At some point or another we have all been in the situation where we were served something to eat that we just found disgusting. And recently, Reddit user u/rosetintedmonocle was curious about people who have been in that situation...but during the holidays, asking: "What is the worst/oddest food you have been served at a holiday event?"
And the people didn't disappoint. Lots of them shared some truly bizarre and unappetizing things they've eaten around the holidays. Here are some of the top and best comments:
1. "'Candle salad' at an ex’s family Christmas. A slice of pineapple topped with half a banana standing balanced pointy side up, dollop of cottage cheese, and a cherry on top of the banana. It is absolutely worth looking up a picture; his grandma walked out of the kitchen with a tray of these things on tiny plates at the fancy formal Christmas dinner and I almost died."
"The original recipes for it calls for mayo instead of cottage cheese which would be absolutely vile so I’m glad they updated it. I’ve seen some even newer ones with whipped cream which doesn’t actually sound too bad…it’s just the optics. 😂"
2. "My mom's weird take on ambrosia salad. But she called it something else, a name she made up. It had marshmallows, Cool Whip, a lot mayonnaise I think, shredded cheese for sure, pineapples, and maybe some other canned fruit. I think she also threw pecans in there. I can’t remember very clearly because I never ate it, it was just the most shocking culinary abomination I’d ever witnessed. She’d also make it for Easter and decorate it with Peeps."
3. "Christmas one year Grandpa brought three squirrels skinned, cleaned, and baked. Not really unusual except all the meat was still attached to the bones including the skulls. So we just had three rat-looking things in a pan, straight out of the movies. The worst part was, me being a 'try anything' kind of kid, Grandpa convinced me to crack open a skull and try the brain. Definitely traumatized some cousins that year."
4. "Once I had meatloaf at a potluck that was heavily spiced with cinnamon, vanilla, and cumin. HEAVILY. When the lady who made it told me about the spices she had used, I tried to politely decline a bite but she insisted and shoved a piece into my mouth with her bare hand. There was a dog hair in it."
5. "My late mother-in-law used to make a 'vegetable side' which was canned peas suspended in a clear gelatin, topped with a dollop of Miracle Whip."
6. "My ex's grandma used to have different Jell-O concoctions for every event. Some were meant to be sweet with fruit, nuts, and marshmallows in it. Others were meant to be savory and those were absolutely vile. Beets, lettuce, olives, anchovies, mayonnaise, and God only knows what else. I've tried to block it out."
7. "Mackerel salad. My ex-wife's aunt brought it to Thanksgiving dinner every year, and every year it went completely untouched. She added raisins and other weird things to it as well. There was NOTHING about it that looked even remotely appealing."
8. "My uncle-in-law’s sister brought a green bean casserole, the first time such a thing showed up at one of our family meals. Frozen green beans, a can of soup, and crispy onions in a casserole dish that she assembled a few minutes before dinner, and then popped in the microwave for a few minutes. Some of the beans were still frozen."
9. "Unfortunately, it was my own. First time trying to make liver pâté and I accidentally used way too much milk. I also undercooked some of the liver, and did not season it well at all. I was like 20 at the time, and I can’t believe I brought it to Christmas. It was shitty liver milk soup. Happy to say I make an excellent liver pâté these days, but that creation still haunts me even after about 15 years."
10. "My wife's side of the family has a family get-together each year, and each year they have some of the strangest things. It is important to note that the first year I went my wife warned me not to eat anything unless I saw her eat it first. There was a loaf of meat that looked like it had once been various leftovers of other meat products over the year. Mostly lunch meat, ends of hams, leftover chicken. The whole thing had been grounded and then cooked into this loaf. It was pink, had pickles in it, and looked like Spam that had been abandoned on the side of the road."
"I didn't eat it. I did drink the cranberry grog, but when I neared the end of my glass it was evident that there were peppercorns, flour, and something that looked like cinnamon that had been broken with a hammer.
We stopped at Sonic on the way home."
11. "Butterflied hot dogs baked in BBQ sauce, served over a mound of plain, unseasoned mashed potatoes (just boiled and smashed). Truly disgusting."
12. "So growing up my dad was the cook in the family and well my mom…wasn’t. Once I go old enough to handle doing the sides it was pretty much my dad doing the turkey, me doing most of the sides, and my mom was on salad duty. After they divorced I mainly did Thanksgiving with my dad and then when I moved out of the house with my boyfriend we would host Thanksgiving. Last year right before Thanksgiving my dad suddenly passed away. It was hard and I wasn’t in the mood to celebrate at all on the day."
"This year my mom strong-armed me and my boyfriend into coming to her and my stepdad’s for Thanksgiving. I thought it wouldn’t be bad because my stepdad is an okay cook.
Nope. My mom insisted on cooking and it just went from bad to worse. She doesn’t like to use seasoning because she 'still wants to taste the turkey' and tried to rip the salt and pepper out of my hands when I tried to season the bird behind her back. She shoved that bird with no butter or oil into an oven bag, but not before shoving a handful of prunes into the cavity. It was a small bird (maybe 10 pounds) and at 350 degrees it was way overcooked when she pulled it after two hours of cooking. The thing hadn’t browned at all in the bag so it was this unappetizing pale color and dry as hell.
She also served pre-made frozen mashed potatoes, jarred gravy, and canned creamed corn. I did what I could with the stuffing and green beans but overall that meal was just sad. And before you ask why I or my boyfriend didn’t help, she insisted that she knows what she was doing and refused to listen to any advice or accept any kind of help. I had to strong-arm her into letting me at least taste and season some of the side dishes."
13. "I went to a 'posh' party and they served cold boiled potatoes and cold cooked salmon. There was a creamy sauce, but I think they got their pots mixed up as it tasted remarkably like custard!"
14. "A family member's potato salad. She manages to cook the potato so the outside disintegrates and the inner is raw. She mixes it with mayo. Only mayo. No seasoning. Not even salt. It is like eating grainy mayo with raw potatoes."
16. "My mom's not a cook, and she made this apple and wild rice salad one year. It was apples, wild rice, mayo, salt, pepper, and some other things I can't remember. Her friends were wary of the dish. I wanted to give my mom a win so I ate a bite. Nobody touched it after my reaction."
17. "Work potluck in Minnesota. One of my coworkers made 'cookie salad' as I watched. 'Chocolate'-drizzled cookies, broken up, mixed with a couple cans of mandarin orange segments (juice/syrup included), and two cans of whipped cream, then the whole thing was mixed to the point where the whipped cream deflated."
18. "There was the year my sister-in-law was on a major health kick and thought she knew how to cook. Turkey was cooked A HALF HOUR after the button had popped. No salt, no seasoning, nothing but turkey-flavored sawdust."
"The mashed potatoes were just boiled potatoes and milk, and I think because she used her hand mixer to whip them she felt like it was reasonable? No salt, no butter. We mentioned some butter would help, and she VERY reluctantly added a small knob of margarine...then immediately decided it was too much and scooped most of it out and threw it away.
She made 'cranberry bread' by winging a recipe (without looking up the basics) and used canned cranberry sauce, some orange juice, and whole wheat flour. That's it. No sugar, no eggs, no salt, no leaveners. It was...awful.
Thank God for the salad that year...it's what got use through, and then we came home and had scrambled eggs and toast for Thanksgiving."