At one point in our lives, we have struggled to make ends meet and ate whatever we could to survive.
Curious to hear about the palates from strangers online, Redditor knightfall0 asked:
"What is a poverty food you'll always eat no matter how you're doing in life?"
These typical cultural cuisine are popular favorites.
"Cheap can of corn, cheap can of black beans, 3 cups of cheap rice."
"Tortillas for flair."
"Boom! Poverty tacos."
Magic Of Ramen
"Same. I've eaten expensive restaurant meals that still don't compare to a 25 cent ramen package."
"25 cent ramen package with a boiled egg marinated in soy sauce packets and sugar and some spinach if you have any for some veggie chef kiss cheapest dinner but makes it feel fancy."
What's In The Bowl
"Rice bowls are like half the meals I eat anymore."
Presto, Dinner Is Served!
"Random stuff in my fridge fried rice. Take the veggies that are about to go off, throw in some cheap white rice and an egg with some soy sauce and garlic- boom, dinner."
Bread-based meals seem to be an easy go-to choice.
The Sweet Spot
"The butter, cinnamon and sugar on toast combo. Always a classic."
For The Posh Palate
"Beans on toast and if I'm feeling posh maybe i will put an egg on top."
An American Classic
"PB and J. Hasn't failed me yet."
Good 'Ole Cornbread
"Cornbread and buttermilk. Seem to recall that my maternal great grandmother's house in the the early 1960s had a manual pump in the kitchen, an outhouse and oil lamps, no electricity! There was a big stump for splitting wood for the heat and killing chickens. Relatives had tractors but at least one still worked with draft horses...big horses. NE TN. And my Mother would eat salt sandwiches."
"I do like cornbread, various peas and beans and greens...a lot!"
Who said traditional side dishes can't be the main attraction? These folks, that's who.
"Mac and cheese with hotdogs or sloppy joes were top tier. I remember having to be careful to not take too much meat/noodles since we only had one can/box to share."
"If I had a million dollars, we wouldn't have to eat Kraft Dinner (but we would eat Kraft Dinner)"
This Spud's For You
"Potatoes. Cheap, tasty and filling."
"Boil 'em, mash 'em, stick 'em in a stew."
Instant ramen has come a long way. I go to one of several local Japanese markets here in Manhattan and there are literally aisles of a variety of ramen and yakisoba, my personal favorite, stocked on shelves to choose from.
Yakisoba is basically "fried" noodles. It is "instant" because you basically soften the noodles with boiling water and drain it after three minutes.
The sauce packets that come with some of these are an absolute delight, and I usually add scallions or even a hard-boiled egg.
It is cheap, simple to prepare, and absolutely delicious.
The food we grow up with at home naturally sets the bar on levels of taste.
Curious to hear from strangers and their experiences with home cooking, Redditor Poecifer asked:
"What food did you think you hated for years until you realized your parents just couldn't cook it?"
Veggies can actually taste delicious...if prepared well.
Lack Of Taste
"Eggplant. My mom didn't know you're supposed to salt and blot it to remove the bitterness. She just cut it up and fried it. The only thing palatable about it was the batter."
How 'Bout Them Taters
"Potatoes. My mum would undercook them. Served them boiled with no salt or seasoning. Dad didn't do anything foodwise except burn steaks a few times a year outback on a grill. I now make various potato soup and whipped potatoes bits o'loveliness that would make an Irishman blush."
"To be fair, they were chainsmokers, so everything likely tasted like ash to them anyways."
"Asparagus - had no idea you could get it fresh and crisp. We always had boiled, canned asparagus when I was a kid. Blech."
Healthy But Inedible
"Mashed potatoes. My mom's method: only a sliver of butter, no milk or cream, very little salt. Mine: lots of butter, whole milk, roasted garlic, salt, pinch of pepper."
How Popeye Likes It
"My mom bought canned spinach in my childhood. Slimy! Then my parents custom was to pour straight white vinegar on it. Picture Calvin's expression saying "Bleeehck!" to Hobbes."
Cooking meat well is essential, but some people should never be in front of a grill.
If Coffee Were Food
"Bacon. I assumed it was the solid food equivalent of coffee when I was a kid - smells amazing, tastes like bitter, burnt ashes. My parents err on the side of burnt, and sometimes they err hard. When I was 12 my buddy made us some for breakfast after a sleepover and pulled it off the heat almost still pink and my mind was blown."
Former Anti-Vaxxers Explain What Actually Made Them Change Their Mind | George Takei’s Oh Myyy
Burnt Pork Chops
"Pork chops, mom used to make them dry as a bone with only salt for seasoning. I had them at a friend's house once when I was in highschool and it blew my mind. My dad thought that if any type of meat had moisture it was raw so my mom burnt everything."
Wife's Pork Chops Vs. Mom's
"Pork chops for me too. My parents would broil the heck out of them and I never once considered making them after I moved out. Then one day my wife came across a slow cooker pork chop recipe and it was/is incredible. Now pork chops are one of the meals I most look forward to, including salivating at the leftovers."
"I used to have a roommate who, every Sunday, would bake chicken breasts for weekly meals. The problem was that he'd cook them to the consistency of shoe leather. This was also someone who cooked rice with way too much water and basically made gruel. I honestly think he was one of those guys who saw food as sustenance and nothing more. I don't think he gave a sh*t how it tasted."
Wearable, Not Edible
"STEAK. Turns out it's not supposed to have the taste and consistency of shoe leather."
"Baked chicken breasts. Overcooked and so dry that they sucked the moisture out of your mouth."
"Fried chicken. I thought the fact that I was black had something to do with it."
"Turns out my mother was pretty and a sh**ty cook."
How bad can you ruin the first course? For some Redditors, the answer is: "very easily."
One Kind Of Soup
"Soup. Actually not because my parents couldn't cook it, but because they literally only ever made one kind of soup, and I didn't like it. So I grew up thinking 'I don't like soup'. Eventually I would taste other soups that are delicious, so I realized it was just that one specific soup I didn't like."
Apparently, It's Possible To Screw Up Salad
"Salads were iceberg lettuce, tasteless tomatoes, and a couple of unhappy croutons all covered in ranch dressing. Just awful."
This Salad Is Very Clean
"My childhood best friend's mom would make 'salad' by cutting a wedge of iceberg lettuce, dousing it in the same straight white vinegar she used for cleaning floors, and topping it with pre-ground black pepper. I have weird cravings for it from time to time."
"Same! I forgot about the occasional crouton that would scrape the hell out of the roof of my mouth."
I have to admit, when it comes to traditional Japanese cooking, my mom excelled at it.
Because even when I would dine at Japanese restaurants, the dishes I enjoyed at home failed to satisfy my palate when prepared by professional chefs.
Gyoza, or potstickers for instance, that my mom made from scratch were far too superior than any I've had outside the home.
Same goes for miso soup. The way my mom makes it, she piles it on with cabbage, tofu, scallions, and onions, with various secret seasonings.
She remains unchallenged to this day!
Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay is highly regarded for his delicious plates, his ability to run a solid restaurant, and, let's face it, his stage presence.
He's also a foul-mouthed Brit who is all too willing to dismantle people's self-esteems and compare them to livestock animals.
Alas, as watching all reality television goes, we love to see the crashing and burning.
But what if the shoe was on the other foot? What if you were the one being torn into by the sailor of all chefs, Mr. Gordon Ramsay.
Wondering what horrible dishes were lurking in unknown kitchens all over the place, Redditor FalloutSl*t413 asked:
"What's something you made that was 100% delicious but Gordon Ramsay would slap you for anyway?"
Some people talked about those purely functional meals that are just perfect for piling on enough protein and calories to get through the day.
"My mom used to make us 'Volcanoes.' Mashed potatoes topped with ground beef with some ketchup. I still tear it up to this day."
Quick and Easy
"I make weeknight 'enchiladas.' "
"You stick frozen taquitos in a casserole dish and cover them with canned or frozen chili and cheese. Bake them until everything's hot, serve with a dollop of sour cream. They sound disgusting but they taste amazing, and they take like, five minutes to prep."
"I know it looks like, smells like, and probably tastes like cat food but potted meat sandwiches. Look, when you're poor as hell and you can make 3 sandwiches with one little can that cost like 20 cents, it's pretty good."
"While I'm at it, Treet and bologna are pretty great. I have the taste palette of a raccoon and I like it that way."
"When I was younger I would make this thing where it was a patty melded of:"
- "a can of tuna"
- "two eggs
"And I would eat that almost daily, pan-fried, for lunch. Just slap me now and lets get it over with."
Others shared the recipes they make to feel fancy despite being totally trashy.
A Nuanced Process
"I call them 'chicken puffs.' Some par-cooked chicken (white or dark meat, either works) with sauteed serrano peppers and onions and garlic."
"All wrapped in crescent roll dough in little balls (a bit smaller than a baseball), put in a casserole tray filled juuuuust above the top of the little dough balls with cream of roasted chicken soup. Baked to completion/safety."
"Overly indulgent and delicious."
A Famous Side
"I consistently make a box of pastaroni angel hair and herbs as a side with meals I prepare for people. EVERYONE always asks for the recipe LOL please don't tell my secret"
Just a Couple Additions
" 'Fancy Ramen' Ramen made normal. Don't mix seasoning. Drain water. Add Mayo. Then mix in seasoning. And Volia. A lot of people question it. Until they try it."
Others outlined the things they eat that combine some ingredients it may seem disgusting to mix together.
Throw An Egg On There
"Fu** it lasagna, alternating layers of bread and shredded cheese (your choice which, I use cheddar) then crack an egg on top and put it in the microwave. Old depression meal, but it still holds up."
Hard to Wrap Your Head Around
"As a kid I would eat a banana with a cheese slice. Haven't tried it in years but it might hold up" -- Send_it_to_me
"Let's not" -- Sea-Entertainer-4974
"When I was younger I would make toast with peanut butter on it, then add pepperoni. Delicious then but I cringe thinking about trying it today"
The truly horrifying thing? There are so many more recipes out there that would leave Ramsay trembling.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
I love food! Maybe a little too much. It's been an especially amorous relationship over this pandemic. And I know I'm not alone.
All of our palettes are tuned to our own personal tastes. And sometimes certain items and combinations of tastes can leave others less than enticed.
I've lost track of all the side-eye I've gotten when I declare how much I enjoy PINEAPPLE on pizza. I said it. I meant it. Fight me. Let's discuss who else has eclectic tastes.
Redditor u/CatVideoFest wanted to discuss the mixing of certain ingredients that don't leave the best taste in one's mouth by asking:
Food is for survival. That was the plan. But over the years it has become somewhat of a way of life. Some of the most annoying people are foodies. They get so uppity about the preferences of others. Like, let me just enjoy what I enjoy.
Mom No!Mom Smile GIFGiphy
"I don't like my mom's cooking."
"Livestock have refused to eat my mother's cooking. She's a terror in the kitchen."
Take them OUT!!
"I hate walnuts in baked goods. It tastes like wood shavings and completely ruins the flavor."
"I love walnuts but I feel this way about raisins in baked goods, raisins are fine by themselves but not in sweets, I once ordered cinnamon rolls at Hardee's and bit into it and found out there were raisins in it, and I was grossed out and didn't want to eat it. At least freakin' McDonald's serves real cinnamon rolls without freakn' raisins!"
The Fart Ingredient
"I don't like kidney beans except in chili."
Oh thew Crunch...
"Pickles and onion make the best sandwich. I make most of my own pickles from stuff I grow or get from local farms in the fall, but I responded to another comment with two different heinous concoctions I enjoy. Crunchy, salty, sour. I really like pickles and onions to begin with."
"I use more than pickled cucumber though. Like the last one I made, I used garlic naan, mayo, red onion, scallions, pickled garlic, green olives, Kalamata olives, garlic dill cucumber, and green beans. Shallot, sour pickled onion, sweet pickled cucumbers, and sushi ginger on sprouted 14 grain bread is also also a favorite of mine."
People Break Down The Best Loophole They've Ever Exploited
No Sizzlebacon GIFGiphy
"I do not like bacon."
Who doesn't like bacon? That seems like a sacrilege. Right? But to each their own. Though I will never understand not loving walnuts in comfort food. Y'all need more self love.
Love the Big M
"Fast food tastes amazing, yeah its unhealthy as hell but don't you sit there and lie and say it tastes bad."
Blasphemy!golden girls flirting GIF by HULUGiphy
"Cheesecake is disgusting."
Too Many Legs
"Lobsters and crabs are giant insects."
"I don't really think that's that controversial, in my area of the world we even call this creature a 'Moreton Bay Bug' even though some fisheries try to give it the more appealing name of 'flathead lobster'."
"Boneless wings are vastly superior to bone-in wings. I think bone-in wings are a ripoff because when you get half a pound of them, part of that half-pound is inedible. It's like if you ordered a quarter-pound cheeseburger, but the restaurant considers the weight of the plate to be part of that quarter-pound and you end up with just a slider. Just give me some damn meat."
The Slimeman oyster GIFGiphy
"Oysters are truly disgusting and absurdly overpriced for quarter sized pieces of snot that tastes like salt water and hot sauce."
Side Dish Bad
"Cheese fries = ruined fries. I don't have a lot of texture issues, but I refuse to eat limp, soggy french fries. No cheese fries, no chili fries, no poutine."
"I don't care for pasta. Around a decade ago, I lost a ton of weight by cutting out carbs (except beer) and after not eating bread or pasta for 3 or 4 years, I still liked some breads but to this day don't like the squishiness of pasta."
Apples?pineapples GIF by gifnewsGiphy
"I do not like pineapple. Period. Not on pizza, not cooked, not by itself, not in juice form. I just do not like pineapple."
"Tomatoes can screw off."
"I don't mind raw tomatoes, for things like salads or sliced in sandwiches. But cooked tomatoes? Get them the fuck away from me. I hate canned tomatoes in, for example, a vegetable soup. When my family fires up our grill, we skewer a bunch of different vegetables. Mushrooms, zucchini, bell peppers..."
"And cherry tomatoes. While all the other veggies get combined onto the same skewers, the tomatoes usually get a skewer of their own just for my sake."
"You could not pay me to eat a banana. The texture, the smell, just everything about it. Won't even drink a smoothie that has a little bit of banana in it—that's all I'd taste."
"I am NOT a picky eater, love every single vegetable and fruits and a huge variety of food. Cannot. Stand. Bananas. They make me gag to even think of them. I truly cannot believe that people actually find bananas edible or even enjoyable to eat. I hate them so much I think everyone is lying about liking them."
"Nutella on pancakes is just plain abomination."
Sick 'n Nasty
"Licorice is absolutely disgusting."
"Yeah it is. I don't understand what child hating sicko decided to invent a candy as superficially inviting as Good n Plenty, knowing that it would contain that rancid excrement on the inside. When I was young and getting a dollar to buy the candy of my choice was a huge deal to me, I once made the mistake of wasting my cash on a box of those rabbit turds."
"I think I remember crying when I bit into a handful of them, because idk what exactly I was expecting... but it wasn't freaking licorice."
PoachedGIF by markoGiphy
"Poached eggs are infinitely inferior to fried or scrambled eggs. I don't want my food or plate contaminated with gross eggy water and I want some crispy variation in the texture."
A Whole Meal Mess
"I may like my steaks medium rare and with nothing but a bit of butter and garlic, but if you want your steak well-done and slathered in ketchup, cool, you do you. Some people prefer different tastes and freak snobs who think if your grilled cheese is American on Wonderbread and isn't made with Asiago and Romano on freshly baked bread, toasted via fireplace, you're not doing it right. Sometimes I like my food how mom used to make... and mom was a crappy cook."
"Food is so much better without cheese. Cheese drowns out all of the other flavors. Take a sandwich for instance. You can really taste the vegetables on a sandwich without cheese. You taste mostly cheese when you add cheese."
"Cheese is the bane of my existence. EVERYTHING comes with cheese when you are at a restaurant these days. I have a very limited number of cheeses I can eat. Things like cheddar, a very popular cheese, give me killer migraines. Stop putting cheese on everything people!"
Ok, I'm trying to stay calm. I don't want to judge. But some of these opinions... are leaving me shook. Except the oysters. That is that work of the devil. Look away...
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.