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Food Snob or Food Lover?

Which do you consider yourself to be? Here's a simple test. Aunt Mabel brings one of her truly inspired desserts to the family get together. All of the cousins are oohing and ahhing over the taste, do you overlook the cool whip and dive in or take a tiny sample which you will later unceremoniusly discard in a nearby trash bin when no one is looking?

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  1. I'm a food snob. Through and through!

    1. food lover. I look forward to my mom's squash casserole at thanksgiving to foie gras three ways at Joel. i find that food snobs are merely picky eaters with no imagination.

      1. by the wording I'm surprised that someone would respond as a snob. The OP appears to be biased. I'm a lover. There's no ignorance like knowing what's right.

        1. All my relatives are outstanding cooks (four generations of restaurant/food careers'll do that to you), so I'd just dive in.

          But I'm not sure I completely understand the question, so perhaps you might rephrase for li'l ol' me...

          1. Food lover. I'll always be the one sneaking a bite of casserole with cheese and corn flake toppimg -- or a how about that pretzel/jello dessert? But I'm the first in line for some great caviar or cheese. I agree that a true food lover rejoices in all types of food, always open to new experiences. As such you really can't eliminate foods -- well, except perhaps SPAM, but that's a whole different topic.

            1. Guilty as charged, food lover! I would overlook the Cool Whip and eat it...but then ask for recipe and go and make my own with REAL whipping cream!!! <evil laughter>

              1 Reply
              1. re: Val

                Go ahead and laugh. The last laugh would be on you if you tried to substitute whipped cream for Cool Whip as an ingredient in most of those "Cool Whip specials." It doesn't work. Give it a try.
                There's a way to do it, but I'll leave it to you to discover what substitution to make in the privacy of your kitchen.

              2. Food lover...I would thoroughly enjoy Aunt Mabel's cool whip dessert...once in awhile a bowl of artificial ingredients will not kill you... but not make it at home... for me, I would whip real cream...

                1. From above:

                  1. "I'm a food snob. Through and through!"
                  2. "I'm a lover. There's no ignorance like knowing what's right."
                  3. "...so perhaps you might rephrase for li'l ol' me..."
                  4. "food snobs are merely picky eaters with no imagination."
                  5. "I'll always be the one sneaking a bite of casserole with cheese and corn flake toppimg -- or a how about that pretzel/jello dessert?"

                  Five out of five!!!! This one promises some good fun. Good work Sally and the first five respondents.

                  And my answer? I'm a snob...about being a food lover and not a food snob.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                    ahhh.. so this will be a rhetorical battle? The old reverse snobbery angle eh? Well said, and I'm gonna go get a DQ blizzard... for dinner!

                      1. re: amkirkland

                        Ha! That cracked me up. Thanks for that.

                    1. Can I be both? If Aunt Anybody made a treat and people raved, I will fully admit something is lovely, Cool Whip, or no.

                      If Chez Whatever serves cool whip in their tiramisu? uh, no!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: onomatopoeia

                        oh goodness... even if aunt mabel put cool whip on the tiramisu i wouldn't eat it... aunt mabel shouldn't be making tiramisu... she needs to bring the bright green "salad" that somehow gets included as a side dish and not a dessert.

                      2. i'll try about anything, whether it's because all the cousins are oohing, or because i've never had it before. doesn't mean i'm gonna like it. but who knows? maybe cool-whip has some affinity for canned peaches and butterscotch chips i never knew about -- like red burgundy and duck. so i'm open-minded. but being a food lover (or a chowhound) doesn't mean you'll eat anything. that's being a pig.

                        1. A little bit of both. If it tastes good and it's reasonably healthy, I'm in, regardless of what it looks like or where it came from. That said, I feel sorry for people who think fast food is the height of gastronomy, or who never try something new.

                          1. I want to say I'm a food lover. After all, an octogenarian friend's Cool Whip key lime pie has been devoured at my table, and I will eat Miracle Whip when I'm at my mom's house, but more and more I think I'm becoming a food snob. I don't want to be a food snob, but quite often I find myself flinching at what I see people eating. There's so much food available that costs the same yet tastes much better and I don't see why people eat the nasty stuff they do. Pretty soon I'll start lecturing them on their food choices. It's a lonely life, being a food snob.

                            1. Apologies to Sally, but I think this is the classic example of a trick question. My approach:

                              1- Did you try Aunt Mabel's dessert, notwithstanding your trepidation about the ingredients? If you didn't, yes, you are a snob, but also rude.

                              2- Did it taste good? If yes, end of story. I mean, isn't this the chowhound point? Now, that said, in my opinion, most recipes made principally from ingredients not occuring in nature do not taste good, but there are definte exceptions. While I am having trouble thinking of an exception right now, I do not think this makes me a snob :-), and I note that while I'm not sure the glop that constitutes a McDonald's vanilla shake is BETTER than a real shake, it is in fact good.

                              3. In my opinion, my opinion does not win out for anyone but me. For instance, I think ketchup is foul. Obviously, most Americans disagree. Oh well.

                              1. If cool whip is the Official Test, count me a snob.

                                Did Aunt Mabel learn everything she knows about food from commercials on daytime TV? Or can she make first rate mashed potatoes from cheap potatoes, milk, salt and pepper? There is plenty of room for non-snobbish food lovers in the territory north of instant potato flakes and south of heirloom potatoes that come in pretty colors.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: atheorist

                                  Just to point out the exception that proves the rule. A few years ago some trendy high end chefs were using mashed potato flakes - I kid you not - as a coating on fish, much as they're using panko, nuts, and things like that now. I had a hard time with that one, loathing instant mashed potatoes as I do, but the fish dishes were delicious. Not to mention expensive and quite the rage for a brief fashionable period.
                                  They are, after all, nothing but dehydrated potato.

                                2. My answer: neither and both - at the same time.

                                  If someone served a much loved dessert with Cool Whip on it, I admit I'd ask myself "cool whip, huh?" (if I was told cool whip was in the dessert) ...And yet I'd dig in because it's the polite thing to do and because you just never know, I might like it and a little Cool Whip is a minor detail in the whole scheme of things.

                                  1. I'd boil it down to this: If you're dismissing a "mainstream" food product for no other reason than the fact that it is mainstream, or dismissing a chain restaurant for no reason other than the fact that it's a chain restaurant, that would make you a food snob. I'd actually say one of my favorite desserts found at family get-togethers is Jell-o Instant Pudding in a graham cracker pie crust (I don't think anyone in my family uses Cool Whip for that though.) Of course, even though I post here with some regularity I don't necessarily know if I'd call myself a "food lover" either. I'm not big on fine dining, and usually don't get too fancy with my home cooking either unless I'm cooking for other people (as a bachelor, that doesn't happen too often.) I also have no problem with chains, and eat at some of them on a semi-regular basis. Mostly I'm here to try to learn things, so I at least know what I'm doing in the kitchen and so I'm not eating garbage all the time.

                                    1. What's more important to you - Aunt Mabel's feelings or what you put in your mouth?

                                      1. let's put it this way- I come from humble beginnings! My mum grew up in a family of many with not much to go around and one of the staples in our house was...omg you'll never forget this one...fried hot dogs, cooked in tomato soup and poured over mashed potatoes- it feeds a lot of mouths cheaply! How can I become a snob now?

                                        1. I'm a food lover who could be considered a food snob--I really dislike the use of "phoney" stuff in my food-ie-cool whip-at a coop party someone made a pea salad with frozen peas and mayonaise--I could not eat it-it grossed me out-food snob or lover--food lover

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: marlie202

                                            Are you against the peas being frozen or the fact that they have mayo?
                                            I love frozen peas and mayo and I love potato salad with peas and curry mayo.
                                            I love to try new things...I don't like a lot of the things I try...but it doesn't limit my willingness to try. Especially when not trying something new means insulting a friend or host. I guess that makes me a "food adventurer".
                                            MIL doesn't always bring the dishes I would serve but I'll dish em out right along side all the ones I have made and you know, sometimes their good. Maybe not what I would make but still good.
                                            Anyhow, Marlie202, I was just curious about the pea thing and the rest is most certainly directed to the OP and all others and not just you.

                                            By the way, did you ever eat a frozen pea straight out of the bag? I swear their GOOD. My kids love 'em.

                                            1. re: bolivianita

                                              I have nothing against peas-nor mayo--but a salad of peas and mayo grosses me out

                                            2. re: marlie202

                                              If you were at a lovely luncheon in Paris and were served Salade Russe, would you turn up your nose? A nice presentation of cold peas, carrots,and green beans in a mayonnaise dressing? I'm sure you've seen it everywhere, restaurants fine and humble, from Fauchon to supermarket delis, all over France. There's a similar dish in Germany and Austria. It's delicious. Why was it any less so at your coop?

                                              English peas lose their flavor within a day or so after picking. Rarely can you get passable ones in a supermarket or even specialty grocers. They freeze extremely well and, if a cook knows how to prepare them, the difference between fresh and frozen is barely distingishable. They are certainly preferable to deteriorated less-than-fresh produce from a market. Unless it's in your head.

                                              1. re: MakingSense

                                                Yep, frozen peas are great. I keep them on hand all the time.

                                            3. Both. It's about what makes you happy when you eat not how others characterize you.

                                              Here's my eats from last night:

                                              - homemade 3-hour caramelized onion soup with gruyere;
                                              - several beautiful clementines from Morocco
                                              - Reduced fat super chunky peter pan peter butter and strawberry marmelade on toasted whole grain wonder bread
                                              - frosted flakes with 2% milk

                                              After others go "Blah" i go "Ah."

                                              I like white castle, peter lugers, street food and bouley but will not eat in red lobster, or cheesecake factory. I'll eat a slice of pepperoni pizza one day and some french ham on a baquette with a slice of gruyere the next, stand in my kitchen eating a hot dog while making Hazan's bolognese. So if that makes me a food snob or food lover or any other lable, please stick it on my forehead and pass the bacon.

                                              BTW, I would not "overlook" the cool whip since I like it. Do i like real whipped cream better? absolutely.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: jfood

                                                jfood - I love how you write. AND I agree with you 110%.

                                                1. re: prettyme

                                                  Thank you. I wish you were my English teacher in High School. Never saw THAT comment.

                                              2. I'd say food lover and everyone's posts are making me LOL. Love this thread...question though: boyfriend is a food lover - told me though the other night at a friend's house -the guy made fried spam mixed with equal parts of cheddar cheese and mixed that with cream of mushroom soup - heated it through, placed on hamburger buns and broiled it. I thought I was a die hard food lover - til this one. He swore it was good but I'm having a hard time believing this one - would the above mentioned CH's try this one?

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: snoboardbabe77

                                                  I'm a food lover through and through. I might have tried your friend's dish, 'cause I'm struggling to figure-out the taste in my mind, and all I can come-up with is "salty." Heck, one of my favorite comfort food dishes (thanks Mom!) is canned tuna, heated with golden mushroom or cream of mushroom soup and a bit of curry powder, served over toast and then broiled.

                                                  1. re: snoboardbabe77

                                                    Oh man...I'd have been all over that like a cheap suit! It sounds really tasty!

                                                  2. I eat it with a smile, and I actually enjoy it.

                                                    In this foodie realm in which we operate there's nothing more obnoxious than food snobbery.

                                                    1. I have been thinking a lot about this, and my original answer of being a "Food snob, through and through"...While I have been accused of being a food snob by some. I am undeniably a food lover.
                                                      Sometimes my extreme passion for food and drink can be misinterpreted by those who lack it. I guess to non-foodies I can come across as a food snob, and most people in my day to day life are non-foodies!

                                                      1. Food lover, especially when it comes to dessert.

                                                        1. This discussion astounds me. According to these standards, I'm an *unapologetic* food snob, and I'd think most people on this site would be too. I'm also a wine snob, a restaurant snob, and oh yeah, a music snob. I just think of it as having standards for the things I'm passionate about. I'll eat pretty much any cuisine, from any culture, and any dish no matter how it's prepared, as long as the ingredients used to make it are not industrially produced.

                                                          If this means I "miss out" on eating cool whip frozen peas and spam while sipping Yellowtail and listening to Kenny G, I'm totally ok with that.

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: oolah

                                                            Every body has standards...I think the difference b/twn have standards and being a snob is the willingness to accept and try and maybe not like something different or mass produced or mainstream or whatever you want to call it. And you can bet that most restaurants even the high end ones are using frozen peas...not cool whip but definitely frozen peas.

                                                            1. re: bolivianita

                                                              I am glad you enjoy your frozen peas--bon appetit

                                                            2. re: oolah

                                                              OK I agree with all of that except for the frozen peas. It's so hard to find fresh that ARE fresh, and one of my fave easy winter dinners is fresh pea soup. You can literally make it in minutes.

                                                              I hate Cool Whip. Just tastes way to sweet to me, ick.

                                                            3. I think candace got it right. My point was if there were some food item that sounded questionable, but everyone around you found it tasty would you at least try it or would you take one look at a substandard ingredient, be it cool whip or whatever and refuse to even taste it. There is definately a continuum here, and I'm not implying that either is correct I just wanted to get a feel for the community that exists here.

                                                              1. Im a food lover,

                                                                i doubt I would have tried the desert, I usually skip desert because I fill up on the main courses.

                                                                1. In my opnion, one of the worst qualities of a food snob is the passing of judgement regarding other people's tastes and eating habits. A food lover loves all food and sometimes learns about other cultures through food, this may include quepie doll mayo from Japan (which is used in many very fancy restaurants) or commercially produced meat pies from New Zealand or guarana flavored soda from Brazil. I am 100% a food lover, this does not exclude me from the occasional food snobby remark, however, I make a conscious effort not to make these comments too often. And I love to eat Redi Whip right out of the can!

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: harryharry

                                                                    Welcome to the Cool Whip/Redi Whip crowd and glad to have you. I thought i was flying solo for the last week.

                                                                    I was lucky to have flown around the world four times last year on business and tried many local flavors. In each case I asked the host to take me to the local places, both high end and where the locals eat. Sometimes I was not sure what hit the table, and only asked what it was AFTER giving it a taste. Some things I loved, others I would never eat again.

                                                                    You gotta try it once, you do not have to try twice, you like what you like whether it is high end, low end or in between and you are allowed to have an opinion.

                                                                            1. re: MakingSense

                                                                              it's not entirely proper, but it is how the *saying* is written :)

                                                                                1. re: nummanumma

                                                                                  So I learn another way. My family is Cajun French from Louisiana - Likely via Canada. Daddy didn't speak English until he moved to New Orleans. I learned from them but had to "clean up my act" at a convent school where we had to learn French French. Cajun is usually not written so I all I can go by are my dictionaries for written things. Your version wasn't in mine. Now I know.

                                                                                  1. re: MakingSense

                                                                                    I think there are lots of versions, I wasn't meaning to say "you were wrong" ...French gets changed a lot from region to region doesn't it? My memere is Acadian and you wouldn't believe how she mixes English and French, so I was only looking to see if maybe i made a mistake! :)

                                                                                    1. re: nummanumma

                                                                                      I looked it up to see if I had been spelling it wrong all these years and your spelling didn't show up in my dictionary or on the internet sources that popped up. Oh, well! We're on this side of the Atlantic. Funny how they both sound the same in spoken French anyway! And we knew what we both meant.
                                                                                      French spelling is impossible anyway. Even the French can't do it. As if an American should speak. Most of us can't spell common English words.

                                                                                        1. re: MakingSense

                                                                                          I was being taught French and Sapnish at the same time but also lived on the Canadian border of NY state. Talk about getting somethings mangled!

                                                                        1. I am a food lover, to be sure. But my love of food, is not greater than my love of friends, family and courtesy. Even if Aunt Mabel's dessert were floor sweepings, if it were appropriate that I have some, I would eat it and find something to compliment, if only her efforts.

                                                                          I do on occasion, eat and enjoy Cool Whip, Kraft Dinner, Red Hot HotDogs etc. Do I prefer fresh whipped cream, truffle macaroni & cheese and filet mignon? Sure, the other 80% of the time.

                                                                          And though my personal perference in coffee has aclimatized to very excellent blends, when at my best friend's house she offers me Folgers, I smile and say Thank You. Wine with non-foodie friends, the same. Whatever I may think about the taste, I use my inside voice.

                                                                          It IS hard to go back, once you've trained your tastes. I cannot drink frozen citrus juice any more, and that's a PITA.

                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                          1. re: orangewasabi

                                                                            I am so happy that someone who i respect from numerous posting enjoys cool whip. I think most people do but are afraid to admit it. Welcome to the Truth in Eating Section.

                                                                            Likewise I ate many Grandma Yettie tunas casseroles, so much so that she made them special for me because she knew how much I loved them. She would have been 104 last week and I would eat another one in a minute if she walked through the door carrying it.

                                                                            1. re: jfood

                                                                              LOL, oh let's not talk about tuna casseroles, because if I admit how many campbell's soup based casseroles I love, my reputation here will be forever ruined.

                                                                              1. re: jfood

                                                                                Your last paragraph really touched a nerve...my late grandmother used to make something I've never seen anywhere else. Basically, it was a poorman's caviar, made from the roe of a carp. She'd cook it, chop up some celery and onion, blend in some mayo, and serve it with crackers. She called it, quite simply, "roe" and made it for me anytime I'd go home to visit. Nobody else would eat it, but I did, and I can't explain why. I'd gladly eat a pound with Ritz crackers just to see her for a minute again.

                                                                                1. re: rednails

                                                                                  You made me cry.

                                                                                  The love I've received through food thoughtfully and skillfully prepared from my mom, aunts, uncles and older cousins--I can only repay through what I make for those now around me.

                                                                                  And what caught my eye: your mention of carp roe and that my wife never had the stuff in her life before we got together, but now really likes sacs done in just a bit of butter, olive oil, salt, pepper, white wine. I know because she asks others who have caught carp for the roe if any.

                                                                                  I'd fix it on Ritz if there were any in this country.

                                                                                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                    Yeah and that is good really eating like Shad Roe, Taramasalata and the like. Not Cool Whip. It was real food prepared with love. Big difference.

                                                                                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                      Aw, didn't mean to make you cry.... tho admittedly, I feel like it too. I can tell you where she used to buy carp--in Borough Park, Brooklyn, on 13th Ave. I wouldn't be surprised if the fish store is still there. I'll know for sure as I'll be visiting my mom in about 3 weeks.

                                                                                      Your recipe is alot more upscale than Grandma's! And what you said--the love you received thru food "thoughtfully and skillfully" prepared from your mom and other family members, is for me what being hospitable is all about. Which is also why I REFUSE to be a food snob, just a food lover. I won't ever pass judgment on what others prepare in their homes, or where they choose to dine. To each their own, for their own reasons. Not my business why I get served Cool Whip instead of freshly whipped at a friend's home. I'm just happy to be invited.

                                                                                2. re: orangewasabi

                                                                                  I agree with both orangewasabi and jfood - you like what you like and ain't nothin' wrong with that. Speaking for myself, I am part of this site because, in the appropriate time and place, I am snobby about some aspects of food. However, I am not ashamed that I like Kraft mac n cheese and Ooey gooey bars (made with cake mix and obscene amounts of butter). I'm loving the 80% comment - 80% of the time, I'm having natural peanut butter on whole grain bread, toasted with a sprinkle of cinnamon and some fresh apple slices for lunch. The other 20%, I might eat leftover Kraft mac with canned tuna and (gasp!) frozen peas....

                                                                                3. In my prior post -I said I was food lover - and in reading posts, it appears you can really be a fusion of both. To the food snobs, and maybe I am poking beneath the belt here - when I say that if you drink YellowTail, then you are NOT a wine snob. And considering such items like lobster delight food snobs - does everyone actually realize why lobster can be so expensive and what exactly it is that catches big, fat lobsters? Yeah - nasty little dead and rotting fish.

                                                                                  All I'm saying here is you can be a food snob- but as harryharry said -dont pass judgment on those that like the cool whip inspired dishes, and if you're going to do that -then be prepared to have judgment passed on why some of the things food snobs love so much - (as mentioned above), is not at all snobby - and all downright nasty (and I do have to say - I love lobster despite what attracts them to the cages...)

                                                                                  1. Food lover!! I work in film and relate this food question to a question I get asked about film all the time. Just because film is my professional field, it doesn't mean that I always want to watch serious, profound, life altering cinema - sometimes I just want to be entertained. There's nothing wrong with a little mindless entertainment every once and a while. '
                                                                                    Same with food for me. Sometimes I want a processed cheese grilled cheese sandwich. A substitution just would not be the same sandwich or satisfy my craving.
                                                                                    And I would never be rude to Aunt Mabel!

                                                                                    1. it is perfectly fine to say thank you,no--no means no not yes-and why not--I like to be honest-to thine own self be true-

                                                                                      1. I'd happily try Aunt Mabel's dessert - and it'd probably be tasty too (there's something about food made with love).

                                                                                        I do love my "snobbish" foods - but I also like some of the "sneered at" foods, too - I use frozen peas (and other frozen veggies) - I've cooked from a box before - I've cooked from scratch - I've hunted, killed, cleaned, and butchered my own meat - I make a mean creme brulee - and one of my favorite summer time desserts is a frozen yogurt pie that calls for yogurt, fresh fruit, and a whole tub of Cool Whip. There is a goodness in many foods, and in passing-up a chance to try something, you might be missing out on a relevatory experience.

                                                                                        1. Food Lover.

                                                                                          I love, love, love food. Pretty much anything. I'm perfectly happy to eat Taco Bell for lunch and then drop $150 dinner at a really nice restaurant.


                                                                                          1. I'm allergic to that cr*p! so much for being polite. I have no desire to get SICK!

                                                                                            1. I'm a food lover, but I have to admit in my own kitchen I can be a bit of a snob. But only in my own kitchen.

                                                                                              1. Frozen vegetables - I use them often
                                                                                                Hellmans Mayo - OK
                                                                                                Heinz Ketchup - Is there any other?
                                                                                                Jello - OK
                                                                                                Jug wine - OK
                                                                                                Spam - not a favorite but not a deal killer

                                                                                                But Cool Whip is simply not among the substances I classify as food.
                                                                                                Does that still make me a snob?

                                                                                                9 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: atheorist

                                                                                                  no, a lot of people have an aversion to *fake foods* such as Cool Whip.

                                                                                                  1. re: atheorist

                                                                                                    I think you're in the clear, its not really about the cool whip.

                                                                                                      1. re: littlegreenpea

                                                                                                        I know it's contra-intuitive but I will eat (yes and actually like) cool whip but can not stomach the idea of spam.

                                                                                                        I had this conversation with a client of mine from LA and the following week a "SPAM" baseball hat arrived in my office. Sits atop a "Barney" stuffed animal another client bought me.

                                                                                                        To each his own.

                                                                                                        1. re: jfood

                                                                                                          I never thought I'd eat spam until it was all i had to eat on a camping trip. Spam and pancakes can be the perfect meal.

                                                                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                                                                            jfood, I had the same aversion to spam until my sister-in-law married into a fabulous native Hawaiian family. We went out there for a huge family celebration and they asked if I wanted to help prepare all the native foods for one of the big family luaus with the elderly aunts and uncles. Yep, Spam, among some of the most incredible authentic dishes that you'll never see on a tourist menu. Learned all about what a part Spam had played in their food culture and still does. Just means something different there than it does here or to you and me. I don't eat Spam or poi on the Mainland, but I do there.
                                                                                                            Have we determined a category for "Situational Foods"? Things I'll eat in context?

                                                                                                            1. re: jfood

                                                                                                              OK amkirkland/Making Sense,

                                                                                                              When given the chance I will give SPAM a try. Since I consider myself a lover versus snob, gotta walk the walk.

                                                                                                              1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                Oh, I'm not meaning to support spam consumption at all. that was purely antecdotal... it hasn't crossed my lips since. cross my heart...

                                                                                                                1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                  Wait til your next visit to Hawaii, jfood. They actually do some interesting things with Spam. Look at it as local color.

                                                                                                          2. I can't answer the OP's question because I am not fond of the dichotomy. I am a food lover and a food snob (at times), so I guess I would have to say that I am "someone who refuses to settle."

                                                                                                            As for Aunt Mabel, I am sorry she can be so easily offended because I turn down a taste of her dessert, but what is the foundation of our relationship if her world stops because I didn't have her dessert?

                                                                                                            But, I am willing to cut Aunt Mabel a deal: if she will stop criticizing me for not being married and having children, I will try her dessert.

                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: Seth Chadwick

                                                                                                              Eat the dessert and say "thank you".

                                                                                                              Eat some crow and say "As soon as I find someone like you Aunt Mabel!"

                                                                                                              1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                I think I will just politely say, "No, thank you" to Aunt Mabel on both counts.

                                                                                                              2. Food lover. I do not complain about the food I am served in someone else's home, even to myself. I'm always just happy someone invited us over. The only time I will criticize food is if I'm at a "nice'" restaurant and paid a lot for my dinner and it was mediocre or worse.

                                                                                                                I'd be happy to eat Aunt Mabel's pie, and join in on the oohing and ahhing, even if I didn't like Cool Whip, because it would make her feel good. I dont' see much sense in of being ugly, just to make a point that you know more about what's "good" food than the people there? Even if it's discreet?

                                                                                                                1. My food background is highly varied, coming from humble 70's era cream soup everything, chili dogs with Hormel, hamburger rice hotdish and mock chow mein to being a very poor single mother who once subsisted on saltines and ketchup when food rations were needed for my child. There was the road out of that dilemma, then self-education on nutrition and healthy eating to culinary school and owning my own Personal Chef business.

                                                                                                                  I would never want to be labeled a food snob but there truly are foods that I have outgrown and no longer really like. But, in the same vein, there are many 'gourmet' foods that I simply won't eat because I strongly dislike them. I love canned fruit, and honestly, it's so much better now than when I was a kid, but summer peaches will always rule. Frozen veggies are better too and I use them sometimes but prefer fresh.There is nothing like a summer garden tomato, but a hothouse tomato in the dead of winter in MN has it's place. And yes, if I am at a party and the dessert has cool whip on it, I will take a small amount as I do anyway whether it's that or a gourmet delight. No matter what I am faced with to eat, I remember when I didn't have enough, when I scraped the peanut butter jar with my finger because I wanted to get the very last bit and when the only good food in the house went to my child because he needed it more than I did. I love food, and I love good food and I would never turn my nose up at something offered to me unless I really didn't like it. For all those people sitting back saying "I'm a food snob and I don't eat _______" I sure as heck hope you never end up wanting for anything ever in your life because it seems you would rather starve than 'reduce' yourself to eating something perceived as beneath you.

                                                                                                                  1. In reading everyone's responses, I've come to the conclusions that the difference between food-lover and food snob is whether you pass judgment on others for their food choices. The whole thing about food is that it's entirely subjective.

                                                                                                                    I remember reading a story about a guy who criticized everyone around him for eating takeout, putting ketchup on stuff or not appreciating a particularly exotic ingredient. I think the message was supposed to be how much this guy loved food - but all I got from it was how much he disliked people. (And how much he'd irritate the hell out of me in real life.)

                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: piccola

                                                                                                                      I actually think there may be a third category here...food bullies. These are the ones who insist that they know what is right and that you should conform to their expectations. As far as food snobs I mainly meant that there are two ways to grow in any field as you become educated, either in an expansive way or in and exclusive way. Assuming you had cool whip as a child, would you still think back on that in a positive way or would you wonder how you ever ate the stuff? If you have never tasted cool whip would you at least try it? Did you expand the number and type of foods you like in all categories and you became more educated about food or did you become more exclusive in your preferences? I suppose the word snob seems a bit harsh, but then I use it to describe myself in other non-food situations. Perhaps food elite, but really I don't have a good term for it. I've certainly outgrown some foods, twinkies being one example, and yet the recipe for homemade "twinks" on chow looks interesting, somehow the idea of loving twinkies is still there so I was really dissapointed and on some level I really want to try them again because they should taste good, I remember them being good.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Sally599

                                                                                                                        'food bully'- i think you've hit the nail on the head. I know a few-

                                                                                                                    2. don't throw bricks . . . or tubs of cool whip at me but i think food snobs frequently lack a sense of humor about the subject. food is endlessly fascinating and pleasurable but it's not rocket science nor is it religion. it's sustenance on every level. a friend of my dad's claims to have been invited to julia child's for dinner years and years ago and after a magnificent meal was served cannned peaches with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar for dessert. that's having a sense of ease about food and not having to prove anything to anyone. father's friend, true food snob he, thought it was HORRIBLE and shocking. i always thought it was kinda cool.

                                                                                                                      1. Okay, now I understand the problem. I'm supposed to turn up my nose at Aunt Mabel's dessert because she uses cool whip? Nah. The only reason I'd turn up my nose at it is if I'm too full to try it; and then (if I actually had an Aunt Mabel in my family this is exactly what she'd be like) she'd absolutely insist on sending a portion home with me for later after my dinner has settled.

                                                                                                                        I know what I like and what I don't like, but I enjoy high- and low- class ingredients and dishes. And if my relatives make it, I know it's good, whatever they put in it, whether it's my chef cousin's mushroom cream sauce or my aunt Edna's escalloped (canned) asparagus.

                                                                                                                        1. Out of all the things to despise, I'm not sure why frozen peas are to be reviled... I mean, people freeze peaches while picked in season so that they can enjoy good peaches throughout the year, and in my opinion many veggies do freeze well.

                                                                                                                          And yes, I do enjoy luncheon meat every once in a while, and I enjoy ketchup, kewpie, and Japanese curry, but I have to admit that I do turn a wary eye towards margarine and cool whip (though that doesn't mean I'm above eating it, considering how many greasy spoon diners I've been to recently).

                                                                                                                          1. Both. I'd say I'm mostly a food lover, but I definitely have what I guess would be some snob, but in my opinion it's quality. I have had what many would say was inferior quality (the much-maligned Cool Whip, for example) and liked it fine. But by inferior quality, I primarily mean inferior products like old vegetables, tough meat, under- or over-cooked, things that are unseasoned, dried out, or stale, etc.

                                                                                                                            I readily admit that I prefer real whipped cream to CW, but I have also had desserts w/ CW that I enjoyed.

                                                                                                                            Some things I can't stand - Spam is a good example. But it's not because it's canned meat; it's because I can't stand the taste. And I agree with whoever it was above - orangewasabi, I think - who said the ruination of reputation would come with exposure of the canned-soup-based yummy casseroles on the favorites list (although they can be made just as yummy using a homemade base rather than canned soup.)

                                                                                                                            One of my best friends & I have a joke about our sometimes-food-snobbery. We participate in a Sweet Swap every Christmas with a group of women we know but don't really "hang out" with during the rest of the year. My friend & I really love good sweets, and we try to make things that are good, scratch, special, etc. That's supposed to be the purpose of the swap. A few years ago, we started joking (just the 2 of us) that we were going to start our own snobby sweet swap because of some of the things we got. We decided we were going to have final say on which foods were allowed (in our fantasy snobby sweet swap). This really got started after one year when we got Rice Krispie Treats!! We were flabbergasted. There we were with our delicious scratch cookies that we had worked on for hours, and RKTreats?! And every year we get oyster crackers with ranch dressing seasoning on them. This year was the first in all the years (almost 20) I've participated that we didn't get it -- and some people complained!!! The crackers aren't offensive in and of themselves; it's the fact that it's supposed to be delicious sweets to serve to company during the holidays.

                                                                                                                            This year was the best year we can ever remember having. We think someone tapped our phone lines and heard us threatening to quit. haha Even the Red Velvet Bon Bons were good for what they were: red velvet cake - from a box - mixed with cream cheese icing - from a can - and rolled into balls and dipped in chocolate. They were pretty on a tray and tasted just fine. At some point, I'm going to make some from scratch and use homemade icing and good chocolate and see how I can improve upon them, but I could enjoy them even though they weren't snob-level.

                                                                                                                            So I like normal food that's fresh (in the sense of not stale, not necessarily fresh-off-the-vine). And I very much appreciate high quality, snob-level food. I dread going to the in-laws' and having to pick from the too-little-food-for-everyone selections of overcooked canned green beans, overcooked dried out ham, brown and serve rolls, iceberg lettuce salads, and everything unseasoned. But I enjoy good homestyle cooking. I love a high quality meal (home cooked or fancy restaurant) but also enjoy a backyard grill of hot dogs with fresh potato salad and the infamous "better than sex" cake -- topped w/ CW.

                                                                                                                            So I think I'm with the general consensus of this thread - food lover and snob, depending on circumstances.

                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: luv2bake

                                                                                                                              So what other desserts came of this swap that were high brow and can you please explain what the black sash across your avitar is -its freaking me out?

                                                                                                                              1. re: Ljubitca

                                                                                                                                We've swapped for years now. We had homemade chocolate candies one year that were delicious. Unfortunately, that was the woman's first year, and she didn't understand that she was supposed to bring a dozen for every participant. So we only had enough to eat at the gathering. :( I can't say we've ever had "high brow," though. We (my sweet swap snob friend & I) aren't expecting high brow. We just want things made from scratch that are good. Real Christmas cookies, homey drop cookies, loaves of scratch quick breads, just homemade goodies that are nice on a tray to put out over the holidays. I mean, in the past, we have gotten slice-and-bake cookies, cookies from a box mix, Tang spice tea mix, etc.

                                                                                                                                This year was the best year in ages - certainly not ideal but better. We got:
                                                                                                                                1.bourbon balls (every year on these) I don't like them, but they are from scratch and take time to make, and some people absolutely love them. They're too liquor-y for me.
                                                                                                                                2. very fancy chocolate-covered apples, you know, like the big fancy ones at Whole Foods (well, not quite THAT fancy). My friend the other homemade sweets snob made those.
                                                                                                                                3. aforementioned red velvet bon bons
                                                                                                                                4. & 5. oreo bon bons - from 2 different people. But that was ok because my kids loved them!
                                                                                                                                6. almond joy brownies - that was mine
                                                                                                                                7. cookies that looked homemade but were from box mixes of different flavors
                                                                                                                                8. chocolate-covered pretzels (several years running on these; they are tasty, though)
                                                                                                                                I can't remember the other 3 things we got, but you get the idea. As you can tell, if this year was way better than the other years for ages, it's been pretty pitiful before!

                                                                                                                                As for my avatar, it's like the no smoking or no littering signs - no avatars. :)

                                                                                                                            2. I'll admit that I used to be a lot more of a food snob than I am today. There was one incident, though, that gave me a good wake-up call.

                                                                                                                              A friend was coming in from out of town for a visit - in the course of talking about the visit, we'd talked about favorite foods and he mentioned the one dish that he'd learned from his mother that he loved - and he offered to make it for me. He gave me the ingredient list so I could get the stuff. The original recipe called for (among other things): regular vegetable oil, canned shrimp, and dried parsley. As a snob, I decided that I could fix-up the dish with a good olive oil, fresh shrimp, and fresh parsley.

                                                                                                                              My friend made the dish, using the ingredients that I'd selected, and it all came together ... okay. Not great. But okay. He apologized, saying that the final results were not as good as he'd remembered.

                                                                                                                              Sometime later, when I paid him a return visit, he again made the dish - using the original ingredients. And you know what? It was great! The flavors worked, consistency was good, and it's now become one of my favorite "fall back" recipes.

                                                                                                                              What went wrong? Using my "snobbish" ingredients, the olive oil imparted an overwhelming "olive oily" flavor, the larger shrimp meant that you got mouthfulls of just shrimp, instead of shrimp mixed with the other ingredients, and the fresh parsley didn't absorb/rehydrate in the oil, so the dish was a lot more oily than it should have been.

                                                                                                                              I'm still embarassed about my behavior and insistence that the more "snobbish" ingredients were somehow better than the original ingredients.

                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: ElsieDee

                                                                                                                                What a wonderful story! It made me think of a favorite cookbook of mine, Best Recipes from the Backs of Boxes, Bottles, Cans and Jars by Ceil Dyer.
                                                                                                                                Some of the recipes are classics like the Key Lime Pie with condensed milk that most of south Florida has used forever and others are schlock, but there are some real treasures in there that can't be improved upon.
                                                                                                                                I often serve some of those to my Haute Food Snob friends who devour them. I make no attempt to hide what they are and they usually laugh (guess they aren't such snobs.) Most of my cooking is from scratch with top-notch ingredients but good food is where you find it.
                                                                                                                                Interestingly, there is only one recipe that I saw calling for Cool Whip as the book was first published in 1979. Most called for whipped cream or Dream Whip, a whipped cream substitute commonly used then that was sold in powdered form and mixed with milk.

                                                                                                                                1. re: ElsieDee

                                                                                                                                  I have a similar tale. I was hosting one of out gournet club dinners and as host i amde up the menu, typed out the recipes and assigned who was to make what. The menu was basically Chinese. One recipe I was using was a recipe for Sweet and Sour Pork. My mother had collected the recipe form Sun Ya in Tokyo in the 50's. It was a Chinese restaurant owned and run by Koreans. I specifically told the person makign the dish to use canned pineapple not fresh. She ignored the directive and the finished dish was terrible. The enzymes in the fresh pineapple destroyed the texture of the pork. The dish was mushy and nasty. One of our improved rules in our group is to never "improve, alter or change" a recipe you are assigned without consulting the host.

                                                                                                                                2. Food lover, I enjoy street food and Jean Georges, just depends on my cravings at the time.

                                                                                                                                  I will also try anything even if it looks disgusting, since you never know what it tastes like unless you try it. One of my biggest pet peeves is people who won't try something and already vote it off (except of course for religious, allergy or purposely staying away from certain foods).

                                                                                                                                  1. I seldom see a winner on the back of the box or bottle. However: Get a bottle of Heinz malt vinegar (indispensible for french fries) and try the "Peachy Chicken" recipe on the back!

                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: atheorist

                                                                                                                                      The original Toll House Cookie Recipe - the first chocolate chip cookie - appeared on the back of a Nestlé chocolate bar. http://www.verybestbaking.com/product...
                                                                                                                                      There are lots of other examples. Some of them are really simple ones that use nothing more than rice or sour cream but were meant to increase the use of a product that may have been unfamiliar at the time. You can use that same recipe now and substitute upscale ingredients - at your own risk. Sometimes the original is actually better.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: atheorist

                                                                                                                                        The pecan pie recipe on the back of the karo bottle is pretty much the standard; people say its just like my grandma's which is really the highest compliment you can get.

                                                                                                                                      2. About 15 years ago I was at a "Careers in the Food Business" seminar (looking to advance from my lowly secretary job in a catering company) and one of the speakers said "Don't you just love biscotti??" since biscotti was, well, new and trendy at the time. To which I responded, "sometimes I just gotta have Oreos!" Sometimes I want excellent, high quality, chocolate, sometimes it's just M&Ms, know what I mean?

                                                                                                                                        I'm a food lover, not snob. It doesn't mean that I'll eat anything and everything, but I just don't pass judgment on what other people eat.

                                                                                                                                        1. I think it's important to be open to anything whether you are either a food snob or food lover. If you don't try, you may be missing something really great. I have been accused of being a food snob but, how can that be when I am addicted to Ring Dings, lol.

                                                                                                                                          1. You gotta be a food lover UNTIL it comes to ethnic food. If, for example, you have a desire to put mayonnaise in your guacamole, then please step aside and let a more ethnically correct cook make it for you. It's only fair!

                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: sanjoaquinbarbie

                                                                                                                                              but if it's good...

                                                                                                                                              not that that sounds the least bit appetizing

                                                                                                                                              1. re: sanjoaquinbarbie

                                                                                                                                                So, no turning up noses at native Hawaiians and Spam, right?

                                                                                                                                                1. re: sanjoaquinbarbie

                                                                                                                                                  Heh, the old ethnic card, eh? I guess I need to go find a proper Canadian family to show me how an authentic meatloaf is made and tastes like.

                                                                                                                                                2. Okay Food Snob. Miracle Whip will never come through my doors and neither will Cool Whip or a bunch of that other processed crap loaded with sugar.

                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Candy

                                                                                                                                                    or pot luck dinners served in crock pots heaped with kielbasa stewing in ketchup and grape jelly!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Candy

                                                                                                                                                      So you don't consider Splenda to be processed crap? That's about as artificial as you can get and yet you've posted under the "can't get enough Splenda" topic. Hopefully you are aware that by clicking on your avatar everyone can read your other posts.

                                                                                                                                                    2. Miracle Whip uses a rancid oil which is cheaper than a fresh oil. They market this and most of the consumers cannot detect rancidity in oil (which I find really strange) I guess that I have a nose for that.

                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: heartfood

                                                                                                                                                        Interesting. Can you direct us to a source of this info?

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                                          heartfood, heartfood, calling heartfood!

                                                                                                                                                      2. My mother in law makes an ice box cake with cool whip. She lives in IL. We live in NY. Our food snob friends push peple out of the way to eat this dessert. The dessert takes almost 2 days to make. I am sure I could make it whip whip cream. But its so good the way it is.

                                                                                                                                                        1. I'm both. I can be a food snob, and be very discerning about food. But I'm not gonna insult bad food. I just know there's much better, but I can still enjoy eating.


                                                                                                                                                          1. While eating some Lau Lau yesterday i was thinking, i would never tell someone, "try this... you'll love it." In fact, the wet grass taste is almost displeasing, but i still loved it, and am craving it today. I certainly don't feel culinarily enlightened... more like masochistic. Maybe that's what makes me a lover... the masochism... cause isn't that what love is?

                                                                                                                                                            Ryan Adam - "Love is Hell"
                                                                                                                                                            J. Geils band - "Love Stinks"
                                                                                                                                                            Jon Bon Jovi - "Love Hurts"

                                                                                                                                                            Maybe food snobbery is kind of like a money-centric arranged marraige with a facade of happiness (ok, maybe not, but this is for argument's sake) and food love is like a hopeless crush, capulets and montegues, jets and sharks. Marinara... I once ate a dish named marinara...

                                                                                                                                                            1. The difference between a snob and a lover (and not just where food is concerned) is mostly attitude - snobs are judgmental and exclusive, lovers are accepting and inclusive; snobs look for reasons to reject, lovers look for reasons to embrace.

                                                                                                                                                              Correspondingly, food snobs tend to narrow their gustatory options while food lovers enlarge them. Put me with the lovers.

                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Striver

                                                                                                                                                                Striver, I couldn't agree more!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Striver

                                                                                                                                                                  Love that! I know for a fact that I am a food lover.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Striver

                                                                                                                                                                    That makes me REALLY want to be a snob -- might help the ol' waistline! haha

                                                                                                                                                                    Alas, I am predominantly a lover.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. i have a different definition of food snobs and lovers.

                                                                                                                                                                    food snobs in my book are those that are more worried about the provenance of dish/restaurant/chef/etc than the actual taste of the food. i remember eating with someone who was praising this one restaurant which shall not be named and she didn't even realize the food was generally mediocre and sometimes overly salted. i finally realized why when we met the chef and she started panting like...well i'd rather not say. i've met a surprising number of people who go to "name" restaurants and purport to be food snobs but then i find out they can't even tell the difference between a fresh oyster and one that is not so fresh.

                                                                                                                                                                    food lovers are the ones that get a glazed look on their faces when you start talking about the history and relationships of the food while they're trying to eat.

                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: choctastic

                                                                                                                                                                      In defense of food snobs...

                                                                                                                                                                      A food snob is someone who seeks out the very best food and ingredients and won't eat just anything. A food snob seeks out new flavors and won't settle for the commonplace or everyday stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                      I don't much care about provenance, but I've certainly found that things I find in the central aisles of the supermarkets tend to be less tasty than the things I find around the perimeters or elsewhere, be it the greenmarket, the asian grocery, or the fishmonger.

                                                                                                                                                                      A food snob is someone who takes epicurean pleasure in food, but also intellectual pleasure, because she understands the history and relationships between the elements she's consuming.

                                                                                                                                                                      A food snob is someone who passes up a bucket of cool whip so she can save room for some undiscovered food delight from a culture she hasn't experienced before.

                                                                                                                                                                      A true food snob doesn't care what other people eat (and that means she won't judge you), but does care deeply about what she eats.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: oolah

                                                                                                                                                                        Hear! Hear! This is my defense also, food snob that I am, however, decidedly NOT a food bullie.

                                                                                                                                                                        Dear Aunt Mabel. If she loved me she'd remember that I have an aversion to sweets. Yes, that's right. She'll understand when I politely say, "No thank you." And - she will not be offended.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. I am leaning toward choctastic's definition of food lover, but at the same time, couldn't help but be totally grossed out by the thread on people's favorite chains. One poster described CPK as "inventive and fresh". Gag me with a fork.

                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: adrienne156

                                                                                                                                                                        ahah! well, perhaps there's a rogue CPK out there. you never know. i've been surprised by a rogue location of a chain before.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: choctastic

                                                                                                                                                                          Maybe it's the atmosphere that I'm opposed to, although... Soggy hazelnuts have no business being on anyone's pizza.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. I think food is relative to the moment. If you're with Aunt Mabel then the cool whip in that moment would be just right, but that might be the last time you intend to eat something with Cool Whip. If you pull into the truck stop and have a Carl's Jr. burger after driving 8 hours, then at that moment the burger is as tasty as anything you've ever had. Calotte de Boeuf Grillee or Masala Spiced Crispy Black Bass just wouldn't be right if you were grimmy and tired and needed to put in another 4 hours on the road.

                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: thirtyeyes

                                                                                                                                                                          agreed. Although I roast coffee at home, sometimes on the road all i want is a gas store "capuccino"

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Key way to tell if someone is a food snob:

                                                                                                                                                                          They say that if you can't afford high priced, exotic food, then sell some paintings.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. I admit it - I like Cool Whip! I grew up on it and still love it on my mom's homemade pumpkin pie. No, it is NOT whipped cream. But I appreciate it for what it is. And this is coming from someone who loves fresh, local ingredients and dines only in non-chain restaurants.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Op's example, no one in my family would ever bring cool whip.

                                                                                                                                                                              food snob, i'm afraid.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. I think you can be both. I'm a food snob who loves food. I can enjoy a 50 cent tostada in Miami or a $500 dinner in Spain. I don't care. It's about the food, but I sure to do appreciate fine cuisine and if I'm paying $500 for a dinner, it better darn well be EXCELLENT. I tend not to dine in chain restaurants, (pretty rare for us, actually) BUT non chain places don't have to cost a ton of money.

                                                                                                                                                                                I'd rather have my Colombian grandmother's papas churrerías than some restaurant's attempt at them. So I'm snobby about awesome food. I can live with that!

                                                                                                                                                                                As for whipped cream, I prefer the real stuff. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                1. I think there's a lot of us that don't think of cool whip as a whipped cream substitute. It's really it's own thing. To be fair, i don't actually recall the last time i had cool whip, but I have fond memories of it, and I think it does it's own magical thing when combined with jell-o. Perhaps my fondness of it is more related to the fact that it was contraband in my household, so I'd take shots of it at friend's houses when no one was looking.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I thought I was a food lover until I moved from my beloved Chicago to "another city" (un-named due to fear of persecution) now I'm horrified to see what people consider good food and good grocery stores. . .I'm sorry but Aldi's? No thanks. My husband (the reason for moving to "un-said" city) calls me a food snob. So I guess I'm a Chicago food lover and a ******** food snob.