If it ain’t broke, don’t add quinoa to it
A few days ago, actor Scott K. Foley (Captain Jake Ballard on Scandal) shared a video to his 330,000 Instagram followers of him eating scrambled eggs topped with peanut butter. It caused a worldwide hysteria, both people admitting they’d tried and loved this odd concoction and people who were totally grossed out, adding a cascade of sick-face emojis. A few intrepid bloggers, including Elizabeth Buxton at Refinery29, gave it a shot and lived to tell about it. In fact, she liked it. “So just as you might like the spicy kick hot sauce adds to your morning scramble, fans of the savory-sweet mash-ups may just actually dig this strange situation,” wrote Buxton. “I know I did.”
It got us thinking about these other recipes and food combos that caused a stir on the internet.
1) The New York Times’ Green Pea Guacamole\n
“Adding fresh English peas to what is an otherwise fairly traditional guacamole is one of those radical moves that is also completely obvious after you taste it,” wrote Times’ Cooking Melissa Clark in perhaps the recipe writing equivalent to assassinating the Archduke Ferdinand. This is the granddaddy of scandalized recipes, unleashing the fury of the internet. The controversy went all the way to the top: even then-President Barack Obama weighed in, saying in a tweet, “respect the nyt, but not buying peas in guac. onions, garlic, hot peppers. classic.” On the other hand, it should be noted that avocados might see a bump in price if the current president enacts his 20 percent tariff on Mexican imports. We may need to bite the bullet and add those peas as filler.
2) The New York Times’ Pho with Broccoli and Quinoa\n
The Times’ cooking team sure has some funny ideas about what wacky ingredients to put in classic dishes that are fine just the way they are. You can see the gears turning here—how do you make the Vietnamese soup staple a bit healthier—but broccoli and quinoa? I’m sorry, but have you ever thought, “You know what would make delicious pho noodle soup good? get rid of the noodles and add quinoa.” No? Congratulations, you still have all your mental capacities. Especially since author Andrea Nguyen, in her recently released The Pho Cookbook (Ten Speed Press), writes that the word “pho” probably originated from the Chinese soup nguu nhuc phan, which translates to “crossing the bridge noodles.” Or as journalist Melissa Chan pointed out on Twitter, “Dear New York Times's recipe section: ‘Pho With Broccoli and Quinoa’ IS NO LONGER PHO.”
3) PopSugar’s Wine and Cheese Shots\n
Wine is beloved by people from around the world. Some people even love it so much they become experts on the refined nature of the fermented grape libation. A 2009 Chateau Margaux sold at auction in Dubai for over $150,000 in 2013. It is often enjoyed with cheese. Many people consider wine and cheese an exquisite delicacy. PopSugar, on the other hand, got some cheddar, shredded it, microwaved it, put it into a shot glass mold (a what now?), let it solidify, and then poured wine into it so you can enjoy them together. Vanity Fair tech reporter Maya Kosoff declared the unnatural meeting as “disgusting.” Verge reported that 13,000 mostly negative reviews agreed with her. The chances that someone is going to actually re-create this is zero.
4) Medium Rare Chicken
This isn’t so much a recipe offering as a publicly offered cooking blunder. In January, Australian Facebook user Morgan Jane Gibbs posted a since-deleted pic of some pink fleshy objects, and wrote, “Just made chicken medium rare chicken strips. They're so good can't believe ive neever tried it like this before. Can't wait to dig into this with my homemade salad and veges” (sic). It reminds us of that time on Friday Night Lights when Riggins ordered a rare squab in order to impress football recruiters. Either way, eating bird rare in any manner is gross, and definitely unhealthy—chicken is pretty well known for being susceptible to salmonella.
5) Kool-Aid Baked Chicken Wings
This one traces back to Facebook user Valerie O’Neal who posted images of her orange, blue raspberry, and cherry chicken in August last year. O’Neal reported that it wasn’t too sweet, and that the Kool-Aid flavor barely came through, but still, we’re not sure if we’re too keen on eating blue chicken wings.
6) Jamie Oliver’s Chorizo Paella\n
Jamie Oliver, the Naked Chef who should have known better, tried to sneak some paprika-flavored sausage into his paella recipe. The backlash was swift and thorough. The Guardian’s headline “Jamie Oliver's paella brings fractured Spain together … against him” said it all, and the article described the immense disgust at Oliver’s faux pas. The thing is, as The Guardian pointed out, Oliver tried to add vine-ripened tomatoes, parsley, and a lemon wedge as his personal “twist” to the West African dish jollof rice. Oliver’s folly, along with the others listed above, should be a lesson to all of us: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, undercook it, or add any weird ingredients to it.