Adult Picky Eaters UK

For Picky-Eating Adults in the UK and worldwide

A Juicy Biscuit? January 16, 2008

Filed under: Reducing Pickiness — Claire @ 12:45 am

One factor that seems to be important in the domain of picky eating is texture.  Texture has a lot to do with whether or not I’ll be ok with a particular food item.  Of course it’s not the only factor.  Things like structure complexity, cost-benefit balance, mood and meaning also play a role for me (in descending order), with actual taste or flavour, or quality of cooking being fairly far down the list of priorities.

But it strikes me that one of the upsetting things about accidentally getting a piece of a vegetable in your mouth is the particular kind of crunchiness.  Now, I know it isn’t crunchiness per se that’s the problem.  I can eat other things that are crunchy – CornFlakes I can eat no probs, and crisps too, and crackers and biscuits, and crunchy toast (though I like it less that way).  But I notice two things about these kinds of crunchy foods:

  1. They are thin
  2. They are dry

I think the thinness is incidental to things.  I think this because a) I like Crunchies and b) even if you sliced an apple wafer thin, I still would gag on it.  So what this boils down to is a dry crunch is ok, but a wet crunch is not.  These are different kinds of crunchiness, aren’t they?

Now, what do I know about other picky eaters?  I know that some of them only eat dry stuff (nothing mushy), and others only eat wet stuff (nothing crunchy).  Whichever one of these groups you fall into, fruit and veg are likely to be excluded, because of their combination of texture features from both categories.  Neat, huh?  Even if you can do both of these categories, if this is the dimension along which you categorise and understand your edible foods, then a wet-crunch will still be excluded, because it falls between two stools, so to speak.

Something like this sort of a theory would also be consistent with the link with autistic-spectrum disorders.  I understand there is some evidence that high-functioning autistic people process or attend to similarities and differences among stimuli in a way that is different to the rest of the population.  Relevant?  I don’t know.

But this makes me think of a new idea.  If fruit and vegetables are excluded because they are borderline members of one’s existing food categories, could it be possible to make a conceptual leap and focus on their similarities to one’s existing food categories rather than their differences?

So, if I did slice an apple very thin, couldn’t I just pretend to myself it was a juicy biscuit?  Of course, there’d be the taste to get used to as well, and a juicy biscuit does seem like an oxymoron, but I wonder if it would work…


7 Responses to “A Juicy Biscuit?”

  1. Jack Says:

    Interesting therory. I have never really looked at it that way.
    My wife has been saying for years that my problem is with texture and I have always discounted her as wrong. I never really thought about the dry vs. juicy….

    However before this blog-site came along I never really wanted to think about it or talk about it. After all, there couldn’t be anyone else like me.


  2. Alex Says:

    Interesting point, i’m fairly lucky in i like basic fruits in what i call apples, oranges and peaches, however i dont like things such as mango and kiwi.

    Do you like dried fruit? Cause i suppose that would be a ‘dry’ crunch, but comes from what would have been a ‘wet’ crunch if you get me? I cannot stand any form of dried fruit.

  3. Claire Says:

    I’m just trying to use and extend the things I know that have worked for me before. It’s about convincing myself that it’s similar enough to something I already can eat. For eg, I got onto fruit juices by pretending it was water. Though I confess I haven’t actually got around to trying my apple biscuit yet.

    Hi Alex. I’ve never tried dried fruit, which sounds on paper like a good idea (for which, thanks), but I can tell you in advance I won’t like it. I think given a choice between fresh and dried, I’d have to master fresh fruit before I could broach them in other forms. My guess is that you’d get more crunch that way too. Just the very thought of the feel of a raisin gets me all icky. My mouth says no.

  4. Jack Says:

    Hmmm, I’m different:
    I like banana’s, and then rasin’s if thoses are considered dry, green grapes, and apples inside a pie and especialy like them mushy…watermellon but no other mellons, cherries but never those bright red jared marashino or whatever they call them…
    no kiwi, plums, peaches, prunes, dates, dried fruit.
    I can tolerate but none the less wont eat or avoid whole apples, pears, red grapes….
    I love whole grains of just about any type….

  5. Allison Says:

    I don’t eat any fruit and two vegetables.
    I wish I could but I can’t down it..
    Is there any cure for this?

  6. Rosemarie Says:

    Hi Claire,
    Can I suggest that you try dried bananas? They are fruit but definitely a dry crunch. Just likea crunchy biscuit although much smaller and tasting of…. surprise ,surprise .banana
    Love your blog by the way.

  7. […] 2008 Filed under: Personal Stories, Reducing Pickiness — Claire @ 7:57 pm Do you remember when I thought about buying an apple?  I did buy one in the end, but I never got round to doing anything with it, so eventually it went […]

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