Best of the Hotline: Your Guilty Pleasure Foods

January 31, 2015

Some questions on the Hotline have staying power, and for good reason -- they cover the questions we ask ourselves time and time again. Join us as we revisit some of the most popular.

Today: Sweet and creamy, crispy or crunchy -- what's your secret eating pleasure?

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January may be the time for resolutions and bettering ourselves (and our kitchens!), but let’s be honest here -- we can’t live on aspirations alone. Yes, grain bowls and fresh juices have their place, but sometimes only a bag of chips smothered in ketchup will suffice.

Pierino once asked the community on the Hotline to spill the beans about their guiltiest pleasures in the kitchen, acknowledging that he has a thing for Kraft singles, tamales from the freezer aisle, and instant ramen. The floodgates of confessions opened up, and we still can't get enough of them:

Packaged delights: 

  • Everyone likes salty snacks from a bag: MTMitchell likes Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, Quinciferous votes for Doritos, and boulangere admits to having “a potato-chip tooth.”
  • Multiple Food52ers said Hamburger Helper; Tiffany Michelle goes for the Beef Stroganoff flavor. 
  • Dymnyno loves to indulge in a slice or two of Spam, a practice echoed by many. 
  • Tzerris can’t live without Velveeta, and divulges: “I actually hide it in my fridge so no one will find it!” 


Homemade pleasures:

  • Pegeen swoons for: “Multi-layered BLTs on toasted, good whole-grain bread with extra slices of perfectly crisp bacon. Mayo laced with streaks of fresh tomato juice and seeds, running down your wrists. I believe there's supposed to be icy-crisp iceberg lettuce in there somewhere. That's good -- it's a bunker for the mayo and tomatoes.” 
  • Thirshfeld has a favorite sandwich, too: “Wonder Bread, fried bologna, fried egg, American cheese, and Hellman's -- for breakfast."
  • Darksideofthespoon loves crispy chicken skin -- and a number of you agree with her.
  • Garlic Fiend professes a love for “Just about anything that's deep-fried: fried chicken, doughnuts, french fries, tater tots, okra, potato chips, buffalo wings, etc.” 

The sweet side:

At the end of the day, though, AntoniaJames deftly sums it all up, saying: “I actually don't feel guilty eating anything I enjoy. So, if you rephrased the question as, "What foods readily available at the 7-11 do you really like?" the answer would be Fritos or Corn Nuts, washed down with Fresca.”

What's your favorite guilty pleasure food? Tell us in the comments or join the conversation over on the Hotline!

Photos by GrandbabyCakes, James Ransom, and Molly Yeh

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Join The Sandwich Universe co-hosts (and longtime BFFs) Molly Baz and Declan Bond as they dive deep into beloved, iconic sandwiches.

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Mei Chin
    Mei Chin
  • Aliwaks
  • Wendell Barnett
    Wendell Barnett
  • henandchicks
  • arcane54
Mei Chin

Written by: Mei Chin

Let's have dinner sometime. There will be champagne and ice cream for sure; everything else is up in the air.


Mei C. February 2, 2015
I have to admit that I really, really love Haribo sour Gold Bears. And Cool Ranch Doritos.
Aliwaks February 2, 2015
Tortilla chips + cream cheese + salsa, jarred queso on hot dogs with corn chips & kimchi, the ends of Hebrew national kosher salami and only the orange part of muenster on and fried chicken in any shape or form including chicken fingers, and cold pre-made cutlets and finally on the list of things I will only eat alone and in my closet (not really) is Hostess fruit pies in Lemon or Cherry- I LOVE THEM SO MUCH.

I LOVE kosher salami with muenster cheese, lettuce, mayo on any kind of pre-sliced bread,
Wendell B. February 2, 2015
Ah, where do I start? I can't resist a combination of salt, fat and starch, but I don't feel guilty about eating chips. As far as guilty pleasures go then I must confess I have a thing for a bologna sandwich accompanied by Fritos corn chips. The sandwich must be made with white bread (Wonder, Rainbow–you get the picture, two slices of bologna, a slice of American cheese, lots of mayo, and yellow mustard (not real picky, but I do prefer Plochman's). Lettuce (iceberg only, please) and tomato are optional. The tomato is my one concession to quality/healthy. No store-bought tomato here, it must come from my own garden or our local farmers' market.
henandchicks February 1, 2015
Full disclosure FIRST- I'm a life Scout and a leader...and I still cannot resist Girl Scout cookies. An open box of Thanksalots is an empty box.
arcane54 January 31, 2015
Happi-oca! (especially Bob's Red Mill medium pearl). Just enough texture and lots of flavor!
EmFraiche January 31, 2015
Love AntionaJames answer!
Stephanie L. January 31, 2015
SO glad I'm not alone!!