Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Food Snob

(Photo: Here I am slicing a gorgeous Strawberry Cream Cake. Wow, it was good.)

I am a food snob. I don’t want to be labeled as such, but nonetheless, it is true. I think the definition of a food snob should be added to the dictionary and this is what it should read:

Food snob: noun, a person who looks down on chain restaurants, refuses to eat Hamburger Helper or other such packaged “food”, never uses dried parsley—always fresh and preferably flat-leaf parsley, and always insists on bringing at least 1-2 items to a potluck in case there is nothing else at the pot luck worth eating.

If you do not fit the above definition I urge you to stop reading now as some of the following may offend you non-finicky eaters out there.

If that definition still leaves you in the gray area of whether or not you too are a food snob, read the following 2 paragraphs.

I have six types of rice in my house: Arborio rice, Basmati rice, Calrose rice, Jasmine rice, Orzo (okay this is technically pasta but I make it like a pilaf so that counts as rice to me), and regular old long-grain white rice. I rarely use the latter because it is bland and tasteless. It’s still okay for pilaf though. Do you agree with me on this one? If so, keep reading.

I do not buy margarine to bake with. (I do however buy Canola Harvest margarine spread for toast because I have inherited from my mother her high cholesterol.) I only bake with butter—especially cakes. A cake made with shortening or margarine is tasteless. A cake made with butter is magic. I do not like cakes from a mix. Chocolate is the only suitable cake from a mix, and only in a pinch. I only use mixes for last minute cupcakes for my kids. (See—they are not total food snobs yet.) Do you agree with me on this cake thing? If so keep reading. If not, I take no responsibility for hurt feelings that may result from reading the following. If you have cooked with canned cream of mushroom/chicken soup in the last year you are forbidden to read any further!

Have you noticed that we food snobs say the stuffiest things? My friend Liz is often quoted as saying, “I could hardly choke it down.” My friend Kelly says, (in reference to Applebee’s or TGIFridays), “I can make better food than that.” And then there are my own comments. Taco Bell is referred to as Toxic Hell.

Speaking of Taco Bell, that’s really when my evolution into food snobbery began. It was approximately 1984 and I was 10 years old. My family and I had been on a camping trip in Yosemite for two weeks. On our way home, in Bishop, California my parents reluctantly stopped at Taco Bell to get some food for us. I say reluctantly because my mother is from Mexico and I think this is her one lapse in judgment when it came to eating “Mexican food.” Anyway, every one gets their nasty “Beef” Tacos and I refuse to eat anything. We are at least another 5 hours from home and I, a 10-year old kid, would rather go hungry than eat that Textured Vegetable Protein garbage stuffed in a “shell” and sold as safe for human consumption. (Shells are found on the beach, not in restaurants!) Thus the downward spiral into food snobbery began.

It’s not enough that I am a food snob either. I am determined to force my children into having such a discriminating palate. I’m not doing too bad either. Their favorite restaurant is Bombay House—spicy Indian cuisine. Yum. Sometimes I’ll have Paul pick up take-out on his way home from work. This always disappoints Nathan because he says the food tastes better if you eat in the restaurant. That’s my boy! And how many kids know what a citrus reamer is? My 4-year old daughter Ilene does. That’s my girl! They rarely drink soda and I don’t think they even know what a Twinkie is. (Just as yours don’t either Liz!)

Okay here’s a funny story: My friend Kelly’s husband was complaining to her that at Scout activities they like to make something they call “Peach Cobbler”, which consists of canned/fresh peaches spread in a Dutch oven with a yellow cake mix mixed with a can of 7-up spread over the top. Then you bake it. Then you eat it. Then you vomit. Okay, maybe you don’t vomit but you should. Anyway, a few weeks ago I was camping with most of my family, including my two sisters Patricia and Carolyn. I barely heard Carolyn say “cake” and “soda” in the same sentence to which Patty then “shusssed’ her. “Excuse me!”, I say. “What are you talking about? Are you going to make peach cobbler with 7-up! I don’t think so.” Patty then defends herself, “It’s really good!” Apparently they weren’t going to let me in on this secret recipe hoping that I would take a bite of this poison and declare it’s the best dessert I’ve ever had. Oh, and did I mention they were going to use DIET 7-UP?

Now I could go on and on with food horror stories like these although I know if I get too specific that this will somehow be read by the offenders and my aim isn’t to personally hurt others but rather to create a few chuckles.

Oh, dang it! I can’t resist. I will be as ambiguous as possible so as to protect the innocent.

I know someone who stacks processed cheese slices and grates them on her box grater to make Cheeseburger Tacos. She is so proud of these and I am glad that she loves them. She is a wonderful person, but come on, that’s disgusting.

I had a roommate who made another atrocious concoction. She crumbled saltines and mixed them with tuna and cream of mushroom soup. Then baked it. Then ate it. It seriously looked like cat vomit. And this is coming from someone who did have a lapse in food snobbery during her college years. I confess I did eat packaged mac n’cheese and ramen noodles quite a bit. Okay, I still like ramen noodles. There, I said it. So I guess I am not a full fledged food snob yet if I still like ramen, but I find that I am getting worse as the years go by. All this talk about food is making me hungry. Pass the Doritos.


Carolyn said...

You ARE a food snob and I am glad you can laugh about it because I sure do.

cyn the win said...

Are you laughing with me? Or at me Carolyn?


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