Lucy Corry’s Blog: No thanks, I’m not hungry


Lucy claims she’ll eat anything — except what’s on this list.

I’m not a fussy eater, truly I’m not. I eat tofu and offal and other things that people often freak out about. I’ll eat around the brown bits on an apple. I’m not the sort of person who comes to dinner and looks faint because there’s a sprig of coriander on the salad. However, there is a small group of things that I would rather not pass my lips. Here’s a list of things I am irrationally snooty about eating. Decide for yourself whether I’m a dreadful snob or bang on the money.

BAKED BEANS

I love white beans. I love tomatoes. I do not love the mouth-glueing sensation of eating baked beans from a can. More than anything, baked beans remind me of my first bleak weeks in London when all my life savings were disappearing at speed and I was sleeping on a friend’s floor. I remember a dismal lunch of baked beans on Mother’s Pride (there’s a bread company that should be sued for false advertising) and thinking, ‘is this what I gave up my cushy life in New Zealand for?’ I refuse to have them in our emergency kit for that reason. Homemade baked beans, by contrast, are lovely.

BANOFFEE PIE

This will be controversial because everyone loves banoffee pie, don’t they? Nope, not me. Banoffee pie is the perfect example of something that is less than the sum of its parts. I like bananas, up to a point; I like caramel. I love whipped cream and pastry. Putting all those things together ruins them all. If I was a millennial I might say that banoffee pie was for ‘basic bitches’.

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CHICKEN SAUSAGES

Never eaten a good one, feel a bit queasy at the thought of a bad one. Actually, even looking at a chicken sausage makes me feel a bit faint. This isn’t helped by once visiting a chicken processor where we were told that the constituent parts of a chicken sausage were similar to those of chicken-infused dog food.

HOT DOGS

If you’re a New Zealander of a certain age you’ll probably have a fond nostalgia for the saveloy, a sausage of mixed provenance encased in a cheerful red skin. A cheerio is a miniature saveloy, which used to be obligatory at children’s parties. If you haven’t eaten a saveloy or a cheerio for a while and think you might like to revisit the experience, I’d strongly advise against it. I’d especially advise against eating a hot dog, which is a saveloy dipped in batter and deep-fried. When I see people eating these at fairs and such, I don’t know whether I should run away and be sick or perform a citizen’s arrest.

MARGARINE

I understand some people don’t like butter for reasons of taste or ethics. But I’d personally rather go without butter (or bread, for that matter) than spread margarine on anything. At best, it tastes of nothing. At worst, it’s a spreadable version of the plastic box it’s contained in.

READY-MARINATED MEAT

Some people see marinated meat products at the supermarket and think, ‘oh, how convenient!’ I look at them and think, ‘what is so wrong with that meat that you had to cover it in that orangey-brown gloop laced with dried herbs?’ Also in this category: pre-made garlic bread and pre-made coleslaw.

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SUPERFOODS

I find it very difficult to control an impulse to eye-roll and teeth-grind in the presence of so-called superfoods (or the people who believe in them). There is no moral superiority gained from eating blueberries, oats, kale and spirulina, or whatever else has made the superfood grade. Most food (well, except the things on this list) has something super about it, even if that’s just the way it can stave off physical or emotional hunger. I wish superfood devotees would just be honest and admit that fixating on these apparently ‘healing’ foods is just another kind of diet. Or, in the words of the great food critic Jay Rayner, the term ‘superfoods’ “is a product of a poor understanding of science and a grandiose attempt at marketing”.

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