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Oct 2, 2006 10:11 PM

Saving the BEST bite of food for last ?

Hi.. Whether eating at home or at restaurants, as my wife 'works' the plate of food before her, she will determine what she considers to be the 'best' bite of food on the plate and fork-scoot it to the side. It could be a perfectly glazed shrimp, the center-most bite of a BLT sandwich, or a corner of cake with the best ratio of crumb-to frosting. Viewed positively, it seems like a logical and purposeful delay of gratification, buidling up to a final moment of satisfaction. Viewed otherwise, it can also seem (to me, the reluctant and dubious onlooker) like a forfeiture of living (and eating) 'in the moment' (like some tourists who miss the immediacy and grandeur just being at a vaction site, by trying so hard to capture it forever on camera -- though, in fairness to them, they have an accurate capture of such moments, while I must make do with wistful remembrances from a faulty memory). From an observer's perspective, it almost seems like a case of enjoying the intermediate forkfulls of food marginally less, or perhaps, with undue haste, in the attempt to capture the ultimate destinate: the perfect Final Bite. To be fair, I know that my wife greatly enjoys her meals as a whole, once the obvious minefields like gristle, fat, and mushrooms (her kryptonite) are either passed along to me or banished to the far corners of the bread plate. But I can also see that from the moment the plate is served, she is sizing up and rather quickly finding and then relegating what shall become her favorite bite to the promised land on the plate, for eventual dispatch and the familiar 'sigh of the sated'... Me, I suppose that I 'work' my plate too, by way of trying to 'evenly' portion the ratio of vegetables to starch to protein; but that usually only comes into play when there is, say, less than 10% of food remaining on my plate. For the lion's share of the meal, I am an equal opportunity trencherman: if I like what's on my plate, *every bite* is my favorite bite. (The only exception for me is layer cake, the eating of which I have ritualized to an absurd extreme).... So my question is, do others routinely feel that there is indeed a 'favorite' bite on every plate at every meal? And more importantly, is the favored bite consume first and foremost, or saved to be savored last? Oh, and apologies in advance, as these type of questions that I tend to pose here can often evoke stern replies from responders who may feel that my search for understanding is somehow condescending. I really do not wish to draw conclusions that imply judgment. Just want to know how you humans operate ;-)

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  1. Great post!

    I eat the 'favored' bite first. Mainly because I think I will enjoy it more on an emptier stomach than at the end of the meal, when I am full. I also tend to not finish all the food on my plate, which may affect my answer.

    1. I have always saved the best bite for last, but now there are many times I'm too full to have that last bite! I've had to change and now eat it toward the middle. I hate that!

      1 Reply
      1. I share your wife's penchant for food rituals! The plate of food simply doesn't taste as good to me if i can't eat the food in a sort of pattern. That pattern always involves saving the best bite for last...

        1. I've read that 80% of the enjoyment comes in the first 20% of whatever you're eating. Think about how great that first bite tastes, when you really savor it. I'm with jackie de about being too full by the end to enjoy it. When you're hungry, it tastes great; when you're full, no matter how good it tastes, it's not the same. The hardest thing I've done is leave half of a great dessert because I knew if I finished it, I'd be so full that I'd be uncomfortable.

          1. i always save the best bite for last, especially when it comes to sushi. i also try to have a little bit of each ingredient in the dish on each forkful.

            other weird little habits:
            - if i have a handful of m&m's, or any other individually colored candy, i never eat the same color one after another and i make it so that there is one of each color left. then i proceed to eat them in order of least favorite color to most favorite.
            - i eat nerds (the candy) in order of smallest to largest.
            - i eat candy corns by color section, starting at the tip, and try to bite as close to seperation of each color (i've gotten pretty good at this little personal challenge).

            i know, i sound like a nut-job.

            9 Replies
            1. re: rebs

              not nut-job, I thought I was the only one that ate candy corn that way!!

              1. re: rebs

                I do the same thing with sushi. Once I've tried each of the pieces, I know which are better than others, so I like to finish on a high!


                1. re: rebs

                  omg, I don't believe it. I not only eat candy corn this way, but m&m's too, in fact I use the same routine with jelly beans. Always have. And I ALWAYS leave my favorite sushi morsel for last, usually either uni, yellowtail, or something with a quail egg on it...

                  1. re: rebs

                    i don't eat m&ms very much these days and had forgotten my habits until i read your post! i do the same thing. it's nice to know there's others out there :)

                    1. re: auberginegal

                      Hhaha Im the worst for food rituals. Always eat sushi in order from the worst looking to the best looking. At breakfast I cut my toast into four small squares per piece and I eat the smallest ones first, leaving the biggest for last haha. Everything I eat, I savour. I like to make things last and last. When I have like vegetables or salad with my dinner (meat and rice for ex as the mains), Ill eat the vegetables first, leaving the less nutrious things for last since theyre my favourite parts of the dinner.

                      1. re: hungryabbey

                        I'll eat the salad and the vegetables first, then the protein, and last the carbs. But that's a weight control thing (which has served me well)!


                    2. re: rebs

                      Will be starting another thread about Chow-Idiosyncrasies but my DW and I discussed the corn and M&M's last night. You have two more whackos who buy-in to the candy corn by the color eating habit.

                      On M&Ms two distinct camps. DW throws a bunch in her mouth. I am more anal retentive. I spread them out on the table or desk and separate into colors. Then I eat my least favorites browns to favorites, now blues over reds. I know they all taste the same but this is a save the best for last to the extreme.

                      1. re: jfood

                        it's funny...your least favourites are brown, and i aim to eat that colour last. as a child, i somehow convinced myself that because they were brown, they tasted more 'authentic' as they were closest to real chocolate.

                        1. re: auberginegal

                          Oh my god, me too! Except that my absolute favorite was the now-discontinued light brown (which was replaced by the blue). It had a sort of mocha look that I imagined made it taste better.

                          Anyone else miss the light brown?