Andy Warhol’s Very Questionable Taste

Imagining Outside the Box of Soup

Imagining Outside the Box of Soup

“Follow your passion” is good advice for anyone and so is: “do what you love to do” and results will follow.

Andy Warhol tasted, smelled, spilled, and painted what he loved, and what he loved was canned soup. “Warhol said that he painted it, not because it was a modern icon of capitalism, but because it reminded him of his past – as a child he had eaten soup every day.” So he got to knew his subject in the most intimate detail, but he was clearly no foodie.

Like many people, I used to believe there were things I didn’t like such as: Thai food, wine, green beans, spinach, or soup. What I didn’t realize is that I just didn’t like bad Thai food, bad wine and green beans, spinach or soup from a can.

So many of us have been raised on canned soup and without singling out any brand, none compares to what can be freshly made – and it’s so easy. Making soup is as difficult as boiling water and throwing vegetables, plus it can be made by the gallon and frozen into individual portions. Ask any soul to compare canned chicken noodle to homemade chicken soup. Other favorites such as Hungarian goulash, the dreaded mushrooms with wild rice and turkey, gazpacho, acorn squash/yams and my newest hot&sour (with secret ingredient Chinkiang vinegar) are so basic, you can find good recipes with Google.

The point is if you keep an open mind keep, reassess past assumptions and reframe the question, you may find that soup can be a meal. Are you sure you don’t like onions? Are you sure you can’t draw? Don’t like classical music? The challenge is to think outside the metal can and try again. With a more adventurous palate what would Warhol have created?



  1. Very true! I hated spinach as a kid, and I would have to rank that as one of my favorite foods now. I always try to keep an open mind and a willingness to try something new…except lima beans which I will never like. 🙂
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  2. I agree back then, even Popeye couldn’t make spinach appealing but now fresh spinach, raw or steamed is great. Have you ever grown lima beans in a glass with damp bloater paper? I don’t know why we didn’t growing something that tasted better like garbanzo beans. Thanks for commenting Melinda.

  3. He’d probably have created paintings of baked beans on toast!
    My diet changes depending on the season. In the winter I can’t stand eating much fruit or salads, in the spring and summer I eat loads of both. Since being with Bruce (my husband) I’ve learnt to love all sorts of things I used to hate, including mango, raw baby spinach leaves, lots of strange and weird-looking veggies and now I’ve just discovered that I really like coriander leaves. I used to hate them.

    It’s a curious thing, isn’t it, discovering that one likes stuff that used to seem horrible. I do think you’re right and it’s about a change of attitude, of experiencing things differently.
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  4. It is curious to reexamine our convictions and at times, change our beliefs – food is a good example but we can reexamine lots of other things to open up new worlds and be more creative.

    ripe mangos go great with coriander to make all kinds of varieties of salsa (tomato, hot pepper, lime) -way better than anything from a can. I’ve never tried black beans and toast but I bet the salsa would go with that too. Thank you Val

  5. Different people have actually different perspective or likes in foods. Just like in my case, I have a very weird dislikes in foods. I always ask the people I met about it and I found out that ‘til now, I am still the only one I know that don’t like ice cream and chocolates.
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  6. I’m pretty sure Warhol ate a lot of interesting food at his time, but sometimes we feel the need to return to the beginnings, bad food tasted good then. I still remember the horrible chewing gum my local store used to sell when i was about 8-10yo, it tasted great. The memory sticks, but off course, i don’t write poems about it, it was still bad gum.
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  7. I think there are some foods that we like and we don’t. But on the second thought, there are foods that we actually don’t like but still added to our dish to make a fantastic taste.

  8. Hello David Goldstein I enjoyed your great blog post on Andy Warhol’s Very Questionable Taste. I truly appreciate this post. I’ve been looking everywhere for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You’ve made my day! Thx again!
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