7 Ugly Things that Taste Better than They Look

September 27, 2018

Gorgeous food never fails to make people salivate. After all, isn’t that why most of us go to this website? But sometimes, not even beautiful photography (or masterful Photoshopping) can make certain foods look tantalizing. And then, there are those that look like crap, but give a whole new meaning to the phrase, “Don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it!”

1. Monkfish

Whoever named this thing probably confused a monk for a devil-worshipping cultist.

Look at that foul creature, and tell me why anyone would eat it. It looks like something a psychopath would keep in an aquarium along with his victims.

But you’ll be surprised to find out that this butt-ugly fish tastes a lot like lobster, though less rubbery. In Japan, its liver is a delicacy, and is said to taste like foie gras.

2. Truffles

They look like something you’d find in a cat’s litter box.

Although they’re rare (and ridiculously expensive), truffles look like cancerous growths in the ground. Those who like them enjoy their distinct flavor, which can’t be found in any other fungi. And those who don’t like truffles say that they taste like dirty mushrooms soaked in kerosene.

3. Mussels

Do I even have to make a joke about what it resembles?

Who doesn’t love baked tahong? I can eat a whole tray of the stuff, but underneath all that butter, garlic and cheese lies something that looks part alien embryo and part lady bits. So slurping on one in front of your female date could result in a night to remember (or one you’d desperately want to forget).

4. Okoy (Baby Shrimp Cake)

Behold this delicious depiction of mass genocide!

Okoy isn’t exactly what most people would call ugly. But I used to think of it as a bit grotesque. I mean, come on people, it’s a mass grave of baby shrimps! It’s one thing to decapitate a large crustacean to get to its delicious brains, and another to annihilate an entire shrimp clan in one or two bites.

5. Durian

It looks like a medieval weapon, and smells like a heavily used one, too.

The durian has a nasty reputation for smelling worse than used undies. But its outer appearance also inspires the same sentiment as its smell: you don’t want to be hit hard by it. However, its unique flavor is something I’ve developed a taste for (even though its smell makes me want to puke). To me, it tastes like milky langka-vanilla ice cream with blended pistachio nuts. To others, it tastes like something they’ll never put in their mouths ever again.

6. Laing (Gabi Leaves in Coconut Milk)

Not even Mylene’s insane photography skills can make laing look appetizing.

Laing just looks plain gross. It’s how I imagine a vegetarian alien’s vomit would look like, which is why it took me until the age of 20 to finally try it. And by God, I couldn’t believe how insanely good and addictive it was! Not eating it sooner is now one of my life’s biggest regrets. If I ever wind up on death row, this slimy dish would definitely be part of my last meal.

7. Paksiw

Yet another dish that violently resists any attempt to make it photogenic.

Many people enjoy this cesspool of vinegar and fish, and Pepper.ph even made a recipe for it. However, unlike Laing, this is one dish that I’ll never, ever love. But I guess one man’s love for Dinuguan is another one’s disgust for death-black offal blood stew.


Initially, revolting grub is like that ugly but funny kid in class who eventually becomes your best friend. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of giving them a shot, and letting them grow on you. And I’m sure there are plenty more out there, and that I could make this list go on for years, if I tried. So, save me the effort and just tell us about your favorite eyesore-inducing eats in the comments below!


[Image sources: BBC / Shockingly Delicious / Wikimedia Commons / Jodie’s Mommy / Medic-Herbal]

Adee de Leon SEE AUTHOR Adee de Leon

After numerous failed attempts to become a tabloid-worthy matinee idol, Adrian has since committed his eccentricities to more realistic goals, such as getting rid of his pot belly and discovering the cure for a hangover. He currently spends his waking hours writing ridiculous nonsense, eating copious amounts of cheap food, reading Seanbaby’s articles, watching “underground” movies, and scaring people with his other creepy fascinations.

20 comments in this post SHOW

20 responses to “7 Ugly Things that Taste Better than They Look”

  1. Nico Goco says:

    that tahong looks like…. a butterfly. yes, definitely a butterfly. gudjab!

  2. Headline pa lang, alam mo nang my Evil Namesake ang nagsulat. LOL JK.

    Enjoyed this piece! Haven’t tried monkfish, though.

  3. travellingbutterball says:

    nice post!!!love this!so true!:)

  4. Oist, y’all forgot sea cucumbers and sea urchins!

  5. Gosh, Laing and Baked mussels taste so good but yes, I never wanted to try Durian again.

    • I used to think I’d never eat Durian again, but for some reason I’ve come to like it. Madami din kasi siyang varieties, some are not as offensive as others. It’s also more tolerable when you eat it frozen. 🙂

  6. and i’m enjoying a late lunch of laing right now! 🙂 remembering the texture of durian and the smell of paksiw is beginning to make me queasy…

  7. I can feel your sentiments about Durian. 🙂 I can’t stand the smell, but the taste is really distinct. I miss having the Durian Coffee from Blugre Cafe in Davao City.

    • Ah yes, Durian is virtually unavoidable in Davao. The friendly people from there would never fail to offer me a taste, which is why despite my initial reluctance, I’ve come to appreciate the stinky “king of fruits.” 🙂

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