The 10 most disappointing foods
This list was inspired by Deborah and Charlotte, two ladies, who are not backwards at coming forwards when it comes to voicing their disappointment with something. Although they are a shade more vocal than most, they are not alone – who hasn’t salivated at the thought of a foodstuff, only to feel let down and positively dirty after the event? Here’s the list of the food item that have left me feeling disillusioned with life.
Caramel Chunky Kit Kat
Kit Kats had always been the wallpaper of confectionary, until the chunky variety elevated it to the poster child. Suddenly the Chunky Kit Kat was the go-to snack for that afternoon slump, not merely the lunchbox filler of old. Since those heady days in 1999, several varieties of the Chunky have been introduced, the latest being the Caramel Chunky Kit Kat. Any sane person would assume caramel meant caramel – viscous, light brown, sugar-based syrup – not a beige paste tasting vaguely of caramel.
Maybe it’s impossible to put caramel into a Kit Kat? No it’s not. Australia has had a caramel topped chunky since 2002 – so it’s taken 7 years for Nestlé to introduce a really bad version into the UK. Never has your afternoon slump been magnified more through confectionary disappointment!
Somewhere in the darkest recesses of the Nineties, a product developer addressed some men in suits. The conversation may have gone something like this – “Kids are fed up having to squeeze ketchup onto a plate to go with their chips. If we don’t come up with a solution to this problem, then the youth of Britain will never reach the potential we know they have. We will become a first world country with third world condiment commitment”. They agreed, so off he went to the lab. Working day and night, with scarcely a moment respite, he emerged triumphant, holding aloft his creation. The Ketchip. A chip with ketchup inside it. Genius.
It was grooved, with the texture of a Bird’s Eye potato waffle and the merest hint of tomato ketchup, running through its centre. Despite being offered to visitors at the new fangled Millennium Dome – no doubt as a triumph of Britain’s modernity – it was truly awful and disappeared very quickly.
Oh the glamour, surely this is what the Queen would dine on? Crisp layers of chocolate nestling in snow-white ice cream, with squiggly bits on the side. I’m guessing that Her Maj has never opened the box, her eyes full of regal expectation, only to be faced by a squat frozen dessert on a brown plastic tray. Why brown? – of all the colours you can make thin plastic, why brown? Why not silver, gold or white? That aside, the experience of eating a slice of Vienetta is always a let down – it’s quite small, not good ice cream and the thrill of that chocolate-layer crunching quickly fades.
Mass produced (plain) crisps are just potato, oil and salt, ‘hand dipped chips’ are potato, oil and salt. Mass produced crisps are light, golden and the perfect accompaniment to many things, ‘hand dipped chips’ are often deformed, overly brown and shatter into extremely sharp shards that rip your mouth to shreds. The price for this masochistic experience – about four times as much! But you pay for someone to hand fry those (machine sliced) potatoes, well, buy a machine to cook them and then I won’t have to pay as much and maybe, just maybe, they won’t be so burnt!
Ready made jelly
Some things, you know aren’t quite right and despite this knowledge they are still enjoyable – pre packed cake slices, tinned mandarins and cheesecake in general. Some things, on the other hand, are wrong and nothing they can do can ever make them anything but a disappointment. Despite my love of jelly, I have standards. Ambient single portioned jelly is not right, especially with fruit in it!
Apple & Blackcurrant squash
Apple juice is great and blackcurrants make the sweetest, most sumptuous cordial there is. So how come when you put them together it’s such a disaster? No matter how concentrated you make your cordial/squash, it still looks and tastes weak and insipid. It’s mediocrity in a water-based drink format.
They seem to have crept onto the menu of every chain restaurant by stealth. One minute it’s all sandwiches, the next, platters of nachos. I love nachos and they deserve their rightful place on the best foods of all time – as a concept. In reality they are always disappointing:– too expensive, not enough cheese, too much cheese, guacamole, no salsa, no jalapenos – way too many variables for the right combination to occur. Having this knowledge doesn’t help when faced with a menu. I still order them and every time regret it.
There is no point being puritanical about it, booze is sexy and glamorous. Growing up you have a perception that alcohol must be the ultimate squash – a heady combination of Ribena, Coke and Kia Ora – the elixir of adulthood, that tastes as sweet and pure as the Fountain of Life. The celluloid portrayal of whisky is all pure, golden liquid cushioning gently clinking ice cubes. The reality, as you learn in later life, is how you imagine lighter fluid to taste if it’s been filtered through soil and mixed with equal parts of bleach.
Cheddar is yellow. Obvious I know, but this means that you can’t judge the maturity of Cheddar by looks alone. This is where the problem lies, good Cheddar makes you salivate, with a tangy finish that lingers long on the palate, mild Cheddar is like eating tasteless Plasticine. Both are about 34% fat, so why eat that many calories with such little reward? Nothing can ruin a cheese based meal quicker than the realisation that those salted curds have barely been outside the cow!
I don’t get them, they’re okay… but nothing special. I have no idea why so many people squeal with excitement with the prospect of this mollusc on the menu. I feel they are what you’d get, if you crossed pork with chicken and then removed the flavour, replacing it with the juice from a freshly-squeezed crab stick. Over-rated, over priced and I’m so over them!