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Food neuroses that drive you nuts

Fat Guy

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Rona, I have bad memories of escorting wives of visiting scientists around Kobe nearly 30 years ago...looking for "a simple steak and salad that doesn't cost the earth, now is that too much to ask?" It sure was, especially back then, but these ladies didn't want to hear it!

Potatoes...some people with swallowing problems really dislike eating mashed potatoes, they either choke or fear they are going to choke.

I'm suspicious of food hates with histories that need to be explained in detail, with appropriate attention and sympathy displayed by everybody in the room (even if they already know way too much about the issue!), EVERY time the target substance is identified within ICBM range.

Extreme picky eaters...I encourage them to cook for themselves, even in my kitchen!

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I just realized I have my own food neuroses, although I said something about my husband's way up thread.

After reading about Zombie Crabs, I can't touch seafood. I realize it is totally irrational, but I just can't.

Also, I roast a chicken and then use it up bit by bit, you know..but the prep and clean up would make you think I am working with Ebola virus. I'm past AFDA safe and into OCD territory.

“Don't kid yourself, Jimmy. If a cow ever got the chance, he'd eat you and everyone you care about!”
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My 6 yo will only eat one item on her plate at a time. I used to give her grief about eating her carbs up first and no veggies or proteins, but she was just picking her favourite thing and then filling up.

Now when I serve the family, I serve her her protein FIRST, then serve everybody else, and then her veg, and after a bit, whatever the carb is. She sits next to me at table so it's easy enough for me to casually serve her without it being an issue. She's never complained about this method, I am not sure she realizes I am doing it.

It doesn't really drive me nuts but I do wonder why she does it and I wonder if by "controlling it" (although this method is certainly an improvement than ragging at her during meals) I am setting her up for a problem.

Sorry to ressurect this old post. Why not give her smaller portions of the starches, so she doesn't fill up on them, along with the normal protein and veg. When she has finished everything she can have more of the starch.

By you monitoring her plate she is controlling your enjoyment of the meal. With kids portion control can be your friend.

When my daughter was young she loved hot dogs. Not any dog would do. It had to be Ball Park All Beef. She knew the difference. If the store was out of those then she didn't get hotdogs. We let her know that it was her decision to be picky and not mom or dad being mean.

Now she doesn't like "melty cheese". Mac and cheese is okay. Parmesan on pasta is okay. She likes cheese. Just not "melty". God forbid her burger should have any condiment or other acoutrement. She has been almost in tears looking at a burger with ketchup, mustard, and pickle on it.

I am guilty of trying to expand the kids food horizons. My wife brought home some different brand of bleu cheese. The daughter was aghast that we would bring anything other than Maytag Bleu into the house.

When she was still doing baby food she would show a definate preference for or against certain foods. For a while it was all the orang foods. Squash, sweet potatoes, carrots... After a while her nose got a definate orange tint to it. That was our cue to try something different.

No real neurosis. Just normal kid pickiness that hopefully they will grow out of.

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These are not my food neuroses but my hubby's:

*Insisting his pasta be cooked tender, almost mushy.

*Ditto with carrots, it has to be so soft it practically disentegrates when the fork touches it.

*ABSOLUTELY NO seafood whatsoever (he is not allergic, just refuses to eat them... this after marrying a girl who lived by the sea and comes from a long line of family of fishermen).

*Eats a lot of food cold-straight-from-the-fridge (fried chicken, pork chops, pizza, spaghetti sauce sandwiches, etc.)

*Hates mayo, ketchup and absolutely LOATHES mustard. (I love mustard).

But our marriage has survived inspite of all of this. :biggrin:

I think I dated him just after college. Glad to know he's found a good woman and is doing well! :laugh: (Just kidding. It's surprising, though, to learn that there is more than one person with THOSE food preferences.)

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Having been a picky eater, and having known several picky eaters, I am of the opinion that the situation is best ignored. I've never seen a parent change a kid's eating habits, but I have seen it escalate into a monumental control battle, with the end result being a child whose food preferences are even more firmly entrenched. It's fun to watch those kids grow up, and try something when they're in their 20's or 30's, and exhibit all the joy that comes with the discovery of something wonderful.

On the parent's part, it's a total waste of energy, at best.

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I'm not a picky eater by any means, but one thing that I cannot stand, is when there's toast crumbs in the butter. My family keeps some room temperature butter, and every time I look for some, there's always breadcrumbs. Double dipping the butter knife is a big time no no.

I'm sure I could live with it, if they were brioche crumbs, but no, it's that damn generic multigrain!

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  • 2 months later...

I know what you mean about the Picky McPickersons of this world. It makes me recoil in horror to hear them justify denying entire categories with a lame circular argument. If you already convince yourself you won't like something, likelihood is you'll find reasons not to like it! I know family and friends who are like this, and it halfway tempts me to say:

"I like you? WHY!?"

But I realize they are just quirks that people have. I think someone mentioned it on here that it's a result of being spoiled and tended to as a child, and since they were used to getting the same kinds of foods over and over again, they enjoy the control aspect of getting exactly what they want and it tasting exactly as they expect. BORING!!

Other food quirks that irritate me:

Ordering an item with enough exceptions as to not make it resemble the item on the menu

"I'll have the Barbeque Cheddar Craptastic Grilled Chicken Sandwich. But can I not have the lettuce, tomato, sauce, cheese, barbeque sauce, or bun with it? Yeah, don't put any of it on there, even a leaf of lettuce. I'll send it back. (Heard as: Please, rub the food on your genitals! I'm a ridiculous jerk!)"

Falsely declaring a dislike as an allergy

I'm not a fan of liver, but I don't tell people I'm allergic to it. I'm not going to try to trick you into eating food you don't like (as tempted as I am).

A repulsion of all things vegetable-oriented.

This is okay if you are a toddler. 14-100, not so much.

Camping out in the kitchen to sabotage the chef.

If you're this anal, how do you dine anywhere outside of your house?

That being said, my wife has a few funny quirks too, but thankfully she's adventurous enough to enjoy different ethnic foods. She claims not to be picky, but allegedly does not like sausage, cooked carrots or celery, "spaghetti noodles", black pepper, bell peppers, or any meat 'on the bone'. The last one is true, but I've seen her eat almost everything else in some combination. :rolleyes: So I think some of them do qualify as neuroses or minor control issues. But I have to say, as much as it irritates me that other people do these things, it's kinda cute when she does it!

Weird, right? :laugh:

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I don't know that this really qualifies as a neuroses but it drives me up the wall when well meaning raw food enthusists, vegans and vegetarians MISname foods.

I love trying new dishes and I was totally interested by the title, "healthy raw food brownie" to find nothing brownie like inside -- and with all the sugar from the dried fruits, I question "healthy", too. Also, if someone choses to be a vegetarian then why call it "chicken"? I love vegetarian food but if it's from a bean don't call it beef. (lol) And isn't an apple pie supposed to baked? Raw apple pie on sprouted nut crust. Hmmm.


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The whole raw food movement kind of irks me actually. In trying to achieve the same flavors as their "cooked" counterparts, they end up with roughly the same nutritional value. Fats are still fats (albeit unsaturated, but still), and sugars are still sugars. Nuts actually have fat where flour does not, so you end up spending more, getting fatter, and eating foods that taste not as good as the 'real thing.' Sorry to go off on a tangent, but as much as I enjoy the creative aspect of the raw food movement, it's not practical or necessary to achieving better health... and it tastes like garbage!

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I knew a kid in grade school named Michael. Every day he would bring a bologna sandwich on white bread and a small bag of potato chips for lunch. He would unwrap his sandwich from the wax paper and then open the bag of chips and spread the contents out over the opened, flattened bag. He would then take a bite of his sandwich followed by a chip, always starting with the smallest chip in his collection. As he proceeded he would regulate the size of his sandwich bites according to the numbers and size of his chips so that his last bite was always the largest chip in the bag. Many, many, many years later I was working at a defense plant and noticed Michael working as a temp contractor. Once I had verified that it was indeed the Michael from grade school, I brought up the subject of the bologna sandwich and bag of chips. Now keep in mind that both Michael and I were well into our 40's at the time. He told me that there had not been a day since fourth grade that he had not had a bologna sandwich on white bread for lunch and I was so dumbfounded that I never asked about the chips.


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I have more than one co-worker with annoying issues about food. I've already mentioned the one who won't eat stuffed or crusted things that are sweet (no cream puffs, no pies, etc.), onions, raw fish (we live in Japan), mayonnaise, etc.

But have I mentioned the other one who won't eat raw fish (again, we live in Japan), anything liver-related (no pate, etc.) or other "foreign foods"?

Now, if you don't like liver or raw fish, fine. But the latter person (who is close to 10 years older than I) insists on making noises whenever she sees or is faced with the prospect of being offered such foods, "Raw fish? Yeccccchhhhhhh! Bleccccchhhhhhh!" even if people around her are already eating them.

Grow up. If you don't like a food, don't eat it. But don't spoil other people's enjoyment of their meals just because you're to f***ing childish to keep your thoughts to yourself.

And why would you come to a country where you don't like most of the food? As James Michener said, "If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home."

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The munchkin has heard about eating grasshoppers. She's caught herself a honking-big cricket and wants me to fry it up for her.

Excuse me, my neuroses are showing.... :blink: :hork:

It will be all I can do to take her to a Mexican place and stay at the table when she tries her order.

I bet that drives her nuts! :wink:

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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The munchkin has heard about eating grasshoppers. She's caught herself a honking-big cricket and wants me to fry it up for her.

Excuse me, my neuroses are showing.... :blink: :hork:

It will be all I can do to take her to a Mexican place and stay at the table when she tries her order.

I bet that drives her nuts! :wink:


I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?

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Ha, my father is the same way FG. He (from Mass.) thinks that the "lousy" white eggs we have here in the South are "inferior." Along the same lines, my father is not exactly a gourmand, so when asked where I developed my "foodie" interest I immediately credited my father. The entire family gave me this incredulous look of astonishment. I explained that when I was growing up my mom worked 2nd shift, so dinner was Dad's responsibility. He was "Neurotic" about serving me Spam w/ Hormel Chili as a child... every freaking night. AS such, I have developed an interest in cooking, but GAG violently at the sight of a can of spam- avoid that aisle in the grocery store w/ a passion, lol. God forbid I should smell it again... Bought a can of Spam for a joke Holiday gift, but the "gag" was on me as he found it before I could wrap it... could smell it when I came into their house, retreated immediately. Joke was on me :D

Tom Gengo

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This is a fairly long topic and I'm too tired to scroll up and see if I've mentioned this before. If so, I'm saying it again. I come from great frite wagon country (Montreal/Ottawa) and live in Chicago where even the humblest dog/Italian Beef joint serves crisp hand-cut fries. We make damn good fries ourselves in the privacy of our kitchen. I might order a slider or a bacon double cheeseburger, but I'll never order chain fast food fries.

I'm picky that way.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel


A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites


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And also it was pointed out to me that I always leave something on my plate as well. I am sure this a control thing from childhood and my mom making me sit at the table all night to eat the strip of tire rubber that somehow had replaced her pot roast. It wasn't until I made pot roast as a well-seasoned adult that I found out that it could be chewable AND delicious. Who knew?

Landru, we may have shared the same mother. I hated meat as a kid but now realize it had everything to do with the way my mother cooked it (bone dry). Pork chops were the worst I think. I started to try and come up with creative ways to make it look as if I had eaten everything (bits in the napkin or tucked under the edge of the plate). But I remember sitting what seemed like hours at the dinner table unable to choke it all down and clear my plate. To this day I wish I had a dog growing up to eat that stuff for me. Meat has improved at my parents house during my adult portion of my life. In part I think because my father has retired and does all the cooking now.

My neuroses:

I won't eat offal. This comes mostly from bad olfactory memories of my father cooking elk livers in the mornings while I was hungover during my college years. But disguised as a pate, I quite like it.

Strawberry Quik milk. Looks too much like Pepto. But I do drink strawberry yogurt smoothies which are also pink and opaque. Go figure.

Pet peeve neuroses:

My sister insists she hates onions but if I dice them small enough that she can't tell its in a cooked dish, she eats them. I have this one spinach orzo dish I make that she requests all the time and asks me not to put onions in it. I just ignore that and she still has seconds and packages up the leftovers to take home with her.

I had an ex that wouldn't eat a vegetable with more than 6 letters in its name. Not sure how he got around lettuce (7) unless he just didn't consider it a vegetable like asparagus, cauliflower, broccoli or zucchini.

My nephew will only eat canned green beans and not frozen or fresh ones. He's only 5 and a half so I'll cut him some slack. But I blame my sister who cooks out of boxes and cans like some 50s or 60s housewife. She's also picked up my mother's talent in the kitchen for cooking meat until it becomes sand.

This one isn't a pet peeve. Just a memory of my grandmother and her personal neuroses. She doesn't drink milk. And goes so far as to pour orange juice on her cereal instead. However, its just dairy in liquid form. She says its something about not being able to see through a liquid that bugs her. Ice cream and cheese she's just fine with. But not whipped cream. She's 100 and still kicking like no other 100 year old I've ever met. So maybe she's got something right with this one. :D

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Just heard this one: spouse of a foodie friend will not eat any jam, jelly, conserve, preserves, unless it is PURPLE.

Hence, applesauce was out of the question for a large windfall of tart apples.

Make the applesauce. Add red & blue food coloring to make it purple. Done. :laugh:


“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”


Tim Oliver

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My wife has a million of 'em. Boston Irish Catholic raised on boiled everything. Me? lived on 3 continents by age 18 and forced to eat whatever or starve.

Most recent vein-buster:

I made a killer stuffing with local rye bread cubes, local celery, local onions, local garlic, local fennel, local fresh chorizo, our own fresh oregano and thyme... moistened just so with my homemade chicken/hamhock stock and baked for half hour...

...she says the rye bread smelled "funny" and didn't eat any. :wacko:

Another one is whole fish. Guess how long it's been since I've baked a whole fish? :angry:

Not to worry: it's a challenge to create things she'll eat and we've made much progress. Sushi? check. Pate? OK w/that. Finally conquered mushrooms last Autumn.

Slow is the march of love in the kitchen but worthy is the journey.

Edited by johnnyd (log)
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"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

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Is it asking too much for an adult not to be irrationally picky about food? Apparently so. I don't like seeing a little pile something(onions, peas, etc.) that has been carefully picked out of a salad or whatever on the side of somebody's otherwise clean plate. They probably think that they are being polite because they haven't said anything, and I suppose they are. I have a friend who has several things he will not eat for a variety of reasons--salmon,cheesecake, mushrooms and dishes with eggs as an obvious primary ingredient(such as egg salad--he will eat baked goods, puddings, etc. with eggs) He calls mushrooms "fungi". Not only that whenever that food comes up in conversation, he always reminds people he doesn't like it. For example, I might say I'm going to Fred Meyer to buy a salmon on sale and he will again mention that he doesn't like it, even though he knows I wasn't planning to serve it to him. I was just letting him know I was going to Fred Meyer.

Unbeknownst to me, spinach must have been on his list of hates. Once he was eating salad at my house, and remarked how good the lettuce was. I said, "That lettuce was spinach."

The mushroom thing really bothers me, though. I really like them, and just can't give them up. Often when he comes over, salad mushrooms are in a little bowl on the side, and of course he announces to all present why these mushrooms are being served on the side. Beef Bourgonione and Coq au Vin? He just never gets asked over when I make those. He would probably like them, but I'm too stubborn to make them without mushrooms.

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  • 3 years later...

Minute Rice is cooked, freeze-dried rice which one reconstitutes with water. It bears roughly the same resemblance to rice as Tang does to orange juice.


Wow, you just add water you have rice? That sounds kind of space age and, um, interesting. Maybe we'll try it some day for the fun factor.


Well, it's not quite that easy, you do have to nuke it for two minutes then let it rest for 5 minutes.


The worst thing about Minute rice is that I am going to have to start using it again for "grandma's stuffing"....I have tried every other rice available to me and the stuffing doesnt taste "right"

It actually smells better than Uncle Ben's


The freeze drying SPLITS the grains after you reconstitute it. so it falls apart and gets mushy and not toothsome

Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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I lunch with a group of friends every Monday. One friend is someone I'd call 'Mikey' because she hates EVERYTHING!

She won't eat: eggs, milk, seafood of any kind, beans, mushrooms, beef unless it's WELL done, dark meat chicken, rye bread. You get the picture. I cannot imagine life with so many limitations.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I can't mix pasta either.

Also, I have to cut my waffles according to the lines. I'm not sure if that's the reason why I eat them, just because of the lines.

The more I read this thread, the more I discover how incredibly neurotic I apparently am! biggrin.gif It gives me the absolute heebie-jeebies to cut waffles "against the grain"--you HAVE to cut along the lines. And french toast has to be cut in lines parallel/perpendicular to the sides of the bread; no willy-nilly chopping off pieces here and there as you go. That's just plain wrong. wacko.gif

And then there's the eating things in odd numbers--candy tastes better eaten in 3's (1 is too few, 5 is too many, 2 is too balanced, 4 is overkill).

I do microwave ice cream cartons because ice cream tastes better slightly melty. Really good ice cream I'll deliberately spoon around the edges in my bowl to get a combination of the still-frozen stuff and the cream that's melted off. (You can't, by the way, just wait until it all melts; that's just crazy talk.)

And I've passed on this genenic mess as well: My son won't eat any foods that have a "skin" on them, for example, cream of chicken soup that's cooled just slightly. And no crusts, no skin on apples--pretty much he hates chewy things. That does drive me nuts, since the edges of a tortilla are pretty much the same as the centers of a tortilla, but he insists they're a "crust" and won't eat them. I eat a lot of pickings off his plate...

I like the edges of tortillas and such, but I cannot stand the skin. Especially pudding skin.

Oh my! I just started reading this thread, starting at the end & working my way backward page by page.


I have no opinion on crusts, but skin, especially pudding skin......mmmmmmmm.....

I'll make creme anglais (still "vanilla pudding" to me) and let it sit long enough to get a skin.

Then I carefully scrape that off & eat it.

Then let it sit long enough to get skin again, & scrape & eat.

Then, again.

However many skins I can get.


Do I hear "lather, rinse, repeat"? <GG>

Heading for the kitchen to see if I have enough egg yolks, sugar, whole milk & cream.....

Edited by furzzy (log)
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