Foods we would rather not eat


Rendition of pork patty mix/Ryn Gargulinski

People, check your freezers. You’re in deep trouble if you happen to have a package of frozen cured pork patty mix, specifically if it’s CHAMP Nem Nuong Cured Pork Patty Mix for Barbecue Meat Balls.

The stuff is being recalled. Not because of the taste – although that was my first guess – but because it is mislabeled and contains an undeclared allergen.

Full details on this recall are posted are in our Hot off the Press (Release) section.

If you happen to have this mixture, please don’t eat it because of this undeclared allergen. And please keep in mind going forward that this product made the list of foods we would rather not eat.

Foods we would rather not eat

* CHAMP Nem Nuong Cured Pork Patty Mix for Barbecue Meat Balls. No explanation needed.

* SPAM. See CHAMP Nem Nuong Cured Pork Patty Mix for Barbecue Meat Balls.

* Shrimp Flavored Chips. Even the packaging on these dandy-flavored, dried crinkly things is unappetizing. Nothing screams delicious like a yellow and red bag with pink polka dots and a little clear window so you can see the faded pink contents.


Photo Ryn Gargulinski

Unappetizing chip flavors stuff shelves from supermarkets to corner delis. We have ketchup potato chips and cheeseburger flavored Doritos. I must admit I was once a huge fan of salt and vinegar chips, when I used to eat chips. They went very well with a rare roast beef sandwich. Strange chip flavors are actually appetizing when compared to the odd slate of ice cream on the market.

Dill pickle ice cream. We expect ice cream to be creamy and sweet, and we also eat a lot of it. Americans lead the world with the largest ice cream consumption – the International Dairy Foods Association says the average American eats 48 pints each year.

If it were only available in pickle – which was created to market to pregnant women but never caught on – we might cut down on our consumption. Other disgusting but real ice cream flavors include garlic, fish, squid ink, octopus, jalapeno, pumpkin, spaghetti and cheese, pumpkin and raw horseflesh. Raw horseflesh ice cream.

Peanut butter concoctions and infusions. The other American staple of peanut butter also comes in a host of revolting flavors that have been “infused” into the mix. When I lived within driving distance of the Sunland peanut butter factory near Portales, N.M., it was a treat to visit. For some reason I bought a ginger and red pepper peanut butter, which expired in 2005, but still sits in my cupboard.


Photo Ryn Gargulinski

Other strange flavors Sunland produces include onion parsley peanut butter and hickory smoked. At least strange peanut butter flavors appear a tad more appetizing than that amalgamation of peanut butter mixed with jelly in a single jar.

Pigs feet and gefilte fish. Any time I’ve seen either of these delicacies they have looked the same: globs of objects awash in a thick white sauce. A friend of a friend of a barber’s cousin once became violently ill after eating gefilte fish one Hanukkah. Never mind the six rum and cokes she had on an empty stomach prior to her single forkful of fish, the illness must have come from the gefilte fish.

Tang. We really can’t get more chemically induced than this bright orange powder that’s mixed with water to create a bright orange breakfast beverage. While it’s fine and dandy that astronauts supposedly lived on this stuff, we don’t really want to emulate astronauts. They wear diapers on spacewalks, after all.



Photo Ryn Gargulinski

What do you think?

Have you dined on any of these delicacies?

What’s the most disgusting thing you’ve ever eaten?

About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at
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61 Responses to Foods we would rather not eat

  1. radmax says:

    Mornin’ Rynski…that mystery meatball pork glop on the grill looks great!…urp, excuse me, some of the aforementioned items in your blog are making me ill.

    • Rynski says:

      mornin’ radmax!
      if you’re feeling ill, don’t fret – just soothe your morning stomach with a fine cold glass of tang!
      yes, i took that gloppy barbecue photo months ago…i just KNEW it would day come in handy – haha.

  2. Andrew Ulanowski says:

    Ryn-O-Rama! Oh just wait until you get to the 17th Street Market! There are all kinds of strange foods there along with the good stuff.
    The strangest food I ever saw advertised was “Braised Fish Lips in Garlic Butter Sauce”. This was featured in a Chinese restaurant and gave rise to images of Asian men in scuba suits wielding scissors and groups of lipless fish . . . I had ‘shark’s fin soup’ instead.

    • Rynski says:

      hiya andrew!
      hahahhahahha! love that image of scuba suits, scissors and lipless fish – too funny. i would have ordered it just to perpetuate that image. wow, now you made me think of the chinese new year celebration in nyc i attended where they served up duck feet. i HAD to try them. they taste just as one would expect: like rubber.
      i love gross/funky/strange foodstuff. just don’t like eating it! i will surely wholly enjoy the selection at 17th st market – i’ll bring my video and camera!

      • Andrew Ulanowski says:

        duck feet! I saw chicken feet at Dim Sum one Sunday . . . yuck.

      • Rynski says:

        chicken feet? wouldn’t that be like eating toothpicks? at least duck feet have that fine rubbery fleshy stuff in between the toes – hahahhaha.
        now, pigs feet – THAT’s where the meat is at.

  3. tiponeill says:

    Yea – I was going to mention 17th St Market when we were talking about supermarkets. I go there about once a month to get things (mostly spices) that you can’t get at Fry’s or Sunflower.
    YOu can make fun of it but they have great stuff – their frozen “potstickers” are terrific (and I suspect  that they are CHAMP Nem Nuong Cured Pork Patty Mix  wrapped in a dumpling)

    • Rynski says:

      not making fun of 17th street market at all – in fact, i’m itching to get over there! i love pot stickers, too – but oh, no – don’t want to think they contain CHAMP Nem Nuong Cured Pork Patty Mix.

      if i DON’T KNOW what they contain and just enjoy them – i’d be much better off. mysteries can be more alluring when it comes to food, for sure.

  4. Ferraribubba says:

    My Old Man, being raised in a German household used to eat brains and scrambled eggs for breakfast. I never could stomach it in the morning as a jugend, but when der Frau and I went down to Puerto Vallarta SCUBA diving one time, the Para-Sailing guys enticed us up with a serving of grilled fish heads and a cold cerveza.
    Damn, they were good! Almost as good as the iguana an a stick we had, grilled on the beach too.
    I won’t bore you with the escargot they sell in Europa out of carts on the street like they do hotdogs or pizza in NYC.
    Or the RAW steak that my son Willi Dieter and I used to consume by the pound with sharp cheese and crackers back in the day.
    Yer pal, Ferrari Bubba

    • Rynski says:

      hey ferrari bubba, that is a gorgeous array of eats!
      perhaps the grilled fish heads tasted so good BECAUSE they were served with cold cerveza – hahha.
      iguana on a stick doesn’t sound too bad – but i’ll prob. pass on raw steak in general or escargot from a street food cart. i gave up on street food carts after one of my friends said he saw a nyc vendor take a leak and then turn around to serve a hotdog.

  5. Ferraribubba says:

    If y’all want some strange eats, check out Nicholas Kristoff’s op-ed piece in today’s NY Times.
    It’s about the very un-civil war in the Peoples’ Republic of the Congo, which to date has consumed more people than Hitler’s holacast (6.8 Million killed so far.)
    The new word that I learned is ‘auto-cannibalism.’ Don’t bother looking it up in the dictionary, it’s a new word. And it’s your worst nightmare come true.
    Oh, the horror, the horror . . . (apologies to Joseph Conrad)
    Yer pal, Ferrari Bubba

  6. leftfield says:

    I want to make it clear that anchovies are anything but gross.  In fact, they are ambrosia – the food of the gods, good straight from the can.

    If you should ever be in Peru, do not order the Cuy.  Cuy is the name for Guinea Pig.  It is fresh killed and cooked whole (after being dehaired); served on a bed of lettuce with a yellow-toothed grimace staring at you. 

    • Rynski says:

      hahhaah – i had a spell where i was fond of sardines – they are cheap and packed with protein – so i’ll give you a nod on the anchovies. just not on pizza.
      and THANK YOU for the Cuy warning. geesh. although guinea pigs do appear rather meaty and filling, they seem like they’d be better pets than suppers, esp. with that yellow-toothed grimace staring at you – eek! …and at least they DO take off the hair…haha.

  7. koreyk says:

    Hey Ryn,

    I followed your link to “101 Frightening Ice Cream Flavors From Around the World”, and saw that #14 was ” Chicken Wing Ice Cream”.  Only, I read it as “Chicken Wang Ice Cream”.  If you’re going for gross, I think my version is better.

    Maybe Leftfield has experience with one or both of the above flavors.

    • Rynski says:

      hahhahaahha! chicken-“whatever” ice cream would not be one i’d go for – i even used to get grossed out with bubble gum ice cream. it was bright pink with little gobs of coated gum in it.
      frozen gum in a sickly sweet pink swirly cone. yick.
      i don’t know if leftfield has experience eating weird chicken things, since he did not comment on chicken feet.

      • leftfield says:

        Speaking of chickens, I have been busy today putting a fancy new roof on The Girls’ house.  Now that the job is finished, I will comment on the chicken feet debacle.  When you look at a package or platter of chickens feet, I ask that you realize that each pair of feet represented an individual being.  When alive, one of the chickens may have enjoyed her greens while another perhaps preferred raisins.  Perhaps one liked to take her dust baths in the morning, another in the evening.  One may have coveted the nest box in the far corner, while the other liked to lay her eggs in the middle box.  

        Chickens – the Rodney Dangerfields of domestic animals. 

      • Rynski says:

        i will keep that in mind going forward, lefty. thank you.
        also CONGRATS! on the new roof on the girls’ house. hope they are snuggly happy beneath it.

      • azmouse says:

        Yep, you have the best cared for chickens ever. I love that they live in luxury!

  8. koreyk says:

    I’ll give most things a try.  When I was in Japan, I amazed my hosts by eating and enjoying stuff that sent most Americans running for the restrooms with hand over mouth.

    But, I despise liver, chicken gizzards, and especially peanut butter.  When I was a kid, my brothers used peanut butter as a weapon against me, like the hero wielding a flaming torch against the monster in an old horror movie.  Strangely enough, I love peanuts. 

    • Rynski says:

      good for you! on openmindedness when it comes to trying different foods. my cousin lived briefly in japan for his job and his biggest complaint about the food was NOT the taste – it was the cans. he said none had photos on them so he never knew what he was buying.
      he’d just heat whatever it was up and eat it.
      sorry to hear you were terrorized by peanut butter as a child. it’s one of my favorite snacks. i was only terrorized by rotten crab apples we used to hurl at one another.

      • koreyk says:

        Throwing rotten crab apples at one another isn’t terrorism; it’s pure fun!

        Since crab apples don”t grow in Tucson, we used rotten citrus, fistfuls of pyracantha berries, and barrel cactus fruit.

      • Rynski says:

        use the whole barrel cactus – rather than just the fruit – and i’m in! hahahahha

  9. azmouse says:

    I’ve always been grossed out by any meat in a can. It can’t be good if it can live in a can on a shelf…Spam tops the list, beef stew, chicken, deviled ham, etc.

    • koreyk says:

      Potted meat!

      • azmouse says:

        Argh…exactly. It just doesn’t seem right unless you’re in a war and carrying them in your backpack.

      • koreyk says:

        Years back, I used to buy the old style Army surplus MRE’s from Bob’s Bargain Barn to take on hikes.  The mystery meats and dessert cakes were compressed into extremely dense little pucks in tiny olive drab cans.  I once calculated that they weighed as much per cubic foot as concrete.

        With every MRE came the Army’s greatest invention; the P38 can opener.  I still have one on every key-chain.

      • Ferraribubba says:

        I carry 3 things on the chain around my neck. A dog-tag with my name, address, phone number, and blood type on it, a handcuff key (you never know,) and my old P-38 can opener. I’m ready for anything.
        Yer pal, Ferrari Bubba

      • azmouse says:

        I have one of those can openers too! LOL
        Gave one to all my kids as well.

  10. Carolyn Classen says:

    Ryn, sorry to say you will not survive in Hawaii where spam is popular and it would be an insult (cultural) to include it on a list like this one. Tofu and sushi should not be on this list either.

    • koreyk says:

      I love tofu and sushi, but many people who have tried one or both don’t.  Finding a particular food you’ve eaten to be gross is not by itself an insult.  However, when in someone elses “home”, one needs to understand and follow the local cultural protocol.  And, those that criticize something they have never experienced are both ignorant and insulting.   

    • radmax says:

      It’s FOOD Carolyn, for cryin’ out loud. Some of these items would make me wretch from half a mile away, due to their aroma. Is vomiting during dinner a sign of respect where you come from?  I don’t care for big games’ gamey taste, therefore I don’t hunt it any longer, but I don’t fault others because they do.  Just a matter of taste. If someone doesn’t like something on my dinner party’s menu, I try to accommodate them with something more to their liking. Hospitality and culture work both ways. Then again, you have some folks that are overly sensitive to the slightest perception of insensitivity to their own particular trifles… 😉

  11. critic says:

    How outrageous, culturally insensitive, intolerable, and rude to put together such a list of food items. The entire concept of such a list is insulting to many many people and peoples in this world. Take down this poll immediately. You have no right whatsoever to insinuate that food items such as liver, tofu, or sushi would be not palatable to some people who greatly value and appreciate to have these delicacies available.

    • azmouse says:

      I believe it is only people’s opinions and certainly not meant to insult anyone, especially their culture.

      We are all aware that everyone has different tastes and we don’t all like everything. I’m sure you’ve eaten things you’d rather not have again.

      • Ferraribubba says:

        Hey azmouse: Can’t you see when critic has his/her tongue firmly planted in cheek? I’ve got some beautiful ocean-front property that I’ll sell ya just west of Eloy. <g>
        Yer pal, Ferrari Bubba

    • koreyk says:

      My take on this discussion is the sames as azmouse’s.  See, democrats and republicans can agree!

  12. azmouse says:

    If you look at someone sideways these days, you’re politically incorrect.

    Sometimes political incorrectness also means ‘THINK LIKE ME’ or it’ll get ugly.

    • koreyk says:

      Wowie Zowie!  We agree again.

    • Rynski says:

      well said, azmouse! and thank you and koreyk for pointing out the poll or write-up was not intended to offend.

      • azmouse says:

        Oh Ryn, I’m starting to wish I had a dollar for every time someone creates in their mind your offenses…..
        I’d be loaded!
        Personally, I wanna switch things up a bit, and believe people’s intentions are good  instead of always thinking the worst about people first.

        Wouldn’t that be different?!!? 

        Ryn, don’t ever change!!!

      • Rynski says:

        aww, thanks azmouse! you don’t change either!
        yes, i am amazed at some who seem ready to be offended at any little thing…like they are lurking in the bushes ready to pounce…don’t know if it’s more comical or sad.
        glad there are readers, like yourself!, who are on the same wavelength. my main aim is to get people to think and/or laugh.
        also like your believing people’s intentions are good instead of thinking the worst about people first. you are a role model!! haha. wish everyone thought that way…

  13. Charles Spillar says:

    Have you ever tried fried Spam and eggs? They are great and a real treat if you are in Maui. The Hawaiian’s have more ways to cook Spam than  you can imagine. The old saying “don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it!”  Spam, eggs grits and biscuits are the real breakfast of champions.

    • Carolyn Classen says:

      Thank you Charles.  Spam has a bad reputation on the U.S. Mainland but is ubiquitous in Hawaii and is not considered gross at all.

      • Carolyn Classen says:

        Yes koreyk, those Monty Python guys are hilarious with their spam skits, and with their musical Spamalot too.  Growing up in Hawaii I ate: spam with eggs for breakfast, spam sandwiches, baked spam (liked baked ham), spam musubi (fried spam surrounded with cooked rice and then seaweed, which almost everyone there eats as a snack.  Spam musubi is  sold for $1.00 or so at bake sales, bazaars, sports events, at the farmer’s markets, etc.)  McDonald’s has spam & eggs on their breakfast menu, it is so popular, and the drive-ins have it in their bento boxes, along with fried chicken & teriyaki beef.  And spam is served cut up in small pieces in the ramen/saimin bowls also at McDonald’s and most other fast food places, along with green onions and fried egg.

      • azmouse says:

        It’s all preference and what you’re used to.

        For me, the idea of meat that can survive forever in a can is not natural. I like to eat as healthy as I can and I’m thinking meat in a metal container is packed full of stuff it shouldn’t be and things our bodies don’t need. It’s nothing personal against Spam…it could be a canned ham! YUCK. All that gelatinous gunk that’s in there, all preformed and molded…

      • azmouse says:

        lots of fat and sodium too.

      • koreyk says:

        Actually, Carolyn, the spam musubi sounds quite tempting.
        My mom always mixed other things into the scrambled eggs, and spam was quite common.  She also, on occasion, made us fried spam sandwiches.  Every so often, I get a bug and buy a can of spam.  I usually slice it thin and blacken it in a pan.  That usually sates my spam desires for many months. 

    • Rynski says:

      hiya charlie –
      never tried fried spam and eggs – but i am a huge fan of ham and eggs – and even moreso for canadian bacon and eggs – yum! glad to hear there are gads of creative recipes for spam, too. thanks for input…i do happen to dig grits, as well – usually with peanut butter and bananas on them (although i’ve heard grits go well with cheese).

  14. Ferraribubba says:

    Last Add Spam: I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for Spam, being the Haole Boy that I was for 2 years, (my former lady-friends will tell you that’s the only soft spot on my body, but I digress.)
    The last time that der Frau, Harrison and I went to the U.S. Grand Prix, when it was held in Indy, Hormel, the makers of Spam set up a trailer/kitchen in the paddock area and were giving away Spamburgers to the hardcore Eurotrash visitors over for the race.
    To say that they loved them would be an understatement. I talked to a few of them, and they said that they loved the Spamburgers even better than the White Castle ‘sliders’ that you buy by the dozen and eat the same way. By the dozen.
    Eating is the way that Europeans clean their teeth. The new food just replaces the rotting old food. That way they don’t have to brush. Especially the filthy French, who only bathe when it rains. (and wash their clothes too.)
    They were amazed that here in the Colonies (as they call us,) we don’t charge for the toilet. Over there, they do, with a guard standing at the door 6o collect.
    Maybe that’s why public urination is the 2nd most popular sport in Europa. I’ve got some fine snapshots I took at the Grand Prix of Belgium held at Spa Francorchamps that I’d love to post, but methinks that that prude Rynski wouldn’t approve. <g>
    Men, women, cops, drivers, pit crew, children going, dogs humping, etc., you know, just your typical Sunday afternoon at the park in Europa.

    • leftfield says:

      Are you sure you’re not confusing Europe and Arkansas?  Public urination, lack of dental hygiene and dirty clothing; throw in a few yee-haws and some corn liquor and it sounds like the Razorback State.

      • Ferraribubba says:

        Hey Lefty: Sounds more like either South Tucson or the Reservation to me.
        I’ve got a great ‘can’t miss’ business opertunity for you. Why don’t you open up a camera store on the Reservation.
        Just trying to help, yer pal in East Jesus, Ferrari Bubba

      • leftfield says:

        I appreciate your concern for my financial future, FB, though I’m not sure why a camera store would be a “can’t miss” opportunity.  Actually, I was thinking about opening a store in Toad Suck, AR.  I’m planning on selling men’s shirts with sleeves still attached, women’s underwear, dental floss and automobile mufflers.  Based on my visits to AR, these items are in short supply and should sell like deep-fried catfish on a Friday night at the VFW hall.

      • Ferraribubba says:

        Speaking of all-you-can-eat Friday nite fish frys, one of the best that I can remember was held at Jeff’s Pub in Tucson. The cod was superb and the line to get in stretched around the corner.
        And if y’all didn’t mind stepping over the bodies of the Bloods or Crips in the parking lot, the Hideout Bar had a pretty good Friday night fish fry too.
        Nothing like the smell of gunpowder in the air and fresh spilled gang blood to whet the old appitite, I say!
        God, how I miss the Old Pueblo!  —  Yer pal, Ferrari Bubba

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