One of the most wonderful ways to show someone you love them is to want to learn more about where they grew up, whether it’s the place they were born, the food they ate, or the music they listened to.
To suddenly stop them from sharing that part of themselves doesn’t exactly communicate love, stressed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor throwaway_80081ES had a hard time supporting his girlfriend’s cooking habits because of not liking the same cuisines.
But when she seemed hurt by this, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if he was in the wrong.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for not liking Indian food?”
The OP’s girlfriend was understanding about his dietary needs.
“My (30 Male) girlfriend (27 Female) is Indian. She moved to the US a few years back. I’m American (white, if it matters). We live in NC.”
“My GF loves to cook. She told me so on our first date.”
“However, I’m not the biggest fan of Indian food. I find that a lot of spices used in Indian food irritate my stomach and I have a very low tolerance for hot/spicy foods.”
“She never had an issue with this and never forced me to eat anything I didn’t want to.”
“In fact, whenever I stayed over, she made me things like pancakes and french toast and they were incredible. She is a very good cook.”
When they moved in together, the OP felt conflicted.
“Two weeks ago, we moved in together. Our place has a large, fully equipped kitchen, and my GF was ecstatic about all the things she can do. I was happy to see her so happy.”
“However, in all our excitement, I didn’t realize how our food preferences can actually become a problem.”
“You see, I didn’t realize that she cooks and eats a lot of Indian food. Like, all the time.”
“For the past year, whenever we’ve spent time at each other’s apartments, she’s always made me things like ramen, pasta, lasagna, tacos, soups, grilled cheese, etc. I figured that that’s what she normally ate.”
“I have a few Indian-American friends and they’ve told me they don’t exclusively eat Indian food at home, so I thought it was the same thing with her.”
An argument began over spices.
“Yesterday, she was super excited to show me something and dragged me to the kitchen. There, she unveiled a whole drawer of spices.”
“We’re talking 20-30 different types of whole/crushed/powdered spices, neatly stored in glass bottles and labeled.”
“I asked why she needed so many spices, and she replied, ‘To cook Indian food, silly!'”
“I told her that I didn’t like Indian food, and she told me not to worry, she wouldn’t force me to eat anything. That it’s just for her meals, and that she’d made separate meals for me.”
“I asked her if she could simply not cook Indian food at all in our house, because the smell is so pungent, and if she’d cook regular food instead.”
“She told me that Indian food is regular food for her, and I’m going to have to get used to it.”
“I insisted, and she said that she’ll only consider giving up cooking Indian food if I give up cooking meat at home (she’s vegetarian) because she doesn’t like the smell of meat being cooked.”
The OP didn’t agree.
“I told her that it was an unfair ask because she never objected when I cooked with meat at my apartment.”
“She told me that she’s only demanding that I give it up because I’m doing the same thing to her.”
“I got quite mad and told her she was being extremely unreasonable as I need meat (I work out a lot and I need the protein), but she doesn’t need to eat Indian food all the time and can order takeout if she craves it.”
“She told me that restaurants are not very good where we live and that it’s unhealthy to eat takeout every day.”
“We ended up arguing for a while, and now we’re not talking to each other.”
“AITA for insisting that she doesn’t cook with spices?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some said the OP needed to use this as an opportunity to learn new things.
“I grew up eating bland and I’m so glad that I learned to like spice and flavor. I can’t comprehend anymore not having a full spice cabinet and more.”
“OP, YTA. It’s really weird that you’re making a big deal out of this. Maybe take this as an opportunity to broaden your horizons. There’s honestly some amazing food out there, particularly Indian food.” – Ruhro7
“I think this would be the sane advice for OP: start small and mild, and maybe over time he can be adventurous.”
“Buuuuuuut OP is just racist. I don’t think he’s willing for any kind of slow intro into anything. especially when he calls it ‘normal’ ‘regular’ food. His girlfriend is from India, not born here and Indian background.”
“She makes her food the way she grew up (i bet it’s ridiculously delicious, by the way). She’s not even allowed to cook her food because it smells, but OPs meat is allowed to fill up the room? I can’t believe this is real. I hope the girlfriend dumps OP because she can do so much better.” – Super_Ad5277
“As a person of South Asian descendants, YTA, and kinda racist. The way you said regular food then list all western dishes is very telling. So what our food are irregular, gross and smelly??”
“AND THE SPICES FREAKED YOU OUT ….bahahhaaaa I’m honestly baffled.”
“‘If it ain’t salt and pepper it’s weird and makes me so angry arggggh … I go eat meat now… I regular American !! Grrrrr! No smelly spices in my regular AMERICAN house !!!'”
“Don’t you think as SA’s, we look at western food and don’t have a clue why or how you could eat it ???”
“The idea of pungency only in Asian food? Like dude WTF? To Asians, especially vegetarian ones, the way you consume and prepare meat is gross to us! Yea the smell too.”
“And your use of ‘my other Indian friends eat…’ You know India is a country combined with a lot of different variety even though their all Indian. Read a bloody book.”
“You can live without meat, there are Indian bodybuilders and other athletes who are fully vegetarian they manage fine. Other ways to get that protein!”
“If you want her to live on ‘YOUR FOOD,’ you can learn to live without meat. Fair is fair. Also order your meat if you want it so badly, wasn’t that the solution you gave her?”
“But let me guess, your bigoted head just doesn’t want the ‘weird smelling food in your nice American house’!!”
“I hope she dumps your a** for a man with some taste buds and knows what seasoning is !!! YTA” – Sea_Amphibean_8456
Others were appalled by how the OP was treating his girlfriend.
“He is a jerk who wants to control her, but at the same time, he purposely chose someone from a culture he does not respect.”
“He could have found another woman, with a less-objectionable cuisine to try to control, but he did not. So on top of being a controlling jerk, he comes across as a xenophobic, racist AH.” – ScarletteMayWest
“Sometimes even just the smell of Indian food can turn my stomach. And I actually feel kind of bad, because while I don’t like spicy food, I do like flavorful or adventurous food, so my friends who like Indian food are always kind of baffled and in some cases hurt that I pretty much refuse to eat Indian.”
“Thai, Mexican, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Mediterranean, Caribbean… I’ll eat pretty much anything white people think is ‘weird,’ except Indian. But every single time I’ve eaten it, I’ve felt ill afterward, and I’m just done with it at this point.”
“But if I was dating someone who loved it and ate it frequently, I wouldn’t dare say, ‘Don’t cook it in my house!’ like what the actual f**k?! Compromise!”
“Can you eat it maybe once a week and we do other foods the rest of the week? Or, ok, you’ll give it up and I’ll give up meat, sure!”
“This dude is so racist and entitled, it’s mind-boggling. OP, YTA for sure.” – shusuko
“I hate Indian food, and yes, it’s because a lot of the spices upset my stomach. I hate spicy food. I loathe curry. Even the smell of some spices nauseates me.”
“So you know what I do? When we go for Indian food, or hang out with Indian friends, or any of that, I ask for their recommendations for lame-ass white chicks with suburban stomachs, and then I get to try things like paneer or butter chicken.”
“Still not my favorite, but the idea that an entire culture’s food is not worth engaging is ridiculous, and suggesting that it is not ‘normal’ is hugely problematic.”
“If you share a home, you share everything, and have to figure out how to make compromises. Telling your partner that they shouldn’t and can’t cook food from their culture/home/family, however, is utter selfish bulls**t.”
“If OP is unwilling to share or adjust in any way, then he and GF are incompatible, and wow, YTA, OP.” – _Kay_Tee_
Though the couple might enjoy different kinds of foods, it should have been an opportunity to combine interests, rather than shutting down someone’s culture.
The subReddit took issue with how the OP not only didn’t see his girlfriend’s cuisine as “normal” but demanded that their kitchen be run a certain way, despite them now living together.