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Fat Guy

Food neuroses that drive you nuts

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A lot of these things don't really seem to be neuroses, but more "normal" personal preferences. For example, disliking something because of its texture doesn't strike me as neurotic, or disliking certain flavor combinations, or flavors in general. I think of a "food neurosis" as irrationally refusing to eat something, the key being the irrational part. My mom's husband's insistence on only eating yellow/orange cheese, for example, even though the only difference is the addition of (tasteless, odorless) food coloring. Or Fat Guy's mom's refusal to eat brown eggs. There is no rational reason for these behaviors. That, to me, is neurotic.

AH HA! I KNEW there was someone else here that had a white cheese hater in their life :biggrin:

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My sister will dissect meat to remove every visible speck of fat.  She looks like a surgeon in the OR.

My brother does this too. He also likes to mush all his food together and only eats ice cream after he stirs it to a near soup like consistency. We are talking about an adult here. Drives me nuts

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Perhaps there is a kind of continuum ranging from personal preferences to obsessive-compulsive disorder or eating disorders. Once a person's preferences become so noticeable or so numerous as to interfere with their own pleasure or the pleasure of others at the table it's hard to just call it pickyness. If you can't stand the cranberries touching the potatoes (and I agree it isn't an appetizing combo) and your solution is just to put turkey in between, you're happy, no one's the wiser and everyone has a nice dinner. But if someone serves you dinner already plated who doesn't know that about you and you get upset and ask for another plate, that's crossed beyond picky eating preferences.

I think some people need to draw attention to themselves with food issues. Look how much attention kids get when the are fussy eaters. I know people that have just never grown out of their childhood eating patterns.

If Fat Guy's mom prefers white eggs and has a store across from her building that sells them, she isn't totally irrational in rejecting his offer. But if she has a hard time walking, the streets are icy, it's zero degrees out and the closest store is eight blocks away then it's certainly irrational and perhaps neurotic or even phobic. If she can do without eggs til the next shopping excursion then it's a relatively harmless phobia. Naturally she knows exactly how to push her son's buttons!

I have one pet peave and only because I have two good friends with the same annoying fetish. Both of them refuse to eat carbos and steadfastly deny being on any kind of diet. Neither has any allergies, they just "don't like" bread, pasta, rice, grits etc. And no, they don't know eachother. I forgive them because I love them, but I swear, sometimes I feel like I would pay to see either of them eat a sandwich or a plate of linguini and clams.

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I have a friend who will not eat white food. Period. I've never heard the complete story as to why he won't eat them.

The poor man will never know the pleasure of eating whipped cream or mayo (or Miracle Whip :raz: ).

I have a friend who won't eat blue food. And she's one helluva cook, trust me on this. But nothing blue.

I've tried to convince her of the excellence of blueberry pie made with fresh Maine blueberries, to no avail. She says it can't possibly be worth violating her lifelong rule for.


Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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I think the clarifications regarding neuroses are spot-on.

We have a family friend who established that 4 sachets of CoffeeMate is the perfect number for a cup of brewed coffee of any size (at 5g each, that is 20g). I asked him, "how did you determine that?" He doesn't really know. I mocked him and asked him if after the first sachet was insufficient, he just knew four was the way to go. No defense. I asked him if he had tried three or two sachets. He didn't. But he won't, now, even with my tormenting him. He thinks that 20g of modified flavored food starch brings about perfect creaminess. He always has two strings of those damn sachets in his pocket, each 4 sachets long, just in case he has an extra cup. It creates a lot of waste and just looks weird to me (apologies in advance to anyone else who does this). I tell him it'll be a matter of time before he gets all Melvin Eudall on us.


Mark

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - Collaborative book reviews about food and food culture. Submit a review today! :)

No Special Effects - my reader-friendly blog about food and life.

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I have several food allergies and avoid those foods and there are some I do not care for and avoid them if possible but try to be discrete about it if they are served to me.

I do know some people who have what I consider are irrational food neuroses, unrelated to allergies.

One gentleman will send back any breakfast, lunch or dinner plate that might include a slice of melon, grapes or even a wedge of orange - after he has given specific instructions when ordering, to exclude these items from his plate.

He has been known to follow the server back to the kitchen to demand "new" food as he does not want the food that has been "contaminated" ..... As far as I know, he has no food allergies.

He has the same neuroses about using fruit-based sauces on meats, which rather defeats the point of serving certain foods with traditional sauces - Cumberland sauce, for instance.

Needless to say, cranberry sauce has never passed his lips, nor has plum sauce, etc., etc., etc!

There have been times when I had to prepare a totally separate meal for him while the rest of my guests were happily consuming pork with apples or similar meat and fruit preparations.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I have always been an adventurous eater/cook all my life. I would probably turn down anything that needs to be eaten 'alive', insects or potential small pets but anything else is pretty much a 'go'.

I have had a pretty low tolerance for picky eaters and rarely accommodate them when I cook. Sorry if you don't like garlic (incentive to add a few more cloves).

When I met my husband he was Mr. Meat & Potatoes only. His mom - God love her - was a single mom in the 50's and cooking well was not a priority. They ate a lot more potatoes than meat most of the time unfortunately. When I told him I wanted to go have Sushi, he almost threw up. I said I would not continue to date him if he wouldn't at least try it. We have been together over 25 years and he not only loves Sushi, he is a regular customer of sushifoods.com and makes it himself for both of us.

Our 22 year old daughter on the other hand has some very strange food aversions. I cannot believe she is 'ours' sometimes. Her dad offered to share some scrambled eggs with her and she requested that he remove that 'white thingy' attached to the yolk before mixing. I made the mistake of telling her a long time ago that the 'chalazae' is where the chick starts. I also told her that if there is no rooster, there is no chick, but apparently that part didn't sink in. Never mind that the 'white thingy' disappears after cooking.... She also dissects meat like a surgeon, doesn't like dark meat chicken and will cringe if she sees a 'vein'.

I work with a picky woman who will eat suspicious taco truck burritos voraciously. But will ask me 'whets did you put in it?" when offered homemade banana (yes, made will reeeeallly ripe gassy ones) bread. Grrr...

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Most of these food neuroses seem to do with eating food, but I have some strange ones concerned with preparing food. I guess I must have been at an impressionable age when I first read that boiling vegetables leaches all the vitamins out into the water. But I don't have a steamer, so I generally try to cook vegetables in as little water as possible, in the hope that most of them are essentially steamed. Only I still can't bear to throw out any water that might be left in the pan, because I'd feel too guilty for throwing out all the vitamins - and here's the crazy part - I actually pick the vegetables out of the water one by one, so that by the time I'm done most of the water will have evaporated and I won't have to feel guilty about throwing away the vitamins.

I've just realised that the second food neurosis I was going to describe is also vitamin-related. I must come across like an enzyme-obsessed raw-foodist or something. Anyway, my method for peeling potatoes is to boil them first, then peel them by hand while they're still hot enough for the skin to come off easily while hopefully preserving the vitamins which are supposedly just underneath. Leading to some pretty scalded fingers from time to time.

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I've heard from a ton of people that they avoid red velvet cake because of food coloring (and thus chemicals). I totally agree that food coloring probably isn't the best thing for you, but for > 90% of us I'm sure we consume FAR more chemicals (and food coloring) through non-red-velvet-cake avenues than through the occasional slice.

Almost everything that irks me is this kind of lose of perspective. Another example: people who won't eat rich dough baked goods because of the butter but will spread an opaque layer of butter or cream-cheese on a bagel

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My mother belongs to the white/yellow/orange cheese weirdness. I always have a block of Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar in the fridge. And I honestly don't pay attention to what color I buy. Some stores have white, some have orange, I don't care. If I have the white, she doesn't eat it. Fine, BUT she purchases deli american cheese regularly and ONLY gets white. explain that one.

I had a roommate who claimed she'd never tasted tuna (as in canned,) olives, or mushrooms. Nor would she. I made a puttanesca once which turned out quite tasty; she was interested since it smelled "like pizza," but wouldn't touch it once she learned it had olives and anchovies in it.

This same roommate was on Atkins when it had its big rebirth a bit over a decade ago. I was eating a lot of D'artagnan or Trois Petite Cochon pates back then, and worrying about how fattening and unhealthful they were. She claimed they were fine, "Read the book!" no thanks.

ETA: thought of a couple more:

a friend's hubby has a variation on the no-mixing food thing. He eats each item on his plate completely before moving on to the next. And he knows it's a neurosis, doesn't care, and doesn't try to explain it.

A guy i used to date refused to allow me to eat liver or goat with him ("goats eat shit."). I felt like Laurie Colwin who couldn't eat squid in its ink with her husband. (off topic - I live a few blocks away from where LC lived. The restaurant where she got the squid is also gone, 'hood just isn't the same anymore.)


Edited by lia (log)

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I've heard from a ton of people that they avoid red velvet cake because of food coloring (and thus chemicals). I totally agree that food coloring probably isn't the best thing for you, but for > 90% of us I'm sure we consume FAR more chemicals (and food coloring) through non-red-velvet-cake avenues than through the occasional slice.

Oh yeah, I have this one too. And I can't bear to use food colouring in cooking at all, even though I do know that it isn't that bad for you and also it's not like I avoid it in prepackaged foods and drinks.

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After a couple of glasses of wine at dinner....

Ok, so some people eat around their plate in a clockwise manner. But is this only in the northern hemisphere? Do they go the other way round in the south?


Edited by nibor (log)

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When I have waffles, I MUST put a tiny bit of syrup in each little square. Can't eat it without it.

susan

That's not neurotic, that's just the proper way to eat waffles! :biggrin:

Of course, you must remember to put a bit of butter in each square as well! :laugh:

That's just what I was thinking! :biggrin:

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My father-in-law refused to eat anything even remotely associated with spinach--including green tortelini, which, on one memorable occasion, he methodically picked out of a pasta salad I had painstakingly prepared in a sailboat galley and he chucked each and every one overboard, claiming he could "taste the spinach"...

And I was going to say that I didn't have any food neuroses (other than the waffle/butter thing, but that's not really a neurosis, that's just common sense :raz: ), but then I remembered that I refuse to eat duck sauce in any form as I once opened a jar, dipped a bunch of fried wantons in the sauce, ate them, and THEN found the large, dead spider that had been cooked into the sauce. :blink: I am convinced that that spider contaminated all duck sauce, for all time, anywhere in the world and cannot bring myself to eat it.


Feast then thy heart, for what the heart has had, the hand of no heir shall ever hold.

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My father-in-law refused to eat anything even remotely associated with spinach--including green tortelini, which, on one memorable occasion, he methodically picked out of a pasta salad I had painstakingly prepared in a sailboat galley and he chucked each and every one overboard, claiming he could "taste the spinach"...

And I was going to say that I didn't have any food neuroses (other than the waffle/butter thing, but that's not really a neurosis, that's just common sense  :raz: ), but then I remembered that I refuse to eat duck sauce in any form as I once opened a jar, dipped a bunch of fried wantons in the sauce, ate them, and THEN found the large, dead spider that had been cooked into the sauce.  :blink:  I am convinced that that spider contaminated all duck sauce, for all time, anywhere in the world and cannot bring myself to eat it.

As far as something contaminating stuff for all time, everywhere, I get like that too. I won't eat lemon meringue pie anymore, ever, because once I had some at a diner, and there was a thin but even layer of jade green mold between the lemon and the meringue. It tasted like lemon, meringue, and sour dirt. I'm really easily put off of stuff. I go back to most things eventually, but currently blacklisted are enchiladas in any form, beef-vegetable soup, Doritos, the aforementioned meringue, Sambuca, pineapple juice, Jagermeister, and Mongolian barbecue. Each food product comes with a story that starts out with "well, I used to like it, but I had a bad experience..."

While we're talking about it, my husband won't eat anything a certain shade of green. Pea soup, guacamole, and spinach noodles all fall into this category. He loves spinach, likes peas well enough, as well as other legume soup, and doesn't mind diced or sliced avocado in stuff. It's the shade combined with the texture.

My housemate has a proportion thing, He eats everything equally on his plate, right down to counting out chunks in a stew or something, so that everything is consumed proportionately. The last bites in a bowl of beef stew, for example will be equal sized pieces of beef, carrot, and potato. He really loses it, if I mess with him and throw a spoonful extra of something, when he's half done with his meal. The other night, we had chili with cornbread. He agonized, because he cut himself too small of a piece of cornbread, and he would finish it too fast, before his chili was done. He struggled and huffed throughout the meal. It was hilarious.

As far as the waffle thing? That's just normal. I drip one drop of syrup in each square, after I put a dab of butter in each one.

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I refuse to eat shrimp that havent been deveined. I remember a date I had when I was 21. I was taken to the restaurant " Killer Shrimp" in Marina Del Rey, CA. The big bowl of shrimp came to the table and I deveined everyone with my fingernail before eating them.

I also won't drink what I perceive to be warm milk( which is any milk that doesnt have ice in it).

I dont like raw tomatoes( too slimy) but love cooked ones.

I hate fresh salmon( or canned salmon) but love smoked salmon.

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As far as something contaminating stuff for all time, everywhere, I get like that too.  I won't eat lemon meringue pie anymore, ever, because once I had some at a diner, and there was a thin but even layer of jade green mold between the lemon and the meringue.  It tasted like lemon, meringue, and sour dirt.  I'm really easily put off of stuff.  I go back to most things eventually, but currently blacklisted are enchiladas in any form, beef-vegetable soup, Doritos, the aforementioned meringue, Sambuca, pineapple juice, Jagermeister, and Mongolian barbecue.  Each food product comes with a story that starts out with "well, I used to like it, but I had a bad experience..."

Wait, you can't just leave me hanging! I want to know the stories!! At least give me the Doritos and the pineapple juice...

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As far as something contaminating stuff for all time, everywhere, I get like that too.  I won't eat lemon meringue pie anymore, ever, because once I had some at a diner, and there was a thin but even layer of jade green mold between the lemon and the meringue.  It tasted like lemon, meringue, and sour dirt.  I'm really easily put off of stuff.  I go back to most things eventually, but currently blacklisted are enchiladas in any form, beef-vegetable soup, Doritos, the aforementioned meringue, Sambuca, pineapple juice, Jagermeister, and Mongolian barbecue.  Each food product comes with a story that starts out with "well, I used to like it, but I had a bad experience..."

Wait, you can't just leave me hanging! I want to know the stories!! At least give me the Doritos and the pineapple juice...

They're both pretty straightforward :raz: The pineapple juice ban came about on one of our trips to the Carribean, I drank too many fruity pineapple juice based drinks, and threw up too many fruity pineapple based drinks, and for whatever reason it tasted the same both ways. So, pineapple juice smells and tastes like bile, to me. I'm not exactly friends with rum, either, but it doesn't have the same effect.

Doritos...when I was 20, a friend dared me to eat a whole bag of Taco Supreme Doritos, since I was raving about them. Remember those? I was never a big fan of Doritos, but those were really incredible, and short lived. I ate the whole damn bag. I felt all dusty and smelly for like days after, even after I showered, I thought I could still smell the dust on my clothes and hands. I tasted them for awhile, too. 9 years later, and I get the willies when I smell them.

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I have one that drives myself nuts- I must eat m&ms two at a time, and they have to be the same color. Then when you are at the end of one color and you only have one left of that color, you have to decide whether to eat it by itself, or mix it with another color.... I've tried to stop myself, and the only good strategy is not eating m&ms at all.

Otherwise I'm pretty normal.

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Hummingbirdkiss, is your son single? I need to marry a guy like that so that I can pass on the right genes to the next generation.

It drives me absolutely insane to have my foods touching. Normally, when I eat at home, mom serves family-style, and my dad will be trying to add stuff to my plate and I'll be screaming my head off because I hate it hate it hate it.

My name is May, and no, I do not need help.


May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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I once dated a guy who would not eat food that was warmer than room temperature. Anything I cooked, he'd leave it on the plate, and sit and converse with me while I ate, and then when his food had cooled down, he'd eat it. After our first meal like that, I knew the relationship didn't have a future.

My husband has had a long list of foods he won't eat: avocados, sour cream, any kind of fruit with meat, and several others I can't think of right now. A couple of weeks ago we dined at :wub: Sabor :wub: here in Wichita, and had some of their black bean soup. Anything you order at :wub: Sabor :wub: is heavenly, and that includes, of course, the black bean soup... which came with a dollop of sour cream on it. Dear Hubby ate all around the sour cream until The Horrible Dillema: to eat the last of the soup would have to include eating the sour cream. To not eat the last of the soup was unthinkable. "I couldn't believe it! That sour cream just, like, woke up the flavor!"

Duh. :blink::rolleyes::blink:

Next month is our ten-year anniversary. OK, it's taken me 10 years to get him to eat sour cream. Anybody wanna take odds on avocados and meat with fruit? :laugh::laugh::raz:

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I converted an avocado hater by carefully removing the green part and dicing the cream-colored part and adding it to a chunky chicken salad.

"This is just delicious, especially this creamy tofu stuff."

"That's avocado."

"But, I don't like avocado!"

"You ate it and said it was delicious."

Long pause.

"Okay, you win!"

Heh, Heh, Heh!

By the way, I solved the maple syrup/butter in the waffle "windows" a long time ago.

I heat the maple syrup WITH the butter in a lovely little Hall China pitcher, stir just before pouring and get a perfect proportion of syrup to butter in each and every dimple.

Actually I simply employed the technique similar to one I learned as a very small child when my grandpa would stir soft butter into sorghum molasses before anointing a hot biscuit with this lovely sweet/salty combination.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I have one that drives myself nuts- I must eat m&ms two at a time, and they have to be the same color.  Then when you are at the end of one color and you only have one left of that color, you have to decide whether to eat it by itself, or mix it with another color.... I've tried to stop myself, and the only good strategy is not eating m&ms at all.

Otherwise I'm pretty normal.

OMG!! I about fell on the flour laughing when I read this. Apparently there are two of us in the world who do this! I don't know what it is either. And only with the plain M&M's, not the peanut.

I don't know where along the way I decided that eating a single M&M was too small a serving and that two at a time was much better, but I've been doing it for years.

My solution to the errant extra colors that don't fit in the 2x2 category ... lump them together at the end and just throw them in all at once.

Perhaps we should form a 12 step group to overcome this.

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I have one that drives myself nuts- I must eat m&ms two at a time, and they have to be the same color.  Then when you are at the end of one color and you only have one left of that color, you have to decide whether to eat it by itself, or mix it with another color.... I've tried to stop myself, and the only good strategy is not eating m&ms at all.

Otherwise I'm pretty normal.

OMG!! I about fell on the flour laughing when I read this. Apparently there are two of us in the world who do this! I don't know what it is either. And only with the plain M&M's, not the peanut.

I don't know where along the way I decided that eating a single M&M was too small a serving and that two at a time was much better, but I've been doing it for years.

My solution to the errant extra colors that don't fit in the 2x2 category ... lump them together at the end and just throw them in all at once.

Perhaps we should form a 12 step group to overcome this.

Good Lord, I didn't know this was classified as nuts :shock: But, I just realized I do the same thing with Skittles....except it has to be two different colors UNLESS it's the purple ones. The purple ones go in two at a time :unsure: I'm not going to sleep tonight worrying about this.......

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