Serious Eats: Talk
How do you tell people their food could be better?
What do you do when someone thinks that everything they make is awesome, due to lack of experience? How do tell them without being rude?
My friend grew up as a vegan, but ever since I introduced her to cheese, has decided she can't be. She buys soy milk, eats tofu scrambles instead of eggs, and so on, but is not averse to eating mac & cheese, making brownies with butter and eggs, etc. She didn't grow up eating much variety of food, I gather (a really good restaurant, according to her, is Olive Garden), but of course since I am such a glutton, I've introduced her to a lot of things. She'd never had a croissant before a week ago!
My dilemma in this instance is that she is always baking things, but she only uses vegan recipes - cupcakes with "buttercream" (usually turn out greasy, overly sweet, gritty frosting, so on), waffles (sweet, chewy, dense, heavy), scones (sweet, chewy, soft, dense, pale underbaked blobs) and so on. She thinks these things are amazing, and I kind of want to be like, uhm, dude, they're edible, but you need to try a scone made with cream and butter and then tell me you think your dough blobs are amazing. Every time she does eat something traditionally baked with dairy, she's like oh! that's what it's supposed to taste like!
She makes her stuff, she eats it, and she thinks it's delicious, and that should be all that matters. It's awesome that she's getting into food, trying new things, and making it herself.
It's hardly my place to be like no, you should taste other, non-vegan stuff (because I think it's better). But it's hard for me to keep my mouth shut when she says OH! I made these AMAZING muffins AND they're vegan! and I get excited and then try them and think oh, ew, these are kind of gross. Especially since it's not as if I'm an authority on food or anything. But I want to tell her, you're not baking vegan for health/ethical reasons, and you know you like things made with dairy, so why aren't you doing it? It's like pretending.