Details.com editor James Oliver Cury tackles controversial food-and-drink-themed etiquette issues every week.
May is filled with opportunities to feast, starting with Cinco De Mayo and ending with Memorial Day weekend, the semi-official start of grilling season. It should be a happy, face-stuffing time as we say hello once again to seasonal staples.
But with this upswing in communal eating often comes heated debates about culinary gaffes, as in: You’re doing it wrong!
Here are four food fights in the making - assuming there’s a food snob in the room.
They angrily communicated to me that while some lagers have been paired with lime in the past, this practice has largely been adopted to mask the flavor of cheaper suds. Better beers, the purists rightfully point out, do not benefit from lime. And it is an insult to add a foreign element to a great beer.
Point taken, though I still may throw a lime in certain beers on a hot day. I just won’t tell anyone.
2. Ketchup and Steak (or Even Hot Dogs)
Why? Some say it’s tradition. Others claim the sugar in the ketchup bastardizes the flavors of the beef. A few critics call ketchup “infantile” - a condiment for kiddie meals.
My philosophy: Take a bite of your food sans sauce at least once before dousing it in a coat of sugar-saline syrup. Who knows? Maybe you were applying ketchup when you didn’t really need it.
3. Sushi, Soy Sauce and Wasabi
By drowning the delicate protein in your makeshift salty-spicy dipping soup, you have effectively communicated to the chef that his elegant flavor pairing needed help, and thrown off whatever delicate balance he or she intended. As the saying goes: Go easy on the sauce.
4. Single-Malt Scotch and Ice
The truth is, a little water opens up the spirit and if you like it cold - icy even - then you’re allowed to drink it that way. (A lime here would be very very wrong, though.)
Got an etiquette question Cury can address? Share it in the comments below.