Michele tagged me for the six things meme. Since I’ve already done a general response to a similar tag, I’m going to narrow my focus for this one. I have a quirk, when eating, of choosing my last bite before I take my first bite; this quirk is, judging by the comments I receive on it, both baffling and beloved to those who learn of it. I here present a list, by no means exhaustive, of the last-bite rules.
- Bread (whether sandwich bread, a slice of French baguette, a muffin, etc.) must be eaten starting with the bottom crust and ending with the top crust – preferably not a corner, but a middle-section of the top crust. In order to ensure that eating bread in this order results in the best-possible last bite, one must, when buttering toast or spreading peanut-butter and jelly, apply the thickest coating of said toppings along the top crust of the bread.
- When eating a salad, be sure to keep an eye out for when each tasty element (vegetable, fruit, cheese, etc.) dwindles down to its last piece. Save those pieces up and then collect them all on your fork for one scrumptious last bite full of the best contents of your salad.
- After picking up a chocolate-chip cookie, scrutinize it for the spot with the highest concentration of chocolate morsels. (Hint: Looking at the underside of the cookie gives the best data.) Hold that part of the cookie in your fingers – but don’t touch the chocolate chips and melt them! – and eat your way to that pre-selected, chocolaty-est piece. (P.S. This reservation of the last bite by holding it between your fingers and gradually nibbling towards it applies to all hand-held foods, including breads in accordance with the dictates of Rule #1.)
- Chips. Chips are tricky, therefore it is best not to eat them too often. In order to follow the last-bite rule of chips, one may be forced to over-indulge. The last chip cannot be chosen only by taste, not by sight. When eating chips, keep eating until you get that one with an extra burst of salty flavor. If you encounter this chip at only your second or third one, chances are you won’t be ready to stop eating, so you will keep munching chips until you find the next chip with that special something. Make that your last bite; every other chip to follow will inevitably disappoint.
- Main dishes, in all their variety, follow this general rule: get as much of the good stuff as you can in the last bite. Either look at the beginning for the part that appears to have the most flavor (seasoning, toppings, etc.) and mark it out for the end, or, in the case of pastas or soups, make sure as you eat to reserve pieces of the flavorful ingredients for the finale.
- IMPORTANT over-arching rule of last-bite eating: If you are getting full, HEAD STRAIGHT FOR THE LAST BITE. Do not abandon the already-chosen last bite because you cannot make it there; skip everything else to ensure you have that savory finish before you can eat no more.
After reading this (partial) list of the last-bite rules, you may think I’m certifiably obsessive-compulsive. The thing is, I hardly think about these things as I do them; it’s just an ingrained approach to eating. If you share a meal with me, you won’t even notice that I’m doing it. However, if you spot me slightly tilting a chocolate-chip cookie and glancing at its underside, now you’ll know what I’m up to!