Tell us your roommate-food horror story

Photo: Eric Vega (iStock)

Whether it’s homemade kimchi forgotten on the counter over spring break, a secret snack stealer, or something even worse, everyone’s had That Roommate Food Story. College dorms are a breeding ground for plenty of unappetizing things, not least of which are conflicts, drama, and general weirdness surrounding food—if only such issues ended with college graduation, though. Please, share your worst food-related roommate behavior in the comments so we can collectively shake our heads in solidarity.


Holy Mackerel

Photo: IrinaSafronova (iStock)
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I will never forget the smell. During my junior year in college, my randomly assigned college roommate prided himself as a gourmand, but he was from what I gathered a shitty cook. One night he was trying to impress a date, so decided to pan-fry fish. Dude picked mackerel, an oily fish that releases a lasting, unpleasant odor. Our apartment had stucco wall, and my roommate was cooking at a very high heat, which created a lot of smoke. That smell of oily fish lingered, not overnight, but for the next week, and our apartment reeked of an alley at Fisherman’s Wharf. No amount of Febreze or ventilation helped matters. Cooking mackerel at home should be against the law. [Kevin Pang]


That’s not dishwasher-safe

Photo: scyther5 (iStock)

For a few months in my mid-20s, I lived in an apartment with three very nice dudes. I was about to move to a new city to start a job, had just broken up with a live-in boyfriend, and thus was temporarily subletting a basement apartment from a college friend and his pals. I had never lived in a house with primarily guys, and though they were overall cleaner and more orderly than some, there were still kitchen habits of theirs that perplexed me. (Are empty liquor bottles on a mantle truly a form of decor?) I was heartened to come home from work one day to find one of them had run the dishwasher, only to open it and find all my vintage cocktail coupe glasses reduced to glass smithereens. These glasses were so fragile I barely felt comfortable holding them in my hand; what possessed anyone to consider them totally fit for the dishwasher is beyond me. This was a mild and unintentional transgression, in the grand scheme of things, but I still miss those coupes. [Kate Bernot]


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About the author

Kevin Pang

Kevin Pang was the founder and editor-in-chief of The Takeout, and director of the documentary For Grace on Netflix.

Kate Bernot

Kate Bernot is managing editor at The Takeout and a certified beer judge.