Dear Mr. Gold:

As an avid foodie and reader, I was wondering if there are any foods you are allergic to, cannot tolerate or simply dislike. Your columns don’t indicate personal food avoidances for any reasons, so I’m eager to inquire about not only your taste buds but also your stomach. Are there times you just want a comfort meal at home? I am cursed with the often-questioned lactose intolerance. I take great pains to avoid aches and still eat dairy. Is your gut made of steel?

—Nina R., West Hollywood


Dear Ms. R.:

If one is passionate about what one loves, one tends also to be passionate about what one loathes. I won’t eat an egg either by itself or in an omelet, although I cook them for my family every day. I’m not wild about peanut butter. I love tripe and I love hominy, but for some reason I don’t much like menudo — the combination of the two flavors is awfully strong. I have almost no tolerance for overcooked fish, especially baked cod. And filter organs have to be very well executed for me to enjoy them: None of Leopold Bloom’s fine tang of urine in the morning, thank you very much.

Luckily, the only food I seem to have a negative physical reaction to is diet soda sweetened with aspartame, which couldn’t be an easier food to give up. But, like any whore, there are times when I’m just not in the mood. It is then that professionalism comes in handy.

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