Food is so much more than just food.
It says a million things about who we are, what made us who we are and the values and emotions that shape us.
The foods that we love say so much about our personality and what makes us tick.
Here’s a decoder ring on the top things you can figure out about someone’s personality by their favorite food.
1) Are you an extrovert or introvert?
One of the most interesting things you can figure out about someone’s personality by their favorite food is whether they are more extroverted or introverted.
In general, extroverts tend to like saltier, spicier foods with strong tastes and distinctive flavors.
The kind of food that someone likes most can tell you a lot about how they approach life and the world.
Do they love a spicy Cajun stew or prefer a nice caramel pudding?
Is their favorite food an ultra-spicy chorizo sausage egg omelet or a leek-potato soup with a light sprinkling of cheddar on top?
What about pizza, for example? That’s a typical extrovert food and is also perfect for sharing around with others and social occasions.
As Charlotte Hilton Andersen explains:
“The combination of fats and simple carbs makes the brain light up like a Christmas tree.
But if you love that cheesy, crusty goodness, it also shows that you may be an extrovert.”
2) How open-minded are you?
One of the biggest things you can figure out about someone’s personality by their favorite food is how open-minded they are.
We all get the chance to try new food now and then, whether it’s traveling or just at our friend’s grandma’s house.
So what do you say when something new is offered to you? Do you feel excited or do you groan inside and fear it?
This says a lot about how open-minded you are.
I’ve seen it a lot on my travels as well. The more open-minded people would try out new dishes and foods even if they found them strange, but those who had more conservative personalities tended to decline.
Taste-wise, extroverts also like food that has a stronger taste, is saltier and tend to eat more.
Introverts like less spicy and salty food and tend to eat smaller portions.
3) Are you a fast or slow-paced person?
How do you eat?
I wolf my food down and sometimes barely get a chance to realize how delicious it is, especially when I’m very hungry.
Other friends and colleagues of mine are much more conscientious eaters.
They like foods that are prepared lovingly and well, such as a small strip steak with mashed potatoes. They savor that delicious treat for hours.
I love a tortellini with homemade pesto and plenty of garlic (stay within a ten-foot radius of me in the immediate aftermath). As for timing? It’s gone before you can say abracadabra.
How you approach your favorite food says a lot about your personality.
Is somebody’s favorite food more formal or informal? Is it typically eating with utensils or with hands?
4) How aggressive are you?
Your favorite food can say a lot about how aggressive you are.
The spicier and meatier dishes tend to represent a more masculine, and assertive energy.
There’s a reason that a big, juicy steak is associated with people like Western actor John Wayne.
Not only is a chunk of meat very primal, it’s also full of proteins and nutrients that build muscle and are intensely packed with ingredients.
That’s not to say that a vegetarian can’t be aggressive (go to an activist march in San Francisco sometime), but it’s certainly not the norm…
Meat and spicy foods tend to indicate a slightly more aggressive or at least assertive individual.
5) How much do you stick up for yourself?
Somebody’s favorite food may be very specific or very general.
For example, my favorite food is pizza in general.
Somebody else’s favorite food may be grilled swordfish marinaded with red wine vinegar and rosemary.
Whatever your favorite food is, when you have a favorite food do you stick to it or are you willing to waffle on it and compromise?
If somebody offers you a food you strongly dislike do you just accept it instead of causing a problem or do you admit you’re not a fan?
How specific your food tastes are and how much you stand up for them can say a lot about how much you stick up for yourself in life in general.
“Hating certain food shows where you will not compromise, as well as your commitment levels when you don’t like something,” notes Jennifer Tzeses.
6) How friendly are you?
Your favorite food can say a lot about your general level of friendliness and agreeability.
Sweeter, milder foods tend to indicate a person who’s generally more “chill.”
If your favorite food is sorbet you’re likely not a real jerk, but if you like extremely sour sorbet and sour candies as your favorite food it could indicate a wry, sarcastic streak.
(I’m a big fan of really sour candies, by the way).
In any case, friendliness is often correlated with liking really sweet foods, and it’s accurate to say that in some cases a sweet tooth equals a sweet person.
As Charlotte Hilton Andersen puts it:
“Having a sweet tooth may mean you have a sweet personality to match, according to a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
“The researchers found that people who crave cake, candy bars, or other similarly sweet foods are more likely to be agreeable, friendly, pleasant, and outgoing.”
7) How organized are you?
Somebody’s favorite food can also say a lot about how organized they are.
A more organized and conservative-personality individual may tend to like foods that are more “stay at home” and traditional.
Things like pot roast, eggs and bacon, waffles and more come to mind.
These are true blue typical foods that the family eats for breakfast or every Sunday.
If this is somebody’s category of favorite foods then they’re likely to be more family-oriented and traditional.
However, if they like spicy chicken wings or nachos it’s an indication of somebody who’s prone to coloring a bit more outside the lines.
8) Are you at peace inside yourself?
One of the biggest things you can figure out about someone’s personality by their favorite food is their level of inner contentment.
The kinds of foods we like could almost be seen as a kind of Rorschach test that you can use to look into and see what you see.
I like tortellini with pesto, which to me signifies that I like a lot of variety with exciting surprises (tasty filling inside) and a rich and satisfying external life (the delicious pesto).
I wouldn’t say that is a recipe for peace, but it’s pretty decent, and honestly, I’ll take pesto over peace in any case.
The thing about food and somebody’s favorite food is that you can tell a lot not only by the food itself but by their attitude toward it.
Do they care what their favorite food is a lot or not really?
Do they love food or is it just a nutrient delivery system to keep them alive?
For some of us, food is far more than just a means to an end, it’s a way of life.
Take, for example, mukbang, a Korean practice of basically watching someone eat for your entertainment.
Why do people like it and why do eaters become big stars?
Because the pleasure of watching somebody have culinary pleasure is almost something you can taste, and the inner peace and joy they get from eating is something the audience can almost feel…
“Mukbang, in simple terms, is a live-streamed video where viewers watch the host eat…
“…Mukbangers, or BJs (yes, we’ll get to that) might first film themselves preparing food, or order large amounts of takeout food, then eat it in front of the camera, all for the pleasure of their live audience.”
Food says so much…
Food can’t talk, at least not outside of kids’ cartoons, but it says so much…
Our favorite foods are fascinating because they tell a story of where we’ve been and where we want to go…
They tell a story of our sense of humor, our temper, our joys and sorrows.
If you really think about it on a deep and visceral level, every food and dish you eat gives you a certain emotional feeling.
There’s a reason that soul food is called soul food.
My point is that food is so much more than just food, it’s an experience and a relationship.
A good meal can change your life, it honestly can.
The care and love that goes into food preparation along with subtle and delicious flavors can fill you with empowering and joyful emotions that make life worth living.
And the foods and culinary creations that we choose to give our greatest love say so much about who we are and the experiences and emotions we crave and find meaning in.