Monday, September 19, 2011

Deal-Breakers: Negotiating with a Foodie

by Laura Bickle

My husband is a foodie. I am not. It results in some interesting negotiation around food. A lot of good-natured arguments about who's right and who's wrong about food.

I mean...I'm one of those people who's entirely cool with having cereal for dinner or eating leftover pizza for breakfast. Food was always sorta a peripheral thing. I've eaten a whole lotta Hot Pockets, Froot Loops,  frozen burritos, and Velveeta. I have dabbled in Spam. I was always one of those people who ate sorta because I'm supposed to, without taking much joy in the process.

Then came the husband, who introduced me to a vast array of food and shoved me kicking-and-screaming into actual dinner every night. On plates. With silverware and stuff. I actually began to enjoy stuff. Bulgogi. Pasta a la caprese. Homemade gnocci.

Yeah, I know. It's a terrible thing to be loved.

But we still disagree on some important issues about food. They're not dealbreakers for the relationship. But they do occasionally result in us sitting across from a table from each other, with one of us wrinkling our nose and saying: "I can't believe you're eating that." They can be a dealbreaker for who will eat what.

On the short list of food dealbreakers:

-Mayonnaise. I love it. Hubs says: "Mayonnaise is France's greatest crime against humanity." potato salad, deviled eggs, or mayo on club sandwiches for him.

-The Great Hot Dog Debate. My tastes in dawgs is pretty proletarian. I like 'em with ketchup, mustard, onion and relish. He says that's sacrilege. He believes in mustard like it's a religion and thinks ketchup is "an abomination unto the Lord."

-Ketchup. I love me some ketchup. On pretty much everything: hash browns, fries, burgers. Bring it. See husband's take on ketchup, above.

-Steak sauce. I love steak sauce. Probably because my relatives cooked meat to the consistency of shoe leather, growing up. It makes everything more edible. Hubs says it disguises the fabulous spice rub he's used on the meat: "You can't taste the steak!"

-Nuts and beans. I adore legumes of all kinds. Hubs will not touch 'em. I've thusly learned to make beanless chili and bogart the peanut butter for myself.

-Sushi. I put my foot down on that one. He says: "You have no idea what you're missing." I say: "I don't eat anything  with tentacles. I've seen too much hentai."

What are your culinary dealbreakers?


  1. "I don't eat anything with tentacles. I've seen too much hentai."

    ~falls out of chair laughing~

    I'm pretty sure I have foodie deal-breakers that correspond to each letter of the alphabet. Asparagus and Avocado to start. But Mayo? Man, I'm a Miracle Whip and Hellmann's sort of gal.

  2. are not monogamous in your mayo affections? Both Miracle Whip AND Hellman's?

    That's okay...I'm polyamorous when it comes to mayo, as well. ;-)

  3. Bacon! It's a crime against all piggies!
    Too bad my owner loves to eat bacon. At least she promised me she'll never eat bacon made from a McPig.

  4. I think your hubby & I would get along GREAT! ::g::

  5. "Mayonnaise is France's greatest crime against humanity" made me laugh, too. I can't wait to meet your hubs someday!

  6. Heh - I'm with you Laura - in a lot of ways food is just fuel for me, and I'm definitely a mean-n-potatoes kinda gal.

    My inlaws always choose all these fancy restaurants to go to, and it's completely wasted on me.

    I won't eat fish, for example. I don't drink wine. And I sorta hate veggies.

    Fried cheese? Hells yes.

  7. I'm sorry. But after parasitic biology, all fish must be cooked. Cooked. Not to shoe leather...but it shouldn't be 'medium rare' either. So my idea of sushi = veggie tempura rolls, California rolls and shiitake mushrooms braised in gray sea salt.

  8. Sullivan, eating a McPig would be a crime! I am sure that she'll never go there. ;-)

    Jeffe, you'll enjoy him. He has a great sense of humor.

    Allison, I'm with ya on the fried cheese. I've also developed a taste for fried pickles.

    Marcella, I think you need to talk to my hubs. I now wonder if he has worms...

  9. Maria, you'd love him. We'll have to have dinner sometime...and I can keep the steak sauce alllll to myself! ;-)

  10. Hubster and I are both foodies (and we live in the foodie capital of the US - the San Francisco Bay Area) so no conflict there. However he's got some pretty weird food prejudices that are mainly a result of his mothers truly horrible cooking and they drive me crazy sometimes. For example he won't eat most veges, he doesnt like roasts, or pork, and is not a fan of most Asian foods. As for me, I'm not a fan of pressed sandwich meats of any kind, yet I adore hot dogs - go figure.

  11. LMAO, JenM! My husband didn't like roast until I made him one. I know how it goes!

  12. When we met the Viking, I was making separate meals for the kids because of all of their "dealbreakers." When the Viking is in the kitchen, there is no such thing. He cooks. We eat. And we like it, dammit. (Actually, we really do like it. And the kids now eat pretty nearly anything you set in front of them.)

    A note about mayonnaise - did somebody in these comments imply that Miracle Whip is somehow equivalent? Anathema! Miracle Whip is just - ewww. And ick.

  13. Kerry, I like the Viking's approach to food. Here it is...chow down!

  14. Sounds very much like my husband and I.
    Ketchup - I like ketchup on my steaks. Forget the damn steak sauce.
    Deer meat was a current staple in my household, and well steak sauce was not a necessity, so we use ketchup (my middle son sings the praises for ketchup).

    Now hubby will eat pizza with ketchup and I'm like "Ehh.. nooo"

    I like mayo but the hubby shudders.

    Mustard I'm not allowed to have due to allergies.

    I will NOT eat fish or seafood. My hubby LOVES seafood.

  15. LOL My husband and I have had the great ketchup debate - but only regarding hotdogs. He's a hotdog purist - mustard only, maybe with a little sweet pickle relish. According to him, ketchup on a hotdog is un-American.

    My dealbreakers are pretty simple: anything with the eyes still on, anything with tentacles, raw fish, any meat that once ate meat (like bear) and canned peas. :shudder:

  16. Raonaid, I'm with you on the ketchup. It's good, all purpose, and rocks with deer meet.

    B.E...has your husband met my husband? That sounds EXACTLY like what mine would say.