Surely we have all witnessed a few violations against food: the grandma who never seasons with salt, the dad who only serves canned vegetables, the best friend who can't stop flipping the dang burgers, etc. So redditor u/RioA asked, "What food crimes have your family committed behind your back on your behalf?" — and here's how some people responded.
Note: Some submissions are from BuzzFeed Community users.
1. "My parents were great cooks, but my mom had this habit of turning leftovers from any big holiday meal into one big 'loaf,' which basically meant shoving all the leftovers into a loaf pan and baking it. Look, I'm a big fan of leftovers, but not so much when they're tortured into a big rectangular mound."
2. "My brother loves shredded Parmesan and puts it on everything, but he’s used to the shitty pre-grated stuff you can buy in a green bottle at the supermarket. Recently, my father-in-law brought home a huge block of real, delicious Parmigiano-Reggiano from Italy. My brother took it from the fridge and used about half of the block of cheese in one sitting. I wanted to kill him."
3. "I was attempting to make a perfectly tender and juicy sous vide chicken breast. Behind my back, my mother turned up the temperature from 65 degrees C to 90 degrees C 'just to speed it up.' Thanks to her, my chicken had the consistency of stringy leather...and tasted like leather too."
4. "I had a nice bottle of olive oil hidden in the farthest part of my pantry and a gallon of mediocre cooking olive oil on the counter. One of my girlfriend's friends came over and made dinner while I was working late. I returned to find my good olive oil completely empty because she'd baked chicken with it. She also mixed about an entire cup with Costco herb mix to dip bread into. I died a little bit on the inside."
5. "My mom intentionally makes her knives dull or throws them away when they're too sharp because she's worried about injuring herself or someone else in the kitchen."
6. "My mother was baking a cake, but she ran out of sugar to make the batter. So she went ahead and replaced it with jello crystals. I would not recommend trying it at home."
7. "My mom refused to use spices, even salt or pepper. When she turned her back to the stove, I would sprinkle oregano into her otherwise plain tomato sauce. I now know how to properly make pasta sauce, but thanks to my mom, it took a while."
8. "My mother was making gumbo one Christmas. She left the stove unattended for a few minutes, and my grandfather's wife sneaked into the kitchen. She added a bunch of water to my mom's prized gumbo because she thought it was 'too thick.' My mom cried over it. She had made about 5 gallons, and it was absolutely perfect until it was watered down."
9. "I had a roommate in college who was always trying to be helpful. She scrubbed my Teflon pan clean with steel wool 😐."
10. "I was preparing a perfectly puffed sweet potato soufflé when a family member who only meant well wanted to 'make sure the heat was evenly distributed.' She turned my soufflé as if she were tilling a garden, thereby transforming my work of art into a plain old stirred-up casserole."
11. "My mom is a genuinely great cook, but there are few nights that go by when she doesn't serve a can of baked beans (we're talking Bush's baked beans 🤢). She puts baked beans on tacos and, even worse, spaghetti. My family makes fun of me for not liking baked beans on spaghetti as if I'm the weird one. White Midwestern cooking is really something else..."
12. "My mom used to cook steak until it was gray and lifeless, which was bad enough. Even worse, though, she would get upset with me when I put ketchup on it so that it was somewhat edible."
13. "I have a family member who constantly turns up the heat on my barely simmering Bolognese because 'it isn't simmering enough.' It ruins not only the sauce but also the pot."
14. "Sometimes Mom would start off our meals with an appetizer of fruit cocktail served in a lettuce leaf, complete with a giant scoop of mayonnaise on top."
15. "My father used my handcrafted Japanese cooking knife (one that I brought home from Tokyo) to open a glass bottle of beer. It might not be a food crime per se, but it should be an actual crime."
16. "My wife, while making fajitas, once realized we were out of cayenne pepper. She instinctively grabbed the spice that seemed most similar from our pantry and used an equal amount. She picked smoked African ghost chili powder. Suffice it to say, we had to use a lot of sour cream that night."
17. "My mom got a Campbell’s Soup cookbook from back when canned soup was the height of convenience foods. It had recipes for all sorts of ways you could incorporate soup into your recipes. And boy, did she find a way to use tomato soup for every. Single. Recipe that could possibly contain red sauce."
18. "I always thought I hated vegetables, but turns out, my aversion to veggies had everything to do with the fact that I was only served canned or overboiled vegetables as a kid. It was an epiphany when I found out as an adult just how delicious fresh veggies can taste."
19. "Since I was a kid, my mother had never used garlic in any recipes. When I moved out of the house as an adult, she gave me a copy of her recipe book. Every single recipe lists garlic as an ingredient, but my mother took the liberty of writing 'optional' next to it. Now, years later, I cook her recipes with garlic, and even she admits I make them better. It's a sin that I grew up without garlic in my life."
20. "I was making tacos, and when I wasn't looking, my roommate poured a large jar of marinara sauce into the simmering meat because 'that's how we make tacos at my house...' Well, not in this house, buddy!"
21. "I made lace cookies, which are very fragile. I was letting them cool so I could sandwich them with melted chocolate. I was very excited about my creation. But when I left the room, my mom decided to pick up the cooling rack and slide the delicate cookies into a plastic container. Every single one broke into tons of little pieces. I'm still bitter about this incident five years later."
22. "I was cooking soup for my parents and making vegetables in a frying pan. My dad removed the veggies and dumped them into a Crock-Pot. He was trying to be helpful because he decided that there was no way all the soup would fit into a frying pan. To him, every soup recipe should be 'set it and forget it.' Of course, I was just sautéing the vegetables as a first step."
23. "My mother is an amazing cook, but she loves boiled Brussels sprouts seasoned with nothing but salt. I think she must not have the gene that makes them taste bitter, but the rest of my family certainly does. At one point, she was serving us these bland and vile boiled Brussels sprouts multiple times a week, but it all culminated in the Great Brussels Sprout Revolution of 1989, when my father led us kids in a 'No more Brussels sprouts' chant and ordered pizza."
24. "My parents fed us juice, SpaghettiOs, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with chips just about every day. Then they wondered how I grew up to be a picky eater..."
25. "My mother would make these awful fruit smoothies with random ingredients that were lying around our kitchen. She would use anything that could be called a cousin to produce — raisins, carrots, sweet potatoes, even lemons that were on the verge of going bad, with the rind and all."
26. "My parents overcooked eggs my entire life, so I always thought I hated them in every form. As an adult living on my own, I finally learned that scrambled eggs don't have to be a hard, rubbery lump, hard-boiled eggs don't need a greenish-gray yolk, and you don't have to cook eggs until every last drop of moisture is removed. Turns out, a runny egg is pretty good."
27. "I was making quesadillas for my parents, and I left the kitchen for a few minutes. By the time I came back into the kitchen, the air was burning my eyes and I had a hard time breathing. I asked my dad what he did, and he looked at me sheepishly. 'I only added three peppers,' he said. Turns out, they were jalapeño peppers and my dad put all three — seeds and all — into our food."
28. "My mother would take a banana, slice it vertically into two halves, and slather on mayonnaise. I'm not sure if this was considered a horrific breakfast or a very confused salad."
What's a food crime that you've witnessed a friend or family member commit? Tell us in the comments.
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.