I've had several food related discussions recently with a few autistic friends of mine, both on and off the forum and I can't help but be intrigued by how autism affects our taste in food. I have a couple of friends who are very hypersensitive to a lot of different tastes and textures and can only eat very bland tasting food of certain specific consistencies and yet there are other friends and also myself that seem to like lots of strong tastes; spices, etc. Food seems to be important to autistic people in one way or another! So I wondered where everyone else is with food. Do you prefer strong tastes and flavours or do you have a lot of food sensitivities that limit what you can eat? I'd like to know other people's opinions and thoughts on this?
My food habits are many. I consider them relatively sensible. Unlike my late mother who was inflexible and absolute in her belief in what was the correct way to cook and what she/we as a family were allowed to eat.
Perhaps I should later describe my mother's habits and how it affected my life.
My mother was a terrible cook! She had set meals for every day of the week and she cooked them all badly! If anything she taught me how not to cook! I taught myself to cook from scratch with the use of a few good cookbooks that I purchased when I moved out of home aged 18.
Crisps are good, though I've been doing the whole 'clean eating' thing since before Christmas so no crisps at the moment But when I do eat crisps my favourites are prawn cocktail crisps or chilli heatwave doritos, nice and spicy niknaks are good too! I eat spicy food more for the flavour than for heat, I'm just getting into a Moroccan Tagine phase at the moment! I only drink herbal tea. Ginger, lemon and manuka honey is my current favourite, I like the kick from the ginger. Coffee is good, the stronger the better, I like Turkish coffee too. I'll eat most meat and fish/seafood but not liver and I'm not keen on kidneys either, any entrails basically! I rarely eat on my own because I have children. I hate watching my 5 year old daughter eat as she eats with her mouth open, I'm trying to train her out of it but that just makes it funnier for her to do it just to wind me up, kids!
Please do describe your late mother's habits and how it affected your life, it would be interesting to read about.
My mother was not a bad cook, she just had very strong opinions and was inflexible.
She hated ready made food and insisted on cooking almost everything from scratch .
She worked part time in a restaurant but hated eating in restaurants.
In my childhood we often went on day trips with our local social club. My mother insisted we never buy food or drink during the trips, we must always bring everything from home. This included bottles of dilute cold fruit juice. A couple of thermos flasks of hot tea. Cups to drink both hot drinks and cold drinks. masses and masses of sandwiches, Home made damp cotton cloths wrapped in plastic paper to wipe our hands and faces. And we had to carry all this heavy stuff around with us.
She insisted tea bags had to be square / rectangular. I once bought round tea bags. Whole packet of 80 went straight in the bin. She said just looking at them made her want to vomit.
She insisted milk used in coffee had to be boiled. Not cold, warm or hot. But BOILED. She heated milk in a milk pan and as it started to boil it rose to the top and just before it overflowed grabbed it to put into the coffee. Once many years ago I made her a coffee without boiling the milk. It went straight down the sink. And she never tired in telling people that I was useless and unable to even make coffee. Twenty years later I was accosted in the street by a relative and told that I was pathetic, because she had heard that I a grown man was unable to even make a cup of coffee.
Many years later I discovered that I started school three months late. One of the reasons my mother gave me for not sending me to school was to protect me from other people's cooking.
I'm glad that your mother wasn't a bad cook.. My mum could be quite inflexible about things too!
My mum made most things from scratch although we did have fish and chips from the local chip shop on Friday evening and a pizza on a Saturday evening. Everything else was cooked from scratch is was just that it never really got beyond scratch if you know what I mean? I mean she could cook a piece of meat or some potatoes or vegetables, they just didn't go beyond that, she never cooked spaghetti bolognese or stew or curry or anything imaginative, just plain meat, potatoes and vegetables. She couldn't mash potatoes properly either, I have a lifelong aversion to lumpy mashed potato thanks to my mum!
If ever we went out on a trip we always took a packed lunch. Basically sandwiches and an apple and a carton of juice. She would bring suares of kitchen roll to wipe hands on. I don't drink caffeinated tea so I don't know what teabags she used.
I was only allowed one bag of crisps a week too. I could eat half of the packet on a Saturday with my lunch and I was allowed to take the other half a packet with my packed lunch to school on a Wednesday.
That's terrible that your mum told everyone that you were useless and unable to make coffee, just because you weren't making it to her very precise specifications! It's also terrible that a relative told you that you were pathetic for the same!!
It seems that she had a fear of other people's cooking!
Thank you for sharing :-)
Finally, my mother also hated sliced bread. We bought proper bread from local bakeries, PRIMA & KOLOS . The bread cost around three times as much as standard supermarket bread, had a hard crispy crust and needed a very sharp kitchen knife. Her opinion of the cheap white supermarket sliced bread was that it was like moist cardboard, only suitable for wiping your bum with.
I do like 'proper' bread for my children, I don't really eat bread myself. But I get the precut bakery bread from Aldi or If I get it from Sainsbury's they have a slicing machine in store that's free to use. Saves on having to mess about cutting it up once I'm home. To be fair, cheap white supermarket bread is quite rubbery!
I remember the first time I had white bread when I was at a sleepover at my friend's house - I thought it was the most amazing thing ever! I don't really eat bread anymore though : ( it gives me horrible stomach cramps (I'm assuming from the yeast?)