Today’s topic comes from one of my most frequently asked questions: Do you like . . . ? This is often followed by “really?” Clearly, it’s time to throw open the doors of the Practical Cook confessional booth once more (this thing is more like a turnstile at this point). What follows is a list of things I will or won’t eat, with a follow-on discussion on whether that makes me picky or snobby.
Dear Practical Cook, do you like:
No, quite nearly a hell no. Exceptions include the sugared orange slices, which are a favorite childhood thing because my grandpa adored them, and buttered-popcorn-flavored Jelly Belly jellybeans, just because.
Yes, I like almost anything on a stick. In Texas, I once saw fried chicken on a stick, which seemed excessive, but everything is bigger in Texas. I Punt! with the veggie corn dogs for the kids, and they actually prefer those. To borrow a phrase from a gentle reader, they serve as mustard/ketchup vectors.
Yes, even if they’re not fried in duck fat (thank you KokyuBBQ for that innovation). There’s a local place (Southern Rail for the Chapel Hillians) that serves some of the most crispedy fried tots ever, and they rock. I didn’t love these as a kid, actually, but I do like them now, especially deep-fried and with beer.
I love a wood-fired pizza. I love pizza with truffle oil. I like pizza with BBQ on it. And I like Totino’s after I’ve been sick. Seriously, it’s hard to find a pizza I don’t like. Exception, and I will name names here, when I worked at IBM briefly, their cafeteria served inedible pizza. Shame on them. I really, truly, deeply love pizza.
Rarely eat them. I don’t love potato chips. Snobbery? Perhaps. But I’m yet to find the chip that’s worth the caloric/cholesterol spend for me. I make my own sweet potato chip, and I prefer them.
Love them, but rarely eat them. These are special occasion food for me, like at a ball park or a cookout. And when I eat them, it’s all the way, steamed bun and nice and messy. My current love is the Trader Joe’s All-Beef varietal. Snobby, perhaps, but they are really tasty.
Yes indeedy. Again, this is late-night bar food. I like them crisp with lots of cheese for maximum cling.
So what’s your take? Am I particular, picky, or snobby? I would argue that I am, like most people, a product of my roots. Food carries memories, powerful ones, and I like plenty of what I was raised on. For the foodies who disdain, I’m sure there’s something crunchy or salty or in cellophane lurking in your closet.
What are your closet cravings? Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me. And all the gentle readers. Post a comment or Tweet away.
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Coming up next, When a casserole is really a love letter, the secret meaning of food.