Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >
Nov 28, 2006 01:25 PM

De Gustibus....

But I'm going to argue about taste, anyway. Or at least vent.

DH is of the mind that the worth of everything, yes everything, is a matter of personal taste.

A BK stacker trumps steak au poivre if you're a fan of Burger King.

Kid Rock beats Bach if you like....rap rock, or whatever genre Kid rock sings.

The Holiday Inn and the Ritz both provide equal services.

We have this argument usually on long car trips, just because it keeps us entertained.

Now there are times when I really want to eat a Big Mac while listening to Duran Duran in the parking lot of a Motel 6. And for fifteen minutes I'm in heaven. THAT SAID, even in my 8 million calorie-and-80's-hair-laden bliss, I *know* that Simon le Bon can't sing (but he's still cute) and that McD's beef is crap.

I know I'm preaching to the choir here...but is there any way to WIN this argument? I used to think DH would argue his side just to get my goat (which it does)...but he's sincere. Sigh.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Half of my office thinks like that thats why our Xmas party is at the 99 restaurant (if you don't know it's a NE chain). It's the "if I say so then it is" school of life. Plus there's the "more is more" mentality and the "cheaper is better" one too.

    1. I consider these type of values to be absolute, rather than relative. I enjoy excellent Mexican cuisine often. However, I also enjoy Taco Bell -- crispy, crunchy, salty, cheesy, melty. . .those commercials get it right. Sometimes you just gotta have it. But I would never confuse Taco Bell for Mexican food, or even compare the two. It's just Taco Bell, and I'm happy with that. Apples to oranges.

      So you and your husband each have it partially right. You can enjoy McD's but you're too focused on how it's not prime sirloin, while he negates the fact that there are cuts of meat that are better quality than others. If the food gives you "happy tummy," as my DH says, then enjoy it. If you would prefer something more "high class," then go ahead and get that instead. A chacun son gout!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Covert Ops

        True. Sometimes I need a thick soggy Uno's pizza. What used to frost my mom was when she worked eight hours on a meal and then me and my dad would scarf it down without a word, maybe a grunt. Just as if she had nuked a couple a Hungry Mans. You're worried he's eating food without tasting, or that he has no taste? :0

      2. I go with the, "It is what it is" way of thinking. A McDonald's cheeseburger is just that. Unhealthy and delicious. I wouldn't compare it to Peter Lugers or Smith and Wollensky but I would compare it to Wendy's or Burger King. Just keep it all relative. Her name is Rio and she's danicing.........

        1 Reply
        1. re: sgny

          Onlytwo, probably that he has no taste!? Covert, happy tummy rules and sgny I know you're right. The thing is, a year or so ago we scrimped and saved and went to Capital Grille in Chestnut Hill (just outside of Boston). I think a side of spinach for one was approx. $20 (not really, but it WAS pricey) but it was really, really REALLY good. (I haven't been to a Smith and Wollensky. Must go) Coming out, DH said "That was good, but I could have got the steak tips at the 99s (I know that place, onlytwomuses) for 10 bucks plus two sides". WELL YES HE COULD HAVE but... I'd like to ascribe it to his no-nonsense old fashioned frugality but come on now. I could go on all day, but I'll stop. I will say on occasion I too like the Nines burger and fries and slaw, and a quart of beer or whatever they give you but I would NOT mention it after CG, no matter what the sticker shock. I'll really stop.

        2. I think you actually proved HIS point by saying that there are times when you do really want to hear "The Reflex" while chowing down on BK patties. It's all contextual, and even removing the fact that taste arguments are about aesthetics, there is no absolute, no objective measure of worthiness in matters of taste. I think you'd find it difficult to argue that that little chunk of "heaven" you find in the car in front of the Motel 6 is objectively better than an analogous chunk of heaven you'd find eating $50 appetizers at Le Cirque.

          My strong belief is that chowhounds recognize this and are willing (and eager) to not only ignore the window dressing and go right for the food that pleases them best, but also to engage with each other about what they enjoy.

          You'll see loads of disagreement even among this self-selecting set, and apart from basic agreement that food generally (with a few notable exceptions) shouldn't be burned or spoiled, there's very little consensus on what constitutes great food.

          All of that said, there are lots of people who make the subjectivity of taste argument only as a means of telling you that you shouldn't dislike the things they like. That is, of course, a contradiction. Taste cuts both ways.



          1. Yes, everything is a matter of personal taste. Even ideas.

            But just as nobody in the world is born loving opera, there are many wonderful things in life that give incredible pleasure that you have to learn in order to love.

            So, first acquire knowledge and experience. Then you can talk about taste.