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Worst food you "had" to eat

I'm talking about foods you ate to be polite at a friend's house or a dinner party but hated.
For me, it was a jello-mayonaise-shaved carrots concoction. I actually was served this twice. Once at a home in Binghampton, New York and once at a home near Lancaster, PA. I still don't know what this was but I don't want to even see it again. Yuck!

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  1. "jello-mayonaise-shaved carrots concoction" - that'd be enough to break my friendship with that person.

    My "worst food I had to eat" experience was served to me by my Jamaican girlfriend whilst we were in college (back in the 80s) - an exotic "dolphin's roe" dish. Halfway thru it, I thought, hey, aren't dolphins mammals? So what I'm eating is ...?!!

    13 Replies
    1. re: klyeoh

      The worst by far in recent memory was the burger I had to choke down at MIL's house on July 4th weekend. When H and I arrived at the house, she had a huge mass of ground beef out on the counter that she was kneading like it was bread dough. She added copious amounts of garlic powder and seasoned salt as she continued knead. She then rolled very tight balls and packed them into hockey puck discs. FIL then grilled them to beyond well done. Both H and I were only to choke down a few bites before we started lying that we were stuff. I don't think I've ever encountered a dryer, deader or more poorly seasoned hamburger patty in my life.

      1. re: klyeoh

        Lol, the real name of "Mahi Mahi" is "Dolphin" ... they changed it for marketing reasons, people kept getting the fish confused with the mammal

          1. re: Witchysis31

            No, mahi mahi is dolphin fish - Coryphaena hippurus - also known as dorado, among other things, and related to pompano. Not tuna.

        1. re: klyeoh

          Also mammals do not have roe they reproduce through live birth

          1. re: redfish62

            Precisely. So, did I eat a foetus?!!!

            1. re: klyeoh

              Yes assuming the roe was fertilized, just like when you eat caviar

              1. re: redfish62

                Oh well, I guess that early experience (though it did haunt me for years afterwards) did stand me in good stead in later life, especially when I had to visit Japan a lot in the late-90s/2000-2007 - by then, I was swallowing whalemeat (gujira) sashimi and whale sperm (shirako) without blinking an eye.

              2. re: klyeoh

                No, you weren't eating a foetus.. In fact, I doubt if you were eating anything from the mammal called a dolphin. More likely it was roe from the fish called a dolphin (or dolfin). On the Pacific coast, dolfin are usually called mahi-mahi. In order to avoid confusion, they are starting to be called by their Spanish name "dorado".

                1. re: 2roadsdiverge

                  I Googled Mahi-Mahi on Wikipedia, and it came out with a photo of the fish below. Well, if I'd ingested the roe of THAT fish, then I'm A-OK. I'd suspected that I was eating the nearly-formed spawn of Flipper! That was way back in the mid-80s, before there was Internet, let alone Google or Wikipedia - no way I could've verified any info as easily as we can today.

                  1. re: klyeoh

                    That's what you had. They had to change the name from dolphin to mahi mahi because nobody would order it in restaurants, thinking that they were going to get served up flipper.

                    It can be very hard to get through to people that there are two animals called dolphin

                    the fish == also known as mahi and dorado
                    the mammal = also known as flipper

                    one has absolutely nothing to do with the other. they do not serve flipper in seafood restaurants or sell flipper in seafood markets.

            2. re: klyeoh

              Dolphin is also the name of a type of fish. Confusing!

              1. re: klyeoh

                lately, a lot of rancid nuts.
                For some reason, in the past 2 months, people have really enjoyed serving rancid nuts in their dishes when they invite me over.

              2. Hot milk and a hard-boiled egg. My mother's misguided attempt to ease the trauma of mumps.
                A more disgusting combination I cannot imagine.

                1. First one: while not officially a food, as a child, had to choke down castor oil. Taste from hell.

                  The second will get me scorned from CH: salmon. Friend made it for dinner, and I cut big chunks, along with chunks of boiled potatoes and swallowed the mess unchewed. Can't stand salmon.

                  1. Jello, mayo, and carrots? Dear lord!
                    The worst ever was chicken wings that my father in law made. He was told that I like me some heat, and made them nuclear. I'm not sure what all was invloved, but I did see an extra scotch bonnet in the pantry. And the wings weren't even cooked properly. The were rubbery and had sort of a slime.
                    I was purple, my lips were swollen, tears everywhere.
                    I'm glad they were amused, I must have looked like Adam Richmann's long lost sister.

                    1. Served by friends:
                      Casserole-type thing made of cream of mushroom soup, chicken, and rice. Looked and tasted like someone had previously eaten it.
                      And then there was the non-vegetarian friend who for some reason served us non-vegetarians some soy-based fake meat substitute that was like eating bits of pencil eraser. Tasteless and rubbery and wrapped in some sort of tortilla (not sure what it was made of) that tasted like raw dough. I do enjoy good vegetarian food, but that definitely wasn't it.
                      Had to eat a little to be polite, but ugh, never again.

                      1. A lime jell-o and chocolate pudding parfait. My friend kept insisting that it tasted like mint-chocolate. It didn't. Then a concoction of cherry jell-o and chocolte pudding combined into a half-gelled mess. Same friend. Hey, at least she's funny.

                        1. Ah, yes. Mayo, jell-o, carrots, cabbage? I believe it was called "perfection salad" and my father still raves about it and asks for it to be made every Thanksgiving. No, dad. Just...no.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: lunaburning

                            When I was a kid, the first time my little brother tried silverbeet, aka Swiss chard, I bit into a green shield bug in mine. For the record, shield bugs taste just like they smell...
                            Knowing he'd never eat another vegetable again if I choked, spat and screamed, I removed the offending mouthful with extreme subtlety.
                            I must've been about 10. What a martyr of a child!

                            1. re: pippimac

                              I had to eat a fruit salad that had non fat mayo in it. The mayo curdled in the fruit juice so the fruit was coated in little bits of white. And there were larger gobs of the offending stuff floating in the juice from the fruit. I think she was going for a Waldorf salad, but the results were horrifying. I had to choke it down and smile the whole while. When I declined a second portion, luckily she didn't insist. But she did say she'd makie it the next time i was over, since I liked it so much! <shudder>

                              1. re: pippimac

                                You little martyr you. If it'd been me, I'd have hurled into my li'l brother's face!

                                1. re: pippimac

                                  Wait, is shield bug another name for stink bug? And if you ate one of those without freaking out, you are an amazing sibling. I hope you and your brother are still close!

                                2. re: lunaburning

                                  Similar to this recipe? Perhaps . . .


                                  Just in case there is anybody on this board who hasn't seen this before. :)

                                3. Everything my morbidly obese Pa. ex MIL cooked. Stuffed cabbage made with raw cheap hamburger in a huge stockpot of tomatoes mixed with saurkraut ( !!). This equals 3 inches of orange grease floating on top. Vegetables could not be left to their own devices and had to be destroyed by heat, coated in sour cream mixed with cream of any crap soup,smothered in cheese and topped by crushed Ritz crackers. Butterscotch pudding that tasted like cigarette butts. Once she made fried potatoes and grabbed the cream of tartar instead of the onion salt. NOBODY NOTICED except me! Did I mention all of the above and an atrocity of a lasagna were all served at a fourth of July picnic. Perfect scorching weather summer food.I would have fought someone for that carrot mayo jello concoction after facing all that mess!

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: shecrab

                                    Your MIL's best sounds worse than my MIL's worst! During our annual trip to the in-laws, they always serve up "Chinese food" - Minute Rice with microwaved diced chicken and cashews thrown in, seasoned with salt. I have to eat this with a smile while mourning the carbon steel wok and Hom Mali rice left behind in my kitchen. SIL's husband genuinely loves their cooking, and last year actually thanked our MIL for serving canned cranberry jelly "that real people want to eat."

                                    1. re: Sniffy

                                      Ha! My husband has a family like that and has developed an appreciation for many new foods and types of preparations in the three years we've been together. But he HAS to have the canned cranberry sauce on the table for holidays. It goes in a bowl next to my homemade sauce with real whole berries and fresh orange zest with a bit of candied ginger. He will eat a tiny bite of the stuff I make, to be polite, and then devour half the can. I try not to take it personally, he's such a good sport 95% of the time I don't feel like I can complain too much.

                                      1. re: alitria

                                        A good friend's mother-in-law insisted on sending home a whole meatloaf every visit "just like Johnny always loved." Well, Johnny didn't love it any more (if he ever did), and rather than hurting (or ticking off )Mom, half-way home, they had a spot where they'd pull over and hurl the meatloaf out the window. They laughingly said they probably killed a bunch of wildlife over the years!

                                        1. re: alitria

                                          Canned cranberry jelly is a bit of nostalgia for many of us. No matter how good your homemade version is, how can it compete with happy childhood memories:}

                                          1. re: NicoleFriedman

                                            Exactly. I have my silly nostalgia foods, as do most of us. Even the chow-iest of hounds I have known have one food that makes people go "Really? You eat that?"

                                            And I am not from AK, but lived there for some time in a very remote village.

                                      2. re: shecrab

                                        I don't mean to be unkind, but IME obese people very often don't actually like food. They just like eating. One of my dearest friends is obese, and I know that when she recommends something, it will be made in a lab and have an ingredient list miles long.

                                      3. turkey enchiladas. twice - 2nd time after 5 years had passed. dry, tasteless, made in attempt by the cook (sister of a bf at the time) to be "health conscious" - i.e., tortillas wrapped around barely seasoned ground turkey, baked until crispy, with low fat mozzarella. doesn't sound so terribly bad, but i was amazed that this horrible meal was a staple and it was exactly as bad 5 years later.

                                        1. Stewed seal meat that I'm pretty sure was starting to go bad. Dipped in seal oil. And I'm not being sarcastic about the going bad part, I've eaten it a number of times. I never like it, but well prepared, I can choke it down. But left to simmer all day in a crock pot with some water and no seasoning on the verge of being bad. Holy god, that was awful.

                                          My S-I-L, who is normally a great cook, offered to bring stuffed eggs for Thanksgiving. She made them by mixing the yolks with a great deal of Thousand Island Dressing. Apparently she had it at a friends house and loved it. I nearly cried. I love stuffed eggs on holidays, but that was not ok. Even worse was not knowing before I took a huge bite.

                                          I (obviously) eat eggs in limited quantities, but don't like them scrambled unless they have been filled with so much cheese as to turn the eggs into what my friend calls a "vehicular food." Plain scrambled eggs have been known to trigger my gag reflex and burnt eggs will multiply that x1000. I stayed over at the house of an aunt of the friend I was traveling with and had one of those comedy of errors type of visits. She graciously offered to make us breakfast and there was no way to not accept under the circumstances. And for breakfast, we got plain, well-burnt scrambled eggs and burned bacon. I choked it down with copious amount of liquid, smiled graciously, left, had my friend drive me to the gas station down the road, and promptly puked up the entire thing. But I didn't insult the hostess, which was terribly important to me.

                                          As a teen, my mom went on a new diet every week. One week she was doing some new form of weight watchers with more modern recipes that had a turkey and carrot with crushed red pepper stir-fry. My mom didn't cook much and didn't cook much outside her same set of recipes in particular and so she made the recipe with 2 TB of crushed red pepper flakes instead of 2 tsp. We were one of those families who didn't really go hungry, but certainly didn't have extra food either so we all did our best to choke it down. I think I ended up eating peanut butter and crackers for dinner.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: alitria

                                            Any chance you're from Alaska? I ask because of the seal meat.

                                          2. when i was a kid, i had a good friend that was Taiwanese... i was challenged to eat many things at her house (i was raised British, and never to be impolite...) i learned at age 9 that i did not in any way like barbecued squid... i chewed and chewed and chewed... it didn't ever seem ready to swallow.

                                            there was also the night with the cherry jello with mangoes and papayas mixed in... i detest jello, and mangoes and papayas. i don't think i finished it...

                                            on the flip side, they did serve me shark once... i don't think at that age i had a heightened awareness of political correctness and ethics... but i did enjoy it.

                                            1. I simply cannot eat seafood, no allergies, just an aversion to the taste and texture of boiled pencil erasers. Good friends invited us for dinner and the entree was tempura seafood of all types. Being a well mannered Southern girl, I put bits in my mouth, grimaced, and swallowed hard, followed by mega drinks of water. Don't think I've ever had a worse meal.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: pine time

                                                "Boiled pencil erasers" sounds like overcooking, although Chinese preserved squid has a texture like that too.

                                                1. re: pine time

                                                  If any seafood you've ever had tasted like boiled pencil erasers, it was overdone and underseasoned. Sorry to hear.

                                                2. When I was growing up my grandmother was a really scarey BAD cook. Everything was drowned in rancid oil, chicken fat, sausage grease. And she was hideously unhygenic. Cream filled pastries frozen, then thawed, then frozen again. Calamari left on the counter a day and a half "to soak." Not exaggerating. I have the childhood memories of food poisoning to prove it. She was also a tyrant. She cooked it. We kids had to eat it or suffer. Her "speciality" was home made pasta. Her second kitchen was in the cellar. Mouse infested cellar. Mouse droppings all over the cutting board. I swallowed a lot of crap that woman put on the table but after I got old enough - not the pasta again - ever.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: boppiecat

                                                    Bad hygiene is one of my biggest peeves. I don't like processed foods (with several notable exceptions, but they are snacks, not meals), but the worst food memories I have are all related to the improper storage of food or the bad hygiene of the work surfaces.

                                                    There's a woman in our church who is famous for making delicious rolls. I ate them on several occasions and really liked them. Then, she temporarily went blind due to diabetic complications, and when it was my turn to cook her dinner and clean her apartment, I was appalled at the filth. It was very obviously in its chronic condition, not due to to her temporary loss of sight. There was cat pee and poo everywhere, and years of filth on the counters. Even after my Clorox-fueled cleaning, I never ate another thing from her kitchen!

                                                  2. Ouch! You sound like a really nice person.