Food Rules

I love food (obviously) and I’m a pretty adventurous eater. I really enjoy trying new restaurants, and of course I’m a huge fan of experimentation in my own kitchen.

But I also have some very strict food rules by which I abide. These absolutes are for me and me alone; I’ll never judge you for not adhering to my rules, but please please don’t make me try something that falls within the no zone. It can only end poorly for both of us.

1. Cheese is always savory.

2. Fruit and cream cannot be mixed in a sweet way. (i.e., banana and milk on cereal, yes. Fruity yogurt, no.)

3. Cake is usually unnecessary, but if you must, mild angel food or spice cake is preferable.

4. Icing is almost always gross. So is syrup.

5. Tuna doesn’t come from a can. Or a bag.

6. There is never room for Jell-O.

7. If the choice is between an oil-based sauce or a red sauce, always go with oil. If the choice is between a red sauce or a white sauce, always go with red.  If there is only white sauce, hold the sauce.

8. Ixnay on the owdered sugar-pay.

9. Ketchup. Unacceptable in any form on any item.

I’ve found over the years that my friends like to try to come up with exceptions to my rules, but I’m not aware of any that have passed muster.

I’m not going to like your cheesecake, and I’m truly sorry. I’m sure it’s delightful to everyone else in the room, but if I could just politely decline, that would be awesome. You make a to-die-for tuna noodle casserole? No thanks, I’d actually rather die. Yes, I’m eating my waffles plain. Yes, I know they were engineered with “little nooks for holding tasty accessories and for getting proper syrup soakage.”* I’m still going to pass. Cottage cheese for lunch? Perfect. But if you come near me with those canned pineapple chunks to put on top I will stab you with my little plastic fork.

And so on.

I can’t be the only one with food rules. What are some of yours?

*Actual conversation in which my dismissal of the true purpose of waffle topology was ridiculed.


30 thoughts on “Food Rules

  1. I’m in 100% agreement with 7 of your 9. I eat fruity yogurt and don’t dislike cream sauces, although oil-based, then red, then white is the proper order of preference.

    We’re almost food rule twins!

  2. I wish everyone would publish their own list of food rules – it’d make it way easier to know what to cook when people come for dinner! I’m filing yours away for future reference. ;)

    I have very few self-imposed food rules (most of mine are by necessity), but I do agree with #8 and usually #2 – fruity yogurt is okay if it’s not artificially sweet; creamsicles and fruity ice cream are never okay.

  3. I guess I did know most of these food rules for you – although I know I sometimes try to bypass them – with no luck. Wholeheartedly agree on the ketchup and mostly on the syrup.

    and, it would be owderedpay ugershay.

        • I think I must have refined my rules over time!

          But I was never a fan of O fries from the UC in the middle of the night like the rest of you. Incidentally, the O is no longer even in the UC.

  4. I never really considered my preferences as rules, but I guess they are. Agree with you on tuna and powered sugar. Ketchup is my life force, though I do use less than I did as a kid. My biggest dislike is of sour, bitter foods- olives, pickles, sour kraut. I also hate root beer, which is apparently odd since I like regular beer.

    • I used to passionately hate sour kraut, maybe because as a kid we were forced to eat it on New Year’s Day. Now I don’t mind it, but I still only eat it on New Years. I don’t think it’s weird that you don’t like root beer but do like real beer – they’re totally unrelated. But I do think root beer is delicious, like real beer.

  5. “6. There is never room for Jell-O.” Ahh, that’s funny stuff.

    Mayo is not permitted to share open air with me.

    Bananas are slimey and gross. The flavor reminds me of the texture. The smell reminds me of the flavor. Just keep ’em on the other side of the room, please and thank you.

    Temperature and texture matter more than flavor.

    Most people use cheese in ways I don’t want them to use cheese. I first look to see if there’s anything I’d want that doesn’t have cheese.

    Nuts and dried fruit are easier and smarter than meat or dairy, but people think stuff it “gourmet” if they’re in it. Get the thing with nuts and dried fruit in the name, they probably didn’t over-cook the meat or dairy in that dish.

      • If you’re grating cheese for a dish, you are most likely missing an opportunity to do something much more interesting. (Save grating for even melting, like on pizza.) Just don’t substitute grated cheese for better oils and spices. Don’t use cheese as a shortcut to tasty.

        Fried cheese is tasty, sure, but you should eat healthier. The same goes for cheese sauces.

        Baked is a good way to use cheese as part of a dish.

        Sliced, broken, and crumbled cheeses are great ways to show off a good cheese.

        • Interesting. I’ll have to probe deeper to learn what you consider a “good cheese”. I make paneer sometimes and then use it in baked dishes, usually with Indian spices (obviously). But I love fried cheese and miss it terribly sometimes.

  6. I know we went over this but…

    1. Cheese is wonderful…in any form and with damn near anything.
    2. Yogurt is delicious. Always.
    3. Cake is necessary to life. Except Angel Food Cake–it is the flavorless sponge of baked goods.
    4. I would eat icing off the floor. I would eat icing off the pavement in the CLO alleyway. Come to think of it…I may have actually eaten icing off the floor…
    5. You’re right. Tuna=horrifying.
    6. Jell-O, while not a preferred treat, is fine. Particularly when it is covered in whipped cream (thus violating rule #2).
    7. My sauce order is red, cream, then oil.
    8. I enjoy powdered sugar on donuts. Is it the messiness? Help me understand.
    9. Ketchup is the best. As a toddler, I ate ketchup & mustard sandwiches on white bread. Ketchup on french fries, scrambled eggs, macaroni and cheese. I’ll eat ketchup on a steak in private.

    My food rules:

    1. Coconut is the worst texture in the whole world. Coconut flavoring is fine (i.e. coconut rum), but if you give me an Almond Joy, I promise I will gag for days.

    2. Raw onions are not okay. Again, texturally, they are wrong.

    3. Eggs that are “dippy”. I know they are probably cooked enough to eradicate any salmonella but, ugh, the oozing and the dripping. Ew.

    4. Cream and alcohol. No White Russians for me, thanx. There was a Vodka Creamsicle incident in college. I still have flashbacks.

    Given my penchant for taunting you about your food hang ups, feel free to throw mine in my face.

  7. forgot to comment on jello – almost never necessary – no matter what you add or how you decorate it, it is still jello. I have been known to eat it in combination with fruits/veggies, but would probably never make it myself.

  8. I’m going to have to agree with @Jen – particularly about cake and icing. And even down through her rules, with the exception of dippy eggs. I love dippy eggs. And Jell-O is unnecessary. Not awful, but unnecessary.

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  14. Some of my food rules.

    1. No “dry” eggs
    2. If you serve cranberries from a can at Thanksgiving I will tell everyone you are white trash.
    3. No ketchup on eggs. Steak is ok….
    4. No steak
    5. Not really related, but do not wipe off the table after any meal with a sponge, use a paper towel, sponges are gross…

    that’s all I can think of at the moment……there really aren’t a lot of food rules in this house other than if I made it, you will eat it or starve….(this is a rule for the children)

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