Order a pizza topped with pineapples at any restaurant in Italy, and you will regret every little step that led you to making this decision. Because if there’s something Italians won’t tolerate, it’s pineapple pizza and cappuccino in the afternoon. But while some of the most controversial food preferences have to do with local culture and its quirks, the rest of it comes from our weird and wonderful personalities.
The same goes with our food opinions. Like, saying that mint choc chip ice cream is gross, tomatoes ruin a burger, or that Greek yogurt is sour cream in disguise. You may not be the most popular person in the room for stating this, but you’re surely not quite wrong either.
So let’s dig deep into the often silenced world of controversial food opinions shared in this viral Twitter thread that will heat up the room temperature and will surely bring out your inner Gordon Ramsay.
Bored Panda reached out to Stefan Balkenende, a spokesperson of Greenpan.co.uk, a cookware manufacturer that specializes in ceramic-coated pans for healthier cooking. Stefan shared some insights on food opinions and preferences, as well as of ways we talk about food so that it won’t become a sensitive topic.
“No matter where you’re from or what kind of food you eat, the topic of food brings people together, acting as an easy ice breaker when meeting new people. It’s universally appealing,” Stefan said and added: “In fact, last year Dr. Amber Spry, who is the Politics and African American Studies professor at Brandeis University, went viral as she had asked her class ‘how does your family cook rice’ instead of traditional ice breaker questions, which naturally got the class talking, sparking debate and conversation over something so trivial but relevant to everyone.”
According to Stefan, even if a particular food preference seems unusual now, it could easily become more mainstream as time passes. “For example, the idea of drinking bone broth might have seemed odd a few years ago; in fact, in 2016, Google Trends identified an interest score of just 21. Fast forward to January 2020, and it hit a popularity score of 100.”
Moreover, unusual food preferences can be an exciting challenge for a cook. “Part of creating a great recipe is combining different flavors and textures in new ways, perhaps unimagined. What might seem like a bizarre preference could spark inspiration for an exciting new dish,” the spokesperson of Greenpan.co.uk explained.
When asked whether a chef could refuse to cook a very unusual order made by a client, Stefan said that “unusual food preferences can be a tough pill to swallow as a chef, but it can be a positive challenge.” “That being said,” the spokesperson continued, “customers should be aware that professional kitchens will have prepped their menus and food orders in advance, so last-minute changes can be difficult to overcome. Likewise, some chefs may find it hard to deviate from what they’re used to, as their menu is an art and experience.”
“Depending on how obscure the food order is, chefs can use it to their advantage and make use of existing ingredients they have and try and incorporate what they would have served in a slightly different way,” Stefan concluded.
When asked whether talking about food, especially if one has unusual opinions when it comes to eating, can sometimes turn sour, Alex Gunz told us that it should not and does not need to be a sensitive topic. “The more people are open and willing to discuss their opinions, the less sensitive the topic becomes,” he added.
Moreover, “Everyone will have their own view on what constitutes 'unusual.' Always important to make a distinction between what preferences might be a function of either religion or health relative to just more personal reasons,” Alex explained.
When it comes to chefs preparing very unusual orders, Alex said that whether the chef would agree to make a special order or not “totally depends on the circumstances (type of restaurant, price point, and expectation of the consumer).” Having said that, he added that “menus exist for a reason, in most cases.”