Secret Eating


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It came to my attention as I stood in my kitchen eating an overripe avocado sprinkled with sea salt that surely anyone who caught a glimpse of how barbaric and savage I was acting would surely run away in terror. I mean, I was in my element, I was alone, with nothing more than green debris on my face and a spoon firmly planted in my hand. I'd never show the world how fast I could actually eat an avocado, and I certainly would never admit that had there been two or three I'd have eaten them, too. But I didn't have to worry about that. I was alone, in the privacy of my kitchen, able to let manners and etiquette temporarily disappear.

I was a pig.

Someone once said "We all have something we like to eat in secret." Or something like that. And the more I think about it, I believe that we do all have things we enjoy eating in secret. For whatever reason. Maybe it's an appalling quantity of something we'd never want anyone to see. Maybe it's the most bizarre combination of ingredients. Perhaps it's something so bad-for-you, so trashy, that we dare not give up our food snobbery public image.

To my sisters and female companions that quietly indulge in copious sugar and salt during special times, I salute you.

To my friend who mixes sugar, avocado and sour cream in a dixie cup and eats it when nobody's watching, my hat's off to you.

To my colleage who will eat 2 pints of Ben & Jerry's ice cream in one sitting and then claim his lactose intolerance doesn't allow ice cream, I'm down.

To a certain relative that wraps whatever she can get her hands on in a tortilla and devours it, I love you, Mom. (ooops! no names, matt, no names!)

So my dear friends, I ask you: What do you like to eat in secret? I'd love to know. Come on, open up. Oh, and feel free to comment anonymously, lest anyone thinks you are a glutton like me.


49 Responses to “Secret Eating”

  1. Anonymous Anonymous 

    Thanks for such a great blog to read in the mornings! The photos are gorgeous and I appreciate your writing style. Please, write a book!

    I will fully deny this if ever we shall meet. I have been known to succomb to the need to drink, yes drink warmed Frank's Buffalo Sauce with a pat of butter. This was a regular (read daily) occurrence until I was diagnosed with a disease that causes my salt levels to plument during the course of the day. My name is T and I drink Frank's!

  2. Anonymous Sigrid 

    Lovely post, really!!
    But about my personal secret food I should think for a moment - nothing comes up in me right now... but.... I must say that right now I just happen to feel a little hungry and... you've just made me think about a nice ripe avocado i'm keeping in the fridge... (okay, let's get a spoon, quick!) -P

  3. Anonymous Jeni 

    Matt, your post is hilarious. But seriously, I'll dip anything in some sweetened condensed milk.

  4. Anonymous Anon 

    Split open a potato hamburger roll. Throw on a pile of doritos. Top with a slice of american cheese and some ketchup (mustard and relish are good too). Squash with your palm to break up the chips a little. Take a bite. Crunchy, soft, salty, tangy, rich, cheesy.

    Stop gagging. I think it was born from being a vegetarian at too many bbqs.

  5. Anonymous MM 

    I used to eat spoonfuls of milo. Or a thick blanket of milo over buttered toast. Then I moved on ... have done the avocado fetish too. Drizzle melted palm sugar into ripe avocado ... Lord just talking about it is giving me cravings.

    Currently it is chocolate and cream eclairs. I just finished 6 of them at a go tonight in the secret lair of my bedroom. Sad ...

  6. Anonymous fatty mcgraw 

    bugles. damn the bugles. also flamin hot cheetos.
    perhaps my most secret of all secret food love is fat. to me there is nothing more decadent than the ridge of juicy perfection around the edge of a big old grilled steak. while enjoying a steak by myself i will devide the fat into little peices so that i can have a little bit with each bite of meat. my husband disects his meat and leaves all of the fat on the plate to go into the bin. sometimes i offer to clear the table and pop a few of these little treats in my mouth. or i eat the fat off of his steak before i even put it on his plate. so yummy.

  7. Anonymous Dianka3103 

    Matt, what a great post! I love it! Hmmm.. my confession would have to be that I am a "top-picker," meaning I will pick the top off anything sweet... a muffin, a cake, brownies, a cupcake.. this drives my family crazy when they come to half eaten desserts. I can't help it sometimes, it's the best part! Geeeeez!
    Oh yeah.. and I can eat jam/marmalade with just about anything!

    ~Dianka
    http://na-zdravi.blogspot.com/

  8. Anonymous L 

    I love this post! You are brilliant Matt, and I don't think any one would fault you for chowing down on an avocado (the cafeteria food, however, may be another matter :- )

    Growing up, I used to find the bag of Nestle's chocolate chips that my mom always seemed to have hidden, and sneak a handful, popping them like M&Ms. Whenever she got around to makeing Toll House cookies, there would only be a quarter of the bag left... The only reason it doesn't happen now is that I just avoid buying the bag in the first place.

  9. Anonymous ashamed 

    Gummi anything. The whole bag. At once.

    Cool whip, with a spoon. If I want to get really crazy I'll put some chocolate sauce in there too.

    This also goes for Nutella. I never buy it anymore...

  10. Anonymous marion 

    Ovomaltine/Ovaltine! Not mixed with milk as a drink but in spoonfuls dipped in icecold milk....

  11. Anonymous John 

    Peanut butter. Straight from the knife. My father always used to lick the knife after making me a PB & J, so I acquired his bad habit. We eat PB by the bucketful at this house. Sigh.

    But I must say that the idea of cafeteria food is exciting. I want to take that tray and make an entire meal of slow-food cafeteria dishes. Macaroni and four cheeses. Sweet corn off the cob with oodles of butter and salt and pepper. Sauteed carrots with butter and thyme. A quality meatloaf or fried chicken. Fresh bread. Frites. I think a dinner party with those school trays would be a riot.

  12. Anonymous Jim Donahue 

    Every once in a while, I must, must go to White Castle for a burger. They are, um, odd little things.

  13. Anonymous Tina 

    I will never admit this to anyone I know, but I love to fry up chicken liver, heart, and gizzards in butter until they are just crisp. It is my ULTIMATE secret food love. I will only make it when I know for a fact that i will be home alone for a few hours because it takes forever to air out the house so I won't have to explain the odor.

  14. Anonymous David Schloss 

    I was today making chocolates (my new thing) and I ate probably a good 1/2 lb of ganache and "broken" chocolates.

    I have one of the most unreal caffeine rushes right now, because I made a green tea ganache, but the ganache had the tea steeping for 24 hours. OHMYGOD

    Oh hey, Tina, I do that EVER time I make chicken.

  15. Anonymous tokyoastrogirl 

    Hi Matt,

    Great site- I love your writing and photography.

    I could eat French Onion Sun Chips until the cows come home. I never, ever get tired of them. Pretty soon I'll be the cow that comes home.

    I also have a weakness for those Van De Kamps frozen battered fish "filets." Especially if they are wrapped in a flour tortilla filled with shredded cabbage, red onions, a mix of kewpie mayo and sour cream and topped with Embasa salsa. It's the white trash fish taco eh?

  16. Anonymous melissa mcgee 

    OH. MY. GOD. um, HELLO!

    http://redhotjezebel.blogspot.com/2006/04/devils-playground-dirty-hooker.html

    is there any doubt that we were separated at birth???
    AVOCADO WITH A SPOON??? HELLO!!!
    also - bluebell homemade vanilla ice cream COVERED in powdered swiss miss hot chocolate mix, then blended till it's so sweet you can hardly stand it. i have to secretly eat the oysters of a roasted chicken before anybody notices. i'd never let anybody see me do it, but sometimes i like prepared ramen noodles with the sauce packet, and sour cream. i can't keep any kind of cheese in my house for more than 24 hours because no matter what kind it is, i'll eat it like my hands weren't attached to my arms. peanut butter and - ready? - country crock margarine on white toast. i'm so ashamed...

  17. Anonymous Mia 

    Your post was the best amongst the blogs I read today! My secret eating is lazy-girl-who-needs-food aka one egg, beaten with a huge spoonful of canned tuna. Chop up whatever vegetable available in chiller; mix it with egg/tuna mixture and microwave a minute on high. Stir and repeat for another minute, until entire mixture is cooked through. Eat with rice. I indulge in this very often (oops!)

  18. Anonymous Kim 

    I will eat alvacodo with lea and perrins (?) worchester sauce with a spoon (any day), a habit I inherited from dear old mom.

    TOLL HOUSE COOKIE dough! It never makes it to the oven, but who wants a baked Toll House cookie anyway? The dough is so much better. My son and I eat it in little balls until it is all gone leaving my husband disgusted and puzzled.

    Yes, to Melissa. But get thiS -- THEY DO NOT SELL BLUEBELL ICE CREAM IN WA STATE! ? That should be a crime.

    Okay, here is my BIG secret. Keebler Wedding cookies. I am goofy over them. Powderd sugar cover cookies with the most delightful flavor! Have loved them since I was a small child. They DO NOT SELL THOSE in WA state either. You would think we live in some foreign country here. So -- friends and family will send me BOXES of them for Christmas and Birthday. I love them and threaten family members with horrible consequences if they touch my cookies! (my son sneaks them anyway ;)

    There , you have my secrets now ;) xoxox Kim

  19. Anonymous onetomato 

    salsa. the entire container, the costco size. by the spoonful. i just recently let my bf see me doing that.

  20. Anonymous Ellie 

    I do the avocado thing, which I learned through a number of steps over about 10 months -
    whole grain bread, toasted, with cream cheese, sea salt, and lots of cracked pepper, topped with tomatoes... then I added avocado chunks to the tomatoes and made it into a sandwich... then the tomatoes got dropped... then the bread and cream cheese got dropped!

    Off of the avocado bent - I *love* bad cafeteria mashed potatoes... and yes, I'm a cyclic carb craver, of the worst kind (store-bought white cake with white frosting and sprinkles).

    But, these I will eat in public (or at least in front of my husband). My secret food is good cereal gone bad - old fashioned oatmeal with lots of dark brown sugar, or rice cereal with white sugar... eaten at weird hours by the light of a small lamp!

    Keep it up, Matt! I'm a grad student who secretly wants to be a foodie, and your blog is my savior!

  21. Anonymous Rosa 

    I love to mix my peanut butter with honey and spread that mixture on any cracker (Cream Crackers, matzoh, Zwieback, etc...).

    I eat Nutella alone (without spreading it on bread) by dipping my knife into the pot and then licking it with much pleasure!

    I have to add Thai sweet chilli sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce, curry powder or fish sauce in many of my fastly prepared dishes (homemade equivalent of fast food)...

    I like eating glutinous rice with sweetened condensed milk.

    I can also eat guacamole out of the bowl; it's so delicious eaten alone!

  22. Anonymous jared 

    peanut butter and celery with raisins sprinkled over the top - my mother used to make it for my brother and i when we were iittle - she called it "ants on a log," and to this day i consider it sacred food. it's for the happy days - on the the down days i can knock off an entire package of proscuitto at a sitting. yikes.

  23. Anonymous Houska 

    If I am alone in the apartment with a loaf of bread, it's gone. There's no use in it even existing, because it's doomed from the start.

    That and a jar of peanut butter, but not together. And the jar might last a week. Maybe.

  24. Anonymous J 

    hi matt, brilliant post, as always! despite being ostensibly a chocolate snob, hands down, it's a family-sized jar of nutella - eaten neat, spooned straight from the jar into my mouth. when it's all gone, i whip out my trusty long-handled spoon to scrape out the sides. the guilty pleasures are always the best ;)

  25. Anonymous eatdrinknbmerry 

    Matt, great post. I'll admit that i like...

    canned corn and the aluminum can-flavored corn broth
    string cheese - all day and all night
    tater tots fried in a pan with garlic
    hot dogs with thai sriracha hot sauce - poor college boy food
    tv dinners - i love them, especially the 5 for $5 mac n' cheeses

  26. Anonymous kay 

    I've always wondered whether reverse psychology would work. It seems like most of our 'secret food' range from being (ahem) unhealthy to borderline suicidal, so if we tell our kids early on that "fruits and veggies are bad bad bad bad bad for you eat chicken fat instead!!", I wonder if what we see above would be the complete opposite. I don't have kids yet so I can't experiment.. Anyhow my secret food is a bit plain, potato chips, I can eat a pack every day, or two, actually three... Nobody wants to see how I stuff them in my mouth. So utterly unattractive.

  27. Anonymous tami 

    ikea frozen swedish meatballs - complete with the scary powdered gravy mix...at home. yes..i actually buy it to recreate them at home.

    i'm so hanging my head right now.

  28. Anonymous Alisa 

    Apology up front for sounding like a total geek, but I love your blog.
    And this post.
    And if there were/perhaps there is a 12 step program for secret avocado eating, with spoon and salt, I could be there with you.
    And after the first 2 paragraphs, I just kept laughing!
    The best.

  29. Anonymous s'kat 

    While no real fan of Reese's, I love breaking off squares from a chocolate bar, and dipping it into a jar of peanut butter. And it had best be Jiffy's, none of that schmancy, good-for-you, natural stuff.

    Yes, that, and Cadbury's Mini-Eggs. They're way too easy to eat by the handful, and I'm pretty sure that goes over the recommended serving size.

  30. Anonymous iamchanelle 

    hi mattbites! first time commenting, dozenth time enjoying your site!

    i chose a heck of a time to comment...now i have to air my little secret:

    boxed macaroni and cheese, prepared just as the box says, and served with...are you ready for this?

    ketchup.

    i even tuck the little blurb of ketchup in the most inconspicuous place in my bowl so nobody will notice what i am dipping my noodles into...

    i blame my father. he still does it.

    :)

  31. Anonymous Leah 

    2 Tbs of peanut butter in a small bowl, mixed with raw oats and chocolate sauce. There is nothing better.

    I also love canned peas right out of the can.

  32. Anonymous Michelle 

    cocktail onions from the jar (the artificial bright green ones are better than white) except I rarely get to eat the whole jar anymore before my boyfriend stops me "for my own good", and sweetened condensed milk on jelly (but who doesn't love that?!)

  33. Anonymous S 

    Microwaved frozen corn topped with a generous pat of French butter and a sprinkle of fleur de sel. I work from home and that's often what I have for lunch :P

    Where oh where did you get your hands on such a beautiful cafeteria tray? IwantIwantIwant

  34. Anonymous Angela 

    Hi Matt!
    You know my secret food - fried pork skins and a dr. pepper! i'm always trying to recreate that flavor of the chicherones that grandma would leave on the middle of the stove. they were sooo good.
    do you remember the big jar of pickled pigs feet that sat on our fridge when we lived with grandma? how we'd sit and eat them with fritos (the GIANT size)? would you do that now? the salty and sour work so well. we'd nibble on dem little piggies piggies!

  35. Anonymous sanfranciscotom 

    peanut butter on saltine crackers with a iced coca cola.

    cornbread crumbled into buttermilk, sprinkled with salt and pepper.

    god, i miss the south, sometimes !

  36. Anonymous Veronique 

    Here I go:

    - a handful of chocolate chips when no one is looking
    - chocolate chip cookies broken apart in a bowl with nature yogourt
    - a slice of bread, peanut butter, raspberry jelly and honey

    :)

  37. Anonymous Mary Schmidt 

    You mean you're not supposed to admit to eating chocolate chip cookie dough right out of the container? Now they tell me!

    My secrets include:

    1. Miracle Whip on that squishy white bread (sometimes I just eat a spoon of MW, forget the bread.)

    2. One of the great things about being a grown-up is you can make an entire batch of dough or bowl of cake batter and EAT AS MUCH AS YOU WANT! I sometimes - um - even leave enough to bake.

    3. Mickey D's Filet ol' Fish. Don't ask me why but sometimes I just have to have that little square of mystery fish with the 1/2 piece of American cheese. I threw a snit fit a few years back when they changed to their "adult menu" and tried to give me a "gourmet" fish sandwich. Hummmffff. I want the little square guy.

  38. Anonymous Katie 

    Well, first, thank you, because now I feel entirely civilized about my avocado binges because I must first peel and slice the avo, put it on a plate, douse it with lime or lemon juice, then salt it, then devour it. But I've long ago given up pretending that I am capable of eating *less* than the entire avo at a sitting.

    Secret binges: besides the ones others have shared (the cheapo macaroni and cheese), I must add:
    1. cheese-filled hot dogs
    2. fried chicken TV dinners
    3. any kind of frozen vegetable, microwaved, with butter and tons of Chili Twang.

    Chili Twang is a certain kind of lemony seasoning salt that comes from Texas. Regular Twang is apparently designed to be consumed with beer, something I can't imagine. I consume Chili Twang on everything. I will pour a packet onto the palm of my hand and lick it up, salty tangy tongue-tips at a time.

    Interesting that these secret foods all contain some element of gluttony (too much fat/sugar/salt) and/or an element of nostalgic slumming: eating the trash food you ate growing up. Or ideally, both.

  39. Anonymous ria 

    - i will eat coffee mate by the spoonful.
    - i eat salt&vinegar chips on top of a very dark chocolate.
    - i love very sweet ketchup.
    - i eat nutella and peanut butter by the spoonful.

  40. Anonymous Cenk 

    I eat a whole jar of Nutella in one sitting. At least once every week. Now that I read all the other comments, all of a sudden, it really doesn't sound scary as it used to.
    I choose the smallest spoon possible so that it takes longer to finish.
    My next mission is the monster size jar :)

  41. Anonymous bongomama 

    Twinkies.
    Sigh. something about the fact that an unopened box of twinkies might outlive me makes this food scary bad in a way that no other food can touch. Plus I love scooping out the cream with my finger and then smooshing the remaining pseudo-cake into a little compact ball and popping the whole thing into my mouth all at once.

  42. Anonymous Plain_jane 

    i'm a first-timer to your website, but love watever i see, esp. the pics, and it was fun going thru every1's secret cravings. i lovelovelove nutella, discovered it only a few mths back, even tho i always knew i had a thing for those ferrero rochers. i'm a little obsessed abt all things sweet and i knwo i can scare myself and others if i can let go of my restraints when it comes to eating sweets, so i make a CONSCIOUS effort to control the cravings... but i know when it comes to obsession (or when i get pregnant) i'm capable of eating an entire jar of nutella in one go or pints of ice cream (flavor no bar). i got an unopened nutella jar lying in deep confines of my bedroom closet, far away frm kitchen so that i'm not tempted too much..

    anyhoo, (occassional) secret fooding tricks:

    ketchup with white bread
    processed cheese cubes...straight up...nibbling it slowly and watching the salt+sodium clogging my arteries
    need to indulge in something sweet after almost every meal...some weeks back i was in cookies/biscuit phase...had to have tea biscuits/chocolate biscuits/any cookie even after a satisfying and full lunch/dinner
    now i'm on ice cream phase...ice cream after dinner...every night!

  43. Anonymous cachaca 

    -raw potatoes before my girlfriend wants to cook it, ok almost every kind of vegetable before she wants to cook it

    -turkey sausage on bread with peanut butter cheese and dijon mustard and sometimes honey

  44. Anonymous Gracie 

    Mmm, I'm totally hungry now. First time to your site..and I love what I've seen so far!

    Mine:

    - peanut butter & pickle sandwiches
    - hard boiled egg sandwiches slathered with mayo, s&p
    - monte cristo sandwiches from Bennigan's (eat 1/4 at the restaurant, and take home the rest. then eat the rest as soon as I get home!)

  45. Anonymous Michelle 

    I obsessively taste when I cook. Even when making a cake for company, I'll lick the spoon clean and then stick it back in the batter and keep stirring! Oh for shame!

  46. Anonymous Kat 

    I've gone into a food blog obsession stage randomly a few days ago. And yours is a brilliant addition to my increasing stash of bookmarks :).

    Oh god. Food secrets...
    I taste the batter of everything I bake, but I hate it when others do it.
    I'll mix anything with cottage cheese and eat it. The plain stuff is so tasteless, but throw anything into it, smush it around, and it's instant heaven.
    I'll add a splash of rum to anything sweet I make or anything I drink.
    I love dipping food into my tea. Anything. From the socially accepted cookies to savory toast. When faced with something undippable (oatmeal) I'll pour the tea in and mix vigorously.
    If I let myself, I can eat a 6oz. jar of honey with a spoon (or without one).
    And I love eating pudding-like substances with my finger. (Jell-o counts too).

    :D Wow I should be ashamed.

  47. Anonymous Meredith 

    I may be a bit late to join in. I find this topic fascinating. Some of my secret food cravings are:

    1) Mac and Cheese from the box with extra cheese and a can of tuna mixed in.

    2) Cheddar cheese dipped in ranch salad dressing

    3) Fast food french fries with an obscene amount of ketchup

    4) Cereal for dinner

    5) This is a weird habit, not a weird thing to eat but anytime I'm eating something from a jar/container, I need the surface to be smooth before I finish. Just last night, my partner tortured me by taking a big spoonful out of the middle of the sorbet that I carefully smoothed out with my spoon!

  48. Anonymous Sharon 

    ummm.... is this thing on..... bwink!..... ok...

    hi. my name is sharon and i'm clean from the following...

    coolwhip sprinkled with granulated sugar
    saltine crackers with a smooth layer of butter topped with grape jelly

    and i'm currently trying to give up the following...

    raffaello
    entire boxes of see's truffles
    entire wedges of cheese, usually blue, and with a box of asiago crackers

    who am i kidding. i'm not giving up the cheese/cracker/wine dinner.
    no way.

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About me

  • I'm Matt Armendariz
  • From Los Angeles, California
  • A man with a passion for good food and a wonderful life with a dash of irreverence. Read at your own risk. Advertising director by day, wino by night. All photos on this site by Matt Armendariz.
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