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Is there a name for this style of feeding oneself?

I can't figure out what board this should go on, so I'm posting it here.

I know a fellow who eats his dinner (and perhaps other meals as well) in an unusual way, and I'm wondering if anyone else has ever seen this, and if it has a name or is identified with some particular culture:

what he does is, every forkful has a little of each item on the dinner plate. So for expl let's say he has on his plate steak, string beans, and mashed potatoes. He cuts a piece of steak, puts it on his fork; adds a few strong beans (perhaps using his knife to get them on the fork), and then add adds a little mashed potato. Thus, every mouthful has a little of each item--and to my mind, the taste of any individual item is obscured, at best.

Anyone have a name for this, or any observations on it?

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  1. I don't know if there's a technical term, but I call those composed bites, assuming that all the elements on the plate were designed to go together. I do it too, but the way you talk about it almost makes it sound like a disorder... :P

    3 Replies
    1. re: inaplasticcup

      I was thinking the same thing! OCD?
      You're friend is on the opposite end of the spectrum from people who don't want any foods touching.

      1. re: monavano

        It is an obsessive compulsive tendency, it is not disorder until it goes so far as to be a problem in functioning normally.

    2. I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum, I usually eat each item one at a time and only start on the next item when I have finished the first one completely.

      20 Replies
      1. re: redfish62

        My son does the same thing. I secretly wish that he wouldn't but hey, was always happy when he ate most of the food on his plate. I've never even considered saying something politely about it, just let him be.

        1. re: lilgi

          For what it's worth, I used to eat this way - didn't like my foods touching, ate one thing at a time, and would rotate the plate when moving on to the next item. My mom noticed it, and let me know she noticed (especially when she first noticed the plate-turning, which I had been doing for years at that point), but let me be. I eventually grew out of it. :)

          1. re: Wahooty

            Moms have to learn to pick their battles, right? Not a terrible thing by any means, just seems odd to me but I have seen other people do this. And I think he eats this way because he knows he gets sated very quickly, so he eats his favorite part of the meal first ;)

            1. re: lilgi

              Ah...that's where we differ. At some point, I started saving my favorite for last. Probably sometime after a long standoff over finishing my peas. I won that one, but it wasn't worth it - I eventually started disposing of the things I hated first, then enjoying the good parts of dinner. :)

              I'll give my mom credit, though - I don't think in her eyes there was even a battle to pick. She just thought it was funny and let me be. She has always been awesome that way. And now that I am fully grown and eat anything they put before me, my mom and dad still will NOT cook peas when I am visiting. :)

              1. re: Wahooty

                i'm a separate - not obsessive about touching - ordered eater, and best is last. as a kid it was protein, then veg, then starch. with pasta though, i liked the sauce on the side, and it was noodles first, then sauce with a spoon. now it tends to be reverse, veg then protein. it irks my mother to no end, to this day. i have a marked discontent with "omelettes" that have the veggies cooked through them... to me this is a frittata, but somehow restaurants believe if they cook all the stuff as one and fold it over, it's somehow an omelette. i do not concur. i like my omelettes as eggs, rolled around veggies... so, i can continue to eat the veggies out first, followed by the eggs.

                the oddities abound... i eat all the stalks off my veggies (broccoli, cauliflower) before the florets. eat asparagus from the stiffer end to the floral end. carrots from the pointed end to the fat end.... ugh, no wonder i need ChowDate.

                1. re: Emme

                  That's funny because I'm almost obsessive about eating everything on the plate in equal rations, but not together. I want my last few bites to be each of the components on the plate. Funny how different people eat. :)

              2. re: lilgi

                >>>
                Moms have to learn to pick their battles, right?
                <<<

                This is one my Mom picked...along with lots of other ones. I was taught that one *never* ate all of one thing, and then the next, etc. One always ate a mix of everything, but never mixed foods on the fork. I still do it that way today.

                1. re: al b. darned

                  Did your mom ever share any words of wisdom? There's always a better chance when you start off early, I wish I had, but had another battle to pick. I also remember being taught to eat just like you, no wisdom shared just "this is the way it is".

                  1. re: lilgi

                    >>>
                    Did your mom ever share any words of wisdom?
                    <<<

                    It was considered to be rude. Being Rude was one of the High Sins in our house growing up.

                    1. re: al b. darned

                      Yes! Zero tolerance here as well, but it never entered my mind that eating this way as a habit is considered rude. While it never seemed "right" I never knew why, but (for me) this adds a different perspective.

          2. re: redfish62

            There are some things I ALWAYS eat first and until it is gone; broccoli comes to mind because I don't like it cold. But I never combine food on the fork if it is not already combined, I just go back and forth between items. I have no problem with foods arriving pre-mixed like a stir-fry, but it drives me nuts when individual foods are piled on top of each other. Quirks!!

            1. re: redfish62

              that's what i do! and i tend to eat things in order, and one item at a time even if it's a composed dish (unless i am in sort of dining establishment where it's inappropriate to pick stuff apart or can't reasonably do it with a fork). example: for a salad, i'll eat all of one type of vegetable one at a time and then move on to the next. sandwiches are never eaten in bites - i pick out the tomato, then lettuce, then the turkey, then the bread.

              i used to pick off pizza toppings one by one, then i would move to cheese, then peel the crust in layers, but this horrified my boyfriend so much that i learned to eat my pizza like a "normal" person. i tend to revert when eating alone...

              1. re: jamieeats

                Just curious...why do you eat your food this way?

                1. re: joonjoon

                  Because to her it is the right way to eat the food.

                  I used to pick each and every pepperoni off of a takeout pizza and eat them one by one before I would take a single bite out of the pizza itself.

                  1. re: redfish62

                    But why? Why did you decide to pick each piece of pepperoni off the pizza before consuming it? If you've never thought about it that's fine, but if it was a logical, thought out process I'm curious to know what the reason was.

                    1. re: joonjoon

                      i actually don't eat pepperoni, i normally get vegetable pizza. i just think each ingredient tastes better when it is separate from the rest i guess, and i don't enjoy the full bites quite as much. i also prefer to eat very slowly.

                    2. re: redfish62

                      Whereas, the kid on "2 1/2 men" saved them to eat in bed later- to each his own.

                  2. re: redfish62

                    I did this as a kid, but I outgrew it. I think I did because I found food so delicious that I wanted to finish something once I started it, then move on to the next delicious thing.

                    1. re: redfish62

                      I used to do that, too. My mother, who was really into humiliation tactics, used to tell anybody and everybody about it.

                    2. I was actually going to volunteer that i have the opposite "affliction". I detest my food touching, although I am getting better w/ some things such as mashed potatoes and sauce/gravy. As long as said person is eating neatly and in a mannerly way- to each his own. The Husband always says to me when I cringe at some of his food combos, " it all goes to the same place!".

                      1. Aggregeating, banquentire or masticatotalling?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: DonShirer

                          Aggregeating...thanks, Don. Perfect! Put it in the dictionary..

                        2. I wouldn't cal lit a disorder. it's just not the usual state of affairs.

                          For desserts with multiple ingredients like strawberry shortcake with whipped cream, I usually try every possible combination of the ingredients. Then I eat the rest in the tastiest combination. Sometimes a bit of everything is the tastiest.