Top 3 most overrated foods

Mind you, these aren’t things like mushrooms, where you know it should be gross. These are things that sound so appetizing that I keep ordering them again and again. Only to find that in nearly every instance, they’re a disappointment.

1. Polenta. I love rice, quinoa, pasta, couscous, grits - grains of all sorts and forms. Why is polenta so boring and devoid of textural interest? Dunno. But it is.

2. Roasted red peppers. Sounds elegant and rustic. Tastes slimey and goopy. Leave a red pepper un-roasted and it’s quite nice.

3. Scallops. Their aggressive flavorlessness - no matter how they’re seasoned, larded, wrapped or encrusted – makes them the most overrated food.

What’s on your list?

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23 Responses to “Top 3 most overrated foods”


  1. 1 debbiehomick October 3, 2007 at 12:26 pm

    risotto! it always sounds good. rice cooked slowly to a creamy consistency, but i can never get past the crunchy texture of the rice.

  2. 2 Derek Slater October 3, 2007 at 1:25 pm

    Hi Debbie – that’s interesting – I love risotto BUT I don’t really need anything special mixed in, but in restaurants I typically they seem to feel the need to put funky stuff in there for a textural contrast.

    The only meal I had in Vegas recently that I didn’t care for was a risotto with chicken sausage (which was great) but also black mission figs (which proved too sweet and too, um, squishy for my taste).

  3. 3 Liquid Egg Product October 3, 2007 at 1:50 pm

    Polenta and scallops? Perfect examples of foods I like but never remember to eat. Scallops can’t be the main dish for anything (as you mentioned, a little weak on taste), but make for a great auxiliary ingredient. Maybe jumbo scallops could carry the load themselves, but those are ‘spensive.

    Fajitas are nothing special. They are an occasional dish for variety, rather than a coveted meal. If I want steak, I’ll get a steak.

  4. 4 Liquid Egg Product October 3, 2007 at 1:51 pm

    On polenta: yes, it is bland-ish, so no clue why I rate it so highly.

  5. 5 Harvey Reed October 3, 2007 at 3:03 pm

    I love polenta… but I also love rice and beans and other exciting dishes.

    One thing that is hard to find (around Boston) is a decent Gespacho! Why the heck is such a simple dish so hard to find, and so hard to make a decent batch???

  6. 6 Globular October 3, 2007 at 4:28 pm

    Cold soup, hot wine… sometimes I think foreign cooks spring stuff like that on us just for chuckles.

    :)

    -Matt

  7. 7 pollychess October 3, 2007 at 5:04 pm

    I agree with you on your choices. Mushrooms? Ick!

  8. 8 me October 3, 2007 at 5:43 pm

    Wow. I don’t believe I agree with any of your choices. A roasted red pepper with just a dab of goat cheese is one of the best appetizers anywhere. And I LOVE scallops, and I think they do have a mild flavor–so does lobster, a number of dairy products, and a lot of breads. Mild flavor is nothing to scoff at. Polenta? I’ll give you, but I’ve had some delicious polenta . Here’s my list:

    Asparagus–the most overrated vegetable, aside from cauliflower (which really DOES have no flavor). I usually explain that I don’t like asparagus because it tastes the way I imagine urine tastes, but I won’t say that here because you people don’t know me.

    Peaches–I feel exactly the same way about, just different nuances of urine. And they have hair on them.

    Capers–salty and slimy. Gross.

  9. 9 Derek Slater October 3, 2007 at 8:25 pm

    Hmmmm. So interesting. Obviously Pollychess is correct and “me” is incorrect. :)

    This is coming from someone who used to hate essentially all vegetable: Asparagus I have grown to like or at least tolerate. You have to cook it right, of course. I even find that steamed brussel sprouts, if you get rid of the bitterness, can be quite tasty, with a consistency almost like meat.

    Truth is I was served a “wild mushroom in phyllo” amuse bouche in Maine. I of course blanched but then thought: Tonight I will set aside my issues and eat like a grown-up. And I liked it. You couldn’t really tell what the filling was.

    Mild flavors are okay, even sophisticated and enjoyable at times. I stand by my criticism of scallops though. They aren’t awful, they’re just consistently disappointing.

    Matt – I have had cold strawberry soup that was delicious. I thought hot wine was principally a bowel-cleanser.

  10. 11 Shirley October 3, 2007 at 11:32 pm

    Hmmm. How about oatmeal? Hubby eats it every morning. Sometimes I join him because I understand it’s good for me, but it’s just so blah and boring.

    Good post. Be blessed.

    Shirley Buxton
    http://www.shirleybuxton.wordpress.com

  11. 12 Globular October 4, 2007 at 11:02 am

    Sun dried tomatoes.

    I’m not particularly fond of tomatoes anyway (it is a non-sweet fruit after all), and the idea of leaving them outside to shrivel up doesn’t appeal to me.

    -Matt

  12. 13 Derek Slater October 4, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    Matt – bingo!

    Shirley – but oatmeal never *sounds* good, right? :)

    George – couscous?

  13. 14 oceanguy October 4, 2007 at 3:20 pm

    Tilapia… that is generally overrated. I think the finer chefs remain unconvinced… they have not been fooled.

  14. 15 Blue Devil Knight October 4, 2007 at 11:56 pm

    Fried green tomatoes.
    Fried okra.
    Eggplant.

    All disgusting. All deserving extinction.

    PS Scallops rule, but ya can’t just eat ‘em alone, true. But they are a perfect complement to many things, like a fryer, or a butter sauce with those little green spherical things that taste salty and which I can’t remember the name of.

  15. 16 Derek Slater October 5, 2007 at 10:17 am

    BDK – yeah, I wouldn’t order any of those. Okra in particular gives me the willies.

  16. 18 Greg K. October 13, 2007 at 5:25 pm

    Mushrooms aren’t overrated. They’re just plain nasty.

  17. 19 Derek Slater October 13, 2007 at 6:44 pm

    Exactly – see first sentence of original post!

  18. 20 Rob O'Regan October 17, 2007 at 9:28 am

    Scallops are great if they’re wrapped in bacon. Come to think of it, anything wrapped in bacon is great.

  19. 21 Derek Slater October 17, 2007 at 10:04 am

    Rob – I have created a dish called Bacon-Wrapped Bacon. I’ll invite you over.


  1. 1 I ordered tofu on purpose « Reassembler Trackback on October 16, 2007 at 12:16 pm
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