Blacksticks Blue: Mature your own

Whether it’s feeding the dog some olives or hiding Brussels sprouts in a napkin, new research reveals that Brits are big kids when it comes to food they don’t like… and they’re too scared to try new things.

In a national poll of 2,000 adults by Blacksticks Blue, a whopping 60% admitted they have gone to extreme lengths to avoid trying something new to eat – including sneaking it into the bin (55%), feeding it to the dog (38%) or hiding the evidence in a napkin (35%).

In a world of social media ‘foodies’ and TV chefs, we are all heavily invested in what we eat. But today, shocking findings show many foods people wouldn’t eat as a child are still actively avoided in adulthood.

According to the new research, 35% of adults claimed their taste buds matured between the ages of 15 and 18. But despite this, anchovies (43%), black pudding (38%) and blue cheese (35%) remain in the top five foods adults didn’t like as a child …. and still won’t eat now they’re all grown up!

Shying away from Brussels sprouts or oily mackerel fillets, embarrassingly, 30% confessed they have often said they don’t like a food despite not trying it since they were children.

If that’s not wimpy enough, a further third of people surveyed by Blacksticks Blue admitted they have lied to say they don’t like a food despite having never tried it.

Matthew Hall, fourth generation owner at Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses who make Blacksticks Blue cheese, said: “We wanted to find out why people are scared of trying certain foods, as we often see this with blue cheese and we feel people are missing out.

“It’s time to break down the fear factor. Foods like blue cheese, anchovies or olives can add a little bit oomph to your everyday meals – and ultimately they don’t taste like they did when we were kids. A simple sprinkle, melt or topping of Blacksticks can really bring your meal to life without having to be a top chef or expert cook.”

Olympic gymnast Louis Smith said: “Food has always been really important to me, especially when I was training six hours a day. When I was younger, I must admit I didn’t like anything spicy or any type of shellfish. Even now, I can’t say I’m a huge fan but I’ll admit I haven’t been brave enough to give them another try! When it comes to Christmas, I’ve definitely been known to sneak my brussels sprouts under the table when I don’t fancy them, and to involve my dog in the festivities. All that said, I love my food, and now being retired from Gymnastics has given me the freedom to be even more experimental with my meals.

“Food should be fun and make you smile – which is so needed after the year we’ve had. Now it’s Christmas, it’s all about the food in our family. My advice to the big kids out there is to never assume that you don’t like things without giving them a go. You don’t have to be a chef, even by stirring in something like Blacksticks blue cheese or sprinkling it on top of your average meal can really bring it to life – don’t let the idea of it put you off.”

Nearly half of those surveyed said the ‘smell’ of something like blue cheese would prevent them from trying it, further hesitations included the way it looks (39%) and having mould on it (44%).

But it wasn’t just irrational dislikes and faddy eating that fuelled people’s food choices – more than one in 10 said they worried they would be judged for having never tried certain foods before, and just under a quarter (24%) claimed they are worried about ending up in an embarrassing situation by trying and not liking a food.

However, some Brits do want to try new things, more than two fifths (41%) said that travelling and trying a country’s speciality would encourage them to try a new food and despite being scared, people are likely to try speciality cheeses such as blue cheese, goats cheese and brie (35%), avocado (15%) and at this time of year, Christmas pudding (13%) and sprouts (12%).

This Winter, Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses has launched its first-ever “Mature your Own Blacksticks Blue”. The ultimate treat for adventurous foodies who love blue cheese or want experiment with cheese making at home. It’s a unique, fun gift idea for the whole family – young and old – to enjoy together.

Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses is fourth generation family business established in 1932 in rural Lancashire. Butlers combine traditional skills, love and innovation to create specialist British hard, blue and soft cheeses, with milk from its own cows and goats. It’s best known for hand making some of Britain’s best loved cheeses like Blacksticks Blue, Button Mill and Sunday Best.