There are plenty of things that most people agree taste vile - like, say, earwax. It's just nature's way of telling you that you're not supposed to eat them. Disliking cabbage, however, is an example of a taste preference. It's all about how the taste buds on your tongue react to the chemicals in a foodstuff. Like our preferences for music, movies and art, it's a very individual thing. The tongue is able to detect five distinct kinds of flavours - sweet, sour, bitter, salty and the savoury flavour known as umami (such as soy sauce).
It does this using taste buds - specialised sensory organs that are able to interact with molecules in the food we eat, then send a signal to the brain, where our perception of taste is formed. With cabbage, and other green vegetables, the 'haters' seem to be better able to detect certain bitter compounds in the leaves. Such aversions do not necessarily stay with us for life, though - the classic example is olives, which many people only warm to as grown-ups.
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