Food Fetishes

The dictionary tells me a fetish can be an object that  elicits reverence and devotion, or an object that causes an erotic response.  For me, food falls neatly into both categories.  Sometimes I love food.  Sometimes I looooove food.  (Not literally.  Don’t worry, it’s still safe to eat the cucumbers at my house.)

I do, however, admit to a peculiar food-related habit that can be safely discussed in polite company.  And no, I’m not going to talk about the time I nearly suffered le petit mort over a hazelnut crème brulée and a flight of ice wine.

But it was really, really good.

‘Scuse me while a take a deep breath.

Anyway, what I meant to discuss is the fact that I’m a picky eater.  Not in the sense of having a limited range of foods I’ll eat – quite the contrary.  I’ll eat just about anything except black licorice.  I’m talking about the way I eat.

I always hold corn on the cob with the big end at the left.  I eat left to right in a clean, straight pattern.  The cob, when returned to my plate, is placed horizontally at the 12:00 position.  I contend this is simple logic.  If the cob’s at the front, it’s hard to reach over it to get at the rest of your food.

Pie and pizza are to be eaten point-first.  I’ve seen others eat it crust-first, and while that appeals to my logical side (eat the dry crust first and finish up with the good stuff), I don’t seem to be able to adopt that system.

I once knew a guy who preferred to dig randomly into the middle of a pie without cutting slices, but I consider that to be a sign of a deranged mind.  He ate his corn randomly, too.  And he was more than a little deranged.  ‘Nuff said.

Meat, potatoes, and veggies get laid out in specific locations on the plate.  Meat at 10:00, potatoes at 2:00, veggies at 6:00.  But I’m flexible.  Sometimes I swap the potato/veggie positions.  And sometimes the meat moves up to 12:00 or down as far as 8:00.

I didn’t realize how entrenched this habit was until I caught myself rotating my plate and feeling vague discomfort when the food came arranged differently in a restaurant.  I’ll deny actually rearranging food on my plate at a restaurant, but you probably already know I’m lying.  And I always eat clockwise around the plate, one bite of meat, then one of potatoes, etc.

Toast, I bite off the bottom left corner first.  Then the bottom right corner, then the middle.  I repeat in rows until the entire slice is gone.  It’s simple logic.  I like peanut butter and honey, and this configuration minimizes the probability of smearing sticky stuff on my cheeks.

Speaking of peanut butter, I scoop it from around the edges of the jar. Systematically, scraping it tidily off the inside and gradually working my way around counter-clockwise.  I never stick a knife in the middle of the jar.  Freud would probably have a heyday with that one.

And don’t even get me started about buttering toast and then scooping up more goodies on the knife, leaving toast crumbs in the butter/honey/jam.  That’s just plain wrong.

Is it because I’m a geek and my brain is naturally happy with linear patterns?  Or is it because I’m a control-loving, slightly obsessive freak?  (Don’t answer that).

Anybody else have freakish food fetishes?  Please tell me I’m not the only one.

21 thoughts on “Food Fetishes

  1. I normally eat my very first, potato second meat third, then if there is yorkies, then I eat them last with gravy. I don’t always do this, and I will have a few mouthful out of order, but I mainly do that. Guess I’m not the only one who’s strange with food.


  2. Hi Diane. I would say that’s worrying behavior, but I suspect you have a lot more things I should worry about!

    I’m weird to start because I’m a veggie, but I do like my food carefully arranged. I don’t quite do the o’clock layout thing, but I hate food when its just piled up with no thought. Oh, and I hate eating with my fingers, I even eat cake with a fork, and … er… now I’m beginning to wonder about myself…

    Thanks for good laugh!



  3. OK, first, “suffered le petit mort”? Suffered? That speaks volumes right there, hon. 😉 Your shrink would have a field day.
    As far as the food goes, you’re less OCD than some folks in my circle of friends and in fact my family; eating with one of my cousins is a study in non-euclidian mathematics. My biggest issues, and I have weigh in with some of the above commenters, are utensils. I cannot make myself eat ice cream with one of the two kinds of long-handled spoons we have; it has to be the flat handle, not the ridged one. I’ll skip the ice cream first.
    The older I’ve gotten, the more OCD things I’ve found about myself. My office mates will drop bits of paper or staples on the floor just to see how long it takes me to pick them up. 😉


    • Oops, my Freudian slip is showing. Let me rephrase: “I nearly luxuriated in le petit mort…”

      Mind you, since I was in a crowded restaurant at the time, that may imply perverse exhibitionist tendencies. Perhaps, “I nearly caused innocent bystanders to puke up their expensive meals by enjoying le petit mort…”

      I’m definitely onside with you utensil folks. Here at my step-mom’s, I’ll root through the cutlery drawers so that I get the cutlery with with swirls on it, not the stuff with the roses. (It’s logic, I tell you. The rose-patterned spoons aren’t shaped right.)

      Oh, and remind me to mail you a envelope full of loose staples sometime. Please stand near a webcam when you open it, so I can watch. 🙂


  4. I feel it’s important to eat a fried egg white first, turning it round and round till all the white’s gone – then, but only then, embark on the yolk. And I thought I was anal!
    PS Have mentioned you in my latest post!


  5. Wow, just when I thought I had myself categorized as a geek, you point out all the geeky food habits I *don’t* have. I try to be less of a slob now, but when I was single and living alone, I was *very casual* about food. I’d eat half a watermelon from the center and save the rest for later. Same with pie and cake- eat from the center and scoop it out with a spoon. I won’t tell you about my margarine tubs. 😉 These days, I still manage to wear a little bit of my food at every meal. Can’t break myself of that habit.


  6. Me and my wife are the same way with the utensils. We have a variety of utensil shapes and sizes and i have the ones i use and she has hers. I always know where im sitting at the table.
    I guess the only real food issues i have are things like stew. My wife makes a fantastic beef stew and when i serve my bowl i try my hardest to get an even amount of potato and meat. I’ll even go as far as to head back to the pot for some more potato or meat to finish up my bowl. Oh, and skittles, M&Ms etc all need to be seperated into their colors and eaten starting with the highest number first till they are even then one from each at a time.


    • So funny! I hadn’t thought of utensil-related issues, but you’re right, they’re definitely important. I eat stew with a teaspoon, but I use a tablespoon for soup. And I eat cereal with a teaspoon, too. Strange. 🙂


  7. I too eat pie and pizza point first, Diane, but I don’t think that’s picky – it’s just right. However, I am very picky when it comes to eating. Not the food, but the knife I use. I have to have one particular knife, and if I don’t have that knife, the food does not taste the same…


  8. You are so cool and hilarious AND right……we all have OCD but to different degress. I personally have to have the meat on the right at 3pm. That’s REALLY how its supposed to be. lol
    I love going to an Italian restaurant with my OCD daughter and husband. She eats the pizza from the center out (NOT cut in slices at all) and leaves the crust. He eats all around the outside eating all the crust first and then heads to the inner sanctum. I shake my pretty little head(HA!) and eat it as crazy and wild as I can just to drive them nuttier!


    • You wild and crazy eater, you! Maybe next time you should turn the pizza topping-side-down to eat it. That would make my hard-wired little brain explode outright.

      Or maybe you might not want to do that. Messy exploded brains all over your pizza, eeuw.


  9. OMG! Were we separated at birth? We have the same eating habits. Well, except that the meat should always go at 6:00, the potatoes at 10:00, and the veggies at 2:00. Unless the veggie is corn on the cob, in which case it does go at 12:00, so you got that right.

    And, hey, leaving crumbs in the margarine is just plain wrong.


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.