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Angelo DiTocco

If you’re an avid reader of Binghamton Review (as you should be), then you might remember an article I wrote in November called “How to Celebrate Thanksgiving in Today’s Economy.” In that article, I suggested that if you can’t afford to glaze your Thanksgiving turkey in cranberry sauce, then ketchup will do the job just fine. Or if Brie cheese is too expensive, you can just dip your crackers in mayonnaise or Cool Whip instead. As repulsive as these combinations might sound, there are dishes out there that people seriously make which are worse than any of the cost-cutting tips and tricks I gave out. After reading this list, you might think that my choices are “strange” or “vindictive” or that “you need to go to therapy, bro,” but I assure you that everything I’ve written here is completely based on facts, reasoning, and common sense. Without further ado, here are the ten worst “foods” I’ve ever had the misfortune of putting inside my mouth.

10. Popeyes “Ghost Pepper” Wings

One day, I heard that Popeyes had some new chicken wing flavors available, so I went to go try them. I got the “sweet and spicy” flavor as well as the aforementioned “ghost pepper” flavor. Popeyes has been pretty reliable in my experience, so I was excited. The sweet and spicy wings were good, so I bit into the first “ghost pepper” wing fully expecting to be scorched by its extreme heat. And what did it taste like? Nothing! Those motherfuckers must’ve given me plain wings! I mean, you could take the whitest guy ever (I’m talking 100% pure Anglo-Saxon descent), ask him to make the blandest meal he can think of, and it would still be less spicy than those “ghost pepper” wings I got. They were still crispy and well-cooked though, which is why they’re the lowest on this list.

9. Cereal With Milk

Cereal with milk is actually pretty good – for the first minute that you’re eating it. Then it becomes a mushy, soggy mess that you have to try extra hard not to gag on. Adding milk into your cereal turns your breakfast into a speedrun. I guess this is good if you’re running late, but it’s objectively unenjoyable. It’s better to drink the milk on the side instead.

8. McDonald’s Fruit ‘n Yogurt Parfait

Once upon a time, I was feeling a little bit adventurous at the drive-thru and decided to try something new. Big mistake. At the window, the worker said that it wasn’t ready yet and that I needed to park and wait for them to bring it to me. 30 minutes later, I finally received my parfait and it’s still frozen on the inside! This is one of the rare times where they should have lied that it was out of stock. Also, the cup said “made with real fruit” on it. I don’t like the implications of that. This item deserved to be discontinued. Even the new “adult happy meals” they have now are more sensical than keeping the parfait on the menu would have been.

7. Margherita Pizza

You know it’s gonna be bad when they have to use foreign words to make themselves seem like better chefs. No, that’s not a “fromage” or a “queso” you used, it’s just cheese. Anyway, I may be spoiled from living in the magnificent state of New York, but I expect a pizza place to have a decent amount of things: garlic bread, calamari, chicken parm, that kind of stuff. But this one pizza place in Delaware had different ideas. We were all surprised to find out that it served pizza and pizza only. Facing no better option, we got the Margherita pizza. The pie we received was tiny, both in surface area and in thickness. It was oval-shaped, ensuring that the slices were not equally sized. Each bite was either all cheese or all sauce. They thought putting whole leaves on it would make it look better, but I easily saw through that illusion. If this is what pizza is like in Italy, then I’m almost ashamed to be Italian.

6. Perdue Chicken Patties

Yes, multiple of them. Back in the day, I would get these things and make chicken sandwiches with them. All was good and well until one day, I noticed that the patty I was dealing with was significantly thicker than usual. After heating it up and taking a bite, I found that it was unusually “juicy”, and it tasted off, like it was spoiled or something. Then I tried another one in the package just to find that it was just as thick, juicy, and weird-tasting as the first one. I figured it was probably just a bad batch, so I got it again from the store and gave it a second chance. Nope. Same problem. And so I never ate them again.

5. Simple Servings Chicken

If they ever filmed an episode of Kitchen Nightmares in the C4 Dining Hall, the first thing Gordon Ramsay would go after is the Simple Servings chicken. This sad excuse for a grilled chicken breast almost makes me wanna go vegetarian. For each bite of this thing, you need 10 gallons of water to wash it down. I would say it has no seasoning, but the only way I can explain its complete absence of taste is that they put some kind of “negative seasoning” on it that takes away the flavor. It’s no wonder 40% of Americans suffer from obesity when this is the poster child of healthy eating.

4. Jimmy Dean’s Sausage, Egg & Cheese Biscuit

Right off the bat, the store didn’t have the B.E.C.s, which is a red flag. Ignoring that, you have to go through the unpleasant experience of taking it out of the freezer (when you’re already freezing to death because you live in the magnificent state of New York). Then you have to put it in the microwave for a few minutes, after which it will give anyone who touches it fourth-degree burns. You’ll have to wait an additional 10 minutes to finally eat the sandwich and realize immediately that it is not worth the effort. The biscuit is scorching hot on the outside and cold in the middle, the cheese is made of plastic, and the sausage itself is fatty. You’re better off just skipping breakfast and getting 15 extra minutes of sleep.

3. The Plastic Tubes of Slush

Elementary school teachers have a reputation for throwing pizza parties where the pie is sliced into an extremely large power of two and each student gets only one slice. But perhaps due to trauma, people seem to forget about a far more sinister form of deception. Sometimes, when we would go outside for recess on a hot day, the teachers would hype us up with promises of “ice pops” or “slushies”. So we’d come to the table expecting to get a real treat, only to be met with these disappointments. Ripping open the tiny plastic tube would get our hands sticky, and the colored sludge inside would melt in mere seconds, reducing our “dessert” to 1.5 ounces of artificially flavored fruit juice. How could these teachers preach “anti-bullying” when they are simultaneously crushing these young children’s dreams?

Child abuse aside, you can tell these things suck because none of the many names people give them are descriptive or accurate. What’s that? You say they’re called “freezer pops”? Every popsicle goes in the freezer, you moron! Can you be any more vague? If people were just honest and called them “slush tubes”, no one would eat them because their mediocrity would be on full display.

2. The B.E.C. From This One Bagel Place

I took driver’s ed at 9 in the morning, so during our lesson, we would usually stop by one of the local bagel shops to get breakfast. But it turns out that even getting a simple breakfast sandwich can be catastrophic. I ordered a B.E.C. on a plain bagel, and when they asked if I wanted salt, pepper, or ketchup, I just said to put a little extra salt on it. Everyone else got their order reasonably quickly, but 15 minutes later, mine was still nowhere to be seen. Because they forgot it! I had to remind them that, hello, I ordered something too, and another 15 minutes later, I finally got it. Our driver’s ed instructor was understandably mad at the hold-up, but when we got back on the road and I opened the wrapper, what I saw next can only be described as a legendary fail.

Whatever challenged individual was making my order put the salt ON TOP OF THE BAGEL like it was a damn pretzel! How in the Lord’s name do you see an order that goes “B.E.C. with salt” and not put the salt INSIDE THE SANDWICH, LIKE A NORMAL HUMAN BEING!?

To this day, this particular establishment remains the only one to have successfully carried out the two-hit combo of forgetting my order and then fucking it up big-time. For all five of you who come here from the Putnam County area, I warn you: Do not get anything from Carmel Bagels.

1. Cauliflower

Nikola Tesla once said, “you may live to see man-made horrors beyond your comprehension”. While he was a very smart man, he made a mistake here by using the future tense, because I have been seeing this horror for my whole life. Cauliflower is the pug of agriculture in the sense that it should have never been selectively bred in the first place. It’s a disgrace to all vegetables, and yet it seems to slip under the radar, with its actually-enjoyable cousin, broccoli, getting all the hate instead. Broccoli can be pretty good if you make it in the right way, but no combination of sauces or seasonings is saving its whitewashed counterpart from being an abomination. I would gladly trade places with Sisyphus if the alternative was to eat a single piece of this filth. The worst part is that people put hot sauce on it and disguise it as chicken wings. I’ve never fallen for this vile trickery before, but if I do, I can guarantee that there will be no survivors.

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