Monday, July 23, 2007

An important philosophical debate with my roommate

My roommate (D) and I do not share food. I think I've already expressed my surprise at anyone who would be willing to do that. I am VERY selfish when it comes to my Hagen Daaz.

And avocadoes. It's weird.

The day he moved in, and I was telling him the rules, I found myself telling him that if he absolutely HAD to steal some of my food, it would be OK, but never to touch the avocadoes. I never knew how protective I was of them before. I suppose I never had to be.

Anyhow, we've gone grocery shopping together a few times, and it's all been very amicable. Then the question arose. Since we share condiments, does he have to buy his own peanut butter and jam?

I was struck dumb. In the grocery store. It was comical. I didn't know how to answer his question.

He eventually decided to buy himself some jam, and to my knowledge just hasn't eaten peanut butter all summer (unheard of in the Princess's world).

However, I am still puzzled by this. Is peanut butter (and jam, and even chocolate syrup) a condiment or a food in and of itself?

One wouldn't eat a mayonaise sandwich is my argument, so I say that it's a food. However, you wouldn't want to necessarily eat it alone (although I have been known to eat spoonfuls of peanut butter as a snack, or the syrup when I'm having a really bad craving) so does that imply that it's a condiment?

I looked up the definition of a condiment: A substance, such as a relish, vinegar, or spice, used to flavor or complement food.

By that definition, I would agree that chocolate syrup is a condiment. (I'm still not sure that I'm willing to share it though).

However, what about the peanut butter? It IS the sandwich. Without it, you're just eating bread...

I would like to take a poll: Peanut Butter (& Jam)
Condiment or Food?


Anonymous said...

Im going to say peanut butter is a food!!!! You can make cookies with it Mmm cookies yummy!!! mental note to self call my aunt for home made peanut butter cookies!!!
Jam I will say is a condiment cause really you only use it on bread, but at work I have witnessed ppl putting it on pancakes and waffles. Weirdos.


brandy said...

Hmm, I'm going to say both are food. To me, food implies something you eat, therefore a condiment is a sub-group of food. Just like juice would be a sub-group of beverage. So technically, you AND your roomie are right in my books. PB and jam are both condiments and food. Man. I should work for the U.N.

Kim Possible said...

I agree with Brandy (and you), as I have found myself using PB on toast or pancakes, as well as just grabbing the jar and a spoon (although if you make that the last thing you do before bed, without brushing your teeth, you wake up with horrible, horrible breath).

That being said, I would say that you should share the pride of the peanut butter and just instigate the "no double dipping" if the utensil has gone anywhere other than on the food.

*BURP* How IS the BBQ peanut butter, anyway?

Nance said...

Peanut butter is a food. It can be a stand-alone and is a source of protein--ask any vegetarian.

Jam is a condiment. It's not a significant source of nutrition, and you add it to other foods as an enhancement.

Having said all of that, I just know you wouldn't argue or fight about it anyway because you are Canadian, and all Canadians are polite and lovely.

At all times.

All Mod Cons said...

Food. Definitely.

mr zig said...

I think it falls in its own category... It is a condiment, but not a sharable one.

Honey said...

buy a mega jar for each other for christmas. It could be a lasting tradition.
I think its a condiment as you are using it as one.. but hey it's all food right?!

Jen said...

I was thinking peanut butter is a food, b/c it is. But then, I thought, you can also use it as a condiment just like jelly. [For example, you can eat PB with celery, apples, carrots, banana's, etc. and that makes it a condiment.] However, as you mentioned you can eat it as a food too - by spoon alone or in a sandwich.

So, I for one, have decided that I can't answer your question.

Now Nutella. . . . Mmm. Gooooood.

canadian sadie said...

Food. If only because i wouldn't share it. But my reason for not sharing the PB isn't greed--it's crumbs. I HATE crumbs in my PB. I also do not share butter for this very reason.

Arthur Dent said...

PB is food. So is jam, for that matter. However, so can mustard be food.

We was poor. So poor we couldn't afford dirt. When you're that poor, you can spread mustard between two pieces of bread and actually TASTE the balogna. It's called a Phony Balogna sandwich.

Try one, you'll see what I mean.

And as long as it's out there in text, why don't we spell it "balony", "balony", or any of several other more phonetically appropriate spellings? Just convention? Or are we intentionally further confusing the already bewildered American public?

AmyTree said...

Peanut butter is a food - I get really crabby when anyone eats mine but me, and that's even when I have ignored the jar for so long the label had faded. Keeping this in mind, I have on occasion shared my PB with housemates, on the proviso that they immediately replace the jar when it is near to 3/4 empty.

Daniel said...

I think you're all letting emotion cloud your judgement.
I believe those things that, by convention, are used to contribute to other foods though they can be used on their own are meant to be part of a greater whole, like spices. Of course we would never think of eating spice on its own, though the spice is life.
It's just convention. Perhaps we need a new term. Complementary food item may be it.

mindy said...

Peanut butter is not only a food, it is the best food ever. I hope that clarifies things.

I don't know how you can possibly live with someone who doesn't eat the stuff. He sounds like a terrorist to me.

Fiona said...


And also giver of pleasure. The way it caresses the tongue and sticks to the roof of the mouth, it's great oral exercise!

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