Don't Judge These Foods By Their Looks, Taste Or Smell
In praise of ugly and smelly food
6 January 2019
Modern life, unfortunately, means so many of us to spend the vast majority of our day striving for perfection.
We have to excel at our jobs, see our friends, work out and call our mums regularly to be deemed successful.
Inevitably, all this perfection needs to be documented on social media – how else would people know how well you’re doing?
It’s exhausting trying to do everything flawlessly all the time, and sometimes you need a release – which is why we hold a special place in our hearts for ugly and smelly food.
These are the types of food traditionally denigrated by society:
Most major supermarkets won’t stock wonky veg, people complain when you bring a pungently fishy lunch to work, and everything posted with the hashtag #foodporn on Instagram has to be styled to within an inch of its life.
And yet, ugly, smelly foods are the types we love – and here’s why.
It takes the pressure off
With food that looks a hot mess and smells a bit whiffy, you can breathe a sigh of relief.
There’s no need to arrange it beautifully or make sure the aromas are popping because it is what it is.
This means you don’t have to waste time taking a picture for the ‘gram – you’ve got the rare luxury of actually being able to eat your food before it gets stone cold.
Although you may be tempted to post it and tag #uglyfood, of course.
If you’re cooking for yourself, there’s something peculiarly comforting about not having to make it look pretty or smell tempting.
It’s almost like a weight is lifted from your shoulders.
Sure, they might say you eat with your eyes – but sometimes you’re too busy watching Netflix in the background to actually look at the dish, so who really cares what it looks like?
The stronger the smell, the stronger the taste
Food like stinky cheeses are undoubtedly an acquired taste, but if it doesn’t make you feel nauseous you’ll know the golden rule: The smellier, the better.
If you’re going to bother having blue cheese, you’d obviously go for the most pungent Gorgonzola or Stilton you can find.
The stronger the smell, the sharper the taste – and that’s really what you’re looking for.
Obviously we’re not talking about food that smells like it’s off, but naturally stinky food? Surely it means there’s naturally more flavour.
If you’re put off by things that come with a distinctive whiff, then you’re really just missing out.
People are less likely to pinch your food
Few things are more infuriating than looking forward to your meal, only to have your friends think it looks tasty and soon everyone is diving in for a bite.
Before you really know what’s going on, half your delicious meal has vanished.
However, your compatriots are far less likely to help themselves to whatever’s on your plate if there’s something unappealing about the dish.
In fact, they’re probably going to give you a wide berth.
You can savour every mouthful in peace, knowing a dastardly secret the others don’t: That it tastes far better than it looks or smells.
Imperfect often means tastier
Even though many chefs and home cooks spend hours agonising over how their dish looks, we’d argue that rough and ready tastes best.
Hear us out: If your pie has a bumpy, knobbly and uneven crust it’s far more likely to be crunchier and even more delicious.
Think of some of the ugliest dishes like stews, hotpots or gumbos.
These are when countless ingredients are thrown into the pot, resulting in a multi-layered depth of flavour and all-round taste sensation.
You know they might not look great on the plate, but it’ll sure taste incredible in your mouth.
Let’s face it; life is all about managing expectations.
If something doesn’t look as nice or smell as great as you perhaps wanted it to, people will probably be pleasantly surprised when they find out it tastes amazing.