The Daily Feed:Do You Have a Culinary Crutch?

Admit it: is there one foodstuff you’re so dependent on, you take it with you everywhere? 

One of my former culinary instructors pockets, daily, his own thimble-sized vial of Hawaiian sea salt. We laughed when he told us, but he wasn’t kidding.  

So I recently asked a group of friends whether they, too, have a culinary crutch, a secret food attachment so strong that they simply can’t be without it. Responses flooded in.

Two friends always carry tea, because “you never know what swill will be on offer in a hotel ballroom.” Another carts around bitters, “because not every bar has them, yet how can you make a Manhattan without them?” One woman squirrels packets of Stevia in her purse, and a friend admitted to stealing bottles of Tabasco from hotel room service trays: “To be clear… I mean the tiny little bottles that are otherwise headed directly for the hotel's trash after they have been refused by other room service patrons.” He keeps the bottles in his briefcase.

And then there’s my friend Heather, mother of four: “Are you kidding me?” she responded. “I can hardly remember to bring all the kids.”


Cheryl Sternman Rule is a widely-published food writer and the voice behind the blog 5 Second Rule.

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