Archive for the 'Polls' Category

Airplane Food Poll

Wednesday, March 21st, 2007

I was talking with my friend Alison last night about how I got stuck in the airport, and she said, “That’s why you always have to have peanut butter and jelly when you go on a plane.”

I realize that PB&J is an eminently travelable choice (especially if you spread both pieces of bread with peanut butter to prevent the jelly from soaking into an unprotected slice), but for some reason, I had never considered it to be airport worthy.

Perhaps because part of my goal when I create airplane lunches is to arouse the jealousy of my seatmate. My all-time favorite is probably avocado and bacon sandwiches, but other memorable meals include leftover ribs and homemade pizza.

Still, I wonder what sorts of things other people pack when they travel. Do you look for ease of creation/transportation? Something hearty? Something compact? Please, give me your travel tips—I’ve re-booked my trip to Massachusetts for this weekend, and I don’t want to be stuck without sustenance again!

Peanut Butter &…

Sunday, February 25th, 2007

I don’t have time or energy to make myself gourmet lunches every day. Sometimes, I eat peanut butter sandwiches. Though they’re about the simplest creation around, they’re also quite yummy—especially if you use natural peanut butter (ingredients: peanuts, salt).

Everybody eats peanut butter & jelly, honey, or banana, but limiting your scope of pb & sandwiches to that (albeit classic) trio seems a rather dim horizon for such a versatile ingredient. Other fairly obvious sandwiches I’ll occasionally snack on are pb & marshmallow (often in the fluff variety… one of my few exceptions to a distaste for processed foods) and pb & nutella, which is especially good on toast.

Less obvious (but still quite tasty) are pb & dill pickle and pb & bacon, both of which my wife refuses to sample even though I tell her every time I eat one how good it is. Still, I have a suspicion that even with these two non-canonical inclusions in my peanut butter sandwich repertoire, I’m still only at the tip of the iceberg. Please let me know what your favorite non-traditional peanut butter sandwiches are—I’d really like to expand my menu of quick & easy lunchtime possibilities!

Cake Barely Edges Pie’s Popularity

Thursday, February 15th, 2007

The reason I asked the cake vs. pie question was to test a theory espoused by my high school Latin tacher, Mr. Denis. I remember several occasions when he opined that in general, women are more likely to prefer cake and men are more likely to prefer pie, in a generic sense of each dessert, with no specifics as to what type of either.

According to the seventeen respondents to my survey, he was right, but just barely. Among respondents known to be men, pie edged out cake 3-2. Among respondents known to be women, cake enjoyed a slight edge of 5-4. According to those whose gender was made clear by neither their email address or their web page, cake was favored 2-1.

Pie’s Total: 8
Cake’s Total: 9

I like both, but will usually choose pie.

Key to that decision, though, is knowing that Aunt Millie makes both well. While I really enjoy homemade pie, I’m not a huge fan of most store-bought pies. Thus, if I knew Aunt Millie were the type of person to buy her desserts from the grocery store, I would probably choose cake.

Cake or Pie?

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007

In general, which do you prefer: cake or pie? Imagine your eccentric Aunt Millie (who cooks both quite well) offers you one or the other, but refuses to tell you which kind either is. You can only have one or the other—not both. Which do you choose?

Tuna Salad Results Are In…

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007

Mayonnaise, Onion, and Pepper the typical sandwich.

Twenty-five people (including me) responded, listing twenty-seven versions of tuna salad, many of them similar, but none of them, I believe, exactly the same as any other. One of my favorite observations came from Joanna, who mentioned that she and her sister thought their way of making tuna was standard until recently. That’s exactly what I thought, too, when I first started occasionally polling people about their tuna preference eight long years ago. I’ve often gotten the response Mean Gene mentioned to my inclusion of green olives in tuna [ew!], though I’m proud to say, I’ve made a partial convert of my wife, who at first thought ill of savory tuna.

I’m glad I finally collected some hard data on the topic–the range of responses has been fascinating—so anyone who missed the original polling, please feel free to add your salad into the tuna databank; I’ll continue to update my data as results trickle in. Click each graph to see a full-sized version that’s easier to read.
graph of the prevelence of individual condiments people include with their tuna

I think it’s worth noting that mayonnaise enjoys a significant edge over Miracle Whip in these results. Personally, I think that “tangy zip” overpowers dishes it’s included in, but I’m a bit surprised that Miracle Whip measured on par with barbecue sauce in the results.

fig. 2

Onion is the surprise winner here; based on tunas I have eaten, I had expected celery to be the favorite. What’s more interesting, though, is the wide variety of things that appear more rarely with tuna. It’s an eye-opener to see what people do with it (and then to realize that you’ve been painting yourself in a small box based on habit and what you’ve grown up eating).

fig. c

Seasonings display a bit less variety; salt and pepper are the expected favorites—though this may be one rare instance where pepper is more popular than salt, probably based on the salinity of the garnishes and sauces people include. I’d never thought to make tuna with curry powder, but I bet it’s tasty!

What’s In Your Tuna Sandwich?

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

This week’s poll is actually the slight formalization of an ongoing poll I’ve been conducting sporadically for the past eight years: what do you put in your tuna sandwich (besides tuna, of course)? This poll started my Junior year of college when Aurora and I needed a quick meal and decided to make tuna salad. I reached for the green olives; she reached for the relish; one of her roommates said we were both wrong: tuna salad ought to have apples and walnuts in it. Since then, I’ve occasionally asked people who happen to be around when the subject of tuna sandwiches rarely comes up, what do you put in your tuna sandwich? and I’ve gotten a surprisingly wide range of responses. Today, for the first time, I’m putting the question in print.

So, please register your preference by leaving a comment to this post. I’ll tabulate the results, analyze them for patterns, and report back in one week with my findings.

P.S. I’m not talking about any rare attempts to fancify from your norm, but your run of the mill, every day tuna sandwich.

Keep reading for the results from last week’s poll.

Sloppy Joe Results

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

The results are in, and the overwhelming minority has spoken in favor of Open-Faced Joes!

Rory really likes Open-faced Joes!

Sandwich style was favored by a 3-1 margin (18-6), with two of the votes in favor of open-faced style coming from my siblings; and another that was actually ambiguous (I interpreted Janice’s comment that “any misconceptions on the proper eating of a Sloppy Joe can be blamed on the American school cafeteria institution. They slopped it down sandwich style.” in my favor because otherwise I would have had to report that the results came in at ‘more than 3-1′, and I wanted to avoid that wide of a margin).

Otto Schmidlap offers us a bipartisan solution: he eats his neither open-faced nor as a traditional sandwich, but as a sandwich with more filling heaped on top, then tackled with a knife and fork.

But really, when it comes to sloppy joes, everyone wins—simple to make, delicious to eat. Everyone wins!