What’s the Grossest Product?

I have very strong feelings about this. Miracle Whip is probably the most disgusting thing you will find in any grocery store.






275 replies
  1. 1
    RobertDSC-Power Mac G5 Dual says:

    Head cheese.

  2. 2
    PhilK says:

    MW is the anti-mayonnaise.

  3. 3
    John O says:

    I like MW and regular mayonnaise, and don’t see how you can make the gross distinction between the two.

    Head cheese is certainly grosser.

  4. 4
    PsiFighter37 says:

    The grossest product I willingly eat is Cheez Whiz on my cheesesteaks. That’s what I did my first time to Pat’s, and it’ll be that way until I croak.

    I’m sure there are probably worse things I’ve ingested unknowingly due to the wonderful mystery that is mass-produced food.

  5. 5
    Hunter Gathers says:

    pickled pig’s feet

  6. 6
    Three-nineteen says:

    @PhilK: Um, yeah, that’s why it’s so good.

  7. 7
    MikeJ says:

    Have you ever had Heinz Salad Cream?

  8. 8
    Howard Beale IV says:

    Beef lips.

  9. 9
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    also, too, those little sausages in a jar

    and as I learned the hard way, canned potatoes

  10. 10
    cmorenc says:

    Gefilte fish sold in jars. Perhaps homemade versions of this might actually be palatable, but the versions in jars on grocery store shelves are totally revolting in appearance.

  11. 11
    John O says:

    Cow’s tongue is way grosser.

  12. 12
    John Cole says:

    @cmorenc: I had that once and almost puked.

  13. 13
    TaMara (BHF) says:

    Rocky mountain oysters.

  14. 14
    Jewish Steel says:

    @MikeJ: It’s right with the Spotted Dick at the Meijer across town.

  15. 15
    Belafon says:

    I will never disparage something, namely Miracle Whip, that gave me enough calories to get through my childhood: A cheese and Miracle Whip sandwich when there was nothing else to eat.

  16. 16
    TaMara (BHF) says:

    Although in the local Asian market they have a whole section in the meat department of pig uteri. Equally disturbing.

  17. 17
    Heywood J. says:

    Miracle Whip is disgusting, I’d rather put bearing grease on a sandwich.

    But, you know, certain vegetables are even worse. I’m lookin’ at you, broccoli!

  18. 18
    seaboogie says:

    I used to love Miracle Whip as a kid – even to the point of using a spatula to lick out the jar. Nowadays its only Hellman’s (Best Foods) Mayo, or homemade with fresh EVOO. Interestingly, a panel of professional tasters rated Hellman’s as a perfect taste experience, with an ideal balance of flavor and mouthfeel.

  19. 19
    Ian says:

    Money is almost always the filthiest thing and and a big cause of bacterial growth in retail/food establishments.

  20. 20
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @Jewish Steel:

    Meijer

    What I wouldn’t give to have them or a Woodman’s up around my parts.

  21. 21
    chopper says:

    huitlacoche.

  22. 22
    chopper says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    That sounds vaguely naughty.

  23. 23
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @John O: I’ve eaten virtually every part of a cow, including the tongue, and I always find it to be quite delicious. Yes, even the heart.

    Has anyone here had horse tartare? I know Americans get worked up about eating ponies and crap, but hot damn, when I had it in Toronto, it was delicious.

  24. 24
    MikeJ says:

    @Jewish Steel: Marmite is probably near it, which is either the best or worst thing ever. I’m a fan but I know plenty of people who hate it.

  25. 25
    Gin & Tonic says:

    I’ve probably eaten and enjoyed at least half the things mentioned so far. Head cheese? Give me some more, please.

  26. 26
    dp says:

    Miracle Whip is bad, but vienna sausages and (especially) potted meat are worse.

  27. 27
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @PsiFighter37: Just had beef heart tartare a couple of nights ago.

  28. 28
    MikeJ says:

    @PsiFighter37: Have you been to St John restaurant in London? My favorite place to take the squeamish, although I haven’t been there in a couple of years.

  29. 29
    Tokyokie says:

    Cool Whip is more disgusting than Miracle Whip. Whipped fat with sugar and lots of stabilizers and preservatives the texture of which bears a faint resemblance to whipped cream but tastes nothing like it. Ugh.

  30. 30
    John O says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    A stronger man than I. (Or woman, depending.)

    I long ago accepted that I would probably like a lot of food that I might consider gross or at least unappealing if I knew what I was eating.

  31. 31
    Joshua Norton says:

    If you run out of Miracle Whip, you can get the same results if you use regular mayo and then sprinkle about 3 tablespoons of sugar on your sandwich.

  32. 32
    JGabriel says:

    Garum.

    Edited to Add: For those unfamiliar with Garum, it is a Greco-Roman sauce going back at least 2000 years, in which the primary ingredient is the fermented juice from rotting fish.

  33. 33
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @chopper: If I had a choice, I’d rather have a Woodman’s (1) for the selection of items and (2) they’re employee owned.

  34. 34
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @MikeJ: London (in Ontario or in the UK)? I haven’t been to it in either case, but if it’s UK, will definitely keep it on the list for down the road!

    @Gin & Tonic: Good? I’d imagine so, given that doing tartare in a bad fashion probably will get you sick…

  35. 35
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @PsiFighter37: I tried brains once, gooey and unpleasantly sweet, as I remember it. I don’t think I’ve ever had the sweetbreads, sure I’ve never had heart

  36. 36
  37. 37
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @PsiFighter37: Enjoyed it very much, and didn’t get sick.

  38. 38
    Tomy says:

    @TaMara (BHF): LOL. My Asian market, well they got that. Took my mom there the other day and she wasn’t sure how to compute things.

    @PsiFighter37: No I have not. But eaten most of a cow and many other animals. It always stuns me, if you watch an international cooking show, for most of the world we don’t eat what others view as the best parts of an animal. The organs.

    You go to many places in this world and you are offered up organs as a guest. Offered up as a nice way to say, “hey welcome!”

  39. 39
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @J.Ty: Good luck finding that in a supermarket outside Iceland.

  40. 40
    J.Ty says:

    @Gin & Tonic: “in any grocery store”, emphasis added

  41. 41
    Comrade Luke says:

    Saw head cheese, thought “Cow’s tongue”, left for a couple minutes and there it is!

    As far as family tradition type things, we used to have this brined whitefish for Christmas that was the most vile thing I’ve ever seen (I refused to taste it). To say nothing of the stewed cabbage next to it.

  42. 42
    divF says:

    In no particular order:

    Velveeta (particularly when it is melted)
    Natto
    Spam
    Lutefisk

    There are probably others.

    While I grew up eating margarine and Miracle Whip, give me butter and Best Foods any day.

  43. 43
    NotMax says:

    Ready to eat yet not in the gourmet or ethnic category?

    Marmite

    Potted Meat Food Product

    Pork Brains in Milk Gravy

    Imitation crab meat

  44. 44
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @JGabriel: Is that any different than Nuoc Mam?

  45. 45
    JGabriel says:

    J.Ty: Garum or Hakari, we’re on the same page: it’s rotted fish, just with different cultural presentations.

  46. 46
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    Pearl onions.

  47. 47
    Felonius Monk says:

    @seaboogie: Amen. Amen. Amen. Yes, Miracle Whip on bologna as a kid and now Hellman’s as a mature old fart.

  48. 48
    SinnedBackwards says:

    Cheetos. Definitely. (although I’ve never tried casu marzu)

  49. 49
    Hal says:

    I never even knew there was a difference between mayonnaise and miracle whip until I was an adult. As a kid I loved bologna sandwiches with american cheese and miracle whip, but now I’m strictly a mayo person. I don’t like the sweetness of miracle whip, plus, every time I buy mayo at the store the voice of Louis Gossett Junior saying mayo-naze in and Officer and a Gentleman goes through my head.

    Also, chitlins are the grossest thing in the grocery store followed by cows tongue.

  50. 50
    JGabriel says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Somewhat similar, I would imagine.

  51. 51
    J.Ty says:

    @Gin & Tonic @JGabriel: Fish sauce is delicious and I will defend its honor to the grave.

    ETA: Yeah, they’re very different, I’d guess. If you’ve ever enjoyed a sweet & savory Vietnamese non-soup dish, you’ve probably enjoyed nuoc mam.

  52. 52
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader: Hey, hey, how else can you have a Gibson?

  53. 53
    MikeJ says:

    @PsiFighter37: UK. It’s sort of around the corner from Fabric, which used to be a really hot club, but I don’t really keep track of what’s hot and not any more.

    https://www.stjohngroup.uk.com/smithfield/

  54. 54
    Suffern ACE says:

    Hmmm. Shrimp paste tends to do me in. It’s an acquired taste that I know I should have, but I can’t seem to pick it up.

    Head cheese is not bad. It is tasty. I think the grossest thing out there is the mass market Braunschweiger, Balogna, and Frankfurters. The reason is that all of the mass market varieties taste the same. If you were out of hot dogs, you could grill some Balogna instead. Or grind up hot dogs to get liverwurst. That’s just wrong.

  55. 55
    joel hanes says:

    Head cheese is a treat.
    A good thin-sliced beef tongue sandwich is very good indeed. Or tacos lengua.

    And I can’t see much difference between CheezWhiz, Velveeta, Miracle Whip, and most margarines, none of which I buy, but none of which really disgust me.

    But I’ve never been able to enjoy tripes.

  56. 56
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    brains: the meat that thinks.
    (Classic short story by Terry Bisson- there is also a video of it set in a diner.)

  57. 57
    divF says:

    @joel hanes:

    Tripe in the form of menudo, is ok by me. Menudo is reputed to be a great hangover cure, but I’ve never used it in that fashion.

  58. 58
    Suzanne says:

    Shortening. Cheez Whiz. Velveeta. Any part of a dead mammal, really.

  59. 59
    J.Ty says:

    @divF: It’s amazing what parts of the animal I’ll eat if they’re served in soup form.

    Looking at you, pho.

  60. 60
    Fluke bucket says:

    No love for Duke’s mayonnaise? It is the best of the best.

  61. 61
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    No argument here. MW is devil’s slime.

  62. 62
    OldDave says:

    @chopper:

    huitlacoche

    Yep – one of the more infamous Steve, Don’t Eat it! installments.

  63. 63
    Cacti says:

    Any kind of processed meat in a can.

  64. 64
    Randy P says:

    I consider myself fairly adventurous as far as food, willing to try all kinds of things at least once. Swore I wouldn’t leave Scotland last summer without trying haggis (and I did, and it was fine, no big deal).

    But one time I was enjoying a Sopa de Mondongo in a Salvadoran restaurant, including the large starchy object which I assumed was yucca. After the waiter made it clear through my limited Spanish and his limited English that the object in question was in fact a hoof, I couldn’t eat any more of it.

    In retrospect I’m not sure why that bugged me so. Might finish it if presented with it again just because I don’t like admitting defeat, but haven’t had the courage to order that particular soup again.

  65. 65
    divF says:

    Now, for the truly controversial …
    I like:
    Anchovies (on pizza or anything else).
    Fresh little oily fishes. The local fish market will sometimes have fresh whole anchovies, sardines, or mackerel, and for cheap. I am torn between buying them and pigging out that evening, balanced against the revulsion of Madame divF, who finds them smelly and generally disgusting (especially when fried).

  66. 66
    dance around in your bones says:

    I was introduced to Nattō at a sushi bar at an impressionable age, and I love it, though it smells bad, is gooey and kinda gross.

    My husband was offered a roasted goat’s eyeball at a feast as an honored guest, and gamely swallowed it down. It would have been a terrible insult if he did not.

    I’ll second chopper as saying huitlacoche is pretty hard to look at, let alone eat. ¡Guacala! (pronounced wacala!)

  67. 67
    Suzanne says:

    My mom made me eat chipped beef on toast once. Shit on a shingle. It gave me diarrhea and after that, I shudder if I see that glass jar. So fucking vile.

  68. 68
    rammalamadingdong says:

    eggs. hot dogs. disgusting

  69. 69
    seaboogie says:

    Also, how drunk do you have to be to consider eating a pickled egg in one of those old-timey bars a good idea? The few times that I espied them, they kind of fascinated me.

  70. 70
    Kay (not the front-pager) says:

    Spam.

    As a little girl I thought I didn’t like mayonnaise. But in high school a boy I knew gave me a 1/2 bologna sandwich every day and it tasted good (I know, bologna? On white bread w/ mayo?). That’s when I found out my mom had been feeding me miracle whip. My sisters still call miracle whip “mayonnaise,” which makes eating sandwiches at their houses dangerous.

  71. 71
    NotMax says:

    @joel hanes

    But I’ve never been able to enjoy tripes.

    Pepper Pot Soup.

    Even the mass-market version.

  72. 72
    The Dangerman says:

    I do believe Santorum is a product.

  73. 73
    Cacti says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    Has anyone here had horse tartare?

    Never tartare, but had it in cooked form when I was living in Brazil.

    A bit chewy, but not the worst thing I’ve ever eaten.

  74. 74
    Jewish Steel says:

    @Howard Beale IV: The college kids and State Farmers kinda destroy the place. I’d kill for a Trader Joe’s around here.

    @MikeJ: Marmite:

    The British version of the product is a sticky, dark brown food paste with a distinctive, powerful flavour, which is extremely salty.

    What’s not to love? I’ve gotta try this stuff.

  75. 75
    Anne Laurie says:

    @JGabriel: I understand there is a technical difference between garum and the fish sauce which is a staple of Thai (& other Southeast Asian) cuisine, but I hope never to be required to taste-test that difference!

  76. 76
    Felonius Monk says:

    Anybody for blood sausage or perhaps a wee bit of haggis* ?

    *For those not familiar with this Scottish treat:

    Haggis is a savoury pudding containing sheep’s pluck (heart, liver and lungs); minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally encased in the animal’s stomach and simmered for approximately three hours.

  77. 77
    Jewish Steel says:

    @The Dangerman: Byproduct, definitely.

  78. 78
    SG says:

    Sunny Delight, aka SunnyD. It’s like drinking fluorescent orange radiator sludge. Any resemblance to orange juice or even orangeade is nonexistent. It’s HFCS-loaded chemical waste.

    She resented it at the time, but now my daughter thanks me for refusing to buy SunnyD or the disgusting Lunchables.

  79. 79
    Bill Arnold says:

    Back when I ate meat (as a kid/teenager) giblets were on my short list. Also fish heads. Currently spouse and I share an aversion to both squid and octopus but it’s not absolute or rational.

  80. 80
    The Dangerman says:

    As for actual food, natto is the nastiest stuff ever attempted. Too bad, the stuff is supposed to be really good for you.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natt%C5%8D

  81. 81
    rikyrah says:

    Chitterlings.

    Liver.

    Both foods I ate willingly with an open mind and nearly regurgitated when they hit my tongue.

  82. 82
    NotMax says:

    @seaboogie

    Pickled eggs are a taste treat.

    But fights can break out between people who favor the red ones versus those inclined to eat only the white ones. Always figured that was a reason that taverns which do have that large cloudy jar in view usually offer only one kind or the other.

  83. 83
    Tractarian says:

    Vegemite. (Available in any store in Australia.)

    If you haven’t tried it, don’t.

  84. 84
    angelfoot says:

    Braunschweiger.

  85. 85
    divF says:

    Another memory from growing up is fried-bologna sandwiches, the thought of which now causes me to gag ever so slightly. However, I found a possible explanation for why they were a staple around my house when I read Annie Proulx’ The Shipping News – they appear to be commonplace in Newfoundland, which is where my mother’s family is from.

  86. 86
    Tomy says:

    @dance around in your bones:

    It would have been a terrible insult if he did not.

    I said that in another comment. IMHO as an American we are used to this or that. Head to another nation and they eat organs. As a guest you are offered them, and they are offered up as a good thing. Liver. Brains. Eyes you name it. I’ve come to find they are all good things.

  87. 87
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Tractarian: were you buying bread from a man in Brussels?

  88. 88
    Randy P says:

    We live in an area of Pennsylvania with a lot of Italian influence, and learned about a tradition of serving 7 fishes on Christmas Eve. We have been told that in your real traditional Italian families one of those fishes is always some sort of preserved cod that everybody hates, causes them to shudder just remembering it.

    Speaking of traditional Christmas stuff that everybody hates, what’s with all the hate fruitcake gets? I love fruitcake. Never had one I didn’t like.

  89. 89
    efgoldman says:

    OT, but congratulations to the PC Friars hoops, Big East champ for the first time since 1994.

  90. 90
    J.Ty says:

    @Felonius Monk: Blood sausage can be great, as long as you forget what it is you’re eating!

  91. 91
    aangus says:

    Vegemite,

    ‘nuf said.

    Edit: Ooooppsss! I see that Tractarian beat me to it.

  92. 92
    seaboogie says:

    @Felonius Monk: Back atcha, Felonious….I had blood sausage which I rather enjoyed – the flavor is wonderful, even if the texture was a bit cloying – but the fact that it was accompanied by a graphic description regarding how it was produced made one serving entirely enough. That’s what you get for dining with farmers – delicious food with TMI.

  93. 93
    ruemara says:

    tripe. miracle whip. store mayo. wonder white bread. chitterlings. cow foot. cow cod (bull’s dick). Masa. Enchilada. Mole. All yuck, all no. Oddly, even as a kid I adored spinach, liver, all kinds of fruit and veg and kidney.

  94. 94
    NotMax says:

    Housekeeper back when I was a wee one used to boil pig’s feet for hours and hours on end.

    Still believe the fumes peeled paint off the walls 3 houses down the block.

    @Felonious Monk

    Real haggis tastes so good, though, one can forgive the ingredients list. I exempt from that statement what is sometimes sold in the U.S. as canned haggis. That concoction would gag a maggot.

  95. 95
    Jibeaux says:

    Duke’s is the best mayo, although I take mayo very sparingly. The little oily fishes are good for you and Eco-friendly as I understand it. I should eat them more often. Now, the most disgusting food though is frozen Jimmy Dean sausage on a stick, wrapped in a chocolate chip pancake. This is a real product.

  96. 96
    Randy P says:

    @Felonius Monk: Had both on a trip to the UK last summer. I wouldn’t go out of my way to eat blood sausage again, but it was OK.

    Nobody’s mentioned kim chee (cabbage buried in the backyard for a month or so). I love the stuff, or at least I think I do. But I’ve only had it in restaurants. There’s a Korean-owned sushi place in Philly where I usually order it as a side with my sushi.

    But I’ve been told your real authentic kim chee stinks something terrible and the restaurant stuff is only a pale imitation.

  97. 97
    Tommy says:

    @Bill Arnold: About the best thing ever for me was out of college my roommate married this Korean women. We were dirt poor. She cooked a lot stuff. We often shopped at this Asian market. Even to this day there are things in my fridge that folks don’t get.

  98. 98
    divF says:

    @Jibeaux:

    frozen Jimmy Dean sausage on a stick, wrapped in a chocolate chip pancake

    You win.
    ETA: No amount of respect for local customs would induce me to eat such a thing.

  99. 99
    Wag says:

    @Comrade Luke:

    I presume you are from Minnesota and are referring to lutefisk.

  100. 100
    dance around in your bones says:

    @Tomy: Yes, we learned this early on while traveling – we always tried to follow and respect local customs, in food and other things, like learning to tuck our left hand behind our backs while eating food with our hands (because the left hand is used for bathroom functions and thus, uh – unclean).

    We screwed up bigtime once when visiting Mazar-i-Sharif during Ramadan, and buying delicious yellow poundcake type loaves in a a bakery – then wondering why people were kind of glaring at us as we ate it walking through the bazaar. Just dumb kids on our first trip through Afghanistan.

  101. 101
    NotMax says:

    As no one else has mentioned it, how about Marshmallow Fluff?

    Yuck-o.

    For those old enough to recall it, the jingle for fluffernutters was a helluva earworm.

  102. 102
    Jennifer says:

    @seaboogie: Hellman’s is crap. Duke’s is the only acceptable store-bought mayo; Blue Plate will do in a pinch.

  103. 103
    Anne Laurie says:

    Also, while I consider them delicious, deli tubs of mixed olives in brine have put more than one midwesterner off any consideration of tasting them. Brown and grey-green glistening, floating morsels don’t really seem like a food product unless you know what you’re looking at.

    The grossest thing I’ve ever eaten personally (under parental duress) was a platter of tiny Hong-Kong-style elvers, boiled whole. Little transluscent things with pepper-speck dark eyes. They tasted like crunchy fish-flavored ink erasers, or (to my mouth) calamari. Hands up, those who think calamari was invented to sell carrion to drunks… much like buffalo wings, which I also don’t eat.

  104. 104
    Jay S says:

    @Jewish Steel:

    What’s not to love? I’ve gotta try this stuff.

    um, the distinct, powerful taste? I couldn’t choke down Marmite.

  105. 105
    joel hanes says:

    @angelfoot:

    Braunschweiger

    Needs lettuce and a good sharp mustard to make a wonderful sandwich. But not great for your health.

  106. 106
    Tommy says:

    @Randy P: /bockqoute>Kimchi stinks something terrible and the restaurant stuff is only a pale imitation.

    Try the “real”‘ stuff ….

  107. 107
    Kay (not the front-pager) says:

    @Kay (not the front-pager): So when I use my android tablet and the mobile app I always get a message that my comment didn’t post. I try again and get the same message. But when I look back I have posted multiple times. Anyone else have this problem?

  108. 108
    marcopolo says:

    Corn Smut. ‘Nuff said. I jumped to making this comment about halfway through the thread so apologies if anyone else has posted it.

  109. 109
    MikeJ says:

    @Randy P:

    Nobody’s mentioned kim chee (cabbage buried in the backyard for a month or so). I love the stuff, or at least I think I do. But I’ve only had it in restaurants. There’s a Korean-owned sushi place in Philly where I usually order it as a side with my sushi.

    There are different styles of kim chee, made at different times of year. I think the winter variety is the strongest because it ferments the longest. I’ve never made it myself though, so don’t take my word for it.

  110. 110
    Bob says:

    Canned hash.

  111. 111
    Randy P says:

    @Kay (not the front-pager): Yes, all the time. I never believe the message, I always open a new window to check.

  112. 112
    p.a. says:

    @Suffern ACE: ethnic: many types of gelatinous Asian foods- textural issues (for many Westerners) no matter the taste. A Laotian restaurant had fermented shrimp paste on its tables as a condiment; in small packages resembling Copenhagen snuff. I opened it and was hit with the smell of a food dumpster sitting in the July sun all day.
    Generally available foods: have not had Miracle Whip in years, loved MW and tomato on white as a kid. I think Fluff was really gross. Is it still around?
    Not a bad food, but a horrible combination if you have to pack it: Mediterranean tuna (oil packed) on Wonder ‘Bread’. As a kid I was embarrassed to bring Italian bread sandwiches (sangwitches in local vernacular) to school so my mother put the tuna on white bread. At lunchtime I knew it was bad when I saw the oil slick on the bag. It was almost like the bread reverted to dough; just a soggy, inedible, pudding-like clump of tuna and yuk. Never forgot it.

  113. 113
    Tripod says:

    Ramen noodles. Consider the retail unit cost, and then what you pay for pet food.

  114. 114
    John Weiss says:

    @PhilK: Miracle Whip is not anti-mayonnaise.

    Try it on saltines with red pepper sprinkled on ’em. Wash it down with warm flat Budwiser. Breakfast of champions!

    Oh! How could I have forgotten the Spam?

  115. 115
    Jackie says:

    When I was a kid, there were some semi-neglected kids in our neighborhood. Their mother fed them miracle whip on wonder bread sandwiches. If those kids are alive now, I’d be amazed.

  116. 116
    Suffern ACE says:

    I’ve never understood why someone would spread yellow mustard sauce on anything given all the 100s of other types of mustard sauces out there.

  117. 117
    Bill Arnold says:

    @marcopolo:

    Corn Smut

    That can be bought?? I think you might have won the thread in the vegan category.

  118. 118
    NotMax says:

    For sheer odoriferousness, durian rates about 197 on a scale of 1 to 100. But it is creamy good.

    @MikeJ

    There are literally hundreds of varieties which all qualify as kimchi.

    A non-fermented type is super-easy to make.

  119. 119
    AliceBlue says:

    Clamato juice. (Although the stuff’s been around for years so someone must be drinking it.)

  120. 120
    Yam says:

    @TaMara (BHF): Everything but the “oink”…

  121. 121
    normal liberal says:

    I cannot for the life of me figure out the wild enthusiasm for Trader Joe’s. (Jewish Steel mentioned it above – we live in the same Joeless burg.) I was escorted through a TJ by a true devotee, and none of the many things she insisted were unmissable (and not perishable – business trip to the Big City) didn’t really do much for me. I did get an amusing shopping bag out of it.

    Since this thread seems populated by people with extensive knowledge of white food (I, too, was raised on Miracle Whip), perhaps someone can help solve a food puzzle for me. My mother remembers her Danish-German aunts making a steamed pudding at Christmas, which was based on white flour (and probably lard) and served with melted grape jelly seasoned with cinnamon. Does this ring a bell with anyone? I’ve wasted quite a lot of time this evening wandering through links for some fairly esoteric northern European steamed puddings, dumplings and God knows what, and I am none the wiser. Anyone have a theory?

    And if I’m ever served something with a hoof in it, I will be on the next train, plane or tramp steamer out of that country.

  122. 122
    efgoldman says:

    @NotMax:

    As no one else has mentioned it, how about Marshmallow Fluff?

    HEATHEN! INFIDEL!!

  123. 123
    Kay (not the front-pager) says:

    @Randy P: Thank you. Good tip – I’ll do that from now on (like … now!).

  124. 124
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Bill Arnold: Hm, vegan? How about Chinese preserved plums?

  125. 125
    🍀 Martin says:

    For whatever reason I cannot do beets. Haggis I can tolerate, but for reasons I cannot articulate I cannot eat beets. Every year I try, and every year I fail. They don’t sound gross, but I simply cannot eat them.

  126. 126
    Violet says:

    @rikyrah: I can’t eat liver either. I hated it as a kid and still can’t eat it. I recently tried it again. Got it part way down and it just regurgitated right up. My body doesn’t like liver. Can’t stand the smell, taste, texture or anything to do with it. Like I said, it was involuntary because I was determined it wasn’t going to defeat me. At it and it just came right back up.

  127. 127
    OldDave says:

    @Bill Arnold: Corn Smut / Cuitlacoche / Huitlacoche has been mentioned. Please don’t mention it again . ;-)

  128. 128
    J.Ty says:

    @AliceBlue: Makes a good Bloody Mary base.

  129. 129
    seaboogie says:

    @Jennifer: I will check Duke’s out – thanks!

  130. 130
    Suffern ACE says:

    @AliceBlue: Canadians and Canadian wannabes. I don’t know what use there is for it outside a Bloody Caesar.

  131. 131
    gbear says:

    I grew up with Miracle Whip as a sandwich staple but switched to real mayonnaise as an adult. However, I’d rather go back to Miracle Whip than use any of the non-fat mayonnaise recipes in my heart-healthy cookbook. They tasted awful with everything.

  132. 132
    Jennifer says:

    Gross supermarket food: Pringles

    OT somewhat because it’s about gross restaurant food, but if you didn’t hear the story on This American Life about imitation calamari (supposedly made of pork “bung”) you should check it out. It was both informative and hilarious. It was on the Dopplegangers show.

  133. 133
    p.a. says:

    @AliceBlue: yes, I second the Bloody Mary comment. A mix of Clamato and V8 makes a wonderful BM.

  134. 134
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Jennifer: Squid is cheap. Why would anyone use anything as imitation squid?

  135. 135
    moderateindy says:

    Speaking of Mayo
    Mayostard / Mustardayonnaise / Mustmayostardayonnaise
    http://youtu.be/mRntutn8udw

  136. 136
    🍀 Martin says:

    @normal liberal: Yeah, don’t eat ptcha. Well, or Jello.

  137. 137
  138. 138
    Suffern ACE says:

    @normal liberal: Gelatin is basically that hoof all ground up.

    I know of the Nordic treat you mention, but I can’t spell it. The grape jelly is optional.

  139. 139
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Both mayonnaise and Miracle Whip are evil. Most other things are a matter of personal taste.

  140. 140
    NotMax says:

    @efgoldman

    Heh.

    (Twirls moustache, dramatically flips cape over shoulder and slinks out.)

  141. 141
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @Jewish Steel: I got a Trader Joe’s by me, but like Whole Foods, it ain’t worth the scratch.

  142. 142
    🍀 Martin says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Because it costs them money to dispose of pig sphincters which makes them much cheaper than squid.

  143. 143
    Jennifer says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I would imagine that bung is cheaper because people aren’t really clamoring to buy it. But I don’t know about the relative cost of squid vs. pork rectums; alls I know is when they did the taste test on the show, they couldn’t tell the difference between the two.

  144. 144
    🍀 Martin says:

    The thing about Trader Joes is that they don’t carry a terribly broad selection, but there are things that they carry that you just can’t get elsewhere and are awesome. Candy Cane Joe Joes, for example.

  145. 145
    Bill Arnold says:

    @🍀 Martin:
    Yep. About 1/2 the price of calamari, according to this.

  146. 146
    Joshua Norton says:

    @AliceBlue:

    Can’t make a Bloody Caesar without it. Canadians drink them by the gallons for Sunday Brunch.

    Actually, they’re pretty good.

  147. 147
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Jennifer: Gross supermarket food: Pringles

    Pringles, Doritos, as someone said, Cheetos… I don’t like to think how far removed these things are from actual foods. Someone told me Oreos are vegan, which IMHO makes them more disgusting.

    which reminds me of the Michael Pollan- Paula Poundstone Ring Ding fight..

  148. 148
    Kay (not the front-pager) says:

    @AliceBlue:I wouldn’t drink clamato juice but it’s a good start for a quick fish/seafood soup. just add peppers, celery and mixed fish pieces along with seasonings and white wine. Quick and delicious.

  149. 149
    marcopolo says:

    @chopper: My bad on being the third person to cite it and congrats on being the first, but ya really needed to include the photo of it :)

  150. 150
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Bill Arnold: Huh. Learn something every day.

  151. 151
    p.a. says:

    @Randy P: Baccala (Italian) Bacalhau (Portuguese). I like it. The issue is the smell when you soak it for about 24 hours to rehydrate it. Better have some incense on hand.

  152. 152
    policomic says:

    There is (or was, anyway) a packaged lunchmeat called “Blood and Tongue Loaf.”

    God knows what unspeakable ingredients they added to the blood and tongue to make it a “loaf.”

  153. 153
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @policomic:

    God knows what unspeakable ingredients they added to the blood and tongue to make it a “loaf.”

    Hoof.

  154. 154
    Jennifer says:

    @🍀 Martin: Yeah, I’m not grokking the lack of love for Joe’s. I stock up whenever I’m in a place where they have one. A lot of their stuff like marinara and some of the Asian sauces are really good and well priced. Their organic marinara tastes as good and costs about half as much as the decent varieties of non-organic marinara available at the local supermarkets here. I’m a big fan of both the Thai green curry and masala simmer sauces, most of the great variety of nuts they stock, lots of their chocolate goodies (dark chocolate pretzels, mints, chocolate covered edamame), the 8-grain bread, the 3 Buck Chuck (great for cooking), and their cave-aged Swiss gruyere is to die for, as well as being cheaper than the not quite as good Alpenhaus gruyere you can find at the supermarket.

    I love me some Joe’s.

  155. 155
    jl says:

    Blood sausage and fried liver and kidneys, topped with canned beets and a mighty dollop of MW, would be high on my list of dishes from the very pit of Hell.

    And, don’t forget the haggis!

    And, chitlins and cracklins, two horrible Southern U.S. atrocities.

  156. 156
    NotMax says:

    @policomic

    However, it does inform one a heckuva lot more about what it is composed of than does Olive Loaf.

  157. 157
    CaseyL says:

    @NotMax: I sing that song sometimes; it is catchy. Once, some young’uns asked me what I was singing about. I explained; they were grossed out; and were horrified when I told them that the PB&Fluff sammy was one of my favorite lunch treats as a child. I haven’t dared try it as an adult. I’m afraid I might still like it.

    Disgusting foods: sea urchin. The consistency of snot, and no discernible flavor. Ugh.

  158. 158
    Console says:

    Well, miracle whip actually has flavor so I can see why non-southerners and white people are adverse to it.

  159. 159
    Beatrice says:

    That Cheez Whiz stuff that you spray out of a can. It doesn’t even look edible.

  160. 160
    jl says:

    And I read about a product described as ‘canned hamburgers’ that they sell in Germany. Bun and all. That cannot be good.

  161. 161
    Suffern ACE says:

    @🍀 Martin: TJ has been carrying an almost ready to eat pork belly recently. I had no idea there was a market for almost ready to eat pork belly, but I have been buying it monthly.

  162. 162
  163. 163
    seaboogie says:

    So, the opposite of gross grocery store food…

    I live in the SF Bay area, where we produce and have access to some of the most wonderful food around, produced locally. A couple of months ago, during Dungeness crab season, I purchased a whole cleaned crab and went home and made mayonnaise from scratch using fresh local olive oil, meyer lemons from my tree and farmer’s market eggs.

    I asked my landlady for a ramekin to give her some of the mayo, because a batch is too much for one person. Then I picked the crab from the shell, and returned a plate to her with fresh lump crabmeat, homemade mayo, a ripe avocado and a grapefruit so that she could make a perfect winter salad. She seemed kind of taken aback when I knocked on her door and offered it to her, and I later asked if she was upset. To which she replied “are you kidding me – that was like manna from heaven!”. So said the lady who came to my door with a fresh out of the oven persimmon pudding on a cold winter night.

    Consider this a palate cleanser for many of the previous posts.

  164. 164
    🍀 Martin says:

    @Bill Arnold: I think people overlook some key constraints on running a business. Every business has waste, and waste costs money to get rid of. If you can find a use for the waste, you’re turning a recurring cost into a recurring revenue, and that’s gold. Gasoline was an unused byproduct that used to be burned off until someone decided to run auto engines on it. Ben and Jerry turned the waste from their ice cream into pig feed. Pink slime exists for that reason.

    If you ever make something at home and have bits you throw out, there’s someone in the food industry inventing a use for all that stuff. Their goal is zero waste.

  165. 165
    Stella B. says:

    @Felonius Monk: I had some blood sausage in Germany once. It didn’t taste bad, but I still had a lot of trouble keeping it going in the right direction. Miracle Whip, while bad, is not quite that bad. Sea urchin is quite tasty.

  166. 166
    NotMax says:

    @Jennifer

    chocolate covered edamame

    Shoot.

    Now have to start a whole new page of the Things Which Shall Be Banned When I’m Elected Emperor of the World list.

  167. 167
    Woody says:

    The Dreaded Olive ‘n’Pimento Loaf.

    Outside of that:

    Diet Cheddar Cheese Pop (served warm)

    Halibut Jell-O

  168. 168
    max says:

    @policomic: God knows what unspeakable ingredients they added to the blood and tongue to make it a “loaf.”

    Same things they put in baloney – they ground up the tongue and the cooked blood, and cooked it. Voila – meatloaf.

    @ruemara: tripe. miracle whip. store mayo. wonder white bread. chitterlings. cow foot. cow cod (bull’s dick). Masa. Enchilada. Mole. All yuck, all no. Oddly, even as a kid I adored spinach, liver, all kinds of fruit and veg and kidney.

    Tripe, masa .. enchiladas!?!… mole. All fine. Liver: chicken liver and turkey liver are fine, most of the raw beef liver in stores is not the good stuff, so sucky. Chitterlings are fine. (As are okra and various greens.)

    No to miracle whip, or other psuedo-mayo, yes, to fresh mayo or aioli.

    Tongue is great Austrian-style, and I make an excellent heart and kidney stew.

    Not that big on fish sauce but I can work with it.

    Marmite and vegemite are FINE DAMN YOU.

    max
    [‘America the bland.’]

  169. 169
    David in NY says:

    You know, a lot of the “gross” stuff shows we’re rich. We can afford to throw away (or feed to our pets, etc.) beef tongue, pig’s feet and the makings of head cheese. But if we’re going to keep investing in large animals the way we do, then we ought to be eating all of them, and not make them even more wasteful by throwing away parts that people have been eating (and liking) for centuries.

    I grew up not very rich. We ate tongue fairly often because it was cheap and would feed a family of six (five of us and grandma). And it tastes wonderful. Really. Now, oddly, it’s expensive, no idea why. But it’s really worth getting over stupid prejudices formed because you can’t bear to eat something that looks like part of an animal (although you probably disdain vegetarians). Either eat the whole thing or face it, you shouldn’t be eating animals.

  170. 170
    Jennifer says:

    @NotMax: Chocolate covered edamame is awesome. The soybeans are roasted and covered in dark chocolate, so it’s nutty/salty/sweet/chocolatey. Yummy!

  171. 171
    ruemara says:

    @p.a.: The smell is the smell of home, cooked with onions, peppers and ackee.

  172. 172
    Anne Laurie says:

    @p.a.: Add some lye, you’ve got lutefisk.

    And you can keep that shite, cuz nobody eats lutefisk that has a choice in the matter.

  173. 173
    jl says:

    Freshly cooked beets, chopped or shredded are fine, though.

    Having grown up on that canned gunk, I was amazed how good they were without getting canned.

  174. 174
    Suzanne says:

    Those Uncrustables, which are the PB & J hockey pucks in the freezer section, used to horrify me. Then Spawn the Elder ended up the the ER after splitting her head open down to the skull, and the wonderful people there gave her one of those to get her to chill out. It worked, and it made the whole experience so much better. So I shouldn’t judge.

  175. 175
    Kay (not the front-pager) says:

    @seaboogie: (shaking fist) Damn you Seaboogie!

    I don’t know why we ever voluntarily moved from the Bay Area, but we’ve never eaten as well on a regular basis since we left. It’s not just the quality, but the shear variety of foodstuffs available. Now I’ll have to get on a plane sometime soon for another visit.

  176. 176
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @David in NY:

    Either eat the whole thing or face it, you shouldn’t be eating animals.

    The whole thing gets used. Not all of each animal by the same person, but it gets used. From this thread, it appears that anus makes a convincing imitation squid. And then hotdogs and Taco Bell use whatever is left.

  177. 177
    Bill Arnold says:

    It’s worth checking out the various lists of strange-to-us ice cream flavors available around the world, e.g. this list of japanese flavors. (e.g. eel)

  178. 178
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yup, blood, tongue & gelatin — scraps from the butchering that weren’t good enough to eat on their own, or valuable enough for long-term preservation.

    I was told the Old German name for it meant “serf’s portion”…

  179. 179
  180. 180
    jl says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    ” Add some lye, you’ve got lutefisk. ”

    When I had it, was kind of like smelly cod jello. Yum. Yum.

    Was OK if you took a shot of booze first.

  181. 181
    Suzanne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I will go vegan in a heartbeat if the only other alternative involves eating anus. That’s not even a question.

  182. 182
    J.Ty says:

    @Suzanne: I presume you avoid fast food beef then.

  183. 183
    Anne Laurie says:

    @AliceBlue: I was fond of clamato juice during my adolescence — even though I’m not a fan of seafood in general. Bruce Jay Friedman, in the Lonely Guy’s Book of Life, has a riff about “eat a nice slice of liverwurst for breakfast, wash it down with clamato juice, you’re ready for anything the day throws at you… “

  184. 184
    Annamal says:

    I was raised on Marmite and Vegemite and don’t mind them (I think psychologically Americans expect something sweet or chocolatey and that ups the ick factor).

    I nearly puked when I tried durian candy though.

    Also I never want to try this local delicacy:

    http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/vi.....nking-corn

  185. 185
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @jl:

    Was OK if you took a shot of booze first.

    I doubt this. Well, booze does make everyone witty and charming as well as making potential sex partners more attractive. Right?

  186. 186
    Suzanne says:

    @J.Ty: Haven’t had beef from anywhere in about 16 years. I realize that this is probably yet another example of my neurosis, but the idea of eating mammals is….gross.

  187. 187
    jl says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    ” strange-to-us ice cream flavors ”

    Filipino cheddar cheese and corn ice-cream is OK. Actually pretty good.

    I didn’t want to try it, but relented once at a party.

    I think you can get it at Mitchell’s Ice Cream in San Francisco.
    But most people would probably go for the green coconut, yam, or jack fruit, or whatever that purple root stuff that kind of tastes like mild sweet potato is, first. Those are Filipino flavors more acceptable to Western palate. The green coconut is great, as is the purple stuff.

    Edit: green coconut is called Macapuno (and I think it is special kind of coconut, nut just regular coconuts but green. The purple stuff is ube. I don’t see cheddar cheese and corn on the current menu, though.

    Edit2: no jackfruit either right now. What gives?

  188. 188
    Ian says:

    @efgoldman:
    Jihad on your marshmellow.

  189. 189
    J.Ty says:

    @Suzanne: Hey, I’ve got nothing against vegetarianism. Probably a decent argument to be made that it’s an ecological imperative. Just not something I do personally, but I’d never claim that what I do and what I should do line up very often.

  190. 190
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @J.Ty: I believe someone on this site once mentioned knowing a 1/2 Cajun/1/2 Chinese friend/acquaintance/significant other. Nothing was wasted.

  191. 191
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Add some lye, you’ve got lutefisk.

    Out of curiosity, what do lutefisk lovers do now that lye is not easily available (casualty of the war on meth IIRC; used to be able to buy red devil lye in the supermarket)?
    (Browsing around I see that soapmakers have found some suppliers.)

  192. 192
    J.Ty says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Oh, I wasn’t doubting your point, that’s just one of my favorite Far Side cartoons.

  193. 193
    efgoldman says:

    @NotMax:

    Twirls moustache, dramatically flips cape over shoulder and slinks out

    Never actually had a fluffernutter, but as an ice cream topping, or an ingredient in frosting or other confections, yum.

  194. 194
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @J.Ty: Probably a decent argument to be made that it’s an ecological imperative.

    Yup. I try to do meatless Monday, to use meat as a small part of the meal instead of the main– stir fry or soups. But god help me, I love red meat.

  195. 195
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @efgoldman: Too damned sweet. Don’t like it.

  196. 196
    Suzanne says:

    @J.Ty: I have been vegetarian off and on since I was sixteen. Right now, and during all of those “off” periods, I ate poultry and seafood only, no mammals. I did once eat a steak in the late nineties. Haven’t had bacon since I was about twelve or thirteen. And while I don’t care in the slightest what other people eat, I have just lived this way so long that I’ve developed aversions to red meat. I remember that I used to like it, but now it just grosses me out in a completely irrational way. Because I was vegetarian during my prime learning-to-cook years, I have just developed veggie habits and tastes. I even learned to love Brussels sprouts, which I used to loathe.

  197. 197
    karen says:

    Haggis in a Can. I saw it on Chopped.

  198. 198
    jl says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: If you took a bite right after you took a shot of aquavit, you couldn’t taste it. And after a few shots, you didn’t care.

  199. 199
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @J.Ty: This one or Beware of Doug are tops for me.

  200. 200
    J.Ty says:

    @Suzanne: I adore salad, myself. I’ll order a big fancy salad for a meal whenever it’s on the menu. But too many of my beloved foreign foodstuffs are too inexorably meat-based for me to cut it out. Plus I’m allergic to chicken, which is quite limiting enough, thank you.

  201. 201
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @jl: Fish jello with melted margarine? I would care. Not a huge fan of fish in general.

  202. 202
    J.Ty says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: or Cow Tools, but only once I read the story behind it.

  203. 203
    Nutella says:

    @CaseyL:

    Disgusting foods: sea urchin. The consistency of snot, and no discernible flavor.

    It has the discernible flavor of scrapings off the kitchen floor of an unsanitary restaurant with a little iodine mixed in.

    Ugh.

  204. 204
    efgoldman says:

    @Ian:

    Jihad on your marshmallow.

    Angel cake with marshmallow (corrected your spelling) frosting and coconut on top. Dessert of the gods.

  205. 205
    Original Lee says:

    Scrapple. Made-to-order heart attack on a plate.
    Velveeta and Cheez Whiz.
    Tripe.
    Calf’s liver and cow’s liver. Somehow chicken liver is OK by me, though.

  206. 206
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @efgoldman: Dear god. Angel food cake has butter creme frosting. What is wrong with you?

  207. 207
    seaboogie says:

    @Nutella: Once ate sea urchin at one of the best sushi restaurants in the US (Jewel Bako in NYC) and came down with a seriously nasty flu the next day while traveling – ruined sea urchin for me a very long time now…prolly worth trying again when the virus season is past.

  208. 208
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Annamal:

    (I think psychologically Americans expect something sweet or chocolatey and that ups the ick factor).

    Also, thinking it should be spread like peanut butter. Americans: be sparing with Marmite.

    But I’m with Jim, Foolish Literalist: the ingredients list on a Hot Pocket® or Pop-Tart® ought to strike fear into your heart more than a jar of pigs’ feet.

  209. 209
    normal liberal says:

    @Suffern ACE:
    Yes, I know about the source of gelatin. Somehow a bowl of Jello (vile for entirely separately reasons) doesn’t pack the same get-it-away-from-me punch as an actual intact hoof floating in the soup. Maybe it’s just me.

    Thanks for the hint that the Nordic steamed object is not a figment of the imagination. My mother remembers a name, sort of, but I haven’t found anything using phonetic spellings. (This would have been in about 1930, so no one else is left we can ask.) She also remembers the spiced jelly as the sole redeeming aspect of the pudding in question.

  210. 210
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @normal liberal: I have been told that the Scandinavian-American approach to food is to cook it until it is grey and if that doesn’t work put a white sauce on it.

  211. 211
    Suffern ACE says:

    @normal liberal: I think it’s Rømmegrøt. I can’t find a recipe that calls for lard, but I know my grandmother used lard in hers. These modern recipes that call for butter and heavy cream are for the health nuts.

    It’s not steamed per se. It is cooked in a water bath to prevent scorching.

  212. 212
    LauraPDX says:

    I once ordered what I thought was a yakitori bento in Japan and got grilled baby birds instead. My stomach still turns when I think of the crunching sound made by the little bones.

    Miracle Whip was my mother’s condiment of choice, along with sweet pickle relish, and she used both with abandon. Worst thing ever was when she made a chopped ham salad with the MW and relish, then put a scoop on a canned pineapple ring and baked it.

    And anything flavored lime or cherry.

  213. 213
    seaboogie says:

    @Kay (not the front-pager): @Nutella: Once ate sea urchin at one of the best sushi restaurants in the US (Jewel Bako in NYC) and came down with a seriously nasty flu the next day while traveling – ruined sea urchin for me a very long time now…prolly worth trying again when the virus season is past.

    Kay – come back to visit and dine – it keeps getting better all the time. I’m up Sonoma way, and we have lots of wonderful things to savor here. If my budget was larger, I would be too!

  214. 214
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @LauraPDX: I’m thinking these recipes come from the Upper Midwest? MN, IA or SD?

  215. 215
    normal liberal says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    I find that description entirely too apt. No lutefisk for me, thanks.

    Anthony Bourdain’s CNN series did a recent episode on a wildly acclaimed restaurant in Copenhagen (Noma) that combines Nordic food with foraged ingredients and the “let’s set fire to this plate of hay” approach to cooking. I’m staying home with a jar of Miracle Whip, some white bread and a ham.

  216. 216
    Joel says:

    Potted meat?

  217. 217
    Suffern ACE says:

    @LauraPDX: mmmm “ham salad.” The pineapple is a nice touch. My mom made a similar concoction called “baloney salad”. We had a meat grinder because my mom needed her ham salad.

    I think the reason I can’t really eat mayo or miracle whip today is the types of salads I was forced to try growing up.

  218. 218
    Joel says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Pretty basic, actually:

    Dehydrated potatoes (Pringles) or puffed corn (most junk foods) with a smattering of salt and hydrogenated vegetable oil. Cheesy things have whey and savory things glutamate. Some spice mix, dehydrated onion or garlic added. Everything geared for shelf stability.

  219. 219
    normal liberal says:

    @Suffern ACE:
    Thanks for the update, but that doesn’t match the description, although it occurs to me that Norwegian neighbors years ago might have served the dish you linked. The thing my mom remembers is a thick batter tied up in cheesecloth and steamed, like the Cratchit’s plum pudding but without the flavor, hence the grape jelly. (Back then the aunts probably made the grape jelly as well.) I’m going to have to find a German speaker who can figure out what the name she remembers might mean. Thanks for trying.

    And for everyone up there dissing ham salad, you are all enemies of the people. The Midwest could not exist without ham salad. So there.

  220. 220
    ruemara says:

    @Nutella: both of you have no taste. I love uni so much, I named my biz after it.

  221. 221
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @normal liberal:

    And for everyone up there dissing ham salad, you are all enemies of the people. The Midwest could not exist without ham salad. So there.

    It doesn’t make it right.

  222. 222
    Amir Khalid says:

    I see someone up-thread has mentioned belacan or fermented shrimp paste, essential to the sambal belacan that goes with nasi lemak (rice cooked with coconut milk). As an effete Westernised city boy, though, I have never dared try fish sauces like budu from Kelantan or cencalok from Melaka. They would sometimes feature on American reality TV shows of the past decade, where Joe Rogan would challenge contestants to sample them.

    @Annamal:
    Mickey D’s first year in Malaysia, over 30 years ago, they briefly had a durian shake as a seasonal item. For some reason, not popular in a country where almost everyone loves durian.

  223. 223
    Ruckus says:

    Bet I get hated for this.
    Coffee.
    Love the smell of fresh roasting coffee. Or a pot brewing over a campfire. But the taste just makes me gag. Even if it’s 90% sugar and milk or has more Jamesons in the cup than anything else. Have tried quite a few times, never managed more than a sip.

    Head cheese, just the sound of someone eating that is too much. Used to work with someone who loved head cheese. Never understood how he could eat it. And neither did anyone else nearby.
    Liver, liver and onions, whatever. It isn’t just gross, I hate it with the heat of a thousand suns.
    Boiled hot dogs.

  224. 224
    normal liberal says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    I’m going to pray to all my Wisconsin-bred, dairy-farming, margarine-abjuring, salt-of-the-earth (hyphens were on sale today) ancestors to haunt you enough to force you out of the heartland and live out your traitorous existence eating lutefisk smeared with vegemite.

    I have to admit that I abandoned ham salad during the 20-some years I lived on the east coast. When I came back to Illinois, I picked my primary grocery store (in Champaign-Urbana, a little suspect since they have eastern gray squirrels over there) based on who sold the best ham salad.

  225. 225
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Ruckus:
    I’ve completely given up drinking coffee myself, and I hardly miss it at all.

  226. 226
    Ruckus says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    I’ve never missed it.

  227. 227
    Betty Gray says:

    My husband loves MC, and thinks mayo taste like grease. We tried haggis in Scotland, and found it very salty. I grow up eating blood sausage, but none of my family likes it.

  228. 228
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @normal liberal: I have lived well more than half of my life in the Upper Midwest (as long as you consider the Chicago area the capital of the Upper Midwest – which I do). Don’t fuck with me.

  229. 229
    Irony Abounds says:

    Refried Beans. Nothing says Yum Yum like eating something that looks and feels like its been scrapped off a diaper.

  230. 230
    normal liberal says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    My friend, I’m a fifth-generation Chicagoan on my mom’s side (so of course I consider it the capital – of everything), and the relatives preparing to haunt you lived in Chicago and farmed in Wisconsin and Iowa going way back. My father’s family moved to the western suburbs before they were suburbs, because they lost their house on Oak Street in the Great Chicago Fire.

    I work down the block from (one of) Abe Lincoln’s law offices from his circuit riding days.

    When it comes to Midwesterness, I have form.

  231. 231
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @normal liberal: Anything involving mayo or Miracle Whip is still wrong. Any positive role those things could accomplish could be done by either butter or sour cream. And then no one would gag.

  232. 232
    normal liberal says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    I’ll give you Miracle Whip. (Just because there’s a jar in my fridge doesn’t mean I eat the stuff. I’m supposed to deny it to my elderly mother? I think she started using it instead of mayo because she bought into the “new and sciencey is better than that stuff from the old county” guff that advertising made so popular.)

    Mayo, on the other hand, is a perfectly valid concoction, as in you can make it yourself with identifiable ingredients. Judiciously combined with finely diced salty ham, a little pickle, maybe some pimento and celery, you have a nice amalgamation of the food traditions of those who settled our region and wrenched it away from the previous occupants.

    I shudder to think what your views on tuna salad might be.

  233. 233
    jomike says:

    Braunschweiger, aka “liver sausage.” Swear to god I can feel my cholesterol rise as I eat it. Nobody else in the house will go near it, which is perfect because I don’t eat it often. Zero chance somebody will raid my stash and piss me off.

  234. 234
    cmm says:

    Liverwurst. Scrapple. Two things I hated to see come out of the grocery bags into our fridge growing up. Liverwurst in particular stinks and would make all the other lunch meat taste like it.

  235. 235
    cmm says:

    Liverwurst. Scrapple. Two things I hated to see come out of the grocery bags into our fridge growing up. Liverwurst in particular stinks and would make all the other lunch meat taste like it.

  236. 236
    JR in WV says:

    @JGabriel:

    Dude, Thai fish sauce is identical to garam, is available in most large grocery stores for about $4 a bottle. You don’t even have to refrigerate it!

    It provides much umami flavor to any savory dish, from veggie soup to pad Thai noodles.

  237. 237
    Thymezone says:

    Miracle Whip? Not even close. The most disgusting thing in your grocery store is Hormel canned chili.

  238. 238
    Tim in SF says:

    I love mayonnaise and frequently make my own. I can’t make Miracle Whip because I don’t have a chemical factory or a bone-rendering plant in my kitchen. So, fuck Miracle Whip.

    Cheeze Whiz is acceptable on cheesesteaks, but nowhere else.

    Cow’s tongue is great in a sandwich.

    Pigs feet and head cheese are poverty food. No thanks.

  239. 239
    Betty Cracker says:

    @seaboogie: I make my own mayo using Meyer lemons from the yard and eggs from my own hens, plus good quality olive oil. It is awesome and wholly unlike (and superior to) store-bought mayo. I also enjoy the process of making the mayo: I use a blender stick in a jar, and it’s like alchemy!

  240. 240
    Betty Cracker says:

    This doesn’t count as food, but the most disgusting product ever is that doughy-looking crap sold to lure fish. My granny and I were purchasing fishing supplies once, and I opened a tub of that stuff, took a whiff and heaved my guts out, right in the middle of K-Mart or wherever we were. Granny found it amusing.

  241. 241
    linda says:

    @seaboogie: I wouldn’t eat the pickled eggs at some strange bar, but home made ones are the bomb.

    While pickled pigs feet and head cheese were staples in our home because Dad loved them, I could never warm up to czarnina (duck blood soup with noodles and dried fruit) or kieshka (blood sausage).

  242. 242
    Montarvillois says:

    @Belafon: Was that “cheese” Velveeta?

  243. 243
    becca says:

    Congealed salads and vie-annie sausages.

    Buttermilk and saltines mushed in a glass.

    Banana pudding left in the fridge for a week.

    Cream of wheat.

  244. 244
    ixnay says:

    @Beatrice:

    The only good use for Easy-Cheese is to give a pill to a dog. Spoon, small dollop of E-C, pill, another small dollop: 80% of the time, the pill goes right down, and you have not had to put your hand in the dog’s mouth. A little softer than peanut butter, but plenty sticky.

  245. 245
    Booger says:

    @Gin & Tonic: “I’ve got some here in the glove compartment.”

  246. 246
    different-church-lady says:

    That’s easy: gross domestic product

  247. 247
    Betty Cracker says:

    @ixnay: It also attracts little tropical fish — they love spray cheese! It’s a good way to ensure you get nice photos while snorkeling on a reef — just spray EC and watch the fishes school up!

  248. 248
    MomSense says:

    I can’t believe no one has offered Crisco! It’s vile and it is in so many things. They just add killer amounts of salt and sugar to camouflage how nasty it is.

  249. 249
    Svensker says:

    @MikeJ:

    Have you ever had Heinz Salad Cream?

    The Brits really know how to name ’em, don’t they?

    Had a friend from the South stay with me in So Cal one year and she made tuna salad — with Miracle Whip and chopped hardboiled eggs. But she was upset she couldn’t find “salad chunks.” What the hell are “salad chunks”? I asked. You’ve never heard of salad chunks? said she. Why, they’re chunks of sweet pickle to put in tuna salad.

    She made do with chopping her own.

    The “salad” looked like somebody’d lost a 3-day-old 7-11 sandwich after a night partying with the Ford Bros.

  250. 250
    Bex says:

    @normal liberal: I have a recipe for cinnamon pudding. Grape jelly isn’t in it, but in the directions it says to pour syrup over the mixture before baking. Let me know if you want the whole recipe.

  251. 251
    wil says:

    I once got three-quarters of the way through a Durian smoothie. I did my best, but had to throw the rest out. It wasn’t the taste, which wasn’t bad, but the scent that got in my throat and nostrils and stayed there hours after I’d tossed the smoothie in the trash.

    At the time I described it as: “Take a dead mouse, leave it on a sunny road for a day or two, then throw it in a blender with some vomit.”

    Anybody saying anything bad about fish sauce just hasn’t learned how to use it and how great it is. If you’ve eaten Thai or Vietnamese food, you had fish sauce whether you knew it or not. I use it all the time in cooking and as a condiment, sometimes mixed with lime, garlic and peppers, sometimes just on its own.

    It’s been a few years since my durian adventure…I’m thinking of giving it another shot.

  252. 252

    Gelfite fish in jars in the kosher aisle look really gross, never really tried them though. Anything cooked in lard or ghee.

  253. 253
    Bex says:

    @normal liberal @normal liberal: Does the ISU library have a self-published/church/ethnic cookbook collection? Or could you find something like that online? My recipe is from a college alumnae group, many of whom seem to be of German descent.

  254. 254

    @Jennifer: They also have a great variety in their frozen fruit section. Frozen mangoes and pineapples are a great deal. Mango ice-cream and mango chutney from frozen mango chunks at TJ is my favorite summertime treat.

  255. 255
    Betty Cracker says:

    @MomSense: Awful? Yes. A necessary ingredient in a proper biscuit? Also affirmative! :-)

  256. 256
    Joshua says:

    Silly Americans, it’s obviously marmite. Or vegemite!

  257. 257
    amy c says:

    @cmm: Scrapple! Basically fried Miscellaneous Pork Scraps. Could be any part of the animal, but definitely not a part anyone else is going to use. Enjoy!

    (Ick.)

  258. 258
  259. 259
    metricpenny says:

    And here I thought we could have a future together. SMH. True love dashed by your denigration of the best condiment EVER.

    Miracle Whip. It kicks mayo’s ass.

  260. 260
    MomSense says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    If by “proper biscuit” you mean tasteless…;)

    Cold butter, buttermilk, and don’t “fiddle with them too much” as my grandma used to say.

  261. 261
    tybee says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    what does one do with an “almost ready to eat” pork belly?

  262. 262
    tybee says:

    @seaboogie:

    no, it’s not. it looks like an orange booger and tastes worse.

    the description

    the discernible flavor of scrapings off the kitchen floor of an unsanitary restaurant with a little iodine mixed in.

    is accurate.

    and i’ll eat just about any kind of seafood. but no more of that.

  263. 263
    kc says:

    CHICKEN FEET, people.

  264. 264
    Karen C says:

    @marcopolo: It IS delicious!!

  265. 265
    jayjaybear says:

    Miracle Whip is Satan’s semen…

  266. 266
    Sandy M says:

    @Randy P: It’s baccala’

  267. 267
    ixnay says:

    @kc:
    I may not wish to eat chicken feet plain, but they are an essential ingredient for the very best chicken stock. No idea how much flavor they add, but the gelatin makes for amazing mouth-feel.

    BTW, the outer layer of chicken feet is peeled off before using. No concern about “little birdies dirty feet.”

  268. 268
    Mike G says:

    @Joshua:

    Silly Americans, it’s obviously marmite. Or vegemite!

    I brought back a dozen sample packets of Vegemite from my last trip to Oz to give to people who were curious about it. Strangely, no-one has asked for seconds…

  269. 269
    low-tech cyclist says:

    Potted meat food product.

    At least pasteurized process cheese food can at least call itself a food. This stuff can’t even do that. It’s got to label itself as a food product.

    Hell, given that cows are food, cowshit is a food product.

  270. 270
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @NotMax: Fluffernutters? But I don’t even know her!

  271. 271
    Annamal says:

    @Mike G:

    Pizza hut is currently offering a marmite crust pizza….

    Personally I think Pizza Hut is kind of gross otherwise I might be interested.

  272. 272
    Bonnie says:

    In my neighborhood, Miracle Whip was always the poor person’s mayonnaise. I have fond memories of it and summer picnics because if we were sharing sandwiches with other families, it was the only way we could afford to join in the fun. Thus, when I started earning my own money, I eventually went with mayonnaise because in my mind, I was not poor any more.

  273. 273
    Jackie says:

    I can eat mayo right out of the jar :) Miracle Whip is YUK! Altho I’ll buy a baby jar just to make cole slaw dressing – recipe given to me by MIL. And it’s the best recipe for cole slaw ever!

    My ex grew up on Miracle Whip. So when I made sandwiches I made mine first; to not taint the knife used to dip into mayo then Miracle Whip. I’d lick the knife free of mayo and then dip into the Miracle Whip for his sandwiches. Other way around – I grabbed a new knife. LOL

    Worst thing I’ve never eaten – but had to look at on the kitchen table while eating every meal growing up: Pickled Pigs Feet. My Dad loved and we just had to look at this 5 gallon jar of floating pickled feet. This was in the ’60’s-’70s.

  274. 274
    Jackie says:

    Worse than Miracle Whip was the pickled sandwich spread my mom used to make us eat. Nothing else, just white bread and pickled sandwich spread. First time ok, after that, really??? Mom considered that eating veggies. :P

  275. 275
    Jackie says:

    @divF: And they were cheap. Which is why I know. Mom fed us as a “treat.”

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