Most Expensive Food Mistakes you have made

What are some of your most expensive (monetary) mistakes you have made related to foods? I guess we can include cookware purchases too.
For me:

  1. I bought $150-200 worth of frozen abalones (not the best kind). I came home and left them in a corner and forgotten about them until they started to smell really bad – probably more than a week Totally ruined
  2. $300-400 worth of dried fish maw. I did not have enough time to fully soak and hydrolyze them, so they were only partially hydrolyze (probably 20% and still mostly dried). I put them in the refrigerator and wait for a time to continue to the rest of the hydrolyzation. Yesterday, I found them have been molded. I tossed them all out.

During the pandemic we ordered stone crab claws from FL… forgot about them for a few months… they got horribly freezer burned despite being vacuum sealed. Sigh. Garbage.


Maybe pan frying foi gras until it was a puddle. I’m sure there are others involving selfish that I am repressing.


But you were still able to eat the foi gras, right?

We went to New Orleans in the early 80s and fell in love with the food. When we got back, I invited a bunch of people over for dinner, and I made jambalaya with two packages of seasoned rice I bought on the trip. About a half hour before everyone was supposed to get there, I tasted what I made, and discovered that the rice was still completely hard. It was probably stale and old. Fortunately there was a bar near our house in Sunnyvale, CA that made cajun and creole food, but buying jambalaya for 8 - 10 people was expensive! Now I actually know how to make jambalaya, but back then, I was clueless.


Two packages of cooked seasoned rice from the trip? Or uncooked rice with seasoning added?

It was uncooked rice with seasonings added.

Really, so you think the uncooked rice has already gone bad?

I’m sure I did, but I’m still antsy every time! I usually get frozen cubes for snacking at home, and have a developed a taste for them seared on the outside, and cold in the middle.

“involving selfish” should have read “involving shellfish.”

ETA, not my mistake but SIL sent about 3 dozen frozen Jamaican beef patties ( or just patty as she and husband say) UPS…over a weekend. Maybe not the most expensive, but certainly quite tragic.


Well, for what it worth, I have also overcooked some Japanese sea cucumbers to the point that they have largely melted in the broth. Still, at least I was able to eat them.

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Who knows how long it was sitting on the shelf? I bought it at the gift shop of a place we visited.

Well, for what it worth, you know many people out there must have suffered the same fate you did too.

How much do you think that cost you?

Re: selfish shellfish

My autocorrect changed added to asses earlier today.


Buying oysters at a store that doesn’t know how to keep them. Out of the 10 I shucked, 7 were tossed.

Not checking the label at my grocery store- a kid at the seafood department used the wrong code, and I was charged around $32 for shrimp, when the package contained one $16 cooked lobster. I didn’t realize what happened until I was making dinner.
Then the cooked crab legs I bought that were covered in tiny sea lice.

I’ve stopped buying seafood at 2 grocery stores during the pandemic because of all the seafood I’ve tossed.

In terms of expensive mistakes, I’ve cooked a couple $80 geese and $30 ducks that didn’t turn out as tender as I would have hoped.

I’ve also prepared lamb shanks , beef shanks, roast beef that would have benefited from a slower braise or roast.

Now I do low and slow.


it may not rank up there with $400 of fish maw, but I bought a pound of lox and left it on the counter for a while. I should have put it in the fridge quickly. At some point, the dog couldn’t resist any longer, jumped up on the counter, and ate it. The whole pound. A chihuahua. She drank for days!


I see no mistake here. :laughing:


I still remember hearing about a Dalmatian who jumped up and ate a whole pound of butter off the counter :rofl:

Off Topic Warning- One Christmas my brother said “Hey Grumpy look on the dining room table.” My cat was up on the middle of the set table licking the butter. I had forgotten to put the lid on the butter dish. I threw the stick of butter away, put out a new one and we all had a good laugh. He still reminds me about this every Christmas. He asks “Has this butter been licked?” I grin and say “you will never know”.


I once honoured a reservation at The French Laundry. I’m kidding, the meal was fine (I remember the wines more than the food), just not the transcendence for which I was hoping.

I once purchased a large cache of pine nuts (they were somehow on sale) and, after making a large batch of pesto, forgot to freeze the remaining nuts. I had a bin of rancid pine nuts on hand before too long.

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