Reality Check: 17 Popular Foods that Simply Aren’t Worth the Hype

While some dishes have gained immense popularity and hype, it’s time to take a closer look and see if they’re actually as good as people make out. An internet survey recently asked, “What is the most overrated food?” Here are the top 17 responses.

Fancy Cupcakes

Fancy Cupcakes
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“Every “designer” cupcake I’ve had has been incredibly dry. I don’t get why they charge $5-$10 per serving, but the quality of the cake is below a Walmart sheet cake.”

“I make cupcakes sometimes. Overbaking and day-old baked products tend to dry out. Many of the fancy desserts take time to build, meaning the cupcakes have been sitting out for a while.”

Gold Flaked Cuisine

Gold Flaked Cuisine
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“Ridiculously overcharged too! The edible gold flakes aren’t even that expensive, but restaurants slap ’em on, and suddenly it’s gourmet.”

“I’ve never had it, but I’ve heard it doesn’t taste, so it’s only there to make the meal more expensive.”

“It’s priced so that the price becomes the status symbol rather than a reflection of the cost. So it can never be cheap, as people who buy it need to show how much they paid for it.”

High-End French Cuisine Using Offal or Organ Meats

High-End French Cuisine Using Offal or Organ Meats
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“These dishes are pushed because the costs of these types of meats are small and produce a huge profit margin. Also, the lack of experience with guests cooking these dishes for themselves means very few patrons complain about authenticity. Usually, a chef will throw their twist on the menu.”

“High-end French cuisine using offal is nonsense. Street-corner French cuisine using offal is sublime.”

Kid Cuisine

Kid Cuisine
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“The brownie usually comes out hard as a rock, and the mac and cheese is watery.”

“I used to take the pudding with the sprinkles and mix it with my mac n cheese before eating it.”

“Something for Everyone” Restaurants

Something for Everyone_ Restaurants
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“Anywhere where the menu has a ridiculously extensive offering. If I’m flipping multiple pages and not even halfway, I know everything is about to taste questionable.”

“Generally, those giant multi-page menus mean that EVERYTHING is pre-packaged in the freezer.”

Modern UK ‘Pub’ Grub

Modern UK _Pub_ Grub
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“Years ago(25+), I worked as a pub chef in London. The pub governor used to get deals off the butcher and greengrocers from the market. We were killing it. The brewery couldn’t understand how we were making so much kitchen profit. They made us stop using fresh produce and start with frozen, making it easier for portion control and paperwork. Don’t care what cooking style you’re talking about. I think fresh ingredients make a massive difference.”

“Every single one has a “wagyu beef burger” that tastes bland and is too big to even eat like a burger and has to be held together by a piece of wood.”

The Most Expensive Dishes

The Most Expensive Dishes
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“Yeah, man, these diamonds sautéed in truffle oil and emerald dust are good, but do you have a cheeseburger?”

“Truffles get thrown in everything now just so places can charge more. I once had delicious truffle risotto in Italy, but I’m not a huge fan. I don’t want it in my mac & cheese or potato chips.”

Bacon Life

Bacon Life
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“It was funny for a couple of decades, but enough already. Bacon “flavored” anything is disgusting.”

“One time in college, I ordered bacon-flavored popcorn. When I popped it in the communal microwave, it smelled so awful that we had to open all the windows and evacuate until it aired enough for us to air freshener the rest away. It tasted like death. A couple guys threatened to beat me up if I popped anymore. Some things don’t need to be bacon flavored. Popcorn is one of them.”

Expensive Italian

Expensive Italian
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“A 30-dollar pasta is straight robbery.”

“I’m Italian and refuse to go eat Italian anywhere anymore. Places are a ripoff. A few places near me don’t even use authentic ingredients by meeting different owners or chefs by accident and casually asking how they cook things. I cook it so much I am super picky at this point.”

Lobster

Lobster
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“It’s fine. It’s not worth its cost, in my opinion. I also like eating it in things rather than by itself. The lobster rolls I had in Maine were much better than the lobster straight up.”

“I’d rather have a bushel of blue crab with some old bay.”

Any Foam or Mousse From a Michelin Star Restaurant

Any Foam or Mousse From a Michelin Star Restaurant
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“There are definitely Michelin-starred places that deserve ridicule, but they’re not all like that. I went to a place in Manhattan that was 25 bucks a plate, no reservation needed.”

“You ordered pigeon foam without asking what it was first?”

American Italian

American Italian
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“It’s heavy and repetitive.”

“People look at me crazy when I say I don’t like pasta dishes. I have just resorted to it because trying to explain pasta I like vs. a plate overstacked with gummy spaghetti covered in a bland tomato sauce has gotten tedious.”

Thai Food

Thai Food
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“What Westerners deem “Thai” food is abominable.”

“I have had Thai from practically every place that serves it in a 30-mile radius, and it varies from sublime to “my incompetent self could have made this.”

Insanely Unhealthy Southern Food

Insanely Unhealthy Southern Food
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“As a lifelong resident of the South, a ton of popular Southern food is mediocre meat that is breaded and deep fried. The primary flavor is fried breading. Given the astronomical rate of lifestyle-related disease in the South, elevating food that is both super unhealthy and blandly flavored is just mind-boggling.”

“Real southern fried chicken can’t be beaten. Also, barbecue. There are many variations, but one thing they all have in common is that they’ll all be cooked over wood or charcoal and have that delicious smoky flavor.”

Banana-Flavored Food and Cherry-Flavored Food

Banana-Flavored Food and Cherry-Flavored Food
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“Banana is delicious, but banana-flavored stuff tastes so fake and weird. Cherry-flavored food tastes like chemicals and cough drops.”

“The irony is that “banana flavored” tastes like Gros Michel, the dominant banana before Panama Disease destroyed the cultivar. Somewhat surprised no one has tried to make a Cavendish banana flavor to keep up with modern expectations on the flavor.”

Authentic Mexican Food

Authentic Mexican Food
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“I’ve been living in Mexico for the past few months, and if I’m being honest, “authentic” Mexican food (the stuff you actually get here) is nothing to get excited about.”

“I disagree entirely. Mexican food is exciting, and it’s great, but it is definitely an overrated cuisine.

Shock Food

Shock Food
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“You know those giant milkshakes with whole slices of cake and candy on top, or quadruple cheeseburgers with so much cheese it’s running everywhere. It’s not practical/tasty and only exists to get a cool picture.”

“I made the mistake of getting one of those milkshakes exactly once. It was fun to get, and then you realize you paid 20 bucks for a normal milkshake and grocery store sheet cake.”

“Nothing screams “get ready to eat a mediocre burger” to me more than a “gourmet” burger joint that serves burgers that are more than 3 or 4 inches tall.”

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