No thanks, I can’t eat anymore. Disturbed and hungry people share the vilest dish they have ever been served by someone. Content has been edited for clarity.
I Think Not
“I took my fiancee to a four-star restaurant for a special evening. I budgeted 400 to 500 bucks for the event.
Everything was going fine. We had a special drinks selection and finally a couple of appetizers, including Oysters Rockefeller.
Now, the latter was a dish that was ignited after being delivered to the table, and, when done properly, presented quite a nice little ceremonial display.
However, on this night, our oysters were brought to us by what appeared to be a busboy. Our very swank and polished waiter somehow was momentarily absent.
The little fellow stumbled up, dropped the platter with an audible clank on the table, and yanked a battered book of matches from his back pocket. And, as we watched in horrified silence, the busboy noisily took three attempts to ignite the match and sent sparks everywhere and infused the air with the singularly appropriate stench of sulfur. And then set to igniting the oysters. Having accomplished that, he wet two fingers, pressed the match between them to extinguish it with a moist sizzle, and then, with a grand flourish, he dropped the smoking match directly into the center of the oysters.
We were sitting there, stunned and incapable of constructive thoughts. But it was okay because suddenly there was the sound like a swoosh of incoming artillery around and the maitre d’ appeared and in a microsecond, the oysters are whisked from our tabletop. Remember a top-notch maitre d’ always knew exactly what was going on simultaneously on every square millimeter of his dining floor. The busboy’s head was clenched in the crook of the arm of the maitre d’ and the entire conglomeration vanished into the bowels of the kitchen.
It was all over in a half-second.
Ten seconds later, the maitre d’ was back at our table, completely composed and not a hair out of place. Nothing was mentioned of the matter. But an offer of a free meal and a somewhat more exclusive drink was extended and accepted.”
Well Kept Secret
“My mother-in-law could set a really nice table. I just want to start with that.
My wife and I had been married for over 30 years now, and we still tend to go to her mom’s house for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas meals. This was before the global crisis. It was a big family, with all five of the siblings married with children. The table was set, all the dishes were placed, we sat down, held hands for grace, and then everyone took a helping of what was in front of them and passed it to the right. When visiting folks, I generally believed it was polite to sample each dish. Well, this family made a dish called ‘oyster pie.’ I didn’t like oysters to begin with, but I could get through a few bites of anything when pressed. However, this oyster pie was, how could I put it? I’m sorry, there was really no better term for it. It was disgusting. You know when your sinuses and lungs were just really congested, and after a night of restless sleep, you sat up in bed and hacked up several chunks of grey, gooey mess? Spit that out into a small casserole dish and repeat 256 times, and you had basically made oyster pie. Except your casserole would probably smell better than oyster pie.
So, early in our marriage, I would steel myself each holiday season for getting through a couple of bites of oyster pie without gagging in the back of my throat which signified impending negative velocity food transit. I got the oyster pie down and followed up quickly with mashed potatoes smothered in gravy. And then it was smooth sailing till the next time.
Then one glorious year, the eldest daughter’s husband passed the oyster pie dish without taking a helping. Not all heroes wore capes.
Someone commented, ‘Aren’t you going to have some pie?’
His wife replied, ‘Brad doesn’t like oyster pie. He just tried to be polite for the last ten years.’
Ten years. I had only been at it for three or four at this point. He was a brave man.
My wife said, ‘Karl hates the stuff, too.’
In turn, each of the siblings outed their respective spouses.
We all braced for our mother-in-law’s response which was hearty, ‘Well, that just leaves more for us!’
For almost 30 years I had very much looked forward to holiday meals at the in-laws!”
“It was not repulsive in the full sense of the word, but one of the worse. My friend and I went to a visit to our old professor, with whom we remained in touch and were friends. She lived in a very distant location which was basically in the middle of the woods. So one couldn’t escape the feeling like we were Red Riding Hoo while parking half of a mile before her house because there was no more road from there on. And then you had to walk through the dark in hundreds of years old forest to her front door. It had little to do with this story, but it gave you a bit of atmosphere.
We visited quite a few times, so nothing too new that time, except the smell that welcomed us wasn’t the smell of pine we usually prevailed. Instead, the sugary smell of something sweet baking in the oven greeted us. We looked at one another with questions in our eyes, because our friend was never much of a cook or a baker. We proceeded with curiosity.
She was quite thrilled to announce to us, right from the door, that she was indeed baking. She baked biscuits from a century-old recipe. Yay, something interesting to try.
These had a German name that I have since sadly forgotten. And it was something her ancestors used to make and keep during the winters, for a snack. She was part German. I absolutely loved German food, especially biscuits and cakes, but had never heard of nor tried them. So my interest doubled as you could imagine.
During the tea, she brought up these lovely-looking biscuits in various shapes, all golden and with sugar crystals on top. I took a bite with gusto or at least, I tried. They were rock hard.
And when I say rock hard, it wasn’t your usual ‘oh, this piece of biscuit is overbaked’ hard, but literally like eating a piece of wood or even a better match, a sandstone. It was absolutely impossible to bite into. I forced myself to try once again. A piece chipped and cut the inside of my mouth and made me bleed.
I took a big sip of tea and one after it, to try and make it stop. It helped a bit and after that, I gave up biting into those immediately. My friend, on the other hand, gave his best try and then let out a strange sigh, followed by a grimace.
Our friend noticed something was very wrong.
‘What, children… No good?’ she asked, after seeing our expressions and then shrugged her shoulders. ‘I thought they might be a bit too hard, but it was hard to tell with my dentures. I hoped your young teeth would prove better against these.’
There was no point in denying it, sadly. But after the first shock, we proceeded to find ways to eat them anyway, like dunking them into the tea and keeping them there for a long, long time. They were fairly tasty, as soon as you could bite into one.
We spent a couple of hours there and I noticed my friend was thinking about something, but it didn’t surface until we said our goodbyes and started walking to the car.
‘Could you accompany me to the dentist?’ he said simply. ‘I broke a tooth on the cookie and it’s hurting my cheek from the inside.’
Shocked, especially since he could remain quiet about it for so long, I went with him to the emergency dentist, and there we found out this tooth was so badly broken it had to be removed. I ended up organizing a taxi ride, then for another friend to come and pick up the car. We rode with my friend to his home and took care of him over the night, all because of anesthesia.
So all in all, pretty different experience, and all because of a biscuit. I was still trying to remember the name of those, though, out of sheer curiosity. I wanted to know were they always that hard or was it most probably some baking mistake? If anyone knows, let me know.”
“My daughter and I were on a road trip through beautiful B.C. With grumbling bellies, we stopped for lunch at a diner in Hope, B.C.
We ordered hamburger platters and a drink. The food looked great and smelled tantalizing. The serving was large with golden fries on the side.
For some unknown reason, I decided to lift the top of the bun. There sitting on top of my burger was a huge black fly, right in the middle, wings spread-eagled like he had been caught in a trap.
I carefully put the bun back in place and called the waitress over.
I calmly looked her in the eyes and said, ‘I didn’t order a fly-burger.’
Of course, she didn’t understand so I repeated myself then lifted the bun off of the burger, revealing the gigantic fly.
Her eyes popped out of her head. She was horrified and sped off to the kitchen without a word. My daughter and I giggled and waited patiently for the new serving.
I did eat the fresh burger, after checking it, but I’ve never returned to that restaurant. Instead of ‘Bye Bye Birdie, it was ‘Bye Bye fly, Good-bye’!”
“Once when I was a young child, I visited my aunt’s house. Next door there was a girl around my age who would always come around and visit since the household only had young women. My aunt’s daughters warned me the girl had a special dish she made for people she liked, and if she offered it to me I should decline.
This girl, whose name I couldn’t remember, was very nice and happy. When the time came and she asked me if I would like to try her special dish, I said yes. Her smile was so wide I couldn’t say no. She rushed into her home and began to make it as my aunt’s daughters giggled and laughed at me.
The girl came back and gave me this bowl of what appeared to be broccoli and honey. I accepted it and ate it in front of her.
I had tasted worse things, even fecal matter, and urine, but this was the first time I had ever tasted anything so awful. After the first bite, I tried the best I could to feign satisfaction but I could tell she knew I didn’t like it. Fortunately, the daughters saved me by saying I had to leave soon and brought me back inside.
The daughters laughed and giggled at my naivety for quite a while. I didn’t care too much since I was preoccupied with the image of the smile dissipating from the girl’s face when I cringed upon tasting the food.
I dumped the remaining foodstuffs out and handed the bowl back to her and told her I had finished it. I still remember her smile.
I learned an important lesson that day, white lies have their place. I stand by the principle to this day.”
“My mother cooked a lasagne. I always appreciate my mother’s efforts, especially since she has such limited finances at her disposal. She had never cooked lasagne before and was doing this from scratch.
When I came home from work, none of my siblings were anywhere to be seen, and mum was in tears. Normally we would all be seated together with the table set and then dinner would be served. This time I was a little bit late, but not so late that dinner would have been over by now.
My mom asked if I would like dinner now.
And I answered in the affirmative, ‘Yes. Please, Mother, I am starving!’
So she gave me a good helping of her lasagne. I, at that time, had never had this dish before and didn’t know what to expect. I did not like even the first bite. It was disgusting, but our family had experienced hard times and loathed wasting food. So I ate up. Normally I would have a small helping of seconds, but not this time.
My sisters had a nickname for me that has kind of stuck. They called me ‘Honest.’ This was because I would tell the truth, even if the consequences of doing so didn’t always seem to benefit me.
My mother asked me if I liked my meal. What could I say?
‘Mum I really appreciate your efforts tonight, thank you.’ That was my ‘honest’ reply.
Then she asked again, ‘Did you like it, love?’
‘Mum, it was very satisfying, I couldn’t fit another bite. Thank You, Mum.’
Then she pressed me again, ‘But was it nice love?’
‘Mum, what do you want from me, I thanked you three times now, I love that you took the trouble for me and I ate all of it.’
‘No, Ma, I didn’t like it, it was awful, you taught us if we can’t say something good don’t say anything. True? True.’
Well, that did it. Here came the waterworks, ‘I don’t know what I did wrong. I followed all the instructions properly because it’s the first time I’ve cooked this.’
I looked at the instructions. I saw the sauce she used. It seemed pretty straightforward. I asked her if everything was fresh, then she started crying again. I reassured her I wasn’t having a go at her but was trying to fathom what could go wrong. I asked her to show me the oil that she used in case it had gone off. So she fetched it for me and said it wasn’t out of date. I checked anyway, and no, it wasn’t out of date. What it was, was Cod Liver stinking Oil. That was what she used. It was the same color tin as the extra pure olive oil.
I was nauseated already, and when I saw the label I bolted for the comfort station before I compromised myself or my garments.
I had never had or forced myself through, a worse meal than that ever again.
I love you mom, but that was awful.”
“I was visiting my wonderful Auntie Lucy of whom I was very fond. Her home was a thatched cottage on the North Yorkshire Moors which was wonderful. She had curvature of the spine and despite everything, she was great company.
My auntie disappeared to the kitchen and returned with a lovely cup of tea, a slice of homemade fruit cake, and a biscuit in a foil wrapper.
We sat and chatted for a while and then I saw them. Two maggots crawled out of the cake and then headed in various directions across the plate.
It was decision time, and not wanting to upset my aged auntie, I devised a plan. I checked the cake and it appeared maggot free, so, with some trepidation ate it all. Sometimes you had to ‘man up.’
‘Lovely cake auntie!’, I said
I then unwrapped the biscuit and started a discussion about the spitfire propeller she had on her wall. It was a beautiful thing. Having distracted her, I chased down the maggots and wrapped them in the foil biscuit wrapper.
It was the last time I saw her and so was glad that our last meeting had been unhindered by a discussion about the maggots which I knew would have mortified her.”
Too Much For My Taste
“Well, it wasn’t absolutely disgusting. But the terrible moment was the meal (Japenese cupcakes) was served to me in the home of my aunt where I came for the first time ever She lived far away from my city. And it occasionally happened that I needed to stay in her house for several hours
And I knew she was trying her best to please me, to satisfy me, and to make me feel amazing in a new place. First, we had a walk over the city. And then, of course, we came to her house where she made great, really tasty dishes.
After some time, she suggested having tea. And even though I was quite full, I could not refuse. She said her husband for this special occasion bought some extraordinary Japanese cupcakes, made of flowers.
Oh, it seemed so exciting. And I knew these cost a great deal of money. Plus, my affection for Japanese culture, I couldn’t tell you how eager I was to try unique cupcakes. I was pretty sure it could be nothing but excellent.
And here came the moment. I tried to bite it. But uh-oh. Something went wrong. My teeth touched something extremely frozen or solid. I couldn’t get it at a time.
They watched me and I said ‘Umm..’
And you knew I had the kind of face that was always obvious. Any single emotion was written on it immediately, even if you didn’t know me well.
Aunt: ‘Isn’t it good?’
Me: ‘No-no. it’s okay. It may be just too frozen, you know.’
Then she tried to bite it, then she too had a look of disgust on her face. She called her husband, and he came and tried the same. I started giggling because I couldn’t help myself at these moments. They started laughing like mad, too.
We decided it needed to lay there for a few more minutes because it seemed to be frozen. But, after ten minutes nothing happened. I mean the cupcake turned out to be something different. On the top, it was like calves’ food. The flowers tasted like actual genuine flowers. If you ever tried to bite any, when you were a kid you could recall that dusty, bitter taste. And also some slime came out from the cupcake when you tried to reach a flower.
I hardly ate my part, and so had other people. So, we made a collective decision that our Ukrainian stomachs were not okay with refined, exotic Japenese food.”
No Home Cooking
“I went to boarding school and almost all of the food was hideous almost all of the time.
One meal that stood out in my mind was on the first Sunday when we were outside playing. The headmaster’s wife came up to me to remind me my lunch was at half-twelve and we were going to have some ‘nice roast beef.’
I had been pretty unimpressed with the food in the first few days there. But with the suggestion of ‘nice roast beef’ the thoughts of this little boy turned to be the greatest roast beef chef he had ever known, his grandmother. And in his mind’s eye, he pictured one of grandma’s very tasty lunches with the tenderest, juiciest, most succulent rare roast beef with roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, roast parsnips, and a selection of fresh vegetables complete with lashings of gravy.
What I got came as a bit of a shock. Thin slabs of slimy boot tough gristly ‘meat’ that had a strange green tinge to it. There was a mashed potato with black lumps in it and very bitter dark green cabbage that hours of boiling couldn’t tenderize. There was also thick gravy with bigger lumps than the mashed potato. It also had a layer of crusty skin on the top. In short, the meal was absolutely awful, about as far as you can get from grandma’s!”
Not Loving It
“The McDonald’s McRib.
I had eaten surstromming, which was Swedish fermented herring. I also had eaten hakarl, which was Icelandic putrified shark, sheep balls, fish sperm, tacos de buche (beef esophagus), and whale blubber. And none of those dishes came remotely close to the McRib in terms of absolute vileness.
The McRib was not on Mickey D’s permanent menu. But it was brought back for a few weeks every few years. It was marketed as a patty of ground pork rib meat. But it looked more like a dirty kitchen sponge right before you finally decide it had been used long enough and throw it away. It was slathered in a shiny barbecue sauce that was cloyingly sweet and the color and texture of wood varnish. The complete product was a rubbery, chewy, sickeningly sweet, disgusting mess. I took about three bites before I decided it was too disgusting to finish, so I threw it in the bin. I thought about taking it home to my Newfoundland, but I decided I would spare him. I will never eat a McRib again. And whenever I saw adverts from McDonald’s that the McRib was going to return I got sick to my stomach.”
“It was not a meal but just a dessert. When I was in college, my mom and I went to one of her friend’s houses for lunch with her family. The meal was unmemorable, and then the friend brought out a dessert. It was a cake with a mustard filling and frosting.
It was a plain white cake coated with a mustard filling if you could fathom that. The filling would have been fine with sausages, but not on a cake. We all took a bite and none of us could eat any more. I would eat anything, and I tried to just eat the cake part, but somehow the entire thing was contaminated with mustard flavorings. The friend had never made it before and thought it might be good. But why? I don’t know. We all had a laugh and left the entire thing on our plates.
Years later, I had searched and searched for a recipe, just to see if there really was such a thing. I had never found anything remotely similar. Was it a sick joke? I didn’t think so because her husband was a stern and unfunny guy.
But I still remember seeing bright yellow filling and frosting. It did look rather festive before she told us what it was.”