Food is one of those areas where people get very opinionated. You may laugh, but just remember the rivalry between Devon and Cornwall about whether the jam or the cream goes first on a scone (it is cream first, btw. Sorry Cornwall). New Zealand and Australia argue about who invented the Pavlova. Israel and Lebanon have been claiming to have invented hummus for years. Sometimes food is a divisive and even political issue.
On a less international scale there are things about other people’s food that annoy us to no end. As a Brit I sometimes enjoy having a good whinge about them, so that’s what I’m going to do. These are my personal food pet peeves.
1. Diet ‘Experts’
The word ‘diet’ gets bandied around on the Internet all too much for my liking. Nowadays, especially online, it usually comes with some sketchy pseudo-science. Many people (who can make money from it) will claim their diets can do all sorts of things – some even call themselves ‘cancer fighting’ or anti-ageing. Obviously MacMillan’s problems would all be solved if they just started giving out tomatoes – why has nobody thought of this before?!
2. Food Waste
Now I should clarify here – I don’t mean I hate cheese. On the contrary, I love cheese. What really gets me is bad cheese – processed, plastic-y, bright orange cheese. No cheese should ever be that shiny. Another category in this pet peeve are people who think Cheddar is cheese rather than one very small variety – a phenomenon specific to England. Put the Cathedral City down.
4. Religiously Following Sell-by Dates
Supermarkets and retailers have to cover their asses. That is what sell-by dates do. They cannot be accused of selling bad milk if they deliberately underestimate when it will go off. I have seen so many perfectly drinkable bottles of milk and even things like jam (also known as a preserve) thrown away just because of the date on the lid. Use your eyes, use your nose, but most of all use some common sense and you’ll save money.
5. Nutrition/Sports Drinks
Lucozade’s research is shaky and the claims surrounding the health benefits of isotonic drinks really only apply to athletes. Sports drinks certainly won’t do anything for you if you are, say, a bus driver taking a break, or a kid on their way home from school. It is just sugary water with some salt in it. Get some flavoured water instead. It will do the same thing without making you spotty and broke. Some goes for ‘Vitamin Water’.
6. Mini Muffins
Are never nice. Never. You know the ones – you get them in plastic cartons in supermarkets. We eat them because they look and they are cheap, but everyone knows they are dry, dull and disappointing. Don’t do it.
7. Ready-Made Omelettes
Why shouldn’t you buy these laughable things? I will tell you why: the only person I have ever seen buying one of these vacuum-packed whoopie cushions was also buying a crate of beer and a litre of value cider. That was it.
8. Chocolate Ignorance
These guys have got real chocolate making down to an art. I have nothing against low-priced chocolate, but people need to be aware of what really goes into it. ‘Dark chocolate’ is really just ‘chocolate’, milk chocolate is great when it isn’t bulked out with vegetable oil and white chocolate is not better for kids. Just saying.
I was sorely disappointed in Miranda Hart for announcing that she is against this on Room 101 (TV show in which guests put forward things they want to ban). Carrot cake, duck in plum sauce, feta and apricot, caramelised onion, cheddar and pineapple, roast chicken with cranberry sauce – think of all the wonderful flavours you are disregarding!
10. Red Velvet
I’m not suggesting that people stop eating velvet (although if you do, you probably should). I am referring to the Red Velvet Cake, or Cupcake. These are a huge trend simply because of the way they look – there is nothing different about them. It’s just food colouring. They are hugely disappointing. Some ghastly alternatives have been appearing on Pinterest, too – anyone for Smurf-coloured Blue Velvet cake?
Phew, sorry to get all ranty on you. I feel better now.
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