Some years back I went to a friend's house. Their grandmother was an old lady who'd survived the Great Depression and she never seemed to have learned how to season food properly. She boiled some vegetables and some meat into flavorless mounds that we served to us. It was miserable, but I ate the food just to be polite (asking for a bit of salt and pepper helped). But when I say it was a miserable affair, I'm not kidding.
After Redditor eland_1 asked the online community, "What's the worst thing you've eaten in order to be polite?" people told us their stories.
"It was AWFUL..."
My grandmother cooked up a half a dozen pies for a Thanksgiving or Christmas, so long ago I forget which. She sliced me off a little piece first and had me try it. It was AWFUL, but I ate it and thanked her. Later that night after dinner we were getting ready for dessert and grandma just started crying. She had baked all the pies with salt rather than sugar.
"Pumpkin pie but..."
Pumpkin pie but the person forgot to remove the wax paper after proofing the crust which caused the filling to not set correctly. So imaging eating pumpkin soup out of a paper bowl but also eating the bowl at the same time.
"Guy I worked with..."
Guy I worked with gave me an Italian sub he brought back from his house while on break. I told him I was okay but insisted. From the first bite, I could tell something was weird about it but I kept taking small bites to be polite. Eventually, the dude tells me that his mom used to work at the gas station next door and that she'd take the subs about to expire and put them in the freezer.
The sub was 5 years old.
"We all were forced to eat it."
It was a jello mold with a full salad in the mold. Lettuce, tomato, olives, onions, etc. Grandmother made it. We all were forced to eat it. It is still one of the most disgusting things I have ever had to eat.
"My grandma replaced..."
My grandma replaced all cooking oils with coconut oil. Olive oil, vegetable oil, butter, all of it was replaced with coconut oil. You know what tastes disgusting cooked in coconut oil? Omelets.
"My parents went to have dinner..."
My parents went to have dinner with friends when I was a kid. They said that their friends cooked a pasta with cat food in it and served it to them. They politely, but begrudgingly, started eating it, bite by bite. Three or four bites in their friends started laughing and explained the prank, then served them the real dinner. I don't think my parents have completely forgiven them for that yet.
"I was with the elders..."
Tiết canh - it's a Vietnamese "pizza" that's topped with cold, raw thickened duck blood as the sauce. I was with the elders and didn't want to look like a little bitch.
"A guy in my class..."
A guy in my class who was from South Africa brought in a jar of marmite. He was so excited to share it with us. He was asking everyone if they wanted some and they all said no. I decided to try it since I felt bad for him and I liked trying new foods. He was so happy when he handed me a cracker with some on it.
The excitement left his face when he saw my reaction after I put it in my mouth. Didn't help that his friend was laughing as I tried to politely say it was okay.
"I once told one of my friends..."
I once told one of my friend's mums that I really, really liked pasta.
Y'know, cus who doesn't?
Well, when I went around my friends for dinner one time, she cooked what must've been 10kg of pasta for me. I tried... I really tried... The vomit-inducing scale of that food is something I remember to this day. And yet, despite my valiant effort, she was pissed that I wasted her food.
Like this is like a month's ration for an entire platoon of fully grown men.
"It was awful."
My friend's mother made something they call "squishy noodles" at his house. It was like a plate of mush on top of overcooked noodles. It was awful. I muscled like half down and she gave me more.
The first time I met my wife's grandparents they shoved a plate of Savoury Duck at me and stared at me until I had gagged the entire lot down, then brought me more.
Here is the thing - in the North of England, savoury duck has nothing to do with duck : "traditionally made from Breadcrumbs, Pig's Heart, Liver and fatty Belly meat or Bacon minced together, with Herbs added for flavouring; the mixture is then shaped by hand into balls, wrapped around with Pig's Caul fat and then baked". This is vile enough on its own, but undercooked and soaked in watery gravy. I'm surprised I didn't end up with a tapeworm infection.
Never ate anything there again
One year my husband and I accidentally accepted three invitations for Thanksgiving dinner.
The first dinner was scheduled for noon and we ate a real Thanksgiving dinner - turkey, potatoes, pie. We left full and went to our second social engagement of the day - which my husband thought was going to be for beers and watching a football game at the home of one of his crew members.
When we arrived around 4p.m. it became apparent the girlfriends of his employees had cooked an entire Thanksgiving dinner.
Let me clarify. We were in the Navy and stationed overseas. The girlfriends were Spanish and they worked really hard on this dinner to impress their boyfriends and their boyfriends' boss.
So we ate another Thanksgiving dinner. After another full meal and a game of football, we left for our third invitation of the day - which I thought was going to be coffee and pie at our friend's home.
No it wasn't coffee and pie. It was 8:30 p.m. and there was another full Thanksgiving meal waiting for us. Our friend had set a lovely formal table and was pleased to seat us and serve us wine and hors d'ouerves followed by another four course meal.
When we finally arrived home around 11 p.m. I thought my stomach would burst. I had to sleep on my back because turning on either side or my stomach was painful. We vowed from that time on to NEVER accept an invitation without consulting with other.
I once told one of my friends mums that I really, really liked pasta.
Y'know, cus who doesn't?
Well, when I went round my friends for dinner one time, she cooked what must've been 10kg of pasta for me. I tried... I really tried... The vomit inducing scale of that food is something I remember to this day. And yet, despite my valiant effort, she was pissed that I wasted her food.
This is like a months ration for an entire platoon of fully grown men.
My mother in law used to make tacos with no taco seasoning. I didn’t know this and made myself 3 huge tacos the first time I went over my wife’s parents house for dinner. Plain. Browned. Chopped. Meat. Tacos. 😳😳
That's how my husband's family makes tacos. Taco seasoning is "too spicy" and they won't even put garlic or onion in it. I've taken over the cooking for them and now when we have tacos, I add garlic powder, onion powder and cumin, and miraculously, there are never leftovers...who'd have thought adding seasoning makes food taste good?!
I've choked some questionable things when my kids were small and loved "tea parties". The only one I actually spit out was coffee with lemon juice.
A Bay leaf. As a child of about 8, friends had us over for spaghetti dinner; they used bay leaf for seasoning. My mom wasn't so fancy, I had never seen a bay leaf. I was raised to be polite, so I ate the damn bay leaf thinking it was just how she made spaghetti.
A pot roast that had been cooked in the microwave. It was so gross and tough and had these big rubbery veins of fat running through it. I at a few bites then went to bed hungry.
Can we all just agree that after one bite to be polite, you don't need to have any more.