Here’s the 1 Food That People Hate the Most in Your State
The United States may be famous for inventing — or at least popularizing — some iconic foods. But each state has its own unique cuisine and tastes. And seriously, there’s no accounting for taste. (We’re looking at you, mid-Atlantic scrapple lovers.) Just as people in each state love different foods, they also hate different foods. And a dating app called Hater — which matches people based on the things they hate — took a pretty entertaining look at the most-hated foods across the United States.
In fact, one company put together an amazing map of the most-hated food in each state (and the District of Columbia), relative to the rest of the world. Read on to find out which food people hate the most in your state. Some of them are logical — but others are pretty weird. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Most hated food: Anything from Chipotle
People in Alabama can’t stand the idea of going to Chipotle for a meal. Though plenty of people love Chipotle, Alabamans who steer clear of the chain may have the right idea. Those repeated E. coli outbreaks are enough to give anybody pause about stopping in for a burrito or an order of tacos. As The Atlantic noted, analysts have worried that Chipotle may never recover after its much-publicized food safety problems.
Most hated food: Voss water
In Alaska, people profess a strong hatred for Voss water. This Norwegian brand of bottled water comes in a signature cylindrical bottle. Bottled water seems like an unlikely candidate as a state’s most hated food (or beverage, in this case). But Alaskans aren’t alone in their distaste for Voss. Vice called “bullshit” on the brand and its marketing several years ago. Vice reported, “If someone had inexplicably set out to create a parody of a pretentious bottled water, Voss might be a little on the nose.”
Most hated food: Kombucha
Kombucha, a type of fermented tea, seems to have impressed nobody in Arizona. Many of us wonder why our yoga teachers and Whole Foods-shopping friends are drinking the beverage, which can cost $5 or more at the grocery store. It turns out that kombucha is good for you if it contains the right probiotics. However, we wouldn’t blame anyone for steering clear of the drink, particularly if you’ve seen somebody brewing it at home with a layer of slimy, gross “scoby” of bacteria and yeast.
Most hated food: Cilantro
We know what the residents of Arkansas are not putting on their burritos: Cilantro! Many people like this tasty herb. But if you hate it, it’s not your fault! As The Cheat Sheet reported, you can probably blame your hatred of this healthy herb on your genetics. According to The New York Times, some people seem to be genetically predisposed to dislike cilantro. Plus, the same or similar compounds that make up cilantro’s aroma also appear in soaps. That explains why, at least to some people, cilantro tastes like soap.
Most hated food: Chick-fil-A
Big fried chicken fans will shudder: The most hated food in California is Chick-fil-A. We hate to break it to you, but Californians may be on to something. In fact, we’ve found plenty of reasons to hate Chick-fil-A. The chain doesn’t have the best chicken sandwiches in the business. (Ditto for the fries.) They also run annoying ad campaigns. Plus, they use peanut oil, which makes their food off-limits to many allergy sufferers. And that’s to say nothing about the company’s politics, their donations to groups that oppose same-sex marriage, and their needlessly sexist views on parenting.
Most hated food: Flamin’ Hot Cheetos
Some people love Cheetos. Others hate the cheese-flavored snack. Residents of Colorado appear to fall into the latter camp, according to Hater’s map — at least when it comes to Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. Wired explains exactly what goes into this particular Cheetos flavor and its spicy taste, and the details won’t exactly make you want to pick up a bag. The snack is made with unappetizing ingredients like “cornmeal mush,” maltodextrin, which Wired describes as a “tasteless white powder found in most dry flavored snacks,” plus monosodium glutamate and “a slurry of cheese, milk solids, and salt” for flavor. Yum!
Most hated food: Canned food
In Connecticut, Hater found that people cite “canned food” as their most hated food. We’d like to think that Connecticut residents just haven’t found the right canned foods. Sure, there are some pretty gross ones on grocery shelves. (Some of those canned foods are pretty bad for your health, too.) But as Prevention reports, you can find plenty of canned foods that even the biggest clean-eating advocate would be happy to have on their pantry shelves.
Most hated food: Hawaiian pizza
The internet very publicly debated the fitness of pineapple to serve as a pizza topping. Delaware seems to have come down firmly on the side of denouncing pineapple-topped pizzas, according to Hater’s results. Unsurprisingly, pineapple numbers among the most hated pizza toppings nationwide. Even people who love slicing up a fresh pineapple often think twice before adding it to their pizza order. Its sweet flavor often seems to conflict with the savory tastes of the cheese and tomato sauce. Plus, its watery texture doesn’t make the best addition to a pizza that’s already got a healthy (or not-so-healthy) amount of cheese, sauce, and oil.
Most hated food: Licorice
Floridians hate licorice. (Who knew?) The flavor definitely isn’t for everybody. But perhaps residents of the sunshine state have been reading up on the latest medical studies, which don’t look good for the plant or the candy derived from it. Licorice contains a compound called glycyrrhizin, which research has shown reduces testosterone levels in men. So, licorice is one of the foods that can reduce your sex drive — an effect that basically nobody wants.
Most hated food: Tuna salad
Hater learned that the most hated food in Georgia is tuna salad. This traditional dish numbers among the most controversial salads, according to BuzzFeed. Some people love it, others hate it — and Georgia definitely hates it. We can’t make any promises, but perhaps putting away those old cookbooks and trying a brand-new version of tuna salad will help.
Most hated food: Coca-Cola
You’d think that everything would be great in Hawaii. But the Aloha State seems to have a bone to pick with Coca-Cola. We can’t say exactly why. (Maybe residents of Hawaii prefer Pepsi instead of Coke?) But anyone who dislikes Coke might be interested to learn that cola is one of those items that often tastes better from a generic label than from a name brand. In fact taste-testers like Whole Foods’ 365 Everyday Value cola better than Coke.
Most hated food: Dim sum
Idaho has gained a reputation for its potatoes, and Hater’s results really make it sound like a meat-and-potatoes kind of state. The app learned that residents of Idaho hate dim sum. This style of Chinese Canton cuisine features dumplings, steamed buns, and pastries pushed around the restaurant on a cart and served in small baskets or plates. As Serious Eats explains, “There’s nothing too difficult about ordering and dining at a dim sum restaurant.” But residents of Idaho don’t seem to have a taste for this kind of dining.
Most hated food: Biting string cheese
Residents of Illinois cite a very specific experience as their most hated food: Biting string cheese. Note that the midwestern state doesn’t seem to hate string cheese altogether — much to the relief of its northern neighbor, Wisconsin. However, Illinois seems to fall firmly on the peeling side of the peeling-versus-biting debate, which, Buzzfeed assures us, is actually a topic of argument — at least on the internet.
Most hated food: Charcuterie
Hater learned that in Indiana, the most hated food is charcuterie. That could be because the name itself is so difficult to pronounce. But it could also be because the term seems needlessly pretentious. Charcuterie refers to the traditional preparation of meats like salami, sausage, and ham, and also terrine, pâté, and confits. And a charcuterie board often includes these meats with artisanal cheese, fruits, nuts, honey, and bread. So why can’t we just call it a cheese plate?
Most hated food: Quinoa
Iowa has a reputation for its corn. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Iowans haven’t taken a liking to quinoa, which is a much healthier and more nutritious side than corn. Of course, some people just hate quinoa. Like any food, its flavor just doesn’t agree with everybody’s palate. Fortunately, if you’re determined to sneak this health food into a few recipes, there are ways you can eat it, even if you hate it.
Most hated food: Shellfish
Shellfish, a category that includes mussels, clams, oysters, scallops, crabs, shrimp, lobsters, and crayfish, is the perfect protein to pair with pasta. However, Hater learned that Kansas isn’t a big fan of these foods. Some people have allergies to shellfish. But others dislike seafood for plenty of other reasons. Maybe it’s the taste or the smell, or perhaps it’s how often your friends have tried to trick you into trying it.
Most hated food: Hummus
Most of us have gotten used to hummus appearing not only on pita bread, but also on salads, in pasta salad, on wraps, and in sandwiches. But residents of Kentucky aren’t having it. They don’t want anything to do with this classic Middle Eastern spread, made of chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, and olive oil. There may be no changing the minds of the hummus-averse. But maybe a truly great batch of hummus, or even an updated hummus recipe, has a chance?
Most hated food: Cookies with raisins
Nobody likes biting into a cookie expecting chocolate chips and getting a mouthful of raisins instead. That’s apparently happened way too many times to people in Louisiana, who tell Hater that they hate cookies with raisins. This is another controversial topic, but, as Buzzfeed notes, many people think raisins don’t belong in cookies or “in places where there could have been chocolate chips.”
Most hated food: Asian fusion
In Maine, people hate Asian fusion cuisines. Slate reports that “America fell in love, and then out of love, and then in love all over again” with Asian fusion. (Maybe Maine hasn’t yet figured out the falling back in love part of that equation.) But perhaps the state should give Asian fusion a chance again. Slate explains, “All cuisine is at heart a form of fusion. When cultures collide, (peacefully or not,) ingredients overlap, cooks get inventive, and traditions are merged.” The publication notes, “Fusion as a term may have become deeply unfashionable, but its influence is everywhere.”
Most hated food: The corner piece of a brownie
As with many other debates over food, people can’t stop arguing over whether the edge or the middle of the brownie is the best part. Maryland seems to have resolved that question pretty decisively, since Hater reports that the corner piece of a brownie ranks as the most hated food in this mid-Atlantic state. However, the debate continues nationwide. And some people have likely even tried baking their brownies in a special pan designed to produce more edges.
Most hated food: Mayonnaise on fries
People dip their fries in all kinds of condiments. However, you might get some weird looks if you request mayo for your fries at an establishment in Massachusetts. Not everybody agrees with Massachusetts, though. First We Feast argues that mayonnaise is a better condiment for fries than ketchup. “The cult of Heinz ketchup has clouded our vision for what we should really want with salty, fried potatoes — something fatty, creamy, and slightly tangy,” the publication argues. In fact, First We Feast promises that mayo “amplifies the crunchy, greasy nature of fries, preserving their best qualities.” We’re just not sure that Massachusetts is going to listen.
Most hated food: Cold pizza
Some people love cold pizza. Just don’t expect your friends from Michigan to number among them. Hater learned that the most hated food in the state is cold pizza. We’re not sure if we’re talking about pizza that’s been in the refrigerator, or pizza that’s just been left at room temperature. Either way, there are certainly plenty of pizza lovers who would argue those points.
Most hated food: Beans
Hater didn’t get a lot of details here, but people in Minnesota voted beans as their most hated food. Some people hate the taste or texture of beans, whether they’re lentils, black beans, kidney beans, or even chickpeas. However, beans and lentils number among the inflammation-fighting foods that should really appear in everybody’s diet. Maybe Minnesotans just need some new ways to cook those beans?
Most hated food: Sour cream
In Mississippi, sour cream earns the crown as the most hated food. Even if you like the condiment on your burritos, your chips, or your baked potato, it probably doesn’t require any major stretch of the imagination for you to figure out why some people hate sour cream. The taste isn’t for everyone, and the texture is off-putting — especially when you realize that some kinds of sour cream actually contain gelatin.
Most hated food: The last bite of a hot dog
Here’s where things get weirdly specific. Hater learned that in Missouri, people really hate the last bite of a hot dog. We wish we had more information here, but we’re really as surprised as you are. Is the last bite of a hot dog so bad because it means the hot dog is almost gone? Are the proportions of hot dog to bun to condiments out of balance? Has the hot dog gotten cold? We have so many questions — but no good answers.
Most hated food: Pumpkin spice anything
Nationwide, plenty of people look forward to fall as the time they can drink their pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks, and stock up on anything and everything pumpkin spice at the grocery store. But Montana definitely does not share that enthusiasm. Hater learned that residents of Montana hate “pumpkin spice anything.” So they probably don’t want to try your pumpkin spice cookies or ice cream. They also don’t want a sip of your pumpkin spice latte — but perhaps they’d take some pumpkin pie vodka just to deal with the madness.
Most hated food: Chili peppers
Some people have a higher tolerance for hot and spicy foods than others. But in Nebraska, plenty of people seem to have sworn off chili peppers altogether. Of course, not every kind of pepper is particularly hot. Whether you’re skeptical of them or not, you might want to find out a little bit more about the different kinds of peppers — and the milder options — before you swear them off for good.
Most hated food: La Croix
Millennials love La Croix sparkling water — but Nevada is having none of it. It seems like everybody is drinking the beverage, which comes in numerous flavors and pastel-covered cans that Bon Appétit characterizes as “tacky-chic.” La Croix became surprisingly popular — at least in part because of how it’s different from the competition. “Most waters try to sell the idea of ‘clean,’ with clear bottles and simple typography,” Bon Appétit explains. “LaCroix, on the other hand, is marketed as an alternative to soda.” Despite defying the rules of design, La Croix used smart marketing and perfect timing to win over many fans — just not in Nevada.
29. New Hampshire
Most hated food: Expensive cocktails
People nationwide grumble about paying $10 or $15 for a cocktail. But in New Hampshire — a state famous for its “Live free or die” motto — people seem especially opposed to these pricey mixed drinks. We’ve all wondered why craft cocktails have gotten so expensive. There are plenty of reasons why — just as there are many delicious cocktails you can make at home if you don’t want to shell out for a drink at the local cocktail bar.
30. New Jersey
Most hated food: Gas station wine
Another strangely specific complaint that Hater fielded? Residents of New Jersey hate gas station wine. Of course, not every state even allows gas stations to sell wine. But in the states that do, the pickings are usually slim (and not worth the self-loathing). However, we hope that residents of New Jersey look beyond their bias against gas station wine when they road-trip to other states. As Food & Wine reports, some gas stations sell delicious food and drinks — including wine.
31. New Mexico
Most hated food: Chicken nuggets
In New Mexico, the most hated food turned out to be chicken nuggets. We can’t exactly blame residents of this southwestern state for their bias. After all, researchers have established that only about 20% of the average chicken nugget is chicken breast. The rest is ground-up bone, fat, blood vessels, and gristle — plus corn, wheat, sugar, hydrogenated oils, and preservatives. Pretty gross, if you ask us.
32. New York
Most hated food: Ranch on pizza
Ranch, like mayonnaise, is a pretty polarizing condiment. And New Yorkers seem to hate seeing it on their pizza. We don’t exactly blame them, since a pizza that comes topped in ranch dressing probably also has some dubious ingredients like chicken or bacon. There seems to be a pretty healthy (or unhealthy) debate on the matter. But as BuzzFeed so colorfully puts it, “Pizza is perfect on its own. It is delicious. It is delightful. No need to drown it in a puddle of ill-tasting liquid hell that belongs on a salad.”
33. North Carolina
Most hated food: Cottage cheese
Cottage cheese is one of the most widely hated health foods nationwide, so sooner or later, it had to show up on Hater’s map. People routinely complain that cottage cheese looks gross and smells worse. We haven’t yet found anything to combine with it that doesn’t taste weird, or look like something that would be served at a nursing home. However, we might make an exception — and advise North Carolina residents to do the same — for these high-protein dishes, since cottage cheese is actually a complete source of protein.
34. North Dakota
Most hated food: Tapas
Just as Idaho hates dim sum, North Dakota hates tapas — perhaps unsurprisingly, given that North Dakota calls itself the “roughrider state.” But no matter how rugged the terrain, we don’t think that any state should write off this delicious type of Spanish small-plate dining. Tapas are the perfect choice whether you’re going out to dinner with friends or hosting a party at home. Just give them a chance, North Dakota!
Most hated food: Pesto
Pesto appears on pizzas, with pasta, next to seafood, and on sandwiches. But not everybody is a fan of the Italian sauce, which consists mainly of basil, garlic, oil, and pine nuts. Especially not in Ohio. Some people just can’t tolerate the strong garlic taste. But we bet that some of them — if they gave these delicious recipes a chance — would be pesto converts in no time.
Most hated food: Veggie burgers
Oklahoma professes to hate veggie burgers — a surprising position for the Sooner State, given that veggie burgers are often quicker to prepare than their traditional beef counterparts. Whenever somebody says they hate veggie burgers, we can’t help but assume that they just haven’t tried the right one yet. Many veggie burger recipes are just as satisfying and delicious as a traditional burger.
Most hated food: Fast food
In Oregon, the most hated food is surprisingly broad: Fast food. Maybe Oregon is a fan of slow food, instead? “Slow food” refers to food that’s good for people and good for the environment. According to Slow Food USA, “Slow Food is the opposite of fast food. Slow Food is fresh and healthy, free of pesticides and chemicals, and produced and accessed in a way that’s beneficial to all — from the farmer to the eater.” Sounds like something that’d be popular in Portland!
Most hated food: Chai lattes
The most hated food in Pennsylvania is actually a beverage. According to Hater, the state detests chai lattes. Of course, we can’t quite blame Pennsylvanians if their aversion is to the Starbucks version of the chai latte. That sugary-sweet beverage isn’t exactly an authentic representation of chai from India. But we’d imagine that Pennsylvania’s dislike of the chai latte is more closely linked to an ambivalence toward Starbucks and its naming conventions than to concerns about authenticity or cultural appropriation.
39. Rhode Island
Most hated food: Capers
Some people don’t even know what capers are. (They’re the unripened flower buds of two plants native to the Mediterranean.) Their flavor is often described as lemon-y, olive-y, and salty. That makes sense given the fact that they’re pickled in vinegar, brine, or wine. Many people dislike capers before they even try them. (You can thank the pretentious-sounding name for that.) But plenty of people dislike them for their strong flavor, too. Especially, it seems, in Rhode Island.
40. South Carolina
Most hated food: Matcha tea
Hater discovered that South Carolina’s most hated food is actually a beverage: Matcha tea. Matcha is a pretty healthy alternative to coffee and even to regular tea. Many Americans love matcha, but few actually drink an authentic version of the Japanese tea. However, if we had to guess why South Carolina residents aren’t big fans of the powdered tea and its slightly seaweed-y flavor, we’d assume it’s because it doesn’t agree with palates in the land of sweet tea.
41. South Dakota
Most hated food: Expensive cheese plates
In South Dakota, people don’t want to spend their money on expensive cheese plates. Noted! We’ll admit that many grocery stores charge way too much for their prepared cheese plates. But did you know that you can easily build your own cheese plate? Even if you aren’t an expert on which flavors go well together or a frequent customer at a specialty cheese shop, there are some easy rules you can follow.
Most hated food: Foraged food
As for the food that Tennessee hates the most? Foraged food. Foraging often refers to hunting for wild mushrooms, which can get dangerous if you aren’t an expert and don’t know exactly what you’re looking for. However, the term also extends to taking to the woods or the meadows to find wild asparagus, berries, dandelion greens, edible flowers, fiddlehead ferns, and other edible plants. People in Tennessee just don’t seem into the idea of foraging, which is definitely more time-consuming than just heading to the grocery store or the farmers’ market.
Most hated food: Steak cooked well-done
Hater discovered that in Texas, the most hated food is a steak well-done. We imagine that Texans, like steak lovers everywhere else in the country, were horrified to learn that Donald Trump prefers his steak cooked well-done — pretty much the worst nightmare for anybody who likes the taste of an expensive cut of meat.
Most hated food: Balsamic vinegar
Salad dressings are a controversial topic on their own. So we’re not surprised to learn that, according to Hater, balsamic vinegar is the most hated food in Utah. The Awl characterizes balsamic vinegar as “very nineties,” but concedes that it still has its uses. “Balsamic comes in two types: incredibly cheap and incredibly expensive,” the publication explains. “Cheap balsamic vinegar tastes like the suburbs. It’s made by mixing grape juice with some stronger, plain vinegars, to taste like a faint echo of the real stuff. It’s sort of thin and sweet and uncool these days.” Utah must agree.
Most hated food: Spray cheese
Spray cheese is one of those junk foods that seems impossible to eat without feeling terrible about your diet — and your choices. So we don’t feel surprised that Vermont, a state with its own Cheese Council and Cheese Trail, wants nothing to do with Easy Cheese and products like it. As Wired notes, spray cheese is one of the most unnatural foods you’ll encounter at the grocery store. That certainly doesn’t make us any more likely to give it a chance.
Most hated food: Dabbing pizza grease with a napkin
If there’s a topic that can get any pizza fan worked up, it’s a discussion on the correct way to eat a slice of pizza. Virginia pizza fans are very opposed to the idea of sopping up extra oil with a napkin. So opposed, in fact, that they named “dabbing pizza grease with a napkin” as their most hated food. Mental Floss reports that blotting your pizza with a napkin does reduce the number of calories you consume — but only at the expense of good pizza-eating etiquette.
Most hated food: Keurig K-cups
While some people love a Keurig coffee maker for how convenient it is to brew a single cup of coffee, plenty of other people hate the machine with a passion. At least some of those people reside in Washington state. The Atlantic notes that K-cups (and their equivalent for other pod-based coffee machines) are actually a big problem for the environment. The cups aren’t recyclable or biodegradable, so they generate a ton of plastic waste. Plus, researchers have established that the single-serve coffee that comes out of a K-cup tastes pretty awful. Washington might be on to something.
48. Washington, D.C.
Most hated food: Turkey bacon
Washington will put up with a lot of fakery — but not from its bacon. Hater learned that the most hated food in the District of Columbia is turkey bacon. Turkey bacon isn’t exactly a health food. However, turkey bacon can make a delicious addition to your breakfast if you use it sparingly, just like the pork variety. But if your diet is anything like Donald Trump’s, it may not be a bad idea to choose a breakfast that’s a little lower in fat and sodium.
49. West Virginia
Most hated food: Tofu
Some people seem more averse to alternative protein sources than others. West Virginia seems the most unwilling to try new things of all the states, citing tofu as its most hated food. Tofu originated in China about 2,000 years ago, and most Americans associate it with Asian cuisines. Americans really became interested in tofu in the 1970s, and it’s been a popular protein source ever since. (Except among the West Virginia residents who told Hater they can’t stand the stuff.)
Most hated food: Lunchables
Lunchables are one of the worst processed snacks you could feed your kids. Even if you secretly love the taste, you have to concede that the processed meat, cheese, and crackers really aren’t the most nutritious thing to be snacking on, whether you’re 10 or 30. And we really aren’t surprised that Wisconsin, a state known for its delicious cheese, wants none of those ham and cheddar or nacho cheese dip Lunchables.
Most hated food: Gluten-free
Gluten-free diets are necessary for a small number of Americans with serious medical issues. But for the most part, the diet’s popularity has spun far out of control — and Wyoming isn’t impressed. A gluten-free diet won’t actually improve your health unless you have Celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity confirmed by your doctor. It doesn’t help with weight loss, and foods labeled “gluten-free” aren’t necessarily healthy. We’ll stand with Wyoming and take a pass on this one.
Rankings come from Hacker Noon