Tuesday, February 28, 2006


My pal, Aussie Nat (she of immense hunger on Thanksgiving) used to always say she was hungry for a dirty Chinese or a dirty Curry- dirty this or dirty that. One day I finally had to ask her what the hell a dirty meal was. Was she eating at a resto with appalling sanitary conditions? Did she eat her food out of a trough in these establishments? I really liked the reply. A dirty (fill in the blank with any cuisine you fancy) was her slang for a super cheap meal. The restaurant would have to be somewhere not glitzy, the kind of place where the service is non-existent, the kind of place you know you'll get a decent meal but you'd only end up there when either broke or drunk. I knew of a lot of those places so the lingo stuck with me.

On the Tube home last night, The Boy, Claire (she of Soul Lemon fame) and myself somehow got into a deep discussion on our dirty little food secrets. Those things that you snack on late at night when you come home after a few too many cocktails, absolutely famished wondering what there is in the house to eat. Or something you've tried making for dinner but you realise too late and have boiled the pasta that the only other thing in the cupboard was a jar of peanut butter. Or one of those odd food combinations that you will never admit to liking. These are foods that you don't eat often but you may keep in the back of the cupboard for that occasion when nothing else will fill that hole.

Now as much as I profess to prefer fresh and healthy meals, I also love my fair share of junk. I mean, come on, I grew up in the States. Land of the free, home of the Flamin' Hot Cheetos! Which I love by the way. I always bring a bag back with me and I keep it for a rainy day and ration it so it seems never ending.

The list of my dirty food secrets is huge. But after much consideration these three things are ones that I don't eat often- I'd be the size of a house if I did. First is a banana with peanut butter but the p.b. has to have a little saltiness to it. The other, which I became incredibly addicted to while a very, very poor student in Paris, a saltine cracker dipped in Nutella. Another salty-sweet combination. My final, and possibly most horrific, admission is packaged ramen. It's another throwback to my Uni days when I was either too broke to afford anything more or I was so hung-over that it could only be cured by the stodge of the noodles and the copious amount of salt. Fortunately I make more money now so I went years without eating it but after a few major hangovers, I have rediscovered it. I somehow manage to justify it because I now buy a 'classier' and pricier version that has Chinese or Japanese writing on it so it must be much better for me.

Ahh. I feel purged of my food demons. I feel clean and pure but that may have more to do with the much healthier Broccoli Soup I had for dinner. So dear friends, I offer you a dirty food secret amnesty. Expel those nasty food demons that you don't admit you really like. Get it off your chest and share it. I promise I won't laugh; nothing can beat pasta with peanut butter.

PS- The p.b. pasta was The Boy not me. I mean I have standards.


CB said...

Thank you for not mentioning the dog biscuits!

Xochitl said...

Not a problem my friend. I'm sad you didn't mention the celery dipped in ketchup.
Speaking of dog biscuits, remind me to tell you the Dog Food Pie story. And yes, the clue is in the title.

Anonymous said...

peanut butter and jelly on club crackers.
boiled pasta w/ butter, parmesan (kraft of course) and soy sauce.
love ya in Vegas-MM

barbara said...

To dirty "foods" that I periodically crave are fat pretzels with hard butter and canned frosting which has been refrigerated.I also like lebanon baloney.Jeri will be appalled, but I am certain that she has worse.

Jeri said...

I am apalled at baloney, I didn't think you would sink so low as to eat something made of beaks and butts! I would say that my guilty pleasure would be Costco hot dogs. I know Steve is with me on this one. Peanut butter and jelly on white bread with butter on both sides of the bread before adding the rest, eaten cold so you can taste the butter along with cold milk, yum. One more has to be kosher hot dogs, speared with a fork, seared over the stove fire, and wrapped in a warm corn tortilla. Pretty much anything is better eaten in a warm corn tortilla..comfort food I'm sure I've passed on to you. Lastly, ice cream, any kind, any time, any weather, any where!!

MM said...

I have so manh dirty secrets that I know I will go straight to Food Hell. Milo sammiches, packaged instant ramen ...

My best friend's brother was so addicted to dog biccies that the dogs would look at him mournfully everytime he went to the doggie food cupboard. Never understood the attraction. But felt really sorry for the dogs.

Xochitl said...

What is it with the dog biscuits? That seems to be a recurring theme with people! But at least that means more packaged ramen for the rest of us.