My son’s a food snob and I hate it

0
85

I knew something unusual was happening when my son was just seven. We went on holiday to Spain and at dinner one evening, when our friends’ kids were all ordering pizza, my son announced he wanted to try the ox tongue. The adults laughed, the kids screwed up their faces in revolt but he stuck to his guns and ordered it.

 He went on to eat the lot and then opted for manchego cheese and walnut crackers for dessert. It was the start of his deep love of food and his incredible ability to stuff whatever bizarre morsel comes his way into his discerning mouth.

My son is a young adult now and he boasts a particularly sophisticated taste palate. He will experiment with every nuance of flavour, often knocking up a superb meal of three-star restaurant standard. But there is a down side. Truth be told, he is a food snob. And that can be incredibly irritating. 

I class myself as a pretty good cook but, in his eyes, there is usually something lacking. Like there isn’t enough red peppercorn in my chicken stew, the stir-fry could have benefited with a spoonful of miso, the cake I baked should have a smidgeon of rosemary… The other day, when – heaven forbid! – I put oven chips on the table, he commented that I hadn’t baked them for long enough. Apparently, the outside should be “the colour of a golden retriever”, not the milky tone of their frozen state. To be fair, he was right, they were far from crisp and tasty, but even so – it’s grating!

In fact, his culinary opinions are annoying most of the time. My husband and I will catch each other’s eye over dinner as our son chatters on about the benefits of hoisin sauce, while poking my sweet ’n’ sour chicken dish as though it’s a lump of roadkill that needs clearing away by the council. Once we went to a friend’s house for supper and she produced her “easy pasta” – penne with a jar of ready-made tomato sauce and grated cheddar. I was on tenterhooks, waiting for him to make some damning quip. But he gobbled the lot.

 Later, I couldn’t resist asking him what he thought of it. “Not the best meal I’ve ever had, but not the worst,” he quipped. Was he comparing her cobbled ingredients to my prepare-from-scratch efforts that so often get dismissed as inadequate? The sheer gall of it.

Yet for someone who thinks nothing of notching up a pretentious one-meal shopping list of black truffle oil, guava vinaigrette and lobster claws (total: £45, I kid you not), he is not so keen on the aftermath of all that cooking. Like, the cleaning up. 

The kitchen often looks like last-helicopter-out-of-Saigon destruction and his ability to scrub a pan compares with Kim Kardashian’s capacity to hoover her mansion after an all-night party. Even worse is the rancid state of his bedroom – a cesspit of dirty plates and mountains of Deliveroo food containers. 

This summer, after wading through teetering piles of meal-incrusted bowls on his bedroom floor, I decided I’d had enough. So, when our cat presented me with a rather plump dead mouse, I grabbed the chance to wreak vengeance. I sneaked the rapidly stiffening rodent up to his room and left it, carefully arranged, among the debris. A couple of hours later, when he returned home from his part-time job, you could hear the screams a mile away. Ha! I sniggered to myself. Stick that in your icing pipe and smoke it.

Do you have a parenting confession you’ve never shared publicly? Let us know in the comments section below

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

28 − 24 =