It’s impossible to be a food lover without experiencing at least one period in your life in which you are, simply, obsessed: compelled, infatuated, or completely absorbed with a particular dish or ritual. It can become almost pathological: baking bread every day, eating licorice nonstop, canning everything in sight — whatever. You know what I’m talking about.
There’s always some sort of underlying neuroticism. Personal anecdote: I still remember the day. (Don’t you remember the first time you witnessed instant ramen being made?) I was around 9 or 10, and after seeing it made once at a friend’s house, I was completely transfixed. Anyway, it was somewhat of a personal transformation after I saw the magic application of boiling water to an immovable clump of noodles. So salty, hot, and simple! Thus kicked off a serious Cup Noodles phase where I ate one every day. Until, of course, the day I ate two cups in a row (and threw up), and that was the end of that.
We asked around America’s Test Kitchen for their stories on over-and-above levels of food delirium. Here are some confessions:
I got very, very into trying to develop a perfect pizza crust for a while. I think I tried different recipes for crust every night for about 2 weeks, trying everything from the ultra-thin to Chicago deep-dish style and trying to work out hybrids, etc. I couldn’t stop thinking about oven placement and whether or not I was really giving my baking stone enough time to heat up.
When I was a kid I invented a dish that I creatively name, “the usual.” It was apple slices tossed with sugar, microwaved on top of Eggo waffles, and finished with whipped cream from an aerosol can. I have never in my life, not even as a child, been a sweets person, so I’m amazed that I enjoyed this so much. In any case, I ate it every morning for over a year when I was 5 and 6.
Back in college, I lived in a house in which we’d all pitch in for Sunday dinners. At that point, I had zero cooking chops whatsoever, so I figured I’d put myself in charge of sauces, since I had found a bottle of cooking sherry in the pantry when we moved in, which seemed like a pretty awesome ingredient to have, and I wanted to see what I could do with it. Turns out I could make everything taste overwhelmingly like cooking sherry, but like I said, this was back in college — we were just happy to not be subsisting on microwave burritos.
After growing up on bran, carob, tofu, and hummus, I finally reached the age of culinary independence (preteens) and went through a series of food obsessions. 1) Bisquick pancakes. I had them for dinner every night for a period of about two months. I’m pretty sure I consumed more maple syrup than some people do in a lifetime. The worst part is, I kind of liked them underdone, with little doughy pockets in the middle. 2) Lucky Charms. I ate them every day after school. 3) Fluffernutter sandwiches. This one I stand by — they’re freakin’ delicious.
My food obsession ever since I moved away from home has been Burritos Crisostomo. We used to eat them occasionally when they were around, but now that I can’t have them I must have them at least once every time I visit home. I keep pictures of them in my phone and follow them on Facebook and Twitter — and the day after I had my wisdom teeth removed, the soft tortilla and filling was the perfect meal for my sore jaw.
And now for the Silly Question of the Day…
What’s been one of your food obsessions?
Leave your silly answer in the comments!