Anchovies top the foods we love to hate

Have you ever hidden food just to be polite?

A survey of British attitudes to food by BirdsEye has revealed a nation of fussy eaters and deeply polite friends. In a poll of the ten least popular foods the anchovy took the top spot. The oily fish was among the most hated foods of 44 per cent of the people surveyed. Chicken liver came second with 41 per cent, olives a close third with 39 per cent, tied with black pudding, the native delicacy of congealed pig blood and oatmeal.

Canned and bottled anchovies get their distinctive spoonful-of-salt-washed-down-with-olive-oil taste from long curing process, where they can sit for months in salt or oil.

But how do people respond when they find an unpleasant surprise on their plates? 78 per cent of women will politely choke-down offensive food to avoid upsetting their host. Men tend to be less concerned with social decorum, with only 57 per cent prepared to eat dreaded foods just to save the feelings of their host.

Amateur chefs who enjoy cooking for large groups should take note, as the surveys reveals significant dislike of what they probably thought were commonplace, foods such as goats cheese, salami, mushrooms and olives.

One in five Britons have secretly passed food to a nearby dog, and one in ten women admitted to slipping food they couldn’t stomach into their handbags.