Monday, December 3, 2012

The Onion Terminator; or, Stuff I Refuse to Eat

So today I ate a bad cashew. There are few things in life more HORRIBLE than eating a bad cashew. And I realize that there are a lot of bad tastes in the world, but what makes a bad cashew so terrible is that you look down at the cashew and you think, "Oh, cashew, you are going to taste like heaven and unicorn sparkles," and then you lovingly bite into it and it's like, "RAAAAAAAAAWRGH DEATH", and your mouth is filled with the taste of despair, and you're like, "NO CASHEW NO. WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS?”

It was not a very good start to my day, but it made me think about the foods that I would rank above even bad cashews in horribleness, and I thought I should probably blog soon anyway, so after a month of no updating, you get a post about gross food. Sorry. Admittedly, some of these foods might not be gross to you, but I do apologize for not having anything more interesting to say. I am working on a post about The Avengers, but the fact is that I have too many feelings about that movie to be able to write coherently through my tears of awe, so that will have to wait until I have managed to calm down about it. Which might be six months from now. Or never. But anyway, you get a food post.

I would just like to say that I am excluding weird Japanese food like cod sperm and rotten soybeans and stuff, because let’s be real, no one is going to be surprised that I don’t like those, and I also doubt my ability as a writer to describe how terrible those foods are. So we’ll move on.

The first food on my list is the most deceptive food on the planet. In case some of you have never smelled a cucumber, they smell like pure ice water from a spring in Greenland that has been hand poured for you by a freaking elf prince or something (they have those in Greenland right? I don’t actually know anything about Greenland. Hold on, I am checking Wikipedia.).They smell amazing. It’s like sticking your nose into a crisp, winter morning. (Okay, you guys. I always think that Greenland is totally in with the whole Sweden/Denmark/Norway Viking culture with elves and stuff, but apparently they’re more like Inuits? So there are probably no elves in Greenland, which totally ruins my earlier metaphor. Boooooo.)

But let me tell you something about cucumbers, my friends. They are terrible. I guess they do kind of taste like water, if by water you mean the sludge dredged up from the bottom of the Mississippi. Seriously, every time I smell a cucumber, I’m like, “Aww, you smell really nice! I bet THIS is the right time for me to start liking cucumbers!” BUT THERE IS NO RIGHT TIME. I am ALWAYS fooled.  I am becoming increasingly frustrated by the fact that I am regularly outsmarted by what is essentially a very watery zucchini.

Food number two is the most obnoxious food in the world. Peppers are like that kid on the playground that would steal your cookies at lunchtime and then lick them so you couldn’t get them back. They’re always there, lurking in the background, and it’s not like you can just get rid of them, because their very presence contaminates everything. Pizza Hut accidentally put mushrooms on your pizza? No problem! Just pick them off! Corn? (Corn is a thing on pizza here, by the way. I don’t know why Japan thought this was a good idea.) No big deal! Just dig under the cheese and scoop the kernels off! Someone accidentally put peppers on your pizza? THROW THA TPIZZA AWAY. There is no other option, because the HORRIBLE PEPPER JUICES have already dripped everywhere, and now no matter what you do everything those peppers touched is going to TASTE LIKE PEPPERS. I could probably feed a family of Ukrainian orphans with the sheer amount of food that I have been forced to reject because of FREAKING PEPPERS. I could probably spend the rest of this blog just talking about peppers. I won’t, BUT I COULD.

(Sorry, I am still on Wikipedia. Did you know that Greenland has a 100% literacy rate? I sure didn’t. Good job, Greenland.)

Now we move on to the main point of this article:


Dear readers, I hate onions with the fiery passion of a thousand burning suns. My battle with them began when I was three years old. I told my aunts and uncles and mom and dad that when I was four, I would start liking onions. On my fourth birthday, my mother made me a plate of onions. I bit into one, put my fork down, and said, “Well, maybe I’ll wait until I am five.”

But by the age of four, I was onto onions, and their awful little game. You see, onions creep into everything. Unlike peppers, which are usually red or orange or yellow or otherwise helpfully colorful and therefore easy to spot, onions are clear and often finely chopped, so you can’t see them until they’re already in your mouth, and by then, it’s too late. You can taste them, lurking around in that dumpling or mixed in with that meatball. They’ve been waiting for you, you see, in the darkness of the cooking pot, patient and insidious.

To combat this, I have developed an “onion sense” to protect myself. I now have the ability to look at a plate of food and correctly guess which items contain onions. My eyes have fine-tuned themselves to see the tell-tale glisten of the wicked onion hiding behind a noodle or a potato. Should this first line of defense somehow fail, I also have the ability to taste the tiniest particle of onion in any food on the first bite. And I do mean that. If there is a single piece of onion in something, I will find it. I am an onion finding and destroying machine. Like the Terminator, but for onions. And without the accent. And much smaller muscles.

(Greenland’s coat of arms is a bear. Like…just a bear. On a blue background. I am beginning to think that the world has underestimated Greenland. I mean, a country would have to be pretty bad-a in order to feel like, “You know what? Screw all of you. We’re just going to be a bear.”)

And I realize that all of the above foods are super good for you, and part of beloved cuisine all over the world, whatever. Blah blah blah. But I am telling you now that if you ever attempt to fool me into eating any of these, you will fail, and then I will punch you in the face. Or mail you to Greenland and let those bad-a people sort you out. 

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