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Your most embarrassing chowhound moment?

Inspired by a post I just made, I was thinking we could rally together in a group cringe:

"Worry not, I still experience a full-body cringe when I recall (years ago) exclaiming to chowhounds back in Minnesota that the "DRUGSTORE HERE HAS SUSHI AND IT AINT HALF-BAD, CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS SH#T?" We live and we learn... some of us in Rite-Aid."

You have to understand - I was in a landlocked state (mainly) and was paying a premium 5-6 dollars for the sushi trays at the foofy department store basement market... and to find the equivalent for 4 dollars at the drugstore in a premium city... I thought I had arrived.

What is your most embarrassing/novice/wet-behind-the-ears chowhound moment?

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  1. Just want to say that's a really great question, though I'm still sifting through many choices. Actually I have a feeling the worst ones probably happened when I was too incapacitated to remember what they are.

    1 Reply
    1. re: tatamagouche

      Not terribly embarrassing, but one that comes to mind was at a business lunch on my first trip to China. One of the courses was a duck soup, and I insisted on taking a piece of the duck meat from the serving pot, despite my local colleagues telling me it was not to be eaten. They were right, the flavor had been so fully extracted into the broth that the meat tasted like paste. But I took it, so I had to eat it.

      I also remember attending an outdoor event with my mother when I was in my early 20s at which she saw a nice runny brie for the first time in her life (my parents were not foodies by any stretch of the imagination) and commented to the crowd at large that it was such a pity that the cheese had spoiled in the sun. I, cocky young connoisseur wannabe that I was, set her straight. End result: we were both embarrassed, and I still cringe to think about it. Sorry, mom.

    2. Back in the '70s, Crudites were suddenly the "in" thing to serve to your guests, along with a nice dip of some kind. Unfortunately, I had seen the word in print, but had not heard it in conversation at that point. When my guests arrived, I brought out my tray of artfully cut-up vegetables, and announced that we would snack on Crudites before dinner.

      And, as you might guess, I slaughtered the pronunciation. Luckily nobody corrected me when I pronounced the word as "Crude-eets".

      6 Replies
      1. re: Ted in Central NJ

        Good thing you didn't serve "whores-devours"!

        1. re: ChefBoyAreMe

          But if you call them "horse dovers," you'll immediately be recognized as a witty Flintstones fan. 8<D

        2. re: Ted in Central NJ

          Ok, i feel your pain...i probably should not admit this, but i had a pronunciation issue with petit fours. I was in a bakery with my mom and best friend and pointed out how "delicious those pah-teet fours look." We are from the south and I joke around a lot about how some of our older relatives talk. My best friend gave me this look of "ok, stop being stupid," and said something about how she liked petit fours. She actually thought my mispronunciation was a joke...i felt really stupid.

          1. re: Ted in Central NJ

            I had trouble with this one too... luckily it was my mom who corrected me. And I actually can read some French fairly well, but most people don't spell it with the accent grave over the e, so I didn't even think about it being something besides "Crude-eets". Let's blame it on the Americanized spelling! ;-)

            1. re: Ted in Central NJ

              Wow. Ignorant me. All this time, I thought it was croo-deets. I just listened to a pronunciation, and it's croo-dee-tay. I've never seen it spelled w/ the accent over the e, though, and we usually just say raw veggies, so I've never heard it actually pronounced.

              Ignorant ignorant me. It makes me wonder what else I've been mentally mispronouncing all this time. . ..

            2. I hope this qualifies..
              At a pool bar in Cabo drinking the happy hour pina coladas and all of us were well into our 3rd drink and when I received my drink, I did not receive a straw so in Spanish, (I speak Spanish) but after the 3rd pina, it went out the window but I asked instead of a straw in Spanish, I asked the waiter if he had a 'small manhood'...the look on his face..and the horror on mine..OMG!
              He still works at the resort and we still laugh about it...hee hee

              1 Reply
              1. re: Beach Chick

                HA! that's hilarious! Glad he can laugh about it now, but I can only imagine the initial awkward silence -- unless he came right back with "of course not!"

              2. At a Chinese new year's dinner a few years ago, someone at the other end of the table was serving the crab and egg soup, which was very thick. My cup was passed to me via a large lazy susan. Unbeknownst to me, the server had spilled a small amount of the soup on the outside of the cup, and as I reached over the table to pick it up, it slipped out of my hand, spilling the soup. Which stayed there on the lazy susan for much of the meal; a shortage of napkins, and the wait staff was too busy or too indifferent to clean it up (I suspect the latter, since I implored the waitress to clean it up at least 3 times). So there it was, looking like a pool of vomit spinning around in the middle of the table while everybody was trying to eat....

                1. My first job out of college was with a small pr firm that specialized in restaurant pr. One of my first events was a dinner we had secured for a client at the James Beard House. I was very young and, having grown up in the country, not very experienced in the art of fine dining. Needless to say, I was also very nervous. I am seated at a table with an assortment of food writers, foodies, and my boss. I take the first cut of my meat and push too hard. Half the meat and half the contents of the rest of my plate lands on the table. The most embarrassing part of the whole episode is that everyone at the table acted as nothing had happened.