My husband and I have been married for more than 20 years and the sight and smell of mayonnaise pretty much ruins his appetite. I enjoy mayonnaise (although here in Italy, it is next to impossible to find any decent stuff – it all comes in squeeze tubes!), but I don’t eat it when we are sharing meals.
It seems to to be just a general cultural phenomenon that people really have started reaching for things to feel virtuous about or put others down for, a sort of hyper-competiveness. It may be that I read more food discussion than ever (because there is more of it than ever), but I find it strange that people now keep loudly asserting that they are a better person in some way because they eat everything, or aren’t repulsed by what other’s eat, or this or that. I also think it is wrong at make critical comments on other people’s menu choices in a restaurants, but if you are married to someone who has aversions, that is a different relationship.
Living in Italy, where people dining together generally order food for the table, rather than negotiate with each other about who will order what so everybody can faste everything on the menu, I rather enjoy no longer having 5 other people sticking their forks in my dinner Of course in Italy, recipes are usually at their best when cooked for 4 or more people, so you want to eat as a group, and Italian food really doesn’t lend itself to slamming and mixing up a bunch of differing flavours nano-seconds apart. The idea of an Italian meal is that it has a whole integrity, a harmony, start to finish, like a musical composition – not every antipasto pairs with every primi, or secondo. It’s just very different from what has come to be the norm in other places where eating out means diners are supposed to maximise variety and sensational tastes at one sitting.
[Edited to add: I am extremely grateful to whatever fates there are that arranged that I not fall in love with a man, perfect for me in every way, who liked to eat every morning for breakfast eggs sunny side up and covered with ketchup. It would have taken a more virtuous wife than I am not to ask for some consideration of my gag-reflex.)