Food Freaks

One of the very first posts we ever did here concerned folks who take their appreciation for cuisine to a level to which I simply can’t relate.

I mention it because I recently was privy to a conversation where two such people were complaining to each other about the lack of locally available Arame (it goes on a salad, I guess?) and then began trading superlatives over the palatability of something called Bottarga (no clue…). When one of them began to discuss how Haggis was literally wrecking their marriage, I left the room.

Hey, I’m a simple guy with simple tastes. If food does it for you, knock yourself out. It’s only when it starts to ruin other people’s lives that I have to draw the line.

Which is what made me think of this post from last April. And so, here it is:


Let’s get it straight who I’m talking about first. Not “foodies”: Food FREAKS. Cause I’m definitely not referring to your normal, everyday person who just likes food, or really good food, …or even kinda weird food (e.g. my Bottarga aficionados above).

I couldn’t care less if somebody DVR’s the Food Network during the day, or if their kitchen looks like it’s ready to handle tonight’s dinner crowd at the Four Seasons.

NOT my kitchen (…just in case you were wonderin’...)

Nope. I’m talking FREAKS, such as the ones discussed in the following letter/response on the cooking website

Dear Michael,

I am the mother of the bride. My daughter is a third culture kid, having grown up outside the US for her teen years. Consequently, she has been exposed to a wide variety of cultures and cuisines.

Her one request for her wedding day was to have a small luncheon for close friends and family to celebrate the occasion.

This sounds fine so far, right? Keep reading: 

Our problem is my husband’s siblings “special diet” issues. They embody the evangelical wacko dietary fads that consume a certain slice of the upper middle class. We have every variation of diet extremism from the paleo-diet to variations of the casein/gluten/lactose/sugar-free philosophies which means they are limited to brown rice, some grilled meats, and some fruits/vegies. Apparently they are worried about leaky guts and fingers swelling from gluten exposure. 

To compound the problem, there are quite a number of them who follow variations of this extremism—10 to 12 people out of a party of 75 or so.

Since we are hosting our luncheon at an Italian restaurant, we will embrace cheese, pasta, gelato (and wedding cake) etc. with gusto. My husband wants to include his siblings in our celebration. However I have no desire to pay hundreds of dollars for meals that will be picked at, ignored or otherwise snubbed because of their food fascism

I will not have them ruin my daughter’s day by taking up space, refusing to eat.

If it were a matter of vegetarian vs. meat eating–that’s easy to accommodate. However this dietary demand goes beyond mere plant vs. animal.

And I gotta say, I’m on this lady’s side.

Now before anyone lays into me about “But, but, but…they might have a food allergy” or some such thing, that’s not what this is. I know: I’m the only non-allergy person IN my house. My two boys have food allergies; they know what to do, and they don’t submit a list of “menu suggestions” to their buddies’ moms before they agree to stay for lunch.

Heck, my wife is allergic to an entire panoply of foods, along with 95% of what normally constitutes ‘air’. SHE’s figured out ways to adjust without being a pain in the tokhes to her friends; these people in the letter could, too.

This is a food preference issue. Or better yet, a food insistence issue.


But, seriously, was this ever a concern in YOUR family when you were raised? Ever? A conversation along those lines simply never would have happened in my house:

“Hey, Ma? Rocky, Kell and Tommy are all coming over for dinner, so just to remind you:

Kell only eats brussels sprouts FROM Brussels, and Rocky is on that 1,452 hour cleanse, so right now he can only consume twelve-day-old goat cheese and/or rainwater that was retrieved from a catch basin in the Himalayas.

Tommy has relaxed his diet, and is completely fine with organic, cage-free, summer raised, white meat/chicken breast, ….grilled only. And well-done, too: not soggy. You remember last time, right?

He’ll have his own rub and spices, too, just like always.”

C’mon…… When we had meals that didn’t require a pair of scissors to access them, we were pretty pumped. And that was that.


Where did this come from? I know it seems to be a metropolitan, elitist, over-educated thing, but even THEN it’s ….a tad overboard.

My suggestion? Round ’em all up, lock ’em in a hockey arena, put ‘Gilligan’s Island‘ (all 3 seasons) up on the Jumbo-tron, and feed them nothing but grilled cheese, Oscar Mayer bologna, Campbell’s soup, and cold cereal.

Some beef jerky wouldn’t hurt, either.

Tap water; not bottled. They could still have coffee (hey, I’m not heartless), but not the fancy stuff. Folgers or Maxwell House only; their choice.

Either that will re-calibrate their brains-&-taste-buds back to “socially acceptable human” level again, or their heads will explode.

Win-win, I say.

12 responses to “Food Freaks

  1. I like your solution! But I have the sneaking suspicion they’ll be demanding gluten free artisanal bread and free range organic cheese.

    Gotta love Gilligan’s Island. Any opera I learned as a child, I learned from Giligan’s Island and Merrie Melodies cartoons. (Kill the wabbit! Kill the wabbit!)

    • Yeah, until I was 10 or so, I wasn’t aware that I knew music from ‘Carmen’, by Wagner, etc.,… courtesy of both sources:
      (“Hamlet, Hamlet, Don’t be a Lamb-let…”)

      Shows back then were sneaky that way!

      Thanks for being here, Sally!

  2. hahaha! Loosely connected to your blog post:
    I read a book: The Eighty Hour Diet.
    It’s not a diet. Eat anything you want just 8 hours a day and the rest of the day (16 hours) you fast. Drink non caloric drinks but no food. Started it 11 days ago and I’ve lost over 5 lbs. Interesting. Hubby has now started it too. We’ll see…
    Maybe I’m a food fanatic? 😱

    • Hope it works for you, tannngl! Regardless, you don’t qualify as a food freak: you’re waaaay too nice a person.

      These people need professional help, and would likely be jerks in some other way if they didn’t focus their obsessions through food.

      Just my opinion, of course!

  3. You really ought to try the Haggis, Man. It’s similiar to Saumaugen;

    Saumagen is a German dish popular in the Palatinate. The name means “sow’s stomach”. The dish is similar to a sausage in that it consists of a stuffed casing; however, the stomach itself is integral to the dish. It isn’t as thin as a typical sausage casing (intestines or artificial casing). Rather it is meat-like, being a strong muscular organ, and when the dish is finished by being pan-fried or roasted in the oven, it becomes crisp. The dish is somewhat similar to the Scottish haggis, although the stuffing is quite different.

    Saumagen stuffing consists of potatoes, carrots and pork, usually spiced with onions, marjoram, nutmeg and white pepper, in addition to which, various recipes also mention cloves, coriander, thyme, garlic, bay leaf, cardamom, basil, caraway, allspice, and parsley. Sometimes beef is used as well; a variant popular in autumn replaces some or all of the potatoes with chestnuts. The larger ingredients are diced finely. After that, the saumagen is cooked in hot water, slightly below boiling temperature, to prevent rupture of the stomach. It is either served directly with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes or stored in the refrigerator for later use. To warm it again, the saumagen is cut into slices approximately 1/2 to 1 inch thick, which are then fried in an open pan. The typical accompanying drink is usually a dry white wine, sometimes a German beer.

    I’ve had the Saumaugen before and it is quite tasty as long as you don’t think about it.

    • I’ll take your word on it, bro!

      Nothing against Haggis – it was the vitriol aimed at this person’s spouse which they associated with Haggis that made me leave.
      I mean: it’s food, right? You’re seriously going to let FOOD cause a riff between you and your spouse?

      My wife is FAR from a gourmet (and it would be lost on me if she was), but I don’t think I ever threatened divorce if she didn’t join me in my love for food “X”.
      This person was, and they were serious.

      Heck, if eating Haggis would HELP my marriage, I’d eat it.
      ‘Course, I’m grateful it hasn’t come to that, but still……

  4. Reblogged this on The Peanut Gallery and commented:
    Peanut Gallery: And now – for a good laugh…

  5. Can haggis destroy a marriage? I seriously had no idea!

    • Thanks! I needed a good chuckle!

      • You’re entirely welcome, James.

        Glad you liked it:
        one of my very first pieces of satire here, so I have a bit of a sentimental attachment to it.

        And as you might guess, I wasn’t raised eating particularly fancy dishes (…that’s probably an understatement…).
        Give me a peanut butter sandwich any day, and I’m a happy guy….

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