The Top 5 Foods That Are Not Worth the Effort

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.

Watermelon

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.

Mango

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.

Artichokes

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.

Pomegranate

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.

Pez

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.

A Real Solution to Illegal Immigration and Disgusting Imported Food

A Real Solution to Illegal Immigration and Disgusting Imported Food

I can’t even turn on the effing news anymore without being lambasted with stories of illegal immigration. Muslims invading Europe. Mexicans overtaking the United States. God forbid some poor soul from a war-torn or impoverished country would want to come here to give his family a decent shot at not dying from drinking untreated, fecal-infested water or having a bomb dropping on their roof. What an asshole.

I know I’m probably in the minority here but I can’t help thinking that are we going to need bodies to help pay the pretty hefty Social Security tab for our aging population? Just a thought. I think I have a solution to the problem but first, my complaints.

What’s irritating me mostly now are these strange fruits and vegetables that weasel their way into the produce department of my local grocery store. I remember when I was a teenager and my mother came home with these strange, brown and fuzzy pieces of difficult to eat fruit later to become known to me as kiwi. To this day, I am still not sure how to eat a kiwi. No doubt they are delicious but how are you supposed to get the most of this tiny piece of fruit? I cut the ends off then peel, taking as little of the actual fruit off as possible. Is there a better way? Either way, it’s a lot of work and the laborious nature of consuming foreign fruit seems to be a fairly common complaint. Maybe they have more time to fuck around with their meals in other parts of the world. Here in the United States, I work all day and help raise my granddaughter. I don’t have time to soak beans or de-seed a pomegranate, I’m busy and even if I didn’t have a damn thing to do at all, I would not waste my time.

Plants that are indigenous to the United States or that I grew up eating are, for the most part, pretty easy to get access to. If I want an apple, I wash it and eat it. Same with most of your berry products. Oranges and grapefruit are a little more work but you aren’t risking throwing half of it away during the peeling process like you would with a Kiwi. Banana? Peel and eat.

There are exceptions to the rule, for instance, okra is from here, as far as I know, but I don’t eat it because it’s gross. I find it’s slimy consistency intolerable. Plus I only ever see it offered as fried. I could fry the bottom of my shoe, give it a splash of hot sauce and people would eat it. That is not a rousing endorsement for okra. Just saying.

Cilantro would be a veggie that has made inroads much the same as the kiwi into the American diet. However, I believe that any traction gained by this leaf has been on the coattails of salsa. Where would cilantro be without salsa? Cilantro is a bitter tasting leaf that has a nasty habit of finding ways of sticking to your front teeth and humiliating you when you smile. I wont smile after I eat salsa until I have a chance to inspect my mouth. I don’t care for smiling much anyway so this is not much of a problem.

Why do they sell coconuts at the grocery store? Seriously, what am I supposed to do with this thing? I don’t want any food that I have to beat mercilessly with a hammer to eat. Coconuts should come with an electric drill so you can get the milk out before you have to destroy it causing it to spill all over the place. Isn’t it enough that you can buy the coconut milk and the actual coconut fruit in other aisles in the same grocery store? Have we become so obsessed with hipster level freshness that we are resorting to buying non-prepared foods that require power tools just to indulge them?

What the hell is jicama anyway? I once had Jicama Slaw and found it to be quite tasty. Based on that, I bought one at the store and soon sorely regretted it. The thing is so full of watery juice that by the time I was done grating it, it had turned into a disgusting, cold pile of slop, as if it had melted or something. Around here, we use cabbage in our slaw and it has served us well for some time now. There really is no need for a replacement at this time. Please check back if ever you hear of a devastating cabbage blight. Plus, I’m not sure if this jicama stuff provides any extra nutritional value but if it’s laying in a puddle of it’s own filth on my kitchen counter, I fail to see how it really matters as I wont be eating it anyway. Besides, there are a whole bunch of vegetables in line in front of you, jicama, that I need to sample before I move onto other countries bounties. Take the turnip for instance. I’ve never had one, probably never will, but I will be damn sure to try a turnip long before I have another bite of jicama. Turnips are from here and I feel like I owe them some loyalty. Parsnips and rutabagas, whatever they are, would also fall into this category.

So there are three root veggies blocking the progress of this jicama tsunami and as I hate vegetables to begin with, the chances of jicama getting off the bench into a starting role are slim to none. I don’t even know if this jicama is a root, it just has the look of it. In any case, count me out.

I am a big Pinterest fan. I love it for the recipes mostly and I have been told that I may be the only straight guy with an account. Sorry but I guess that I am comfortable enough with my own masculinity to embrace Pinterest. Lately, I have been seeing a disturbing number of ideas for how to cook with jackfruit. What the hell is jackfruit? There are videos of people shredding this jackfruit stuff and using it as a replacement for meat. Like jackfruit with BBQ sauce. Yuck! They say stuff like, “you’ll never know that you’re not eating pork.” Okay, right. But my pulled pork sandwich doesn’t have seeds and a pit. I’m not fooled. Peddle your jackfruit elsewhere.

People tried to tell me to make a pizza crust out of cauliflower. Let me state, for the record, I hate cauliflower. It has a certain acerbic taste that does little more than invoke a strong gag reflex in me. I did just as the recipe said. I beat the crap out of it in the food processor and added all the spices just like the directions said. I formed it into a remedial crust and I put on all of my pizza toppings including sauce, cheese and veggies that I do like. Took one bite and spit it out on the plate. Why? All I could taste was acrid cauliflower. Yuck!

Wikipedia says that jackfruit is “widely cultivated and popular food item throughout the tropical regions of the world.” Let me translate for you, “widely cultivated and popular food item throughout regions where there is nothing better to eat.”

I tried star fruit once. Are you supposed to peel this thing? I couldn’t get any skin off of it and got sick of fucking around with it and just took a bite, after thoroughly washing it with soap first, of course. It tasted like diluted orange juice. It was useless. Why, if we have full-tasting oranges, do we need to airlift star fruit from Cambodia or where ever the hell it comes from? I can just add a whole bunch of water to my orange juice if ever I should want to experience the whole star fruit extravaganza again.

Really, outside of the kiwi, the world can take the rest of their weird and bad tasting fruit and stick it up their collective asses. I suppose a reasonable compromise would be that if we are going to willy-nilly import another countries native foods then we should allow their people to emigrate here as well. That way we will have people who know how to cook things like dragon fruit and plantains and they will have a job cooking said foods thus funding my Social Security. Problem solved.

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