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Dating and Dietary Differences: And a Poll 

Published February 14, 2008 at 1:36 p.m.

On my first dinner date with my now-husband -- at Burlington's Smokejacks -- I felt something I'd never felt with anyone previously: a sense of culinary kismet. As we poured over the menu, discussing which dishes appealed to us, we found that we got worked up over the same things. So we ordered them all and shared. I still remember how my half of the barely seared tuna atop cucumber "noodles" tasted. And the smoked pork chop. And the duck.

Sharing food is surely the sexiest way to dine, unless you're in theprivacy of your own home and can pull off a blindfolded tasting a la Mostly Martha. (That's a very fuzzy still of the film's sexiest moment).

Later that evening we wandered along the waterfront holding hands. And then we kissed on the porch swing in Battery Park. A little more than a year later, I wrote wedding vows that centered on the meaningfulness of sharing food, particularly food that you would ordinarily want all for yourself. If you give away the best bits of a steak, a special piece of chocolate or the bigger slice of an artisan cheese, that's true love in my book.

But what happens when a couple finds themselves at odds about eating? Can meat eaters and vegans co-exist happily? What about artisan bakers and folks with celiac disease? A New York Times article, "I Love You, but You Love Meat," addresses that very question.

I knew for a long time that I couldn't spend my life with someone who wasn't a foodie. Of course I write about food for a living and need a willing, open-minded eater to come along with me on assignments. But it's deeper than that. For me, the intimacy of sharing meals and a passion for cuisine are crucial. Other criteria? I need to be with someone who's willing to pony up extra bucks for organic, local, ethically raised foods. Would I have fallen for my sweetie if he was a vegetarian? Who knows.

If you have any stories about how culinary peccadillos and food ethics impacted your relationships, I'd love to hear about it!

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About The Author

Suzanne Podhaizer

Suzanne Podhaizer

Former contributor Suzanne Podhaizer is an award-winning food writer (and the first Seven Days food editor) as well as a chef, farmer, and food-systems consultant. She has given talks at the Stone Barns Center for Agriculture's "Poultry School" and its flagship "Young Farmers' Conference." She can slaughter a goose, butcher a pig, make ramen from scratch, and cook a scallop perfectly.


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