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Strategic Eating

Hey foodies

Do you plan in your mind how you are going to eat something? For instance, when I eat Apple Pie a la mode, I'd like a handsome forkful of the bottom and top crusts, with a juicy apple wedge sandwiched in between, and dolloped with marble sized portion of vanilla ice cream before I devour it. It's a bit obsessive compulsive, but IMO the layering of flavours just makes an item taste that much better. So tell me, what one item/ dish must you eat in a specific manner?

Thanks for sharing :)

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  1. I generally eat so that the last bite will be the best one and the biggest. If I have multiple items or dishes, I usually eat them one at a time, rather than taking a bite here and a bite there.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Humbucker

      Same here. One weird one, though, is anything with phyllo dough. Doesn't matter if it's spinach pie or baklava, I always eat layer by layer, from the top down.

      1. re: Humbucker

        Funny I eat EVERY meal like this. People think I am nuts...lol. The normal order is veggies, then meat, then rice, spuds or whatever carb I have on my plate at the time

      2. I am always trying for the one perfect bite for each plate. Sometimes that means a combination of things - tiny bits of turkey, dressing (not stuffing! dressing!), mashed potatoes, and cranberries on a fork on Thanksgiving, for example. Other times, the perfect bite is just the nicest chunk of apple from the pie, or the most perfectly browned bit from the topping on the cobbler.

        My husband thinks this habit is weird.

        1. if i have fresh tomato with an omelette i have to have a piece with every bite.

          1. Poached eggs on toast - have to have some yolk, some white, some toast, and some HP sauce in every bite.

            1 Reply
            1. re: KevinB

              most definitely Kevin. Fortunately HP sauce is available at the British section of my local supermarket in Florida.

              Maltesers - I suck off the chocolate in my mouth then let the malty stuff dissolve.

            2. fruit salad. avoid mandarin oranges at all costs until there is nothing but them left, then eat them all as quickly as possible.

              1. Peanut M&Ms. I eat them one at a time, cracking the candy shell with my teeth but leaving the peanut whole, eating the chocolate/candy part first, and then the peanut. I don't know why.

                2 Replies
                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    I do it with plain M&Ms -- one at a time, cracking the shell and eating the candy part first, then eating the chocolate. I also eat plain M&Ms in order of color -- least favorite to most. I don't like the blue M&Ms so just eat them whole. It is very, very weird.

                1. Kit Kat's...I eat one bar at a time, one layer at a time. First I bite the chocolate ends off each end, then bite the top chocolate layer off, then the wafer layers one by one.
                  Somehow the individual parts taste better then just taking a bite into the entire thing!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: burlgurl

                    me, too - I've been eating them that way since I was little. It would be such a waste to just take a bite of a kit kat. Got to be layer by layer.

                  2. Gadzooks, where to start? What example to choose?

                    Turkey dinner: Layered tower of food in one bite technique. Key is not to put too much on the fork. Start with a base of turkey. I usually go from light to dark meat as I progress through the meal. Small piece of turkey, layer on stuffing, cranberry jelly, mashed potato and gravy until you have a thin tower of food on your fork, then eat. Vegetables in between bites of turkey tower. End the meal with the pope's nose (or chicken butt as I like to call it).

                    The next day, I make a sandwich out of the same ingredients! I completely agree about the layering of flavours!

                    1. This thread is cute. I don't know if there are certain foods I eat in a particular way (at least nothing that's coming top of mind right now except burgers which I have to cut in half) but if I have multiple items on my plate that are not already mixed together then I usually take alternating bites of each and I rarely if ever eat one item completely before moving on to the others. If I'm eating something that's mixed together already like a pasta dish then I make sure each bite has a little taste of everything to the extent that's possible.

                      I also make a decision of what bite I want to finish off with. It all depends on what's on my plate but I'm sure it's all about which is the food I'm enjoying the most. I find that I have a harder time deciding when I have hot and cold foods together - not only am I considering flavor, but also temperature.

                      1. funny, for apple pie, my strategy is eat out the apples with sparing amounts of vanilla ice cream, then eat the crumble and pastry pieces with the remaining soupy, melty vanilla.

                        omelettes, i eat out the filling (mushrooms, onions, and tomatoes) first, then the eggs, each with ketchup.

                        kit kat, like burlgurl, eat off the chocolate exterior, then split the wafers into individuals, and eat the outer ones first, then lastly the middle one with the most creamy paste on it.

                        broccoli and cauliflower, eat the stems first. brussel srpouts, eat the heart end and out layers first, then eat the hearts. asparagus, eat up to the flower end.

                        in general, i always eat vegetables before proteins in my meal, and if i have room left, a little of whatever grain comes.

                        if i ever indulge in manicotti or ravioli, i eat off or pick off the pasta first, then eat the cheese with sauce.

                        1. I eat corn on the cob across single rows like a typewriter.

                          If I have finger foods with foods that are eaten w/ utensils, I eat the utensil food first and then the finger foods (eg. ribs). Oh, except sandwiches. They aren't messy so I can multitask and eat them simultaneously.

                          I'm with mordacity and goodhealthgourmet on the peanut m&ms. Sometimes, I'll eat around the chocolate around a reese's pb cup first and then the center. But, I can't remember the last time I've had either.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: chowser

                            you've obviously adopted this corn strategy from donald duck.

                            1. re: beelzebozo

                              Or maybe he adopted it from me. In my defense, I've never seen Donald Duck eat corn.

                              1. re: chowser

                                haha. i just remember tons of old cartoons where he ate it just this way. just yankin' your chain.

                          2. The only thing I definitely have a strategy in eating is a slice of pizza. I like to eat it with a fork and knife, and I have several bites from the tip of the triangle, and then I cut the slice in half long-ways (so both halves have some crust) and eat each half, making sure that there is some cheese/sauce left with each bite of crust.

                            1. When I eat eggs benedict, I flip the egg/hollandaise sauce to be closest to the english muffin, with the canadian bacon on top. I've had a couple of disapproving comments, but hey, I like it the way I like it......

                              1. when i eat peanuts (out of the shell), i eat all the whole ones first and then move on to the halves/broken pieces. i hate when i find a whole one after i have started on the halves!

                                1. When the white asparagus is in season in Germany, the traditional way to have it is with drawn butter, new potatoes, and schinkenspeck -- which is much leaner than speck (pork belly), and has the smoky flavor of ham (=schinken). Whenever I have this, a fork MUST contain a piece of asparagus, potato and ham. If something falls off the fork on the way to my mouth, I rearrange. Call it OCD if you want to, but the divine trinity of ham, asparagus, and molten butter covered new potatoes shall not be broken.

                                  1. i always eat with the heavy food on the bottom. like i'd never eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with the jelly side down. i still hate that subway makes its sandwiches with the protein on top of the "toppings" like lettuce, etc.

                                    i know it makes no sense...

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: emmybee

                                      Wow. I totally do this too but I never thought about it!

                                      I do most things on here, actually. Each component of a meal gets eaten individually, with veggies first then meat or starch depending on which is more delicious (best gets eaten last). M&Ms by color.

                                      I remember eating Airheads when I was little all in one sour chewy juicy bite, so big it barely fit in your mouth. My mom was disgusted.

                                      If I have a big tub of cookies I crush them all up into bits so it's easier to snack on.

                                      With cake I eat the bread part first but leave a small layer to eat with icing, the thickness of which varies according to how much icing there is.

                                      With salads I usually eat all the greens first to make sure they get plenty of dressing, and then all the good stuff after.

                                      And that's just the tip of the iceberg...

                                    2. I have learned that, when eating a piece of cheese on a cracker, if you hold the cheese down with the cracker on top the cracker doesn't break and fall over what you're wearing.

                                      1. I don't think I really think about how I'm going to eat something. I just do it. But I have noticed certain things. If it's something that's meant to be eaten hot, I'll eat the best parts first so I can enjoy it at its peak. Eg. grilled cheese sandwich -- I'll eat the gooey insides before hitting the crusts (if I hit them at all). If it's something meant to be eaten cold, then I'll save the best parts for last. And I have deconstructed candy bars -- M&Ms (saving the light brown and green ones for last and eating the shell and chocolate before the peanuts, eating Kit Kats, Snickers, and Twix layer by layer. I also have a particular way of eating a slice of pizza -- eat a few bites, rip the crusts off, split the slice in two and finish the two halves. Funny thing is I'm not very conscious of these habits. I just do whatever feels natural to me.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: Miss Needle

                                          Oh, how I miss the light brown M&Ms. They were replaced by those nasty blue ones.

                                          1. re: JennS

                                            ok, it's been so long since i've had m&ms that i didn't even know they made that substitution! damn, i liked the light brown ones, and blue just seems so wrong.

                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                              omg. I also haven't had M&Ms in such a long time that I didn't know they got rid of the light browns. It may be in my imagination (but verified it in a blind tasting) but I thought they tasted the best -- there wasn't as much of a citric acid taste to it. Yes, blue is wrong -- actually, many studies have showed that the color blue diminishes appetite.

                                        2. With me it is spaghetti. I cut it up into tiny pieces and every bite has to have sauce. Also when having garlic bread with it I have to break up the bread into small pieces and dunk each piece in sauce. Also, every bite has to have some parm cheese on it too.

                                          When I make stew I like to eat all the potatoes 1st, then the carrots, then the protein.

                                          My hubby likes to eat all his food 1 at a time. 1st the meat, then the veggies, then the potatoes. I have never seen him mix food of any kind unless it is a casserole or soup.

                                          1. This is the most hilarious thread I have ever read on Chowhound. It could potentially lead to a multivolume series of encyclopedic knowledge of individual preferences.

                                            Without going into each of my idiosyncratic obsessive preferences, I also want to say I laughed out loud at the description by "Chowser" of eating a corn on the cob like how one would peck on keys of a typewriter across one row. Imagine the thread that could be posted on if it just dealt with each person's manner in eating corn on the cob!

                                            Chowhound may have to open up an entire message board devoted to how people eat a particular food. I'm sure that each type of food would command a long thread. In my cookie thread, posters have posted how they consume cookies (we have heard stories of the length of time it takes one to consume one Oreo cookie, if eaten correctly!!)

                                            In reply to the original post on apple pie (a la mode), I wanted to add that when I eat such a pie taken from the oven, I normally cannot wait until it is at "room temperature", but make a slice through the crust, sprinkle some cinammon on the apple slices and start eating the apple slices by themselves. When I get tired of that, I consume some of the warm dough by itself. Then I might add some vanilla ice cream to quench my thirst.

                                            My big grip is the ignorance that some franchised stores like Subway use in making sandwiches. I used to go to one place that made great sandwiches - I just had to guide them in the sequence of which ingredients were placed in the bread - that was very important to me. I always asked for the seasonings to be put on last, on top of the sliced tomatoes so that when I bit in to the sandwich, I got the flavor of the seasonings.

                                            The new owners of a local Subway (from a different country - I mention this, because it may be a cultural thing), measure out the small scoops of tunafish into tablespoon sized spoons, place the fish on the bread, and then press down the fish and spread it across the bread like they are applying butter to the bread. The first time I saw them do this, I was in shock - not only from the quantity, or lack thereof, they were applying to the bread, but that someone would mistake tunafish for butter in its application. I told them that I did not want my tunafish matted down, that I wanted some texture of the fish to bite into.

                                            I have stopped going to that Subway. I used to love their sandwiches but these owners have destroyed that sandwich to me, and have no concept of the importance of assembling a sandwich according to a customer's wish.

                                            Not only are the ingredients of a dish important, but as the original post suggested, the enjoyment comes from the order in which the ingredients are taken in.

                                            Has anyone brought up the assembly of one of the most basic sandwiches - peanut butter and jelly? I used to like to spread the peanut butter on both slices, but jelly only on one, and put a few pieces of broken potato chips in just before "closing" the sandwich with one of the bread slices. My philosophy is that each bite should get a full "snapshot" picture of the entire dish.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: FelafelBoy

                                              There already exists a nice long thread on corn-eating techniques.


                                              1. re: FelafelBoy

                                                You should see how clean I can get that cob! No waste at all.

                                                Your apple pie eating reminds me of that scene from When Harry Met Sally when she orders apple pie a la mode, heated but ice cream on the side. But, not vanilla, strawberry but if there's no strawberry then whipped cream but only if it's real, if it's not real, then nothing...The waitress asks, "no pie?" and she replies, yes to the pie but then not heated.

                                                1. re: chowser

                                                  love the scene, and the movie.

                                                  if it's any indication of how particular i am about my food - the way it's prepared and the way i eat it - my friends call me sally, and no, that's not the name i was born with :)

                                              2. All your responses have been so interesting to read :) It's as if this thread has bonded us through our idiosyncratic eating methods.lol

                                                1. If I am eating a piece of toast with butter, or butter and jam, or anything like that, I will eat my toast upside down. Butter is a huge indulgence for me, so if I want to eat it, I want to taste it! So I keep the butter side down, so they hit my tastebuds first, and I can get maximum satisfaction. How's that for weird?