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About the Foundation
Nasty or nice?
04
May
2020
Olivier Mottaz
Where do you draw the line regarding what you eat?
©Oksana_Slepko/Shutterstock

Some people are very proud about the fact that they eat everything. Others, however, are a bit picky. What about you? Which kind of eater would you say you are? Are there lots of things you detest, or just a few? This simple test is purely for fun and draws no scientific conclusions whatsoever, though you’ll soon see if you’re more of a competitive omnivore or if the list of food you like would fit on a postage stamp.

1. At the end of a meal, the person sitting next to you makes a dive for the cheese board and cuts off a piece of very mature camembert. What do you do?

a) You ask them to serve you a wedge too. The sheer smell of it has made your mouth water.

b) You change places pretending there is a cold draught around your ankles. That cheese smells like a stable and you don’t want it to put you off your dessert.

c) You keep a stiff upper lip and stoically cut yourself a slice of Gruyère. Cheese is alright, but Camembert that’s practically radioactive? That’s pushing it!

d) You feel quite sick and have to spend the rest of the evening with your head over the toilet.


 

2. Your daughter is a staunch environmentalist but hasn’t quite given up animal protein entirely. When she invites you for drinks and nibbles… but the latter are insects,…

a) You go reluctantly, having taken a few sophrology classes first. You hope this will help you overcome your initial aversion.

b) You stay close to the part of the buffet that has cookies made with grasshopper flour. You don’t mind eating insects, but only if you can’t see them in the final product.

c) You munch on grilled worms and grasshoppers. Mmmhh!… It’s true what they say… they do taste a bit like hazelnuts…

d) You cut your daughter out of your will and help yourself to a few slices of salami. They’ll be swallowing flies or sucking on centipedes next! Eww!


 

3. You invite your colleagues to a Halloween dinner. As a special treat, you’re planning on serving…

a) beef tongue. It’s just begging you to lick the plate clean!

b) lamb’s brains. There’d be no silencing the jokes about Hannibal Lecter, that’s for sure!

c) ikizukuri: a sashimi of filleted raw fish… still alive when served. It’s a bit like The Walking Dead of pisciculture. Lovely!

d) a chocolate cake shaped like a skull, in keeping with the theme.


 

4. You’re in a restaurant, somewhere in Asia. Your mischievous translation app made you order a balut, a fertilised duck egg, when all you wanted was a plain boiled egg.

a) You call a lawyer and sue the app developer. The image of that chick foetus boiled in its shell haunts you for evermore.

b) You feel like the Magellan or the Bear Grylls of culinary expeditions. Something new? Dangerous? That requires courage? Great! Let’s eat!

c) You go pale, turn green, come over all blue, and blush red… then, before those who make rainbows accuse you of forgery, you decide to taste just an eensie weensie bit of the egg white… though your heart is in your mouth!

d) You feel uneasy, but nonetheless intrigued by this very strange dish, so you venture as far as breaking off a bit of the chick to taste it. You try convincing yourself that it’s an oyster with soft bones, but you give up on eating the whole egg.


 

5. You’re craving yoghurt, so you grab one out of the fridge. Yikes! The lid says its best-before date was nine days ago.

a) You gobble the yoghurt down. Not bad at all, for industrial strawberries! The date? What date?

b) You’re a little suspicious, so first you make sure that the lid isn’t slightly curved. Then you sniff the contents and inspect the surface for any signs of mould. You gingerly eat half the pot, using only the tip of your spoon, but soon feel a little nauseous and give up entirely.

c) You decide that nine days is ample time for it to have become biological warfare. That’s it! It’s going straight in the bin. Long live taking precautions!

d) You’re annoyed with yourself and promise to manage the contents of your fridge better. Then you eat the yoghurt with mixed feelings of greed and annoyance, watching out for any signs of it being just that little bit too sour.


 

6. You cousin loves cooking with zero waste and has concocted a rather dull meal: courgette-peel muffins, pasta with pesto made from carrot and radish tops, and a smoothie of fruit that has seen better days.

a) Why not just rummage through the rubbish bin to make your dinner? Seriously? You decline the invitation on the pretext that you have your aqua gym class or a metamorphic yoga workshop.

b) A little rattled, you grill your cousin… Were the courgettes, carrots and radishes organic? As for the old fruit… how old exactly? Past its prime or totally rotten? The answers seem reassuring, so you tuck into your plate, but with the utmost caution and no real enthusiasm or appetite.

c) You bite into the muffin, which actually isn’t really any different in terms of texture. You then pour the pesto over the pasta, while reminiscing about your grandma’s bolognaise sauce. You top it off with the smoothie, while contemplating the art of recycling.

d) You admire the initiative and praise the meal. It’s all very clever… and surprisingly tasty too! You end up begging your cousin to give you the recipes.


 

7. In a restaurant abroad:

a) You panic if the menu hasn’t been translated into English.

b) You ask the waiter to recommend a typical local dish.

c) You opt for a good old pizza, a burger or some other globalised standard fare.

d) You choose something with a very intriguing name, though you have absolutely no idea what it is.


 

8. Your worst childhood memory of food:

a) All those times your father insisted on serving you one of his favourite dishes: tripe! You developed a strong hatred for offal and decided you’ve definitely been adopted.

b) There are so many, you’ve lost count! Tomato salad, stewed tomatoes, stuffed tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, fatty ham, broccoli, steak and kidney pie, stew, fish full of bones…

c) The overcooked horse steak that Aunt Ethel served up, but that was tough enough to be used as armour. Who would want to eat horse meat anyway?

d) No matter how hard you think about it, you can’t actually remember any particular food trauma at all.


 

9. Your plane crashes in the Alps. The passengers survive, but help is slow in coming. Weeks go by and the hunger becomes intolerable. Then a fellow passenger dies. What are you going to do with the body?

a) Bury it in the snow with your bare hands, while singing hymns.

b) Eat it. Obviously.

c) All the survivors, including you, decide to wait a few more days before considering anthropophagy. You’d really have to be on the verge of dying of starvation.

d) After much heated debate, you agree to chop off and eat a whole leg. Nothing else, for the time being anyway.


 

10. Your in-laws are Sardinian. They promise that the next time you visit, they’ll serve you some casu marzu. Some what? After a quick search online…

a) You file for divorce immediately. As long as you live, you’ll never eat that putrid cheese full of maggots.

b) You’re appalled and tell your in-laws that you won’t be coming to Sardinia before 2032 at the earliest. The plane tickets cost and arm and a leg; the children are too young for such a trip, and then there’s…

c) You see it as a challenge. Do they think this disgusting rite of passage will make you crumble? Your in-laws will soon see what you’re made of!

d) You talk things over with your better half, who assures you with a wry smile that this is just one of those quick and nasty things that has to be done. You fall asleep telling yourself that, in any case, a big chunk of bread and a lot of wine will no doubt help you swallow a few mouthfuls of this dreadful speciality…

Results

The following table will help you keep track of your points.

a)

b)

c)

d)

Question 1

4

2

3

1

Question 2

2

3

4

1

Question 3

2

3

4

1

Question 4

1

4

2

3

Question 5

4

2

1

3

Question 6

1

2

3

4

Question 7

1

3

2

4

Question 8

3

1

2

4

Question 9

1

4

2

3

Question 10

1

2

4

3

Between 10 and 16 points

Come on, come on, admit it! You’re a nightmare to eat with! You must have made your parents suffer as a child… Apart from tinned spaghetti hoops, or chicken and chips, it’s doubtful you put up with much else on your plate. Strangely though, time hasn’t broadened your horizons much in terms of taste. You work around the same old handful of tried and tested recipes and products, and never improvise. It’s no use talking to you about mimolette (“Eat cheese where the rind is full of living mites? Are you kidding?”) or oysters (“Swallow something that’s still alive? Are you crazy?”). What’s your worst nightmare? Is it being invited to someone’s home when they don’t know your eating habits? Or eating in a restaurant abroad? Cats are apparently happy to eat the same thing, day in day out. Try meowing please, just to be sure?

Between 17 and 23 points

“Better safe than sorry!” This proverb was written for you! As a child, you were known to be rather selective about food – your mother’s euphemism rather than admitting you drove her mad. As you got older, you still hated lots of food, but managed to tolerate a few more things. Obviously though, faced with any new dish, something weird, a very strong flavour, or any jelly-like texture, you still react like some do when faced with an umpteenth Windows update: You sniff out the bug and generally prefer to abstain. But you’ve managed a few gastronomic feats in your time! You were once seen ordering snails in a restaurant, and it’s even rumoured that you don’t always look at the best-before date on the food you eat. Ooooh!

Between 24 and 30 points

You and food are actually on pretty good terms. As a child, you weren’t keen on broccoli or black pudding, but not to the point of rolling around on the floor holding your breath if you so much as glimpsed these on your plate. Once an omnivore, always an omnivore. You switch between vegan fusion food to grasshopper flour shortbread with relative ease. You have inner strength, explore within reason, and are open to trying exotic cuisine, though stop at some of the most extreme ‘delicacies’: There’s no way you’d eat sheep’s eye juice or fish pickled in caustic lye (lutefisk). Although if the lye has been properly rinsed off and the fish is then served with tasty bacon, a cold beer or a good Pinot Grigio, you just might consider it…

31 points or more

When it comes to food, you’re a real explorer. Nothing puts you off. You aren’t scared of trying new things and you’ve got a strong stomach. You were probably one of those children who ate worms to impress your friends. Then, as you grew older, your curiosity grew too. If there’s a dish you’ve never tasted, an unusual way of cooking, or something you don’t eat in your country, you’re definitely up for it! Whether it’s eating insects, savouring mouldy food, or conjuring up meals with no waste, all this is a piece of cake for you. In terms of food, your comfort zone extends “to infinity and beyond”! If an alien ambassador from Proxima Centauri turned up and invited you to try one of their specialities, you wouldn’t be able to resist… even if there was a slight whiff of decay in the air. Wanna bet?

Olivier Mottaz

Alimentarium

Curious by nature, Olivier Mottaz has alternated as a writer of erotica for hotlines, forecaster for betting on horseracing, teacher and researcher in the history of art, production manager for Editions Slatkine and editor of a platform for leisure activities. In 2013, he founded Editions Stentor. Since May 2017, he is Chief Editor of the Alimentarium eMagazine.

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