀

  10. Caro Says:

    This is brilliant. I decided just this morning to try some more fruit (I only eat apples and bananas and it takes me about half an hour to eat just one.) You have made me actually think it’s possible to put other fruits in my mouth – although raspberries or kiwis or anything with hair on is going nowhere near me. I think I might start with a pear…

  11. aniola Says:

    It’s helpful to eat fruit that is local and in season: it just tastes better. I also remember reading somewhere, I don’t remember where, that it takes 17 times of eating any given food before it starts to grow on you, so I think you’re onto something with your theory that it’s partly about familiarity. (I still don’t like peppers, though, so maybe there’s more to it than just that.)

  12. Klara Says:

    I’ve got to admire your determination. Can’t imagine doing that with mushrooms, spinach, liver or any of the hundreds kinds of food I don’t like to eat.

  13. Andy Says:

    Hi! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after reading through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
    Anyways, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be bookmarking
    and checking back frequently!

  14. Hello your web site url: http://adultpickyeatersuk.
    seems to be redirecting to a completely different website when I click
    the home-page link. You might want to have this looked at.

  15. As a cognitive behavioural therapist, and a Selective Eater, I’m grateful to you for posting this, and helping normalise a very difficult condition. I have used similar techniques for over 10 years now, and can eat most fruit and veg, but still am nowhere with eggs, cream sauces, and fatty or salty meat. It’s so frustrating for people to simply say “try it” as if the worst that will happen is that it will be not loved. The worst that will happen is that I will vomit at your dinner party, embarrassing the cook, myself and most of the guests, who will inevitably still label me as “putting it on” or “working yourself up over nothing”.

    So thank you, for eloquently spelling out the ordeal felt when engaging in trying things.

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