To get a bit impatient with really fussy eaters (adults)

(455 Posts)
atthewelles Mon 18-Feb-13 16:25:31

I'm not talking about people with medical conditions which preclude certain foods from their diet or people who have anxiety issues re certain types of food/ different foods touching each other on the plate etc

But adults who just turn their noses up at anything other than plain meat and potatoes and act as if vegetables, pasta, fish, anything containing spices or garlic or cooked in a sauces is on a par with serving up roasted worms are a bit irritating - difficult to cook for and impossible to please when trying to meet up in a restaurant.

AIBU to think grown ups should at least try a few different foodstuffs and be a little bit open minded about what they're prepared to eat?

ThonHoor Mon 18-Feb-13 16:27:15

YANBU. I totally agree.

I have no time whatsoever for grown adults who turn their nose up at good quality food because they choose to behave like a 4 year old. And I don't cook for fussy eaters.

teaandbourbons Mon 18-Feb-13 16:27:39

YANBU, I have a friend like this. So difficult to find a restaurant with something she will actually eat!

Jins Mon 18-Feb-13 16:28:17

How do you know they haven't tried different things?

Kittenkatzen Mon 18-Feb-13 16:28:27

YANBU to find it mildy irritating. Ultimately their loss though <shrugs>

ENormaSnob Mon 18-Feb-13 16:29:24

Unless you are having to cater for them I can't really see the problem tbh.

There are a few things I won't eat and a whole shed load of stuff I will. It doesn't really impact on anyone else imo.

I have a friend like this. So proud he doesn't eat vegetables. Plonker.

atthewelles Mon 18-Feb-13 16:30:13

Jins because I know some really fussy eaters who openly admit they've never eaten certain items because the look/smell 'disgusting'. They apply this to an enormous range of foods and basically are only prepared to eat the food their mum used to cook for them.

FoxtrotFoxtrotSierra Mon 18-Feb-13 16:30:20

Maybe they have tried stuff and don't like anything else. Surely as adults they're allowed to know their own minds.

CrapBag Mon 18-Feb-13 16:31:14

YABU but there will plenty along to tell you you are not.

Its nothing to you if another grown person decides that they don't want to eat a more varied diet. I hate this thing where others think other adults have to eat a more varied diet. As an adult we can eat whatever the hell we like whether its bland or not. I am a slightly fussy eater and just choose not to eat out much or not eat at others houses. If they invite me (knowing I am slightly fussy, I am not actually that bad) then they cook something I like, not invite me then expect me to eat whatever they serve.

Although my friend does think I have a phobia of trying new food stemming from a bad early 4 years, being starved and other food related issues like having face shoved in it and having to watch others eating nice food while I sat with dry bread and water. I have actually had to have a strong word with some of my friends who make constant references to my food issues. It gets pretty grating.

Softlysoftly Mon 18-Feb-13 16:31:37

Yabu Ok there are limits but grown ups know what they do/don't like generally should they eat things they hate?

I can't stand rice and prawns. My friend and mil keep trying to force it on me. I don't have to like everything!

atthewelles Mon 18-Feb-13 16:31:41

But it does impact on other people Enorma. For instance, choosing a restaurant for a work night out is always a nightmare because someone or other will only eat plain burgers and chips and can't stand the smell of garlic or anything in a sauce etc etc.

FoxtrotFoxtrotSierra Mon 18-Feb-13 16:32:07

Damn, x-post. Though not eating stuff that smells disgusting sounds OK to me.

I am horribly fussy but will try new things (and old things as my mother insists my tastebuds will change) and just not eat the bits I don't do if people cook for me. Having been forced to clear my plate of food I loathed as a child has left me with the opinion that I shouldn't have to do the same as an adult.

Jins Mon 18-Feb-13 16:32:36

I can't see why it's difficult at a restaurant to be honest. Most places have a really simple option somewhere on it.

As far as catering for them goes then just don't do it. Let people help themselves and make sure there's bread and leave them to it. They'll be a whole lot happier than having the hostess being all judgy about what they eat

CrapBag Mon 18-Feb-13 16:32:45

Also smell is linked to taste, if I can't stand the smell of something to the point it makes me gag, then I am not going to like the bloody taste either!

valiumredhead Mon 18-Feb-13 16:34:07

It's the sneering and over the top gagging that I have no patience with.

GrowSomeCress Mon 18-Feb-13 16:34:19


Particularly irritates me when people expect a large portion of beef or whatever with everything as it 'isn't a meal' without red meat

FreckledLeopard Mon 18-Feb-13 16:34:30

Fussy eaters drive me up the wall - children are bad enough, but I cannot abide picky adults. Obviously, I'm not going to serve up offal, pigs' trotters or sauted rattlesnake. But pasta, onions, garlic, tomatoes, cheese, eggs - none of these are especially exotic.

Happy to cater for people with allergies, veggies etc - but otherwise, I think, grown-ups ought to be able to eat what's put in front of them, even if they're not wild about it. It's polite.

GrowSomeCress Mon 18-Feb-13 16:35:32

atthewelles completely agree, I don't like it when people refuse things they have never tried because 'it looks vile' so rude too!

atthewelles Mon 18-Feb-13 16:35:48

I know valium. I particularly hate 'Eugh. Do you know what that reminds me of......' angry

Jins Mon 18-Feb-13 16:36:06

I have dietary issues by the way. I'm a coeliac but when you let people know in advance you'd think I'd told them I only eat roasted worms. So many people can't cook without resorting to gluten somewhere.

I'm on the side of the fussy people. Eating is supposed to be a pleasure after all

ElliesWellies Mon 18-Feb-13 16:36:19

My ex was like this. No fruit, no veg. He had chronic constipation and it was bloody obvious why, but he was insistent it was some kind of unspecified medical condition instead of a diet of shop-bought ready meals, too much meat, and too much dairy.

ENormaSnob Mon 18-Feb-13 16:36:30

So go with the restaurant the majority want to eat at. That's what we do at work and within my social circle.

I have never once not found something I like on a menu. Tbf though, there are millions of things I do eat and only a few I don't so maybe you know really exceptionally fussy eaters?

ewaczarlie Mon 18-Feb-13 16:37:31

YANBU - DH is like this and it drives me mad e.g. will eat roast potato, hash browns and potato waffles but refuses mash, normal potatoes, new potatoes etc If his fussiness was limited to potatoes i would forgive him but sadly theres a whole list of veg that i cant cook for him (real pain when im cooking dinner and have to do 2 diff versions!)

TheFallenNinja Mon 18-Feb-13 16:40:19

This drives me mad. It's just utterly ridiculous. Grown ups that act like children over food.

Most of em make it up for the attention. Hrmphh

atthewelles Mon 18-Feb-13 16:41:18

I can't stand rice and prawns. My friend and mil keep trying to force it on me. I don't have to like everything! Quote

What has this got to do with the point being made on this thread?

digerd Mon 18-Feb-13 16:43:21

My SIL is a brilliant cook and so is her son-in-law. So I never complain.
My days of entertaining and cooking for 30 people are over, - relieved expression.

noblegiraffe Mon 18-Feb-13 16:44:11

Why should they eat something they don't like or don't want to just to please you? Self absorbed, much?

Twattybollocks Mon 18-Feb-13 16:44:24

Yabu. I'm a fussy eater. Certain smells and textures make me gag, if I carried on eating them I would probably vomit. I don't know why I'm this way, but I hate the same foods now as I did when I was a kid. Why should I eat foods that I don't like and spoil my meal just to avoid annoying people who aren't fussy? I can generally find something I like on the menu at most types of restaurant except mexican, so it doesn't limit me overly. I try to avoid people who don't know me cooking meals for me so I avoid offending if they have spent time making something I just can't stomach. People who know me know my quirks and are normally happy to cater for them, or I'll just leave the bits I don't like.

I'm picky, but if someone invites me to tea at theirs, I eat it. If it's my lucky day and they've asked if there's anything I don't eat, I will give them my top two hates (raw tomato and yoghurt) but everything else I can cope with.
FWIW it's a texture thing- I don't get it either but it sets my teeth on edge.

I have a friend who makes me pale in comparison. We just get McDonalds or pizza if we're eating together. No sauces, no veggies, no spices, no garlic...

YABU, and YANBU. YABU to tar us all with the same brush, but YANBU because it's a bloody PITA.

ENormaSnob Mon 18-Feb-13 16:44:51

Just realised I can't actually decide if I think yabu or not grin

I don't really socialise with anyone that is that fussy so can't really comprehend how it impacts so much on others tbh.

I don't eat seafood, mushrooms (although I cook with them and remove them from my portion) or savoury stuff with fruit in. Other than that I can eat anything and never have a problem eating out.

I don't eat fish. I have tried once or twice in the last few years, but I'm afraid it still makes me physically retch, even fish fingers, tinned tuna etc. I have a phobia of them as well. If I see them I am likely to cry hysterically, so I will request not to go to sea food restaurants. Sorry if this offends you, but my wish to not having panic attacks matters to me more than you wanting me to not be difficult. YABU.

Nancy66 Mon 18-Feb-13 16:45:47

Totally agree. Find it very childish and tedious.

They're the sort of people who go to Spain on holiday and eat egg and chips for a fortnight.

BellaVita Mon 18-Feb-13 16:45:57

I remember MIL taking us to a Greek restaurant many years ago for her 60th. She and the three SILS all had omelet and chips hmm

BellaVita Mon 18-Feb-13 16:47:04

Nancy, the SILS and MIL do that too....

atthewelles Mon 18-Feb-13 16:47:50

Personally Noble I think its the fussy - for no particular reason of illness etc - eaters who are self absorbed, sitting around with mimsy faces and refusing to try anything and assuming that everyone is happy to go to a boring bland restaurant to suit their closed minds on what foods they will try.

ps I have friends who are fussy eaters but know it and laugh about it. They don't annoy me but some of the 'oh, I will gag. I cannot believe you're eating an olive. How disgusting' types have me tapping my fingers under the table.

KellyElly Mon 18-Feb-13 16:48:42

I've been told I'm fussy but I don't think I am - I don't eat organs (livers, kidneys) or glands (sweatbread - <boak>), or pork (unless it's sausages or bacon). I eat veg, chicken, all fish, spicy, garlic etc. I do have a friend who is very fussy - barely any veg, no garlic, no cheese, no creamy sauces, no dairy in desserts, no cod, no pork, only minced beef, only poached salmon...the list goes on smile. I have now given up when she comes round and suggest we get a take away!

atthewelles Mon 18-Feb-13 16:49:21

And by the way, I made it perfectly clear in my OP that I wasn't talking about people with phobias, illnesses etc. Why are some posters ignoring that?

atthewelles Mon 18-Feb-13 16:50:26

You don't sound particularly fussy Kelly.

Terpsichore Mon 18-Feb-13 16:50:51


I have no problem - obviously - if people have allergies or just can't stomach certain things. But there's a point when it becomes ridiculous.

'Come Dine With Me' always has an extraordinary selection of people like this. They don't eat veg, or fruit, or something equally basic, and sit there making weird gagging faces and ensuring they're the centre of attention. I remember one grown woman who prodded and sniffed at everything and at one point claimed that she'd never eaten soup before in her entire life hmm

ThonHoor Mon 18-Feb-13 16:51:26

Horrace - you seriously would burst out crying at the sight of a fish????? hmm

Being an OTT fussy eater as an adult suggests general immaturity, a lack of imagination and adventurous spirit and a small minded attitude. As Nancy says, the type who go abroad and eat (well cooked) burger and chips every night.


Jins Mon 18-Feb-13 16:51:58

To be honest all the fussy eaters I know would probably fall into the phobia group to some extent.

ifancyashandy Mon 18-Feb-13 16:53:05

Horace what happens if you go to a restaurant and one of your fellow diners ordered fish? Genuinely interested. Do your F&F understand your phobia and order accordingly? What if it were an aquaintance?

DontmindifIdo Mon 18-Feb-13 16:53:19

My parents are like this with various made up allergies added to real ones so you never know which to take seriously or not I ate a very limited range of foods before leaving home - it's taken the determination to not be like them (and reading at 18 someone discribe in print my parents behaviour about turning down foods that someone else had cooked for them as rude to realise I didn't want to copy their behaviour and have other people think I'm rude) to widen my range of foods. I now find catering for them with anything other than a sunday roast (well done, only) impossible.

atthewelles Mon 18-Feb-13 16:56:10

God, don't start me on the people who go to visit some European city and make it their mission on the first night to find the nearest McDonalds to the hotel.......

Regrettably I do ThonHoor! Anything over about 5 cm's long blush I have a good friend who covered over her goldfish tank with a towel when I visited...

I'm getting better about it, previously it extended to cartoon fish (not crying, but feeling panicked) and included touching things like children's books books, fish shaped toys. I know, ridiculous.

Sorry OP, I didn't notice the anxiety bit, only the allergy/intolerance bit which is a bit thick of me as it was all in the same sentence.

GrowSomeCress Mon 18-Feb-13 16:57:13

Oh god yes Nancy that is ridiculous, when people go on holiday and just eat McDonald's, crappy kebabs, chips and egg the whole time. So boring.

specialsubject Mon 18-Feb-13 16:57:22

for a night out at a restaurant, it's easy - if a restaurant can't be found that suits everyone, the fussiest don't go. They can come along for coffee afterwards.

for staying with someone, allergies etc should be advised before (I phrase it to guests as 'is there anything I shouldn't serve up?') That puts the onus on the guest to make suggestions, although I have a very conservative relative and can find at least a week's worth of meals with no problem.

Anyone over the age of 3 who goes 'eew, how can you eat that?' will not be asked or socialised with again.

I don't like tomatoes and onions. To some people this makes me fussy because it rules out some dishes.
To me, it's not fussy as I'm happy to not eat these foods and just pick something else on a menu. I'll happily eat fish/calamari/things in sauces/spices etc, and i can't see why anyone else would be bothered by what I choose to not put in my mouth confused

noblegiraffe Mon 18-Feb-13 16:58:13

I have friends who are fussy eaters but know it and laugh about it. They don't annoy me

Oh, I see, so fussy eating doesn't annoy you, just the behaviour of some people you don't like.

atthewelles Mon 18-Feb-13 16:58:22

No worries Horace. Did you have a bad experience regarding fish when you were young?

YoSaffBridge Mon 18-Feb-13 16:58:44

I'm not the world's most flexible eater but like other's say, when asked before dinner parties etc I just list my top two hates - very spicy food and seafood - and then just eat the rest. I really, really don't like mushrooms but after a friends suggested she make seafood risotto and I politely said I couldn't eat seafood, she then said she would make mushroom risotto instead... Ate it though, it's only polite!

Pascha Mon 18-Feb-13 16:58:49

This is my mum. Everything gives her food poisoning apparently hmm

atthewelles Mon 18-Feb-13 17:00:19

No noble 'just the behaviour' of precious, fussy people who make a big fuss about not eating this, that and the other; forcing people to choose dull boring restaurants or to go to the local English Caff when on holidays and make 'ooh, yuck' faces when people are trying to eat anything more exotic that a cheeseburger.

ILikeBirds Mon 18-Feb-13 17:00:35

OH will eat spaghetti but not fusilli, drives me bananas

lustybusty Mon 18-Feb-13 17:00:45

My mums best friend makes me hmm, but I do get that I might just be being unreasonable... She won't eat "forrin" food. So no Chinese takeaway, or Indian, no spag bol, no fajitas, no garlic, no herbs, no spices, no taste

I'm still struggling to figure out what she WILL eat, other than fish and chips/sausage and chips... I just don't understand. Personally, as a pp mentioned, I don't eat organs or glands (but have tried many, including bull's testicles!), I don't like fish or shellfish, eggs or bananas. BUT I will pretty much only refuse banana (all the rest I will try)and I only refuse banana as part of a pudding, if it was say, banana in a curry, I'd force at least some down...

YoSaffBridge Mon 18-Feb-13 17:00:56

Didn't finish my point blush YANBU. Medical reasons and phobias are one thing. As a grown adult, though, you should manage to her through something on the plate that is put in front of you. If you don't like part of the meal, just don't eat that bit and apologise politely, or try a little bit at least!

And yes, FFS don't go on and on about how 'disgusting' that food stuff is.

noblegiraffe Mon 18-Feb-13 17:01:09

Some people have more tastebuds than others and some people are super tasters.
Those of you who proudly announce you'll eat anything probably just have a limited sense of taste. wink

Yep. Huge storm bouncing round the lake we lived by for a week. The lightening killed the fish and hundreds of the fuckers were rotting over the beaches for weeks, it was awful.

ifancyashandy Mon 18-Feb-13 17:02:33

Horrace - so what happens in a restaurant with others?

FIL won't touch onions, leeks, garlic, pasta or rice. Not an enormous list, but rules out pretty much 95% of what I cook. He thinks he eats "most things"; I think I eat "most things"; but somehow we hardly overlap at all.

DH had a similarly restricted diet when he left home. He has gradually added things as time has gone on. So you might think it ridiculous that he won't eat mayonnaise or cream, but you don't see that he has learned to eat pasta, for example.


atthewelles Mon 18-Feb-13 17:04:36

Yeah right Noble hmm

atthewelles Mon 18-Feb-13 17:05:17

I think that would put me off as well Horace sad

Roseformeplease Mon 18-Feb-13 17:06:09

But I think the OP has made a really valid point. It is not so much that people choose NOT to eat something, it is that they make such a fuss of it. I also particularly hate it when my choice TO eat something is focused on - "Ew, you are not eating liver / olives / vegetables etc". I can cope with allergies and people disliking a whole food group (e.g. Fish) but I struggle when it is so complex and you are expected to remember. I have known people (acquaintances, work colleagues etc) who will say things like, "But you know I don't eat sugar" as I offer them a cake and that really boils my piss.

As a frequent dieter (who normally eats anything I can get my hands on) I just say, no thank you. If we have guests, I always check or do several dishes for them to help themselves to. But I am not prepared to host someone who highlights my choice to eat something perfectly normal, like a tomato, as somehow weird.

Jins Mon 18-Feb-13 17:06:26

The only bit of this that I can relate to is when people are rude about the food on offer. That is annoying.

The rest of it I can't get excited about at all. Don't go to the bland restaurants - go where the majority want to go and let the fussy ones either find something to eat or join you afterwards. I also don't care what people eat when they are on holiday. If they have a limited range then that's their issue not mine. I couldn't care less what people eat or don't eat but if I'm catering for them I'll make sure that there's something on the table for them.

I really don't get why people get so bothered about what other people eat

Theicingontop Mon 18-Feb-13 17:07:21

Yanbu. What especially irritates me is if these adults then influence their children to act in the same manner.

I have a friend who hates pretty much everything, except sausages and chips. Guess what her DS will only eat?

"Oh no thanks he won't eat that"
"Has he tried it?"
"Well, no. But it's disgusting, why would he like it?"

musicmaiden Mon 18-Feb-13 17:07:32

I think YABU too. I have an adult friend who, partly due to things that happened when she was young, has a very limited repertoire of food she'll eat. I feel a bit sad that she doesn't especially enjoy eating out, but when she is in that situation she just makes the best of it - and there are very few places that won't do plainer things, sauce on the side, what have you! Since no-one she is with makes a big deal out of it, it's all fine, and we all get to enjoy her company regardless. Food is so bloody fetishised these days, what is the big deal, really, about what an adult chooses to eat? It's just fuel at the end of the day.

I think it is rude if you are cooking for someone not to ask if there are things they won't eat and it is the mark of a decent cook (and friend) to try and accommodate them.

I agree that no one should be rude about what they are served, though.

5Foot5 Mon 18-Feb-13 17:07:37

I am always entertained by the people who are fussy but would be shocked to find that you think them so.

My dear old Dad (sadly long gone) springs to mind. As a child he had been brought up to eat whatever was put in front of him with no complaints and consequently he claimed to have no time for "faddy" eaters. However, he was raised on a very traditional meat, potato and two veg diet and had always had very conservative tastes as a result. The list of things he wouldn't eat was astonishing. E.g. pizza, pasta (unless it was spaghetti out of a tin), cottage cheese, melons, anything spicy (anything foreign full-stop), crumbles ( he liked a pastry crust). I could go on.

But he would have been outraged if anyone dared to accuse him of being a fussy eater.

We have a friend of our own age who also has quite a long list of dislikes but, again, I am sure he does not consider himself at all fussy.

Angelico Mon 18-Feb-13 17:08:00

YANBU. My DH is a bit like this although bless him he will eat what is put in front of him but without any real enjoyment. So I feel guilty and end up cooking quite bland food rather than the lovely pasta dishes and curries I like making (which are also low fat and healthy).

And don't get me started on the nobheads who go and stay in a chalet in the Alps and then announce they don't like garlic / cheese / cream / tomato etc. Go and stay in fucking self-catering then you nobheads!!! It's the Alps!!! EVERYTHING contains garlic, cream, cheese and tomato!!! Bitter ex chalet girl

<and breathes>

ENormaSnob Mon 18-Feb-13 17:08:44

So if one of your social group would only eat at an English food type restaurant would you pander to that or tough shit?

I wouldn't pander tbh, neither would any of the people I socialise with.

atthewelles Mon 18-Feb-13 17:09:41

I don't care what they eat at home Jins, I just find it irritating if I'm cooking for, or going out for a meal with, someone who really just wants to eat roast beef and potatoes or somesuch and thereby limits what you can cook or the places you can go as a group to eat.

Likewise the disgusted faces when they smell garlic or the comments that spaghetti 'looks like worms' etc..... Seriously, in this day and age??

starlightraven Mon 18-Feb-13 17:11:54

Well I am a fussy eater. You get annoyed by other people being one? Try being one! It sucks. I would love to have a love for food like everyone else. I wish I could eat anything and everything.

I struggle to find food I like. I do new try foods but I am really sensitive to taste and there is very little I like. I was brought up by parents who fed me pasta and bread and pretty much nothing else, and it has been a struggle to develop my tastes as an adult, but I have tried. I know people who find it easy to enjoy different foods will think I am pathetic and not understand. But I would never expect to put friends and family out by refusing to go to certain restaurants or request specific food if I went round to theirs - it is my issue and I have to live with it.

I don't understand why there is such judgement towards picky eaters - I'm not hurting anyone else. I don't choose to be like this, and I am trying to change. But it is harder than people imagine it is. Especially if you have eating disorders mixed along with everything. I could easily give up food altogether.

I don't find it especially unreasonable but I do find it incredibly and utterly dull. Their loss I guess

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 18-Feb-13 17:12:46

Oh, don't get me started. I hate this. I hate food snobbiness a little less than 'I don't like that' fussiness, but both are infuriating.

I had a friend who was ultra-fussy and rude and attention-seeking with it: making 'Yuck' noises and faces while holding communal bowls of food that were being passed round the table etc.

Also a friend's twattish husband who, when she rang as they were approaching my house for a weekend stay to ask if they could bring anything for lunch, and I said no, I had everything thanks and was making poached eggs on toast for everyone, could be heard asking her to check with me that the butter would be unsalted and if I had this or that kind of bread etc. Fucking ungrateful tosser.

Sorry, obviously still angry about that one grin and I don't like him much generally

Kendodd Mon 18-Feb-13 17:14:59

I had a friend would would never eat any kind of fruit or veg. She would even pick the peas and corn out of her Pot Noodle. Somebody else I knew would only eat pizza, chips and burgers, even on Christmas day!

Jins Mon 18-Feb-13 17:15:28

I agree with the disgusted faces.

I am friends with a the fussiest couple ever. They will eat at our house because they know that I do a pile of jacket potatoes as well and they can eat those if nothing else appeals.

For group eating we do not take fussy eaters into account at all. We choose the place that the majority want, let the fussy ones know where we're going and link them to the menu and leave them to decide.

Kendodd Mon 18-Feb-13 17:16:56

Can I ask the really fussy eaters, are you also skinny?

Some places I just don't go to IFancy, I don't demand to go somewhere else, I just meet people after for drinks. If it's just me and DP and the people with fish are near us we leave blush, if we're in a group, I will go to the bar area if possible, or sometimes people swap places with me so I can't see it.

musicmaiden Mon 18-Feb-13 17:17:50

And this:

"Being an OTT fussy eater as an adult suggests general immaturity, a lack of imagination and adventurous spirit and a small minded attitude."

is a) total nonsense and b) a really nasty thing to say.

It's just food FGS.

GrowSomeCress Mon 18-Feb-13 17:19:51

Many fussy eaters I see actually are a bit unhealthier as they tend to be okay with highly processed stuff like chicken nuggets and burgers and things and not okay with more 'wholesome' sort of things

atthewelles Mon 18-Feb-13 17:20:37

I think its bang on musicmaiden. Obviously everyone has certain food stuffs they don't like or that make them feel a bit ill and some people have allergies/phobias etc.

But people who just turn their noses up at anything that they haven't been eating since schooldays are childish and unadventurous.

usualsuspect Mon 18-Feb-13 17:23:07

I can't get worked up about what other people eat.

GrowSomeCress Mon 18-Feb-13 17:23:42

To be honest I don't actually mind fussy eaters much, it's the ones who make disgusted noises or comment on how disgusting whatever other people are eating looks that get my goat

noblegiraffe Mon 18-Feb-13 17:24:24

Are you doubting that different people have different numbers of tastebuds, OP? Perhaps you need to do your research.

I guess it's easy not to be picky when all your food tastes pretty much the same wink

usualsuspect Mon 18-Feb-13 17:25:36

I don't know anyone who makes disgusted noises or comments, so I can't comment on that either.

musicmaiden Mon 18-Feb-13 17:25:48

When you say 'turn their noses up', do you mean they are rude and say 'yuck', or that they simply choose not to eat them?

If the former, I agree they shouldn't be saying that, and it is aggravating.
If the latter, it has nothing to do with childishness or lack of adventure. Most of these people are not terribly interested in food. That's not a big deal unless they (or you) make it so.

atthewelles Mon 18-Feb-13 17:26:24

No, I knew that already Noble, it came up on a forum ages ago. I am doubting that it makes people superior in any way or that all fussy eaters have a greater number of tastebuds.

Jins Mon 18-Feb-13 17:27:35

Spot on noblegiraffe.

I feel quite sorry for non-fussy people sometimes. How bland their food must be smile

FoxtrotFoxtrotSierra Mon 18-Feb-13 17:27:38

But fussy eaters aren't just those who will only eat the stuff they were served as children. Those are a subset of fussy eaters. Also the "yuck" noises are not something down to fussy eating, it's down to rudeness!

DH and I will barely touch the slop food we were fed when were were at school, and I certainly come under fussy or particular, but it doesn't make us unimaginative or immature. It just makes us particular.

Some people are fussy about not having bland, processed crap.

atthewelles Mon 18-Feb-13 17:28:01

Also, noble it quite clearly states that 'picky eaters are not necessarily supertasters, and vice versa.'

ThonHoor Mon 18-Feb-13 17:28:09

Lol at noble trying to make out that all fussy eaters actually have more sophisticated palettes than regular folk. Rather than being dull attention seekers.

usualsuspect Mon 18-Feb-13 17:29:48

People who bang on about how they will eat anything are quite dull.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 18-Feb-13 17:30:34

'I guess it's easy not to be picky when all your food tastes pretty much the same'

That's a silly thing to say. Just because someone isn't a supertaster doesn't mean they don't have a perfectly good sense of taste. The whole thing about supertasters is that they have an unusually developed sense of taste, not that most people have an inadequate one.

atthewelles Mon 18-Feb-13 17:31:31

Yes, they are usual because they are usually the fussy type who have no idea how fussy they are and genuinely believe they are easy to please.

ThonHoor Are you just trying to be offensive?

HalleLouja Mon 18-Feb-13 17:32:23

My mil is like this and it makes me really cross. She won't even try anything that isn't standard fare. So YANBU.

musicmaiden Mon 18-Feb-13 17:32:44

You must know some unpleasant people, then ThonHoor. The fussy eaters I know just ARE that way, and it's a very small part of who they are. They are certainly are not dull, attention-seeking, or unadventurous.

usualsuspect Mon 18-Feb-13 17:33:39

Thonhoors post was just nasty.

I get impatient if I'm being asked to cook for someone, and they're both fussy and inflexible. I think that's very rude. If someone tells me they don't like red meat, dairy, and eggs - ok, fine, I will work out something to cook without that lot, that's actually fine. Or I will ask them to tell me what might work. But, FFS, be decently apologetic about putting me to the trouble, eh? No-one is forcing me at gunpoint to cook for you, so if you are going to make it very difficult, chances are I am simply going to suggest we all go for Pizza or we meet for drinks instead.

Do not then whine that I never cook for you, because there is obviously a reason for that.

The worst is people who say brightly that they eat anything then let out a long-suffering sigh at the sight of the plate of food and tell you they'd never dreamed you'd use garlic/spices/red meat and they can't eat it.

There are quite a lot of things I have eaten that I didn't especially want to eat. If you're actually going to retch or have a reaction, for god's sake, don't force it down, no-one needs to see that. If it's simply that you don't like the taste, then just eat the thing and be done with it.

Jins Mon 18-Feb-13 17:34:08

This is why I find excuses not to eat at other people's houses

They'd take offence when I turn my nose up at a plateful of pasta and some sort of sauce smile

my dh is the least fussy, most adventurous eater ever. I'm not as gung ho, probably willing to try more than average, but I make a huge effort to ensure the children have no food hang ups and are excited to try new things, and so far, it's worked well, they are very unfussy and willing to try.

My background didnt allow for a lot of food experimentation in childhood and I'm conscious that there is a little willpower and courage involved in forcing myself to try new foods, especially those which provoke a strong visceral reaction (stinky french cheeses).

I think some people choose not to exert willpower and stay safely entrenched in their limited food choices. which is a valid choice but, yes, a little annoying when expecting others to cater for them.

noblegiraffe Mon 18-Feb-13 17:34:48

But if a picky eater was a supertaster (and many will be) would that be an acceptable reason to you, OP or will you continue to look down on them?

Then you have food neophobia a naturally occurring reaction in humans that protect individuals from the risk of being poisoned by consuming potentially harmful foods. It accounts for a person’s reluctance to consume either new or unusual foods, based on one’s culture and current diet.
Is that ok?

usualsuspect Mon 18-Feb-13 17:34:56

I have to hide my disgust at celery and coriander TBH.

Some people really don't like those two - celery and coriander. They're meant to be tasting something the rest of us genuinely can't taste. It's fascinating.

musicmaiden Mon 18-Feb-13 17:36:32

The above examples have absolutely nothing to do with food and everything to do with people who are rude and have no manners.

Jins Mon 18-Feb-13 17:36:44

Most fussy eaters don't actually want to be catered for. Dinner parties fill them with dread in my experience.

That's true enough, music.

GrendelsMum Mon 18-Feb-13 17:38:22

I agree with Starlight Raven - it's not a great deal of fun being someone who doesn't eat a wide variety of food. A family member has this problem - I think it's some kind of sensory issues related to food texture - and it does make meals quite stressful for everyone, but it's clearly far worse for her than for us.

jins - ahh, but you are forgetting those people who aren't fussy eaters. No, not at all! They just have long lists of perfectly reasonable likes and dislikes, as well as long supplementary lists that they'll only tell you about at the last minute.

Jins Mon 18-Feb-13 17:39:11

Agreed usual. Celery and coriander quite ruin the flavour of a meal. Like squirting washing up liquid all over it I think sad

Jins Mon 18-Feb-13 17:40:10

I am aren't I LRD?

Eat anything except what you've just made smile

atthewelles Mon 18-Feb-13 17:41:06

Noble I find it strange that the fussy eaters I know are quite happy to eat food that they've been eating since they were children and their super tastebuds only kick in when it comes to trying anything new, particularly food from other cultures hmm

I think you will find, if you do your googling properly that "food neophobia is particularly common in toddlers and young children. However, as they grow up through adolescence and teenage years, most children generally grow out of it. Very few children continue to have food neophobia as they become adults."

thezebrawearspurple Mon 18-Feb-13 17:42:34

It's their choice what to eat, I don't bother pandering to it unless there is a health reason, genuine ethical beliefs or they need to maintain a strict diet to lose weight. Their life, their choices, doesn't bother me. I would be pissed off if someone started making faces at the food though, that is beyond rude and I'd tell them to grow up and have some respect.

I am remembering the particularly annoying friend-of-a-friend I've never cooked for again. I ended up making a roast chicken for the meat eaters and some kind of veggie thing for the vegetarians, I forget what. I ran these past everyone. Turned out that making gravy for the chicken thickened up with cornflower was just disgusting, but she wouldn't eat chicken without gravy either because it would be dry (it bloody wasn't!). I ended up sending my then-DP out to get packet gravy, which she accepted with a nobly-suppressed sigh because she preferred the posh stuff you get in Waitrose in the little tubs. hmm

I am 100% sure that sort of fussiness is bugger all to do with the actual food, and just to do with being rude. Because surely, if you cared that much, you'd just say 'oh, and I can't have chicken gravy with cornflower, would you mind if I brought you a tub of it to heat up'?

Ploom Mon 18-Feb-13 17:46:56

My closest friend is like this & going out to a restaurant is a nightmare. Out of a large range of things in the menu she'll decide that there might be one thing she can eat (no fish, nothing spicy, certain veg are unacceptable as is anything that she's not had before) & then when it comes she picks ramdom bits out of it. I've moved abroad & despite never having tasted any of the cooked meat that we might have to put on rolls at lunchtime she just says "I dont like any of them - have you got some Cheddar?" eh no! We live abroad!

She is such good fun in so many ways but so narrow minded when it comes to food.

Roseformeplease Mon 18-Feb-13 17:48:00

Laughing at a poster above who had friends checking on the type of butter. We had unexpected guests arrive for a cup of tea. When they had not left 3 hours later I felt forced (they were not friends, but distant acquaintances) to offer them supper - a roast chicken. To which they replied, "Is it organic". I replied, remarkably politely, I felt, "It comes from the supermarket." They ate and drank us out of house and home, got too pissed to drive, ended up there for breakfast, lunch as well. I nearly blew the top of my head with rage when, after a quick walk, with blackberry picking, they then demanded their share of the blackberries to take away.

They turned out to be not fussy at all as long as someone else was providing everything.

Not bitter...oh no.

TheSeniorWrangler Mon 18-Feb-13 17:48:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Mon 18-Feb-13 17:48:57

YABU, I think. My mum is one of these fussy eaters and cannot abide anything with too strong a flavour. Well most of my cooking is either spicy or at least very strongly flavoured, so I struggle when she visits. She's also recently turned vegan (that's a whole other thread) but has promised to bring her own food along next time she visits. grin

Dunno where she's planning to prepare it though because we're all practically carnivores and she has ishoos with using pots and pans that have previously been used to cook meat. hmm

Thankfully I've never had anyone be rude about disliking a meal I've made for them. Oh! Haha, actually I can, although it wasn't rude as such. My friend from uni is a self-confessed fussy eater and very apologetic about it, but she does try to branch out with new food. She insisted she wanted to try sushi and seeing as DH and I make our own quite often, she came round with her boyfriend one evening. Poor love couldn't cope with the nori and sat delicately dismantling the rolls so she could get at the fillings! She did say sorry over and over again, but we were in fits of giggles over it.

noblegiraffe Mon 18-Feb-13 17:48:59

I have done my googling, OP, and I also know that 'very few' isn't the same as 'none' wink

sad I have been to restaurants where there is absolutely nothing on the menu I want to eat.

There are some foods I just can't eat. Seafood for instance, no allergies I just can't eat it.

Pigs trotters or tripe i would have to refuse too.

There is a woman at wort whose partner is like this. She thinks I'm mad when I say I would only cook one dinner and if he didn't like it he would have to cook his own. He eats plain meat, plain veg and boiled, mashed, roast potatoes.

Would drive me bloody crazy!

Mind you DH reckons I'm fussy when there is only 4 foods I won't eat!

Jins Mon 18-Feb-13 17:51:40

I'm a nightmare to cater for. Coeliac with associated lactose issues. Intolerant to fruit fibre (I'll eat it but I'll gas you out of your home!) Diverticular disease so have been told to avoid seeds. That's just what I can't have smile

I'm also a supertaster. I'll eat your lovingly prepared vegatables but most just taste bitter and unpleasant.

However I do love a proper curry smile

Crapbag, that's really not what the op is referring to. Your difficulties with food are not just because you are fussy!

See, if someone said that to me, I'd just think, fine, I'll make you a curry. I'll probably annoy you slightly by telling you all the ingredients, but fine - you're telling me something you can eat that isn't a total pain to make.

It is people who don't bother to do that, who annoy.

ll31 Mon 18-Feb-13 17:53:47

yabu, people can eat what they like

DontmindifIdo Mon 18-Feb-13 17:55:48

Sparkling - I also have an issue with seafood, although have chocked it down when I've been foolish enough not to prewarn a host (see earlier post about hating my parent's fussy behaviour, am determined not to be rude with it, mind you seafood is really my only issue, and as it's a common allergy most hosts check before serving it) - however Ive never been to a seafood restaurant that doesn't at least have one vegetarian option...

Mind you, DH has been 'working' on my seafood issues - I now can do calamri (sp?) and scallops, although not currently as pregnant...

Jins Mon 18-Feb-13 17:58:17

I love it when people tell me the ingredients.

We were invited to a bbq once. They are usually easy to manage but I let the host know well in advance that I was a coeliac. At the last minute I threw some gluten free ssausages in my bag and it was a good thing I did as everything meat based was a bit dubious in the gluten department, and side dishes were bread or cous cous.

I had sausages and copius amounts of vodka smile

Thanks Dont. I really don't fancy things like Crab and lobster where you have to crunch it to bits to get at the bit you want to eat. Bit like an autopsy. sad

Lavenderhoney Mon 18-Feb-13 18:06:56

I don't mind fussy eaters at all, but I dislike the rudeness of " yuck, how can you eat xxx" when it's a perfectly normal dish. It especially annoys me when my dc are eating and an adult announces cabbage is disgusting "" ooh look at him, eating cabbage!!!!" Fine, but just ignore the cabbage dish and quietly with minimum fuss eat what you do like.

I certainly dont expect my dc to eat everything I try them with, but they are expected to at least try before saying no. And they say " no thank you, sorry, it's not to my taste" when out at other peoples houses and offered something they don't like. . After all, someone might love it and be offended- plus someone has bothered to cook it. I wouldnt eat anything that made me feel ill, but I wouldn't make a fuss. Runny scrambled eggs or undercooked omelette, tough steak are all on my listsmile

shewhowines Mon 18-Feb-13 18:11:31

celerry yuck but how can you not like coriander. Food of the gods.

My brother doesn't like eggs. He's in his forties, he's a grown up-it doesn't bother me. But my Dad was funny-

DB- I don't like eggs.
DF- What you don't like a nice boiled egg?
DB- No, i don't like eggs.
DF-What, you don't like a nice fried egg? Ooh I love a nice fried egg.
DB-No, I don't like eggs

And on it went until he had covered all eggy things. grin

Remotecontrolduck Mon 18-Feb-13 18:13:57

YANBU, there's nothing wrong at all with disliking some foods, for example i'm not a fan of cheese sauce or sea foods. I don't regard that as picky, simply something I don't like the flavour of. You don't have to love all foods

What really hacks me off is when people say things like 'I don't like vegetables' eh? Vegetables is a huge umbrella of different tastes and textures, how can you seriously like none of them?! That's fussy to me.

Bunfags Mon 18-Feb-13 18:14:12

YABU. Have you ever stopped to think about what it's like from the other person's point of view? Also, as an adult I think I'm perfectly capable of deciding what I'd like to eat. Just because other people want to eat something, does that mean that I should have to eat it too?

Jins Mon 18-Feb-13 18:14:38


In my case it's because coriander tastes very strongly of soap

Sometimes it's a problem for me if a perfectly nice piece of meat has some weird sauce on it, and the vegetables have been coated in something unnecessarily, there is an awful lot of faffing with food done that doesn't add to the meal. I will eat it but think it would be better without.

DontmindifIdo Mon 18-Feb-13 18:19:02

Jins - the obvious question that statement raises is, do you eat soap? wink

ElectricMonk Mon 18-Feb-13 18:19:13

I get the feeling I may be a fussy eater - could somebody please enlighten me? I'll try pretty much anything, but I will leave anything I don't want (which seems to change depending on my hormones) and there are a few things I physically can't force myself to swallow:

* Fish - some kinds make me very sick, and I don't know which ones they are. I can eat prawns, mussels, tuna, and squid, but I never try any other sorts because the potential pain just isn't worth it.
* Boiled potatoes - taste disgusting and make me feel horrible all evening.
* Spaghetti - I don't know why, I just loathe this. Love all other kinds of pasta, but the texture of spaghetti makes me want to be sick.
* Pork - I used to like it but then I got terrible food poisoning (only time ever, and it made me hallucinate so I screamed at a plumber blush ), now I can't even eat bacon.
* Salad leaves - I always leave them, can't see the point in eating them and can't make myself do it for politeness's sake.
* Plum tomatoes - even thinking about them makes me feel squeamish.
* Stew - it just makes me think of sick.
* Hot and sour soup - I can't even bring myself to try this, it smells like bins and makes me heave.

Also, for about 1.5 weeks out of each month (when I have PMT) I can't eat hot food at all as it tastes too strong and makes me feel really sick.

However, I'll go to any clean restaurant, cook things for others even if I'm not eating them, and will cheerfully have sandwiches on evenings when everybody else is eating something I won't. I'll cheerfully eat Greek, Turkish, Iranian, Japanese, some Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Mexican, Indian etc food, and I like weird types of tea. Am I acceptable, or not?

CheerfulYank Mon 18-Feb-13 18:22:11

Yanbu, I don't think. Tbh I don't like it in children either.

But I'm not one of the "he won't starve" brigade either...some children really would. Phobias, allergies, texture issues...I get all those. My grandmother accused me of fussiness for turning down a sandwich. I have celiac disease ffs. hmm

However, my BIL, whom I will refer to as Twat for the purposes of anonymity, refuses to eat anything and is beyond rude about it. His wife, Doormat, has been bringing chicken fingers and yogurt tubes to family gatherings since her DC started on solids because she assumes they, like Twat, will not eat anything. Now, seven and five years on, of course they won't. (She also scooped them up and held them, trembling, whenever she saw a dog, assuming that like her they were terrified of them. sad Again, it's now true.)

But it could just be an attitude thing as others have said. Every family meal involves her begging the children to eat something. And every family meal involves comments about my DS in front of him and the other DC, and involving perfectly normal food.

"Is he really going to eat that pasta? It has olive oil in it." "Is he really going to eat brown bread?" "Does he really like pineapple?" Um...yes. confused Twat has actually told my DS not to eat broccoli because "it's gross!" And at DS's birthday party I made sure to have hot dogs because I knew my niece and nephew would eat them. However, my nephew informed me "those are dirty." (They'd been grilled.) "We only eat the kind that you microwave."

However, I have a friend with a really fussy DD and she's extremely laid back about it. When they're out or at a family thing she has her DD look for something she'll eat and doesn't force anything else on her. If there's nothing, she says "oh well, you can have some toast later, you won't starve in an hour or so," and doesn't mention it again. Waaaay less irritating.

I think foods that you know made you very ill can be hard to return to TBH.

Jins Mon 18-Feb-13 18:24:08


I'll only eat soap if the alternative is cous cous smile

I think we've all tasted soap haven't we?

<hopes she's not alone>

But what business is it of other people?

If someone is coming for dinner I ask them what they like to eat.

Nancy66 Mon 18-Feb-13 18:29:57

I've uninvited somone from a dinner invitation after she emailed me a long list of all the things she won't eat...

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 18-Feb-13 18:31:32

It's other people's business if it impacts on them.

As much as I hope people will like what I make for them, I'm not a restaurant cook and I do not cook to request. I know broadly what my friends like and don't like so much, as well as things they can't eat for health/ethical/other genuine reasons, and cook within those parameters, but I want to cook well, cook something nice and enjoy the experience of cooking and eating with my friends, so I cook ultimately things I like cooking and eating.

erowid Mon 18-Feb-13 18:35:51

I don't care if people are fussy eaters, I just ate the squeemish fussy eaters who act like children and say "this food looks like puke, that food reminds me of brains, the thought of touching it is minging!"

Keep your unpleasant descriptions of why you don't like food to yourself please!

Theicingontop Mon 18-Feb-13 18:37:06

I don't eat offal in general, but I have been guilty of pulling very disgusted faces and retching when my brother was eating a bowl of tripe one day. In my defense, it triggered my trypophobia, and he was dangling it in my face with all the revolting holes and divets in it. I just can't understand how someone could eat something that looks so horrifying. I'm itching just thinking about it.

Apart from that, I'm willing to give anything a go. The only time I get annoyed at fussy eaters is if the kids pick up on it and it just carries on and on, and before you know they're grown up picky eaters too. Not fair.

catlady1 Mon 18-Feb-13 18:50:12

Hmm I don't know. It doesn't bother me really, unless I'd cooked for someone and they'd told me they'll eat anything and then turn their noses up at what I cooked, but that doesn't happen often at all. It annoys me when people do the noises and pull faces too, but that's more to do with manners and maturity than just that they don't like the food. I think most fussy eaters are quite embarrassed by it and wouldn't want pandering to, although I'm sure there are some who are just attention-seeking.

My DP is pretty fussy, he won't eat any veg whatsoever except mushy peas, so if I want to cook something like spaghetti bolognese for example, I have to cook it without the veg, dish up his portion, then add the veg into mine afterwards. If we go out to eat and something comes with veg, he'll ask for mushy peas or beans instead, but it's not normally a problem.

I'm quite fussy too, but tbh it was more of a problem when I was a kid. I don't like most sauces, or baked beans or spaghetti, and I found that when I was little, if I ate at a friend's house their parents would often assume that all kids like beans or ketchup on their chips or whatever, so they'd put it on without asking and I'd have to leave it. It's much easier to opt out of it as an adult, I just don't put it on, and ask for burgers/kebabs/sandwiches plain if I'm having something like that. Friends have commented on it jokingly but it's never stopped me going to certain restaurants or anything like that. I also don't like a lot of salad-y vegetables, I've tried them repeatedly since I've been an adult but I really don't like raw tomato, cucumber, carrot or celery, so if I have a salad I'll just have a caesar salad or something that's just or mainly lettuce. I would never do the yucking or sneering thing if other people were eating something I didn't like although I do make DP rinse his plate straight away if he has beans or ketchup.

Phineyj Mon 18-Feb-13 18:50:49

I don't care much what other people eat, unless they're people I'm fond of and their diet is affecting them (as previous posters said about people who are constipated because of no veg) -- but food is part of culture and associated with emotion, and so it's not surprising that a rejection of food you've made for someone/the whole food of a culture could feel insulting.

My grandma wouldn't eat anything 'foreign' and considered garlic a form of pollutant but used to always phrase it personally as in in 'garlic doesn't LIKE me'...!

NopeStillNothing Mon 18-Feb-13 18:54:47

Yabu. I really don't see why it bothers you.
I eat everything myself but I know a fair few people that are quite fussy and I really don't care. When I cook for them, I just ask them what they want to eat and when we go to a restaurant, it's their own problem if they need to order a special burger with nothing in it.

And when they turn their nose up and ewww my fish liver and potato skins I just close my eyes in ecstacy and rub it all over my face wink

I'm a fussy eater and hate it. I force myself to try new things but I just never seem to like anything that I try. If I try and force something I don't like down then I end up retching. Eating out is a pain and if I am going to somewhere there is food but I don't know the menu in advance, I'll eat before I go to make sure that I have something.

I'm trying to make sure that DD doesn't grow up with my fussiness. She loves pear so the other day when I was giving her some I tried a slice. It was horrible and I had to try so hard not to retch.

I really don't want to be like this, I would love to be able to just walk in a random eaterie and order anything off the menu. My body seems to think the exact opposite though. It's embarrassing sad

JazzDalek Mon 18-Feb-13 19:04:20

It's a texture thing for me. The things I don't eat, I can't eat because just the thought of having them in my mouth makes me want to throw up. I don't know why this is, but it is not childishness, or attention-seeking, it's just a fact of my life.

I was a picky child who ate dry cornflakes for breakfast every day for about eight years grin, refused all fruit except for apples and took tiny portions of very plain, conservative meat-potato-veg meals. When I left home for university I did begin to try lots of new foods, including my first pizza, my first Chinese, eggs, grapes and butter.

I will eat most things now and in fact I often find I am keen on things that are widely hated, like olives; but there are, as I've said, certain things that are and will always be no-nos:

Bananas, in any form
Tomatoes, whole or sliced, raw or cooked BUT I am fine with passata and use it all the time in cooking. It's not the taste that's the problem.
Any fruit with squishy or seedy bit. So, most fruit, really. I will eat apples and grapes if necessary, though I never 'fancy' them.
Dried fruit. I tried so hard to make myself eat prunes after I had the DCs grin but the feel of them between my teeth and on my tongue made me gag.
Fruit in savoury dishes (yes this technically comes under the umbrella of 'fruit', but I consider this such a culinary abomination that it gets its own entry) - just NO
Courgettes. They have a slimy / squishy thing going on that I can't take.

For all of the above, it is not just a mild aversion. Imagine someone offering you a plate of slugs to eat. That is how I feel at the thought of eating the foods above.

harbinger Mon 18-Feb-13 19:20:23

When the DDs were about 8/9 years old we were in a French restaurant (in France).
When my meal arrived, a certain madam, declared it 'Disgusting', in a rather loud voice.
This young lady didn't take my telling off on-board and repeated the pronouncement a few weeks later.

To my knowledge she has never done it in public again.

The meal was a seafood platter.

She loves seafoodconfused.

If pre-teens can learn manners,surely adults can?

whois Mon 18-Feb-13 20:55:36

Meh, fussy eaters are childish. I wouldn't invite an overtly fussy eater round for dinner but think eating out is fine as there is normally something plain on restaurant menus.

DaveMccave Mon 18-Feb-13 21:07:48

Yeah I'm with you. I believe all fussy eaters can learn to like a wide variety of foods if they really want to, if they really struggle, get some professional help. It's a proven fact that you learn to accept foods if you keep trying them. I find the really fussy eaters are quite happy to take a huge share of the favorite little extras too. Eg my brother has a huge pile of Yorkshire puddings or pigs in blankets with a roast as he doesn't like veg.

I think if you have food issues, it's your job not to make them everyone else's problem. Ie refuse dinner invitations and if friends/colleagues are going to a restaurant, arrange to meet them afterwards. Because other people want to enjoy their food without someone whining and performing all over the place.

Alconleigh Mon 18-Feb-13 21:14:28

Do people carry on like this in Spain / France / Italy etc? I suspect not.

So the food is more important than the people? That's sad Solid.

LightTheLampNotTheRat Mon 18-Feb-13 21:21:55

YANBU. It's the way that some uber-fussy people try to manipulate everyone they're eating with that I object to. (Obviously not every fussy person does this.) My SIL eats a very limited range of things (not because of allergies - she just doesn't like things, or won't try them). SIL will try to change everyone's restaurant plans if she thinks she won't like any of what's on offer. (And she won't - because she eats hardly anything.) The second time I met her, she phoned me in advance of our planned family meet-up to check what kind of food the restaurant offered - and to suggest that we went somewhere else instead! It was nothing very exotic - standard bistro-type place. We didn't change our plans, and she ordered steak and chips - then couldn't eat the steak because it had pepper on it or something. Every time, it's a big deal - she doesn't just deal with her fussiness in a low-key way, she makes a big fuss to everyone. Drives me crackers. My father is fussy too, but it took me years to realise - he's one of those people someone else described who thinks he eats everything, but actually is only offered a very narrow range of foods. (Unless he comes to dinner at my house...)

TheSeniorWrangler Mon 18-Feb-13 21:21:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Narked Mon 18-Feb-13 21:23:21

There are people who have phobias but I think a lot of it is people who twist 'prefer' and 'dislike'. I prefer roast potatoes to peeled, boiled but I'll eat boiled. I have a male relative who basically lives on steak, chips, ham and white bread. That's because those are his favourite foods. Eating only those foods seems childish to me - like a 5 year old picking chocolate buttons and chips!

mgrg Mon 18-Feb-13 21:25:13

I worked with a woman in her 30's who would only eat food that didn't touch each other on the plate.

DontmindifIdo Mon 18-Feb-13 21:30:06

no, solid is right - if you know you have a food issue, then you are the one who should live with the consequences. It's reasonable to expect allowances to be made for allergies, but fussiness is your choice - so don't accept invites to things that include food if food is an issue.

The problem is, after a certain number of years and family who have pandered got used to adapting to it, it won't always look like you are being unreasonable, because if you say, refuse to eat rice or pasta, then your family will never invite you for indian or chinese or italian food, or serve it. It looks like it's not a problem because other people have got used to working round you so you do'nt see the problem you are creating. Therefore the fussy person can be lulled into a false belief that they aren't being rude or difficult to ask for a change of venue or change of menu because you don't realise this isn't normal behaviour.

RaspberryRuffle Mon 18-Feb-13 21:36:55

My parents are the fussy eaters of the old school variety, meat, potatoes, veg. My father will eat lasagne but not spag bol??. My mother will not eat anything foreign. I basically didn't try other foods unless I went to a friends or was eating out etc but I lived abroad for a few years and will try almost anything once (and only once if it is tripe, the texture was horrible, the sauce wasn't bad).

What irritates me is people saying they don't like 'fish' as if all the different varieties of fish taste the same. My friend does this and has only tried salmon - not cod, not seabass, not trout etc.

It seems from reading here though that quite a large number of people don't like garlic, it does have a strong taste (and smell) so I think people are not unreasonable in not trying it if they don't like the smell.

I like so many foods that I don't often eat due to the problems they cause my poor sensitive digestive system (I have IBS), goats cheese and caramelised onion is divine but I could only eat it on a Friday evening knowing I don't have work for the rest of the weekend, same goes for really spicy puttanesca pasta or many spicy tomato-based foods, so my colleagues think I'm odd when they see I have these foods on a Friday night out but never on a 'school night' so they think I'm a fussy eater. In fairness if we have a mid-week event I usually pretend I'm not very hungry if there's nothing suitable on the menu and then binge eat when I get home.

DaveMccave Mon 18-Feb-13 21:40:37

I take your point wrangler. I can tell the difference, I don't get frustrated with fussy eaters who are polite about it and don't express it with too much hassle in public. I do think they should still seek help though purely because their health is at risk and they are missing out on a lot of enjoyment and life experiences that sharing new foods with friends brings.

The fact is there are a LOT of fussy eaters, and the majority I know are rude about it and are oblivious to their rudeness. My daughters normal palate is frequently judged by adult fussy eaters and this is what drives me mad the most. there are just as many fussy eaters that manage to keep it quiet then i'm even more concerned about the sheer amount of fussiness in our culture.

It's something that I think is easily undone in childhood and much harder to undo as adults but is still doable.

Morloth Mon 18-Feb-13 21:40:52

People can eat (or not) what they like, it isnt my problem.

I will make a small effort to accommodate when cooking/choosing restaurants but I am not going to knock myself out over it.

Not my problem, not my business.

I don't know anyone with lots of food dislikes. But to me it's more important that I spend time with people I love regardless of what is being eaten TBH.

It is possible to go out and eat where there is something for everyone.

CalamityJ Mon 18-Feb-13 21:46:59

Some people are what's known as 'supertasters' which means they experience tastes more strongly than others. This may lead to them being termed 'fussy' as there will be a long list of foods they consider to be too 'tasty' to their taste buds.

The OP essentially describes a supertaster when she says "adults who just turn their noses up at anything other than plain meat and potatoes and act as if vegetables, pasta, fish, anything containing spices or garlic or cooked in a sauces is on a par with serving up roasted worms"

The presence of sauces/spices will be overwhelming to their taste buds & they get more pleasure out of plain meat than a non taster who will feel that is really bland.

Google 'supertaster' & see what sorts of foods supertasters don't like & see if that describes the annoying adults you know.

FlouncingMintyy Mon 18-Feb-13 21:51:36

Fussy eaters are indeed childish and that is an unappealing characteristic in adults.

FlouncingMintyy Mon 18-Feb-13 21:52:48

CalamityJ - my fussy fil will not eat pasta or rice. I hardly think those are super tasty.

LightTheLampNotTheRat Mon 18-Feb-13 21:56:54

My fussy SIL is not a super-taster. Super-PITA grin

We went to a nice posh dinner at the weekend. The DCs were on their best behaviour but it was fairly late and the portions were very enormous so I was relaxed about how much they left on their plates.

DS(4) was sitting next to a female relation in her late fifties, who from the moment we arrived was a total PITA about the food. She couldn't read the menu because the font was too small; she didn't fancy any of the starters because Melba toast is too thin and melon is a stupid starter; she didn't like the mains because she doesn't like salmon and the other options had sauce on them; when the food came it was all too big and too rich; she didn't like the wine and they were too slow to bring her lager instead; she made a big deal of scraping and stacking all our plates between courses "to make it easier for the staff"...

... all of which is fussy arsehole behaviour when you are supposed to be concentrating on socialising with members of the family you haven't seen for months.

Then while I was distracted dealing with my toddler she scooped the cream back into DS's bowl (from the plate) and stirred it in. Fuck me it looked foul. He cried. I explained to her that he doesn't like cream and you should have heard her go on about how ridiculous it is not to clear your plate and to be fussy about foods you do and don't eat. Hypocritical cowbag.

CalamityJ Mon 18-Feb-13 21:57:32

What is bland to one person is super tasty to another Flouncing. Supertasters can be able to taste the flour in the pasta which can make it unappealing. Rice also has more of a distinctive flavour than you might think.

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 18-Feb-13 22:01:22

Yabu. It's not gun having food phobias

I tend not to accept invitations to meals out with friends because of it. Often I'd love to go to socialise but I know others will make a fuss over me not eating.

CalamityJ Mon 18-Feb-13 22:01:55

I'm not saying all people who appear to be fussy eaters are supertasters & there are many examples of rude behaviour & bad manners dressed up as 'fussy eaters' but OPs original description of not liking spices/sauces etc sounds more like a supertaster than the subsequent descriptions of people just behaving badly.

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 18-Feb-13 22:03:23

I've never heard if super tasters before. I think it describes me. I can taste if there is onion in something (can only eat certain brands if hash browns for example)

Is it common for supertasters not to like cheese?

CalamityJ Mon 18-Feb-13 22:09:39

It's rude to comment on what someone else is eating & there's quite a few examples on here where people are projecting their dislikes onto other people. That's just rude. It's like saying to a friend who's wearing a new top 'urgh I wouldn't wear that'. Well no, but then no one was asking you to.

But people who have a limited range of what their taste buds can bear are not necessarily the people projecting their tastes onto others. Granted they make for PITA dinner guests but a quick check beforehand or few choices (sauce on side, couple of different vegs) can make all the difference to a supertaster not wanting to appear rude but not wanting to eat a certain flavour.

CalamityJ Mon 18-Feb-13 22:13:14

Pictures it can be strong tastes of anything so yes cheese can be disliked. Especially really cheesy cheese (mature, blue etc). Many supertasters just stick with mild cheddar or what is affectionately (!) known as plastic cheese (Kraft slices etc) as they're less 'tasty'.

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 18-Feb-13 22:20:35

All cheese makes me feel sick, even cheddar biscuits

I eat potatoes, plain meat, white fish (but can taste some strong fish. Bacon (not smoked) some veg, peas, swede, cabbage (not sprouts or carrots unless raw)

I hate sauces especially milky ones. Don't like tomatoes either. Don't really like pasta or rice. I do like bread ( no butter or mayonnaise)

coraltoes Mon 18-Feb-13 22:30:49

I dumped a long term boyfriend cos he didn't like fish and many other items but I adore eating out, cooking, I'm a bit passionate about food, and the thought of watching him either pick at chicken or overcooked steak for rest of my life made me wake up to how mismatched we were!

DH is a wonderful eater thank god! Hehe

MarianneM Mon 18-Feb-13 22:38:24


My example which follows is of children, but it is the attitude of the parent that I find unbelievable.

I was the Sunday Times which quotes a father of two boys aged 12 and 14 saying that their school, which has banned all other drinks at school except water, should allow him to send his sons to school with smoothies or flavoured water because "The boys now often buy cans of Coke on the way home because they have drunk so little during the school day and arew thirsty".

Also: "The school has jugs of tap water on the tables at lunchtime but neither of my boys like water."

And finally: "They don't like the food at their secondary school at lunchtime - pasta with cheese sauce, curries and salads are all dishes they won't eat."

It is parents like this who raise fussy children - fussiness generally is unacceptable in my opinion. Why do we put up with it?

Smooshy Mon 18-Feb-13 22:43:04

My MIL is very fussy. Basically all she eats is roast dinner, with a couple of veg and steak and chips. She always makes comments about my kids eating "horrible" stuff like garlic or curries.

We can't go out to eat with her unless it's a pub or steak house. And even then she'll usually moan that something is wrong.

She accused DH of being fussy. He doesn't like peas or baked beans. That's it!

anonymosity Mon 18-Feb-13 22:45:11

I think YANBU. I am so bored by adults who make a fuss with food. It shows (in my humble opinion) a very unimaginative and unadventurous spirit, and that BORES me.

Food is one of life's great pleasures (or it can be) and not just a part of bodily functions.

I actually believe some people are missing taste buds.

Nanny0gg Mon 18-Feb-13 22:48:27

Well, bully for all of you who can pretty much eat anything and everything.

I hate being fussy. It does make going out for dinner a problem. It makes me dread being invited to dinner by someone I don't know that well.

It's all very well that people saying that grown adults should be able to try anything - well I can't. If I don't like something because of smell, or having tried before and hating the taste or texture, then I will be sick at best, or heave at worst.(Childhood being forced to eat foods I didn't like)

And I made sure that I didn't force my children to eat anything, they just had to try it. If they didn't like it they didn't have to have it. One is fussy like me (but different foods) and the other eats anything.

So it isn't always nurture. And if anyone finds a cure I'd be more than grateful.

anonymosity Mon 18-Feb-13 22:51:12

NannyOgg that sounds like an eating disorder of sorts, not being a fussy eater. That's quite serious. Sorry to hear about it.

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 18-Feb-13 22:51:33

Huge sympathies nanny. I know just how you feel.

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 18-Feb-13 22:52:09

I liken it to a phobia.

minouminou Mon 18-Feb-13 22:53:01

There's a clear difference between attention-seeking fuckwittery and genuine probs - either psychological or physiological.
A much younger female relative of mine has a few food issues, but she's very polite about it - I think it's just that she's unadventurous. Often I'll make something she's never had before, and fair play to her, she'll give it a day in court. Sometimes it goes down well and other times you can see her quailing....but she'll give it a go, and she's never rude about food she turns down.
I will give almost anything a go - except for sea urchin, after hearing about it from a friend who'd tried in in Japan. He was almost puking while telling me about it.
My real pet hates are okra, aubergine and courgettes - it's the slimy-reducing-to-nothing-but-vegetal-ichor-in-your-mouth feeling that does it for me. I've tried, believe me, I've tried. Over many years. Were I to be faced with a dish made mainly from one of these guys, I wouldn't dream of kicking up a fuss, but I'd have to work around it. I couldn't eat it - but I wouldn't want all and sundry knowing about it.
Love moussaka, though, so you'll find me picking the discs o' slime out very discreetly.

CelticPixie Mon 18-Feb-13 22:53:04

Fussy eaters really get on my tits. They need to get a bloody grip and grow up. One of my massive pet hates is people who say that they don't like something without having ever tried it. How can you possibly know whether or not you like it without having ever tasted it? This is a common trait of faddy eaters in my experience.

LightTheLampNotTheRat Mon 18-Feb-13 22:57:00

Exactly CelticPixie - so many people say they don't like things that they haven't tried. (I know this because sometimes I ask them!) That's not being a 'super-taster' - it's just ignorant.

aldiwhore Mon 18-Feb-13 22:58:55

I'm not fussy, I adore pretty much all food.

Never has a fussy eater annoyed me, not even when I've catered for one. I sometimes feel sad for them that they don't have the wiring to enjoy all the various flavours out there, on the other hand, choosing what to eat in a restaurant is pretty hard for me too, I would happily eat it all.

I have turned into a fusspot in restaurants when I've been dieting, I have also worked in restaraunts and full accept it's the customers bloody right to be fussy.

The ONLY thing I ask of anyone who I cater for is, unless it's really something you don't like, please taste it before adding mountains of salt... but even then, the only person ever to piss me off with that was a friend who didn't taste it, covered it with salt and then said it was a bit too salty - knobhead.

As an adult, in the 1st world, you have the right to choose what you want to consume... just because you keep it simple doesn't make you pathetic.

Perhaps they don't want to taste it though? It's not compulsory. confused

aldiwhore Mon 18-Feb-13 23:00:52

Completely contrary to part of my pp... why should people feel like they have to try it? (Apart from the salt issue, so maybe IABU)

I MIGHT like skydiving, but even given the opportunity I simply don't fancy it.

LightTheLampNotTheRat Mon 18-Feb-13 23:01:20

Fine, don't taste it. But don't say you don't like it - because you don't know whether you do or not.

minouminou Mon 18-Feb-13 23:01:24

....or, Aldiwhore, turn down salmon because it tastes fishy, like a house guest did once.....

That particular exchange raised my dear mama's blood pressure.

minouminou Mon 18-Feb-13 23:02:52

That's why I'm praising my rellie - because she'll give things a shot. She's even bagged a few recipes from me before now.

There's nothing worse than having food forced on you with the words 'have a try it's lovely-you will like it' and the fork looming into view. sad


My DH is a bit like this, I'm gradually challenging it. I don't want DCs to see it as normal & nor does he. He feels sad about it & it's obvious where it started, mil is such a negative person. She'd put the same old stuff on their

minouminou Mon 18-Feb-13 23:05:07

Agree with you there, Sparkling....I remember that moutabal well.
There's nowt wrong with encouraging someone who knows they're a bit timid to broaden their palate a bit, though.

LightTheLampNotTheRat Mon 18-Feb-13 23:05:08

So the analogy with skydiving is that you don't fancy trying it - so it's okay for people to not fancy trying new food? That's true, but I'm not sure it really works well in a situation where someone has cooked for you or invited you out for dinner. It's just rude to sit at someone's table and say 'I don't want to try the food you've provided'.

MarianneM I read that article with my eyes rolling. The father assumed that "water only" meant "not fizzy drinks" and sent smoothies instead. Twat.

aldiwhore Mon 18-Feb-13 23:05:56

I do think that children should be encouraged to try a wide variety of foods.. or at the very least, certain standard staples that are healthy.

Maybe that's me having double standards, but I think once you're an adult you can eat what the hell you please. Unfortunately I could do with being a bit more fussy...

sparklingbrook I will never really understand why people do that!


My DH is a bit like this, I'm gradually challenging it. I don't want DCs to see it as normal & nor does he. He feels sad about it & it's obvious where it started, mil is such a negative person. She'd put the same old stuff on their plates every day & if someone dare give him something different shed make a big fuss & tell him he didn't have to eat it. Planting seeds. He does try now.

It is hard for us to find nice restaurants. Literally every thing on the menu usually has at least one element he won't like/try.

LightTheLampNotTheRat Mon 18-Feb-13 23:06:16

Yum, moutabal grin

minouminou Mon 18-Feb-13 23:08:05


You'll be pleased to know that I was very stoic and understated about the moutabal, Light.
I thought it might have been the wasn't.

aldiwhore Mon 18-Feb-13 23:08:38

lightthelampnottherat When I cook for friends and their partners/spouses/plusones I always ask what people will eat and what they won't... I enjoy building the meal around those likes, it makes me a little more creative. Too many people cook what THEY like and think people who don't share that view are weird.

Sometimes the meals I cook are one pot wonders where everyone is happy, other times it's more tapas style... I don't mind. I don't want to feed people what they won't like.

CelticPixie Mon 18-Feb-13 23:08:51

I suppose because I adore food and always have I just don't understand how other people can have such a limited diet, which fussy eaters inevitably do? I love trying new things, I love going out for meals and I will always find something on a menu that I will eat.

My brother was the worlds fussiest eater as a child. He wouldn't eat any veg at all apart from potatoes. If we went out and his meal came with peas or something like that then he just wouldn't eat anything on the plate because it had touched the peas. He was a nightmare. All he ate was fish fingers, chips, bread, burgers, chicken, crisps, crackers, turkey drumsticks and garlic bread. He has thankfully grown out of this.

Because they love it and therefore you must too Aldi. confused

Eat what you like, let everyone else eat what they like. It's only food.

LightTheLampNotTheRat Mon 18-Feb-13 23:11:51

There are things I don't like too! (I'm sure there must be if I think hard enough - yes, fruit with meat or fish.) But I don't think I've ever not tried something that someone cooked for me. Even the weird chicken thing with a sauce made from a tin of evaporated milk and a tin of mandarin segments, eek.

aldiwhore Mon 18-Feb-13 23:12:14

I have just decided. I will NEVER try SeaUrchin. Ever. Even if a friend has caught it herself.

minouminou Mon 18-Feb-13 23:13:46

Oh god....the sea urchin.
Six years on, the convo turns my stomach.

LightTheLampNotTheRat Mon 18-Feb-13 23:15:13

Hmm yes, sea urchin not appealing, not at all. But I still wouldn't say I don't like it - just that I'm too much of a wuss to try. Happily I don't go to the kind of dinner parties or indeed any dinner parties at all these days where sea urchin is likely to be on the menu.

minouminou Mon 18-Feb-13 23:20:06

Oh god....I knew what it would be.....still had to look.

I've just gone all Cthulu.....and green....

maresedotes Mon 18-Feb-13 23:20:48

I was going to say yanbu but I thought crapbag's story was sad so YABU as some people may be 'fussy' for a reason they can't help.

I am cooking that for everyone tomorrow minou. I am sure they will like it once they have tried it. wink

fridgepants Mon 18-Feb-13 23:26:13

I knew a supertaster at university - he lived off white bread and chips. He was skinny as a whip but had terrible skin because he couldn't manage anything other than very very plain food. Even the egg coating on pasta was a problem.

I also had a friend who would go to McDonalds and only order a 'plain' hamburger - no sauce, no pickle, just meat and bread.

minouminou Mon 18-Feb-13 23:26:15
mumstonic Mon 18-Feb-13 23:27:04

My MIL constantly complains about garlic and how she HATES garlic with its pungent smell and revolting after taste blah blah... Little does she know I use it in almost everything I cook and she always has second helpings!

TheSeniorWrangler Mon 18-Feb-13 23:34:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LightTheLampNotTheRat Mon 18-Feb-13 23:35:18

My dad is the same about celery, mumstonic - swears blind he can't stand it and can always tell when it's in something. Except he can't tell at all, and has happily eaten many a thing I've made that contains celery.

Btw aldiwhore I don't deliberately cook things that I think people won't like. If I have people coming round, I always check if there are allergies or particular dislikes. Having various members of DH's family over at the same time is a huge culinary challenge - vegetarians who eat fish, non-vegetarians who don't eat fish, people who sometimes don't eat red meat 'for health reasons' but sometimes do, people who always eat red meat but not lamb, and on and on. Makes my head spin, as I can't cope with restaurant-type cooking in my own kitchen.

fridgepants Mon 18-Feb-13 23:38:21

We can never cook moussaka, as DP is allergic to lentils, and I can't eat lamb (bottle-fed one once and just can't do it).

TheSeniorWrangler Mon 18-Feb-13 23:40:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LightTheLampNotTheRat Mon 18-Feb-13 23:42:52

Okay one last comment on the whole subject of 'trying' food, then I'll leave it alone. I don't mean that anyone should be harassed by an overbearing friend or relative to try something just because that person thinks they should. Just that if you find yourself eating in someone's house and they put something unfamiliar in front of you, do people honestly say 'no I won't eat even a bit of that'? (Well, my SIL does, so I know there are some people who do. But most people don't do this, do they?)

FlouncingMintyy Mon 18-Feb-13 23:47:13

What I dislike most about fussy eaters is their very vocal "Oh God x tastes of shit/I hate y/don't give me z or I'll heave" - as seen all over this thread.

TheSeniorWrangler Mon 18-Feb-13 23:47:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheSeniorWrangler Mon 18-Feb-13 23:48:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RaspberryRuffle Tue 19-Feb-13 00:26:38

SeniorWrangler yes I usually try it too, funny because I said I didn't like artichokes (I really don't and was trying lots of other foods, it was tapas style so I thought I could avoid them) but my Spanish friend said "Yes, but everyone likes my wife's artichokes" and I had to eat them and I couldn't bear to crush her, she was looking at me with Disney style eyes waiting for me to say her artichokes were good, cue huge 'I told you so' and more artichokes on my plate hmm

Anna1976 Tue 19-Feb-13 06:28:45

YANBU, because by definition, the picky, fussy, annoying ones without valid issues are actually being unreasonable. YABU for being tautological though. grin

It seems that most of the problem here is people who are insensitive to others, and inarticulate about their needs. Sometimes it's impossible to tell whether someone's being inarticulate about their need for attention and validation from others, or being inarticulate about their gut-wrenching dislike of the food, or being inarticulate about having sensory issues because they're totally unaware that their particular sensory or behavioural issue is not widespread.

Most people seem to cut someone some slack for a polite, articulate explanation of need, and most people roll their eyes at someone being babyish and grumpy, or shrieky and bitchy. But that could be the same person five years apart (having been diagnosed with ASD in between, and given the tools to deal with stressful situations in a productive way) - or five minutes apart (snapping because a jeering close relative is there grating on nerves; being calm and articulate when feeling autonomous).

Give someone the insight about their behaviour, and the tools to feel they can deal with it calmly, happily and without any problem; and voila, you've transformed them from a shrieky, rude, picky eater, to someone who has a completely valid point.

I say this as someone who will happily eat anything most of the time, but who has occasionally been fussy about things because I had no idea how nice they could be. The problem was me needing to acquire insight and perspective, but I thought I was right at the time. My mother is an ambitious but very poor cook, who has almost no sense of taste or texture of food, so she really honestly doesn't care and can't tell, when the pasta is burnt dry, or the mincemeat is cooked to the point of being gravel with water sloshing round the outside and some curious little red squares that used to be tomato, or the green vegies are cooked until they are grey mush... I used to refuse sausages as a child because I knew they were inedible... discovered aged 18 that they were delicious. I also remember going to an italian restaurant as a child and finding it hard to find anything on the menu because I knew I hated everything there... I was really really surprised when the tagliatelle was delicious!

NB - for those who dislike coriander, that's apparently some genetic thing to do with being insensitive to what other people are smelling, while also being sensitive to some of the tastes underneath.

Anna1976 Tue 19-Feb-13 06:37:57

Aaarrgg. That sounds like I'm coming down on the side of the "oh go on, just try a little bit, how do you know you won't like it" brigade... I'm not. I'm with the shrug & get on with life camp. I'm just trying to explain that someone without valid issues (or without an articulate explanation of valid issues) may well not have any idea
(1) that they are being annoying and rude
(2) that they have the skills not to be annoying or rude
(3) that it is completely within their power to enjoy what life throws at them
(4) that they can refuse politely, productively, and self-sufficiently, without causing offence.

Anna1976 Tue 19-Feb-13 06:39:57

N.B. under (3) I am thinking of things like olives and garlic, rather than the actual bad stuff life can throw at you blush

outtolunchagain Tue 19-Feb-13 08:21:18

I was brought up never to comment on food unless it was complimentary . As my DM was once heard to say "it's not disgusting , but it may not be to your taste" I was also brought up to eat whatever was put in front of me at someone else's home , vivid ghastly memories of eating 'spaghetti africaine" which seemed to consist of pasta , peanut butter and tomatoes ( just the thought of peanut butter makes me gag) but even though I was 20 by this time it was completely ingrained that it would be rude to refuse.

I think some of the problems with this stem from canteens at school.In my day there was no choice other than an "ordinary or a small"

One of the best stories on this is in one of theJames Herriott books where he has dinner and his prospective girlfriends home . They serve ham which is mostly fat which he can't stand and the only way out is to smother it in piccalilli which he's also not keen on .They end up thinking he loves the piccalilli so much they give him a bottle to take home grin

But sometimes people are fussy for reasons other than "needing attention" hmm
I have the same problem as TheSeniorWrangler upthread, I really quite like the taste of spicy/hot food, but I simply cannot eat it without feeling like I'm about to die. Even the "mild" stuff you can buy makes my eyes water. So if someone offers me spicy food, I will say no.

A slightly less reasonable (in most people's eyes) cause of my personal fussiness is texture. There are certain foods that make me shudder just to consider eating because of the way they feel in your mouth - mushrooms, tomatoes and candyfloss being the main offenders. Also can't do strawberries (those seeds! -boak-) or oranges. Which is a shame, as I love both of those things in juices/yoghurts/just about anything else.

OP, I'm kind of with you (my dad is like the people you describe, no "foreign muck". But he's old, so possibly allowed to be fussy!) but in reality, being fussy is more a curse than a blessing. I wish I wasn't fussy. It's so hard not to pass my bad eating habits on to DS. But I'm trying. sad

Anna1976 Tue 19-Feb-13 09:09:17

Galaxy - sorry if I managed to suggest fussiness = needing attention... confusedblush

I was trying to explain the disempowerment of fussiness without a valid/ appropriately polite description... you sound like you're totally going to provide a reasoned, polite "no" and be considerate of others' needs in expressing your needs. I see no problem with providing an accurate description of what you can/can't eat, and then sorting out an appropriate solution

Anna1976 Tue 19-Feb-13 09:11:35

and once again i've failed to state my main assumption, that the validity of an issue can extend to not liking something

Thingiebob Tue 19-Feb-13 09:21:03

It's perfectly ok for people to have likes and dislikes when it comes to food.
There are quite a few foods I dislike. I am an adult and will not eat them. I will not be forced, co-erced or guilted into eating them. I had enough of that when i was a child. It makes no difference to you if I don't eat them.

YABU!! Why should a person feel oblied to taste something they know they won't like.

My DH likes plain food, not food covered in sauces.....he likes a meat and potato what!!!

DS is fussy too!! So what!! I don't believe in making food an issue.....

Latara Tue 19-Feb-13 09:42:29

The only things i can't stomach are raisins/sultanas/currants (i was very sick after eating them as a child which has put me off for life). I keep trying to eat them but i still don't like them.

Also sauces made with lots of cheese &/or butter do make me ill because they are so rich & fatty.

Apart from that i'll try any food once.

Lifeisontheup Tue 19-Feb-13 09:45:14

I don't mind catering to peoples likes and dislikes although I cannot stand the gagging, retching and general audible disgust that can be associated with it BUT for the love of God please tell me before you get to my house.

Five minutes before you arrive at a BBQ is not the time to tell me that the person you are bringing is a vegetarian. It was a Sunday and miles from large shops the only thing we could buy was vege burgers and quorn slices and he bloody well moaned about them.

Also do not expect everyone else to eat the same as you just because you don't like the alternative.

Latara Tue 19-Feb-13 09:45:33

A cup of brew is the thing most people are fussy about.

I make the teas often for the entire ward i work on, plus for other staff, & it's never quick because people like their teas: weak, strong, less milk, more milk, more water, no sugar, sugar... etc etc.
One guy recently wanted 5 Sugars!!!

Then there are the various ways of making coffee.....!

Latara Tue 19-Feb-13 09:48:03

Life i stopped being veggie at a BBQ because i was tempted by the delicious smell of BBQ ribs mmmm....

JaponicaTroggs Tue 19-Feb-13 10:02:59

I love trying new foods and when abroad always like to try local dishes, but I am really fussy about meat. I can't stomach any type of pork, beef or steak but will eat poultry as long as there is no fat or bones. My earliest memories are being made to sit at the table and finish my meat and endlessly chewing and gagging. I loathe it.
Even out of politeness if you served me a pork chop I would not eat it. I would rather refuse than start gagging at the table. I would eat peas out of politness even though I hate them, but not that.

TheSeniorWrangler Tue 19-Feb-13 10:24:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Flatbread Tue 19-Feb-13 10:46:57

Lol, so many fussy eaters on this thread trying to outdo each other on their fussiness and explanations of being 'super tasters' or similar nonsense grin

Badly bought-up and still immature adults, more likely.

Disclaimer:real allergies or ethical reasons are valid reasons to avoid certain foods. Otherwise, it is unattractive fussiness, pure and simple.

atthewelles Tue 19-Feb-13 10:48:47

No one is suggesting deliberately serving guests food they don't like or forcing guests to try something. We're just complaining about how difficult it is to cater for people who don't seem to like anything. You can't do a casserole type dish because they don't like vegetables or sauce, you can't do curry or bolognaise because they can't stand spice or pasta or rice, if you do a roast dinner you can't include stuffing or gravy and the potatoes have to be roasted, because they can't stand mash or boiled potatoes, if you do such and such a dish you have to make it in two batches so you can leave the carrots and garlic out of their portion and on and on and on and on.

nokidshere Tue 19-Feb-13 10:54:21

I am quite a fussy eater but I wouldn't dream of saying someone elses food is disgusting. I will not however, eat something i dislike in order to be seen as polite by someone else.

I don't like peppers and onions cooked (texture) but I am quite happy with them raw. If someone cooked them for me I would simply leave them on the side of my plate without fuss and compliment the rest of the meal.

I would not expect someone to eat food they dislike at my home.

DawnOfTheDee Tue 19-Feb-13 10:58:07

I read an article recently that reference a food critic who had written a book (can't remember the title). Anyway the gist was that this food critic had won an award and was looking at his career and felt bad that there were some foods/types of foods that he just didn't like. Obviously he was meant to be objective but found it difficult to praise a, say Korean, restaurant in the same way he did others as he just wasn't keen.
The conclusion was that there are no inherently 'bad' tasting foods and liking anything is simply a matter of exposure so his mission was to start liking foods that he previously couldn't stand. I recall he managed to like everything except one food (which he ended up being able to eat but still wasn't keen on).

Now I'm a foodie anyway but thought this was an interesting concept.

shock at 'badly bought up' Flatbread. I will be telling my Dad later that DB's dislike of eggs is all his fault.

I am not sure about a dislike of certain foods being 'immature' either.

atthewelles Tue 19-Feb-13 11:51:26

A dislike of certain foods isn't immature. A refusal to even try anything new and an insistence of sticking resolutely to a few dishes that you're familiar with can be a bit immature.

Look, I'm not knocking people who won't eat all sorts of weird and wonderful food or who have certain dislikes. I can't eat dishes with a lot of chilli because I will be up all night pacing the floor with diabolical heartburn. I also don't like most offal apart from liver and can eat cooked celery but hate it raw. But I eat most of the foods that people will cook for you or that are available in most restaurants and if someone serves yo something I really don't like eg goats cheese, I will force it down by making sure I have loads of the salad, pastry or sauce on the fork at the same time.

Its people, discounting those with allergies and phobias, who have a small list of food that they will eat as opposted to a small list of food that they won't eat that irritate me.

I do understand where you are coming from atthe. And the heartburn thing is horrible.

I would hate to upset anyone who had cooked for me so would always politely try and force it down and smile if something was served I didn't like.

BUT I would hate anyone to do that if I had cooked so i just cook what they like. Don't see it as pandering-just being nice. smile

I said upthread that I think the social/meeting up/having a fun night is more important than what's eaten. But that's me.

noblegiraffe Tue 19-Feb-13 12:55:38

Being a fussy eater isn't a choice, because if it was a choice, I wouldn't bloody be one. It's no fun at all.

As for trying new foods: there's a psychology study where apple juice is poured into a bedpan. Subjects are invited to drink it. They are told that it is apple juice and they are told that the bedpan has never been used and is sterile. Most participants in the study are completely unable to overcome their disgust reaction and drink the apple juice. Could you drink apple juice from a bedpan?

That disgust reaction is how I feel when invited to try some seafood or offal or whatever. It's not going to happen.

CalamityJ Tue 19-Feb-13 13:04:04

flatbread "Lol, so many fussy eaters on this thread trying to outdo each other on their fussiness and explanations of being 'super tasters' or similar nonsense"

Here's an analogy for you. You point out something in the far distance to someone and they can't see it. You say "there it is all the way over there" and they say "sorry I don't think my eye sight is as good as yours". Or you're in your friend's house and she says "Can you hear that?" And you say "hear what? I can't hear anything". She says "That noise I can hear, can't you?" And you say "sorry I don't think my hearing is as good as yours"

Both examples where people have differing sensory sensitivities. The first person can't see as far as you and in the second you can't hear as well as your friend. Because that person can't see the thing in the distance does that make you wrong? Because you can't hear the sound your friend can hear does that make you wrong?

Being a supertaster is the taste equivalent of excellent hearing or excellent eyesight. Now I can't think of many occasions when having excellent eye sight is a burden but I can imagine there are instances where having excellent hearing means you pick up on noises when you'd really rather not.

Having worked in sensory research in the past including screening supertasters I can assure you the excellent sense of taste is real, it occurs in approx 1/4 of the population and is linked with being highly atuned to bitterness. When we were evolving and bitter foods=poison then I imagine it was an evolutionary advantage. Dinner parties in 21st century are not necessarily places where this acute sense of taste is as appreciated.

Supertasters can be interpreted as fussy by people who can't appreciate that other people have differing sensory perceptions to them. Rude people are people who comment on what other people are eating or who impose their views of foods on other people. There are examples on here of both and IMHO the people who are apologetic about being seen as fussy or who do try things to please their hosts are more likely to fall into the supertasters camp rather than truly fussy eaters who make their food preferences everyone else's problem. People who make their issues everyone else's are rude; people who cannot bear the taste of something because it causes them genuine sensory overload (chilli for example) would probably rather not cause a fuss but may end up inadvertently doing so.

atthewelles Tue 19-Feb-13 13:05:50

Seafood and offal, fine noble but do you eat vegetables, pasta, rice, eggs, sauces, gravy, garlic etc or do they all make you react as if you've been asked to drink out of a bed pan? confused

TheSeniorWrangler Tue 19-Feb-13 13:14:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

erowid Tue 19-Feb-13 13:15:03

I think I'm going to invite every fussy eater I know to a Miracle Fruit Party grin

noblegiraffe Tue 19-Feb-13 13:17:48

No, not all of it is a disgust thing, some food I simply don't like the taste of, (but could force down to be polite). A lot of foods on that list are fine to me, by the way.

noblegiraffe Tue 19-Feb-13 13:19:24

The whole 'try it twenty times and you'll like it' thing is pants too. I've tried wine loads and loads of times because it is so socially inconvenient not to like it, and yet I still don't like it.
Interestingly, wine is on the supertaster list of things they taste differently.

CalamityJ Tue 19-Feb-13 13:21:02

erowid it really works! We did an experiment where I used to work and a whole team could each suck a lemon after having some of the fruit! Bloody expensive stuff if you can't get it on expenses grin

limitedperiodonly Tue 19-Feb-13 13:21:53

My mother is an ambitious but very poor cook

Anna1976 Sorry, but that really made me laugh.

It must have been hell growing up with her.

TheSeniorWrangler Tue 19-Feb-13 13:22:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hattifattner Tue 19-Feb-13 13:22:50

I catered for a huge number of kids and adults to scout camp last year. Asked in advance if there were any food allergy/intolerance issues. Also asked if there were strong dislikes and insurmountable issues (eg, my son, who loves hotdogs but they sadly do not like him)

So armed with a short list of issues and a couple of allergies from some of the mums I carefully planned both vegetarian and standard fare, ensuring that those that eg did not eat mince would have something vegetarian on a particular night and that there was always a choice of 2 very different dishes to cater for all palates.

By the end of the week, I was a frazzled wreck. The adult who could eat some peppers but not too many (EH? How many is too many?) but stuffed his face with paella (main flavouring: Paprika) and then complained that I had put too many peppers in it...

The kids that had nothing on their forms but refused to eat option 1 or 2, and then turned their noses up at option 3 which I hastily prepared (camp pizza).

Kids who would only eat potato as chips (which is obviously easy to make on a camp burner), who wouldnt east rice, noodles, pasta, or anything but white processed bread.

Kids who would not eat mince unless it was made into meatballs.

Kids who had been sent with £30 pocket money for the week and were gorging on icecream, sweets and pop (and then not wanting dinner).

When we got back, I took one mum to one side and asked her next time to tell us that her child would not eat X, Y and Z because he had been particularly difficult to cater for as he had declined all carbohydrates but bread, ate no fruit or veg, and turned his nose up at most protein options other than sausages. This is one of the £30 pocket money gang.

She later sent me a four page essay on what her child did eat - much of which we had served him but he had refused. It was full of "Well he likes Zizzi's pizza, he loves homemade pie, quiches, roast dinners, ...blah blah blah" - with absolutely no concept of what is even possible to cook over an open fire or on a two ring burner!

Now my other half wants to know if I will do its again this year.....erm.....let me think about that!

I have a relative who has made up allergies to sugar wheat and dairy. She just decided one day that she was allergic to these things and that they give her terrible migraines.

I know that they are 'made up' because there are lots of times when I know she has eaten things which 'inadvertantly' contain these terrible allergens (i.e. when she really wants to eat something and so miraculously decides not to make a huge fuss), and yet has been fine. when she decides she wants to eat chocolate let's say, she suddenly discovers that if she eats a 'tiny bit' of 'organic' chocolate she is ok, isn't that brilliant? Despite the fact that cheap/organic sugar is still sugar, and recognised by the body as such. She also drinks huge quantities of made from concentrate fruit juice, which again are full of sugar, and yet these don't ever have any effect.

The thing is, whenever we go out for the day or shopping or whatever, instead of making herself beforehand a snack/salad she can eat and taking it with her, she never does, and always insists on eating when we are out, so however many of us there are we all have to trail from shop to shop, restaurant to restaurant until she can find something she can eat, it is maddening.

The most annoying thing however, is how she polices her grown children (2 out of the 4 have the most awful body image despite being gorgeous). If we are in a shop and her 23yr old son picks up a fruit juice drink, she will look over his shoulder and then say, get this one, it's got less ...blah... in it and is much lower in calories. Or, oh you're not going to eat that are you, it's just pure carbs and what will your body turn them into, yes that's right, sugar, pure poison!

Oh, and whenever she offers you a mint or a toffee, she will always say 'would anyone like a sugar' even if it's just me and/or her daugher/son in the room. In-bloody-furiating!!!

Flatbread Tue 19-Feb-13 13:25:16

Being a supertaster is the taste equivalent of excellent hearing or excellent eyesight

Yeah, right. So these super tasters with so-called excellent taste buds can eat sausages and fries and other processed nonsense without tasting the chemicals and additives.

But fresh vegetables and fruit are 'bitter'? And spicy foods are non-no? I guess there are no 'super tasters' in India and SriLanka and Thailand then? hmm

Super tasters my arse, super fussers, more likely.

A super taster will be someone who shuns any processed food and eats and enjoys the variety of textures and flavours in cooking across cuisines

TheSeniorWrangler Tue 19-Feb-13 13:29:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MagratOfStolat Tue 19-Feb-13 13:32:17

Can I just add to this? I'm sorry, but this drives me absolutely up the fucking sodding wall and I genuinely want to headbutt people who do this.

<Any restaurant, but the worst is Frankie and Benny's...>
DP: Could I have <steak> please?
Waiter: How would you like that?
DP: Very well done please.
Waiter: I'd be happy to do that, however it will mean an extra wait of ten minutes?
DP: Well, no. That's not acceptable at all, I'm sorry to say. I'll have to order something else.



<sorry. that fucking bugs me to hell.>

TheSeniorWrangler Tue 19-Feb-13 13:34:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

But reading this thread steak should be eaten how it arrives Magrat. To ask the kitchen to cook it in a particular way is surely fussy and a huge PITA for the kitchen staff?

Sounds like your DP should ring ahead though. grin

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

MagratOfStolat Tue 19-Feb-13 13:36:52

He does this EVERY SINGLE BLOODY TIME. He is utterly maddening. I'm fucking furious at him because, by now, you would think he had gotten used to waiting a bit longer. But no, he wants his steak to arrive as he likes it but in the same time it takes to cook my (rare and lovely) steak to arrive. Fucking twat.

TheSeniorWrangler Tue 19-Feb-13 13:37:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Groovee Tue 19-Feb-13 13:38:15

Dh's SIL thinks we're fussy because we hate Balsamic vinegar especially on salad. And because we don't like bolognaise sauce with me having one half of the undissolved oxo cube and him getting the other half then served with hard boiled potatoes which have no taste but rawness.

The only thing I am fussy about is how well cooked my meat is. It had to be charcoaled at one point but it can't be pink.

Latara Tue 19-Feb-13 13:39:09

PMSL at Magrat hehehe smile

I do think it is perceived as fussy if you don't like what somebody else does. Doesn't mean you are though. Might mean they have strange tastes.

TotallyBS Tue 19-Feb-13 13:44:02

My Chinese friend is married to an English guy who will only eat Beef and Mushrooms with rice and that isn't even an authentic Chinese dish.

So this Chinese NY that just past her family was eating duck, lobster and sea bass while he was eating his usual.

Higgledyhouse Tue 19-Feb-13 13:46:52

Hi OP,

The person you describe is me! Very fussy eater mainly by choice I suppose. No official allergies. Very restricted diet, plain meat, plain pasta etc. Don't really do 'sauces'. Don't eat diary, milk cheese, eggs etc.

It's a choice based on how I enjoy my food. To me food simply tastes better this way. I dont expect people to agree and eat like me. Yes of course most fussy eaters will have tried to introduce new foods to their diet and have tried many foods at certain times. I have.

However eating out is never a problem. I think you are being a little miserable to be honest. Whet restaurant doesn't serve a steak or plain chicken breast etc. I eat everywhere and my friends are never restricted on restaurants. It really isn't difficult to cook for a fussy eater and I never turn my nose up at anything. You make fussy eaters sound like very rude people! It's just preference that's all, don't take it so personally!

ILikeBirds Tue 19-Feb-13 13:47:23

In my family we are all non-tasters, i.e. can't taste ptc at all. Doesn't stop my brother being an extremely fussy eater and it doesn't mean that I can't tell when someone has stirred my coffee after putting sugar in someone elses.

ProudAS Tue 19-Feb-13 13:47:30

I'm not talking about people with medical conditions which preclude certain foods from their diet or people who have anxiety issues re certain types of food/ different foods touching each other on the plate etc

How do you know that someone who appears to be a fussy eater doesn't have a medical condition?

I, like a lot of people with Aspergers, have sensory issues over certain foods and literally cannot swallow them as they make me gag. Doesn't stop me getting perceived as fussy though.

Flatbread Tue 19-Feb-13 13:54:41

SeniorWrangler, I read those links.

So if Brussels sprouts taste bitter... So what? Can you not enjoy something for being bitter?

The whole point of having sophisticated, educated palate is that you can feel the taste in its fullest- whether it is sour, bitter, sweet or spicy. And learn to enjoy and relish it for what it is.

If you think wine tastes like vinegar, you have an unrefined palate. It is like a child who has been exposed to very limited things. So if someone has the limited taste- buds of a child, they are suddenly 'super-tasters'?

And like I said before, a lot of these fussy eaters seem to be perfectly comfortable with processed meats, sausages and fries. Food that an educated palate will baulk at because you can taste the preservatives and unhealthy fried/processed flavours. But somehow their 'super-taste buds' are perfectly comfortable with junk food.

atthewelles Tue 19-Feb-13 14:02:14

Oh just feck off OP. I can't bear garlic. The smell is boke inducing.... and that applies to people who have eaten it as well. I'm not going to sit in your house and eat some stinking offering to make you happy. I am an adult, who doesn't wish to eat anything that smells like a stale armpit or wake up the next day with myself and my bedroom smelling that way as well. It isn't fussy, it is a perfectly understandable preference.Quote

Eh, maybe you should feck off and read my post properly. Where did I say that people who dislike garlic are irritating? I-was-talking-about-people-who-for-no-medical-or-phobic-reasons-just-turn-their-noses-up-at-food-that-they-are-not-used-to.

Would you like me to draw a diagram? grin

atthewelles Tue 19-Feb-13 14:03:36

ProusAs because I'm not talking about random people I've seen in restaurants. I'm talking about people I know and therefore know that they don't have medical conditions or phobias.

atthewelles Tue 19-Feb-13 14:06:40

Higgledy obviously your friends do pander to you if you think every restaurant serves a steak or plain chicken.

TheSeniorWrangler Tue 19-Feb-13 14:14:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheSeniorWrangler Tue 19-Feb-13 14:18:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

atthewelles Tue 19-Feb-13 14:23:18

Yes, but not every restaurant has plain food on the menu and a lot of fussy eaters then refuse to go there. My father couldn't eat certain food stuffs due to allergies but he didn't drag everybody into boring hotel carvery type places all the time. Like your father, he spoke to the staff and asked for things to be cooked a certain way. I have no problem with people like that; it's the people who insist everyone goes to McDonalds that drive me mad.

noblegiraffe Tue 19-Feb-13 14:28:34

Flatbread, how come your marvellous palate can enjoy and relish all sorts of foods except cheap ones? It seems to me that your palate is simply a snob.

atthewelles Tue 19-Feb-13 14:33:29

Well Noble probably its because cheap foods are full of artificial flavourings and cheap additives that taste horrible to someone who eats mainly home cooked food. That's not being snobby, its having a palate that hasn't been destroyed by processed foods.

noblegiraffe Tue 19-Feb-13 14:37:59

Oh, so these foods taste horrible and you don't want to eat them? How fussy of you shock

Andro Tue 19-Feb-13 14:47:20

I have some sympathy with fussy eaters, purely because when you can't eat certain things (for reasons real or perceived) there are people who treat you like a pariah as a result.

I have a very serious allergy, but because it's (unusually) specific people either don't believe me or try and pressure me into trying things that are slightly outside that specific parameter. I know that cheese derived from cows milk could kill me, why are people so surprised that I will not have goats cheese for example? I may be fine, but I don't consider the risk worth it! There are few things more distressing in social situation than food related peer pressure, something I've experienced only too often.

With many years of odd looks/comments/inability to attend certain functions/having to check almost everything in restaurants behind me, I'm not going to say much about people who are fussy. I do have a great deal of respect for those who are fussy, yet still work to broaden their palettes - it can't be easy to try a break established patterns/habits/limits.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Tue 19-Feb-13 14:48:46

To me, there's a difference between not liking something and being fussy. Everyone has food they don't like. I don't like beetroot for example, it's texture and taste is horrible. But I've tried it several times.

What annoys me are the 'I don't like it, but I've never tried it group'. How do you know? I have a friend who doesn't like vegetables. I fail to see how you can hate all vegetables.

I met a 20 something who had never tried mushrooms! I wonder if it's to do with what you were fed as a child and parent's attitudes towards food.

I also don't get the a meal isn't a meal without meat thing. And no I'm not a veggie.

YANBU; everyone has one or two things they don't like, but some people are just ridiculous. I have a friend whose children have now become fussy eaters because of her. They were coming for a meal, so I thought snack food would please everyone. A table laden with ham, cheese, sausage rolls, cucumber, tomatoes, tuna mayo, crisps, bread rolls etc awaited them. She went to the shop virtually straight away and bought Pepperamis as the children only eat (quote) "Pepperami, chicken nuggets and pizza". Not even bread or cheese.

It was summer so I'd also got lots of fresh strawberries and ice cream for pudding. They didn't eat strawberries and only ate white ice cream (not Mackies yellow ice cream). FFS.

atthewelles Tue 19-Feb-13 14:55:35

No, Noble. I prefer the taste of home cooked food but I don't refuse to eat processed foods, I can just taste the difference, that's all. Nothing fussy about that. You really are pulling at straws here.

TheSeniorWrangler Tue 19-Feb-13 14:57:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GrowSomeCress Tue 19-Feb-13 15:02:29

lol all this 'supertasters' stuff grin

atthewelles Tue 19-Feb-13 15:07:43

I know GrowSome I feel a fashionable 'condition' coming on.

"Eh, maybe you should feck off and read my post properly. Where did I say that people who dislike garlic are irritating? I-was-talking-about-people-who-for-no-medical-or-phobic-reasons-just-turn-their-noses-up-at-food-that-they-are-not-used-to.

Would you like me to draw a diagram? "

Ermmm... you said (and I quote) 'anything containing spices or garlic......' hence my response confused. If you served up 'anything containing garlic' I wouldn't eat it. I wouldn't require anything else though, I'd be fine with nothing. People who do not like something but insist on a separate meal/changing restaurant are a complete pain, and I'll let you get away with hating them grin

GrowSomeCress Tue 19-Feb-13 16:10:07

Have just read that supertasters often avoid fatty and sugary foods... doesn't quite explain all the fussy eaters who eat only convenience foods does it atthewelles grin

ineedabodytransplant Tue 19-Feb-13 16:16:24

Maybe not relevent, but I was raised to 'not like lots of different ie costly foods'.

When I was young I was often told what foods I didn't like. Anything that wasn't crap basically. Luckily I was able to escape my home life and realised that Greek/Italian/Indian etc foods weren't crap. I remember going to a greek restaurant with my then girlfriend and my uncle and saying I didn't like kebabs! Only because I had been told they were bad and I hadn't ever tasted them. I didn't know what butter tasted like until I was 18! Wouldn't eat margerine now if you paid me!

Now I love all variations of food(maybe why I need to lose some weight blush), and will try anything. But if I hadn't been lucky enough to escape the clutches of my tight-arsed pisshead parents I too could be a fussy/irritating eater.grin

noblegiraffe Tue 19-Feb-13 16:19:39

Why would you eat something that tasted horrible? Not seeing that as a virtue here. confused

So that you could be seen as having a very posh palate noble. wink

CalamityJ Tue 19-Feb-13 17:34:31

Senior thank you for those links perhaps they will help enlighten Flatbread who seems insistent that a group of people I tested for using PROP for a number of years don't actually exist & therefore my research was pointless grin.

Please may I make the distinction one last time between rude people who impose their food views on others & make dinner parties difficult and those who have a heightened sense of taste (which I feel the OP is describing regarding sauces/spices etc) who prefer plain food.

I feel I must 'come out' as a supertaster as that is what got me interested in the research when I was at uni. Fascinating to watch a lecture theatre of people taking bits of paper (impregnated with PROP) react as differently as some asking for new pieces of paper as theirs didn't seem to have anything on it (it did they just weren't sensitive to it) to people pulling odd faces saying 'that's not very nice' to others ripping the piece of paper out of their mouths going 'urgh' & needing a glass of water to rinse their mouths out to get rid of the taste.

Supertasters are actually employed by food and drink manufacturers to provide an objective sensory profile of foods/drinks (Google sensory profiling). Again Flatbread if supertasters didn't exist then someone should close the food & drink research industry down. It's clearly built on the Emperor's New Clothes principle! Sensory profilers do not give their own opinion of the foods/drinks they taste but articulate how strong a characteristic is e.g. bitter, sweet or it could be burnt notes in chocolate, acid notes in jelly sweets etc.

Supertasters would not want to eat cheap processed foods as they would be able to taste the fat and salt in say a cheap sausage. That is why I'm trying (and failing with Flatbread certainly) to differentiate between people who have a heightened sense of taste (to help explain why some people don't like sauces/spices etc) and people who have a heightened sense of entitlement/rudeness and want everyone to eat what they eat.

ILikeBirds Tue 19-Feb-13 17:39:10

But some people, like my brother, cannot taste PROP at all and are still fussy.

CalamityJ Tue 19-Feb-13 17:43:45

ILikebirds yep so he falls into the second category of what may be perceived as 'fussy' but with different reasons for being so.

kerala Tue 19-Feb-13 17:54:10

Have hosted lots of teenagers/young people from Europe (mostly Italy and Spain) for 4 years now. Most are great eaters, but when they are fussy wow they are fussy. I am careful to serve food that most teenagers like (lasagne, chicken pie, toad in the hole, risotto etc) the majority wolf it down happily challenges included the girl who would only eat her mothers cooking - sorry cant help there! Or the girl that sneered at EVERYTHING I mean everything. She was with us for a month so must have turned down every food I have in my repertoire. Funnily enough both super fussy girls were super fat so were obviously getting sustenance somewhere. The healthy weight girls were the ones that ate normally.

flatbread Tue 19-Feb-13 17:56:30


There is nothing to say that heightened taste means you don't like sauces or spicy food or vegetables. It is just an excuse to feel good about being a fussy limited food-eater

Interesting that you mention food testing, because I have met a tea taster. And he certainly could eat spicy food. Indeed, it was his staple, given that he is from Sri Lanka.

It is very difficult to become a taster. You need heightened and refined taste buds. I bet most of the junk-food eating so called 'super-tasters' wouldn't be able to distinguish between an assam and a nilgiri tea, let along first vs. second flush. And someone who thinks that all wine is vinegar is hardly a super-taster either grin

I have a heightened taste and can tell all the ingredients in something I am eating, even if it is a complex dish. I wouldn't call myself a 'super-taster'. And nor would most chefs or Italian mamas who understand the nuances of flavours and prepare delicately balanced meals. We are just ordinary folks who understand good food and appreciate complexity of flavours and keep our minds open about tastes and educate our palate.

kerala Tue 19-Feb-13 18:03:27

My FIL is maddening he is fussy (wont eat sea food including fish, anything spicy, avocados, anything foreign etc etc) but is really hypocritical - if either of my DDs express a preference they are ticked off and eye rolled by him. Both girls are great eaters way better than him - really gets on my wick!

CalamityJ Tue 19-Feb-13 18:08:59

It does appear Flatbread you're not fully reading my posts.
"I bet most of the junk-food eating so called 'super-tasters' wouldn't be able to distinguish between an assam and a nilgiri tea"

and those people are probably not supertasters they are probably fussy for another reason. I'm trying to distinguish between people who may be perceived as fussy because of their exceptional sense of taste & those who may be fussy for other reasons which I'm not defending as I don't know the reasons behind their 'fussiness'.

And also as I've tried to explain & Senior has added looking links, actually having a heightened sense of taste does exactly mean you prefer food without sauce/spice. Sauces can overwhelm the other flavours in the meal so everything just ends up tasting of sauce & spices are added to bring out the flavour of things which may then create a too strong flavour.

TheSeniorWrangler Tue 19-Feb-13 18:41:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Jins Tue 19-Feb-13 18:55:12

* And someone who thinks that all wine is vinegar is hardly a super-taster either *

Actually that's close to a definitive diagnosis. There's always some acetic acid in wine. Acetic acid is vinegar. Supertasters can definitely it out. The degree of how much the wine tastes like vinegar will depend on the wine.

I'm a supertaster. I'd starve before eating the junk food you describe

flatbread Tue 19-Feb-13 19:00:49

No shit Sherlock grin

Most cooks use wine in cooking because of the acid and choose the wine based on how it will marry the flavours ( hence beef bourguignon)

I don't buy that anyone on this thread is a super taster (just a fuss- pot) Unless they are actually professionally paid tea or wine tasters or in a similar field

Jins Tue 19-Feb-13 19:06:36

Think what you like. The facts are out there

Higgledyhouse Tue 19-Feb-13 19:13:36

"Higgledy obviously your friends do pander to you if you think every restaurant serves a steak or plain chicken"

Yes OP my friends pander to me, all the time, of course they do! Unlike you I don't think the world revolves around me. You really sound like a person with a huge chip on your shoulder and you sound incredibly miserable! You make some big judgements about peoples eating habits and i think you need to get down off your high horse and stop assuming you know the reasons why people are fussy eaters. Lighten up woman! You live your life, let others live theirs!!

Jins Tue 19-Feb-13 19:14:16

Gluten and other issues aside I'm still not especially fussy. I do describe myself as a fussy eater to certain people sometimes though. Mainly because their cooking just ain't that great. Certainly not as good as they think it is and definitely not worth the effort of chewing.

Wouldn't dream of telling them though - that would be rude grin

CalamityJ Tue 19-Feb-13 19:21:05

"I don't buy that anyone on this thread is a super taster (just a fuss- pot) Unless they are actually professionally paid tea or wine tasters or in a similar field."

Or have been tested using the PROP test which is the accepted scientific test for supertasters?

Jins Tue 19-Feb-13 19:22:43

Don't waste your breath Calamity smile

Flat earth

I don't eat any fish or seafood because I think it is revolting it makes me hurl. Be as impatient as you like and call me fussy. I also don't like olives or cooked celery but will eat them if I have to and am happy to pick them out if I'm somewhere where I can (won't upset hostess for example). I also am allergic to pineapple, but love it and wish I could eat it.

I guess I am picky because I won't eat fish or pineapple. Shrug. I'll eat pretty much anything else.

expatinscotland Tue 19-Feb-13 19:31:36


flatbread Tue 19-Feb-13 19:43:57

Ok, Calamity, where do I start...

Perhaps with the rather pointless article with dubious graphs and forced correlations. These are classic scatterplots and show very little linear or any other type of correlation. Or in other words, you can 'see' any correlation you want.

The 'study' was done with people of European descent. Perhaps other cultures who are more used to eating bitter and pungent food would not exhibit similar characteristics? Like I said before, people in many Asian countries eat spicy and saucy food everyday. Do they not have supposed super-tasters?

Third, having accentuated taste for the bitter component of taste does not make you a super-taster. What about having heightened awareness of salt? Or sour (like my dh)?

And just because you notice bitter flavours doesn't mean that you don't enjoy them. There are some dishes that are meant to be bitter. Children might not like them. But adults do, because they have educated their palette to like the taste of bitter.

Honestly, lots of nonsense here. I know some people that have heightened taste buds. But they are not fussy and can eat and enjoy everything.

CalamityJ Tue 19-Feb-13 19:58:00

Jins I'm clearly banging my head against a brick wall. Apparently decades of research can be wrong, my years spent in sensory research were wasted, food and drink companies should save their money and stop testing their products as there is homogeneity of what is liked/disliked and people cannot have differing sensitivities to taste like the other four senses have scales of sensitivity. hmm

Jins Tue 19-Feb-13 20:04:54

Smile and nod calamity, smile and nod

flatbread Tue 19-Feb-13 20:18:11

Having sensitivity to something is not the same as disliking that thing.

Of course different people have varying taste buds and food preferences

But unless you are allergic or ethically opposed to something, there is no reason not to eat all kinds of food and cuisines

I don't eat my favourite foods all the time. And I cook and consume food I am not fond of. It is part of behaving like an adult and having a varied diet. And loads of bitter vegetables are actually good for you, which is why I eat them in copious quantities.

flatbread Tue 19-Feb-13 20:26:05

And to add, taste-buds develop over time, depending on how much you expose them to.

I have a French friend who started giving her daughter pungent goat's cheese when she was 4 or 5. Naturally, like most children she screwed up her nose at it. But every so often, she would give her her daughter some goat's cheese from her plate in different prepared forms.

Now her child is grown up and likes goat cheese. When I see an English or Scots whining about pungent goat cheese. I don't think 'super-taster' . I think 'uneducated palate and unwilling to make the effort'

Jins Tue 19-Feb-13 20:36:55

It's not just that things taste bitter or more intense. They taste completely different. Coriander tastes of soap for example.

Seeing as you can't experience it I can understand your lack of empathy for supertasters.

noblegiraffe Tue 19-Feb-13 20:41:14

It's not clear to me why I should spend time, effort and money tasting goats cheese just so that at some point in the future I will like goats cheese. The payoff just doesn't seem worth it?
Like I said before, that didn't work for me with wine anyway. Years of trying to get to like it and I still don't.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 19-Feb-13 20:49:35

I would bend over backwards to cater towards an allergy or illness that foods impacted I would do my utmost to accommodate a phobia or genuine sensory issue.

And I don't much care what anybody eats unless they expect me to cater towards there childish nonsense

I'm thinking of an ex who would eat nothing that was not covered in either ketchup or chocolate expected me to fund this and sat there being rude to people who wanted to eat normal food even going so far as obviously stage gagging when his own child asked for brown bread instead of white or wanted to eat actual food without any ketchup. Or the other one who would eat the following

Cheeseburgers only from McDonalds
Roast potatoes
Roast beef well done
Steak well done
White bread
Any and all sweets/ choc bar and cake and pudding unless it contained fruit or veg.
Coco pops.

And that was it genuinely all he would eat.
he was highly vocal about his likes and dislikes would think nothing of taking an entire joint of meat intended for 4 people and then 12 large roast potatoes then call it a snack, strangely enough he was only fussy when it came to actual real food but could eat any thing usually considered to be a sweet treat.

When it comes to people like that I just don't ever involve myself with them because it is attention seeking behaviour and it is pathetic.

GrowSomeCress Tue 19-Feb-13 21:41:59

sockreturningpixie imagine the state of his bowels shock

superstarheartbreaker Tue 19-Feb-13 22:26:26

I am probably going to get slated here but I particularly loath it when parents assume that their children have the same gluten, dairy, meat etc intolerances as they do. Said kids are often on a very restricted diet...but only as parents are. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
I think that many adults have functional eating disorders. I am a bit of a low carb bore but if I go to a friend's house or to a restaraunt I will wolf down the carbs or whatever. I just get anal in my own kitchen.

PessaryPam Tue 19-Feb-13 22:35:26

HorraceTheOtter Regrettably I do ThonHoor! Anything over about 5 cm's long

So you could manage a nice big bowl of whitebait ok then???

PessaryPam Tue 19-Feb-13 23:11:28

Jins I'm a supertaster. I'd starve before eating the junk food you describe

I would bet everything that you wouldn't.

Jins Tue 19-Feb-13 23:26:28

Bet away.

I'll win though. Junk food is full of gluten and I'm a coeliac

flatbread Tue 19-Feb-13 23:38:03

Interesting and humorous article regarding cilantro

Linnet Wed 20-Feb-13 00:01:09

I once sat through a wedding meal where 4 of the 5 courses were fish which I don't eat. I had to listen to the lady sitting next to me telling me that I should just try it, I might like it, I'd make my children try it wouldn't I? I found this incredibly rude seeing as I am an adult who does not eat fish and know my own mind. I have never liked fish and no I wouldn't force my children to eat fish if I knew they had tried it in the past and truly didn't like it.

I will eat, beef, pork, chicken, veg and fruits, garlic spices etc but I won't eat fish and no amount of cajoling will make me, so I don't really see myself as a fussy eater I just dislike the texture and taste of fish.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 20-Feb-13 01:25:30

sockreturningpixie imagine the state of his bowels

I don't have to imagine, he also never cleaned the loo after using it.

Lifeisontheup Wed 20-Feb-13 09:35:06

There are certain things I loathed as a teenager/ 20 something. Mussels, anchovies and olives being those I remember. I used to try one mussel once a year on holiday and suddenly one year I found that I liked them, same with olives and anchovies. Tastes do change fairly drastically in my case although there is nothing that I used to like that I don't now, I've just added to my repertoire.

I used to hate the texture of mashed potatoes but it is now one of my favourite comfort foods.

I would always try something again as a result of this and would never be rude about something that has been cooked for me. I would also encourage my children to try things that they've previously disliked and they have changed their opinion on many things.

atthewelles Wed 20-Feb-13 10:02:18

Ermmm... you said (and I quote) 'anything containing spices or garlic......' hence my response . If you served up 'anything containing garlic' I wouldn't eat it. I wouldn't require anything else though, I'd be fine with nothing. People who do not like something but insist on a separate meal/changing restaurant are a complete pain, and I'll let you get away with hating them~ Quote

I think you misunderstood my post. I said I was talking about people who would only eat plain meat and potatoes and wouldn't eat ... and then I listed a load of foodstuffs. I didn't mean people who disliked a couple of the things on that list were fussy, I meant people who had a long long list like that of stuff they refused to eat.

atthewelles Wed 20-Feb-13 10:10:23

Yes OP my friends pander to me, all the time, of course they do! Unlike you I don't think the world revolves around me. You really sound like a person with a huge chip on your shoulder and you sound incredibly miserable! You make some big judgements about peoples eating habits and i think you need to get down off your high horse and stop assuming you know the reasons why people are fussy eaters. Lighten up woman! You live your life, let others live theirs!! Quote

The only person getting angry and chippy on this thread is you Higgledy.
Calm down. Where does finding fussy eaters irritating and difficult to cater for equate to thinking the world revolves around me? Particularly when loads of other posters have agreed confused. Surely its the people who sit grimly in lovely restaurants scouring the menu for a bit of boiled chicken and potato or who pick suspiciously through their food with a fork in case a bit of cheese or onion actually strayed in there are the 'miserable' ones (no offence to fussy eaters who don't behave like this BTW).

TBH your posts don't make much sense. You make a flat statement that all restaurants serve steak and plain chicken to try and prove a point when that is clearly not true and then seem to get extremely aggressive when that is challenged.

ginnybag Wed 20-Feb-13 10:33:19

To flip the conversation, I hate cooking for people 'who'll eat anything'..... It's pointless, dull and unrewarding.

I have two friends like this, and they really will eat anything. Doesn't matter whether it's cheap or expensive, well done or rare, not in a sauce/in a cheese sauce/in a tomato. It's food, in front of them and there, so they shovel it in chew and swallow.

Where's the incentive to try? They'll eat anything I put in front of them, so why should I spend time and money on them? The feedback on McD's is the same as on Slow-Roasted Venison in Blackcurrant Jus. It's all just food.

I prefer fussy eaters. I prefer people who have likes and dislikes. I enjoy creating a meal that people actually will enjoy, and because of that, I've seen, so often, people obviously relax, and smile and enjoy a meal away from home, in some cases for the first time ever.

And I've been on the other side. I have texture, not taste, and there is a serious difference, issues. I love read meat, but I almost never order meat when out, because I cannot cope with gristle or fat or bone.

And if I say this to someone, and they invite me for dinner, and then try to serve me cheap, undercooked steak, and I refuse, I'm seen as fussy.

But I see it as the host being rude, tbh, and worse, if they then start commenting and 'encouraging me' it's comes across quickly as bullying, which is just as unappealing as 'fussing'.

If you invite someone over for dinner, and you ask them what they will and won't eat, don't whinge if you serve outside that range and they complain. If their list of will/won't is too long, don't invite them back.

TBH, a lot of this issue would go away if people stopped branding people 'fussy'. If people felt they were able to be honest about their likes/dislikes, and had it accepted, without judging, then they would be, and then hosts would know what they could/could not cook and everyone would be happy.

Children are different, as they are still learning about food but an adult surely, must have the right to say 'I don't like that', without being judged, lectured, pressured or sneered at. If that list is chicken-nuggets-and-chips... so what? It isn't affecting you unless you let it!

I do agree, though, that when it comes to work do's or social occasions, there does have to be a limit - but, again, both ways. Picking somewhere reasonably middle of the road with a choice of meals is really the only fair thing to do. Non-fussy (or choosy or selective or discerning....) people who will 'eat anything' sometimes don't realize what a stretch certain restaurants can be for others and are downright rude about it in return.

DontmindifIdo Wed 20-Feb-13 10:39:35

ginnybag - I actually think people like that are part of the same thing, people who don't have a happy relationship with food.

I'll "eat anything" at a push (although am fussy about seafood, i'll eat it if I've not been asked in advance and I don't want to offend a host) but there are a lot of foods I'll prefer over others. I'll enjoy some more, but I wouldn't dream of giving you a "rider" of my preferences. If you said "should I cook X or Y?" I might suggest a preference there, but still, if you said "I'm going to serve Y, is that ok with you?" I'd say yes even if I'd rather have X. (hope that makes sense!)

flatbread Wed 20-Feb-13 10:41:46

There is a difference between a gourmand, who enoys fine food and a fussy eater. Fussy eaters are usually the opposite of being refined in their eating habits. They tend to stick with a small set of unadventurous food they ate as children, which usually includes an unhealthy amount of fatty and junk food.

We all judge people for different things. I really don't think I could be friends with someone who eats chicken nuggets all the time, and refuses vegetables or spices or sauces. It show a lack of discernment, curiosity and will-power which probably spills over in other aspects of their personality.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Wed 20-Feb-13 10:44:27

I'll eat pretty much anything but that's not the same as just 'shovel[ling] it in chew and swallow' hmm. I love food and eating.

I will eat, usually enjoy and, when someone else has made it for me, say thank you and be grateful for anything.

I hope my friends don't find that 'pointless, dull and unrewarding.'

flatbread Wed 20-Feb-13 10:44:57

Don'tmind, agree with you

flatbread Wed 20-Feb-13 10:46:15

And LadyClarice. Talk about turning fussiness into a virtue grin

atthewelles Wed 20-Feb-13 10:48:02

Ginny just because someone is prepared to eat whatever you put in front of them doesn't necessarily mean they can't tell the difference between a frozen burger and a homemade beef stroganoff.
And someone who is very limited in what they will eat is not necessarily more 'discerning' than a more easy going eater. Sticking rigidly to the same tiny handful of food stuffs that you have been eating since you were a child is, as flatbread has said, a sign of a lack of curiousity or willingness to try new things.

Jins Wed 20-Feb-13 10:54:41

Your latest post makes things clearer for me flatbread. You define fussy eaters differently from me. You are defining them as unadventurous whereas I define them as people who have a list of things they don't eat. There's a slight difference in my eyes. An unadventurous eater will stick rigidly to the same few items whereas I think that a fussy eater may well extend their range as long as the offending items aren't included.

I don't think forcing yourself to keep on trying things you don't like works though. I have to force down olives. I'll never like them but I can eat them if pushed. If I eat olives every day from now until the day I die I don't think I'll ever like them. So if I'm in a restaurant I'll choose a dish that doesn't have olives because I'm paying for the pleasure of eating out. Some people see it as fussy. I don't care too much

eggso Wed 20-Feb-13 11:02:20

Haven't read the rest of the thread, but had to comment based on OP.

I am the fussiest eater you will ever meet. Here is a list of things I don't like:
- meat
- fish
- most dairy. can just about stomach a bit of chocolate on occaision
- soya/tofu products
- most veg (other than the tops of brocolli , bean sprouts and cucumber sticks)
- lumps (as in chunks in soup, mash, anything)
- runny/watery food (soup is fine, but noodles/ramen in water VOM)
- Chewy food
- hard food

I genuinely survive off carbs. When I find a new food I like, it usually ends up just being some form of new carb (ie recently discovered cous-cous, but that isn't healthy unless it's with something!)

My mum said I was a nightmare to wean, and only drank milk until I was three. One day I drank so much I was sick, and haven't touched a drop since!

Every point in my life i've had people moaning at me to eat. I just physically can't put those things in my mouth. My stomach is flipping just thinking about it. At university, my housemates crumbled up some vitamins into my bag of rice, because they were genuinley concerned that's all I ate. I'm not small either, 5'7 and a size 14-16.

I would like help, beacuse I think I do have a form of an eating disorder. So you may think someone is being fussy, but in reality it's actually something huge that affects my life and just because you can put anything you want in your body, not everyone can!

eggso Wed 20-Feb-13 11:08:01

Me and DP had a row last night over this topic. We are having our belated valentines dinner tonight. He wanted to go somewhere new and nice. I am obsessed with chain restaurants. I like the uniformness of the food. I know it will be the same as last time. THey tend to describe exactly what will be in it. (i like places like nandos or frankie and bennys. pizza express etc).

He's given me the option of a few italian restaurants since tehy are the best bet of serving a plainish pasta or pizza I can pick the cheese off of, and at least he gets a nice dinner! But I wanted to check the menus first and now the place is booked up! sad

eggso Wed 20-Feb-13 11:12:36

I still get flashbacks to this day of a friends mum making us spag bol. The chewyness of the mince was awful. She wouldn't let me down from the table until I'd eaten it. I had one mouthful and sat there crying until my mum picked me up!

I have so many memories of high pressure eating situations as a kid! Another time a frineds mum made stir fry for dinner. I don't even remember what happened, just the dread when I saw it in a big bowl in the middle of the table!

Bogeyface Wed 20-Feb-13 11:31:40

The problem is that for many "fussy eaters", it is a real issue not an attention seeking ploy. Yes there are people that do that but generally they pick on anything they can to get attention so they can be safely ignored.

But for me, I eat a very limited diet these days because I am phobic about certain foods. It is a texture thing, in common with a lot of the posters on here. I can't help it, I don't do it to be difficult and I try and make sure that it doesn't impact on others. I cook a very large range of foods for the family, I just dont eat them myself.

I resent the implication that because someone chooses not to eat, or can't eat, certain things they are fussy. In my opinion they are simply exercising their right to choose their own diet, and you have no right to judge them. And frankly who gives a toss what someone else puts in their mouth or doesnt? I wish I had such pointless things to moan about.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 20-Feb-13 11:37:48


You say that you want help with the matter,have you ever asked for a referral to any support services there are quite a few therapists who specialise in food issues.

I can understand your dh's frustration if 100% of the time your eating at places that have prepackaged processed food and he would prefer normal cooked food then 100% of the time your getting your choice and he's not getting his meaning your expecting him to do exactly what you won't all the time.

noblegiraffe Wed 20-Feb-13 11:38:27

whereas I think that a fussy eater may well extend their range as long as the offending items aren't included.

I agree, Jins. While I am definitely a fussy eater, I don't identify at all with this image of someone who only eats the stuff they ate as a child. When I was a child my mum made me eat porridge every morning. I don't eat porridge anymore, because I don't like it. My mum was surprised to find out that I genuinely don't like porridge as an adult as she always thought I was just being picky as a child. On the other hand, I do now eat certain Chinese and Indian dishes that I have tried and liked (others I have tried and not liked), so would be happy to eat in a Chinese or Indian restaurant (Italian too, but I had pasta as a child).
The things that I have added to my range don't obviously contain things that I certainly don't like. Those, I still avoid.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Wed 20-Feb-13 11:40:23

Bogey, several people including myself have tried over and over to make it clear that there is a distinction between food issues and fussiness for the sake of it.

Lots of posters have also said that they only 'give a toss' about other people's eating habits when they impact on them – when restaurant choice is severely limited because of fussy eaters, or if someone fussed and complained about the food served to them at a friend's house. It's not actually that 'pointless' to be pissed off, as I have been in the past, by 'friends' (with no allergies/genuine issues) who make faces/yuck noises at the food I've made for them, or tell me at self-satisfied length how they would have made the dish so it was nicer than my version, or check in advance that I'd have what they considered to be acceptable food in.

atthewelles Wed 20-Feb-13 11:40:55

It's not pointless Bogey. People who are needlessly fussy about food and just refuse to try anything new impact on people who cook for them and people who socialise with them. Yes, they're entitled to decide what they put in their mouth, and we are entitled to 'moan about' it.

Jins Wed 20-Feb-13 11:50:25

I will eat most things that are gluten free but I can and do play the fussy eater card on occasion.

There are two people that love to host but manage to destroy any food they attempt to cook. Other friends wish they'd thought of it smile

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 20-Feb-13 12:17:11

With the two people I mentioned earlier both routinely made comments like "oh I don't not like them,I just find them to much effort," or "its not that I dislike them but they are boring"

The above examples with regard to anything that could not be scooped up in a spoon. And anything that was not roast potatoes.

Both were also drama lamas one would routinely complain there was either to little on his plate then not finish it or to much then finish it and within 10 mins be complaining about being hungry.both were incredibly rude in general and expected every aspect of there wishes to be prioritised over and above everybody else all the time.and both thought they didn't have to contribute towards there own lifestyles.

One of them according to his mother was never fussy when younger and when self funding his own food ate very differently to when he was leaching of others and both were never so fussy about pudding choices or booze choices.

On the other hand I have a not very close friend who has a very limited diet but is not rude or attention seeking about it if we eat out as a group he takes it in turns to choose the venue and is generally more relaxed about it his issue impacts nobody,he does not bother me at all.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 20-Feb-13 12:27:39

Something else that I just remembered that both the fussy ones did.

If anything pissed them off anything at all or they were in a bad mood that was entirely Not related to food they would strop and refuse to eat just like toddlers do. It would all be done very obviously and entirely for effect,plates would get pushed across the table stomping would happen,over the top statements about not being able to eat because they were so angry/ upset ect.

I can remember one of them having a temper tantrum at the table stomping off in a huff then lurking in the kitchen waiting to be pacified when this did not happen after about half an hour they snuck off into the shed where they practicly inhaled a Cornish pasty ( one of the foods they could not possibly eat) not knowing that I had CCTV in the shed.

Jins Wed 20-Feb-13 12:29:25

You see that doesn't define a fussy eater for me.

That's someone who has grown up knowing that they can use food as a weapon.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 20-Feb-13 12:44:04

Yes but it results in being fussy.

I wouldn't bat an eye lid at someone who didnt like lots of things because that has no impact on me its the stuff like the things I posted about that do.

I have a sneaking suspicion that lots of people who react strongly towards fussy people are meaning those types I have described.

noblegiraffe Wed 20-Feb-13 12:48:19

So you don't mean fussy eaters, you mean attention seeking arses. They are not the same thing!

atthewelles Wed 20-Feb-13 12:49:21

Another thing fussy eaters sometimes do is accept an invitation to dinner in someone's house but then eat a meal before they go in case they don't like the food served up to them. I think this is beyond rude. Either don't accept the invite, or make your host aware of food you really cannot eat because it makes you sick or whatever, and then be prepared to eat whatever's put in front of you even if its not your absolute favourite food.

Putting people to the time, effort and expense of cooking you a meal and then just announcing 'oh I had a big dinner at lunchtime so I'll just have a couple of potatoes is really ignorant and inconsiderate.