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Sep 25, 2007 09:11 AM

dating a foodie novice...

ok, just for a little fun.
so i am a big foodie (obviously since i spend my time with all of you!)

as a single gal... i have dated a lot of non-foodies. (meat and potatoes.. only orders sweet and sour at a chinese rest.)

so what do you think... deal breaker? i lean toward yes.. complete deal breaker. but if not... what is the best way to help break someone of this and lead them down a more adventurous culinary path? is it possible?

i look forward to your thoughts.


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  1. There may be hope, depending on the attitude.

    When I was a kid, I was such a picky eater that I would try to fish out the bits of mushroom from a dish that had been made with cream of mushroom soup. When the family would go out for very occasional Chinese, I'd order a cheeseburger. Things have gotten a lot better over the years, but I'm still very squeamish about some "gourmet" delicacies (caviar -- yccch) and have some definite aversions (don't like beans or avocado).

    Obviously, as a 'Hound I prefer to dine with companions with whom I can taste and share. A lot comes down to the attitude. Does your date turn up his nose (or make fake barfing noises) when you mention ordering something he won't eat? Is he just less experienced an eater and willing to try and taste new things or does he have preconceptions dating back to his childhood that he won't even attempt to break?

    I'm not saying it can be a successful longterm project to change him into a compatible eating companion. But if there is an open attitude and some willingness to experiment, then there is a much better chance at an evolution and expansion of his tastes.

    1. It all depends on how willing that person is to try new foods. There are some people who stick to chicken, steak, and spaghetti only because they've never been exposed to pad thai, curries, teriyaki, Indian samosas, and carne asada. Most people are willing to try something new, especially if they trust that you're not going to feed them cow brains or something weird. If this was the case, I'd happily take up the challenge of introducing my favorite foods to someone! You can always start with korean bbq (it's really just grilled meat), teriyaki chicken, tandoori chicken, California rolls (hey, it gets them in a sushi place and that's the first step!), and Japanese curries (very mild). Move on to Thai curries, other sushi rolls, and some Chinese dishes in lobster or black bean sauce. Hold off on dim sum until they're comfortable with all this new food - dim sum is harmless but it's a different eating experience. Cook something at home so they can see what goes into the dish and that it's not really that weird or scary.

      However, if they're always turning down your food requests and stubbornly refuse to try anything at all, I'd write them off as a lost cause and let someone else share their meat-and-potatoes lifestyle. Food isn't the only joy in life, but I wouldn't be happy if the only time I got to indulge in "exotic" meals was by myself or when friends have time for dinner out.

      If someone just didn't enjoy food like I did, if they were just as happy with grilled chicken as with chicken marsala or didn't appreciate a well-marbled ribeye, I'd probably have a problem there, too. I'd either end up lowering my food standards or thinking I'm wasting time, effort, and money on meals that aren't being appreciated. Not fun.

      I've found that most people are open to trying new things and find they like them, but hang on to food dislikes of "normal" things - avocados, radishes, tomatoes, etc.

      1. i love the suggestions. i will give it a try. thanks so much. mostly i am glad that i am not just CRAZY, but that this is a valid issue.
        i have to admit though, i am a little sensitive when it comes to my food. i dont mind when someone doesnt like something, but i get really ticked off if i am made to feel weird about eating chicken feet... haha

        having said that, i did have a great experience with friends recently. some of my meat and potato pals really made me feel good. they trusted me to show them the ways of the chowhound.. and they actually enjoyed it! hopefully this will work out. haha if not.. i will need to change my online dating profile so it reflects the importance of food. :)


        1 Reply
        1. re: coconutgoddess

          It sounds like you already have the natural ability to help someone become more interested in CH interests. If your friends trusted you to overcome their limitations then you must have presented the food to them in a non-threatening way. From what you wrote it seems like your experience with people making you feel weird about eating chicken feet has made you sensitive to your friends potential misgivings. Personally, I wouldn't let it become a deal breaker. I think if you can't find food in common and the person is worth getting to know better then it might be worth your time to investigate other potential common interests. who knows maybe the other common interest might make up for the fact that your sweetie is not a foodie.

        2. Definitely not a deal breaker.

          My husband and I have been together for 13 years. His idea of a great meal is whatever you can get from a diner or a simple meal prepared at home. Occasionally, we will go to a higher end restaurant, but he's simply not interested in this kind of thing. And truth be told, it keeps me grounded so I like it.

          Fortunately, I have friends who I can indulge with, so I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything.

          1. Aha, see but the thing is, contrary to popular belief, men are trainable.

            The first month or two that I dated mr.goose, he wanted nachos and beer for dinner every night. So I, being totally smitten endured that for quite some time. 10lbs and two months later, I started to protest, asking "just this once, can't we please do something different??" he discovered he like sushi alot. From Sushi we moved on--upon hearing he hated chinese food, I almost broke down and broke up. But some research uncovered that he had only ever eaten it off a buffet in hometown of Indiana.

            Now we eat wonderufl delish-ness all the time. It took about a year to get him converted, but it was just about making sure we got the best of whatever--because I'm sorry, but certain things are just delicious! Not only does he now love the chinese place, the sushi place and everything else. I no longer carry 20lbs of Nacho weight, and a few weeks ago, he randomly turned to me and thanked me for showing him all the great food out there and how to really love good food.

            I almost cried.

            1 Reply
            1. re: dagoose

              that is really nice. i love it! i am hoping that this will be my final outcome...

              i have trained my kids to be really great little chowhounds.. so perhaps there is hope! we are going out this weekend and this time I AM picking.. i will let you know how it goes! (i will kill him if we go out for steak or burgers one more time. i love both.. but COME ON!!!)