In the culinary world, there are many good and bad things that are out there. A juicy burger and fries, good. A well done steak, bad. Foie gras, good. Balut eggs, bad. I think you get the point. So I am going to build a top ten list of things that should not be made, attempted or even thought about in the food world. All of the items on this list should be considered to be bad ideas for food, or simply poor excuses for food. To put it another way, I would rather eat  my clogs then eat anything on this list. Once you begin to read this list, you will quickly realize that there is no real scientific or rational reasoning behind this list, it’s all bad food. Are you ready for this? Are you ready to be blown away by this? I hope so, because I am. So, here we go!

10. Fermented Tofu


There are things in the world that might be stinky, such as a durian, but they taste like heaven. And then there are things that are stinky andtastes horrible. If you’ve never eaten this type of food, I say, try it, just so you can say that you’ve had it. I always make sure all of my students try everything I give to them so they can develop their palatte. The only times I don’t have my students eat something is if it interferes with their religious beliefs or allergies, but other than that, its fair game. To describe the smell and taste of this food product, words won’t do justice. Its just wicked. Before you even open the jar to this food, just check it out from the outside. You see this rusty looking fluid with chunks of white cubes. From the outside, it may look harmless, but as soon as you open it, its a whole new world (cue the Aladdin song….). The first thing you notice when the jar is open, is the smell. The smell is similar to raw sewage with a hint of gym socks. And the taste, similar if not spot on to how it smells. When I first tried this……thing, I was about 4 years old. My dad is a big fan of this stuff (why, I don’t know) and he had me try it. He pawned it off to me saying that its tofu in chili sauce. I was down with that, but little did I know it was spoiled tofu. As soon as I put it in my mouth, the smell started to perfume through my nostrils and the flavor started to spread all over my mouth. I started to salivate, like I was going to blow chunks. And sure enough, as soon as I swallowed this evil little morsel of food, it came right back out, to the amusement of my dad! The taste is horrific. Its not like the texture of tofu at all. Its spreadable. You put it in your mouth and it starts to melt a bit, but its a very horrifying kind of melting, a very unpleasant kind of melting. The putrid flavor spreads immediately in your mouth and then the flavor of salt and garbage blasts out. Its an unforgettable flavor. But I wish I could forget……

9. Ambrosia Salad


A classic in its own right to some, but for me, it’s a terrible mess of flavors and textures. For those of you who are not familiar with ambrosia salad, its a concoction of sour cream, whipped cream, pineapple, mandarin oranges, marshmallows, coconut and sometimes even jello.  I’ve had this before many moons ago and I still don’t understand why people even attempt to make it, let alone consume it. Just thinking about all of those soft textures in my mouth is making me feel a bit nauseous.

8. Watergate Salad

Watergate Salad

The name seems auspicious, but when you actually look at the thing, you’ll wonder why anyone ever thought it was a good idea. Maybe Deep Throat had something to do with it? This f-ed up salad consists of whipped topping (Its not even real whipped cream, we’re off to a bad start already!), instant pistachio pudding (I didn’t know they made such a flavor for pudding.), crushed, canned pineapple (Why can’t they use fresh?), mini-marshmallows (A great ingredient, but not used in this way), and chopped nuts. So, if you mix all of that together, what do you think it would look like? Ummmm, like a big pile of off-green, chunky bile, and I bet it would taste pretty similar to that as well. Again, I wonder who was it that thought that by mixing all of those ingredients together, it would be a  great idea?

7. Ramen Salad


Really? Ramen salad? Has our culinary world come down to this? How is this even remotely okay? I would understand, reluctantly, if you were to add uncooked, crispy ramen noodles to a salad for the crunch effect, i.e. the “oriental” chicken salad from Applebee’s (oriental is in quotations because its served on a rug or was it an antique chair), but to make a ramen salad with cooked ramen noodles, like a pasta salad….come on!! What happened to simple pasta salads using Italian pasta? Why put ramen noodles in the same category? Its great on its own for its own purpose, in a hot savory broth with all kinds of pork fixings, that’s the ramen I want to eat!

6. Ice Cream Ramen


Back to the ramen issue…

So, the ramen salad was a terrible idea. Something I would not want to consume or to even think about making. Then I found the juggernaut of bad ramen, the ice cream ramen! Yes, you heard me correctly, ice cream ramen. Ramen, for the those who do not know, is a Japanese noodle dish that originated in China. It is traditionally served in a meat-based broth, and is topped with delectable items such as sliced pork, dried seaweed , kamaboko (Japanese fish cake), green onions, and even corn. Almost every locality or prefecture in Japan has its own variation of ramen, from the tonkotsu ramen of Kyūshū to the miso ramen of Hokkaidō. So imagine a nice steaming hot bowl of ramen with all the fixings and two giant ice cream cones smashed on top!!!! One would argue the savory-sweet combination which I could see because the combination of maple syrup and bacon is great or the Ben & Jerry’s Chubby Hubby combination of ice cream and salted pretzels is heavenly, but ice crea, miso broth AND pork, that just ain’t gonna work!

5. Kitty Litter Cake


I wish I could have made this one up, but some genius thought of it before me. This cannot be categorized as food, PERIOD.  Granted that it is probably just a novelty food, the fact that there are recipes to make this debacle is just plain wrong.  If you look closely at the picture, the cake is trying to represent an actual kitty litter, kitty dookie and all. Brilliant! They use tootsie rolls for the poop effect. Once again, brilliant!! One thing is for sure, if you’re a cat owner and you let the kitty litter look like that, I’m calling PETA! However, when you get right down to it, the kitty litter cake is actually pretty hilarious! Brilliant!