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Bread And Butter: Unusual Food Preferences


In college I discovered the absolute greatness that is dipping tortilla chips straight into sour cream. No mixing with salsa required, although, that’s pretty great, too, and still a favorite standby lunch. The first few times I ate my chips into cream concoction, it felt a little wrong, like I was breaking some sort of rule and, even still, decades past living in a dorm, I sometimes catch myself feeling unnecessarily guilty about my unusual snack. Not enough to stop me, of course, but I do sometimes give pause. 

I’m sure uncovering that trail of guilt and shame over something harmless would make an awesome hour of self discovery via my therapist, but let’s just assume it’s simply about eating what is viewed as acceptable and not offbeat and leave it.


But, I do have to wonder: what unusual food loves are staples in your life? I’m not talking about those things that you love that others also like because they are, really, just food preferences:  olives, raisins, sardines. Or even my more than frequent snack of prunes. Yes, those juicy dried plums that are often mocked and stereotyped but are a constant in a pantry canister at my house, frequently a go to for snacking. 

But even those are more typical than I’m thinking, even if they are just a few of the many items that heatedly divide people of all walks of life. But, still, they are very typical food stuffs. I’m imagining combinations that make people’s eyebrows raise nearly every time, not just fries dipped in a shake, which should never be questioned, or pineapple paired with sausage on pizza, also, never questioned.


The first one that comes to my mind, actually is orange juice in cereal. As in a replacement for milk. I don’t care what the people say, really, I cannot in good conscience even try this. The thought of sweet orange juice comingling with my morning sweet, sugary cereal is enough to make this woman weep. I can’t imagine how that would taste, but a search, and a college education, informs that this is, in fact, a horrific go to for many.


As I chide those who would eat such a travesty of taste, I’m reminded of the first time I made a childhood staple away from home. First, you boil rice and raisins, together. You then dish that into a bowl. Sprinkle with sugar and cover with milk and you have rice and raisins. A perfectly acceptable ‘I don’t want to cook tonight’ dinner substitute. 


I grew up with this poor rice pudding substitute at my fingertips more often that I can recount, but the first time I ate it in front of non-family, I was met with abject horror. But a bowl of rice and raisins seems tame, to me, especially when I came across accolades for putting peanut butter on nearly anything that isn’t a sandwich. 

I’m not a food Grinch. I’ll eat a peanut butter banana sandwich without a thought or care, but I ran across a picture of peanut butter as a topping for scrambled eggs and I think that’s where I might draw the line. It does make me balk at those people who are outraged by my ketchup egg topping, however. Ketchup equals normal. Peanut butter equals jelly. The math just simply isn’t there.


Nor is it there for the many ways people make pickles suffer. Now I love pickles. Sweet or dill. Sweet for tuna and egg salad and potato salad. And hamburgers. And hot dogs. And just general snacking. Dill for hamburgers. Or, when you find yourself in the Vancouver British Columbia open food market, buying a tub of the world’s best garlic dills and, again, just generally snacking on them. This all to say that I am not a pickle hater, at all. But pickle and peanut butter? Sweet or dill, I’m slowly backing away from that one. Especially when I can roll a sweet pickle into a flour tortilla, brushed with butter and slathered in cheese and eat that instead, just as the sweet pickle gods intended.


In fact, I’ve noticed that a lot of these unusual food loves involve peanut butter and/or pickles. So maybe I shouldn’t be too hard on the fact that the two finally found their way to each other and joined forces? I imagine those who love peanut butter tomato sandwiches and the people who are eating pickle and tomato sandwiches one day finding one another and joining forces, uniting in an unusual food love coexistence and I’m the one who will be left holding the 

proverbial bag of wonder. 


Either that or they will run out of tomatoes often while living their quiet lives away from the judging eyes of the person who hides her-chips-straight-into-the-sour-cream-vat obsession while securing her pickle-in-a-cheesy-tortilla lunch. Which we’ll not speak of again, of course. Unless you want to try one. And then I’ll happily dish yours alongside. Side of sour cream optional.