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So, what is the appropriate response to "Ewww!!!" anyway?

  • k

So... an acquaintance at work comes over to ask me to go out to lunch...

Me: "Oh, I brought my lunch today."
Her: "Oh, really, what did you bring?"
Me: "Salmon and..."
Her: (Quickly interrupts) "Ewwww!!!! Sick!!!!"
Me: "Salmon from leftovers last night and salad."
Her: (Shuttering and walking away) "Ewwww!!!"

What would you have said? Is there an appropriate response? Or is the appropriate response just to keep your mouth shut like I did? When it actuality, the next time she waxes poetic about how much she loves Carrabba's, I'll want to say "Ewww!!!" (But, I probably won't!)

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  1. Next time tell her you brought eye of newt.

    2 Replies
    1. re: dinwiddie

      LOL!! Love that response.

      Clearly this coworker is not a food person, and probably thinks the Sizzler is a big night out. I probably would have said something like, "I know, isn't it awful? But I make myself eat it."

      1. re: slacker

        not a people person, either.

    2. My two usual responses:

      "Thank you for sharing. Remind me to comment on your food sometime!"

      "Did I really just hear someone over the age of 10 use the expression, 'Ewwww'?"

      1 Reply
      1. re: Fydeaux

        Great replies. It is rude, to say the least. And you are right- anyone who is not a child should NEVER make those kinds of comments. We taught the kids to say something along the lines of " no thank you, I don't care for that" instead of EEWW or Gross.

      2. It depends who says it.

        If it was someone I usually get along with and like, I would say nothing.

        If it was someone else, I'd say, "at least it smells better than you do."

        1. I would bet $10, this person has never had salmon, but associates all fish with that "icky tuny fish" in a can her mom didn't know how to prepare.

          5 Replies
          1. re: rl

            In all fairness, I can't stand Salmon, I've tried to like it, had it all different ways including very fresh wild. Nope, hate it...

            Strangely enough I LOVE tuna tho'...


              1. re: JB


                ;) LOL!!! :)

                No, I don't even like it in Sushi Form. I think I have a mutated taste bud or something. Once at a fancy restaurant I was having the tasting menu with a groups of co-workers and everyone was Oooing and Ahhing over the Salmon coarse and when I took a bite of mine, I seriously almost gaged. :(

                Ah well... I guess that is why god created Halibut! ;)


                1. re: Dommy!

                  Indeed, the salmon coarse can be quite rough on anyone's tongue.


                  1. re: Dommy!

                    I'm with you on the Tuna. A sushi chef once tried to convert me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti. Err, no. Actually, I just had to spit it out in my napkin as I TOLD him I hated tuna!


            1. See post on weird foods of Asia above and turn her on to it.

              Grin and bear it, you aren't going to educate her palate, she'll never now what she's missing.

              Let me guess which chain she wanted to go to lunch at....


                2 Replies
                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                  Wow -- I can't stop laughing! Made my day.

                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                    You are funny! Thanks for the visual and the giggle!

                  2. Negative commenting on something you're eating drives me up the friggin' wall. So much so that I'm almost never even nice in my response. I usually say "Why do people feel the need to make disgusted faces at something someone else is enjoying?" If they feel like they should make me feel bad about something I like, I sure as hell am going to make them feel bad about being an inconsiderate ass. =)

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ryan

                      I think I've said something to effect of, "Why do you feel the need to comment on my lunch?!?" before... this was to a different co-worker and needless to say, she hasn't commented since! Maybe I need to get a new job!

                    2. "Who do you think you are, Kelli Pickler?"

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Bob W.

                        HAHAHA props to you for that comment.

                      2. As horribly rude as her comment was, and as much as I would be tempted to make a hilarious response like some of the others posted (or a simple "Hey, you're the one who asked"), I think my initial reaction would have been to ask her why salmon is so gross to her. But being someone who'll eat almost anything, I'm always curious why others are turned off by certain foods.

                        1. You could always take the "Calvin" approach...When Susie Derkins asked what kind of sandwich Calvin had, he said something along the lines of, "It looks like cross-section of Dachshund sandwich today..."

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: ricepad

                            hahahahahahahah. . .OK you win, IMHO that was the best and funniest answer so far. My response would've been just to "mmmmmmmm" with every bite and then slice open the durian for dessert.

                          2. I'm not very nice to the person making the face and noise. It always seems to be the blissfully ignorant, socially inept, brick-stupid that think they're being witty and funny. In cases where someone has found the need to provide commentary on something I've made that they have no wish to sample, I simply answer, "You bear your ignorance more proudly than a shield. Go buzz and flitter about someone else's table before I produce some Raid." The few times I've used it, it's produced the necessary results I wanted.

                            If you want something quicker, look at them in great pain-and-suffering and with extreme anguish whine, "Didn't that hurt you to think it?! It's killing me just listening to it!"

                            1. This happens to me frequently at work. Just today (again), actually. I was telling another co-worker that I ordered a guava cake from Aki's Bakery in San Jose for my birthday. Add: scrunched up facial expression meaning to convey digust and the response: "Uggggghhh guava?!?!?" Since I was at work, I restrained from voicing the snide remark on the tip of my tongue. Instead I explained that guava is a tropical fruit (!!) and Aki's makes a delicious guava cake consisting of guava chiffon, guava filling & guava glaze. I didn't know if her disgust was with guava in general (is it a distaste-inspiring fruit like durian?) or the fact that it would be an ingredient in a cake. So of course I didn't offer her the addictive Tamarind-Plum Gummies my grandparents brought back from the Philippines (sort of Li-Hing flavored) that I was snacking on at my desk. Other yummy foods that have received a yuck-reaction at work: dried squid (in "rope" form); sweet sticky rice with mango; butter chicken/chicken korma. I've worked here for years so I'm used to this reaction. For the record I'm in California: the Los Gatos/San Jose area near Good Sam hospital =P

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: SanJoseHound
                                Caitlin McGrath

                                Did you you tell her what a lovely bright pink color the cake is?

                              2. A reaction to salmon? It's not like you were eating delicious durian or tasty fermented smelly tofu!

                                My buddy used to get reactions like that at work... then I gave him a bag of Asian dried candied baby crabs, which he put in a candy jar on his desk. He would offer some "candy" to folks who made rude comments. The annoying folks soon stopped droppping by his cubicle and making remarks after that.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: JMF

                                  Surprising; usually people will eat anything if it's free--put it in their mouths, and ask questions later! ;)

                                  I love those crabs, tho...

                                  Link: http://www.bistrodraw.com/

                                2. You should have seen my co-workers when I'd pull out a bag of dried shrimp. Talk about "Ewwww!!" I simply told them, in a good natured, non-threatening way, that they didn't know what was good, and happily chowed away. Now that I'm retired, I can eat all the"disgusting" food I want.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Pat Hammond

                                    Good for you! Your response reminded me of a friend's story. She was forever putting up with her (TV dinner eating, clueless) roommate's comments about how gross fish sauce smelled. Granted, she felt borderline bad because it's pretty pungent.

                                    One day, he came home and another roommate was frying some shrimp and garlic. He immediately turned to my friend and said "Ugh, are you cooking with FISH sauce again?" She finally snapped and said "No, that's called fresh shrimp, and if you ate anything besides TV dinners you'd know what real food smells like." He got scared and ran away. I doubt he's commented since. Zing!

                                  2. You could go to HR and complain that you felt harassed and denigrated over your cultural food choices. This could lead to some interestng sensitivity seminars for the whole company.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: Larry

                                      That's brilliant. Thanks for making me laugh.

                                      1. re: Tracy L.
                                        Laughing Goddess

                                        Heh heh heh. Would make for a good episode of "The Office."

                                      2. re: Larry

                                        (g) -- HR, EDD, or whatever they call themselves these days at your shop, love to have projects like this.

                                        1. re: Larry

                                          Larry, I hope that you'll make a committment right here today to use your powers for good rather than evil!

                                          That's my favorite post in a long long time!

                                        2. The appropriate response is a horrified, icy stare, unaccompanied by any verbal follow-up (as though she had made a very rude and clearly deliberate noise). Say nothing, nothing at all. Leave the rude person twisting in the wind, and avoid her forever after.

                                          1. I feel your pain. I brought black bean soup one day for lunch and as I was eating it a coworker sitting at my table said "some food is meant only to be eaten by the blind." I was flabergasted, it was like eating next to the lunchroom Archie Bunker. She angered me on so many levels I couldn't think clearly enough for a retort.

                                            I think you should make a comment about Carraba's. In my experience people who have such definite opinions and don't think before talking will say something to the effect of "how can you say you don't like Carraba's", then at that point you can engage her in some dialogue.

                                            1. I think she's just lacking in social skills rather than deliberately putting you down. She probably thinks she's being funny and/or sympathetic. I would take it as that, rather than being offended.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Sharuf

                                                childish more like - never learned to think before she spoke and maybe keep some of her feelings to herself. I guess a lot of us share that trait!

                                              2. Take umbrage and slap her across the mouth.

                                                1. We do this to each other in our office all the time and joke about one another's food preferences -- I've been guilty of it, and have received many Ewws and strange looks since I do tend to bring in a lot of food no one else has heard of. No one here takes themselves all that seriously, thank goodness.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Ellen

                                                    My late Mother cured me of the eeew bit (unless joking). I once said eew to her food and got a lecture and was forced to eat the "offending" food. She rightly said that, as I was old enough, I could have quietly cooked an egg or something but it is beyond rude to go eeew over someone's food. I would have been quiet also and just thought they had no manners. JMHO, Linda

                                                  2. Hey, Katie!!! Long time no 'see'! I get this a LOT - friends, family, co-workers - and the funniest thing is that I work at a 'gourmet' grocers and my co-workers make the faces and comments about the food we are selling!!! What I always do is act totally ignorant - I say in a very mild voice, "Oh, you don't like...(whatever it is)". The usual response is that they haven't ever had it. Then I get to look totally stunned and perplexed (four years of acting school helps here, but I'll bet anyone could do it with a little practice) and say, "I don't understand, then. You couldn't possibly know if you like it or not, could you?" Their little reptile brains seem to get the signal that they have said something incredibly stupid and they tend to mumble and drop it. I have noticed that the instances definitely drop off when I use this method.

                                                    1. c
                                                      Caitlin McGrath

                                                      I think I might say, "it's okay, I didn't bring enough to share, anyway."

                                                      1. Passive/aggresive - look at them increduously - "What....you're kidding, right? You don't eat salmon?!" then walk away shaking your head like you've never heard of such a thing.

                                                        1. I would just go back to my lunch and let it go. I know lots of people who don't like fish, and there have been many times when I've inwardly winced at some people's taste in food (but I refrain from commenting). I have a friend who won't eat something if a piece of salmon even touched it. For example, we went out for tea one day and she wouldn't eat a whole tier of tea sandwiches because they abutted the salmon sandwiches. People are weird. Or just different. It makes life interesting.

                                                          1. "Aw, you just ain't never had it fixed right."

                                                            1. In my house, when someone says "Ewwww" the comment they will get back is "Great!! More for me!!!"

                                                              1. I work at a culinary school and still get those kinds of comments! Sometimes I just start yelling, "TRY IT!!!" and then start chasing them around with a spoonful! It's so fun to peer pressure people to trying stuff like frog legs. :-) 99% of the time they like it.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: ICE_Student

                                                                  As a chef, I seriously wonder why some of these kids go to culinary school. There are so many of them that eat nothing but boneless, skinless chicken breasts. It makes me wanna scream.

                                                                  I will never forget the time a female classmate of mine fainted during butchery class because she couldn't cope with breaking down a lamb leg.

                                                                  Where did she think meat came from anyways?

                                                                  1. re: bogie

                                                                    This is hugely widespread -- the link (vegetarians for ethical reasons, stop reading here) between death and dinner is almost completely gone. Chicken is "the thing that comes individually wrapped on a tray at Costco".

                                                                    This is why I was taught to hunt -- the idea being that meat comes from things that were living and were killed, thus wasting meat was an averah.

                                                                2. "Ewww" is mild compared to a co-worker of mine who make a motion like she's going to puke every time she sees me eat an egg sandwich.

                                                                  1. How about, ``You should hear what the salmon said about you...''
                                                                    seriously, though. always better to handle it with humour. either that or silence, assuming this person's the dolt they sound like.

                                                                    1. As a chef who makes sure his wife always has a nutritious and creative bag lunch, I would say that you should ignore such comments completely.

                                                                      Instead, you should feel secure and inwardly smug & superior that you have a better lunch that your philistine co-workers.

                                                                      1. "More for me!!" [said with a big smile]

                                                                        1. No, I guess you didn't hear me correctly, it is salmon not lamb.

                                                                          1. I would just bring a fishy salmon head (cooked or raw...up to you..)to work the next day and stick it in her handbag when she wasn't looking..eeewwwwwwww!!!