Louis Smith hasn’t been “brave” enough to eat spicy food as an adult.

Louis Smith

Louis Smith

The 31-year-old star admitted meals have always been “important” to him but there are certain dishes he’s avoided since childhood and needs to pluck up the courage to try them again, especially now he’s retired from gymnastics and has more opportunities to experiment with his diet.

He said: “Food has always been really important to me, especially when I was training six hours a day.

“When I was younger, I must admit I didn’t like anything spicy or any type of shellfish. Even now, I can’t say I’m a huge fan but I’ll admit I haven’t been brave enough to give them another try!

“When it comes to Christmas, I’ve definitely been known to sneak my brussels sprouts under the table when I don’t fancy them, and to involve my dog in the festivities.

“All that said, I love my food, and now being retired from Gymnastics has given me the freedom to be even more experimental with my meals.

And with a new survey by Blacksticks Blue showing 60% of adults have gone to extreme lengths to avoid trying new foods – including sneaking it into the bin, feeding it to the dog or simply hiding it in a napkin – Louis has urged people to be brave and tackle the foods that scare them.

He said: “Food should be fun and make you smile – which is so needed after the year we’ve had. Now it’s Christmas, it’s all about the food in our family.

“My advice to the big kids out there is to never assume that you don’t like things without giving them a go.

“You don’t have to be a chef, even by stirring in something like Blacksticks blue cheese or sprinkling it on top of your average meal can really bring it to life - don’t let the idea of it put you off.”

Almost half of those surveys admitted the smell of something like blue cheese would stop them from trying it, while 39% were reluctant because of its appearance and 44% due to it having mould on it.

More than one in ten feared they’d be judged for not having tried particular foods before, and 24% were worried about ending up in an embarrassing situation of trying and not liking a food.

However, 41% said travelling and trying a country’s local dish would encourage them to sample new foods, and people are likely to experiment over the festive season with foods such as blue cheese, brie or goats cheese, avocado, Christmas pudding, and sprouts.

This winter, Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses has launched its first-ever ‘Mature your Own Blacksticks Blue’, the ultimate treat for adventurous foodies who love blue cheese or want experiment with cheese making at home

Visit www.butlerscheeses.co.uk for more information.

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