Comments on: In Defense of Picky Eaters Wed, 12 Mar 2014 12:49:29 +0000 hourly 1 By: Retnan Fri, 27 Apr 2012 11:05:21 +0000 “I’ll happily try it eight times no matter how much I hate it. After that I refuse to feel guilty about never eating it again!”

Why the hell would you feel guilty about not eating something? What is wrong with you people?

BTW maybe I can understand trying something you hated for a second time but eighth? That defies everything that is logical and sane.

By: Su Good Eats » Food bloggers’ potluck Thu, 16 Nov 2006 05:18:33 +0000 [...] Danielle and her partner Dave were gracious hosts, respecting everyone’s food preferences, from no meat to no olives (but olive oil was fair game). There was too much good food to be had, so I regretably didn’t have a chance to try everything. The menu for the night: [...]

By: Phil Sun, 12 Nov 2006 19:28:03 +0000 Hi Danielle, it’s nice to see a more balanced view and reasoned responses after reading through Barbara’s and Amy’s blogs.

One theme that comes through in much of the feedback is this notion of just eating a bit of something out of politeness. The problem is that if your food aversion is so severe that doing so would induce vomiting, that’s really not an option!

I must say the comments about the guy in Korea struck a chord – I would probably be much the same. However, you’d think he would’ve already known he was going to have problems eating local foods and found some way to avoid going to dinner in the first place – I know I would.

By: Kelli Sun, 29 Oct 2006 22:56:49 +0000 The anxiety definitely isn’t always there. With my ten favorite people, it’s a total non-issue. But there are a handful of people in my life (my officemate being the most obvious one at the moment) who I’m friends with, but not super close to, who have a lot of emotion tied up into making people happy in social situations. It’s the sort of thing where, to me, the love evidenced by the effort is enough, and for him, he wants things to be totally perfect if he makes me something.

It’s not all-consuming or anything, but it makes me kind of nervous to be in a situation where one possible outcome is that a friend is a little sad because I wasn’t 100% thrilled with the outcome. And it’s not like I’m a jerk about it; I’m pretty good at playing grownup, but I know better than to declare my undying love for something I don’t actually adore all that much.

Eh, I’m eager to please? I think it’s definitely the sort of thing that gets easier as friendships get stronger, since there’s a lot more confidence that so-and-so loves you for lots of reasons, not just because you do perfect things for them.

Or maybe I hang out with too many perfectionists?

I’ve actually been pleasantly surprised by cooking with another friend. He’s pretty perfectionist with most of his life, but he’s pretty willing to experiment in the kitchen. Better still, he’s absolutely fine with me nudging recipes to make them more to my liking, despite the fact that he’s a pretty religious recipe-follower.

Finally (no, really, I’ll stop rambling!), I was reminded last night that I really am way more comfortable in general with being the hostess than a guest. I was at a party last night, and without a list of things I need to be running around doing, I was kind of lost. I think it’s my introversion showing through.

By: Danielle Fri, 27 Oct 2006 15:39:04 +0000 Kelli – That anxiety you mention is interesting. I tend not to worry about it much, because it never bothers me when guests don’t love everything we serve. Our cooking is far too prone to experimentation for me to expect it to always be great, and we warn all our guests that that is the case. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but at least it’s always interesting.

Ari – It’s great that you managed to see that as an excuse to learn and grow in the way you cook!

Holly – Have any other guilt you would like to me absolve, while I’m at it? Also, I think it would be sad to have a chef who would cook for me wherever I went. I’d miss out on so much variety.

Gluten-Free by the Bay – Thanks, I’m glad you like the blog!

I mean, isn’t the point of having friends over for dinner making something for them that they’ll actually ENJOY?

I think you put your finger on it, actually; that’s what jumped out at me, too. But I can see how if your guests are rude about it, you might not feel the urge to go out of your way to make them happy. At this point, I think that Barbara and I are, as Nicole put it, in a state of violent agreement on being fine with food preference but minding poor manners.

By: Gluten-Free by the Bay Thu, 26 Oct 2006 22:24:38 +0000 Your blog is great, I can’t believe I didn’t find it until today. Barbara’s post annoyed me, I’ll admit it. I mean, isn’t the point of having friends over for dinner making something for them that they’ll actually ENJOY?

I have no problem with picky eaters, probably because even though I’m not one (I have very few foods I categorically dislike) I am often treated as one because I can’t eat gluten, have reactions to dairy and soy (though I do eat these in small amounts) and am trying to keep kosher in a low-maintenance way.

I do some of my best cooking within the constraints of other peoples’ food restrictions/preferences. It inspires creativity.

What does bother me is people who act rude or entitled or like princesses about their food preferences. I have zero tolerance for that. You need to give me advance warning, and in a considerate way, if you want me to accomodate you.

By: Holly Thu, 26 Oct 2006 10:30:28 +0000 I don’t eat mayonnaise, which is occasionally awkward and which I was feeling slightly guilty about until I read this. And this morning’s reading (Chiquart on cookery) brought an appropriate 1420 discussion of how to deal with fussy guests at a royal feast:

“Since at such a feast there may be very high, mighty, noble, venerable and honorable lords and ladies who will not eat meat, it is necessary to have similar amounts of sea-fish and fresh-water fish, both fresh and salted, and these in as varied preparations as can be.

And because the dolpin is king of all the other sea-fish, it will be put first, then congers, grey mullet, hake, sole, red mullet, John Dory, plaice, turbot, lobsters, tuna, sturgeon, salmon, sprats, sardines, sea-urchins, mussels, eels, bogues, ray, calamary, weever and anchovies; the eels, both fresh and salted.

Of fresh-water fish: large trout, large eelse, lampreys, filets of char, great pike filets, great carp filets, great perch, dace, pollacks, greylings, burbots, crayfish, and all other fish.

Because there are at this feast a few great lords or ladies, as was mentioned before, who will have with them their Chief Cook whom they will order to arrange and cook particular things for them, that Chief Cook should have supplied and dispensed to him, quickly, fully, generously and cheerfully, anything he may ask for or that may be necessary for his lord or lady, or for the both of them, so that he may serve them as he should.”

By: Ari (Baking and Books) Wed, 25 Oct 2006 20:07:11 +0000 Isn’t it interesting how food preferences can stir up so many emotions? When my husband and I first met he was (and still is) a commited vegetarian, while I was a lifelong carnivore. I tell ya, more than once we almost broke up because he couldn’t taste a treasured family recipe! But in the long run I think it’s been good for me and has even inspired me to become VERY creative with recreating all the dishes I grew up loving.

Very interesting post. :)

By: Kelli Wed, 25 Oct 2006 19:50:59 +0000 Wow, this discussion is lots of fun.

I don’t consider myself a particularly picky eater, and I’m willing to try new stuff lots of the time. But there’s a lot of social pressure to not just try, but to like, things that people make when they cook for you. I get really anxious about being in a situation where I can’t honestly say I really liked whatever was made for me, since it tends to make the host feel bad about not doing their best, etc etc. (I am similarly anxious when receiving gifts that people bring me. Luckily, it turns out that the friends who adore me enough to bring me presents from the places they visit know me well enough to pick ones I like, so I haven’t had any crises in this area recently.)

So, basically, I tend to do more hosting than visiting, and I try to be a good sport when eating in my friends’ homes, and it goes okay. But I’m frequently pretty uneasy when they’re not people I’m super close to.

It’s a little odd, too, since *I* am generally not upset if people don’t like parts of a meal, as long as they’re able to make a complete enough dinner out of what’s there.

But the food as love thing is big, and it’s interesting to see different perspectives on this. I think it was a good year or so before Cara (who I refer to as (one of) my adopted sister(s), having gotten her family to take me in over the last few years) was really comfortable with the idea that I was happy to feed her whenever she came over. She felt like she was imposing for a really long time, and it took quite a while for her to really come to terms with the fact that I was happier if I *got* to feed her.

PS, I’m still trying to imagine a life without cheese. It’s just so weird to me.

By: Danielle Wed, 25 Oct 2006 17:05:36 +0000 Selena – I would never go up against an eggplant unless death (or dishonor) were on the line.

Gella – Well, both of us know what it’s like to have things you don’t eat, for whatever reason. Scott’s parties always have the food incredibly clearly labeled, and we were echoing that.

I do still consider myself a Jew. An agnostic Jew who doesn’t keep kosher, sure, but no less a Jew.

That sense of discrimination, of some Jews only wanting to share love (or respect, or time, or whatever) with other Jews, is part of what bothers Dave. He was born and raised Jewish, but when he encounters Jews who discriminate against non-Jews, he does his best to have them define him as not Jewish in their minds. (This did not go over well with my mother, as you can imagine.)

It is fascinating to me that this discussion stems so naturally from a food blog post on picky eaters. The food we eat has such a huge effect on the people we can spend time with and grow close to. Could anyone who didn’t like sushi or dim sum ever fit in as well with our crowd from high school? I never fit in with the part of the crowd then went out drinking instead, because I don’t much like alcohol.

Anyways, I like your point about everyone going out of their way a bit to create a way in which they can eat together. That indicates tolerance all around, which is a good basis for friendship.

But what about our Orthodox friends?