People Reveal The Worst Meal They've Eaten To Be A Polite Guest

Someone cooks you a meal and it sucks. That sucks. Do you power through? Or do you find an excuse to not eat it? What if it were a bitter turnip salad? Or hairy meat?

thatcaramelbar asked Reddit: What's the worst thing you've eaten out of politeness?

Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.

Mmmmm. Sea soup.

My grandad had esophageal cancer and couldn't eat foods thicker than a watery milkshake. He took up cooking as a hobby but of course he couldn't taste test most things.

He made this hot pot concoction thing and it was so salty, it was like eating hot ocean. Nobody had the heart to say so we just ate it.


"There was nothing wrong with that food. It was 10% below a lethal dose."


Uh oh. I shouldn't have had seconds.


Pretty sure this is cat food.


Secondary contender, my wife once made tuna casserole in the slow cooker. She followed a recipe that should never have been published. It had pasta, which of course was no longer pasta after hours in a slow cooker, but paste. Mixed with canned tuna, and some peas. Bland, fishy, mushy. Terrible.

I was stoically eating it. She said she didn't like it. I said, "Oh, thank god, this is awful," and we threw it away. She still tells people how much she appreciated that I was polite and eating it without complaint.


I once attempted to make pumpkin ravioli. It took 4 hrs and destroyed my kitchen. I sat down with my husband of less than a year and we both took a bite. He didn't say anything. I swallowed, looked at him and said "Do you want to call Papa John's, or should I?" He just went "Thank God. It was awful but I didn't want to hurt your feelings."


Hairy. Meat.

Probably the time my grandma cooked me a "hairy" meat.

That day she had made some sort of special homemade dish for the entire family, but unfortunately for me, it contained a huge amount of onions. Thanks to my other grandmother, I haven't been able to eat onions without puking since I was 5. So my grandma cooked me something similar to a steak covered in gravy, with mashed potatoes.

It smelled delicious, but as I was about to put that first bite into my mouth, I noticed the meat had 4/5 small hairs sticking out. As subtle as I could, I decided to "check" the meat to see wth was going on and I almost puked right there in front of 10-15 family members. The gravy had masked the fact that the meat was covered in hairs and I mean covered. There wasn't a single space that didn't have one or more hairs on top. And they weren't even from the same person. Some of them were short and white, others black as coal and the longest hairs I've ever seen in my life.

And that's when it hit me.

My grandma needs to wear glasses all the time because she's practically blind, but doesn't like to wear them when she's home. That night the meat probably fell to the floor as she was about to cook it and she didn't feel the need to clean it because she saw nothing wrong with it. I didn't want to touch that meat with a five-foot-long stick, much less eating it but my grandma had cooked that especially for me. She had spent extra time in the kitchen because I was an annoying picky eater that hates onions. So I cleaned it the best I could without raising suspicions and ate almost the whole thing. Just remembering makes me want to puke.


Capsaicin and cavities.

A different type of worst...

I had a dental implant fitted. I came home from the dentist with gums stitched and the painkillers wearing off.

My other half greeted me and said "I knew you'd be sore, so I've made you one of your favourite dishes to cheer you up."

It was a delicious fish curry. A delicious, spicy fish curry.

I was touched at the thought, so ate it all, asked for seconds and stoically pretended my gums were not on fire.


This reminds me! Not necessarily my worst meal, but definitely disappointing. I'd just gotten all four of my wisdom teeth pulled and I was starving. However, my pain killers had kicked in and I could not feel my fucking face. I also couldn't eat any solids, obviously. Cue me, sitting at the table, surrounded by pudding cups, crying, with pudding smeared all over my face. Not being able to feel my face meant that I had no idea where my mouth was and couldn't actually get the spoon in there, so I just cried until sometime helped me into bed. I was 17.


What is this, milk soup?

My emotionally distraught buddy cooked a skillet of rice and ground beef- with 2 packages cream cheese, heavy whipping cream, sour cream, half n half, whole milk, 1 pound cheddar cheese, cream of mushroom soup. It was... thick.


What was he hoping to achieve here? I'm trying to think of a dish that sounds vaguely similar and I am coming up empty handed.


I don't know, but it sounds like you could slap a spoonful of that between two buttered-toasted buns and dig in like it was some sort of White Sloppy-Joe.


White Sloppy-Joe

That sounds like a term for some kind of sex.


That's gonna hurt.

When I was about 7 or 8 I had to spend the night at my aunt's house. During dinner, I watched her use a pepper grinder to season her food. The thing was huge, looked like a bed post, and I really wanted to try it out. She offered to do it for me, but it looked fun so I insisted that I knew what I was doing. I had no idea how to work the thing and somehow got a pile of whole peppercorns in my food.

I was embarrassed at the idea of having broken her giant pepper grinder, so I proceeded to eat all one thousand of the peppercorns with my meal, hiding them as I did so. It was horrible. She must have known.


She had to have seen the peppercorn! I just imagine your grandma sitting back watching you, slightly confused and mildly concerned, crunch on peppercorn and wondering if this is why you wanted to do it yourself.


Worst stomach ache I've ever had was from eating too much pepper in one sitting. Felt like my insides were in a blender.


Sometimes, the pepper grinds you.


Another tuna fail.

A friends tuna casserole. Two weeks later was her bithday. She got 3 cookbooks from three different friends (all had same tuna dish) as presents.


My ex-wife thought that tuna casserole meant a can of tuna mixed with a can of peas. She was an awful cook. She would eat a bowl of cereal for every meal.


Texture of terror.

Sea cucumber. It is literally the worst and I am wondering if I was being tested somehow.

It was like torture in that "showing the implements of torture" way. all during the day they stank up the house like vile bitter seafood. And then we got to eat them, yay us.


Second this. Nothing should ever be gelatinous AND crunchy!!




I grew up very poor, and I've always loved potato salad.

So Baptist church potlucks were great days when I was a kid. I'd load up my plate with a couple thousand calories of starch and mayonnaise and that full feeling would last almost a whole day.

At one potluck when I was maybe 10, there was this amazing looking potato salad, kinda reddish in color. I could smell mustard and pepper. Filled my floppy paper plate with that and a slice of ham, then sat down next to my mom.

Her old lady friend was sitting across from us and smiling at me. I crammed a big spoonful of the salad into my mouth so I wouldn't have to talk.

I bite down. Something's very, very wrong. Alarms start ringing in my head. OOOGA! OOOGA! OOOGA!

Old lady, absolutely beaming, says, "How do you like my turnip salad?"

It was awful. Bitter, unnaturally crunchy, sort of acidic in a way that gave me my first experience with heartburn. I've accidentally ingested gasoline in my lifetime. This salad was worse.

To this day it stands in my memory as the most awful thing I ever ate. And I ate every bit on the plate. Just couldn't get myself to squash the old lady's happy moment.

And, lucky me, she gave us all the leftovers.


You're a damn trooper. I also love potato salad and will eat it anywhere, but I've been lucky enough to not come across this turnip abomination in my lifetime.


Fyre brunch.

When my daughter was 3 years old she made me "dinner" - an untoasted English muffin with a single slice of American cheese. She was so happy watching me eat it. It was both the best and worst dinner I've ever eaten.


I essentially did the same thing to my mom when I was probably around 5. I got two slices of white bread that had the same softness as wonder bread, put an american cheese single between them, microwaved it, then ran out to my mom to tell her I had made her lunch. She very politely thanked me and ate it.



First time out at a restaurant in Korea. Sliced raw sea cucumber.

Imagine going to your parent's house, down to the basement to the laundry room.

Going to the old, dirty, galvanized sink next to the washing machine, room smells of damp and mold, sticking your finger up the spout and pulling out that old, rotten, brownish-grey, nasty rubber washer that's been stuck up there for ages.

And popping it into your mouth.


Bacon is nasty. Sorry.

Bacon and eggs.

But the bacon was broiled with a Chef Bender amount of salt.

Tasted like licking the underside of a pig that just got out of the ocean, and had the texture of a stale rain jacket.

The eggs also tasted like salty under-pig, because they had no flavour of their own, they just assimilated like a borg cube.

The toast might have been good but there was ~40 slices between 55 people


This is why you always taste food before you serve it.

Turkey gravy accidentally made with icing sugar instead of corn starch. I choked down one forkful before the cook tasted what she'd done and told us not to eat.


Ick! Once at family Christmas, the leftover frosting got mixed in with the leftover mashed potatoes by accident. That made for a confusing dish until Grandma figured out what had happened.


Gritty coffee is better than no coffee.

Not me, but once a good friend of my dad's, whom I considered to be my uncle, drank some coffee I made him while we were camping. I was 10 at the time and the coffee consisted of hot water mixed with coffee grounds. He drank it, smiled and told me it tasted great. He will always be one of my favorite people.


Meatloaf teeters on the edge of edibility.

Dad learned to make a meatloaf from the TV and f*cked it all up. He was going through some cancer treatments (he went in to remission shortly after, no sob story) and couldn't handle dry food too well, and he ended up making the most watery, ketchup-y meatloaf I ever had the misfortune of eating.

The way mom makes meatloaf, it's just hamburger cake. Ground beef, onion salt, smashed crackers and a couple eggs. It was delicious and I always wondered why meatloaf had this stereotypical hate against it. And then I had dad's, and I understood. If other people made meatloaf like this monstrosity, I'd completely understand the universal hate for it.


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