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Nov 12, 2010 12:06 PM

Cooking with NON-Foodie Friends

I have a few friends who are super picky eaters. When you're a foodie, it's a real challenge to cook with them or for them, or even agree on a simple pizza or appetizer.

Does anyone have a technique for dealing with NON-Foodies? A story to share?

I have one friend who will not try anything other than standard red sauce on pizza, and never ANY toppings other than pepperoni.

Another friend will not eat anything with either garlic or onions in it.


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  1. I have one friend who won't eat anything that is touching a bone - in other words, a steak w/bone in; roasted chicken, etc. & another friend who won't eat anything with onions. When the three of us go out, we frequent buffets. :-)

    2 Replies
    1. re: muirne81

      My bf was the same way when we first met. (Although our second date was at Medieval Times, where he had to eat a whole chicken...ha!) I couldn't understand it at all...but after several years (and a good introduction to ribs and hot wings), he has finally come around.

      1. re: muirne81

        When I have a dinner party I make sure and have a variety of foods, everyone finds something for them. It opens up people to trying new things too. I have a friend who only ate plain noodles and grilled chicken breasts. I kept inviting her over and the more she tried the more she liked. I can't believe I saw her eating pad thai the other day!

      2. Sometimes it's about the friendship and not to food. My friends consider me the picky one because I'd rather not eat at the Cheesecake Factory,:-)

        2 Replies
        1. re: chowser

          I concur with chowser... sometimes best just to enjoy the company that you're with and savor the experience of eating when you are with people who have similar tastes to your own.

          1. re: chowser

            Yeah, I know that feeling. I've learned to eat before getting dragged to Chili's or the like, and then just get something small. I get to enjoy their company, and don't waste money on food I don't want to eat.

          2. I just go with it. I can eat picky-eaters food and will do so in these cases. No biggie for me, but it would be a big deal for them to have to eat things they don't like. One of the advantages of *not* being a fussy one! :)

            1. I'll go anywhere because I'm the exact opposite of a picky eater and can find something to eat anywhere. So I either let them pick or (if they're visiting me from out of town) I pick a restaurant I know they'll like or find something they'll like.

              If I'm not a picky eater and they are, then I'll defer to them because I'm their friend and want to spend time with them. Being able to eat a good meal while spending time with them is just extra and not necessary.

              1. I think it all boils down to is the friend or the occasion more important. Right now in my life I really need some "Foodie Friends". I was unexpectedly stuck in Fort Worth 3 years ago and I've tried to make the best of it. I can talk cutting horses and saddles all day, I can talk accounting and business with another group, I still have my bunch of Hollywood friends and we can talk about the film and music business in CA.

                You will never satisfy your NON-foodie friends. Don't bother cooking for them, and just let your friendship take you to whatever non-foodie place they like.

                5 Replies
                1. re: Barbara76137

                  Exactly--develop different groups of friends for different interests. I don't expect my CH friends to go for 10 mile runs with me any more than I'd expect my runner friends to love the foods I do. It's nice if they're both but they don't have to be.

                  1. re: chowser

                    I'm with Barbara here. I really could use some foodie friends to share food passions with. I'm lucky to have a mother who's a foodie and a sister. Amongst the three of us, we could talk food all day long. Alas, though, they live far away.

                    One of my non-foodie friends suprised me though. She was over last night, and I had mentioned I made an asparagus lasagna that I thought was out of this world. She actually tried a bite and said she loved it! Go figure. LOL.

                    1. re: natewrites

                      I'm lucky I work in the food industry and have some coworkers who actually like food.

                      Most of my friends are either cheapskates (i.e. $10 meals and yet they mostly make more than me) or don't find the additional value in more refined cooking.

                      I am lucky they at least will eat stuff with bones, I wouldn't know how to deal with people who don't eat food with bones, in fact I find it borderline offensive as a foodie for someone not to appreciate all parts of the animal and the bone is the least intimidating.

                      1. re: Johnny L

                        Laughing at Barbara as I'm unexpectedly stuck in Fort Worth now! Almost 2 years and counting... no foodie friends for miles. So I just kind of let the other person choose the restaurant or cook on the bland side if someone comes over. I'm finding the people around me can really appreciate and overdone steak and baked potato, it's becoming my signature dish!

                        1. re: alliegator

                          That ain't much of a "signature"! :) But I understand, you gotta overcook the steak! And I was criticized because I insisted on actually baking potatoes and just not nuking them in the microwave.

                          Any time you want to check out a Fort Worth restaurant with a fellow foodie, just let me know!