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Are we really related?!

Do you ever look over at your sibling during a meal and wonder if you're really related?! I'm amazed at how different my brother is to me. We grew up exposed to the same foods but our approaches are so different. Over dinner last night, I noticed just how opposite he is to me. He hates spicy foods (which I love), he hates coconut flavoured anything (again opposite for me), he's more meat and potatoes (I'm everything but), he's quantity vs quality (I'm the opposite), he prefers traditional and classical preparations (I'm more interested in new twists to things) and he's hesitant to try anything new and unfamiliar (whereas I'm game for anything). Our parents fall midway between us. It's almost like I went to one extreme and he went the other way. Is it the same in your family?

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  1. Not my sister, but my grandparents for sure. On the one side I've got a German Jewish grandfather who eats pickled herring for breakfast, beet salad (read: lots of vinegar) for lunch, and can't get enough spleen & other offal (he once complained when a thanksgiving turkey came without giblets; everyone else in the family breathed a sigh of relief) - all things I can't stand. On the other side, my grandfather (who died when I was young, so this is all family legend) wouldn't touch cheese of any kind and adored hot dogs; I won't touch hot dogs but adore cheese. I like to think I got my Italian grandmother's food genes - more garlic, please!

    1. My brother and all the cousins on both sides were all cloned - all love good food of all types and all cook.

      1. I keep insisting that my brother was switched at birth. He eats nothing like the rest of our family.

        This guy lived off pizza pops, pizza and fast food. Nobody in my family eats like that. The guy gets sick when he eats something actually healthy.

        Worse yet, he adapts his eating pattern to his current girl friend's. One would eat NO cooked vegetables, didn't eat fish/seafood of any sort. My brother all of a sudden rejected all of these.

        It'd be tolerable if he was 15 but he's 37.

        1. My wife and I love spicy food, Indian, Mexican, Caribbean, Sichuanese, etc. When a new restaurant opens, especially one with that type of food, we can't wait to try it.

          Our son used to be like that, but as he went through adolescence, he became fussier and fussier. No onion. Nothing green, like veggies, etc.

          There are literlly thousands of restaurants here in Toronto, but he has four which are the only ones to which he will go. I will say that he evidentally made an intelligent choice when it came to getting married, since his wife actually seems to put up with this nonsense.

          P. S. In regard to the comment by Emmmily, pickled herring for breakfast does turn me off. The thing to have is herring in wine sauce, with cream cheese on a toasted half bagel.

          As to hot dogs and cheese, I split hot dogs, cook them, and then put some process or cheddar in the split, and melt it. I wrap this with some Mexican salsa ranchers in a flour tortilla. Olé!

          1. My sister has a huge sweet tooth and I don't. She could care less if she comes home from work and has a muffin for dinner. On the other hand, I like good meals and could practically skip dessert.

            When it comes to seafood, she has only haddock and that's it. I like almost any kind of seafood, even sushi.

            My two sons are like you and your brother fickle. Oldest is meat and potatoes, youngest is interested in new twists.


            1 Reply
            1. re: mcel215

              I am one of 5 siblings -- my brother and I are very adventurous food-wise, two of my sisters just the opposite. One won't even drink alcohol, but that's another thread, the other still limits herself to about 3 things when eating in a restaurant. As a kid she ALWAYS ordered the same thing when we went out as a family. God help us if we went someplace she couldn't get a grilled cheese sandwich and an orange soda! Today she has a teenage daughter who has been a vegetarian for several years, and tortured her mother with picky food choices. So what comes around, goes around!

            2. Oh goodness, I can't possibly be related to my brother. At a lovely seafood restaurant, he actually ordered the lobster, and then asked for ketchup. The waitress was appalled, I'm sure, but she did bring it to table for him. Anything spicy, unusual, unpronouncable is definitely out for him. Given the choice between a taco wagon and a gas station with a microwave, my brother will pick the gas station burrito everytime.

              But I adore him anyway.

              1. This is totally up my alley. My entire family thinks Olive Garden is Haute Cuisine (I know that is French, but go with me on this one) The only seafood they would touch is tuna in a can, fish and chips, or popcorn shrimp. Mention swordfish, sushi, or seared tuna and they would cringe. BBQ means Oscar Mayer and frozen patties burn to a crisp slapped on cheap white buns covered with catsup. They also think wines come in 2 varieties White Zinfandel, and Strawberry Hill! I love them dearly, but I do not dare ask them to eat at my favorite places. I can still see the look on my sisters face when I ordered Miso soup, and the Chef's special sushi plate at a Japanese restaurant I took her to a couple years ago. She turned as green as the seaweed. She ate from the grill, but still complained about everything. :::: sigh::::::

                2 Replies
                1. re: gryphonskeeper

                  That's funny...my brother thinks sushi is what rich folks use for chum.

                  1. re: kmr

                    How can you use seasoned rice for chum?

                2. My sister is only interested in recipes that included either a can, bag, bottle, or packet of something (soup, "taco" seasoning, salad dressing, etc.). Blech. Eating at her home is truly an act of love.

                  1. My sister does not enjoy talking about, preparing or even really consuming food. Period.

                    I love, passionately, all of the above.

                    We are both wives, mothers and working women in our 50's now...so neither of us are going to change.

                    But you only have to look at our parents to see the source of this diversion. My Mum (bless her!) was completely disinterested in food all her life...strictly food as fuel.

                    My Dad who is still going strong at 86, on the other hand, actually gets teary talking about a great cut of meat, fresh caught-salmon grilled by him. He will walk 3 miles for 'that' special bakery. They divorced after 25 years and, although they would not have been able to articulate their differing food philosophies as an issue, their subsequents choice of second mates proved it was the case.

                    My sister and I have so much else in common that it doesn't matter, now. But it took us a while to get here.

                    1. 3 siblings each of us 3 years apart - different with emerging similarities now that we are all in our 30's

                      Older sister - loves eating, needs food, eats like a horse and never gains a pound, doesn't like 'boring vegetarian food', but considers non-boring stuff to be a meal of chicken....has recently started expanding her borders, esp now that I've moved to her town, including a recent 13 course absolutely amazing nuno mendez meal

                      Myslef - eat anything and everything, love exploring, cast iron stomach and eat street food and haute cuisine with equal gusto

                      Younger brother - very homely when it comes to food, likes basic gujarati home cooking, but has also recently started exploring alot more and now enjoys a good hot thai curry, eats his steak medium rare (used to be a shoe leather kinda guy) and enjoys bison burgers

                      Parents - used to be carnivores but have been completely vegetarian for last 20 years (no eggs, no rennet cheese and no gelatin)

                      1. Being suprised by family members having different tastes in food is like being suprised they have gone into a different profession. No one is surprised when relatives have different jobs, so why is anyone suprised relatives have different tastes? What's the big deal?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: mwliechty

                          A family grows up eating the same meal every day for years, so it's interesting to see what directions the various children go when they reach adulthood.

                        2. My husband and I had driven to southeastern Michigan from Boston and planned to stop at my sister's before heading to my mother's. Sis promised us a BBQ chicken dinner. We made sure to be good and hungry when we got to her house. Imagine our shock when a naked piece of chicken breast was plopped on our plate "fresh from the grill". Turns out her idea of BBQ chicken meant it got cooked on the bbq-grill. All thoughts of smoky chicken parts daubed with BBQ sauce went "poof" as we desperately scanned the table for ketchup, hot sauce, anything that would moisten up that nasty dry chicken. There were no condiments to be had. We choked the chicken down, made nice, and laughed about it afterwards.

                          No way she and I are of the same gene pool.

                          1. jfood's brother was an incredible influence in jfood's food-learning. The two of them would discuss various cuisines and chefs for hours. Brother would walk jfood through Italian cookbooks for hours then just stand up and say "We're going to chinatown to eat." Then he would grab a Chinese cookbook, find some dishes he wanted, write the Chinese characters on a piece of paper and off tehy went. Most times jfood had no idea what he was eating but thye sat and discuss all the qualities and flavors. Then his brother would stand up and say, "we're going to little italy." Boom, jfood is sitting there eating cannolis and espresso.

                            His sister, let's not there. Her go to meal is Johnny Mazetti and serves cake using her hand as a serving utensil.