So we were having brunch today and I was enjoying my smoked salmon and spinach frittata when, two-thirds of the way through my meal, I noticed a little addition to the side salad: a tiny produce sticker gumming up a wad of leaves. Informative, but a bit of an appetite-killer. Our waiter was appropriately mortified and attempted to make amends with a complimentary double-dessert. A nice gesture but, at that point, the last thing I wanted to do was keep eating.

As someone who dines out more than the average person, I’ve come across more than my fair share of these unpleasant surprises. There was the time I was at a high-end restaurant when I spotted an inch worm casually making its way across my friend’s organic salad. Or the time my wife discovered a shard of plastic in her appetizer salad at what was, at the time, one of our favorite Japanese restaurants. But let’s not limit ourselves to restaurants. For a while, a couple of years back, we had signed on for one of those meal home-delivery plans in a bid to save time and eat healthier. Unfortunately, part of my wife’s dinner on one night was made up of grilled chicken, green beans, brown rice, and a big chunk of wood. Now I’m all for incorporating more fiber in my diet, but have to draw the line somewhere. Maybe if it had been balsa… My wife was less forgiving, promptly canceling the service.

It’s interesting how people react in these situations. In my case, it all depends on the severity of the incident, the response of management, and my mood. I imagine it’s much the same for most people. I remember, when I was a kid, discovering a bill floating at the bottom of our economy-size bottle of 7-UP. Given my age, I was thoroughly bewildered and couldn’t conceive of it having accidentally found its way inside prior to the bottle being sealed. The very thought defied logic so my mind automatically seized on the only other possible explanation. I asked my mother why she’d put the bill inside the 7-UP. My mother responded by – well, to put it mildly – going ape shit. She cleared every remaining bottle of 7-UP out of the refrigerator and poured their contents down the sink, angrily berating the manufacturer and vowing to never again purchase their product. For his part, my father carefully set the sodden bill down on the table and carefully transcribed its numbers on to a handy notebook. Later that week, he would play those same numbers in the national lottery. Alas, it turned out the bill was not directed into our bottle of 7-UP by the hand of some higher power seeking to bestow riches upon us. More than likely it was just a screw up with quality control back at the plant.  THAT time.  Now I wonder whether I should’ve paid closer attention to that produce sticker.      

So, what was the most unsettling thing you’ve ever found in your dinner? And how did you react?

Catching up on the mailbag:

Chevron7 writes: “Have you ever thought of writing a cook book?”

Answer: Sure. I could call it “My Favorite Recipes From Other Chefs”.

Quade1 writes: “how was the pork head meat? that sounds interesting, was it similar to just normal pork?”

Answer: Yes, but a lot more tender and with a lot more marbling.

DasNdanger writes: “Soooooo…am I to understand that you think Todd is… sweet?”

Answer: In comparison to other wraith, he’s a darling.

Kabra writes: “When are the weird food purchases coming back??”

Answer: A local Indian restaurant has put crickets on the menu. We went last night but the line-up was too long. Soon. Soon.

Tammy Dixon writes: “I’m trying to learn the art of cooking fish. We in the south, fry everything and I’m trying to branch out. Any suggestions?”

Answer: Try poaching on occasion. It’s healthier and equally tasty.

Mackenzie’s Momma writes: “@Joe- hey any chance you could maybe get Kavan to do a guest blog for you?”

Answer: If I run into him, I’ll certainly ask him.

Demon Hunter writes: “I love Sea Bass but its a killer to try to fillet it. Do you prepare it for cooking yourself or do you get someone else to do it?”

Answer: My local fishmonger and I have an agreement. He won’t script my story ideas and I don’t filet his fish.

Deni writes: “Nothing to laugh at around here tonight. Hubby RAN OVER one of our stray cats…”

Answer: Sorry to hear, but encouraging news that it’s only a broken leg.

Nadine writes: “ Joe, do you watch many animated movies? If so, have you seen Lilo and Stitch?”

Answer: Yes and yes.

OHinNJ writes: “I know you’ve said that you don’t read fanfiction. But what about the official Stargate novels? Do you ever read those?”

Answer: I get enough Stargate at work. When it’s time to unwind, the last thing I look for is more Stargate- related material.

Miz writes: “Joe – So here we are in mid-June…any news on the business end of the SGA movie saga? Yes? No? Maybe?”

Answer: Still awaiting word.

 

Susan the tartan turtle writes: “What’s Topango?”

Answer: Topango is one of the many hilarious characters in Marty G.’s repertoire.

Kristintaps writes: “…tv guide dude says a source said that there is quality Sam / Jack time in SGU opener..Will you confirm/deny/ or plain ol’ comment??”

Answer: I believe this is a reference to the SG-1 movie and not the SGU opener.

Iamza writes: “I read THE WALKING DEAD, and, um, maybe I need to read more than just the first volume? It didn’t really feel like that great or different of a story.”

Answer: As someone pointed out (I believe here on this blog), writer Robert Kirkman conceived of the series as a means of offering the widest possible canvas for the horror sub-genre. Most zombie movies and books offer a glimpse of people dealing with the zombie onslaught. In The Walking Dead, however, Kirkman studies the long-term ramifications of a post-zombie apocalypse.

Major D. Davis writes: “ 1. I started to respond to spam like you said and my mom got kinda ticked when she found out(I forgot she told me not to when I did it the first time). So what did you say was so good at responding to spam. Like doesn’t it just make you get spam in the long run?

2. If SGU gets a second Season, will it air in the fall, summer, or winter of 2010?

3. What exactly are VFX temps. Are they the “first draft” of the VFX for the whole episode?

4. Since I will be in Vancover, would it be possible just to meat you at the gate of the bridge, shake hands, say hi, meat each other in person, and leave?(Well I might only on the weekend so I should also ask, do you at all work from the bridge during the weekend?)

5. Will there be any reacurring/ regular character deaths in season 1 of SGU(or should I rather say, has it been considered).”

Answers: 1. Rule #1 of responding to spam = Respond from a dummy email account so your real email isn’t inundated with spam.

2. No idea.

3. I guess you can look at them as a first draft or place-holder designed to give anyone watching a visual sense of what to expect from the finished product.

4. Alas, no, I am nowhere near the Bridge Studios on weekends. Hope you’re enjoying your stay in Vancouver though!

5. Yep.

Celina writes: “I adore you guys.”

Answer: Yes, we’re extremely lovable. Hey, say hi to Josh. Oh, and I may be in your neck of the woods in July. If so, I’ll give you guys advance warning so you can fast. Like that time at Campagnolo, we’re going “all-in”.

80 thoughts on “June 21, 2009: Things I’ve Found In My Salad. And the Mailbag.

  1. I’ve only had a couple of bad stuff in food experiences.

    First was at brunch at a very high end hotel in DC. A bug in my raspberries and cream was treated like I offended the wait person and capped a lousy stay. I was too young and naive at the time to demand to see the manager.

    Second was a live caterpiller in a salad. Wait staff was suitably appalled and my dinner was free with a good bottle thrown in.

  2. Joe asked: So, what was the most unsettling thing you’ve ever found in your dinner? And how did you react?

    Hmmm… Your experiences don’t sound too bad. My hubby tells a story of when I was out of town once. He took the two kids out for breakfast one day. Daughter ordered pancakes. She goes to slip the stack apart to put syrup between them only to have a live cricket jump out from the stack! Reaction? I can only imagine the sound of a ten year old screaming at the top of her lungs in the middle of a crowded restaurant….

    Personally, the worst restaurant experience I’ve had involved an order of salmon that looked cooked, but was in fact served to me still half-frozen. The offer of a free desert did not impress.

  3. Answer: In comparison to other wraith, he’s a darling.

    Okay. Now you just made him sound gay. 😆

    🙂

    😐

    Heeeeey….waitastinkin’minute! Does this explain why Todd’s always trying to be the Queen?

    Okie dokie – worst things I’ve found in my dinner:

    Cockroach in the takeout container – Waitress handed it to me, I turned it over, saw the roach – and decided I didn’t want my leftovers afterall.

    USED BAND-AID in my salad. Waitress and management were indifferent. It put me off my meal, needless to say, and i never went back.

    But the absolute worse??? Mushrooms. 😛 (Sorry, I don’t eat anything that can grow between my toes. 😉 )

    As far as how I react….hmmmmm. I am not one to make a scene even when I’m in the right. Sometimes I will ‘nicely’ insist that something be done, but for the most part I’m just put off of the place and will never go back, no matter how hungry I am. So my normal reaction is to take my business elsewhere, I suppose.

    das

  4. Joe wrote on June 15th:
    Also today, work was completed that effectively transformed my house into our neighborhood Fort Knox. Window bars, gate barriers, rolling grilles, sliding shutters, and a roof mounted sniper’s nest…

    Narelle from Aus replied on June 17th:
    Oh, if you have a moat do you automatically get a Lord title?

    I was thinking about that title earlier this spring… 😀 Knowing that our Joe does love dressing in black:

    https://josephmallozzi.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/dsc01141.jpg

    And that he is owner, spoiler, videographer, nurse, chauffeur, and chef to a hilarious brood of three pugs and two French bulldogs:

    http://josephmallozzi.wordpress.com/2009/06/14/june-14-2009-what-shuffleboard-courts-spinning-my-wheels-on-19-and-20-ever-closer-on-the-comic-book/

    And also that he dutifully knocks out a daily presentation of social commentary, Stargate teasers, guest Q&As, book reviews, food critiques, and pix of canine clownery, he does deserve an upgrade in his title(s). And being that it is Father’s Day, as Trish (whovian) pointed out, we could do better than call you “Doggie Daddy” or “Executive Producer.”

    In honor of that smoldering Italian scorn of free-range criminals and food protesters, and equally enthusiastic Italian love of la familia, we your beloved blog family could refer to you as

    The DogFather or

    The BlogFather.

    😀

    Happy Father’s Day, Joe, from all your “kids” on the blog.

  5. Well there was the time when I was eating at a fancy place, way to over price for the food quality and I watch a roach run across the table! When I complained, the waited asked if I wanted it fried or sautéed! He did not even skip a beat! I did however, beat it to the door without even so much as a by your leave! Yuck!!!

  6. Bad things in food?

    I once put a battered chicken brain in my mouth. It was from KFC, as I popped it in, I thought ‘that’s a funny shape’ so instead of biting into it – I (curiously) ran my tongue against it and realised that white meat does not have that texture, so dropped it straight into my hand to look at it – never been to a KFC since.

    When I lived over in Saudi we used to sometimes have to eat at this Saudi National Guard hut, which seemed more like a fly farm – but I just thought that the food must be good – because 2,000 flies can’t be wrong.

    But my mate’s daughter went with friends for an Indian meal in Chesterfield (UK) to celebrate leaving college. As it happens, she does not like spicy food so ate something sedate – 3 of her friends ate the same dish and some time later, all 3 came out with oral Herpes. Environment Health raided the place, a court case ensued and after jail time, 3 people where deported. Personally, I was totally grossed out by it.

    Feel free to cut that last paragraph out.

  7. I’ve had a few unsettling objects found in my food. One day, while eating my chocolate chip cookie from a certain ‘good cookie’ maker, I found a rather large piece of plastic embedded into the cookie. It wasn’t so bad as I can see things happening every once in a while in manufacturing. Whatever.

    Less that a week later there was another incident. This involving Canada’s favourite quickly made mac and cheese. I began feeling not so into the bowl of food after a few bites which is a usual occurrence to me with certain pastas. No biggie. I began to inspect it further and to my surprise found many small worms in it. Dead, but still icky. I was disgusted. I told my mother sitting beside me and we both stopped eating. My sister in the other room wasn’t told and ate the whole bowl.

    Neither were from reliable sources , really. It’s not exactly restaurant quality food and it was probably a slip up at the places of packaging and whatnot.

    Ps, Long time reader, first time commenter. Whoo. =]

  8. I hate those produce stickers; so hard to remove.

    Not found in my food but near enough to instantly kill any desire to finish my meal or to ever go back to that restaurant – I found a tiny squished scorpion in my napkin. Management was sorry but there was attitude like “eh, it wasn’t IN your food so you are ok”.

    Oh but there was that time at home when a live scorpion dropped down from the ceiling fan onto my plate of food…utter mass chaos that time.

  9. I’ve never really had a “finding badstuff in food” experience… Here’s hoping I won’t any time soon..

    So Joe, of the animated movies (not anime..) you’ve seen, do you have a favourite?
    I love Lilo and Stitch. I’m sure I’ve seen *better* animated movies, but that one remains my favourite. There’s just something about it… And have you ever noticed that Stitch looks a bit like a French Bulldog? (when he doesn’t have 4 arms that is…)

    Nadine

  10. I’ve found toothpicks in plenty of things. Not just sandwiches where you’d expect to find them.

    I saw Selma Hayek making cricket tacos on a daytime talkshow a few years back, if you wanna try them. From what I understand, they have a kind of vinegary taste.

  11. My husband went out to eat with co-workers for lunch. He noticed a roach crawling on the table and then up the wall. He went and got the server to come take it away. The server said that the roaches came in on the lettuce and every new truck load of lettuce they get a roach or two. Yuck! Needless to say, they don’t go there again!

    You have inspired me, Joe, to respond to Spam I otherwise would have ignored. I decided to sell a book that I no longer need and I figured others would want it. I listed it on Craigslist and sure enough, I got several emails from people interested in the book. I also got 2 from people who had no idea what book I was selling but wanted all kinds of information from me. I decided to do like Joe and respond and provide myself with a little entertainment. I decided to triple the price of the “item” that I had asked for in the ad. Then I list my name as Minnie Mouse, living in Orlando, Florida at 5 Minnie Mouse Blvd. Anybody with half an ounce of intelligence and knows I am making this up. I then tell them to send the money quick as I need to pay my rent desperately and that ole Walt disney is so demanding he wants the money right away. I got back a response that he had agreed to the price and was sending the money, wanted me to cash the check and then to send the remainder to his “shipper” so they can then pay to ship the item to him. Hmm. I have already sold the book and mailed it, total shipping cost was $3.15. Now why do I need to pay a “shipper”? He sent me the address for someone in Florida to send the money to them immediately. So then I suggested that he get his “shipper” to come to Orlando and just pick up the item and save all that shipping cost and I would meet him at McDonald’s. I would be the one eating the Big Mac sitting near the bathroom. So far I haven’t heard back. Since you are the expert, do you have any suggestions I can add to this tale?

  12. I see you’re reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. What do you think? I think it’s absolutely hilarious and got a kick out of it, but have yet to find somebody who loves it as much as myself. I’m a huge fan of the original novel, and zombies, so it was a perfect match. The biggest complaint from friends is that it ruined the original story too much. My only comment to them was that it had ninjas, which made it only better.

  13. @ pg15: I don’t mean Latin is *useless* (it’s my favourite course – and given that I wouldn’t have said I enjoyed learning languages before I took it that was a bit of a shocker) just that I don’t really see a feasible career for myself with it post-grad. Bridge Studios not withstanding 😀

    Swing is down near West Parkade, right across from the psych building. Though if you never get down that way, that probably doesn’t help. My mon/wed/fri classes last year was 8-9 (chem) then Latin from 1-2, so I’d head down after chem and work the 5 hours until Latin. It actually worked out pretty well… And the upper floors of Swing are pretty empty, so it was nice.

    That sucks for your dad – though I’ve heard a lot of similar stories from people who immigrate to Canada. There’s a lot of RNs (registered nurses) who are in the same position, having come here from the Philippines…. Both my parents are Rheumatologists.

    I want to go into surgery myself…

  14. I was once at a themed theatre restaurant even though I didn’t have high expectations of the food, I didn’t expect to find a fly in my soup…literally. A BIG Blowfly.
    I of course had to call the waiter and spout the obligatory line ‘Waiter there’s a fly in my soup!’ They were initially disbelieving until they got a closer look..then they offered me more soup which I kindly refused…we got a round of drinks…no one ate the soup from my table or some of the nearby tables who overheard the exchange!

    Then there was the time of the rancid fish luckily you could smell it before you ate it!! Told them about it though they didn’t seem to believe it…said to the person to eat it themselves if they didn’t think it was off!! They wouldn’t, didn’t pay and outta there!!

    I’ve found a bolt in my bakery roll once…

    I react understandably to these things initially unless the people don’t react suitably back and then things escalate from there…

  15. I’ve had a couple of interesting food experiences.

    One was at an IHOP; the first and only time I’ve ever eaten at one. There was a large, dead beatle at the bottom of the salt shaker. It turned me off of ever going to an IHOP anywhere.

    Another one was similar to your salad story. I was in Spain and was eating paella. I found a sticker that certified the chicken in the dish as in accordance to government standards. Being 16 at the time I thought it was kinda awesome and kept the sticker as a souvenir. I think I still have it somewhere.

    Lastly, I have one that wasn’t really a bad experience, but a funny one. Every year I have a family reunion. Most of the people there are…interesting. It’s a potluck event, and every year my dad would walk my sister and I down the food line, pointing out what was safe to eat based on who made it and what the ratio of mayonnaise content vs. sun exposure was. Ah, family.

  16. I once chipped a tooth on an olive pit in my pizza. It’s not exactly unsettling, but I’ve never ordered olives on my pizza since, and I love olives.

    As for my response, the manager of the pizza place had been a close friend for many years, and when I told him, he basically gave me unlimited free pizza until the day he stopped working there, almost four years later.

    I think it was a good deal.

  17. I found what looked like a steel brush bristle in a box of rice in the flavor packet. I took everything that was in the box back to the store where I had gotten it and talked to the manger over it. He took everything and said he would send it back to the company…never did hear back on the findings and no letter saying sorry.
    I have also found hair in food that is not mine.

  18. Coucou Joseph!!

    ça va bien, moi oui! Lol l’article d’aujourd”hui^^. Concernant des untru dans ma nourriture j’ai eu de la chance, car je n’ai connu que les chose banal…mise à par peut être un éguille dans une boite de céréale. En tou cas c’est vrai que vous devez avoir de l’expérience^^!

    Je risque de ne pas être beaucoup là jusqu’a 30 juin, mais je vais essayer de passer vous dire bonjour avant.

    Gros bisou!
    Bonne semaine!

  19. I don’t recall ever finding anything in my food more horrific than some dead bug parts – twice, I think. No big. If I may broaden the category, my all-time worst restaurant-food moment came when I went to visit my bro down in San Antonio, and simply ordered what he recommended instead of reading the menu description first.

    Lessee. . . Ben was 25 at the time, old enough, one would think, to have left potentially embarrassing sibling pranks behind; but no. The shared appetizers and my cocktail were really very good, and our small group was having a great time. Then the entrée came, and two bites into a nicely done dish, I unsuspectingly ate a largish chunk of jalapeno.

    Now, I realize that many, many people like jalapenos; and going by one of your blog entries, you do as well. To me, though, they’re anathema. I just don’t like their flavor, and unlike the Szechuan dishes I love, I can’t handle jalapeno heat. Ben knew that, the. . . the. . . *sputters*

    Bro’s in-laws, native Texans all, had a really good laugh at the horror they must’ve seen on my face, and then at my frantically stuffing plain tortillas down my gullet to absorb the awful stuff. (Add to that the crushing knowledge that most of the people around you are watching you like you’re some kook on Seinfeld.) But I will cherish my sister-in-law forever, because she gave Ben a rare good scolding for ruining my meal. He apologized, thus forestalling my nasty counterattack, and later I bullied him into springing for two expensive servings of mango gelato for me. (Hey, I was hungry, and it was his fault.) — Hell of it is, the incident is now part of his repertoire of funny stories. Unfortunately for me, he’s good at them.

  20. Well lets see, the most unsettling thing I have ever found in my dinner, there have been a few….

    There was the one time I found gravel/rocks in my taco.. unfortunately I took the food ‘to go’ and found out when I got home…..Never have been back to that restaurant.

    Another time I found a live worm in my sandwich. If I hadn’t been pregnant and needing to get something to eat, I would have just asked for my money back but I had to have food at that moment so I had them make me another sandwich after I watched them throw the first one away!

    The worst one was I was eating a hamburger and just happened to look down at my burger and peak under the bun as I was getting ready to take another bite and there was a dead fly sitting on the cheese. Needless to say, I totally lost my appetite and asked for my money back.

    And then there is the hair in the soup…that’s happened more than once.

  21. I once found a random bit of coloured paper – maybe a fragment of foreign candy wrapper? – in a packet of dried dates. I stopped nicking the dried dates after that.

  22. haha funny you should ask that question. Being that I’m living in the bible belt I have a great story to tell.

    I think it was 1996. At the time I was dating a very smart and some what beautiful black women. I myself am white. This actually caused more issues than the fact that we are lesbians. We went to her favorite restaurant which happened to be in the black part of town. We go in and the whole restaurant looks at me like “what the heck are you doing here.” It took us an hour and half to get seated (there were seating everyone but us), another half hour to get waited on, and when my Gumbo came there was a very obvious pile of spit sitting on top and the waitress did not return to the table. We left without a word.

    A week later we returned with 5 inner racial couples both straight and gay. Again it took for ever for us to be seated. This time however after 30 minutes the waitress had not come back. We had prepacked lunch bags and we set our own table and ate our own meal in the middle of the restaurant. We had a ball stayed for about 3 hours. Then just a nicely as we had arrived we left. We helped set up a boycott on the place.

  23. Honestly I think the worst thing I’ve had happen with food was really only the occasional bouts of food poisoning which are never fun. Beyond that nothing.

    Thank you for answering my question 😉 (and may I just say yay! and I hope you run into him at some point? 😉 )

    Just to give you fair warning I may not be around much starting in two weeks as I am prepping to go back to my little glass box. Another 6 weeks of nights in the combines ought to be fun, though apparently this year I don’t get to work my preferred schedule(6 days on 1 off) and will have to trade for a lighter schedule of 5 days :S

  24. the most unsettling thing I’ve found in my dinner was…well..my dinner!
    Once tho I did find a piece of blue elastoplast which the management then tried to accuse me of planting ….never went back THERE again

  25. The most unsettling thing I found in my dinner?
    Now I’ve got a story for you. I once had a light lunch (salad Caprese with focaccia bread) at an Italian restaurant, and suddenly, when I bit into the bread, I bit full force on an old, rusty screw embedded in it. I was shocked, and hurt, (although I was lucky I hadn’t broken a tooth), and I told the waitress, asking where this dangerous focaccia had come from.

    But even more unsettling than this way to find a screw was the waitress’ reaction: She refused to believe I had found the screw in the food, but accused me of having brought it with me, so I would not have to pay. That made me go ballistic in the middle of the busy restaurant. It must have been quite a show.

    Of course I never went there again, and a few months later, the restaurant closed down. Probably due to their unique service.

  26. Can’t recall anything worse than the occasional hair, or a bit of bone(non human I hoped). But then, I’m pretty tired right now and my brain refuses to do a memory search.
    Anyways, thanks for the mailbag, and hope you and Mr. G. enjoy the next couple of days.

  27. …found a whole (all be it small) potato in a bag of crisps once.

    I also chomped down on a shard of glass that was in some pickle the other day, but that was my fault for breaking a nearby glass earlier in the day.

  28. So, what was the most unsettling thing you’ve ever found in your dinner? And how did you react?

    It wasn’t really dinner. I had an incident with a bar of chocolate. White chocolate with nuts. A well-known brand. I opened it and I think I actually ate a piece. Then I saw the little worms. Yes, not just one but several. Living worms. I’m not sure but it’s possible my first reaction was a high-pitched shriek and then I tossed it away. It was really the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen. 🙁

    This incident hasn’t prevented me from eating chocolate any more. However, I haven’t eaten this kind of chocolate since then.

  29. Inch worms? Caterpillars? That would do me in for a good long time. *shudder* Fortunately, I’ve not found anything alive (or formerly alive) in my food.

    The worst thing I was served was a shard of glass in my salad. Happily I spotted it before trying to digest it.

    The weirdest thing I’ve found in my food was a pebble baked into a pizza. That was a painful discovery – I don’t think I’ve chewed restaraunt food so vigorously since.

    After reading all the responses to this post, I wonder how long it will take me to be able to eat salad again. Well salad that I haven’t given a thorough leaf-by-leaf inspection of nervous horror, anyway.

    Crawly things….Ugh!

  30. Most traumatizing was the white spider nestled inside the brussels sprout when I was maybe 7. It was nicely steamed, so no longer moving, but since I already HAD a fear of them, this pushed me over.

    Since it was from our garden, my parents firmly believed I was making it up, refused to look, & made me eat it.

    Let’s just say I can’t even go near brussels sprouts in the grocery aisle anymore.

    *shudder*

  31. bad things in food, Well hair for one, no matter whose it is, and then the retching feeling begins,,I do not like lipstick on a cup/glass, not my shade. the little green wormy things on a salad, I know I didn’t order any meat. I know my mom said we eat a peck of dirt b4 we die, but I’d rather not see it on my plate and actually know I consumed it. 😕 and I love dessert, but I kinda lose my apppetite after finding things that don’t belong in my food. I am not looking for waldo but there he is…
    I don’t want to imagine finding worse things. maybe it will never happen……yeah right!!!

  32. My worst food experience: Home delivered pizza from a local shop. I bite into my first piece and I jaw down on a huge piece of glass. Like the size of my fingertip huge. Luckily it was also thick so it didn’t break. I contacted the pizza shop and told them what happened. I got an “oh sorry”. Really? “Oh, sorry?? How about F you!”

    I got my revenge by telling everyone that I work with (pizza place is in the same town as work), and no one orders from them.

  33. I haven’t had anything in my dinner, but once I was pouring my kids some HI-C and there was some big blob floating it in that we discovered after drinking half the bottle! We’re, of course, panicking, all thinking dead mouse, but it turned out to be a big red rubber piece that apparently broke off the washer/scrubber they use to clean the bottles. It was disturbing enough that I sent the bottle back to them with the rubber piece inside since it was too big to get out of the bottle. Of course, they sent me two coupons for free bottles of HI-C when we had no intention of ever drinking it again.

  34. I was at a Pizza Hut in Europe a few years ago when something crunched between my teeth. It was a piece of GLASS! Upon closer inspection I found several sharp pieces of glass in the dough of my pizza. Pretty dangerous. It turned out that a whole batch of their dough was bad. I expected them to close the restaurant but they didn’t.

    Another time, and this was at home, I found a huge screw baked inside a loaf of bread. I brought it back to the grocery store and a few weeks later got a letter from the bread manufacturer. They had found the place in their machine where the screw was missing.

  35. I don’t want to read this post. I don’t wanna know. Um, quickly scroll, go straight to the mailbag. Phew!

    These questions are for everyone (Joe included)

    1. How many cook books do you own? Do you use them?
    2. Do you follow recipes exactly or do you tweak them a bit?
    3. Do you ever search for recipes on the ‘net? For a special occasion or day-to-day?
    4. What’s your fave most foolproof recipe?

    These questions are really selfish ‘cos I totally suck at cooking and don’t really enjoy it. I’m curious about your responses. Maybe I’ll learn a thing or two.

    Cheers, Chev

  36. Greetings all…

    Out of place items in my restaurant food:
    1) A live lady bug strolling across a lettuce leaf, covered in a light shine of salad dressing. I mightn’t have noticed except for the movement.
    2) Fingernail clipping floating like a raft in a creamed soup. The odd shape, not being potato nor celery tipped me off.
    3) Long, black strand of hair atop a pile of vegetable lo mein. I knew it wasn’t my own as, like Todd, mine is white.
    4) Interesting looking mechanical part, approx. 1″ x 1.5″ at bottom of nearly finished cup of vegetable soup. Perhaps a mixer or blender piece, I’m no mechanic.
    5) @ Arthur — I too once found a piece of glass in a pizza. WTF?! Thankfully, no harm done.

    Well, those are the most memorable items.

    Eagerly awaiting shipment of SGA S5 DVD set on June 30!

    @ Joe M. — why not have SGU SFX folks set up some flash-bangs and other loud and phosphorescent scare-away gizmo’s around the outside perimeter instead of fortifying your home into a cage?

    Carol Z
    in New Jersey

  37. Joe, thanks for responding to my question. Yeah, when I think about it, it’s totally understandable that Stargate novels would be the last thing you’d want to read in your spare time.

    About surprising things I’ve found in food: Once found a piece of wood in an eggroll. What is it with wood in food, anyway? How does that happen? My daughter recently bit into an eggroll (from the different place) and noticed an odd crunch as she was eating. Spit it out and…..well let’s just say there was extra protein in the eggroll. We’ve crossed that place off our take-out list…and they recently closed. Wonder why?

    But I guess I should be a little more understanding about how these things happen, based on my husband’s experience.

    At one point in college, he worked in a restaurant as part of the kitchen cleanup crew. One day, shortly after he started the job, he was sweeping up the trash and food scraps that had fallen on the floor. He looked around for a garbage can and saw a very large metal container filled with other food scraps, so he dumped the trash in. A little later he saw the sous chef dumping the contents of the container into a large pot on the stove, adding water and turning on the flame. Turned out that container held the vegetable scraps used to make soup stock.

    What did my husband do? He avoided the soup for a couple of weeks until he was sure the soup stock had been used up. But he claims he heard customers raving about how good the soup was during those weeks….

  38. A friend and I went through the typical “bug-type thing in a salad” experience. The funny thing was, we were guests at a wedding and we were all given disposable cameras at the table (so they could have candid pictures of the party, I guess?), so we took pictures of the bug in my salad. These were probably not the pictures the bride and groom wanted, but at least they had evidence if they wanted to complain to management later. I think I was also too, um, happy about the free bar to really care about the salad. Wedding reception salads consistently suck, anyway.

    That salmon looks amazing, however. I would’ve sworn it was still raw and not poached, it looked so fresh. Damn you, now I’m hungry!

  39. I eat mostly raw, so yeah. I’ve found a lot of fun stuff. 😉
    There was the bee in the bag of salad. Then the can of soda with metal shards floating in it. But my restaurant experiences have been more chilling. There was a broken finger nail in my guacamole once – big and right on top, not even hidden from view. Like someone ripped it off and flung it right in there. And once I found a *looong*hair in my lo mein, only I didn’t know until it was half way down my throat. The time spent gagging while pulling it back up still makes me shudder…

  40. Thank you Mr. M, for the poaching idea. I found a website to show me how, since the only thing I’ve ever poached was an egg. I’m interested in learning to grill fish but haven’t been brave enough to try it yet.

    Anybody: What kind of fish won’t fall apart on the grill? Do I need to have a special pan?

    The food object stories are gruesome! I’ve been lucky and haven’t had many things other than a hair in my food. However, my sister-in-law went to Paris. She found bugs in her fresh oysters. The waiter told her that meant the oysters were fresh. Was that bull***t? Sounds like it to me.

    Tam

  41. The most unsettling thing I’ve found at a restaurant is a small black bug in my water at a tasty Indian restaurant. I didn’t react strongly at all. I just put my water aside and continued to eat.

  42. Not exactly a found in my food horror story but once while travelling in the Australian Outback we were served stir fried witchety grubs (like a caterpillar). And you know what? Tasted just like scrambled eggs. With the consistency of a fried bug. Kinda mealy. So yeah, it was pretty gross. And to think, we voluntarily ate them!!

  43. Bad news with Martok. Had decided to go ahead with whatever surgery was needed to repair the leg when my vet asked if he had been tested for feline AIDS and leukemia. Because he was a stray and lived outside, I had only done all his shots and kept him on Advantage for the fleas and heartworm preventative. She said she didn’t want to do the surgery if he was positive for either, and as it turned out, he was positive for both. So, he’s been euthanized, and I feel horrible. May the sweet little guy rest in peace.

  44. Hi Mr M!

    First off: Many thanks to Ashleigh for the Q and A!! I notice she is “in Europe” in July. I am assuming Ashleigh means mainland continent and not Ireland…*sadness*…If however she wishes to trace her (non-existent) Irish roots or indeed convert us all to vegetarianism (unlikely in the beef producing capital of Europe), tell her to look us up!! Thanks again Ashleigh for the Q and A and enjoy your trip!!

    RE: Odd things in food and restaurant disasters…. In my job I get to hear of (and unfortunately fix) a lot of the damage done by odd and random objects in food…A list of which I could fill the blog with…and for reasons of confidentiality cannot reveal…Suffice it to say that there is NOTHING I haven’t heard appear in other people’s foodstuffs. It’s actually quite informative when choosing a restaurant though….

    My own restaurant story however is as follows:
    After 16 months of trying to catch up with old friends, we finally organised a dinner date at an old restaurant that we used to frequent (now under new management) in the BC years (Before Children).

    So, sitter in place, we met up and had a wonderful meal with great company….just like old times. …Until the final bill…The addition and math were correct, but as I proceeded to pick up the bill, my eye caught a blur on the wall. Puzzled and thinking perhaps it was the effects of the Marques de Caceres white wine, I didn’t give it another thought…until I saw Her Royal Hignesses’ face…White/gaunt/and mildly nauseated…..Yep, a furry four footed critter had climbed the wall and snuk in behind a picture. Not wanting to upset our company..whose back was to that wall, I discreetly called management over. Their response was….astounding!

    “Oh yeah, we’ve been trying to catch him for MONTHS…he just darts in and out the whole time” …and carried on as if this were perfectly OK.

    Not wanting to state the obvious : that where there is ONE there are MANY…We quickly paid the bill, informed our friends (as I feared they may contract something) and never set foot in that restaurant AGAIN. What amazed me was the nonchalant manner and without a word of shock or even apology!!!!!!!!!!!

    Live and learn eh?

    Best to all

    S’n’T

  45. I don’t recall ever finding anything bad in my food. Maybe it was too traumatic and I blocked it from my memory or maybe I have just been lucky.

    [b] dasNdanger
    Answer: In comparison to other wraith, he’s a darling.

    Okay. Now you just made him sound gay. [/b]

    Well Joe did say one of the characters on Atlantis was supposedly gay. ; )

    So here is a Question Joe. How would you define wraith Sexuality? Does our antiquated views on Sexual relations not apply to them? Are more open minded? : )

    Any plans to explore this in the movie?

  46. Hey Joe, how long should pork spare ribs (with little meat) and pulled pork be cooked?

    I recently attended a BBQ that had both and was told the meat went onto the grill and smoker at 6am, then was served same day at 3:30pm.
    Honestly, I found it all overcooked and barely edible. The ribs were charred into oblivion and I couldn’t chew what little meat was left on them. He was distracted from cooking duties by family arrivals, chasing after little kids, etc. which was not helpful.

    Yet, the BBQ-er seemed so pleased with his food, I dared not voice my discontent and surreptitiously took my plate to the trash bin. Bummer.

    Thanks Joe, I bow to your food expertise.

    Carol in NJ

  47. I know I’ve found hair in my food that wasn’t mine, and worse. The “and worse” must be hiding behind a mental block, so I’m still able to eat out anywhere. 🙂

    That was kinda neat, Joe, that you were able to weave in a memory of your Dad, on Father’s Day. Too bad the numbers on the bill in the 7up bottle didn’t pay off as lottery numbers. Tell us another story about your Dad?

    @ chevron7
    My favorite online recipe site is RecipeZaar.com. You can sort recipes by user ratings, each recipe has its own nutrition label per serving, and user reviews are highly informative. If a recipe needs tweaking, they’ll tell how they did it. That takes a lot of “nervy-ness” out of trying a new recipe. If you’re looking for a recipe for a special occasion, I’d test drive it first just for yourself or family/close friends. You never know what’ll happen with a new recipe. (That bit I learned from Mom.)

  48. I don’t know if you have them, (but seeing as it is made by Kelloggs you probably do), and that is six small packets of different types of cereal all cellophaned together and called a “Variety Pack”.

    A couple of years ago now I poured the bran flakes into a dish accompanied by a solid metallic clunk. It was some round mechanical part that had very obviously sheared off…something.

    I sent the part, bran box and variety pack bar-code to Kellogg and thought that was that.

    Was I wrong! Apparently they were looking for that part and were so grateful to have it returned. I was sent two complimentary boxes of variety pack which were happily consumed.

  49. So, what was the most unsettling thing you’ve ever found in your dinner? And how did you react?

    3 pieces of plastic (thicker than plastic wrap, but thinner than your average plastic) in a half-gallon of cheap orange juice. wrote them a letter with the pieces taped to an index card. never heard from the company. never bought cheap orange juice again.

  50. <>

    When I was child, found a dead roach in a can of ravioli. Mom wasn’t happy and she wrote to the company and ended up a bunch of FREE coupons.

    We have pet rats and just like dogs they will beg for food. Hubby drop by a local fast food restaurant to get a take out order and well something was wrong with the fries.

    Hubby had ordered the ratty boys small order of fries. Excited getting their treat the rats made they way over to the fries that was placed in their cage, took one sniff and walked away. Strange, rats normally eat anything unless they sense it’s something that will make them sick. Thats why it’s hard to kill off a colony of rats with poison. Some rats have a inherit sense of detecting the poison and will leave it for the not so smart ones of the colony. I live in Columbus, Ohio and this fast food restaurant corporate office is local. So yes, I gave corporate a call and told them about the fries and our pet rats not wanting their fries and well we weren’t eager to eat our own fries. Regretly, I can’t say who the fast food restaurant is because we signed something. But lets say it’s lucky no one was poisoned. The rats saved our lives because we would of ate our order of fries and may gotten seriously ill. Also we no longer eat at this restaurant.

  51. @ Deni – I know I told you in private, but {{{{hugs}}}} again, so very sorry about Martok. I SO know what you’re going through, unfortunately. 🙁 You’re gonna see ‘ghosts’ for a while – I did, still am. My visual memory seeing Cowboy where he’s supposed to be, and he’s not there. Hang in there…drop me a note if you need to.

    Deirdre

  52. The worst thing I’ve found in my food? A dead fly in the lettuce. Don’t remember what happened – I was too busy trying to keep the rest of my food down. Bleurghmph. Just thinking about it triggers my gag reflex.

  53. Meal worms in that cereal that often has athletes on the box. I thought at the time my brother did it because he didn’t like me getting the last bowl, but, in retrospect, where would he get meal worms?

    I found something I’m going to tell myself was a rotten lemon seed in my drink – I really hope that’s what it was. There was something else earlier in the meal (I forget what) that already had us eating for free, but, considering our waitress was puking into the sink at the drink station nearby and her manager was telling her she couldn’t go home, our appetites were already finished anyway. That restaurant isn’t open anymore. I wonder what happened.

    Reactions? I don’t chew anybody out, but I tell them when something’s wrong. They usually try to make it right. I don’t usually get so grossed out I can’t eat, but I have my limits.

    I was so proud of my 3 yr. old the other day when I saw someone had left the pantry unlocked and he was playing with a container of popcorn kernels and a canister of oats and there was hardly any mess on the floor. This canister of oats was a third replacement for oats that had repeatedly succumbed to our live-in tornado and I thought we could eat some oatmeal this morning. I was already serving the oatmeal when I realized he had indeed spilled the popcorn – into the oats.

    Reaction? I got as much out as I could and we ate carefully since it was already made, but, as dirt cheap as I am, I’m not sorting through that much food over a $1.19 container of oats.

  54. So, what was the most unsettling thing you’ve ever found in your dinner? And how did you react?

    Well, I have a couple of good ones – found a binder clip in a submarine sandwich once, unfortunately had gotten it to go and didn’t feel like returning. Might have been different if I had bitten down harder and broken a tooth!

    Second story, from years ago when I was living at home – my mother was peeling potatoes for dinner when she exclaimed “son of a $%^*” and started to laugh. Turns out there was a rock, the same size and shape as a potato in the bag, which she had tried to peel but couldn’t. We kept our ‘potato rock’ for years to show nonbelievers….

    Third is an industry story from one of the chefs I know – when he was working in a bakery, he witnessed one of the guys start a mixer and spew flour/other ingredients all over the floor. The guy then went and got the broom and dustpan (that’s right, the same one used to sweep up GARBAGE) and swept it all up and dumped it back into the mixer bowl, continuing to make whatever. Collective ewww from anyone hearing this….

    Hope nothing worse ever happens – to me or the rest of you!

  55. @ scary – I will be interesting to hear what Joe has to say. I’ve always considered Wraith to be more asexual than anything – perhaps sexually dormant most of their lives except during ‘mating season’, whenever that would be (upon waking from hibernation, after the first feedings, perhaps?). Another theory I’ve kicked around is whether or not they could be a hermaphroditic species, and only when one is designated to be ‘Queen’ does it mature sexually as a female. However, Joe’s ‘Baby Wraith Queens’ idea shoots holes in that theory.

    Regardless, I have trouble imagining them to be a species widely interested in same-sex relationships, only because of how guarded and brutal they are around each other. Outside of pure carnal pleasure, I can’t imagine Wraith showing any sort of affection for one another, lest they be considered emotionally weak. And even with the former, I suppose it would all depend on how they take to such things as domination, lust, and pleasure in a sexual context. I mean, we know how much they like those feelings when it comes to feeding…but not so sure how that would translate when you’re getting diddled by your commander.

    Heh…maybe that’s what the masked soldiers are for…

    😉

    das

  56. – A Piece of Plastic in my Pizza Hut Pizza in Pittsburgh! It was trying to disguise itself as a piece of pepperoni..

    – A ladybug wallowing in the French dressing of my tossed salad in a quaint little Boston diner…

    – The *earwig* that I bit into while drinking a cup of water at home!! Eeeewwwwww!!!

    Since THAT incident, I examine *everything* on my plate and cut it up first before ingesting!

  57. Sorry to hear about Martok. Having had two strays visit and promptly succumb to feline Aids I know he is in a better place now. 🙁

    BTW. Its storming outside and I am curled up in front of the computer wrapped in a blanket, freezing my butt off. Even so, I far prefer it to the Florida weather I have been reading about. 🙂

  58. Hmmm, when I worked at Wendy’s, we used to find “livestock” in the lettuce daily. Part of the morning crews’ responsibilities was to inspect the produce for hitchhikers such as little squashed frogs, worms, catepillars and beetles. I always felt bad for the frogs. One morning the guys pattying up the meat (it is fresh, after all) were horsing around and one of them couldn’t find his gum later. The lady who did find it during lunch rush was not amused at the pink mass in her double with cheese. That was decades ago, I have to admit apart from the gum incident, that Wendy’s was the cleanest place I ever worked.

    I’ve found a sliver of glass in a jar of jam, a metal nut in a can of soda, a can of veggies that was all liquid and no veggies, and a chunk of plastic spatula in a burger. Mom’s pantry got infested with weevily things and we had to toss six months worth of dry goods, but not until after I’d eaten more of it than I knew. I am sure there’s much more, but I tend to be casual about extras in my food.

    Living in Iran was interesting, we had to rinse all produce in bleach water. American food was hard to come by and expensive, so when I found red ants in the Sugar Crisps, I picked them out. The live worms/larvae in the Baby Ruth? I just tossed that after the first bite. And we always had to be careful with naan, it was baked on beds of rocks and the pebbles did a number on your teeth if one stuck to the bread. Mom screamed the first time she took the pack of stuff out of a frozen chicken, the head and feet were included.

  59. A produce sticker would not have worried me, I would have picked it out and kept eating, however once I found half a tiny green frog amongst the green peas that were part of the roast pork meal I had been thoroughly enjoying at the time. I spent many weeks fretting over where the other half of that frog was and convinced I’d accidently eaten it (though it probebly ended up on some other diners plate I guess)

    Peas were off my menu for about four years after that. I could not eat them and not imagine swallowing baby frogs.

    Then there was the time that I discovered these tiny dead worm things…which looked very like maggots :O….in the hearty stew I ordered from the newest cafe in town. (I still feel my stomach churn over that and it was 15 years ago)…The manager was extreamly apologetic and gave me free vouchers for several meals which I never could bring myself to use. I never returned there again even though I have often heard excellent reports about the place since.

  60. oh, and @silver_comet I too found those little worms in a cocolate bar (cadbury’s caramello). Fortunately I had broken a peice open and had not eaten any..I think they must have been some sort of fruit fly maggot. Hasn’t stopped me eating chocolate but I do check carefully before I bite it.

  61. @Das and Tammy: Thanks so much to both of you. This whole thing sucks, hubby feels like a a–hle, the “kids” are a mess over it, but nothing to be done. Like I told Das, hopefully there really is a place where we can all be reunited 🙂 Have a good night, all, I’m getting takeout and going to bed.

    Joe, thanks for putting up with all this.

  62. Travelling a lot through Asia and working for McDonald’s for 5 years as a little whipper snapper you’d think I have many a horror story about finding things in food. Surprisingly I don’t.
    Not a one horror story.
    Or maybe I do and my brain has done a bang up job of repressing it. Thank you brain for your repressing abilities.

    I can, however, give you a sensational method for cooking jam doughnuts using only ingredients at hand in an old-style McDonald’s restaurant (before this fancy McCafe stuff).
    1. Take 1 cheeseburger bun
    2. Remove a small piece from the bun and put it aside
    3. Work the larger part of the bun until soft and roll between your hands so it resembles a ball (make sure you wash your hands first please)
    4. Take the smaller piece of bun you put aside and roll into a small ball as well
    5. Poke a hole to the centre of the larger ball with your finger
    6. Pour Strawberry Sundae topping into the hole until it almost reaches the top (you can mix a bit of chocolate sundae topping in for that real artery hardening goodness)
    7. Place the small ball into the hole to plug it
    8. Toss the ball into the fry vat (not literally toss, you may burn yourself or others around you – I say this because I care)
    9. Remove when golden (preferably with a fry basket and not your hand. I don’t want you suing me because my instructions didn’t implicitly say to NOT use your hand).
    10. Empty lots of packets of sugar packets onto a cheeseburger wrapper and roll doughnut through it.

    Enjoy! And then book into your coronary surgeon.

  63. I just remembered the time I made a batch of ANZAC biscuits with a rather large quantity of bicarb soda… we called them ‘death biscuits’ because they tasted utterly awful.

  64. Joe,

    Can’t say as I’ve had surprise critters in my food, but mainly food not cooked the way you asked. And being married to a journeyman chef,,,, well let’s just say that he voices his opinion in a bit of a higher tone, so that the meal either gets sent back and done right or they start from scratch again.

    here’s a question tho,

    Do you just stay in your general area when dining out, or have you considered on traveling when you’re not working? We have the biggest hotel this side of Toronto. You’re more than welcome to visit my city.

  65. Food poisoning is about the worst added surprise I’ve ever experienced. Twice from Chinese food (before I gave up meat), and one memorable night of waking up projectile vomiting from tofu fajitas. I was pretty impressed with just how far I could projectile that vomit!

    @Deni – Sorry to hear that. My family took in a stray last year and discovered, when they took him to the vet because he was ill, that he had FIV as well, and he had to be euthanised. 🙁

    @Chevron7 – I love cookbooks. I do have quite a few, and love to flick through to get ideas from them. I fiddle with recipes all the time, especially as a lot of the recipes are meaty and I am vego. Also, I rarely have all the ingredients required to hand, so I’ll adapt as I go. I also google for recipes quite often. If I have a particular ingredient that I want to use, I will google for recipes – like, recently we pulled some Jerusalem Artichokes from the garden, and I googled for recipes, found one that sounded good, realised I was missing a key ingredient and so tweaked the recipe to make it work. (It turned out great, too!) As long as you have an idea about the basic science behind cooking, experimenting is fun. (By basic science, I mean understanding the role of a particular ingredient in the dish, so you can figure out what to substitute. For example, while you can add plain yoghurt – instead of cream – successfully to a pumpkin soup, you won’t have the same success substituting yoghurt for the cream in a creamy mushroom pasta dish … despite what my friend thinks. “They’re both dairy – and white!” Yeah, doesn’t really work like that.)

  66. Okay, Joe – are you going on a diet and looking for thoughts to put you off your feed?

    I don’t eat out much, so I don’t have any restaurant “ew” inspiring entries. But just the other day I came across a large hunk of bone in my package of prepared pulled barbecue pork. And the pork looked kind of odd. I won’t mention the brand, but I don’t plan to buy it again in the near future.

    Personally, I think finding half an inchworm in your salad is far worse than seeing one crawling across the lettuce!

    😀

  67. Okay I hope this doesn’t make you gag.
    Once at a TGI Friday’s I was eating a massive salad and of course the restaurant was complete with low lighting so how can you see what is on your plate anyway??
    Sooo, I was busily chewing a bunch of lettuce when I realized there was a HAIR in my mouth!! Mixed in with a wad of chewed lettuce! Yep, I wasn’t hungry anymore. 🙁

  68. Oh yeah and when I was in grade school I found a USED
    bandaid in my already questionable school cafeteria meatloaf! Bleech

  69. (I have been reading your blog for a while now but this is my first comment! By the way I always look forward to starting the day reading your blog with my morning coffee!)

    I had a beverage at a bar in Rochester, MN a few years back and after finishing my drink I began to snack on the ice as usual. Well the piece of ice I was chewing on wasnt melting. It turned out to be shards of glass mixed in with my ice. I told the waiter and suggested they dump the ice bin and refill it. Which they did right away. They didnt charge us for the meal and the manager was freaking out and gave me a $20 gift card on top of the meal. Lucky I didnt consume any of the glass, but we lived near the Mayo Clinic at the time so if anything I would have the best of medical care!

  70. I’ve found things in my food but nothing that ever left any sizable trauma or I would remember them. HOWEVER, there is a frozen dog treat available in the ice cream section of regular grocery stores called “Frosty Paws.” As I was giving this to my dog, Sam, for his annual birthday celebration, a shiny object came into view. It was a full, very large size safety pin. My poor baby almost ate a safety pin. I returned it to the store and called the manufacturer. Of course, I never bought the product again.

  71. Joe: I’ve been watching Top Chef Masters here in the US on Bravo. If you could cast the next Top Chef Masters, who would you include?

  72. Foreign object: teensty metal spring in a banana cream pie slice.

    Objectionable tastes:
    –At a fancy reception, what I thought was a chocolate-topped petit fours turned out to be liver patè. I had popped the whole thing in my mouth, had to discreetly deposit it in a napkin and find a trash can.
    –A few years ago, I developed an intolerance to eggs; they cause me severe indigestion. At a Red Lobster, I tried a lobster pasta dish. It was SO butter-flavored that it tasted and felt like runny eggs. Waiter went to kitchen to ask whether dish contained eggs, came back with a BOX so I could read ingredients list. (The dish was FROZEN, not prepared fresh on site.) I didn’t finish the meal, and I think the waiter took it off the final bill. PS–my husband decided to tell Red Lobster HQ. We received apologies and coupons, passed them to friends who often dine at RL.

  73. Even more cloying than baklava from a Greek fest…baklava made by relatives who put something between every.single.layer of pastry.

  74. I have had countless numbers of times when I have found disturbing things in my food. I have only shown a few.
    I distinctly remember, to my disgust, finding several maggots infesting my sandwich. My disgusting cousin joked about flicking them off and eating it. I nearly threw up, and never ate a sandwich from that shop again.
    I also remember going out to dinner for my birthday, only to find 3 hairs in my cheese-cake 🙁
    I also bought a packet of salad from the supermarket and found two dead bugs inside. EWW!
    It is very off-putting to fing these things in your food!

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