Why are so many fun food so…messy?


peanut shellsI was doing a quick turn in the supermarket the other day, buying all sorts of health appropriate items (fruits, salad, vegetables) when I got a hankering for a snack item.  I’m old enough to have hankerings, not like you kids with your cravings and itches (but not so old that I have yearnings).

Anyhoo, I decided to pick up a bag of peanuts in the shells (like at your popular ball parks).  My desire was probably stoked by having lunch with my Dad at Five Guys, a burger place that offers free peanuts as “appetizers” (there used to be a restaurant called Roadhouse that offered the same thing).

I ate my first batch of peanuts, appropriately enough, while watching the NBA playoffs.  In preparation, I laid a paper towel over the TV tray, pulled it close and sat up straight.  Great posture may not be a requirement for eating peanuts, but it helps the shells fall on the tray rather than in the cracks of the couch.

Sadly, all that preparation went for naught, as I was shocked to see peanut “leavings” on the carpet.  Not as bad as the photo, but still annoying.  It got me to thinking of other enjoyable foods that are impossible to keep “clean”.  Let’s take a short journey to the land of messy foods.  Here’s a moist towelette…keep it close!

ice cream cupSafe and secure…

You would probably think, living in perpetually warm South Florida, I’d go for the easy one and hit ice cream cones first.  You would be right if not for my particular taste buds never caring for the cones, so I’ve always had my scoops or soft chocolate ice cream in a cup.  I’ve never faced the terminal danger of the sloppy, melting, toice cream coneppling ice cream CONE.  That’s one messy fun food I can pass on.

Danger, Will Robinson!

Why was I too stubborn to ask for a bib?messy crab

One thing we do have plenty of down here is seafood.  While there is little harm in a nice baked snapper or dolphin sandwich, once you start cracking crab legs, you get all sorts of splattering, shell pieces and general all-around mess.  And let’s not forget the popular peel and eat shrimp!  Beyond the juice and shells you also get the seafood smell permeating your fingers and nails.  Depending on your love of shrimp (and appetite), you may have a lot more than one day’s worth of hand washing before that goes away.

messy ribsNext bite, I’ll try to get it inside my mouth!

Another popular pastime down here is barbecuing.  Again aided by the temperate climate (and covered patios during the rain), we love our barbecues.  And we love our barbecue ribs.  Even my dry-rubbed, lightly sauced ribs can get extra messy once people taste my homemade BBQ sauce.  The more you pour on or dip your ribs, the greater the chance for a new skin tone (and don’t get me started about beards).

messy spaghettiAt least they forgot the marinara.

Of course, everyone knows this one.  I have been lucky most of my life and avoided the dreaded red spot on my shirt.  Most of the time.  My Dad is a champ at finding some new way to add color to his shirts when we eat “messy” Italian (spaghetti is just the most obvious, but anything with red sauce is just waiting to drip somewhere unfortunate).  Anyone who has faced that horrific moment when they look down and groan, knows that the pleasure of eating is somewhat dimmed by the grief of trying to get that stain out before it sets.


There is my quick trip through thoroughly fun and equally messy foods I enjoy.  I’m sure you have some favorites of your own.  I’d love to hear about them…you could add them in comment.  That would be neat!

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