A Liquid-y Disaster
“I was at a friend’s house for a school project in middle school, and we went over a little late, so his parents asked me if I wanted to stay for dinner. I figured, sure, it’ll either be some kind of takeout or the kind of food my parents usually cook, since we’re all European-American white people.
The first course was this slop of liquidy yogurt with slices of cucumber thrown in. It was plain, unsweetened, and unflavored. It was just freaking yogurt. I’d learn much later in life that it was a Bulgarian dish called Tarator, which is actually quite tasty when it’s made well. It’s supposed to be cubed cucumber pieces in a liquefied yogurt with garlic and dill, all kinds of wonderful flavors for a developed, adult palate. Unfortunately, this one was not made well, and I was merely a child, without the capacity to fathom why anyone would serve someone cold cucumber soup.
Every bite was a tremendous struggle, but I finished that gross mess of a soup just so I wouldn’t offend my friend’s parents. I blacked out after that and don’t remember what the rest of the meal was, or if we even ate anything else that night. I don’t even think they were Bulgarian. What the heck?”
Peaches And Tuna
“At a New Year’s Eve party in Belgium, my friend’s grandmother made what is apparently a traditional dish of halved peaches with tuna on top. She made lots and was upset when no one ate any. I ate five because of that. It was…weird. It wasn’t vile by any stretch of the imagination. I love peaches and tuna separately but together was a total puzzle to me and not something I enjoyed…I think my taste buds simply could not compute it. Really, all this good food in the world and we eat this.
What’s even worse is every party I’m at over there now the gran offers me a few for my plate. It’s my own fault though, I can’t start saying no now.”
Why Would You Keep Eating Bugs?
“Cereal with little black bugs in it.
I was about 10 and had woken up from a sleepover at my best friend’s house. I was an eager to please child and it gave me anxiety when adults would get mad so I rarely complained about anything. Anyways, the mom had served us kids, about 3-4 of us, cereal and hadn’t realized there were bugs in it. The other kids began screaming and expressing their disgust as she stood there processing. I then said, ‘It’s really not that bad Mrs. Kathy see it’s okay!’ as I ate the cereal.”
A Little Hair Never Killed Anyone
“My mother isn’t a great cook by any stretch but she thinks she’s a master. Once while having tea at my parent’s house my fiancé discovered a hair in his meal…when it was in his mouth. He was sitting opposite her at the table and was trying to discreetly move it to the front of his mouth as to take it out without causing much of a fuss. She noticed him probably making faces as he was doing so and to not make a scene he swallowed it, as she watched.
He still gags to this day at the thought of eating at my parents’ house.”
So Many Mouths To Feed
“When I was 12, I had a sleepover at a friends place. It was the first time I had ever been to her house and when I got there, I found out my friend was one of 14 kids! Dinner was a small portion of roast beef and a large pile of raw, grated carrot. I ate it but I was still hungry and I felt horrible for eating their food. I also felt terrible for that mother spending NINE YEARS being pregnant. None of the kids were twins or even triplets.”
She Went To Her Grave Never Knowing Their True Hatred Of Her Holiday Delight
“My mother made borscht, a traditional beetroot soup, for a holiday dinner once. She made it from scratch, all fresh ingredients. It was lovely as far as borscht can be and she was rightfully proud.
But holy mother of pearl there is not one thing that I hate more in this world than beets. Good gracious how did humans find a way to make a soup out of red dirt clods? Seriously, does anyone, who is not a peasant starving in winter, actually like beet soup? And here was my sweet mother’s beet soup. A signature dish that she made by hand like she did every holiday. She would spend the few months prior fretting over what special dish she would make and it was so important to her.
You better believe I poured me a bowl of that borscht and ooo’d and ahh’d about how delicious it was. Nonetheless, at my first opportunity to do so, I secretly poured the rest down the drain while she wasn’t looking, but not before gleefully choking down half of it.
No more borscht for me, Mom, I’m full. No, no…I don’t need to take any home, it would just go bad before I could eat it.
She went to her grave never knowing how nasty (to me) her holiday borscht was. And that is as it should be.”
Chinese Bitter Melon Sounds Horrible
“In a strange turn of events, I found myself living in a Buddhist monastery for about a month. During meal times, if you accepted any food from the server, you had to eat all of it. You weren’t allowed to talk in the dining hall at all and could only nod to indicate that you were willing to eat something, which meant that there was a lot of guessing involved in determining what steamed vegetable you might be eating. Throwing food away after it had touched your bowl was a big no-no because it disrespected the cook, and the bounty of the earth and the workers that had cultivated it (which could either include whichever local Buddhist practitioner had donated the food to the monastery, or the monks themselves that farmed the food in the monastery’s garden).
The person serving stewed Chinese bitter melon was particularly generous in their serving size. It was absolutely horrifying.”
Trying To Be “Accommodating”
“My father in law has a BBQ every summer but normally only grill pork (I grew up in a Jewish household so pork was new to me and I didn’t like the taste). My father in law wanted to accommodate my odd food choice and bought a steak just for me, costing much more than the other meat. And then he cooked it overly well done. Not marinated either.
Well, I have to eat it like this every summer. I told him several times politely that I like it rare but he can’t wrap his head around why that would be tasty. 14 years and counting.”
Generous But Disgusting
“I don’t even know what it was. We were hiking in Borneo and our non-English speaking guide dropped us off at a house where no one spoke English and disappeared for a while (to find an English speaker).
This wonderfully generous family fed us a three-course meal, refusing payment. I’ve still got no idea what one dish was, but remember it still. The host placed a platter of green stuff in front of us with a huge grin and mimed eating. As we sat there, on the grass mat, she ladled piles of it onto our (kid you not) leaf plates.
We managed to choke it down, but I’ve never tasted anything so bitter. We fought to keep the grimaces off our faces as the WHOLE family watched us. They only started eating after (we think) we had eaten enough.
I’ve never met a more generous family, and it has taught me to be grateful for what I’ve been given, but have never had anything as awful since.
We did return the next weekend with a pile of school supplies. They’d refused money (culture of hospitality) but were happy enough to take donations.”
It’s All They Had
“Back in high school when we attended a birthday celebration of one of our classmates. They’re from a very poor family and her parents served us ‘spaghetti’ to eat. It didn’t really taste like a spaghetti, not even close. They probably skimped on the ingredients. We were too shy to not finish eating what they served us.
On our way home, one of my us puked everything she ate. I felt very sad for my classmate and her family. And then I thought that even though my family and I were also struggling financially back then, we were still fortunate.
That HS classmate is now a public school teacher. I’m happy that their living conditions improved after she graduated college and found a job.
Botillo, The Worst
“Botillo is smoked and stuffed pork intestines. If eating smoked pork intestine wasn’t gross enough, it’s stuffed with seasoned pork belly, bones, tail, feet, snout, jaw, tongue. It is freaking awful. My Grandparents are Galician and almost every time we go to visit they will always, always, prepare this very old dish and none of my family or myself have the heart to tell them we find it absolutely repulsive because this dish takes a lot of preparation and cooking. So I have to politely eat as much I can stomach basically EVERY time I see my Grandparents.”
There’s A Foot In My Soup!
“Chicken foot soup.
I had a date with a Chinese girl, who I wasn’t really even dating but I got invited to a dinner with her at her parent’s house. One of the first courses (and it was, really, a magnificent feast) was chicken foot soup.
I figured it was a figure of speech or something, not literal. But her mom dished out my bowl and there was an actual chicken foot, black toenails and all dangling out of the ladle she spooned up for me. The soup was good, but I couldn’t bring myself to touch the foot in my bowl.
To this day I don’t know if that was some kind of test or something, or if I was really supposed to crunch down that foot and compliment the chef.”
He Ate The Bones!
“Chicken bones, but…some context.
Growing up, my mom was huge on boneless, skinless chicken. Bones in anything were only ever encountered on Christmas and Thanksgiving, so I mean yeah, I knew that birds had bones, but I’d never encountered birds in food form with bones outside of holiday turkeys. Not even buffalo wings.
Fast forward to me, first time visiting a friend’s house, and she breaks out the leftover KFC. This was a known thing to me, or so I thought – I’d always gotten the tenders.
Her KFC looks wrong somehow, but I don’t want to be a bad guest, so I soldier on, even though it’s unpleasantly crunchy. Oh well, can’t be rude.
We get like, 99% of the way through the meal before she goes, ‘Wh…what happened to the bones?’
I didn’t live that one down until we stopped speaking to each other in college.”
You Can’t Substitute Butter With Tofu!
“I had a boss that gave us a reward/celebration dinner at her house that her husband cooked. Since starting there, we had all heard stories what an amazing cook her husband was, so we were pretty excited for the free dinner. I remember walking in and seeing bowls of ‘soup’ which consisted entirely of boiled onions and chili peppers in water with a glob of guacamole in each bowl. I couldn’t bring myself to eat any of it, but I knew I had to eat something to be polite.
Eventually, he brought out mashed potatoes. ‘Oh thank goodness, mashed potatoes are easy enough, he can’t mess it up that much,’ I thought to myself. I grab some, take a bite, and think ‘the eff is this?’ My boss, seeing me grab it says, ‘It’s great, isn’t it? He didn’t use any butter. He substituted it with tofu!’
I struggled through and slowly finished the potatoes I had taken when they brought out a turkey. I remember thinking there was no way that it was properly and safely cooked so I came up with an excuse and left. Everyone else stayed and ate it, and the next day I was the only one that showed up to work. Everyone else had gotten sick.”
What A Man Will Do For A Hot Woman
I’ve tried fish quite a few time prepared quite a few different ways. I hate fish. I knew I hated fish at the time, there was no question in my mind that there was a 50/50 chance I was going to throw up.
But, I was on a date and she was hot. We had been on quite a few dates. She wasn’t going to drop it until I ate the stupid raw fish wrapped in Sponge Bob’s lawn clippings, and I didn’t want to spend the entire date going back and forth on why she thought I would like sushi. I don’t even like tuna caked in mayo, but there I was about to eat raw fish.
I did not vomit but also chased it with my entire drink as well as her’s. 10/10 would not recommend.”
Spicy And Chewy And Disgusting
“I was backpacking in Vietnam. I met a local family by a river. The dad invited me to sit with them. Obviously, I couldn’t say no.
He offered me some food that he could only call ‘muk muk’ , at least that’s how it sounded. It was some form of salty dried squid that literally turned into chewing gum in my mouth. It was so spicy my eyes were watering and I couldn’t get it down. I just had to keep chewing. It went on for an eternity. I nearly threw up on their child.”
A Traumatizing Experience
“When I was about 6 or 7, my dad brought his then-girlfriend over to meet me for the first time. She decided the best way to impress a child whose diet consisted almost entirely of chicken tenders and plain pasta was to cook us all lobster.
Little me was fascinated by the large sea bugs chilling in the kitchen sink, and I was not all prepared for her grabbing my new friends and BOILING THEM ALIVE in front of me! You know how they release air from their shells, and it sounds like screaming? Yeah, as a child born in the exact middle of freaking Canada, I had no idea that was what was happening. As far as I was concerned, this lady was obviously the evil stepmother from my fairy tales in the flesh. I was positive I was next in the boiling water.
I was further traumatized by her cracking open the carcass of one of them on my plate and forcing me to eat a few bites of my former friends as tears rolled down my cheeks.
That is also the day I discovered I am allergic to shellfish. The rash cleared before the mental scars did. -1/10 would not lobster again. Still, I’ve had people (despite my allergy) try to sell me on sea bug meat by saying ‘it tastes great dipped in butter!’ Look, if you need to drown something in fat to make it taste edible, that’s probably a good sign that you shouldn’t be eating it.”
Mushroom Haters Are Real!
Chewy Juicy Mushrooms.
Now I don’t see myself as a picky eater. In fact, anything you put on the table I can eat. But for some reason, no matter how much I try, I could never handle mushrooms.
I am not allergic to them, but I find them absolutely disgusting. Chewing I can just barely handle, but swallowing was never something I could achieve.
My attempt at being polite at a neighbor’s family dinner ended with me having to go vomit in the nearest sink. My neighbors never added mushrooms to their meals whenever I came over from then on.”
“I was having dinner with my family and my brother’s new girlfriend. She brought a penne dish over and while she was serving the first scoop I saw some hairs in it. Not like a single hair but a lot of freaking hairs of significant length. I practically bit my tongue off trying not to say anything about it because she seemed nice and I didn’t want to make her embarrassed. I ate a very small scoop and luckily didn’t ingest any hair.
She ended up being a really nasty person and I really regret not saying anything about it.”
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