I’m a purist when it comes to food. I like the good old-fashioned stuff. There’s only one kind of ice cream for me and that’s vanilla. I could never embrace Neopolitan ice cream with its three strips of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. That seemed to me to be ice cream stew. Cookies in ice cream? I’ll take them separately, thank you.

Flavored seltzer water annoys the heck out of me. And I don’t care for the varieties of Coke that mess up a perfectly good drink. Wine fruit coolers are something I’ve never tried and I’m proud of it.

Remember when tomatoes were tomatoes? Not, grape, cherry or plum sized. Remember when tea was tea, not red or green, not ever decaffeinated.

One of my children ate lunch at a friend’s house one day and came back with an amazing tale. The mom where he was visiting asked if he would like a hot dog or baloney sandwich for lunch. He said “baloney sandwich.” Would he like lettuce on that? He said “yes.” Would he like mayo or mustard. He said “mustard.” Would he like cheese on that. He said “No, thanks.” Now here’s the kicker: Would he like shiny or dull baloney. He said, “shiny.” Would he like milk (chocolate or white) or juice (apple or orange) and cookies (Toll House or oatmeal). My son looked me in the eye and asked, “How come you never ask us what we want; you just say ‘Here’s lunch’.” And I said “How would you like a kick in the pants?”

We used to vary our choice in coffee by adding either milk or sugar, sometimes both and sometimes neither. That was choice enough for me. I don’t need the triple mocha latte cappucino ring- a-ding-ding. They’ve even muddled with English muffins, adding blueberries or bran or seeds of some sort. Same with bagels. Saltines come salt and/or fat free.

They couldn’t leave orange juice alone as just plain orange juice. There’s a whole pulp thing now: no pulp, lightly pulped, the most pulp.

Potato chips now come in flavors, barbeque or vinegar, and some (gasp!) are salt and fat free. Isn’t the whole point of potato chips to get a salt-and-grease fix every once in a while?

Even toiletries are flavored. Remember when a gulp of good old Listerine would make you snap to attention? Now it comes in cinnamon or wintergreen. That’s for sissies; it makes me feel like it’s not doing the job. Even dental floss is flavored.

Some toothpastes are bubblegum flavored. That almost seems like cross purposes to me; bubblegum spreads sugar around your teeth and toothpaste is supposed to scrub it off.

Children’s medicine comes in the bubblegum flavor, too. Medicine isn’t supposed to taste good. There are horror stories of kids overdosing on something just because it tasted yummy instead the horrid stuff that it was meant to be.

Pet food used to be meal in a dish with a side order of water. Now they have chicken, beef, turkey flavors for the dogs and salmon, tuna or liver for the cats. We’ll never know if they really can tell the difference.

It’s all a matter of taste.