Food and holidays go hand in hand. With each holiday comes its own set of traditions and unique cuisines. While we primarily consume the foods we love, and have a fond association with many during a particular time of the year, there are also plenty we could do without.
As often as I think “I can’t wait to eat…,” I find myself adding “Who eats this crap?” There is always that weird aunt who continues to bring that odd entree that goes untouched year after year. Or that side dish your mother continues to make because she insists it gets devoured every year, while you know it’s just the plate that ends up within reach of your drunk uncle at the far end of the table who will eat just about anything after he gets a few cold ones in him.
Here are the worst foods that go along with each holiday, in chronological order:
Valentines Day: Heart Shaped Candy With Printed Messages
Has anyone actually ever eaten one of these before? I don’t think I have. I’m pretty sure it’s just common knowledge that these are inedible.
Your parents definitely bought you a bag of these while you were in elementary school to pass out to your classmates in a Valentine’s Day goodie bag. God help you if the cute girl in class got a box with “I Love You” printed on them. From that point on you were tutored with the “Sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G…” chants from there on out during recess. Also, you now have cooties.
Being a kid is rough, man.
St. Patrick’s Day: Cabbage
The Irish aren’t exactly known for their cuisine. I don’t know if that has to do with the limitations of foods available in Ireland or the excess drinking killing all taste buds by the time dinner rolls around, but I’ll take the latter. Regardless of that, corned beef and cabbage is the go-to dish on St. Patrick’s Day.
I have no qualms with corned beef. I love a well-salted meat. But its partner in crime, cabbage, leaves much to be desired. The texture alone of warm cabbage is disgusting. And the smell, woof, I can feel my stomach curdling like an Irish car bomb at just the thought.
There isn’t enough Guinness in the world to get me to eat hot cabbage. There might be enough Jameson, though.
You know your candy sucks when it has to be molded into the shape of a bird to receive any sort of recognition. Do you think anyone would eat this if it was just a regular marshmallow covered in colored sugar? No, of course not.
We’re carnivores. Well, except for those who supporting Bernie Sanders. Humans enjoy eating fellow living things. It’s a reminder that we are the superior species on this planet.
The few times I’ve ever eaten a peep I’ve always bitten the head off first. Everyone knows that’s the only way to eat anything shaped like an animal.
Memorial Day/Fourth of July/Labor Day: Coleslaw
I don’t see any reason to differentiate these holidays in the food department. All three take place during warm weather and typically revolve around BBQ’s, which means a similar array of food options will be consumed. Any true red-blooded American enjoys having a hot dog, burger and a beer during these summertime celebrations. What don’t we want? Coleslaw.
Lettuce is bad enough. I don’t even want it on my burger. Why would I want it mixed with an assortment of more vegatabes? Mayo can save a lot of foods, this isn’t one of them. I mean who wants to eat anything that has been mixed with mayo after its been sitting in the sun all day?
No one has ever thanked someone for bringing coleslaw to their BBQ. That’s just a fact.
Halloween: Candy Corn
Candy corn has tried its best for years to single handily bring down Halloween. I don’t even know what to classify it as. Candy? Recycled plastic? Who really knows what this seasonal treat is made of.
Rumor has it NASA started giving astronauts candy corn instead of those suicide pills in case things take a turn for the worse up in space.
Fun fact: No new candy corn has been made in the last 100 years. You’ve been purchasing a recycled batch that was made during the great depression. Back in a time when the country couldn’t afford to make good tasting candy and children didn’t know any better. The more you know.
Thanksgiving is all about food. This holiday exists for the sole purpose of putting aside the ongoing obesity epidemic and stuff our faces for a day. Celebrating the discovery of this beautiful land has gone out the window. Probably because of the debatable argument that we stole everything from sea to shining sea from the Indians. Finders keepers.
I would say Thanksgiving is up there as one of the biggest social media days of the year. You know, because everyone has to take a photo of their spread to reassure the known fact that we’re all eating exactly the same thing. That’s what social media is all about; making sure you conform with the rest of the world and revolting on those that don’t.
The one thing that will stand out in those social media photos is beets. First, because they have that unique maroon color. Second, because the plate will always appear untouched. Words you will never hear at a Thanksgiving dinner table: “Pass the beets.”
The only reason they even make an appearance on the table is because your grandpa is short on teeth and can only eat soft foods now.
All Jewish Holidays: Gefilte Fish
I’m not Jewish. Hence why I’m short on knowledge of what’s eaten during Jewish holidays. While I’m not familiar with the full arsenal of Jewish cuisine, I’ve heard all about the Gefilte fish. I pray to, well, someone, that there are better options available.
This fish cake concoction is basically a poor man’s crab cake mixture. Honestly, there are few less appealing looking foods in a jar than Gefilte fish.
Pardon me if I pass on eating fish out of a jar. Do I look like a schmuck?
Christmas Eve/Christmas: Fruit cake
I’m not entirely sure, but I believe this was a peasant food that caught on as a holiday tradition. It’s one of those tear-jerk stories about a family with little to no means making the most out of their holiday experience by throwing anything they could get their hands on into a cake.
It’s one of those “it’s not about what’s on the table, but who’s around it” types of deals. That’s great in theory and all…but I’ll pass.
Honestly, I’d rather be surrounded by a table full of family members that I hate than eat a fruit cake. You know how you put up with a dinner table full of annoying relatives? You stuff your face with real holiday desserts, you know, the kind without fruit in them and make you feel terrible about yourself the next day.
You can avoid any uncomfortable holiday question by eating a piece of chocolate fudge cake. By the time you’re done chewing the topic has already changed. It’s the perfect silent spin zone.
A real Christmas miracle would be me never seeing a fruit cake on the desert table again.
New Years Eve: Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms
New Years Eve is all about the finger food. It’s one of those snacking throughout the night ordeals without ever having any sort of sit down meal. Pigs in a blanket, shrimp cocktail, lobster mac and cheese, Swedish meatballs and bacon covered anything. The whole logic behind eating a lot of little portions adding up to a really big portion doesn’t seem to process through anyone’s mind on New Years Eve.
Then come the spinach and artichoke stuffed mushrooms. This tray will stay relatively full all night long. While the host is running around to get that fourth batch of pigs in a blanket into the oven, the mushrooms are ice-cold. Why? Because nobody wants to eat a spore-bearing fungus stuffed with spinach while wearing a shirt and tie. The one guy who will put a dent in this tray will go on and on about this being the only acceptable option for his paleo diet. If you didn’t catch it the first 10 times he said it, he has to be up early for CrossFit tomorrow. Cool, bro.
So sit back, loosen up that belt and enjoy your holiday spread of food.
Is that fourth batch of pigs in a blanket ready yet?.
Image via Shutterstock