Throughout history, chefs, food writers, and scientists have made up rules pertaining to food, whether it’s an old wive’s tale, like the disproven myth that you need to wait 30 minutes after eating to go swimming, or a culinary tradition that became law, like salting the water when you cook pasta. Certain rules come from historical etiquette, like the mandate that salad be eaten with a salad fork. Spoiler alert: you can eat salad with any type of fork.
Some of these rules are helpful guidelines for cooking and eating, while others are total lies that are based on nothing. Below, we look at classic food rules and decide which hold up and which society should toss out with the trash.
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Seafood and Dairy Don’t Go Together … TOSS!
Whoever said that seafood and dairy don’t go together was an absolute madman. No one has ever been more wrong. Seafood and dairy are a match made in heaven. A little cotija cheese on a fried fish taco? Buttery shrimp scampi? Cream cheese-stuffed crab rangoon?! We’re 100% tossing that rule in the trash (along with the first person who ever said it). Seafood does belong with cheese. Amen.
Product That Proves Us Right: Bar Harbor New England Style Clam Chowder
The Five-Second Rule … KEEP!
When I was a child, I watched an episode of a TV show (maybe Good Eats, but I honestly can’t remember) that explained the reality of the five-second rule. Their whole point was that the five-second rule isn’t real because wet foods pick up bacteria quicker than dry food. That means it’s not about how long the food is on the floor, it‘s about the type of food you drop. That being said, I’m still more likely to eat something off the floor that has only been on the floor for a few seconds. Sorry! That’s my truth! I will, however, only be eating dry foods off the floor.
Product That Proves Us Right: Cheez-It Extra Toasty
Truffle Oil Is Bad … TOSS!
Over the last few years, it’s become trendy to hate on truffle oil, an ingredient that was once beloved and seen on menus around the world. According to Gordon Ramsey, truffle oil is “one of the most pungent, ridiculous ingredients ever.” According to me, Gordon Ramsey is wrong! Truffle oil tastes good and I don’t care what anyone says.
Product That Proves Us Right: TRUFF Black Truffle Oil
You Get What You Pay For … TOSS!
I have two words for you: Great Value. Walmart’s in-house brand, Great Value, is literally a great value. It’s often the cheapest option in our taste tests and the brand’s products regularly rank highly on our lists. In fact, they frequently rank higher than most expensive products. Sometimes, affordable is the way to go!
Product That Proves Us Right: Great Value Butter Flavor Jumbo Biscuits
Eat At the Table … KEEP!
This isn’t always possible, but we agree that you should do it when you can. Every meal feels elevated when enjoyed at the table rather than on the sofa or hovering over the kitchen trash can. Plus, you get heartburn when you eat while lying down in bed (a thing I do regularly). That doesn’t happen when you’re sitting straight up at a table. It is a luxury to be able to put your food on a real plate and sit down at the table to enjoy a meal. Take the time to enjoy your food when you can!
Product That Proves Us Right: Trader Joe’s Butter Chicken
Don’t Eat Anything Your Great Grandmother Wouldn’t Recognize as Food … TOSS!
This is one of renowned food writer Michael Pollan’s essential rules about food, and a sentiment echoed by many in the food and diet industries. My great-grandmother was alive during the Great Depression. They ate things like fried potato peel sandwiches and boiled cabbage. And no judgment! I’d eat those things too. But there is absolutely no shame in the fact that I love Impossible meat and Crunchy Fajita Takis. I like to think my great-grandmother would be happy that I get to eat such cool, weird, interesting food creations.
Product That Proves Us Right: Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter