The Ingredient Aarón Sánchez Hates Using

As a recurring judge on "Chopped" there are a lot of foods Aarón Sánchez has to stomach. Contestants on the Food Network show have been challenged to cook with ingredients like reindeer pâté, sheep testicles, and geoduck, and Aarón Sánchez has been there to try the results. You'd think he'd have a strong stomach after judging so many rounds of the cooking competition show over the years, but there are still some foods he can't stand.

In an interview with Uproxx, the celebrity chef revealed that the food he dreaded eating the most on "Chopped" was durian, a Southeast Asian fruit with a smell that's often compared to turpentine and gym socks (per Smithsonian Magazine). Sánchez also added that he's grateful he never has to cook any of the "ball-related" ingredients that often appear in the baskets.

However, even when he's outside the "Chopped" kitchen, Sánchez still avoids certain ingredients. He told Food Network that he doesn't like green bell peppers because they're too bland, and for the opposite reason there's a particular type of cheese he refuses to eat or cook with.

Aarón Sánchez hates using aged cheese

Flip through any one of Aarón Sánchez's cookbooks or dine at Johnny Sánchez, his New Orleans restaurant, and there's one ingredient you'll have trouble finding: aged cheese. Sánchez told Food Network that he finds any cheese that is extremely old or fermented difficult to work with and unpleasant to eat. Luckily he wasn't a judge on the aged goat cheese episode of "Chopped," because that and aged sheep cheese are among his least favorite aged cheeses. "It dominates and saturates your palate, and it's hard to get past," he explained.

Sánchez much rather prefers goat cheese when it isn't aged. During the holidays, he even shared in a blog post on his website, that he likes to serve his dinner guests a kale and arugula salad. One of the main ingredients in that salad is none other than goat cheese — specifically unaged goat cheese. It was even on the menu at his restaurant at one point, according to an Instagram post.

Not all aged cheeses are off limits for Aarón Sánchez

Since Aarón Sánchez's distaste for aged cheeses is due to the fact that many of them are pungent, he prefers ones that have a more mild taste. In fact, traditional Mexican cotija happens to be one of the celebrity chef's go-to cheeses (via Parade). This type of Mexican cheese is made from cow's milk that's aged for at least three months or up to a year, Slurrp explains. Despite the fact that aged goat cheese undergoes a similar amount of maturation as cotija (via Cypress Grove Cheese), Sánchez apparently doesn't find the taste or smell all that off-putting.

That's likely because while goat cheese can taste gamey and ripe (via Food & Wine), cotija's sharpness comes primarily from its saltiness. It's more comparable to feta, Sánchez told Parade. The flavor is bold but not overwhelming, allowing him to use it as a seasoning or a garnish — something Sánchez would never do with aged goat or sheep cheese.