Never Fear: Phobias of Food Leave Lots to Love

By Biggs, Jennifer | The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN), October 30, 2013 | Go to article overview

Never Fear: Phobias of Food Leave Lots to Love


Biggs, Jennifer, The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)


You can float hand-shaped chunks of ice in the punch or make cakes full of gummy worms. But for some folks, food phobias are real.

True phobias are nothing to laugh at, unless your daughter and your co-worker suffers coulrophobia, because, well, that's fear of clowns, and while I know it's common, it's hard to resist showing them clown photos and talking about Pennywise the Dancing Clown.

I can't find a word for gelatin phobia, but I'll claim the condition. Aspicophobia? Jellophobia? Hate the stuff. It's unnatural, something as texturally appealing as say, Styrofoam. And speaking of, my husband hates the veggie chips and pop crisps I eat; he says it's like eating packing peanuts.

Here is a food phobia I think he has: Mageirocophobia. What else but a fear of cooking could explain his inability to function in a kitchen? He can make a pot of coffee, and he has even recently learned to use the milk frother, but he can't cook anything. I thought it was stubbornness, but I see now that it is a medical condition. Now I feel bad about the times I've lost all patience with him. So bad.

Our sports editor, David Williams, might suffer from lachanophobia. He eats no vegetables except potatoes and corn (though he says now and again he'll eat carrots or green beans, if they're mushy). He'll eat tomato sauce, say on a pizza, but there can't be a single bit of tomato flesh in it. If he has to force it through a strainer to be sure, then so be it. Force it he will. Carnophobia, fear of meat, is something he'll never have to worry about.

I have a cousin who will not eat chicken, so maybe she has alektorophobia fear of chicken, of course. But she also won't eat spaghetti, though she's fine with linguine or fettuccine, so maybe we can just call her a finicky eater. Her sister will eat chicken, but not from the bone (and her daughter is the same). I know several people, in fact, who won't eat meat from the bone. I don't find a word for it, and I don't get it, but I'm sorry for folks who will never enjoy a rack of ribs.

Happy Halloween! Go scare someone.

Shout-out

Happy anniversary to Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman, who celebrate the fifth anniversary of Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen on Thursday. Since they opened the restaurant on Halloween 2008, they've also opened Hog & Hominy, have been named one of Food & Wine's Best New Chefs and have been nominated for several James Beard awards. They're an integral part of what makes the Memphis food scene vibrant and shines a national light on us. Thanks for being here.

Farewell

Goodbye to Table 613, a kosher restaurant that opened last year on Sanderlin. It will close after business concludes on Sunday, but co-owner Dovid Cenker will remain on staff at Memphis Jewish Home, where he is the director of culinary services at the Nosh-A-Rye Deli.

Events coming up

Here's a fun Halloween dinner, but you'll have to take a little drive. Clancy's, 4078 Miss. 178 in Red Banks, Miss., offers a seven- course dinner on Thursday for $20. The "Halloween Fear Feast" menu includes items such as cow tongue tamales, Rocky Mountain oysters, blood sausage, calf brain sliders and veal sweetbreads with waffles. Want more information? Call 662-252-750.

Don't forget the 19th annual Sip Around the World Wine Tasting from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday at the Memphis Botanic Garden, 750 Cherry.

It's truly a fine event, put on by Athens Distributing to benefit the National Kidney Foundation of West Tennessee. More than 300 wines will be poured (and there will be cocktails this year too), plus plenty of food, music and a silent auction. Tickets are $85 in advance and $95 the day of the event. VIP Lounge admission is an additional $50 and includes fine wines along with food prepared by Felicia Willett of Felicia Suzanne's. …

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