America’s 15 Most Overrated Foods
On the whole, humans love having things to get really excited about. Because what else is there to make life interesting if not for things to get excited about? And for a certain segment of the population, few things are more exciting than food. But for the past decade or so, certain foods have become so hyped up and generally accepted to be exciting that we’ve lost all sight of the fact that, at least according to us, they really aren’t that great. We’ve rounded up 15 foods that we consider to be overrated.
When you think about it, there are very few foods that you’d consider to be "neutral," ones that make you feel neither excited nor bored, and just sort of are what they are. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, perhaps, or chicken soup. On the extreme ends of the spectrum, there are the foods that really excite us, like a perfect burger or a whole steamed lobster, and the ones that are boring enough to drive us to tears, like a plain can of tuna or dry white toast. For the most part these roles are rather cut and dry, but lurking in the shadows are the frauds: the foods masquerading as hot and exciting, but that in reality are nothing of the sort. These are the foods that you’d call overrated.
So what makes a food item overrated, exactly? Hype, for one. If you wait in line for an hour for one of the hottest food items on the planet, the taste of the food is almost beside the point. If "everybody’s eating it," that’s another great way for a food to become overrated. Certain foods enter the zeitgeist, and folks jump on the bandwagon without realizing that there are other, tastier alternatives. Another way to become overrated? Simply enter the culinary lexicon over the years and establish yourself as being delicious and indispensable at parties, social gatherings, or on menus. It becomes so well-established that we lose sight of the fact that it’s just not very tasty.
So the next time you’re scanning a menu, or mindlessly munching away on something at a party, ask yourself: "Why is this being served? Is it because it’s good, or because it’s trendy?" The answer might surprise you. There are certain foods out there that are timelessly delicious, and will always be culinary gold. There are other foods that will always be boring and dull. But there are also plenty of wolves in sheep’s clothing (sheep in wolves’ clothing? I’m mixing my metaphors) that are pretending to be exciting and delicious that simply aren’t. Read on for 15 of them, and never be fooled again.
Dan Myers is the Eat/Dine Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @sirmyers.