The 5 Cheater Foods

I am not a foodie.

Mostly I eat to survive. If I’m hungry, I’ll find something to eat. Ask me if I like something, and without fail I’ll accurately claim that “I like everything except celery and water chestnuts.” I’m not picky.

I am also in no way trained as a chef. My cooking repertoire consists of pasta, ramen noodles with an egg in it, French toast, and quesadillas with chips crunched up inside of them.

Despite my culinary shortcomings, I have picked up on a tasty little trend. There are times in my eating life that I come across something exquisite – something that I like to call “close your eyes” good. You know what I’m talking about. You eat something and it is so incredibly tasty that you shut out all of your other senses so that you can more fully soak in the taste.

During times like those I will invariably ask the chef or check the label to inquire about the ingredients. And without fail, what I like to a call a “cheater food” is present. For whatever reason, the “close your eyes” good foods I run into tend to have cheater foods all over them.

I’m not a chef, and so I won’t pretend to know why these cheater foods work so well, I just know that they do. Feel free to enlighten me.

In no particular order, here they are.

The 5 Cheater Foods

  1. Onions


No matter the shade, somehow onions tend to bring out other flavors in a dish so well.

Most common cheating locations: Green onions in enchiladas and salsa, yellow onions sautéed and on a burger, onions deep fried into bloomin’ onions, most good-tasting casseroles.



  1. Butter


Butter is the ultimate cheater food. Generally it’s in every single good food. The answer seems to always be “more butter.”

Most common cheating locations: desserts, breakfasts, soaking breads and biscuits, any white or yellow sauce, and basically everywhere else.




  1. Cream Cheese


The king of desserts, cream cheese seems to rear its beautiful head in many “close the eyes” moments after dinner.

Most common cheating locations: cheesecakes, dips, pumpkin rolls, fruit salads, creamy sauces and soups.

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  1. Garlic


This one is the biggest hider. Sometimes it’s hard to spot, doing most of its work behind the scenes.

Most common cheating locations: marinated meats, pasta sauces, French cuisine (a French lady made me dinner once in Cambodia. It was potatoes and chicken clobbered in garlic and one of the greatest dinners I’ve ever eaten.)

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  1. Nutella


Nutella is unique in that it doesn’t usually mix in with things, or mask itself in any way. It, unlike the other cheater foods, is completely amazing by itself. Every time I eat it, I just feel like such a cheater.

Most common cheating locations: crepes, straight outta the jar.




Special mention:




Probably the most over-hyped food of the last decade, but truly tasty nonetheless.




Making any sandwich incredible, regardless of what’s on the inside.




An absolute necessity in any killer salsa.



I challenge you to write down the incredible things you eat during the next couple weeks. I bet dollars to donuts that you’ll find one of our friends cheating away.


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