Monday, July 15, 2013

Food I Don't Understand

Eating is an important part of being a human being, namely an American human being, and Lord knows I do a lot of it. But I would never call myself a foodie, partly because I spend so much time eating generic chocolate chips straight from the bag, and partly because I just don't understand many types of food, such as Cajun sushi and pho. Here's what else baffles my gustatory experience:

This is me eating.

I bought an artichoke in the produce department with the intention of cooking it and eating it. A girl in line behind me at the checkout asked if I was "like, making your own artichoke dip or something?" After experiencing the cooking and eating of a whole artichoke, I can safely tell you that I have no clue how artichoke dip could possibly be made. In order to get actual food from an artichoke, you need to rip it to shreds, gnaw on the leaves, scrape your teeth agains the meat, and then not even swallow because there's no actual food in your mouth. As I worked my way through the artichoke, eating what was probably inedible plant fiber, I consoled myself with the fact that I would eventually get to the heart. However, when I got there, it was covered in what I can only describe as cilia and the size of a garlic clove. It tasted like the rest of the inedible plant fiber too. At the end of the day, eating an artichoke is just too much work for me. If I wanted to work for my food I would take up hunting or become an indentured servant.

I saw these at the farmer's market this weekend and I was like "what." They're shaped like something you would never think to put in your mouth, and yet obviously someone from history did, and liked it, and now they're being sold at farmers markets. Given my track record with buying random pieces of produce and figuring out how to eat them, I think I'm going to pass.

 Image via Simply Recipes

Is it pasta, or is it rice? I've heard it's pasta, but I don't believe everything I read on the internet. It looks like rice and feels like rice in your mouth. I won't go as far as saying it tastes like rice, but let's be honest--neither rice nor pasta tastes like much of anything. What I don't get is why anyone would ever think to use orzo. If you feel like having some rice, why would you say, "You know what? I think I'll just have orzo instead." And if you're in the mood for pasta, why would you choose a pasta that is actually, secretly rice?

Dinosaur nuggets
First of all, what exactly has to be done to a chicken to turn it into a nugget, let alone a nugget shaped like a dinosaur? Is it even food at this point? Second of all, why shape it like a dinosaur anyway? Wouldn't the logical choice be to shape them into tiny chickens? Do children think they're eating dinosaurs? So many questions, so few answers.

 Image via Tyson Food Service

Blue drink
I thought dinosaur nuggets were the most processed food in existence until I came across a display of "Blue Drink" at a convenience store in college. It was an entire endcap of two-gallon milk jugs filled with a translucent blue liquid, resembling peppermint mouthwash. I pointed it out to Chris and scowled, but he, much to my dismay, said "Awesome! Blue drink!" and bought some. Let's just say he regretted it the next day. He couldn't tell you what flavor it was (other than blue) or what kind of drink it was (other than drink). In my almost 25 years of life, I've learned that anything marketed as "drink" is probably not something you should be drinking (I'm looking at you, chocolate drink).

Not to be confused with Purple Drank
Image via Know Your Meme

Tater tots
I just don't understand how tater tots are different from French fries. I realize they look and taste different, but I don't understand why. Aren't they both just potatoes that have been deep fried? Am I missing something here? What aren't they telling us?

Vegan cheese
I just don't even know.

What other food baffles you?


  1. I'll admit artichokes are weird, but I love them. My dad used to cook them when I was a kid and it was a family activity to dip the leaves in melted butter and scrape all that goodness off with your teeth.

    Of course, you can buy cans of artichoke hearts, so you get only the good, meaty stuff in the middle without doing any of the work. I like that too.

    1. I always get them on my pizza at fancy pizza places, but I just don't understand how that's the same food as the one I bought and ate!

  2. I have never seen anyone eat artichoke before this year. And I looked at her for 5 minutes just scraping this strange-looking vegetable (?) with her teeth. It was so bizarre! It's like eating crab. All that hard work for the tiniest amount of meat.

    Michelle @ Mishfish13

    1. Yes! It reminded me of crab's legs too. And I'm way too lazy to ever eat crab again.

  3. Omg I have been wondering about orzo for years. When recipes call for it, I'm like - I've got rice, can I just use rice? Please?

    My husband loves fruit drink. The kind that's labeled "<5% juice." I guess that goes along with being married to a child.

    1. Ew I used to be obsessed with Hawaiian Punch when I was a kid. Seriously everything called "Drink" and probably also "Drank" is terrible.

  4. Honestly- I just use artichoke as a way to eat butter. Delicious.

    And vegan cheese? Waste of space.

  5. Kohlrabi is weird. We get it every year in our CSA box and I always swear I'll do something with it...and then I let it rot in the fridge.

    I'm probably in the minority on this but I don't understand sushi. I say that I like sushi but I really just like the tempura rolls. Fried shrimp wrapped in rice and dipped in soy sauce. What's not to love? But the legit raw stuff? I don't get it.

    1. I don't understand it, but I do indulge. I mainly don't understand what it has to do with Cajun food.

  6. I never understood the south's obsession with frying everything...until I ate a fried snickers and my life was changed.

    1. I had one of those last summer, and my life was changed as well!


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