Why I hate mushrooms

Gabby Nowicki

Picked from damp manure soil or the tops of fallen trees, these fleshy fungi will not be found in my diet. Shitake, wild, white, brown, raw or cooked mushrooms are not for me.


When I begin to think of these toadstools, I imagine a dreary, dewy forest floor where the worms and maggots settle around.Then those umbrella shaped stalks enter into my center of vision. They are not even appealing to look at, just those bland, dirty colors.

A woody, soapy smell reeks around the room while the fungi bubble in whatever the amateur cook wants to cover their taste up with.

I am incapable of comprehending how people choose to put a spore-producing organism, similar to that of mold, into their mouths.

They do not even taste like anything—a meaty, bland emptiness. It is as if the entire forest invades my salivary glands and I am left with an look of disgust on my face.

If I am even able to overcome the look of a shroom, the taste alone would make me want to convulse in disgust. The slimy, firm stipe plus the rough, leathery texture underneath the cap all make me cringe. Spongy and chewy when raw but slithering into the back of your throat, unnoticed and flavorless, once cooked.

I do not care if you coat them in cheese, sauce, or spices. If you blindfold me and feed me mushrooms, I will swiftly spit them back out.

As a vegetarian, I would eat meat before I touched one of those insipid toadstools. Bacteria that grows into a fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body should not be consumed by choice. A fungus is the kind of food a human should eat only if they were stranded in the woods with no other option but whatever the Earth blesses them with.

This is not “fungophobia” but rather a disinterest in the idea and flavor of consuming a mushroom.