15 Awful Foods People Ate Because They Couldn’t Stop Being Polite

I will pretty much eat anything that comes across my plate, except for one thing: peas.

But once, during my first relationship, my boyfriend’s very lovely mom set me up with a dinner plate which featured those little green devils in abundance. Out of sheer politeness, I finished every last one. Years later, even just thinking about it sends shivers down my spine.

Eating foul food out of politeness is more common than you think. Whether you’re trying to impress someone’s parents, your crush, or you simply can’t stand confrontation, we’ve all ingested weird, wonderful, and truly horrific meals.

Powering through these sticky situations can be a minefield. Should you just fake an allergy? Perhaps announce that at this very second you’ve committed to a new life of veganism. Or do you take the coward’s way out and just eat that chicken foot tartare, hairs and all?

Maybe ‘coward’ is too strong of a word for decent human beings who don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, and I’d be a stone-cold hypocrite to say otherwise.

But recently, we’ve discovered a league of unsung heroes. They’ve been through the trenches, tasting unsweetened lemon pies, teas made with perfume, and martinis made with cheese.

We scoured the internet and found people who went into battle with truly abhorrent meals and came out second best.


This Grandmother’s Chili


Her special ingredient? Food poisoning

“My grandmother is a terrible, terrible cook,” says Reddit user, Ninevehwow. “I’ve gotten food poisoning multiple times from her but this chili nearly killed me.” Ninevehwow went onto explain how the first day they ate the chili, it was actually good.

But by the third night of eating this big batch of chili things took a turn for the worse.

“The third night the smell was horrible, the chili was popping and effervescence with tiny gas bubbles. I was nine, we had just learned about bacteria in school. I refused to eat more than a bite. It was pop rocks mixed with rotten meat.” Turns out their grandmother didn’t refrigerate and just left the chili sitting in the crockpot she made it in during summer in Georgia. We’re flabbergasted.

Burnt Pizza


I love… uh, blackened cheese.

When someone makes a real effort to cook you a meal and it bombs, it’s almost easier to just swallow your pride (and disgusting food) to save their feelings from being hurt. And that’s just what Reddit user, Eccedentesiastically did.

“My sister was trying to be nice after I had taken care of her for 3 years while she dealt with her mental health,” they wrote.

“She tried to make me a pizza. It came out more like charcoal. Like fully all black.” But this lovely sibling ate it, assured her “It’s not as burnt as it looks! Really yummy.” Give them a prize.

Sour And Salty Lemon Pie


Did they forget about how important sweetness is?

Over the last few years, salted caramel has taken the culinary world by storm. That contrast of salty and sweet had tongues wagging. This mother-in-law tried some flavor-experimentation of her own but didn’t quite pull it off.

“[My] husbands mom made a lemon pie, but it was a “special recipe” she learned from her friend,” Reddit user worlds-best-frycook wrote.

“There was no sugar and the crust was made of saltine crackers.” It was sour, it was salty, but for her husband’s sake, she “ate it as it was ‘delicious.'”

Perfume And Water


If you add hot water to something is it now technically tea?

As a kid, I loved playing with my kitchen playset and feeding my parents and their guests’ imaginary tea. They would pretend to slurp it for my benefit, but politely sucking air is a lot easier than potentially poisonous water.

One Redditor reminisced about her sister serving them her own version of tea.

“When my sister was 5, she had my mom, friend and I sit for her tea party,” GoonsAndGhouls wrote. “I asked her what she gave us and she said it was water and sparkle perfume.” At least it was pretty?

Sea Worms


A local delicacy that was tough to swallow.

Foreign countries often have local delicacies that confuse our Western minds and palettes. So when this one Reddit user turned up to a work trip and saw sea worms on the menu, he knew he’d have to down a few for the sake of his job.

“[When I] was working in China, they had a big celebratory banquet for us,” ninerdawg remembered.

“It was a white tube that when immersed in near-freezing water essentially dissolved into a gelatinous lump. Think fish-flavored jello, with just a hint of residual gristle.” Lucky for him, shots of Maotai helped the fishy taste go down for the sake of politeness.

Ratatouille With A Side Of Hair


And despite its namesake, we’re actually talking about cat hair.

Disney’s Ratatouille had one overarching message: everyone can cook. And this cat owner took this to heart, letting her beloved pet reign supreme over the kitchen. It was probably fine until one guest realized that their meal had a few extra bits they weren’t bargaining for.

“My lovely host mom in France made dinner for us every night,” says Reddit user miaomiao1025.

“But her big fat tabby cat was allowed to roam all over the kitchen. Ratatouille with visible cat hair was the norm.” That’s not our idea of normal.

Bear Meat


We know you’re wondering if it tastes like chicken— the answer is, no.

If you’re not an adventurous eater, it’s likely that chicken and beef satisfy all your needs. But across the world, people eat all sorts of meat, from kangaroo and venison to rabbit and emu. But one Reddit user’s aunt decided to dabble in some meat that was beyond exotic.

“My aunt tried to outdo her sister by cooking bear meat,” illogicalfuturity wrote.

“What came out was horrendous leathery sewage. It reeked and was an assault to my mouth. I had to gargle whiskey to get rid of the taste.”

Dried Black Bean Cookies


They might look like choc-chip cookies, but don’t be fooled.

Someone needs to please collect this grandmother who got dried black beans confused for choc-chips. There is no way to sugar coat this one because adding beans to cookies instead of chocolate is one thing, but mistaking salt for sugar, that’s just unforgivable.

“My beloved but very elderly gram-in-law made chocolate chip cookies,” philemonslady told Reddit.

“She messed up the sugar and salt and mistook the dried black beans in her cupboard for chocolate chips.” Oh dear.

Salty Steak


When a pinch of salt just won’t do.

Seasoning can do wonders. However, overseasoning can tip the scales on a dish that could have been delicious into dangerous territory. While people often share stories of mixing up sugar and salt, this one thoughtful albeit confused girlfriend, mixed up cups and tablespoon measurements.

After deciding to make her boyfriend and roommate teriyaki steak, she unfortunately “added 3/4 cup of salt.” ElmerTheAmish wrote.

“I ate as much as I could, and drank as much water as I could for the next few days…”

Chicken Boiled In Ketchup


Suddenly, there’s such a thing as too much ketchup.

“My grandma boiled chicken in ketchup once,” boringaccountant9 shared on Reddit. Doesn’t sound too bad, until you hear about the ratios. “I don’t mind ketchup but [it] was probably 2 bottles of ketchup for 4 chicken breasts.” Maybe the side dishes were edible? “She also had pickled watermelon for a side that day.” Okay nevermind…

Blue Cheese Martini


Cheese is usually good in everything but suddenly we’re not so sure.

There are so many varieties of the martini. Espresso martinis, vodka martinis, dirty martinis, Manhattans, Gibsons, and Vespers just to name a few. So, what goes through someone’s mind that leads them to create a blue cheese martini?

Turns out, it was a blue cheese-stuffed olive, and the cheese had seeped out into the alcohol.

But knotquiteawake admitted, “I held it in my mouth and nodded appreciatively. Then had to run to find the nearest trashcan to dump it.”

An Uncle’s “Special” Dish


Mixing Italian salad dressing, tomato paste, and cheese is a unique choice.

“My uncle had this signature ‘dish’ he insisted me and my brother eat every time we visit him,” violetfluidzzz shared on Reddit. “It was spaghetti noodles, beef, tomato paste, an entire bottle of Italian salad dressing and two cups of shredded cheese. It was the greasiest most disgusting thing I’ve ever had, but he was so proud of himself and really happy we were over so I ate an entire bowl.”

Spicy Brownies


Ooey Gooey brownies with a hit of cumin, cayenne, and fennel seeds.

If you watch enough Food Network, you can be convinced that you need to be more adventurous in your flavors. Why not try fennel in your cake or a touch of rosemary in a cupcake? But there is one thing you should categorically not do, and that’s dump the entire spice rack into a dessert.

“When I was four, my sister who was five made us ‘brownies,'” Olite-the-Imp wrote on Reddit.

They were essentially water with Hershey’s powder that tasted like satan’s shit by itself, every other spice on the rack, and no sugar. It wasn’t cooked at all either, as if that would have helped.”

Tartar Sauce and Strawberry Shortcake


Name a more horrendous duo… I’ll wait.

Using a throwaway account, this Reddit user NameMyExDoesntKnow admitted that their ex messed up on their birthday, despite having the best intentions. “My ex made me a strawberry shortcake on my birthday,” they shared. “She did not know the difference between cream of tartar and tartar sauce. It was super sweet that she tried, and you bet your ass I pretended that it was good. But damn…”

Floating Bourbon Cake


If you add so much alcohol to a cake that it just floats, it’s technically a drink now.

This user’s aunt was grieving the loss of her mother, so by the time Christmas came around she tried to make a dessert to help take the edge off.  “She’d made something she called ‘vanilla angel food pudding cake,'” Much_Difference wrote. “It was in a shallow casserole dish. [The] top layer was whipped cream and cookie crumble, middle layer was vanilla pudding, [and the] bottom layer was crumbled angel food cake… soaked to the top in a massive pool of bourbon. The cake was floating in the bourbon. We’d later found out she’d mixed even more bourbon into the pudding layer.” Who doesn’t love a bit of a tipple on Christmas though, right?

Have you ever eaten something to be polite? And how does it stack up to these poor souls.

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