Vegi bell pepper hell. That’s literally where I’ve been for  the last 35 years since I became a vegetarian.

I dislike bell peppers intensely but I feel like I’m the only vegetarian in the world to be like this.  If raw bell peppers have been near salad leaf,  I know. If a knife that has been used to cut a bell pepper has been used to then cut my tomato, I know. You can chop them up small,  stir fry them, grill them, roast them or cook them in a sauce to hide the taste, but I know, I know, I know they are there!

The frustrating thing is that I have sincerely tried to eat them on many occasions.  Every which way possible in fact.  I’ve tucked into cooked and raw varieties. But it’s always the same.  They don’t make me ill;  just don’t like them.

So why is it frustrating? Well for several reasons really;

a) they look so delicious

b) they bring such wonderful colour to our food and

c) they are usually in or floating around so many restaurant meals.

When I was younger this was a real problem because the vegetarian choice in a restaurant or pub would usually be vegetarian lasagna  or ratatouille with lots of you-know-whats in.  It’s definitely not so bad these days as choice has widened significantly as vegetarianism has popularised.  But they are still the got-to vegetable for so many restaurant dishes.

When my daughter was a toddler (she’s been a veggie from birth) I used to cook all of her meals from scratch and made sure that peppers were a core part of her diet so  that life was a little more colourful and tasty for her.  I remember her once picking up a pepper and biting into it whilst I recoiled and got ready to vomit.  She literally ate it like an apple, which was fine by me. Mission accomplished.  Ironically they are one of the few veggies that Miss Fusspot eats nowadays.

So after years of trying to learn to like the taste of bell peppers, I gave up. They are a part of every-day life however but if there are ingenious ways out there of eating these things, or acquiring the taste for them – I’d love to know.

I don’t like being an outsider.