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Non-food lover intimidated by 'hound...

Sounds like a newspaper headline...
There is another thread here about us 'hounders and how we deal with "fuelists" and other people not passionate about food.
I recently started dating a man whose palate is somewhat limited but he is very willing to try new things so that's good.

However, he seems a little intimidated by my love of food and is afraid of feeding me anything in his house lest I think it not good enough. I quickly put his fears to rest and explained that I am NOT a food snob. Although I do enjoy fine dining...A LOT...I do not limit myself to that.
Last week I proved it by letting him choose a restaurant for dinner. I told him to just choose and not tell me. He took me this really old-school Italian red-sauce joint in Elizabeth, NJ called Spirito's....open since 1932, same decor and probably same staff. We had the most delicious, delicate fluffy ravioli ever with a wonderful old school sauce. He was SO please that I liked the place..he was nervous that it wasn't fancy enough for me; but I think that my reaction to the food convinced him once and for all that I am not a snob...just a person who likes good food.
Like a true hound, I love little hole in the wall, ethnic neighborhood places that serve excellent food. I also love diners (I'm from Jersey..it's a requirement), and I love pizza and normal stuff like that.
So has anyone else had this problem? Do your non 'hound friends/partners get intimidated by your love of food? Are they afraid to suggest places or even cook for you?
Please share!

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  1. While you're still getting to know each other, downplay how much you love fine dining and play up the fact that you just love FOOD, you love to EAT and also share some inexpensive and informal places with your new man that will show him that you really love these places yourself as well, not just because it's a place he picked. I would really gradually introduce the more upscale stuff because it may be new to him and challenging, fearful, etc and you want it to be something he will also like learning about instead of just being something you like. My suggestion is over time you slowly graduate up to nicer places but keep on hitting those dives, greasy spoons, red sauce Italian or other places and try to keep the foodie chatter to a low level. As he's curious, he'll ask questions and then you can share things, but the key is to do it gradually and not force it on him.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rockandroller1

      Good advice. Also, make sure you share your "normal" food favs with him. If you knows you're a Dorito freak, or something like that, he'll probably be more comfortable.

    2. Show him you are willing to go both ways. Take him to Chilli's for CFS or grab a burger from Wendy's and eat it without complaining that the burger isn't rare. Try to get him to take you to some of his favorite places and eat your food without being too judgemental. Relationships require flexibility to succeed. You might find some non chowish things you like and he might start understanding your passion for food.

      1. I'd say I'm a chowhound, but I would be intimidated by a woman that seems to have a preference for fine dining over just a general love of food. I really think you two need to go to some good diners, pizza joints, etc. to show him how much you love food and not just fine dining. From your post it seems he thinks that you expect fine dining all the time.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Rick

          I don't see how you got to that conclusion based on her post. Clearly, she enjoys all kinds of food not just fine dining.

        2. I think my OP was misunderstood...I have shown my SO that I am not a food snob. I was just asking if other 'hounds had similar issues as mine.
          We haven't been to any fine dining establishments in the month we have been dating so he obviously knows that I am not a snob; but thanks for the advice anyhow.

          1 Reply
          1. re: HungryRubia

            Oh, as a follow up, I wanted to let you know that I was able to turn my husband into a real food lover if not a hound, but he is NEVER as comfortable in a fine dining atmosphere as he is in more casual places. he goes as a concession to me, but we pretty much very rarely do fine dining because I can tell he's visibly uncomfortable the whole time he's there, no matter how nice the food or how friendly the service. That's ok, it saves $ anyway :)

          2. We have friends who did that. We were passing through and they wanted to take us to a fancy place. But we just asked where they would eat tonight if we weren't there and they took us to the most amazing hole in the wall taco place!

            1. oooh - but suppose you really are a food snob, and you really, really like great food - and the fluffy ravioli just turned out to be really, really good?!

              I mean - that's what we're supposed to be - not snobs, but people who really appreciate great food, and we happen to be people who understand that great food can come from anywhere.

              Rent Ratatouille for a stay-in night. Order a great pizza and open a great bottle of red - no more than $12. Once you get to the point that anybody can cook - not everybody cooks great, but a great cook can come from anywhere - a great dish can come from any place, explain that this is your outlook - great food is all around. Chowhounds have been saying that since forever.

              1 Reply
              1. re: applehome

                <<I mean - that's what we're supposed to be - not snobs, but people who really appreciate great food, and we happen to be people who understand that great food can come from anywhere>>
                That's exactly how I describe myself. I just love good food whether it comes from Mario Batali's kitchen or some truck stop in Indiana. But I think that my sheer PASSION for all food has scared him a bit.
                I sat him down and explained my food love to him and he gets it now. He did admit that he hasn't eaten this well in a long time....I feed him A LOT!