About Me, Thing 1

On Double Dipping

Growing up I have vague memories of my Dad telling me not to bite out of something and then dip it back. However, since I was an ornery (bitchy) daughter, I think I kinda ignored that and went about my business of biting into veggies and then dipping what was left back in the dressing. Then, Seinfeld did a damn episode about it and I started hearing people talk about how much they hated that. “OH! I hate double-dippers! Gross!”

Huh? SHIT. Dad was right. AGAIN.

I double-dip like a mad woman and I never even thought about it. I just assumed it was one of those quirks my Dad had that wouldn’t really pan out as something important in life. Like the necessity of bathing. But then? I found out it really irritated people. And that kinda irritated me, as I wondered how many social situations I had been in when people were quietly cursing me for daring to introduce my germs via tortilla chip, into the virgin salsa.

Then, one day? When LilZ was in pre-school, he came home with a story (was it from school? daycare? I can’t remember) where someone had given him a hard time about double-dipping. He was sad and embarrassed and totally didn’t understand that big deal. I mentioned this to a friend or two, and to MrZ, and someone suggested we take him to lunch for a double-dipping festival. Turned out? None of my friends cared in the slightest about double-dipping. We went to an Italian restaurant, ordered the tomato cream sauce, and double-dipped the loaves of bread in it all day long. And none of us died.

Long story short? (or not) I have a long history of issues with double-dipping. Now, on to present day.

My friend and I went for coffee and tarts last weekend, and she commented to me later, “…Also, sorry I was double-dipping the baba ganouj.”

Michelle and I have become friends over the last few months, and we live close to each other, and we have a lot in common, but I still consider her a bit (a LOT) more refined than me. So, when I got there first, (to check out the place) I saw they had Baba Ganouj on the menu and I was THRILLED. That is one of the few “fancy” foods I knew about. I can pronounce it like a pro! I know how to eat it! It’s a dip! With pita triangles! Made of eggplant! I’m so cultured.

(I owe this knowledge to a girl named Roz in high school. Thank you, Roz.)

When she got there I immediately suggested that we order it. Not remembering, until it got to the table, about the eternal dilemma of double-dipping.


I ended up dipping one pita piece in, biting that bite off, and then eating the rest of the pita with nary a drop of Baba Ganouj. Plain pita SUCKS. So, being the mental gymnast that I am, I pondered a solution (all while discussing jewelery, I’m cool like that). Can I TEAR off a piece of the pita, dip it, and then dip the other piece? Technically my nasty mouth germs would not contact the dip, but would that be sanitary enough for Michelle? I started that theory, but gave up and just ate the pita. PLAIN. AGAIN.

So, when I got that comment from her, indicating she had double-dipped and that she was worried I might have been grossed out? I cracked up. We let a plate of perfectly good mushed eggplant go to waste because we both were so self-conscious about how to eat it.

Now, I’m curious. How many people actually do care abut double dipping? Are you repulsed by it? I haven’t ever even paid enough attention to notice if other people do it, but I’m classless, so I dont think I’m the norm. Or, are you a double-dipper who has been scorned and isolated in society? Should we form a cult? That would be much better than a cult of personality, don’t you think?

Update from 2020: I do not double dip now. I still don’t really notice if anyone else does it, I’m not too much of a germaphobe (and I’m writing this during the pandemic so that says something) but I’m very conscious of not doing it now. But if you’ve ever eaten with me and double-dipped? I’m certain I didn’t notice.

55 thoughts on “On Double Dipping”

  1. I’d have to say I’m a double dipper too. I try to be conscious when there’s other people around but when it’s just me and the family, I double dip like there’s no tomorrow. Of course, I’ve tried to assist my son in social niceties by curbing his double dipping tendancies. So much for leading by example. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. I am conscious of never double dipping, I learned it really young I think. Our parents must be from the same era. I wouldnt be repulsed with it if I knew the person, but if it was a gross, slob with glowing yellow teeth that I found myself sharing salsa with, yeah, I would be repulsed by it, but then I probably wounldnt find myself in that situation. I dunno….just dont do it and it will not be a problem anymore, or ask for two bowls of salsa.

  3. I had no idea on the whole DD issue till the Seinfeld thing as well…
    I am a germy loser and I don’t give a flying whoop-tee-doo if others do it. I have perfected the whole “break a hunk off and dip away” thing just in case my double dipping crassness gets me eightysixed from a fun party… but if I’m with my sisters or close family? Pshaw!


  4. I never double dip because I’m paranoid that I will be shunned, but I couldn’t care less if others do it. I wish that people weren’t bothered by it so that I could double dip without fear. My method of getting around it is the tear and dip that you mentioned.

  5. It totally depends on what I am eating if I double dip. If it is a single serving type of thing I (double) dip away, but if it is a larger container (say chip dip) I will not because I am afraid enough saliva will get into the food that the enzymes in it will start to break it down and ewww! I am not at all a germaphobe but watery chip dip=gross.

  6. Many years ago I worked in a Baskin Robbins store. When a new flavor of ice cream came in I would try it out with one of the bitty tasting spoons. If there was more than one flavor to try, I would use one spoon for all until a customer caught me at it and the boss told me to use a seperate bitty spoon for each flavor. How gross is that?

  7. I ask for my own salsa not because I don’t like other people’s germs, but because I am SELFISH and want the WHOLE bowl to MYSLEF. *stomps foot*

    But sometimes I double dip to keep my husband out of stuff, because he is a germophobe.

  8. i say to hell with the double-dipping stigma! i do it all the time. but i will always make sure the other person/people i am with are ok with it. in my mind, life is too short to be worrying about all those germs out there and who may or may not have them.

  9. I don’t care about double dipping unless someone is sick. I’m usually dipping with people with people I know so that is another barrier knocked down. I recently discovered something though. Usually in restaurant they give you little appetizer plates. I use a spoon to put some dip on my plate, then I can DD as much as I damn want.

    So…. how do you feel about double skinny-dipping?

  10. Double dipping is fine. It’s far better than the alternative of miserably eating plain food and wasting good dip.

    People who are all uptight about it need to settle. Or put the dip on their own little plate right away so that they don’t have to worry about us nasty people.

  11. If it’s just our family (or friends who are like family), I double dip. If it’s a “mixed” crowd and what I’m eating needs more than one dip, I tend to break it up and dip that way.

  12. I get around the double-dipping by taking the rest of the chip/pita/bread and turning it around in my hand so the part that hits the dip/ganouj is “fresh.”

  13. I double dipped like a mad woman – and never knew it was wrong until Seinfeld (darn him.) But now I just break a chunk off and dip each chunk. Because eating something just plain totally sucks!
    I would never be offended if someone I was sitting down at a table with double dipped – now maybe at a big party I would start to gross myself out by thinking of all the germs in the dip. But with people I know, nah.

  14. I never double dip the same end that I’ve bitten off of, but if the piece is big enough to hold the end I bit and dip the other without getting my fingers in the dip, then I do it. Or I tear off pieces. But I just can’t stand to stick the bitten end back in and I can’t eat a dip if I’ve seen someone else do that. My mother has no qualms about double dipping anything, though. I guess I didn’t learn it from her!

  15. If I’m with family, I’ll double dip. If I’m with friends (some of them I think might be grossed out) I’ll take some of the dip, put it on a plate and then double-dip. Or I’ll turn whatever it is I’m dipping.

  16. Oooh no never a double dipper…ick! Lord only knows hwere other people have had their fingers and mouths! *shudder*

    I teach etiquette to college students. What we tell them about dipping situations is to put some dip on a small plate. Usually at a restaurant you will have a bread dish or a saucer. In social situations there are usually plates provided. Then you have your own private dip to do whatever you please with it.

    Also use your left hand to eat finger foods so if you need to shake hands with someone, you dont have greasy/dirty/dippy or saliva covered fingers.

  17. Double dipping only bothers me if someone really gross is doing it. Like if a homeless man with a meth mouth came along and tried to double dip, I’d go postal on his ass. Or if that Puck guy from the real world did it… nastay… but anyone normal and seemingly clean? Doesn’t bother me at all.

  18. I? Am SO glad you wrote about this! I am a notorious doubledipper and everyone I know is totally grossed out by this and makes me feel like an unrefined MORON when they catch me!

    I beleive in the power of The Sauce! The Dip! The Garlic-Butter-Romano-Cheese Paste that your toasted breads and sliced tomatoes just CRAVE to be dipped into!

    I shall continue to doubledip Zoot and think of you, my doubledipping sista’ every time!


  19. My definitive answer is that it depends. ๐Ÿ™‚ If I know the person and trust they aren’t skeezy and full of dirty germs ;-), it’s not a big deal. But when I don’t know someone well, iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiick! Disgusting.

  20. I? Am SO glad you wrote about this! I am a notorious doubledipper and everyone I know is totally grossed out by this and makes me feel like an unrefined MORON when they catch me!

    I beleive in the power of The Sauce! The Dip! The Garlic-Butter-Romano-Cheese Paste that your toasted breads and sliced tomatoes just CRAVE to be dipped into!

    I shall continue to doubledip, Miss Zoot, and think of you, my doubledipping sista’, every time!


  21. I had no idea about the social sins of double dipping until someone made a comment to me about it in my formable years. I immediately became so self conscious about the possibility of grossing someone out that I often just refrained from sharing food with others.

    Now that I am older, I use the same technique Heather mentions above and turn the food around so that the non-bitten, fresh portion of the ‘dipper’ enters the dip. (No one seems to mind the fact, that is the same side that was touched all over by my hands!)

  22. (I am also apparently an idiotic moron who does not notice when her comment was already posted and then makes a few changes and then posts…again…and then decides that it makes her look so bad that she has to take up ANOTHER comment space {her third} and leave a comment apologizing for her multiple comments and who the hell is this neurotic a-hole anyway??)


  23. Another double-dipper here. And I don’t care if other people do it. Just so long as their dipping food of choice isn’t dripping slobber, or they’re visibly sick.

    And if people turn up their nose at my double-dipping? Fine. More for me. I didn’t wanna share anyway.

  24. This just proves that the internet will make us feel better about all the nasty disgusting habits we develop.

    I am not a double dipper and it is because like one of the earlier comments, saliva is the first step in digestion and things start breaking down after enough saliva. Think that creamy dip just needs to be restirred? Wrong, it is a whole collection of slaiva breaking it down. See that nasy guy across the room? He never washes his hands after using the restroom and I’m sure double dips. Actually see that gorgeous hunk across the room, he’s not washing his hands either. Just because he doesn’t mind a little e. coli in his mouth doesn’t mean I have to eat it too!! Use a spoon, hog it all on your little plate and DD to your hearts content.

    Come on Zoot, snap out of it!! Some of us are nice handwashing normal clean people who brush regular. Others just are nasty little critters-don’t encourage them.

  25. Dude. I can’t get down with the double-dipping. Even if it’s the mister doing it, and I kiss him on the MOUTH.

  26. Depends. If I’m at a party or work event, no way. If I’m with close friends and already know their stance on DD, I ask. If I’m with a new friend and I don’t know how it would make them feel, I ask first.

  27. I’m a germaphobe…so double dipping grosses me out. I just picture gross germs and chewed up food bits getting mixed in the food. However, I am a big fan of breaking the chip (or tearing pita) and dipping smaller portions. Or using a spoon and spooning some on the dry chip. Dry pitas, dry chips…very bad.

    It does depend on the situation. if its someone I am really comfortable with, it doesn’t bother me.

  28. I totally double-dip with friends and family (and I’ve now figured out who can and cannot handle it), but I prefer the single-dip with people outside the “inner circle.”
    To sidestep the issue, I usually tear off smaller pieces or use a torilla chip from one side first, bite it off, then dip it with the end I was holding in my hand. And of course I relentlessly tease my friend Kate, who always needs her OWN PRIVATE bowl of salsa.

  29. I don’t mind when it’s my husband, family or friends. Although one time a classmate who I wasn’t close with double dipped at a party and he was kind of gross anyway, and he did it in front of everyone and no one ate the dip for the rest of the night.

    So I guess it kind of depends.

  30. I never paid any attention to it either until Seinfeld. Ever scince I always break/tear the chip/bread and dip each bite. I have felt that this solves the problem and if anyone still has a problem with that method then to hell with them I say, order your own damn dip if your that much of a germaphobe.

    I cant wait to see you guys again at the next meet-up. (secretly jealous)

  31. I would totally DD with a blogess like you, normally if I am uncomfortable with who I am dining with, I just put some dip on my own apppy plate and not only do I DD away sometimes I mix shit in with the dip to make a disgusting blend (like sour cream, cheese and salsa) who is going to wanna DD with me?

  32. It rarely bothers me to see people double dip, but I don’t do it unless I know the people I’m with pretty well. A group of girlfriends and I used to go out every couple of weeks for drinks and fried bar food when we were in grad school. Every single time one of us would look around the table after taking a bite of a mozzarrella stick dipped in marinara and say “double dipping okay with everyone?” The answer was always yes, but we checked every time.

  33. I’m a double dipper and when in doubt, I break whatever in half, dip one half, then dip the other, or I spoon dip out on my little appetizer saucer that they usually bring. Me and Wayne and the boys just all dip like mad without any thought, but when we are with real people, we try to behave, lol!

  34. i’m totally a double-dipper, and it doesn’t bother me unless:
    1. my mom’s doing it to my food
    2. the person who is double-dipping has an extrodinarily large amount of spit on the food there re-dipping. eeww.

  35. I never thought anything of my double-dipping until I saw that very episode! It tends to make me a little nervous when eating appetizers with people I don’t know. I definitely double-dip when alone or with people who know grosser stuff about me than my propensity to d-d, but when out with folks, say a Mexican place, I break up the dipping thing into more reasonable dipping surface-to-dip ratio. This seems to make everyone happy.

  36. My personal mantra: if you can leave the door open to the bathroom with any particular people, you can double dip with those same folks. All others are out – I use the ‘spoon the condiment onto said vessel’ method.

    That way I get LOTS MORE of the yummy, and it also seems like I have good manners, ha!

  37. Ok, I usually don’t comment, I just read because I think you’re hilarious, but this, I had to speak up about.

    I don’t care about double-dipping, I do it all the time and lots of my friends do too. And I’m a freak when it comes to germs and dirty things, suprisingly though, not so much when it comes to food, which is really unusual. Anyway, next time, just use your butter knife (or spoon, whatever) to get some dip and put it on your pita bread. I do that all the time, with hummus, marinara, whatever. It doesn’t work so much when tortilla chips are involved, since it’s just not fun when you’re not dipping them, but with anything that includes bread, it’s just as good.

    Sorry for the long comment.

  38. Double dipping is N*A*S*T*Y! (and I’m not a germophobe…. I work with pre-schoolers!) I think my mother just ingrained it into my brain, and it STUCK!

  39. Holy shit! I must have missed the etiquette boat … “left hand to eat finger foods” … I have never heard that! I am so screwed because the only coordinated thing I can do with my left hand is type QWERTY.

    Double-dipper, yes I am. Do I care if someone else is? No. I figure that the diseases from ticks, mosquitoes and birds are more deadly.

  40. I know I’ll be shunned for this, but I’m totally grossed out by double dipping. I won’t do it, and I can’t eat the food if I see someone else doing it. I’m not even sure why – I mean I kiss my boyfriend, so I’m not sure why I can’t handle anyone double dipping. I have OCD though, so maybe that explains something. Also – I always use the rip and tear method – I’m half Indian and that’s how they eat roti with their curries.

  41. I dont understand the whole not double-dipping concept. If you don’t double-dip, you basically eat the half of chip or whatever without any sauce. Like you said anything plain just sucks. So unless the person is sick, I can care less

  42. Double Dipper from way back here. Also? I roll my ears of corn Right. On. The. Butter. So ner.


  43. I am also very conscious of the dreaded double dipping. The easiest solution is to put some on your plate (enough for at least one pita wedge or piece of whatever you’re dipping), and spread it on the bread/chip/etc. with your fork. No double dipping. But it really is a supremely stupid dilemma, I feel. It shouldn’t fucking MATTER that much. Gah.

  44. YES I have ALWAYS been a double-dipper and it bugs me that it’s such a big deal cuz really, the only way the germs are gonna make any freakin difference is if you were to, like, leave the dip sitting out and then eat more later, and really, when you’re eating chips and dip or whatever with friends, who the heck has leftovers?! ๐Ÿ™‚

  45. I can’t believe there are so many double dippers out there! Oh my god, no!! It’s just like licking the dip, gross!!!! Or asking someone for a sip of their bottled drink, what is up with that anyways? It always freaks me out, people thinking you want their mouth residue on your drink, or when they wipe it off with their hand or shirt, is that really cleaner?

  46. I see I’m not alone. lol Proud double dipper because LIFE IS TOO SHORT! HELLO! I say start a cult, and how do I sign up?

    Please. There are so many worse things than double dipping and if someone is hung up on it? Then it must be nice to have only that to worry about.

    You go girl, with your double dipping self and pass that damn bean dip already! ๐Ÿ™‚

  47. I’m a complete germophobe. I try order two dipps, because I have to take a Xanax thinking about other peoples germs in my food. If that isn’t possible, then no I don’t. If I see someone else has, I won’t eat after that. I also can’t eat out of boxes of food, because people have stuck their hands in in and it grosses me out. After years of therapy, this is me better.

  48. my parents were of the no double dipping gerneration also! I double dip at home with my family but when at a party or something I don’t. With vegetables I will dip one side, take a bite, then flip the veggie over to the other side and dip that side. that way you get dip in every yummy bite without actually double dipping :):)

  49. I don’t worry about double dipping among friends. If there are strangers in the group, then the “put some on a plate” option works best for me.

  50. Double dipper here too… My absolute favorite double dipping would have to be Olive Garden Breadsticks in Alfredo Sauce. You HAVE to double dip. You can’t just have ONE bite with alfredo sauce. Gawd! Since having kids I have really noticed the double dipping thing. I could care less if my adult friends do it. But kids…can be the grossest double dippers!! My kids have been the worst at sucking off the dip on a potato chip only to dip the whole chip right back in again. Or if that doesn’t work, they have just scooped out dip with their fingers. Mmmmm!! (Mellissa better get her xanax!) My kids have always been more fond of the dip than the potato chip. My boys have outgrown that little habit but my daughter still does and so she gets her own dip . What REALLY grosses me out is other people’s kids double dipping. You know the ones who have snot running down their noses? That’s when I’ll have to pass on the dip.

  51. Proud double dipper! I never thought of it as an issue until I saw the Seinfeld episode. Now I ask beforehand just to make sure I don’t upset anyone.

    And if they’re upset? I don’t have to share the dip! MUWAHAHAHAH!!!

  52. I always do it and I never knew people actually had a problem with it. Its not really something to get stressed over is it?

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