What’s your favorite food?

The other day a friend of mine asked me what my favorite food is. I answered quickly and without a lot of thought: “Beets!”

The look of disbelief on her face was laughable.

“Beets?” she asked, incredulously.

“Yep,” I nodded earnestly. “Those or Brussels sprouts. I eat them all the time. I love them.”

It was clear to me that she hadn’t thought of beets or Brussels sprouts when she posed the question. It was equally clear that her idea of what constitutes a “favorite” food was something more along the lines of a fresh baked chocolate chip cookie (or something else you’re likely to eat only when you think other people aren’t watching).

This simple interchange has led me to reflect on what makes a food a favorite food. And since then I have asked a number of people about what their favorite foods are.

Michael, my partner, said salmon. Then he proceeded to pair the salmon with his favorite green vegetable, either broccoli or green beans. And then threw in a glass of red wine for good measure. Obviously the question, for him, made him think of his favorite meal, rather than a particular food.

Luckily, that was what we were having for dinner that night — sans the wine.

And, notably, it’s something we have fairly frequently.

When I pushed him, he listed a lot of other things that we eat all the time (like salad, a nicely cooked steak, etc), leaving off the things that I thought he might say, like chocolate, chips, Coke, etc.

Eventually, he came to this conclusion: “There’s food that I like while I’m eating it and there’s food that I like after I eat it. If I like eating it, but it makes me feel like crap afterward, it’s not my favorite.”

Interesting.

Another friend answered anything ethnic — especially either Indian or Thai. Well, as it turns out, he and his partner cook Indian and Thai all the time at home. So they, like Michael and I, tend to eat their favorite foods, regularly. When I made this observation, my friend commented: “Well, there are things that I like to eat that I know I need to cut back on, but that’s not food. That’s junk.”

So it seems that people have different definitions of favorite — not to mention different definitions of what actually constitutes food.

What are your favorite foods? What is it about them that makes them your favorite? And how do you incorporate them into your life?

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7 comments so far

  1. Patty on

    how do you prepare your beets? I’m picturing beets in a salad bar, and it just isn’t appetizing to me. Do you buy them canned or do you buy them from the produce section?

    I also love Indian and Thai. For me, that means that if I’m out of town, and I’m looking for a restaurant to eat, I’ll always be happy eating either of those cuisines.

    As far as my favorite foods that I eat and cook regularly, that would be 50-grain hot cereal with raisins and pecans and soy milk; spinach salad with tomato, chopped apple or berries, blue cheese and balsamic vinegar and oil dressing. I make either rissoto or spaghetti and meatballs at least once a week.

    I don’t think I could identify one favorite food.

  2. KJ on

    Canned? I don’t eat canned anything, other than stuff I put in soup! I slow roast them (skins on) with other veggies. I also slow roast them and then rub their skins off with while rinsing them with cold water. I then slice them up and put them on salads or just eat them straight. I do have a great salad recipe that I make and put in pita pockets. I’ll post that recipe later.

  3. KJ on

    The interesting thing about your response to the what is your favorite food question, it’s still things you eat regularly. Or at least fairly often. Also, you eat them when you’re out of town. You integrate them into your life. I’m thinking that people who are successful with weight management (as I assume you to be) do incorporate their favorite foods into their diet, they come to love the foods that they eat regularly, or they change their definition of favorite. Make sense?

  4. Rebecca on

    Ok, so I’m finally trying this blogging thing, if only to advocate for radishes and avacados. They are my favorite foods and I eat them almost every day. Sure beats beets! (:

    • KJ on

      Radishes? Really? What do you do with them? I think it’s been a hundred years since I had a radish — it’s been at least since my parents used to grow them in the garden! And avocados! Those almost go without saving — definitely one of the world’s most perfect foods.

      • Rebecca on

        I just put some sea salt on them and eat them whole. Crunchy, salty, snack treats…. like potato chips, only better.

  5. KJ on

    Only you would describe radishes as better than potato chips! 🙂

    I’ll have to give them a shot!


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