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Fat Guy

Food neuroses that drive you nuts

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In reading all of these posts I keep thinking about what really constitutes food neuroses? When does a food preference end and an actual food neurosis begin? Preferring white eggs over brown or yellow sliced processed cheese over white when there is neither a taste nor nutritional difference between them both seem neurotic to me. Ditto with "having" to methodically pour syrup into each square of a waffle instead of just pouring it on freestyle as it were, though that one's kinda cute. :wink:

Most of what I've read here so far sounds like food preferences IMHO, even if they are a bit odd or gagtastic (believe me, I have several of my own that fall into those categories).

Big difference between having to eat the same number of green peas or corn kernels every time after carefully counting and arranging each pea and kernel, and preferring that at Thanksgiving your mashed potatoes don't even come near the cranberry sauce--my rule, which is completely normal of course. :blink: So now, can anyone explain the difference? When does one cross that fine line?

We all know people who won't eat certain things and generally classify them as preferences. For me the reason why is what pushes the 'preference' over the line into neurosis.

I, too, won't eat meat with bones because, as a kid, I had nightmares featuring bloody skeletons of slaughtered animals talking to me and bemoaning their plight. Eating meat on a bone (or seeing a vein or other evidence that the meat was once alive) reminds me of those dreams and I would rather not go there.

I also think different pasta shapes taste different and prefer cavatapi to any other even though I KNOW there is no reason why I should.

I've eaten tongue (without knowing it) and it tasted good, but I can't knowingly eat it because of what it is. Ditto for tripe, heart, and brains even though none of them have bones. I CAN eat (and adore) sweetbreads and foie gras (if they're meticulously cleaned). I can't figure out why I differentiate.

The best reason I've seen in this thread so far is the one about chickens not washing under their arms! In fact, the next time someone offers ME wings, I'm going to use it!

I'm also going to remember the bit about it being polite to not clean your plate.

Great thread, BTW.

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I assume that people who don't eat chicken wings because chickens don't wash under their arms also don't eat natural casing sausages.

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As a kid, I always used to eat everything one at a time on my plate. My mom would try to get me to eat some of one thing and then something else...but I wouldn't hear of it.

I always ate grapes in even numbers. One on each side of my mouth. Or two on each side.

I hated fresh tomatoes - I would have to try them once and a while, and I remember running back to the bathroom to spit them out. These were garden tomatoes. But I didn't learn to like them until I was in Greece, and the tomatoes were really good. Still I'm ambivalent. I can't eat tomatoes with breakfast to save my life, and eating a piece of unaccompanied fresh tomato is still kind of nauseating to me.


"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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About that colour of the egg thing ... as the cook in the household of two, I buy brown eggs this week and white eggs next week so I know is the freshest. DH wouldn't eat brown eggs for no reason at all...nor does young sonny boy (thank Mr. Big Boy up yonder he doesn't live here full time anymore!) When it comes to food neuroses, no one can beat my son...he will be happy just eating Tombstone Pepperoni Pizza everyday... :sad:


Life is short: Break the rules...Forgive quickly...Kiss slowly...Love truly...Laugh uncontrollably...And never regret anything that made you smile. Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we're here we should dance...

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Oh, how I love love love this thread! I can't think of any food neuroses I have, other than refusing to eat canned asparagus (the real stuff is so good and so easy; the canned stuff is so mushy...) but I probably would if I were hungry enough.

My niece, who is now a beautifully grown woman, had a long spell when she was little, in which she would only eat foods that were white. Yogurt. Cottage cheese. Rice. Noodles. Etc. The exception: chocolate. One day she managed to talk my dad out of a Hershey bar (he had a secret stash), and he grew impatient waiting for her to open it. She was smelling it, caressing it, and enjoying anticipating it. When my dad suggested she open it - obviously planning to have a piece of it himself - she indicated she wasn't through looking at it. "You know what, Grandpa?" she said. "I think of these in the night."

She's been my favorite person since that moment. :cool:

(Her daughter is Emma, below...)

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The second thing that was genuinely entertaining, was trying to watch my food neurotic friends sit across from each other and try to function. One of them was the typical "no food touching, one thing at a time" kind, where he seperated everything on his plate, and ate it clockwise, till he finished with his entree.  The other friend was the one that I mentioned upthread that has to eat everything in exact proportions, one bite at a time, equally.  Sometimes, to make it happen, he has to shove two bites of different things in his mouth.  Watching them kinda stare at each other, and look uncomfortable was well worth my pasta ordeal.

:blink:  :rolleyes:  :wub:

I feel like a lucky woman, or a happy moron. Maybe I haven't paid attention to the eating habits of my friends and family, probably because I've had my head in my plate, food touching, eating in no particular order and inhaling everything. (With time out for chat, telling cats they aren't welcome on the table and yacking politics and religion.) If I leave something on my plate it means I'm full.

It must be exhausting, counting bites and worrying about food co-mingling. And, I've been known to mingle pasta in a dish if the shapes are about the same weight and surface area. Makes for a cheery dish.


Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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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.


May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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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: 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:

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...


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

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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: 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:

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.


May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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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...

That reminds of me when my mother would cut the crusts off my sandwiches in school lunches, and I'd still leave an edge of bread.

This is actually closely related to the need to spread fillings to the very edge of the bread. If one does not do this, he or she will be lefts with an outer edge of sandwich that doesn't have any filling, and will be forced to leave the crusts on the plate.

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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...

That reminds of me when my mother would cut the crusts off my sandwiches in school lunches, and I'd still leave an edge of bread.

This is actually closely related to the need to spread fillings to the very edge of the bread. If one does not do this, he or she will be lefts with an outer edge of sandwich that doesn't have any filling, and will be forced to leave the crusts on the plate.

My answer to that has usually been to eat the crusts off first (Yuck) to get rid of them, then to eat the sandwich. Self defense, since I was brought up in the "clean plate" club.


"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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

The skin on the pudding is my favorite part! I eat it first before eating the rest of the pudding.

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I always kinda liked crusts on my sandwiches, unspread with filling. It was like getting two meals. I always pulled or cut them off and saved the naked bread strips for last. It was like a squishy pb & j sandwich, with a side of ghetto breadsticks.

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

The skin on the pudding is my favorite part! I eat it first before eating the rest of the pudding.

I cheat, and press clingfoil to the top when I make chocolate pudding so that there's no skin.


May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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My dear friend has an interesting way of eating his food. He starts at the top of the plate from left to right, eating until it reaches the right edge of the plate. Then he moves down a row. Nice straight horizontal line that inches down the plate forkful by forkful. And the plate must be perfectly clean above the line.

It's the most amazing thing I have ever seen. I believe he only does this on plated foods. He's fine with cheese and crackers, pizza, etc. He has no food phobias and eats everything. Well, not everything. He has the most extreme allergy to tree nuts I have ever heard of. Even roasting nuts (breathing in the vapors), touching the bark of a nut tree, various hand creams, touching your hand after you have eaten cashews, etc. can cause such an extreme attack that he has to be taken to the hospital. Needless to say, my house is a nut-free zone.


After taking a mouthful of boiling hot coffee, what ever you do next is wrong.

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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.


“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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I used to be really picky about the foods on my plate not touching each other, to the point where I'd scrape them all apart before beginning to eat, but I stopped that when I was in my mid-teens.

I do, however, loathe celery, and if I get a dish in a restaurant that has some of that unfortunate vegetable in it, I will sit there and relentlessly pick all the celery bits out and put them to the side before I'll even start eating whatever it is I've ordered. This sometimes drives other people nuts, but most of them are either used to it or don't notice :wink:

I agree with whoever said that the eating-one-thing-at-a-time and other similarly methodical behaviors sound more autistic than neurotic. Several of my friends have Asperger's (I hang around with a lot of geeks), and I've observed similar behavior in them while eating.


There is no sincerer love than the love of food. -- George Bernard Shaw

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I do, however, loathe celery, and if I get a dish in a restaurant that has some of that unfortunate vegetable in it, I will sit there and relentlessly pick all the celery bits out and put them to the side before I'll even start eating whatever it is I've ordered. This sometimes drives other people nuts, but most of them are either used to it or don't notice  :wink:

I hear you! In fact, my one and only time in Alinea, we were served a dish composed of a Madras Curry ball filled with celery extract, which floated in pear juice.

When you knocked it back, like a shot, the Madras curry ball dissolved and the celery extract was released. As the celery hit my taste buds, my mouth almost involuntarily ejected it's contents. I actually had to hold my mouth shut so I wouldn't splatter my Other Half with celery/curry/pear.

It took me around three minutes to convince myself to swallow the mouthful - I was nearly in tears.

Celery. *Shudder*

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My husband will not eat ribs or chicken wings because, he says, it's too much work for too little meat.

I used to have an ex who put either ketchup or ranch on anything savory. My mother nearly cried when he put ketchup on the prime rib (which she, for some reason, considers to be the end-all be-all of meats).

Speaking of my mother... with the exception of soup, vegetables in the main dish "don't count". Thusly, if I made a casserole with lots of veggies for dinner, she'd still wander over to the cabinet, pull out a can of green beans, and nuke it so we'd have a veggie with dinner. Also, if corn was being served with dinner, another veggie must be made.


Misa

Sweet Misa

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Also, if corn was being served with dinner, another veggie must be made.

Technically speaking, corn is a starch. :wink:

My mom does the same, though. She'll make corn but then will also make another veggie dish. Is it an Old School thing?

The thing that drives me crazy is [sTANDS ON SOAPBOX] when someone brings doughnuts to my workplace. Invariably, someone will take half a doughnut. Half. Not the entire thing.

C'mon, people! Channel your inner Homer and take the entire freakin' doughnut! Is it really that difficult?! Do you really think someone else is going to come along and take that remaining half of a doughtnut that you tore in half with your fingers that have been typing on your computer keyboard or dialing your phone. Have you ever stopped and looked at how dirty the number pad is on your office phone? And you used those same fingers to tear that dinky little dougnut in half and expect someone else to eat the remains because you just can't bring yourself to eat an entire doughnut? Grow some stones and take the entire doughnut back to your cubicle! Then eat half and throw the other half away if you don't want it. We don't want it either. Thank you. [DISMOUNTS SOAPBOX]. :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 mother also does the corn / veggies thing. She and her mother both advocate having something orange or yellow AND somethign green on the plate. It's pretty, but i think it's also wise...you get a larger variety of nutrients that way.

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Also, if corn was being served with dinner, another veggie must be made.

Technically speaking, corn is a starch. :wink:

My mom does the same, though. She'll make corn but then will also make another veggie dish. Is it an Old School thing?

The thing that drives me crazy is [sTANDS ON SOAPBOX] when someone brings doughnuts to my workplace. Invariably, someone will take half a doughnut. Half. Not the entire thing.

C'mon, people! Channel your inner Homer and take the entire freakin' doughnut! Is it really that difficult?! Do you really think someone else is going to come along and take that remaining half of a doughtnut that you tore in half with your fingers that have been typing on your computer keyboard or dialing your phone. Have you ever stopped and looked at how dirty the number pad is on your office phone? And you used those same fingers to tear that dinky little dougnut in half and expect someone else to eat the remains because you just can't bring yourself to eat an entire doughnut? Grow some stones and take the entire doughnut back to your cubicle! Then eat half and throw the other half away if you don't want it. We don't want it either. Thank you. [DISMOUNTS SOAPBOX]. :laugh:

I share your distaste for finger-torn rejects, but there's a very basic solution for those who wish to discourage such a tacky practice, grow no stones or eat only a nibble. Have some plates and a sharp knife in the mini-kitchen. If someone brings in a box of doughnuts or bagels or sticky pastries, someone like you can cut a number of them into neat quarters in a sanitary fashion and put them on a plate. That way those of us who simply want to be reminded about what a good (or bad) doughnut tastes like can have our cake and not eat it too. Or those who realize how truly bad the ones with sprinkles are can then try a buttermilk without tossing most of two doughnuts, eliminating much waste. (Although personally it gives me a heady sense of power to throw heart-stopping sugar&fat vehicles into the trash, that's a pathetic solution and trails some guilt in its wake.) If no one at your office has thought of doing this yet I would be surprised if there weren't other internal organizational issues. So, wield the knife and you will be perceived as brilliant and thoughful. Win/win!

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I share your distaste for finger-torn rejects

Hear, Hear!! Especially when there are TWO or more in the box---relics of a double-doo, in which they wanted half a glazed AND half a chocolate, thus wasting a whole one.

:angry:

But, did you not know the circumstances of the provider/cutter, would you take even a CUT piece?

But I HAVE been known to neatly incise the crust end off a piece of a particular pie I'm fond of at a dessert buffet, never touching anything save the pie-server. :rolleyes: I like fluty, crispy crust.

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Channel your inner Homer

I think I may have found a new purpose in my life.

That would make an excellent bumper sticker / t-shirt / Trapper Keeper cover.


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