"I lived in a fraternity house in Mississippi some years ago. We had this great old guy who would fix stuff around the house named Mr. Malone. One day he invited a few of the guys to his nephew's birthday party way out in the sticks. Among the food served was some meat that looked like a darker version of pulled pork with small bones strewn throughout. Mr. Malone offered me a cup of this really rough moonshine he made from Muscatine and a slice of Bunny Bread with that meat on it. It was raccoon. A chewy, oily, gamey tangle of awful. Only way to get rid of the taste was with big swigs of moonshine between bites. But the moonshine was so bad that I ended up chasing that with the sandwich. The speed I ate and drank made it look like I loved the stuff. He had so little, it was really humbling to eat his food and celebrate with his family, even if that dang raccoon sandwich was the worst thing I've ever eaten."
"Mechanicsburg, PA. Rossmoyne Rd exit off US-15. '50s style diner. 2005. I ordered the meatloaf sandwich. I was and still am a chunky guy. Until this meal, I had never not finished a plate of food at a restaurant unless I was going to vomit if I kept eating. This meatloaf had the texture of an old gray sponge. I mean a sponge that has been sitting in old dirty sink water for 2 months. I took one bite. As soon as the taste hit my brain, I just opened my mouth and let the food tumble out. With it, they brought a cup of brown gravy. I put that on it and tried again. Round two was worse. The gravy was clearly a mix from a store but that's not what made it worse. My first bite was off the edge. Usually, these are the most delicious and prized bites of meatloaf. Crispy, flavorful, and delicious. Well, round two was bitten from the bottom. This bite was like biting into wet garbage. This time, my mouth straight up rejected the food. I spit it back on the plate. I do however have to thank this atrocious sandwich for it changed me. It taught me that just because you are paying someone else to make you food, it doesn't always mean it is going to be GOOD food."
"I really wanted tacos one evening, like REALLY REALLY wanted tacos. Sadly my car was in the shop, so I was pretty much immobile. I had meat, seasoning, cheese, toppings, everything you would need EXCEPT a taco shell. There's a small sketchy convenience store near me so I thought, maybe they have some? I went to it and found some corn tortillas hiding in the back, they were expired, but only by a couple days, so I didn't worry about it. I bought them and took them home. I cooked up the meat, sauteed the peppers, heated the beans, and was ready to eat. I prepped up two tacos, sat down, and bit into one. Now the first thing I noticed was the texture. Even though they felt like a normal taco shell on the outside, as soon as I bit into it, I felt like it transformed into little pieces of cardboard. It's as though it instantly turned into a hard taco but with no crunch. That wasn't as bad as the taste though. Imagine sitting down with your mouth open while a sumo wrestler scoops his smagma all along your gums, slowly pouring microwaved styrofoam down your throat. That's what it tasted like. Worst tacos ever. Only ate three."
"A few years back I was serving a tour in Iraq. Getting fresh milk over there was logically impossible so they would give us this weird super-milk stuff (real milk supposedly) that came in a juice box. It lasted for months as long as it wasn't opened. I was skeptical at first, but it actually tasted exactly like real milk: they even had chocolate. It was great, you could leave this stuff in the 120 degree heat for weeks and as long as you put it in the fridge for a bit, it was fine. Soooo, one day, about 6 months in I grabbed one from a pack of 12. The box was outside, but it was early morning (only about 90 out) and there were none left in the platoon fridge. I wanted some milk. Also I was very thirsty. I took one very long sip and vomited. Turns out, after successfully drinking dozens of these things, this one happened to have not been sealed. Weeks of blazing hot heat had turned it into some sort of lukewarm cheese mush. The taste of this substance haunted me for weeks. I have never looked at milk the same ever since."
"It's called balut. It's a dish in the Philippines. Now, if you give a fresh egg to most people, they'll do one of two things. They'll cook it up right there into something tasty, or they'll let it become a chicken (for MORE tasty eggs, and for chicken meat). Not so in the Philippines. What they like to do is let the egg grow into an embryo, and then boil it. It looks pretty gross. Now, at this point, the embryo has some weird juices around it as it's digested some of the nutrients. That and the texture of half-formed bones and beak, along with all the squishy guts on the inside really makes for a horrid flavor and texture. It doesn't taste like chicken, it doesn't taste like egg, it tastes like a dead baby boiled in its own waste. Never try balut."
"While absentmindedly minding my 18-month-old, he approached me saying 'Owwww...owww...owww.' As a daddy, you kiss boo-boos to make them better. Without looking away from the computer, I said, 'Okay, buddy. It's okay.' and leaned over to kiss whatever the boo-boo he was holding out for me. Turns out he had pushed out a little bit of doo doo and it was irritating his bum. He'd reached down there in an attempt to help himself and got poop on his fingers. I kissed my son's poop."
"When I was a kid I was in the car with my dad, he pulled up in a village to run into the shops. I was nagging him to get me some sweets or chocolate or something and he, as usual, was refusing. He came out a few mins later and handed me something through the window and said 'here you go!' I didn't wait for him to come around the car and get into the driver's seat, I bit straight into this odd looking thing he had got for me. It was absolutely disgusting. He got in the car and looked in amazement as I sat there looking upset and confused with dried cuttlefish falling out of my mouth. Turns out he had just gone into the pet shop to get it for our pet African Land Snails."
"I was sitting on the floor of an empty building with friends. We didn't know there were ants. I had a large glass of coke beside me which I hadn't touched in a while. With time, hundreds of ants had climbed up the side of the glass and found their sugary grave. Layers of their bodies were piled up in a thick, squirming mass, partially submerged under its own weight and bulging like an iceberg of insect death from my drink. Completely oblivious, I reached for it and took a big mouthful. I'll never forget the feeling. In a second, my mouth was full of ants and they were moving. I jumped up, screaming, spitting, rubbing and swatting my face as I felt some of them scurrying around my chin and cheeks. I had swallowed a good gulp and I swear I could feel them moving inside my throat. I puked, I washed over and over, hysterically, but I couldn't get the feeling of countless soft tiny bristles squirming on the inside of my trachea. The texture was something between a hairball and a handful of those dandelion seeds you blow off the stem. But moving. I had it for days. It was enough to think about it, and I could feel it. It wasn't the ants that were disgusting or the idea that I had eaten some, it was that completely new, primal sensation of something alive and moving at the back of your throat, squirming there for dear life. It was disturbing, not gross. It made me think about things. Among them, watching my drinks."
"It's a fish. Not just any kind of fish - it's a fish that does not excrete. That's right; the fish does not excrete. It's served as sashimi in regions of South Korea. It's a delicacy, they said; No guest should leave without trying it, they said... The fish does not excrete. I repeat. The fish does not excrete. The waste product that should be excreted on a daily basis accumulates... and accumulates... lending the flesh a tough, stringy texture, one that might be pleasant, even fun, but upon the first bite, one receives a burst of bodily juices so carefully preserved throughout the fish's lifetime. And it fizzes, , and it spreads... the taste of lukewarm urine spreads through your sinuses and across each and every taste bud. 'It's great, isn't it??' They asked before I ran outside to throw up."
"When I was 10 I went to a friend's house and began eating some leftover bbq his family had out from the night before (no one told me that till after, I dunno why they didn't put that away in the fridge). I had eaten 1 drumstick and was finishing my second when I looked down and saw the entire meat of the chicken was covered with writhing maggots. When I alerted my friend we both looked through the meat and saw all of it was covered, inside and out. My stomach instantly started churning and my friend's sister threw up in the sink after seeing what we ate. My first thing to think? 'Okay.. now I can totally go on fear factor.'"
"My dad once told me that if I eat the eye from the salmon we were having, I'd have a whole tub of ice cream to myself (I have 2 siblings, it was amazing). So I did it, but stupid me bit down on it, and it was gooey on the outside, but on the inside there was this hard, super sticky round thing. Like, really sticky, once I bit down on it, I couldn't reopen my mouth for like 5-10 seconds. But I swallowed it and got the ice cream."
"Bacon vodka. Friends of mine thought it would be easy enough to make. It was easy to make. But what they produced was the single most foul flavor I have encountered. As far as we can tell, the bacon must have somehow gone bad while immersed in vodka; the initial flavor wasn't bad, just the normal vodka burn, but in the moments after it hit the tongue it was gradually joined by an array of horrifying aftertastes - shoe leather, stale grease - all combined into a single flavor experience that can best be summed up as 'Satan's taint.'"
"Let me start off by saying I'm an adventurous eater and will try anything at least once. I've had bull balls, guinea pig, durian, cow brains, ant larvae, whatever, but this was by far the worst. So once upon a time I was going out with a Filipino girl and we went into a store and found this purple paste stuff and she said I had to try it, she remembered it from her childhood and loved it but we would need some green mangos. Months go by and no green mangos. One day we go into a Fiesta and they had green mangos! She's stoked so we buy some and head directly home. I pull the jar out of the pantry and proceed to open it up. It smelled like death had thrown up into this jar. I gagged and let her know I thought it had gone bad, she took a whiff and confirmed it was all good and cut up some mango slices. I knew I was in trouble. She dipped a mango spear into this purple slime, bit into it and she was in heaven. My turn. I swear she stuck that mango as far as she could into that jar and pulled it out and it was covered in it. I bite into that bad boy because I'm not a wimp, and it was foul. It was the saltiest, fishiest, nastiest thing I have ever tasted in my life but I downed it. She asked how it was, I told her it was the foulest thing I had ever had, and she laughed and said 'oh come on, try again.' Love makes you do some crazy things so I bit into another one and it was somehow worse than the first. Come to find out its Bagoong, a Filipino fermented fish or shrimp paste, and it's never really supposed to be eaten like that, it's supposed to be used as a condiment like fish sauce. That stuff was rank."
"Durian. Definitely durian. My dad brought home a load of durian sweets from Thailand once, as well as just one on its own, and we were eating crisps, yogurt, tomatoes - anything we could for hours afterward to try and get rid of the aftertaste. That's probably the worst thing about it: not only is it a horrible taste but it lingers."
"International food day at the school where I teach: a recent immigrant from South America brought in barbecued rain-forest ants. They were the size of pencil erasers and tasted like vomit rolled in the crumbs of cheap BBQ potatoes chips. The kid dared me, so obviously I ate two. I should point out I was the teacher in this scenario."
"An Iraqi lollipop. When I was in 6th grade a girl came to my hometown from Iraq. She was a burn victim and had come to the United States for treatment. She had been through tons of surgeries and was living with a family in my community and going to our school while regularly visiting the local Shriner's Hospital. As a nice gesture, the host family ordered some of her favorite candy from back home and she gave everyone one of them. It was absolutely disgusting. However, this girl was physically hurt, taken halfway across the world and away from her family (this was like 10 years ago and she still hasn't returned) to a completely new culture and tried to do something nice for us. I figured the least I could do was eat this nasty lollipop. I chomped it up and swallowed without breathing, chased it with some OJ and thanked her. I really don't even know how to describe it. It was like amber in color and smelled kind of like chemicals. I licked it once and it tasted like a clod of dirt. Classmates told me the taste just got more and more earthy with each lick so I just chomped it up and swallowed really quickly."
"Snake wine in Hanoi. I bought a tiny, ~50-100ml sized bottle (shaped rather like one of those Crown Royale mini-bar bottles) with a tiny snake inside it. I wasn't too smart about how I went about drinking the stuff; it didn't occur to me that I should have decanted the liquid into a cup. I drank the thing straight from the bottle and, as a result, may have been french kissed by the snake. As for the taste, it tastes like rotgut vodka (the type you would find at a frat party), with notes of smoke and chicken that has been left out in the tropical sun for a few days. I also got some sediment/snake bits along with the swig; they tasted like the drink, but more intense, especially the sunned chicken taste."
"This was last summer when I was at home. For whatever reason, my older brother was making dinner that night. I got off work late so I was as hungry as a 19-year-old with a high metabolism should be. My brother decided to cook up some spam, easy enough right? He's not the best cook but it's pretty simple, one would think. Well, I get home and he shows me the spam. It was like charcoal, absolutely amazingly burnt. But, I was hungry, it couldn't be that bad. It was, by far, the most foul thing I have ever eaten. I nearly immediately lost my appetite and got a raging headache just biting into this...stuff. I'm almost getting a headache just thinking about it. I also think that he suggested putting ketchup on it to make it better. I hate ketchup."
"Lutefisk. It's dried whitefish that's alternately soaked in lye (as in the caustic chemical) and left in the sun until it's basically just a gelatinous mass of putrid death. It tastes, unsurprisingly, like rotten, caustic fish. It's so caustic that you have to use stainless steel silverware because it will ruin most anything else."