Photo courtesy of [Phil Whitehouse / flickr creative commons](

Photo courtesy of Phil Whitehouse / flickr creative commons

When someone fixes you a meal, it is customary to eat it, even if it’s not particularly your cup of stew. Although avoiding bad meals has gotten easier and easier nowadays with people faking food allergies and diet restrictions. Sometimes however, you just got to suck it up and swallow, like the sweethearts below who shared with Reddit their stories of the grossest things they chose to eat out of politeness.

Shortly after I started dating my wife, she invited me over to her place for dinner. Pork roast, baked potatoes, green beans etc. Needless to say, I was looking forward to it for many reasons not the least of which was that I somehow was dating a beautiful woman who also apparently could cook. She comes trotting out with our plates happy/proud as could be and serves dinner. I took one look and knew I was doomed, but figured I could man my way through it. The beans and baked potato were fine. The pork roast, however, was not. It was like eating a hockey puck that had taken a trip through the pits of hell. I casually asked for the salt and ketchup claiming that I like my pork roast with those and went to town. 30 minutes later I had a gut full of leather and veggies and was thanking Zeus that I was able to get through it after kindly turning down seconds due to a ‘late lunch at work’. Fast forward a few months and we were having a grill out. I am assembling my burger and my girlfriend passes me the ketchup, which (without even thinking) I decline because I do NOT like ketchup on anything. The table goes silent, a cold wind blows through the air and it dawns on me… I just blew my cover. Fortunately for me her dad came to my rescue and said “Darling, I saw the pork roast you made and I wouldn’t have fed it to my dog let alone another person and this guy ate every bit you gave him. Either he was really desperate or he REALLY loves you so you need to keep that in mind before you rip him in half.”

It was in rural New Hampshire in 1989. I was eleven and visiting relatives I had never met before with my Grandpa. They were his age, around 55, no kids. The wife seemed very stern although in hindsight I just wasn’t used to New Englanders. We go to sit for lunch and it is gristly sliced canned ham with the jelly still on it, raw onions, and tomato aspic. Grandpa saw me pucker up and whisper-shouted in my ear, "This is the best they can afford. Eat.” I ate.

Guinea pig on my last night in Peru. Two things made it worse than it had to have been, though. Spending the ten minutes before it was served to me with the sweet old woman who cooked it scrambling to explain the texture to me and finalizing with “bubble gum.” I made peace with that and thought to myself that it shouldn’t matter too much if the flavor isn’t horrible. Then it was served in front of me with fried, crispy skin dotted with at least a dozen tufts of fur.

My now-ex made some pasta with a homemade sauce. Well, it looked good, but the moment I brought it to my mouth I could sense there was something wrong. It was the strangest combination of flavors I’ve ever experienced. She put Chinese five spice, cinnamon, chives, cloves, garlic powder, onion power, nutmeg, basically every spice she owned, also a metric fuck-ton of salt and a bunch of hot peppers and fruits and vegetables she had lying around. I lasted thirty minutes after “dinner” before my body rejected the “food” I’d just eaten. It was torture going in and coming out. I did the dishes after I emptied my body and threw out all the leftovers. I told her I spilled it while I was cleaning up.

The day after Thanksgiving, my wife and my father and I went out for the day. It started getting around dinner time and we’re about to head back and we pass a BBQ truck. Ribs seem like a great idea. My dad calls my mom to see what she wants, but she says no, don’t get ribs, she’s been working in the kitchen all day on an amazing feast. So much for ribs. We get home and find that the amazing all day meal is turkey cheesecake. Stuffing for crust. Gravy and turkey and cream cheese blended together into a slurry and baked into the stuffing crust. Let me repeat that. Baked turkey slurry. We could have had ribs.

The time I asked my crazy grandad for a glass of milk and he didn’t have any, so he mixed half & half and buttermilk. He was scary so I drank half before my dad noticed and rescued me.

Stayed at a friend’s place when I was in middle school. All she did was rave about how awesome her mom’s banana pancakes were, and how nobody could resist them. Morning comes, and I’m served with a pancake burned to a crisp on the outside (nearly black). I took one bite into it, and come to discover not only is the mix on the inside raw and uncooked, but the mushy, pulverized banana was not ripe… at all. I had to swallow huge bites without chewing (almost vomiting the entire time) to get through my one pancake. Later I remembered that when she told me about the pancakes she mentioned how people “inhaled them”. I can only assume this is because they didn’t want to be impolite and had to get it down before it could come back up.

My grandma’s mind was going when she had cancer and she didn’t tell anyone about the pain. One Sunday she made her usual hot dish but when she was thawing the hamburger in the microwave she forgot what it was and how it was supposed to be cooked. So she just microwaved it until it was cooked and served the other parts of the hot dish like normal and said “This is good but I don’t know what it is.” Salt helped the meal but nothing helped the feels.

A person I know made, what she called, “gumbo.” It was every leftover in the fridge from the month dumped into a pot and cooked, then served over noodles. When she served it, the taste was awful. She had Italian meals, Mexican meals, soups, steaks, chicken, every veggie imaginable, fruit, bread stuff, etc. It was so gross!

When I was travelling through the Mongolian desert, our host nomad family served us what they called Mongolian Barbecue. It is not what you find in American restaurants. What we got was goat and sheep bones covered in meat and thick slabs of fat. When I tried to get away with only eating the meat and leaving the pure fat behind, the Mongolian patriarch pointed at the fat and made it clear that it had to go down my throat. They had killed their own goats to cook it for us, so down the throat it went. Bonus awfulness: One of the guys in my group was a vegetarian. Thankfully he was a trooper, and ate just as much meat as the rest of us.

Cowboy stew. Sounds pretty cool, huh? It’s not for Cowboys. It’s not made by Cowboys. It’s not stew. It’s Spagetti-O’s, ground beef, and Worcestershire sauce. Girlfriend’s mother made it while we were dating in high school. 0/10.

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