The Top 5 Foods that are Not Worth the Trouble
Everybody today wants to label the food we eat. By that, I don’t mean labeling in a nutritional sense but rather how it fits into this or that particular diet. I’m a big Pinterest fan. I use it for just about everything but it is especially good for recipes. My friend Dave tells me that Pinterest is for girls and he may be right but as a cook, it is like having access to every cookbook ever written and it takes up no more space than my tablet. The point is that while you can do a search for favorite Italian recipes, say, you will produce, at least in my experience, a more broad return if you search for “low carb” recipes.
It’s no longer just Italian recipes at that point, it becomes a low carb smorgasbord from all four corners of the world. Besides, I don’t believe there are any low carb Italian dishes anyway so this might be a bad example, There’s “high-protein,” high-protein / low carb.” For those of you looking to spend more quality time in the bathroom there is “high fiber.” “Low fat,” “low glycemic,” “vegan,” “non-GMO,” “kosher,” ‘gluten free,” etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
What the hell is gluten anyway and why have so many people all of the sudden decided that it’s bad for them? I looked it up:
Gluten refers to the proteins found in wheat endosperm (a type of tissue produced in seeds that’s ground to make flour). Gluten both nourishes plant embryos during germination and later affects the elasticity of dough, which in turn affects the chewiness of baked wheat products.
Wheat sperm? Had I known that, I would be allergic too.
For what it’s worth, my favorite food category would be the, “I don’t give a fuck anymore and want as much fat and sperm-less gluten as I can get, with a nice dose of sugar for good measure and please deep fry it for me while you’re at it.”
I like a good recipe. I don’t care if it’s complicated and comes with a shopping list that takes me to a couple of specialty stores. If it’s as delicious as I think it’s going to be then it’s worth the effort. Homemade vanilla ice cream that requires fresh vanilla bean? Worth it. I made a Baked Spanish Risotto that asked for Spanish Saffron that I had to buy on the internet because I couldn’t find it anyplace else. Totally worth it.
I make the best hummus you’ll ever eat and I painstakingly peel ever single garbanzo bean so that I can be sure that it will be creamy and delicious. My hummus is so good that any self-respecting Middle-Easterner would have no other option but to hang their head and agree. As I said, though, it takes hours to make. Like I need time alone after I finish a batch so I can recover mentally but it’s worth it.
There are foods, however, that I will not mess with. Stupid foods that, even in their most basic form, like right off the tree, require much but return little or nothing. These are foods we’ve all eaten but probably never to take a step back and say, “Man, this sucks and I just wasted a decent sized piece of my life preparing it.” Allow me, now, to save you some sweat and disappointment.
Why are these things so big? Yes, I am aware that they have genetically altered this god awful fruit into smaller sizes and even weird shapes but let me tell you something, you can have a stripper pop out of it when I cut it open and I still don’t want it. You drag this monstrosity into the house, cut it open, take one bite and you’re like, “Oh, that’s not what I was hoping for.” Now what? What am I supposed to do with it now? What is with all the seeds? Black ones, white ones, everyone is spitting. Disgusting.
I think people used to like watermelon back in the day but then Jolly Ranchers came along and set a flavor expectation bar that this poor pod just couldn’t live up to. Everyone loves watermelon Jolly Ranchers, they’re always the first ones gone from the pack. Nobody likes those light blue ones though, whatever flavor that’s supposed to be. The light blue ones remind me of medicine like a menthol cough drop or somethings which further spoils them. Can you imagine if you tasted the watermelon Jolly Rancher before the actual watermelon?
Wide eyed innocent fruit virgin – “Oh my God, that was so delicious and you’re telling me that the real thing is a twenty pound version of this?!?! Holy shit!”
Hardened produce veteran – “Well, kind of. I mean, yes, but in a really tasteless, watered down, seed-filled nightmarish kind of way.”
Watermelons are so enormous that people actually form them into serving baskets complete with a handle and jagged edges like the artist sliced it with pinking shears. Filled with disgusting chunks of other hellish tasting melon varieties like honeydew and cantaloupe, this basin of foulness is the fruit equivalent of a green bean casserole that nobody wants.
Dogs are supposed to like fruit. There are fruits you don’t want to feed your dog like grapes and things with seeds but on any list of things that I’ve seen of “what not to feed your dog” watermelon is absent. Okay, great! Sophie, our dog, loves people food, Let’s unload some of this eyesore on her. Mind you, this is a dog that eats her own vomit and yet will not even approach watermelon to even give it a sniff. It’s like, “Yeah, I saw that shit on the counter for the last few days and, no, I do not want any. Thanks though”
I can tolerate any culinary disappointment if it’s the size of, say, a Hershey’s kiss, but this thing weighs twenty pounds and is the size of a Buick. My kids wont even eat it. So it sits there until we throw it away or some genius puts it in the blender with some lemonade and vodka. End result of the watermelon? I’m either disappointed or drunk.
Not really sure when the mango was introduced in the Midwest United States. I think it fell sometime around the introduction of the kiwi. Back when we became bored with simple apples and oranges the produce door was left open for some foreign neophytes to make the scene. No doubt the kiwi has its own carving issues but not nearly as extensive as the exasperating mango. First of all, how are you supposed to get the peel off of this thing? It feels like human skin. Like old people skin. All loose and gross.
I am always astounded at how little fruit actually comes from mangoes. If they were sold by the pound, I would not be a buyer as most of it goes right in the trash. Between the rind and the gigantic seed there is little room left for any edible fruit. Even if you somehow manage to get the skin off, how are you supposed to extract it from the seed? I have yet to win a battle with a mango. In every case I end up with a handful of mangled, wet, yellow meat and a big dose of feeling like I’ve been sold a bill of goods.
I also believe that if you were to blindfold a person and give them their first taste of a mango, they would swear that you just fed them rotten cantaloupe. The mango has made some inroads into your salsa and chutney markets but even in those cases, the taste is so overbearing and out of the ordinary that it’s all you can taste.
It’s a very sinewy fruit too. Like it has ligaments and tendons or something. Couple that with it having human skin and I feel like I’m eating my grandmother’s rotten, severed hand.
Like the watermelon, though, mangoes go great blended up with some vodka and sour mix. You can’t really ever get rid of the sinewy texture in a mango either, no matter how long you blend it, which leaves you drinking what feels like a vodka flavored ball of yarn martini.
If there was an award for the most useless waste of materials in a given vegetable, why there would be such an award is beyond me but work with me here, it would be the artichoke. When I was a kid, my friends mom tried to sell me on dipping these rather cumbersome and disgusting looking leaves in butter and, using my two front teeth, scrape off the gelatinous sac of green material at it’s base then throw the rest of it in the garbage. Even at that age I thought, “This cannot be all there is to this thing.” It’s basically a disgusting vegetable manipulated into as a spoon with the sole purpose of ingesting melted butter. Why don’t we all just dispense with the artichoke and just fess up that we no longer require it to justify the eating of liquefied animal fat.
Apparently, the heart of this abomination is used to make spinach artichoke dip. I hate spinach artichoke dip. It smells. Bad. Like the worst smell of all foods ever. I wont eat it and just being near it makes me feel like I am going to throw up.
So, two substantial honors for the much adored artichoke, the biggest waste of space and the foulest smelling concoction made using said artichoke. These things aren’t cheap either. Disgusting, useless and expensive? Nice combo.
I must say that in comparison to the aforementioned botanical abominations, the pomegranate is really not that bad tasting. It has a nice cleansing flavor and it apparently really good for you. In spite of that, getting to the actual fruit of this thing is like trying to dissect a fluke worm. If there’s a place to slice into it initially that allows for easier access to the little juice pockets, I haven’t found it. Which partially explains charging seven dollars for a bottle of it at the grocery store. Cut it open and it looks like the tumor in that guy’s head in Fantastic Voyage.
I am quite sure that you actually lose calories eating a pomegranate. The effort involved in surgically extracting the bounty surely burns more calories than are in one seed. I’ve tried adding these juice pods to my smoothies without regard for the little wooden seed and ended up with a great tasting smoothie filled with sawdust. Fibrous? Yes but the health benefits were greatly outweighed by the time spent on the toilet picking splinters out of my tongue.
Pomegranates are colloquially, and when I say colloquially, I mean, some red-necked gritter racist made it up, known as Chinese apples. Have you ever noticed that anything labeled as “Chinese” is fucking hard? Chinese Checkers? Marbles coming from everywhere. Chinese Finger Lock? I have a hard time believing that the industrious Chinese people slid wicker tubes over the fingers of those they were looking to subdue but they are pretty difficult to wrestle out of. As for the Chinese Apple, it’s like the Rubik’s Cube of produce so I think aptly named, if you’re a bigot.
I don’t want to spend the entire time picking on, pun intended, raw fruits and vegetables when there is other more deserving artificially made fodder out there. Let me just state for the record that I love Pez. The delicious candy, Pez, is not the problem here. The issue is the frustrating process of loading these ridiculous shaped bonbons into the slots of the various character dispensers. Why do I feel like if I don’t load these things into the machine that I am somehow cheating myself? They just don’t taste the same.
Who is the Pez outfit anyway? I’ve never seen any other products from them and I kind of have the feeling that while they do make enchanting and colorful candy squares that they also dabble a little in defense contracting. Like they make missiles and cluster bombs and stuff like that on the side. Of course their missiles are shaped like Goofy and Santa Claus just like their dispensers and their grenades they manufacture explode off into little rectangular pieces of pastel colored shards of death. Like you almost feel good being killed by something like this.
Surely, in the end, there are many more products to add to this list but these are the best of the best, at least as far as I’m concerned. By the way, if anyone wants my hummus recipe, let me know. I don’t part with it easy. Kind of like you wouldn’t let a child molester babysit your children. Not that you’re a child molester. Not sure where I’m going with this exactly so I’ll just stop here.