10 Difficult Foods To Eat In Public: … and our tips to avoid embarrassment!

June 25th, 2012

Appliance Talk Laundry Ovens & Cooking

You know those foods that are the hardest to eat in social situations?

The ones that often end up splattered down the front of your shirt. Usually, to the horror – or worse, amusement – of your dining companion.

Well, here’s a little guide to some foods more likely to end up your clothing than in your stomach. With some tips n’ tricks on how to handle them.

Not only does the subject touch on our appliance-related interest in cooking but the importance of having a good washing machine to deal with all the (food) spillage.


There’s no way to eat pizza gracefully. You can’t really eat it with a knife and fork unless you want people to think you’ve just rolled in from the 19th century. All you can do is grab it in one hand and smoosh it into your mouth. Then attempt a sort of biting, tearing thing, which may involve a certain amount of desperate guzzling if the piece you’re eating is disintegrating.

It’s the great leveller of food – get any group of people around a few boxes of pizza and scenes of animalistic depravity immediately ensue.

Tip: Tuck a napkin or some kind of drop-sheet into your collar, one that preferably reaches the floor.  If you’re on a date, try and turn the whole exercise into a seductive dance.

Whole lobster:

What the hell? I mean, really, what the hell? You need a veterinarian’s degree to understand how to eat this thing. Surgical tools are required to get at the edible stuff: scissors, a lobster cracker, a thin metal seafood pick.

We’ve found websites that try and explain the process in straightforward detail – but it sounds like a helluvva lotta effort for a miniscule return. And all the time you got its beady little eyes staring at you defiantly.

Tip: Turn the head of the lobster away from you so it’s staring at your dining partner. It’s interrogative glare will effectively silence them from bitching about your eating skills.


Extremely difficult to eat without making a slurping noise or – if hot – without burning yourself. Additionally complicated if there are difficult bits of matter present in the liquid, such as noodles in the case of a Laksa. Food splatter is almost inevitable. And few successful relationships began by hitting your date with projectiles of scalding soup.

Tip: Say sincerely: “I thought you’d like to try some”, although this probably won’t work if they’re trying to get it out of their eye.

Spaghetti Bolognaise:

Otherwise known as the natural enemy of the white shirt – and still the best way to redesign clothing with a unique tomato sauce motif. Even at our most careful, we still cause a few splashes here and there. It’s a bit like going to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

Tip: Smile endearingly through all the bolognaise sauce smeared around your face and affect some kind of cute-klutziness which will immediately make your dining companion fall in love with you.

Whole Fish:

Another case of food with its cold dead eyes staring at you. There’s nothing like being presented with something that looks like it died right there on your plate to throw a pall over an intimate dining experience.

Tip: Embrace the situation with confidence – start hacking away at it as quickly as possible and destroy any resemblance to a (slightly resentful) corpse. If possible, remember to bring an bowie knife to the table, either hidden in your purse or strapped to your leg. You’ll be able to fillet the fish in quick-time, although if there is any sauce involved things might get a little messy.

If your date has qualms with your technique – stare at them pityingly, shake your head and say “there’s so much I have to teach you about table etiquette, you naive young thing”. This will a.) immediately earn their respect or b.) encourage them to leave, which would probably be for the best, anyway.

Croissant (or any Flakey Pastries):

More of breakfast table kind of social embarrassment – which way well happen if the date has gone well – ie, you’ve dodged all of the above traps and not said anything incriminating. Croissants are fantastic, they taste like sugary bread (amazeballs!), but there are few messier pastries out there.

Our tip: Regret nothing, go with it. But make sure you have breakfast before your shower. ‘Cos you’ll probably need a good shampoo to get the pastry out of your hair.

Corn on the Cob:

For something so tasteless and indigestible, corn on the cob is a trauma to which no one should be subjected to.

You’ve got butter melting into your hands, you’ve gotta gnaw away at the cob like a rodent … and why is corn is so determined to wedge itself in between your teeth? Screw that.

Tip:  Give in – cut the corn of the cob using a knife. You’ll look like a geriatric who’s worried about their dentures – but a well aimed cob should silence any critics.

Ice Cream Cones:

The kind of thing you might end up eating at the end of the meal, say, accompanied by a romantic stroll along a boulevard. You’re facing a coupla issues. First, if it’s anything more than a single scoop, there’s always the heartbreaking risk the top scoop will fall off and splat onto your shoes.

Second, if you’re like us, you can’t bite into it, because our teeth hurt – so you end up sort of sucking on it, with a pursing sopping motion of the lips. Not a look you wanna cultivate, unless you’re a porn star. And by the time you’re nearing the finishing line, the ice-cream is half-melted, the cone is disintegrating, and the rest of it is all over you.

Our tip: Buy a punnet.

Oversized Hamburgers:

Quite a mouthful – there’s a sort of damned-if-you do, damned-if-you-don’t scenario at play here. If you take a big mouthful – then you’re at risk of all the filling ending up in your lap.

On the other hand, you can’t just nibble away hopefully, ‘cos you’re going to undermine structural integrity, thereby risking collapse from above or below.

Our tip: The “safety” plate is the obvious solution – used as support and to catch any falling detritus. It means you can bite into the burger with confidence. You’ll look a little naff but feelings of confidence and security take precedence over feelings of social awkwardness – incidentally, a good reason why we wear adult diapers.

Stone Fruit:

Poorly designed, in our opinion. Eating these things in public is a tricky and messy exercise. In the case of cherries, spitting out the pips can seem almost like an insult. A mango seed, meanwhile, is an enormous impediment to enjoyment of one of our favourite fruits. And that’s after you’ve figured out whether the fruit in question is ripe or not.

Our tip: Share the pain. Ensure whoever you’re with is experiencing the same or similar difficulty. Solidarity in adversity, brothers and sisters!

Feel free to let us know if you have any more foods that you find very difficult or almost impossible to eat – and your tips on how to eat them!


Richie is a Sydney based writer with sophistication, flair and hair. Aside from blogging and writing for Appliances Online and Big Brown Box, he is also a new playwright who had his first play, ‘The Local’ performed last year at the Sydney Fringe Festival. He is also the wicketkeeper for the Gladstone Hotel Cricket Club and his favourite appliance is any 3D Blu-ray Home Theatre System that can be delivered to his house free-of-charge in the near future. He was the lead singer of Van Halen in 2002. Google+

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