Before the Kougaress drools unlady-like...she will end this blogging session.
Evonne, that is absolutely fascinating to me. While I love food, I've never done the shopping cart observations, except for whoever is behind me and ahead of me. At restaurants, I don't really care what anyone else is eating. Now, if I happen to see something that looks good, I'll ask about it. Strange, I only care about what I'm hungry for, and what the person(s) I'm with are hungry for.
I do have food descriptions in my novels, especially food sensual scenes. Anyone remember Tom Jones, that great lusty scene?
Like Anitra, I often take extra care on my futuristics or OtherWorld stories simply because it is worldbuilding, and I'm curious, and it goes to the culture(s) in those worlds.
One WIP I'm working, the hero is using food to tempt the heroine, to essentially woo her by offering the foods she loves at his birthday party, but doesn't have the budget for...like lobster and sweet crab, and mushrooms sauteed in expensive wine, then flambe' cherries -- okay, sorry, for getting carried away.
I do have to agree it's always driven me crazy in novels where food is wasted. I grit my teeth and carry on if I'm enjoying the story.
Oh, I just remembered, I'm including some of my own recipes, brownies and chocolate chip cookies, in another WIP... 'cause I think it adds to the 'flavoring' and the fun.