I don’t know if this is normal for everyone or is a quirk that is particular to just Pete and me, but
often sometimes my man and I have food obsessions. If we’re lucky, it’s an easy itch to scratch and involves only a 10 minute journey to a nearby store. Other times, however, it’s an itch that won’t go away and is made more difficult by the fact that the food in question is difficult to find.
For example, when I was pregnant with Graceful, Pete and I went to New Zealand. While there, we had our first encounter with feijoa (a.k.a. pineapple guava), which is a fruit that is the shape of a kiwifruit, but a little smaller. It has a creamy, flowery flavor and is divine. It’s also damn near impossible to find in our neck of the woods.
Pete and I thought about feijoas for years. I tried getting it at the grocery store, but no one even knew what I was talking about. I tried special ordering it but it was so expensive that I had to decide if the fruit was worth sacrificing my children’s future college careers. A few years ago, I was able to find feijoa in a local grocery store at Christmas time, but it was still around $2 for a small fruit. I bought a few and we savored them. Since then, I’ve been able to find them some years, but not others, and they’re still expensive. I’m seriously thinking about getting a couple of bushes from a nearby nursery, putting them in pots, moving them inside every winter, and generally mollycoddling them until I can get my own damn supply of feijoas.
Before we went on vacation last summer, Pete and I did some research and decided that there were three foods we HAD to have on our travels: a perfect Philly Cheesesteak, lobster rolls in Maine, and poutine in Quebec City.
While we were in Philly, we ate the most perfect Philly Cheesesteaks. Pete paid attention to what the master chefs were doing and has since recreated those perfect packages of bread, thinly sliced and cooked meat, and cheese. My man, he has skillz.
While we were in Maine, Pete and I ate as much lobstah as we could manage in two days. We didn’t have any with breakfast, but that’s only because they weren’t offering it crumbled over bowls of oatmeal or anything like that. Since we’ve gotten home, Pete has done more research and now knows every restaurant in town that offers lobstah in some way. Alas, it is still very expensive, but we did manage to have lobster bisque with our Christmas dinner.
[I know this will be very strange to our Maine friends, as for them, lobster is as ubiquitous as McDonald's. In fact, I have it on good authority that even the public schools serve Lobster Newberg on Fridays.]
As for the poutine, before we got to Quebec City, I was dubious. I mean, come on, french fries, gravy, and cheese curds? Are you kidding me? That can’t possibly taste good. So I didn’t push for us to go to the best poutine place in Q.C. and it wasn’t until our penultimate day there that we had it.
Oh my holy hell y’all. You would not believe how good poutine is. I am not kidding. It was a party in my mouth, with the cheese curds acting as squeaky little noisemakers. I went out that night and found more cheese curds near our hotel and inhaled them.
Since we’ve been home, we’ve attempted to find cheese curds locally, but have thus far not been successful. We’re still working on it, though, and one day victory will be ours.
That doesn’t mean we haven’t made our own poutine. On the contrary, we’ve managed it twice in the past month. Just make french fries and gravy and add fresh mozzarella that has been drained of the water and then chopped up. It’s not quite the same, but it’s close enough that it works for us.
And for those of you who, like me, are watching closely what you eat in an attempt to get healthy and maybe shed a few pounds, here’s how I manage to eat poutine and not gain weight (in fact, I’ve already lost several pounds this month): small portions. I have a small pile of fries (much less than a cup), a modest amount of cheese (a quarter cup or less), and a drizzling of gravy. And, while Pete is making the poutine, I start things off with a salad or some raw veggies. That’s it. I can still enjoy a food I like, but just keep things in small portions.
But what about the rest of you? Who has food obsessions and what are they?