Social Question

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

Are you, or someone you know, afraid of mixing foods together on a plate?

Asked by Imadethisupwithnoforethought (14394 points ) December 5th, 2012

I have encountered persons lately who experience terrible anxiety over mixing together different types of foods together on a plate.

Is there a word for this? What causes this anxiety? Is this a common phobia I am just noticing? Is it caused by childhood trauma of some kind?

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46 Answers

chyna's avatar

I don’t like my wet foods to touch. I think this is common since I feel this way. ~

chyna's avatar

More or less. I still try to keep them away from each other, but if they touch, I’ll still eat them.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@chyna Just curious. What’s the cutoff between a wet food and a dry food.?

chyna's avatar

Hard to explain. Only I know.

jrpowell's avatar

I’m like this. If the mashed potatoes get on the steak I will not eat the contaminated part of the steak. I have no idea why I am like this.

But the cats love it.

janbb's avatar

A friend of mine who has OCD keeps his foods separate.

WestRiverrat's avatar

I am the opposite of most of you. I will mix everything on the plate into one pile of food and then eat it.
I prefer to mix it all together as I am cooking so I don’t have to clean a lot of pots and pans.

filmfann's avatar

My grandson is like this, and I am trying to break him of it.
He even wants a different fork for different foods.

wildpotato's avatar

GQ. I can’t find what it’s called, but this is very common. Even Jay Leno does it. And most of the authors on this forum talk about how they like one taste at a time. So I’d guess it’s a combination of biology and psychology.

zenvelo's avatar

My son is like this, but mostly because he is a picky eater and distrustful of efforts to get him to eat something new.

RandomGirl's avatar

I don’t obsess over it, but I guess you would say that I don’t like my foods touching.I just don’t understand why anyone would intentionally mix completely different dishes. I think @chyna is most like me – wet foods (for me: sauces, mashed potatoes, jello, etc.) don’t touch each other and get eaten. Dry foods can touch. The whole meat-and-potatoes thing is fine with me, though… idk, I’m weird I guess.
For me, it has more to do with the texture in my mouth than anything else. Unusual or unexpected textures make me gag (gristle in meat – eww!), so peas in mashed potatoes on meat is absolutely revolting. Separate tastes that I enjoy experiencing individually is another reason.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

This is cracking me up, as to the variety of responses. I am from a food culture who likes to mix things together, so I just am amazed that people are nervous about this. Thank you all for educating me that this is pretty common.

Bellatrix's avatar

No, I don’t mind mixing up the foods on my plate. Not in a ‘let me mush all this up’ kind of way. I will eat peas with my meat or potato with my chicken etc. though. I do tend to eat things in a particular order though. Least favourite foods first and saving the thing I like most until last.

Supacase's avatar

I do not like foods to mix, and often won’t eat the parts that do, but I am not afraid of it.

bookish1's avatar

Is this a phobia or a habit/tendency?
I used to be like that when I was a preadolescent, but then I was aggravatingly picky in general.
Now, I’ll eat anything that’s vegetarian and I let it all socialize on my plate.

Shippy's avatar

Very interesting question. I don’t mind if my foods touch, I have seen some people, who mash the entire plate up. That to me is just disgusting. In fact I have never heard of this and yet so many people think that way.

janbb's avatar

I’ve seen many English people put a bit of everything on their plate on the back of their fork and then eat it. My ex’s family did this. Don’t know if it’s commonly done in England or not.

Shippy's avatar

@janbb Do you mean, a bit of egg, a bit of toast and some bacon on the fork then eat it?

janbb's avatar

@Shippy Exactly. Or meat, potatoes and peas.

Shippy's avatar

@janbb I am quite shocked, I thought every one ate this way? Are you saying people eat each food completely separate from each other? I can’t see the point in that. I am English but not sure if this is why I would put all this on my fork at once. I would also for example, put my bacon on my toast with some tomato and eat it that way.

janbb's avatar

Sorry to have shocked you but in America, or at least my tiny piece of it, I either eat a forkful of meat or a forkful of potato or a forkful of veg.

Shippy's avatar

@janbb Yes, no doubt too you were shocked that “I put all this on my fork at once”. I would either need a huge fork or a small tiny plate of food. But jokes aside you learn everyday, I see no point of that. It would save me cooking a meal, just make a steak now, eat it. Then a potato later and eat it. Much easier.

zenvelo's avatar

Mmmmm. Nothing quite like a piece of roast beef or turkey dipped in gravy and pushed to pick up a little potato. Or a piece of toast with butter and jam dipped into egg yolk and a piece of bacon on top.

Brian1946's avatar

I think people who eat water and pure sodium should avoid letting them touch each other on any surface, unless they’re eating in a vacuum. ;-)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Brian1946 No sense of adventure? That’s a fun combo.

Brian1946's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe

That’s a fun combo.

I agree, if one is catering a tea bagger luncheon. ;-)

OpryLeigh's avatar

My boyfriend and dad often say that I make my meals look like road kill, so no, I’m not afraid to mix food up on the plate. Sometimes I find it more palatable that way! I have heard of people that don’t like to, I have never met any though.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Leanne1986 I like my turnips to taste like turnips, my cauliflower like cauliflower, my mashed potatos like mashed potatos, etc. My plate for Thanksgiving was loaded and stuff was touching but not mixed together. But that’s just me though. Do whatever suits your taste.

Bellatrix's avatar

@Shippy and @janbb I would also eat more than one food together. It’s about the combination of flavours. A piece of steak with some egg – tomato with some bacon – whatever the combination some foods taste good together. I’m not talking about loading up my fork to the point where I have a huge quantity of food being carried to my mouth. You can still eat daintily but you combine textures and flavours. Do most Americans not do this?

@Imadethisupwithnoforethought what an ethnographic study your question turned into!

Yeahright's avatar

I mix lentils and rice, noodles and veggies, steak and mashed potatoes with lots of gravy. Mixing is great. But I never make a pile. Food not touching other food? Can’t picture that, unless you eat each kind of food on a separate plate.

@janbb I was shocked when I saw English people do that too. They use forks in the weirdest manner ever. They pack up a bunch of food on the back of their forks, not in the tines or in the concave part but rather in the convex part. Very strange indeed.

janbb's avatar

@Bellatrix We, or at least I, will mix some foods – sure. But not everything that’s on the plate.

And yeah, @Yeahright , that’s what I’m talking about.

Bellatrix's avatar

Do you mean you don’t ‘mush it into a pile’? I don’t think the vast majority of Brits do that either. It would be very bad manners.

janbb's avatar

@Bellatrix No – i haven’t seen them do that either. But they will take a bit of each thing and put it on the fork as I said above.

Yeahright's avatar

@janbb I understood you right away but maybe because I always thought it was funny. But I guess for other people they would have to see it to understand it.

zenvelo's avatar

None of this is as bad as when my mom used to use a spoon to lift liver and onions (and attendant juices) onto a plate, and then used the same spoon to scoop up some mashed potatoes onto the same plate. Got liver gravy all over the potatoes.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@zenvelo And what, pray tell is wrong with liver gravy? It could have been kidney.

zenvelo's avatar

@WestRiverrat I find liver to be one of the most unredeeming foods known to man.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe I can understand that. I tend to schmush all my food together because I find it easier to eat that way!

Shippy's avatar

I was also confused by the “back of the fork” comment. To eat from the concave of a fork is considered bad manners.

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

I’m trying to get my head around not wanting food to touch each other, but at the same time I’m not the type that will mix everything up into one pile like I was trying to mix cement.

I also take a bit of different things and eat it together rather than a bit of meat, eat it, a bit of a veg and eat it so it must be a UK thing, but I’m interested into why some people take things individually.

Bellatrix's avatar

@Shippy – my observations of many US films suggest this is very common particularly in the US.

Shippy's avatar

@Bellatrix I have found this to be one of the most fascinating questions on Fluther. To me, placing an assortment of foods on the “back of my fork” is normal. I’m quite tickled that people eat one food at a time and cannot understand the mixing of food on their fork. Or if the foods touch. It’s really interesting!

Bellatrix's avatar

I agree. As I said somewhere up there it has provided a quite fascinating view of ‘eating culture’ in different places.

Brian1946's avatar

@Shippy

To eat from the concave of a fork is considered bad manners.

As opposed to simultaneously inserting the concave and convex parts of the fork in one’s mouth?

Otherwise, I’d say that eating from the convex part of a fork is considered futile.

Yeahright's avatar

@Brian1946 obviously you put the whole fork in your mouth…concave and convex parts. But, it is packing the food on the back that is unusual, and a skill in itself I must say. Everything falls off. I definitely have to put the food in the concave part then put it in my mouth. Most likely @Shippy is right, it must be bad manners in the UK, otherwise why on earth would they put the food in the convex part.

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