Kitchen Notes #3: On Food Judgment

Kitchen Notes is a series featuring random observations, haphazard thoughts, and half-baked ideas that most often bubble up when food is involved. If you’re interested in submitting your own set of notes, drop a line and get in touch!

Question:

Have you ever excitedly told somebody about something delicious you ate recently? What happened after that?

Answers (you can only choose one):

A. They smiled politely and changed the subject.
(These folks are unlikely to be foodies and therefore aren’t worth more of your attention. Next.)

B. They got excited too and started gushing about something delicious THEY ate recently.
(Better than the folks in A, but still might not be worth more of your attention if they made it all about them.)

C. They wistfully responded that they wished they could have been there and ask you to take them next time.
(These folks are probably safe. Just make sure they’re not abusing your knowledge of deliciousness.)

D. They got excited, you worked yourselves into a frenzy, they got an opportunity to eat the thing you said was so delicious, and then they dropped a bombshell on you:


“Heyyyy so I tried the thing you told me about last time lol. Umm yeah, maybe it wasn’t the best that day or something but… I guess I wasn’t that impressed??? Lol.”

People who will now forever be on your shit list

So maybe I take my food judgments a little too seriously. But I can’t deny that my foodie ego gets bruised when people don’t like something I like. Worse still, is when someone I care about genuinely doesn’t like what I like.

Seriously?

Cue existential crisis moment. How could a human that I otherwise see eye-to-eye with, (which in itself is difficult to find), fail to appreciate the food that I do? It just doesn’t make any sense.

There was that one time my boyfriend hated on these frozen mini Korean wontons I really like. I made a spicy soup with them and presented it proudly to him. At the time, he didn’t say anything. But a few weeks later when I suggested making it again, he said, “With those frozen wontons? Nah, I didn’t like them last time.”

Cue relationship crisis moment. I demanded to know why this didn’t surface when he drank the soup (and finished it, I might add). All this time, I was just obliviously prancing around like a dum-dum, thinking he liked my soup. And as he knew full well by then, one of the things I hate most is feeling dumb.

We worked it out (mostly). He agreed that in the future, he would (nicely) tell me he didn’t prefer the taste of something and not wait until weeks later to mention it. And then for my part, I would (nicely) agree to never make it again for him. Crisis averted.

But did that solve the issue of him not liking my wontons? Nope. So is there even a moral to this rambling, incoherent story?

It’s not a moral per se. But what I will recommend you do is to judge those who don’t like eating something you like. Judge them hard. Do it for at least a second or two. And then let it go. Because if you don’t?

You’ll never see them the same way again.

*In all seriousness, food judgment is a real, but highly frivolous pursuit that’s fun in doses, but not fun when taken seriously. Consider this a warning.

**And in double seriousness, food judgment done in fun should not be a cover for food shaming. We have enough of that in the world already, so let’s not fan the flames here.