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Sep 4, 2013 08:39 AM

The opposite of a chowhound

I've always wondered who is the opposite of me, someone who loves food and understanding and appreciating food.

I think the answer came to my house as a houseguest this weekend. A teenaged boy. He enjoyed the (homemade coconut cream) pie I made and then asked what kind of pie it was.

His Dad said what kind does it taste like. Kid responded "It tastes like pie. I eat pie. I never cared what it tasted like."

Well, at least the pure coconut flavouring got his attention for the first time in fourteen years.

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    1. Umm...average American? A friend once told me he wished he could buy Purina People Chow.

      6 Replies
      1. re: mwhitmore

        mwhitmore: i think your friend must be my next door neighbor.
        my neighbor said practically the exact same thing to me last week. . . . . . .

        1. re: mwhitmore

          Only an American would articulate this kind of exceptionalism. Trust me, a lack of interest in food (particularly within the obsessive parametres of the chowhound) is a global phenomenon.

          Actually, wait, I take that back: Plenty of douches over here who love to pile on the Americans, often revealing their own profound ignorance. The things I could say about some people I know...

          1. re: Lizard

            Of course this happens in all industrialised countries at least. But I think the posts referenced (US) Americans, simply because they and the people involved in the anecdote were such.

            1. re: Lizard

              "American exceptionalism"? I just read this - but did you use that phrase before Obama's Syria speech on 9/10? That's quite prescient.

                1. re: fara

                  Myself, I only lay claim to a more modest "Northwest-Indianan exceptionalism," mainly on the view that I make better breads than anyone I know and better non-commercial pizzas, as well.

                  But I freely admit to lacking imagination in desserts....

          2. How about a Cold Fish.
            My mother is this way. Even her favorite quote on her facebook page is "I eat to live, not live to eat". Who puts that on FB?
            Her thing with food is maintaining a certain (very average) weight. And dry salads, cottage cheese, boiled chicken breasts are all in the mix. Yuck.
            I can visualize COLDFISH, the website and message boards, and it ain't pretty.

            4 Replies
            1. re: alliegator

              My grandmother was like that. Whenever she was in the kitchen near food, even if just pouring a bowl of cereal for her husband, she had a look of distain on her face. Holiday dinners were awful, once cocktail hour had come to a close.

              1. re: tcamp

                So was my grandmother! My mom must have learned it from her.
                I thank my lucky stars that dad was in charge of the kitchen and made separate dinner for us.
                Oddly enough, my brother and I have grown into to the complete opposite. Adventurous eaters, and decent cooks.

                1. re: alliegator

                  Lucky for me, my mom didn't turn out the same. She met my dad, who liked food, and she learned to cook using recipes from the LA Times and Sunset Magazine.

              2. re: alliegator

                I love this! I'm to use that one, flipped around - I Live to Eat!!

              3. I've noticed that with most of my friends, they just don't care about food as much as I do. Since I travel a lot for work, I will also say this is the same for a lot of my co-workers, as well. When traveling in a new city, I do my research and try to seek out the best meal I can depending on time, money and logistics. My coworkers would just as well go to whatever place is directly next to the convention center we're at without knowing much else about the restaurant. Actually, I take that back, they care about cost of food and that is it. My coworkers hate paying for food!

                A lot of my friends are the same way, but luckily I do a lot of my personal traveling just with my best friend, and she basically gives me free reign to pick all of our restaurants knowing that it's important to me and I'm good at it! :) she appreciates it, but just says she couldn't imagine ever putting as much research into choosing a place to eat as I do.

                13 Replies
                1. re: SaraAshley

                  i friend of mine who went on a business trip to Brazil was faced with coworkers who wanted to eat all their meals at McDs.
                  they used to call McDs The Embassy.

                  my friend was practically the only one in the group that would even TRY any local food.

                  1. re: westsidegal

                    Oh geez! I'm afraid I would just have to venture out without my coworkers in that case, which I've already had to do on many occasions.

                    1. re: westsidegal

                      My husband is one of these :( At his previous place of employ, he often traveled to Guangzhou. And enjoyed dining at his American hotel with his coworkers. They called it the fort. The fort and work were the only places these dudes would go, trip after trip.

                      1. re: alliegator

                        Mine too. He's on a long contract in San Diego, there almost every week from Sunday-Thursday, staying right downtown. He has eaten at Yard House many many times already. Nothing wrong with Yard House but it's like c'monnn go try some of the awesome restaurants. He has a pretty decent per diem for food every day too. He said "I'd rather buy cheap food and use the money to drink". LOL!

                        1. re: juliejulez

                          Yard House?! Jeezus, that's one of Mangator's favorite's. *smacking palm into head*
                          I would love to have these must take trips to just find a moment to enjoy some local grub. When I think of all the fabulous meals that were never eaten, I die a little inside :(

                          1. re: alliegator

                            I know :( I will say, if SO's boss is in town with him, they tend to go to more "adventurous" places, because his boss does the research and says "we're going here". They did indian food a few weeks ago and I was shocked. I was even more shocked when SO said he liked it :) But, ever the non-chowhounder, when I asked him what he had he said "I don't know, something with lamb in it". LOL

                            1. re: juliejulez

                              Haha, now that's funny. Bummer that you'll never be able to make it for him.

                    2. re: SaraAshley

                      That happens a lot on business travel. One of my best recent trips was with 3 guys who actually liked food. One guy in particular. They were totally up for seeking out interesting spots for lunch and/or dinner and let me take the lead. No room service for us on that trip. Made a rather unexciting destination quite fun!

                      1. re: tcamp

                        That's great! I have a few co-workers that also share my love of food, and one in particular, and I always enjoy when I travel with those co-workers. It's so much nicer than traveling with my co-workers who turn down any place that is not less than $20 per entrée when we are getting a very generous per diem for food!! Of course as chowhounds, we all know you can find some very chow-worthy food for less, but I think you get my point! :)

                      2. re: SaraAshley

                        For several years I worked with a consulting group and the same dozen of us were traveling 3-4 days a week all over the US and Canada. The whole group basically ate to live. If they wanted a fancy meal it would be an inexpensive steakhouse, or Chili's, maybe Red Lobster once in awhile. The rest of the time it was McD's, BK, Wendy's, etc. And it wasn't about the money. We had an incredible per diem and stayed in 4 star hotels. It drove me crazy because these were highly intelligent people with diverse backgrounds who were a joy to talk to. And the only time we got a chance to talk to each other was during breakfast or dinner, and I don't really do breakfast, especially if I have to do mental work. I'd rather spend the time prepping, relaxing, or meditating before a long, hard day. I would have to go by myself for 1/2 the dinners so I could explore all the interesting and new foods in whatever town we were in, usually a conference town like Atlantic City, La Vegas, Scottsdale, Orlando, etc. The other 1/2 of the dinners were boring. A mediocre steak and baked potato just doesn't do it for me. By the time I was in my last few months with the firm I was eating every meal by myself because I couldn't even stand the smell of the places the others wanted to go to eat.

                        1. re: JMF

                          I know exactly what you are saying, I worked for the Federal govt. for a long time, we would have around 3 events a year we would have to travel to. We usually went to Vegas because the hotels offered incredible savings for flights and lodging, roughly 1/2 the cost to go anywhere else, It was the same as you, generous pier diem and plenty of time for meals but I broke away from my co-workers and enjoyed meals, I was labled stand offish, weird etc. could care less. I shared a room one time with an extreme tight wad, he went to a store somewhere and got bologna wonderbread and a small jar of mayo,stuffed it all in fridg. he ate that for 4 days straight. I know exactly where you are coming from! I could go on for hours on this.

                          1. re: mrbigshotno.1

                            Bologna man, IMO, is exactly what I think of when I envision the opposite of a chowhound.

                            1. re: mrbigshotno.1

                              As a poor student, I will admit that I would do this. However, instead of bologna, Wonderbread, and mayo, I'd do rotisserie chicken, a french loaf, and a chunk of manchego.

                        2. My late father-in-law. He did not want to eat anything with flavor. Well, he would eat asparagus but he was happiest with nursery food. Bland bland bland. Luckily that did not affect my husband. My mother-in-law was a very frustrated cook.