User Input

User Input: So Horribly Wrong

Tofurkey, the anti-Christ of Thanksgiving dinner.

Yesterday’s Startup reminded me of some of the worst aspects of humanity. Mostly peanut butter, that vile, repugnant concoction. But it did get me thinking that it’s not alone in the culinary realm.

Many forms of peanut butter have about as much relationship to a peanut as 2000’s Michael Jackson has to 1980’s Michael Jackson. Sure, they might have both come from the same place, but there ain’t much else they have in common. Take the stuff in Reese’s peanut butter cups, for instance. It’s an interesting substance with a somewhat buttery texture. It’s not peanut butter, but we’ll continue to pretend that we believe it is if it’ll make Reese feel better.

There are other foods creations substances, however, that haver certainly not faired as well when the fairy scientist waved his magic genetically-modified wand over them. Vegan bacon, for instance, is proof that science can, in fact, go too goddamned far. I don’t care how you wanna dress it up, that shit ain’t bacon.

What’s the worst ever melding of science, technology and cuisine?

  • TurboBrick

    I'm going to go in slightly different direction with lutefisk, because it starts out as a perfectly edible piece of fish. This Christmastime horror is more a showcase of old time chemical engineering and food preservation technique than something you'd actually want to eat. It's nothing but gray, tasteless mush with a very unpleasant texture that you drench in melted butter and black pepper, and then pretend that it actually tastes like something other than butter and black pepper.

    • old hippie

      You are being FAR too generous with your description of Lutefisk. My wife tried one bite, I personally couldn't believe it was so bad so I took a second bite, being the idiot that I am. My Black Lab, Loco, refused to touch it. He was the smartest of the 3 of us! And yet he was the 'loco' one… NOT!

  • Number_Six

    Canned silkworm pupae. A picture does not do the smell or taste much justice.
    <img src="http://www.wired.com/images/slideshow/2007/10/gallery_canned_foods/comp1.jpg&quot; width="500" />
    Image offa Wired

    • Tanshanomi's rule of life #238: you don't want anything that "you have to import special from Asia, 'cause they don't sell it in the States." I won't go into details about how I came to establish this rule, but let's just say I'm struggling through a "sharkmeat pate´flashback" right now.

      • P161911

        Back when I worked for Mitsubishi Wireless I had the cubicle next to a good friend of mine. He was dating one of the Japanese secretaries there (they are now married), but nobody else in the office knew of the relationship. She worked for one of the VPs that was always getting special food packages from Japan. The VP would share with her and she would want to share with my friend. To avoid suspicion she would bring stuff to both me and my friend. After about my second shrimp cookie I just starting tossing any strange food that would appear on my desk over the cubicle wall to him.

        She started fixing his lunch for him too. One day he had a fried egg and green pea sandwich.

      • FuzzyPlushroom

        No shit.

        [youtube xKXZT70gwNg http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKXZT70gwNg youtube]

  • The Professor

    About 50% of what the Japanese eat.

    • ptschett

      Wow, it didn't take long for other cuisines to get 50% marketshare.

  • skitter

    <img src="http://i615.photobucket.com/albums/tt237/jskitter/Atomic%20Toasters/non-milk.jpg"&gt;
    It's organic, ergo it's less processed and more natural.
    It's so good, it doesn't even need to be refrigerated!

    Actually, Ultra-Pasteurized means it's been shot at such incredible pressure through such a tiny nozzle at such an incredibly high temperature that, in my opinion, it has ceased to be milk.

    • <img src="http://di1-2.shoppingshadow.com/images/pi/de/56/ea/91258253-260×260-0-0_CoffeeForLess%20com%20Borden%202%20Reduced%20Fat%20Milk%208fl%20oz.jpg"&gt;
      Out in the field during my Army days, I actually got to be pretty fond of "milkbox," as we called it (as in, "you want some milkbox?"), although it certainly doesn't taste like "milk." This was the mid '80s, and nobody knew we wanted organic stuff yet. Meanwhile, I've grown increasingly lactose intolerant (as many of us do in our 40s) and switched to soy milk, which tastes even less like milk. But I've gotten used to it, and it's much more appetizing than gut-wrenching cramps…or worse.

    • TurboBrick

      Add fat free milk to the list of crap dairy products. They used to give that stuff back to the farmers or throw it out, after the dairy had scooped all of the milk fats out of it. Then one day someone has this bright idea of "Let's sell that stuff to the customers, and charge them just as much for it as we charge for real milk!".

    • FuzzyPlushroom

      I didn't know that existed until I visited Scotland. Wait, that's milk. You refrigerate milk. Oh. Wait, that's not milk anymore.

      Skim's bad enough…

  • <img src="http://lh4.googleusercontent.com/public/Um4SCovdoiiCv70QUNK0azNuFokU2k0UZtuX-IB-OjkMZHz_799aQuJ2tpi4vEPSkYHiZKlxpHobTh6YIcZo1Sf2b83hdQr4yjzR_pJI0t52VH_4Wq5HCHz_e9WCopHTSgKl_CelPKD2"&gt;

    First of all, ALL effervescent drink tablets, Fizzies or Zym or Camelback Elixir, taste like a horrible mash-up of Alka-Seltzer and fluoride rinse. But add on top of that not just BACON FLAVOR, but really poor, obviously artificial, foul-smelling fake bacon flavor.

    Who thought we needed this, or would like this? it's not like anybody has fond memories of Grandma's old-fashioned, non-instant, non-carbonated bacon drink from when they were a kid. I guess that they're betting that the sheer outrageousness will cause enough people buy it just once to break even on the development.

  • tonyola
  • pj134

    The worst is Soy Cheese. Its not cheese, its rubbery, LESS flavorful, shitty tofu.

    The one I want to try the most is definitely something cooked Sous-vide style.

    Also, I'm buying this for you and expecting it to remind you of why you are weird…

    <img src="http://www.techdigest.tv/peanut-butter-maker.jpg"&gt;

    You peanut butter hating philistine.

  • OA5599
    • The Professor

      Too. Much. TANG!

    • Waaaa? I LOVE Tang.

      Okay, so it doesn't taste like anything else on earth, but that's because astronauts brought it back from space.

  • P161911

    While it does have a nice smokey flavor and if could until hard a crispy is it edible….almost. It is far from the real thing.
    <img src="http://cdn.laaloosh.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/butterball-turkey-bacon.jpg"width=500&gt;

    • MrHowser

      This is all the bacon I can get when we visit the in-laws. Fortunately, my wife has re-discovered her love for the real stuff, and that's what we get to eat around here.

    • The Professor

      Oh yes, I've eaten a lot of turkey bacon. My wife decided that I was going to eat healthier a while back, and this was all I got for bacon for a while. It's ok, but it's not bacon. Thankfully, she tired of her sport and started buying the real thing again.

      • P161911

        Every so often I'll either try to be healthy or just be really cheap and get turkey bacon. If you nuke it in the microwave until very crispy it is at least crunchy and smokey with a very slight bacon flavor.

        • The Professor

          If you fry it up in old grease, it almost nearly doesn't really taste like bacon, but with a burnt grease flavor. Desperate measures…

      • I have to admit to eating this stuff instead of bacon. Well, not really "instead of bacon." I like to think of this as a sort of "breakfast turkey strip" that is somewhere in between and not terribly related to sliced ham, bacon and fried bologna.

        I avoid red meat as much as I can. I'm largely a "non-mammavore." (I love telling people, 'I'm sorry, I don't like to eat anything in my taxonomic class'). So we do a lot of ground turkey and diced chicken substitution in traditional beef and pork dishes.

        • pj134

          I think this is a step worse then Dearty's (if hockey has taught me anything, when speaking of a Canadian, add a y to their name) hatred of peanut butter.

          Although, more steak for me!

          Hmmm… Peanut butter steak?

          • The Wheel Inn in Sedalia, MO, was famous for putting peanut butter on hamburgers – they called it the Gooberburger. Amazingly, that storied municipal landmark closed about a year ago. I don't think it's a coincidence.

            BTW, is not liking peanut butter a canuck thing? Because I've met about eight or nine people from Germany in my life, and absolutely every single one espoused a hatred for peanut butter. Peanut butter is to Germany as Vegemite is to America.

          • pj134

            I can't speak for Canucks as I'm from the Philadelphia area. But I have heard that peanut butter is a very much American thing. I do know that a Canadien invented modern peanut butter but who knows.

          • BlackIce_GTS

            Please do not assume any of his insanity holds true for the rest of us.

          • TurboBrick

            I think it's the weird texture of peanut butter. If you don't grow up with it, it feels just wrong. I know I didn't really care for it at first, but over the years I've come to accept it. Actually, I really do like a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich, with or without bacon…

            Vegemite's not bad either.

          • You were stoned when you tried it. C'mon, admit it.

        • The Professor

          As long as it can't talk or have an intelligent conversation, I'm cool with most meats.

          • P161911

            I know the Japanese (or maybe most Asians) will eat anything as long as it doesn't walk upright on two legs. So bear meat is out for them.

            A guy I work with had a hunting buddy that killed a bear ONCE. He said when he had it up skinning it, it looked way too much like a person (this would have been a <300lb. black bear).

          • MrHowser

            I had a bear burger not long ago. My friend who shot it and brought the meat home said you want to be sure to cook it very thoroughly, like pork. Apparently, eating undercooked meat from an animal that scavenges dead bodies is an especially bad idea.

          • The primary concern with undercooked bear is trichinosis.

            On second thought, I suppose the primary concern with really undercooked bear is being horribly mauled.

          • Red meat is rather unhealthy personally, and the amount of livestock we raise for food also has rather dire enviro consequences.

            That's not just me talking, but the Center for Science in the Public Interest: http://www.cspinet.org/nah/06_09/memo.pdf

          • pj134

            You raise an interesting point. However, none of these meatatarians will see it through my fog of carnitas!

            <img src="http://www.itsfordinner.com/media/uploads/recipe/pork-carnitas/pork-carnitas_jpg_600x400_crop_q85.jpg"&gt;

          • MrHowser

            Mmmmm…. carnitas.

          • Damn him, he was right!

          • pj134

            If I didn't do it, you're article would have…

            Two University of Chicago geophysicists, Gidon Eshel and Pamela A. Martin, have calculated that, for a big meat eater, adopting an all-plant diet would be like switching from a gas-guzzling SUV to a Toyota Camry. …and tuning out in 3… 2… 1…

            Yes, switching from an 11 combined MPG E350 to a 28 combined MPG 4 cyl 2012 Camry is going to save the world. The lowest MPG "Gas Guzzling SUV" I could find in the current model year is the Yukon Denali at 12 MPG and the H2 averaged around 10. That'll save the world, those 18 MPG. Hope you didn't buy last years Camry or its a lot less than that.

            Fucking "activisits"

    • Deartháir

      See, but that's just thin-sliced turkey. We'll make that every once in a while not as a replacement for bacon, but an alternative. And that's not really dependent on science or technology.

      • P161911

        Some of the stuff I get has nothing recognizable as turkey and it even has brown and white stripes to make it look sort of like bacon.

  • PrawoJazdy
  • sport_wagon
    • P161911
      • The Professor

        I've tried that for bait, and the fish don't even like it. Bacteria won't touch it either. Makes lousy caulk, too.

    • MrHowser

      I was at the grocery store the other day, and as I wandered through Aisle 7 (foods for those with a pronounced waddle) I noticed that "Cheese Whiz" is no longer marketed in spray-can form. All you can get is this Easy Cheese. Is this a recent development, or are my memories of consuming it in middle school deceiving me?

    • Wait, but if you don't like Easy Cheese, how do you take road trips?

  • The Professor

    When I first saw the picture for this article, I thought it was a damned haggis that Mitch had posted. Thankfully he hasn't fallen that low. Yet.

    • Number_Six

      I once had a wonderful drunken game of football (American-style) on an Edinburgh street with a frozen haggis. By the time it got cooked I had no idea what it tasted like, I just needed some weight to keep the booze down. So I've eaten haggis, but couldn't really say how it was.

      • pj134

        note to self: when GM of a football team, train a Scotsmen to play quarter back. No one on the opposition will understand him and the snapcount will be indecipherable

    • Deartháir

      I've had haggis. If you don't think about it, it's rather tasty.

  • Alff

    My wife's squash risoto – proof that two rights can make a wrong.

  • sport_wagon

    <img src="http://a.onionstatic.com/images/articles/article/2183/false.jpg"&gt;

    Cheeseburger in a can!

    <img src="http://a.onionstatic.com/images/articles/article/2183/upclose-crop.jpg"&gt;

    And I thought they smelled bad . . . on the outside . . .

    • pj134

      "Help! Help! I'm being compressed!"

      • Number_Six

        "Come see the compression inherent in the system!"

        • I'd like to do that. What sort of algorithm are they using? Is it coded in assembly language, or some interpreted code?

          • Number_Six

            It begins with a moistened bint lobbing a scimitar and devolves into jabberwocky.

  • SSurfer321

    A certain, senile, member of my wife's family has a habit of using Jello as a binding agent. She will dig out all the old leftovers from the fridge, put it all in the mold, pour in Jello and refrigerate. Best served on a bed of lettuce.

    There's been everything from beans, pistachios and ground beef in them.

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