George Bernard Shaw once said, "There is no love sincerer than the love of food."
While I have to agree with him on that, sometimes the love of another person can be nice too. And because these days the Internet can solve most problems, there are now websites that allow you to have your cake and someone to help you eat it, too. Even, it turns out, if you can't eat cake because you're gluten free.
For you, there's the brand new dating site, GlutenfreeSingles, which identifies as "a dating, networking, and informative website where you never have to feel alone, awkward, or a burden because you are gluten-free." Finally, right?
Now, as you know, I'm a major foodie (I mean, it's my job), and yet I've never dated a guy who could really cook, let alone who cared about the difference between a roulade and a remoulade or knew what either meant. Still, I've been pretty happy with the dating scene, culinary novices and all.
But, I started thinking, if there's a dating website for people who are gluten free, could there be matchmaking sites for people who are, for instance, addicted carbs (not that I know any)? What about sites to connect locavores or wine enthusiasts?
It turns out the Internet is full of niche, food-related dating sites, and I've compiled the best and weirdest for you here. I hope you find love, my dear reader, and if you don't, I hope you at least get a good meal for your trouble.
GlutenfreeSingles Let's just start with the new kid on the block. GlutenfreeSingles connects people who are either gluten intolerant or who choose not to consume gluten because of
some misguided notion about the health risks of gluten. Not only does it match up potential lovers, but it also has a blog about gluten-free stuff and forums where you can discuss the trials and tribulations of dating someone who isn't gluten-free or trying to fins a gluten-free cake that doesn't taste like cardboard. Oh, and the best part is it's free! Payment free, that is.
FarmersOnly.com It's more a lifestyle than a food dating site per se, but the FarmersOnly.com blog mentions food a lot. The site caters to "good old fashioned, down-to-earth people who live in small towns and rural areas," not just farmers. That said, there seems to be a lot of talk about topics like beef, corn and being one with the land on the site. Where have all the cowboys gone, you ask? To FarmersOnly.com, apparently.
Paleoconnect "There's a huge online Paleo community," the website says, "but how many Paleo/Primal/Crossfit friends do you have in real life?" If your answer is zero, then Paleoconnect just might be the thing for you! (Unless you're hoping to keep it that way.) Paleoconnect is more than a dating site, because it aims to connect anyone who is interested in talking to people with a common lifestyle. If you happen to make a love connection out of it, then that's just great. Sidenote: What the hell is a "primal" friend? I have a feeling it has something to do with living like a caveman, but I'd rather just assume it involves primate buddies, like Marcel on Friends.
VineaLove Another newish site is VineaLove. The company is originally French, but the dating site is international and promises to help you "find your soul-mate on vinealove.com among thousands of wine lovers across the world." It asks, "You dare not approach a vinealover you like? Soon you'll be able to send them a glass of wine!" So cute. Like GlutenfreeSingles and PaleoConnect, VineaLove isn't just for dating. It's also a social networking site for wine-lovers, and the company holds Vinea Love Night parties in major European and U.S. cities where people can meet and mingle outside of the awkward one-on-one dating scene. I mean, what if you meet up with someone and he orders a spritzer? It's good to find these things out ahead of time. The website is still in its "launching period," so for now, subscriptions are free.
VeggieDate There are a number of vegetarian dating sites out there, including VeggieDate, Veggie Romance and Single Vegetarian. VeggieDate advertises mates for "lacto vegetarians, ovo vegetarians, fish vegetarians, those who are becoming vegetarian and macrobiotic diets through vegan vegetarians." I don't know what half of those words mean, and additionally, the photos of the people on VeggieDate look more unhappy than the people on any other site. Even the gluten-free people. I guess the good news is it's free, so if you don't find a match you really haven't lost anything. Except maybe all of the iron in your body.
SaladMatch Yep, there's an app for that. SaladMatch is an iPhone app that links people based on similar ingredient preferences in their Just Salad salads. Apparently Just Salad, a NYC-based chain, realized that people liked chatting in line while waiting for their salads. The website advertises, "SaladMatch matches you with fellow Just Salad customers based on your preferences, including your favorite salad type and your regular Just Salad location. Download SaladMatch and you'll never eat a salad alone again!" Of course, this chain is only in New York (and Singapore), so unless you're there, it seems kind of pointless to agree to meet a person for a salad. Actually, even if you're there it still seems pretty weird.
Singles With Food Allergies You'd think they could have at least come up with a catchier name. I suppose I understand this one though, because it seems like someone with a severe peanut allergy, for instance, wouldn't want to kiss a guy on a date not realizing he had some peanuts stuck in his teeth from the Baby Ruth he consumed hours earlier. Too risky. Best to stick with like-allergic people. It seems you can also join if you don't have an allergy. But if you don't have an allergy and you're joining a food allergy-specific dating site, you have bigger, weirder problems than being single.
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Food Lovers Passions This is a pretty broad dating site that aims to connect "singles with a passion for food, recipes & cooking...and desserts." Apparently Food Lovers Passions is just one site within the Passions network of more than 240 niche dating and social sites. I kid you not. There is a separate Chocolate Lovers Passions site and an Organic Passions site among others. I recommend you not even look at the non-food related sites available. Or maybe you should, because so far there only seems to be one person active on the Food Lovers Passions forum or blog, and she appears to be about 13. I think there's another site for that...
Foodie Lover In the same vein as Food Lovers Passions is Foodie Lover, which is much classier and much more British than the latter site. In fact, it's currently only available to Brits looking to meet other food-loving Brits. The site says, "If you're a food lover, fed up of being single and desperate to show off your foodie talents, then take a look at Foodie Lover dating and sign up for free for your chance to find another perfect single foodie to share your passions with." OK, I see two problems here: First, whoever wrote the description ended the sentence with a preposition. Second, I hate to state the obvious but, um, what kind of "foodie talents" do the British really have? I mean, these are the people who invented Marmite. Do we really want them mating and creating more dishes like Spotted Dick and Crappit Heid? No. No we do not.
SamePlate.com The goal of SamePlate.com is to keep people from having to eat alone and to avoid finding a significant other with significantly different tastes than you. The site hasn't really taken off yet, but the owner, Jeff Nimoy (a distant cousin to Leonard Nimoy), ought to be making some good money off all the ads on the site. Also, I found a stock photo on SamePlate.com of the same couple featured on FoodieLover.com. Those two get around.
Restdejting First the Swedes come up with IKEA, and now Restdejting. It's a dating site that matches people based on their leftovers, so the two can get together, pool their resources and make one great meal. According to the Huffington Post, an actual ad read, "Large walnut looking for strong cheese. Meal for two? Look forward to hearing from you!" I assume it was in Swedish, but still, that's pretty odd. Reportedly, a fifth of all food is thrown out in Sweden, so it makes sense to try to use up leftovers. So far the website is only available in Swedish, but allowing Google to translate it for you is good for a few laughs. "Restdejting" translates to "Blow dating." Make of that what you will.