The Edibility Scale

The edibility scale is pretty straightforward. Basically, it is a scale used to quantify the edibility of a particular item or dish. Like any good scale, the edibility scale must be calibrated. Let’s start with a coarse calibration by separating the edible from the inedible.

Of course, we probably want to know more than just whether or not something is edible. Therefore, I have defined finer gradations as follows, and Bill and I have inserted our individual interpretations of the edibility scale so as to calibrate you to our tastes.

0 – Obscenely inedible (inedible for multiple reasons / should not be considered food for any living creature)

  • Jamie’s examples: burnt maggots, hemlock
  • Bill’s examples: spackle, tar, glass

1 – Uncomfortably inedible (triggers an undesirable physiological response such as gagging / mildly appealing to starving animals)

  • Jamie’s examples: Play-Doh (yeah, I’ve tried it), cheese in a spray can
  • Bill’s examples: a dreadlock, jockstrap drippings

2 – Mildly inedible (generally unappealing / could be used as short-term sustenance in desperate situations)

  • Jamie’s examples: Handi-Snacks, TV dinners, Hot Pockets, Nerds
  • Bill’s examples: Spam, Campbell’s chicken and noodle soup

3 – Sufficiently edible (can be consumed without undue struggle / would require major modifications if repeated)

  • Jamie’s examples: Kraft Mac & Cheese, canned tuna
  • Bill’s examples: PB&J sandwich, Cheerios

4 – Pleasantly edible (produces a satisfactory eating experience / could be repeated with minor modifications)

  • Jamie’s examples: PB&J sandwich, spaghetti, burritos
  • Bill’s examples: Trader Joe’s mushroom ravioli, spaghetti and meatballs

5 – Exceedingly edible (elicits profuse salivation and an instinct to jealously protect the food from others / not repeating this would be a crime)

  • Jamie’s examples: Cheese Board pizza (in Berkeley), roasted sweet potatoes, a perfectly ripe peach, blueberries that I picked
  • Bill’s examples: chocolate chip cookie from Brewed Awakening in Berkeley, dinner at Chez Panisse (also in Berkeley)

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