That’s Not Going Down My Throat


There is something that I need to let ya’ll know: I’ve started dating. If you are my Facebook friend then you will know that I am “In a Relationship.” I know I know, this is big news and I should have told you all sooner and I’m sorry for that. There is a reason why I have kept this a secret, I’m not proud of this but I really do have a good reason for my secrecy. You see, my other half is a picky eater, and that’s actually putting it mildly. He’s so much of a picky eater that I have yet to cook for him as I don’t know what to cook. I love food, I love to cook and I love food blogging and I have yet to cook for my boyfriend.

This is where you dear ES readers come in. I am asking, no, pleading, you to assist me in coming up with a date night menu. I really want to cook for my other half but I am at a loss. I would like to say it’s just your typical list of foods he doesn’t like, you know, things like olives, marmite or tripe—but this is not the case. You can find the list of foods he “detests” after the jump.

Britt’s Boyfriend’s “I Won’t Eat That” List
Vegetables (including tomatoes but excluding potatoes)
Mustard (a close second to vegetables)
Cottage Cheese
Hot Dogs
Meat Loaf
Nuts in desserts
Carrot Cake
Rye bread
Most desserts that have fruit in them
Tapioca pudding
The fruit salad/jello stuff with the marshmallows in it
Chicken Salad
Tuna Salad

Please don’t judge him yet, at least wait until I have cooked for him and then judge.  Leave your menu ideas in the comments.

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  • Jessica December 8, 2008  

    Chicken saltimbocca (pref. with provolone cheese melted on top), with a whole-grain (brown rice, perhaps) risotto side. One hopes he at least eats salad. If not, however, one might consider applying the cheese to some roasted & stuffed zucchini/squash instead of atop the chicken.

  • earlgreyrooibos December 8, 2008  

    This guy must totally be worth it . . . I could not date a picky eater. I did once, and bringing him home for dinner with the family was always an ordeal.

    You could always do a classy macaroni and cheese. I do mine with a mixture of parmesan and white cheddar, and mix in chili pepper and garlic. Williams-Sonoma has a Mac and Cheese recipe that uses white wine, there are variations that include bacon, etc.

  • JoeHoya December 8, 2008  

    Geez, Britt! Sounds like you’re dating Don Draper (or at least a guy with a ’60s-style appetite).

    If you want to blow him away without falling back on steak and potatoes or carb-overloading on pasta five times a week, you might think about roasting a chicken.

    I know – it doesn’t sound sexy, but it looks damn good coming out of the oven, it’s a lean protein and it’s terrific comfort food for cold nights.

    Do yourself a favor and get a fresh chicken, brine it for 4 to 8 hours in a solution of 1/4 cup salt, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1 quart water per pound (thanks, Cooks Illustrated).

    You could serve it with roasted potatoes (or mac and cheese, if you really want to) and then maybe poach some pears in wine for dessert.

  • Dave December 8, 2008  

    That’s a pretty picky eater, here goes:
    Roast chicken, with the potatoes in the pan with chicken (so that they cook in the chicken fat/juices that accumulate in the bottom of the pan), plus green beans tossed with butter, coarse kosher salt and maybe a little lemon juice.
    It’s classic, it’s simple, and lacks any vegetable other than green beans, and he can skip those. Serve it with a good red wine and you’re done.

    Alternatively, a bolognese sauce served with rigatoni would be good (but it does have vegetables in it)

  • Digigirl December 8, 2008  

    I don’t have any great suggestions for the entree, but what about Creme Brulee for dessert? It’s classy, elegant, has no fruit or nuts or anything like that and is pretty easy to make. You can make it ahead and just do the brulee right before serving.

  • gansie December 8, 2008  

    britt – this is easy! make your specialty, minus the veggies of course.

    and i don’t see eggs anywhere on this list, so he’s not all bad in my book.

  • BS December 8, 2008  

    My first thought was: “Get rid of this guy.”
    My second thought was “chicken.”
    I agree with everyone saying roast chicken–if you don’t like that, you’re hopeless. Plus, you can fancy it up for yourself, get cornish game hens or a capon…you can still tell him it’s chicken

  • Maidelitala December 8, 2008  

    I’ve found that sometimes when a person thinks he detests a food stuff (vegetables for instance -I mean really that’s a broad category, surely not all vegetables!) it stems from some bad childhood experiences that have cemented incorrect notions about taste into the subject’s mind. Maybe his mom always cooked canned mushrooms (yuck!) , or his dad shouted at him for being a picky eater (I once had a boyfriend who irrationally despised tomatoes because they reminded him of a time when his dad got so mad at him for not trying a tomato when ex-bf was four-years-old that ex-bf’s dad shoved one by force into his mouth….hmmm, way to go ex-bf’s dad!) Usually the kind of pickiness you describe comes down to a sad case of prejudice and taste bud retardation (for lack of introduction to new and exciting elements). If you cook your favorite comfort food with lots of love and care, and then make a romantic dinner of it for the two of you, (ooo! you could blindfold him, and feed him different delicious morsels) his tongue will end up liking things that his little heart currently tells him he abhors.

  • Britannia December 8, 2008  

    no salad either. sitting in a restaurant while he picks off the lettuce from the burger he ordered confirmed that for me.

    … and yes, he is worth it!

  • belmontmedina December 8, 2008  

    Sad. I have the same problem. We solved it with some BBQ I brought home from NC. I also got him to eat risotto once I told him it was just rice. Curried chicken maybe? It’s a bit adventurous, but just don’t tell him what’s in it. I’ve found that to be the best way to work around a picky eater.

  • jane December 8, 2008  

    Don’t date a picky eater if you’re a foodie. It’s NOT worth it.

  • MelissaMcCart December 8, 2008  

    chicken and salmon. like missionary position for the palate.

  • Maidelitala December 8, 2008  

    Brit, what do you think of my blindfold the bf idea? too cliche? too s&m?

  • Britannia December 8, 2008  

    I am determined to use the term “taste bud retardation” in all my future conversations, awesome.

    I’ll pose the blindfold idea to him, but I know where his mind will go with something like that. The odd thing is he loves watching food shows and the whole concept of cooking, just the veggie things. I mean, its a quirk, its fine, I just don’t know what to do with it!

  • Sushi December 8, 2008  

    So I’m assuming Blood Pudding is out of the question?

  • Yvo December 8, 2008  

    Britt – my boyfriend is a picky eater too. Given time and love and occasional demands (“JUST TRY TWO BITES AND I WILL LEAVE YOU ALONE OMG”), he will open up his mind. He might never become a full blown foodie, but at least he’ll start to understand and appreciate your views.
    (To all those who said “It’s not worth it”, I tell you, 5+ years into the relationship, it so is. I would probably have stabbed a male foodie years ago for telling me that it isn’t OK that tonight I just want to eat crappy food, or something – gasp – from a box… but I’m kind of hard to put up with, myself, haha.)

    My picky boyfriend’s favorite meal of all time is easily chicken cutlets with mashed potatoes and creamed corn. It’s annoying for me to make because I don’t like frying foods, and breading is a multi-step process, plus I don’t like eating that sort of food all the time, but it’s something that it doesn’t appear is on your boyfriend’s list? Otherwise, chicken in general seems to be a safe bet, minus chicken salad (because of the mayo, I know).

    I think what also helped is that because I’ve always been a fairly adventurous eater, a lot of times, BF would stare at what I was eating but I was so oblivious to the fact it might be weird to someone, that I had the incredulous “What do you mean, you’ve never eaten this before?!” so it became normal to him to see me eat “strange” things. And because I would suggest things (this took time) that I KNEW he’d like, even if they weren’t exactly “normal” to him… he eventually started trusting that 99% of the time, I will only “make” him eat stuff that I had a good idea he’d like.

    Oh, by the way, I know a guy whose pickiness surpasses all I’ve ever heard, and I fear for his future girlfriend (I’m not sure he’s ever had one?) – but at least he cooks for himself so he knows how to feed himself (my picky BF does not cook).

    This guy does not eat:
    most seafoods
    anything white
    most cheeses
    vegetables in general

    I don’t even know what else, I just know I’ve never actually eaten a meal with him, and I probably never will. It terrifies me to think what he must eat because that’s like chicken and potatoes every day. And he’s horrifyingly thin and tall.

  • Britannia December 8, 2008  

    Oh yes, anything out of a box is his ideal. Kraft’s mac n’ cheese is his favourite. Insane I tell you.

    Yvo. I’m glad I’ve got support in you!

  • Breadbox December 8, 2008  

    My favourite special night dish sounds like it might work: reduce about 1/2 bottle of reasonably decent chardonnay (Australian $10 a bottle is fine) with some finely minced shallots. Reduce until you have just a couple of teaspoonfuls left. Add cup or two of heavy cream (depending on how healthy you don’t want this dish to be!) and a lot of snipped fresh dill (I usually use 1-2 supermarket packets of fresh dill out of season). Pour over cooked fresh linguini, and toss with about half a pound of smoked salmon, cut into bite size pieces. Salt and pepper at the table (both in grinders, please — it’s sexier:-)
    Serve with a bottle of bubbly, and then finish off the remnants of the white wine used earlier.
    And then adjourn:-)

    Have a lovely first-meal-you-cook-for-him, and we hope to read about (the meal at least) it.

  • Pingback: Ask Tom, Answer Gansie December 9, 2008  
  • Matt December 10, 2008  

    dump him

  • dad gansie December 10, 2008  

    brit oh well my wife of almost 30 years is similar, she’ll eat banas, kosher hot dogs, fuddruckers is a hamberger chain in ny, she’s ok with them;
    good luck…make it easy, order in pizza wtf she loves meat and potatoes, most soups. chicken/veal marsala try that with penne
    good luck
    dad gansie

  • Maidelitala December 10, 2008  

    I’ll pose the blindfold idea to him, but I know where his mind will go with something like that.
    Britt, honey, let his mind GO THERE. If you turn eating into a sex game maybe he’ll prove more adventuresome!

  • Mike Donlon December 11, 2008  

    Lamb Chops, Leg of Lamb, Steak, Pork chops, Any of those served with baked potatoes, dripping with butter

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  • jane February 3, 2009  

    my bf is the same he jst wont eat, so he starves. i offer him something else and he says no thats okay. he wont eat anything on your bfs list or eggs or bacon or spicy foods. WTF T_T makes me feel like a bad gf.

  • SoCal November 19, 2009  

    Cook yourself an amazing dinner with all the trimmings and things adults eat. then give him a hotdog bun with ketchup in it and say “bon Appetite!” If he’s going to act like a baby when it comes to food maybe you should feed him like one too.

  • shulie April 11, 2010  

    Actually with some of the items on the list you would think he were a foodie snob, so there is some hope:) Fruits in dessert aren’t my favorite either w/the exception of plum tart done right. I gather spicy food are out too?

  • Ellen July 9, 2010  

    Been through it too and luckily now I have the opposite. He even enjoys meatless mondays with me!

    My suggestion is tacos. He likes meat, and the random toppings can be chosen by him. I like to make a meat or two and warm the tortillas but then leave all possible toppings on a cutting board or tray. Then he can choose what he wants to try and not try.

    Good luck 🙂

  • Tammy July 9, 2010  

    Mine’s fave restaurant is Chili’s… also hates veggies. I feel your pain!

  • Shanna - my favorite July 9, 2010  

    Anyone said Carbonara yet?? I think eggs, pancetta and eggs were all safe! Wow tough! Good luck with that… Though sounds perfect for you as all
    cocktails seem like they are game!

  • Shanna - my favorite July 9, 2010  

    Meant “and pasta” btw, great title!!

  • Maria July 9, 2010  

    I enjoyed meeting you in AZ. I hope you can shorten that list with your amazing cooking:) Still jealous of your phone:)

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