食わず嫌い (くわずぎらい, kuwazu.girai) literally means “to hate/dislike without eating”, and is often used to describe the food you don’t like without having ever tried it. For instance, non-Japanese people usually 食わず嫌いする (dislike without eating) the traditional Japanese food “Natto” due to its nasty looks and obnoxious smell.
Furthermore, its usage has been extended to mean “to dislike or avoid something without knowing much about it”. For instance, a lot of people 食わず嫌いする (avoid without knowing much) investing in stock, regarding it as gambling. As in Ex3, people often say “食わず嫌いせずに”, meaning “not disliking (something) without trying them”, to encourage someone to get rid of their stereotype and try something that they are usually not fond of or familiar with.
食わず嫌い consists of the two parts “食わず”, and “嫌い”. The former is one of the negative forms of “食う”, which means “eat” and is a more casual word than its equivalent word “食べる”. The latter word means “dislike” or “hate“. Therefore, it literally means to dislike food without eating it.
Note that in this expression 嫌い is pronounced as “ぎらい (girai)”, which is different from the common pronunciation “きらい (kirai)” ; 嫌い is pronounced as “girai” when put after another word and used as a suffix. In this case, it means “anti-X person”, as in サッカー嫌い meaning “anti-soccer person”.
It is said that a lot of foreigners 食わず嫌いする octopus, calling it “Devil Fish” (= avoid eating octopus without knowing much)
A lot of elderly people 食わず嫌い the Internet and IT devices. (= avoid using the Internet and IT devices without knowing much about them)
Even if you do not like love story, I recommend you watch this movie without 食わず嫌い (=without disliking it before you watch it)
Synonyms in English: dislike something without knowing much about it; dislike food without having eaten it.
Related words and phrases: 食う or 食べる (eat), 嫌い (hate, dislike)