The Foods Julia Child Couldn't Stand

Standing at a towering 6 feet 2 inches tall, Julia Child became a giant in the culinary world during the 1960s. She's famous for being one of the first celebrity chefs in modern history and brought French cooking to American kitchens through her classic cookbook, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." Of course, many others remain acquainted with her through her show, "The French Chef." Through her media endeavors, she became a cornerstone of the culinary culture.

Unsurprisingly, Child loved fine dining. She knew how to make some of the best foods in the world and saw the beauty in well-prepped meals. However, that doesn't mean that she loved every food that was placed on her platter. In fact, she had moments where she would be downright picky. But, what kind of foods would Julia Child turn down? 

Some of her dislikes might be fairly obvious. According to the CNN-streamed documentary "JULIA" (2021), Child was not a fan of foods that were lacking in freshness or weren't well-prepped. But who could blame her? She was a professional chef who regularly poured hours of work into her food. While she was okay with microwaves for certain tasks like defrosting foods or melting ingredients, per the Chicago Sun-Times (via Smithsonian Magazine), she was still a stickler for cooking processes because it gave her full control over the meal. But there were also very specific ingredients she just couldn't stand.

Child disliked cilantro and arugula

Like anyone else, famous chefs hate certain foods, and Julia Child couldn't stand the taste of cilantro. During an interview with Larry King in 2002, Child noted that the herb "had a dead taste" to her, which is why she never used it in her dishes. Another item on her list of disliked foods was arugula, also known as roquette in France. Surprising? It was to us, too. Arugula is a mainstay veggie in the world of French cooking, and Julia Child appeared to hate it with a passion. In the same interview with Larry King, she noted that she'd never order platters with the lettuce and that she was "pick it and throw it on the ground" if it ended up in one of her meals. 

Julia Child was not a fan of "health food." She didn't like the idea of losing flavor in exchange for better vitamins or lower calories "unless they're really sick and they get – if they have an allergy to something."  The American Culinary Institute, an organization she co-founded, has a note about feeling guilty for eating "unhealthy" food. She was a bon vivant to the core, so food was always going to be a decadent display for her.