Why are we upset when others don't like the same foods?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by koukouvagia, May 4, 2010.

  1. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Do you ever find yourself getting defensive or frustrated when someone says they don't like a certain food that you love?  Just in another thread someone said they weren't fond of dill and I immediately thought "Oh no!  They just haven't tried it in the right foods!"

    Why do we get so emotionally distraut over other's culinary preferences?
     
  2. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    What you like and don't like is usually mixed in to a person's sense of identity. When others dislike something one likes, it can be seen as a rejection of self.

    I'm not saying that's rational but it's often tied up in people's minds that way.
     
  3. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    The thing is, at base, food is an emotional experience. So peoples likes and dislikes don't have to make sense.

    But, being emotional in nature, food is, as Phil notes, often tied in with a sense of identity. So, when others reject our choices, we get kind of defensive about it.
     
  4. french fries

    french fries

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    I think you'll find that behavior is not limited to food: if I told you I'm not a big fan of this or that author, musician or actress and you happen to love her, you'd probably have the same reaction.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2010
  5. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Because we know that they haven't tried it prepared properly?  I like every food, but I don't like any poorly prepared food.  I mean, I love sweetbreads but I know I won't like poorly prepared sweetbreads.
     
  6. gypsy2727

    gypsy2727

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    Forever people will have their opinions and they are entitled to them,

    That's what makes us so unique  

    we learn to early as children acceptance is important and well it is to a certain degree ....but for me I guess "Gypsy" says it all.
    Live like no one is watching and beleive 1/2 of what you see and none of what you hear.

    I love it when people critique my food ,it's an open door to invite teaching and learning
     
  7. teamfat

    teamfat

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    I like X
    You don't like X
    Therefore you don't like me.

    Not exactly real logic, but it probably is a motivating factor.


    Often when I'm watching things like Iron Chef, Top Chef, Hell's Kitchen or whatever I think it would be helpful to have some unbiased, honest opinions about my food.  Sure, my wife and friends think I'm a great cook, they easily spout words of praise - "best they've ever had", "when are you going to open your restaurant" and so forth.  I want to hear comments like 'overdone fish', 'way to much tarragon' 'needs more acidity' or whatever.  Informed and constructive criticism would help improve my food, I am sure.

    mjb.
     
  8. shane

    shane Banned

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    I   believe   you'll find that   demeanor   is not   restricted   to food: if I told you I'm not a   large-scale    follower   of this or that   scribe,    instrumentalist   or   player   and you   occur   to love her, you'd   likely   have the   identical   reaction.
     
  9. french fries

    french fries

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    WOW! Thank you so much for sharing your own personal views on the topic. Really insightful. Without you I'm nothing. You're like... my alter ego.

    What did you do, copy paste my post into a synonym dictionary and repost it in the same thread? 
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2010
  10. dc sunshine

    dc sunshine

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    Human nature.  "You are not like me", so you must be wrong.  I have some of this attitude too, but not so much when it comes to choices in food.  If someone likes green butter on souffle - I'll try and get it for them.  As I get older I worry less about it.

    I love offal, no-one else I know except my father does, so I don't offer it to anyone else (I'll make spare on the off chance) but if not, I'll make what they prefer.  If my preferred stuff doesn't get eaten - Yay! leftovers.

    My main area of criticism in this respect would be the choice of clothes, music and hairdos.  I couldn't be bothered keeping up with trends, I just go with what suits me, and what I like.  But then again, it doesn't irk me that much which people wear what.  Just mutton dressed as lamb is pretty repulsive.

    I guess that's why in movies, aliens look "Different from us", to make us immediately suspicious of them....
     
  11. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Oddly enough it doesn't bother me if someone doesn't like what I have cooked.  What's even odder is that I only feel this way about certain ingredients or brands.  For example if someone says "I don't like linguini with clams" I could care less.  But if they say "I don't like fresh parsley in linguini in clams" I'm put off by it.  Likewise I'm fine if someone says "I don't care for chicken soup" but if they say "I would never put carrots in chicken soup" it gets me riled up.

    It doesn't bother me when someone doesn't like the same movies or music.  It does however bother me if someone doesn't like the same books or fashion.  I'm an oddity.
     
  12. chefross

    chefross

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     It is hard to imagine that people are put off by some foods. We as culinary professionals have, by our work, been exposed to many kinds of food, and therein lies our problem. We see all kinds of food and prepare exotic plates that excite our imagination and challenge our technical skills.
    Most people, however, eat pretty plainly, even to the point where parsley is something that many people don't care for.
    I grew up eating everything put in front of me. It was either that, or go to bed hungry. 
    As a professional Chef it is frustrating for me to create a dish and have the client turn their nose up at it.
    The most you can do is cook from your heart, use fresh ingredients.
    There is no accounting for taste and there is nothing that can be done except and long "SIGH!!!"
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2010
  13. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Sure, my wife and friends think I'm a great cook, they easily spout words of praise - "best they've ever had", "when are you going to open your restaurant" and so forth.  I want to hear comments like 'overdone fish', 'way to much tarragon' 'needs more acidity' or whatever.  Informed and constructive criticism would help improve my food, I am sure.

    We've probably all experienced that, Teamfat. But I'm thinking there's a different syndrome involved. Seems to me there are two major factors at work; one, obviously, is politeness. Unless a dish out-and-out sucks (and how often does that happen?), friends and family are always going to praise your food. And if a dish did suck, they wouldn't criticize it; they'd just keep quiet.

    On the other hand, it depends so much on who you're serving. In many cases, the people you are serving don't know any differently. They can't offer constructive criticism because they don't recognize when the fish is overdone, or there's too much tarragon, or the flavors need balancing. All they know is that they really liked what you served.

    Take my brother---please. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif  His idea of a good steak is cooking it to the shoeleather stage and dousing it with ketchup. One time I snuck in a properly cooked steak, and he raved about how good it was. Best he'd ever eaten. But the point is, he didn't know what a good steak was supposed to taste like; so how could he possibly figure out why the one I served him was so good?
     
  14. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    That's it!  non-adventuresome eaters.  non-creative cooks.  

    Those that say, " chef would you cook for me? what ever you'd like to make".....those are the people that get the best....
    Those that start nit picking are not as fun....
    If I get general perimeters from....ie, vegan, celiac, vegetarian......those are OK, it's a starting point to create....
    Those that come with, " I don't likes" are another story.....

    It's all attitude baby!
     
  15. siduri

    siduri

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    I don't mind when people don't like certain foods, because there's no accounting for taste.  I just hate it when i made a great cake and someone says "oh I NEVER eat sweets".  Apart from diabetics, (and i will bend over backwards to make them a nice desert without sugar, out of intense compassion for whoever really can't eat something, it seems so unfair) but i just get my hackles up when they play the ascetic - and then i try with all my powers to make somehting so irresistible that they usually succumb!
    I also detest the food fads that make people deny themselves basic and essential things (for cooking) like wheat or milk products, unless they have an actual allergy or (actually pretty rare) disease. 
     
  16. titomike

    titomike

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    Siduri....Touche!

    I'm pretty much 'seeking approval' when I cook....it's core to my personality according to my parents...so I dont often care what 'I' think.
    I rarely have eaten a whole dish I've created just tasted the components and sometimes hacked up a plate with other staff...I know this seems bizarre but I'm not cooking for myself and so rely on co-workers, owners & patrons for opinion. Interpreting that opinion takes practice. This is why honest feedback is so critical...ultimately customers are ordering a description so you better be able to back it up, on a good day, beyond their expectations. If not you need to here about it from your fronthouse and they wont do this if they're scared of offending you.
    We often call "taste test!" and anyone around grabs a spoon checks the product. This promotes trust, discussion and consistency and is a useful training technique for building confidence in young chefs...they love to hear "Perfect!" or reccomend an adjustment and be right!
    There are also an estimated 2% of patrons who cannot be satisfied so if you can get them into the kitchen there will be 1.99% and falling..../img/vbsmilies/smilies/cool.gif
     
  17. joshua47

    joshua47

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    Hmm. I'd agree that some chefs and cooks share that outlook, but I've met a good number who do have personal preferences (simple ones: "I don't like cooked bell peppers," or "spinach shouldn't go in the oven no matter the dish" or whatever) and that doesn't make them any less passionate about food and their work. It doesn't make them less imaginative.

    I think differences in taste are a good thing, so long as it's not a lack of trying. For example, I can't stand most shellfish. I really can't do it. I love clam chowder, but if you put a plate of oysters in front of me, I'd rather not eat it. If your cooking is new to me, sure, I'll give anything another try, but my own history at this point tells me that I've never had an oyster that I've enjoyed. However, I think it's important to understand this: It's not to my taste, and that is in no way a reflection on your skill as a cook, and my tastes and opinions in an example like this shouldn't be taken as personal judgments. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif

    Unfortunately, there are altogether way too many people who don't understand personal taste, and therefore blame the dish. And that's harder to not take personally.

     
    Last edited: May 6, 2010
  18. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    There's a saying in the cajun bayou, if you appear squeemish about eating something...."great leaves more for me".  was said to me by a dear friend who was teaching me to suck crawfish heads...
     
  19. joshua47

    joshua47

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    Haha! That's too true a saying, Shroom. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif
     
  20. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

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    After 30 years in the Restaurant/Food Business, nothing bothers me...............Chef Bill