Most Vile Food?

The “Most Hated Foods in America” thread combined with a recent discussion 'round the table at the ricepad pad got me thinking: what is the most vile or disgusting thing you have willingly eaten? I’ll try just about anything once, and some things I’ll try more than once just to be sure. Case in point: Pork bung. I chronicled my attempt to make ersatz calamari extensively on CH, and have linked to the backstory here on HO. I ate three pieces to make sure that the taste was as terrible as my first impressions, largely because if pork bung could masquerade as calamari, then surely my first bite had to be unusually bad. But no, it was just plain bad, as were the second and third pieces of shit-laced pork I ate. I imagined the flavor of pig feces in my mouth for several days afterward. It was awful.

But topping the list of Things I’ll Never Eat Again has to be Papaitan, an Ilocano (Filipino) soup with a strong taste of bile. The son-in-law’s father warned me that I probably wouldn’t like it, but I insisted I would eat some. I reasoned, “Hey, I’m Asian, too, we eat some strange stuff, and even though Filipino cuisine includes things much stranger than my own cultures do, how bad could it be?” Let me tell you, it was all I could do to choke it down. My first impulse, as well as my second, third, and fourth, was to spit it out. The only reason I didn’t was because I didn’t want to insult our hosts, who considered it not quite a delicacy but a kind of cultural touchstone that reminded them of home. (In that respect, I guess it’s a lot like lutefisk for other people.) I actually took another spoonful so I would not appear to be rude, but that was as much as I could handle. Papaitan? Never again!

What about you? What is the worst thing you’ve ever willingly eaten?


Andouillete de Cambrai. Smells like shit. Tastes what I imagine shit tastes like. I did eat the first bite but that was enough.

Cambrai is a small town in Northern France, the scene of major tank battle in 1917. I was there to photograph some war graves. We came into town looking for somewhere to get a coffee. First place we encountered was the local supermarket. It had coffee and toilets. And a “regional food” section. Hence buying the product. Lesson learned.


I also had a brush with Andouillete.
Although I already knew what it was made from but I wanted to taste this very famous Dish so beloved in Lyon. I found a place that was serving Association Amicale des Amateurs d’Andouillette Authentique approved Sausage(do not remember how many Stars it had been given). Somehow I still thought it would resemble the “Andouille” that I was familiar with so when I cut it and it sprung open a bit and all I could see was Intestines I was a bit surprised. Luckily it did not taste of Shit (“Haters” may have had some made from poorly cleaned Chitlins). The first few Bites were OK, a couple of more with the Mustard Sauce but that was it.
That is some funky stuff!

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I tried a durian milkshake once. It tasted fine going down, but the aftertaste was horrible, like rotten eggs.

The other nastiest food I can remember is smoked milk paleta. To me, it tasted like licking a used ash tray.

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Not a food, but Unicum tastes like alcoholic wheat grass juice to me. And not in a good way. If there is a good way.

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I had to look that up. :slight_smile:

I’m an outlier in that I really like Andouillette. Often grilled, sometimes braised in white wine, my favorites were at an annual village fete in the Yonne, where a men’s civic group had a booth They grilled the andouillette, then slashed them into chunks and continued to cook them, splashing them liberally with wite wine, With sizzling hot frites, a fine meal.
Supporting my mantra that there are no bad foods, only bad cooks.


I had to look that one up, it looked a bit like haggis.
Ick for me on those two plus head cheese. Toasted crickets, not so bad.

“Unicum”??? I’m not quite sure I could bring myself to try it!


I like Haggis and Headcheese.
Never had any Crickets in a recognizable form.

When I was a Kid I ordered a Grilled Cheese Sandwich at the County Fair. Took a bite and promptly puked, it had Mayonnaise on it🤮!

That’s the way I feel about peaty scotch. At the moment I can’t think of anything I have eaten that I thought was vile.

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I was at a wedding in Budapest. Unicum was distributed to toast the bride and groom. I gave it the old college try. And my reaction turned everyone against me. Oh, well.


Im right there with you.

I gave it more than a fair shot…sampling it at various foires around the country…i just can’t wrap my head around why I should put something that smells like poo in my mouth.

When it was on the menu at the school where I taught, I’d bring my lunch and stay out of the building that houses the canteen.

Even amongst the French it seems to be a love/hate item that evokes strong feelings.

The same month I ordered Andouillette at Drouant in Paris, expecting a physically smaller French equivalent of American-style Andouille sausage, I accidentally ordered a plate of veal kidneys at Diana’s in Bologna, and the mixed grill at the Savoy Grill in London. Mixed Grill in Canada does not include any organ meats. It’s usually 3 or 4 different grilled meats. So, I was anticipating a little lamb, pork and beef when I ordered the Mixed Grill.

I soon learned Mixed Grill in UK typically includes at least a few organ meats.

This took place in July 2000. I still remember the words for kidneys in German, Italian and French.


I will eat pretty much anything—I’ve had crickets in Mexico, guinea pig in Peru, etc.—but the one that got me was chopped-up frog pieces in a soup in a remote area of rural Laos. I’ve had frog legs, the French way, and those are OK, but that Laotian soup was really beyond the pale. It just tasted plain bad. It was a tough 24 hours for me in which I basically ate just unadorned sticky rice for dinner and a granola bar (which I’d packed in with me) for breakfast. There are a lot of frogs on offer in Laotian markets, of all sizes and wrigglinesses. I don’t recommend them.

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I was raised on–and enjoy–most offal. But I cannot abide kidney.


Not truly vile…… but I was at dinner in a very tiny old sushi bar in Kyoto many years ago and the couple that ran it thought it would be fun to serve me ‘fresh’ prawn nigiri sushi. The wife took a bowl to the tank behind us and brought some live prawns to her husband. The husband prepped it and presented a piece to me. I put it in my mouth and, just as I bit down, the prawn (what was left of it) began to twitch violently…… inside my mouth. That’s something I’ll never forget…… ever.


I think its those strawberries that look ripe in the basket but taste like sour apples


Sea barnacles were an unpleasant experience for me. They are a delicacy in Rhodes.

I also dislike sea urchin and Bottarga.

At the only Hungarian wedding I have ever been to (in the US), they had a bottle of homemade liqueur on every table (for toasts we learned later, not shots as we decided to do).

Well, our table of friends finished the bottle before the toasts started, to the delight of all the older Hungarian relatives. They described it as honey wine, and it was very sweet and definitely well-spiced. Don’t know if it was home-brewed Unicum or something else, but it was pretty delicious.

We ended up with a few more bottles on our table courtesy the uncles and aunts, and I don’t remember much of the rest of that evening.