My kids and I were the victims of some pretty nasty fake food today.
It was partly my fault. I should've scrapped dinner and thrown something else together. But by the time I realized the horror about to confront us, the kids were all excited, standing on their chair in the kitchen to watch me make quesadillas. It was too late.
The problem started when I sent my husband to the store for me. He usually does a great job of picking out exactly what I want, or what he's seen in the kitchen before (and really, it's pretty hard to get the wrong thing when the list says "organic apples" or something like that). But this time he came home with a package of "low carb" tortillas. I know, I know, tortillas are really easy to make at home (I have a sourdough tortilla recipe in my "favorites," just waiting to be tried!), and the ones at the store are probably made with refined vegetable oils, but I haven't quite gotten into a tortilla-making routine yet. We only eat them once or twice a month, so I just buy the kind with the fewest ingredients and call it a special treat. Anyway, instead of buying my normal brand, whose ingredients are something like, "wheat, salt, water, oil, baking powder," my husband came home with similar-looking "low carb, high fiber" tortillas that included such lovely additional ingredients as soy protein, wheat gluten, wheat brean, oat syrup solids (to sweeten them up so they won't taste so fiber-y?), guar gum, and preservatives. Horror!
Not having the time/money/gumption to make an hour-long extra trip to the store for new quesadillas, or the wherewithal to make my own, I told myself, "Hey, it's just one meal, they can't be that bad, can they?" and commenced to shred cheese and spread butter.
I was wrong. They were bad. They smelled horrible as they cooked, not like fresh hot wheatiness, but like mysterious chemicals. They didn't get nice and crispy like normal, just kind of...rubbery and limp. We had to eat them with LOTS of salsa, and I did not encourage the kids to finish what was on their plates!
Fortunately, none of us has terrible sensitivities or food digestion issues, so we aren't facing sudden illness or death or anything. But I think I learned my lesson. If the package makes lots of health claims and has tons of ingredients that are not readily available in my own pantry, they probably won't taste so good either. In fact, if it comes in a package, it probably won't taste as good as it would if it were made from scratch!
Are you willing to confess to any fake- food mistakes? What's the most artificial-tasting thing you've eaten lately, or have you been careful and fortunate enough to avoid all things un-real? What would you do in a fake-food dinner emergency like mine?