8 Really Ugly Foods That Taste Really Good

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8 Really Ugly Foods That Taste Really Good

If you looked only at food photos from blogs and magazines, you would think that food is the most beautiful thing on earth. In truth, a lot of really wonderful-tasting food is really ugly. Here are the top ugly foods that you will love eating.

Drop Dumplings

Drop dumplings are so simple to make—mix up some batter and drop spoonfuls in boiling liquid. But let’s face it, they’re pretty homely. They’re delicious when served with beef stew or in your chicken soup. Their ragged edges and slightly off-white color hides the deliciousness they offer.

Cut-Out Cookies

OakleyOriginals CC BY

It’s highly unlikely your cut-out cookies have crisp edges and delicately piped designs like those presented by Martha Stewart (especially if you have very young helpers in the kitchen). Instead, your frosting might be runny, your sprinkles are added haphazardly, and all in all they aren’t deserving of a magazine spread. Yet these cookies are sweet and mouth-watering and just right with a glass of milk.

White Chicken Chili

Casey Florig CC BY

Perfect for a cold winter night, white chicken chili is full of protein and fiber and can have as much kick as you crave. It might not be the prettiest or most colorful bowl of food you can hold in your hands, but it certainly hits the spot and warms you up.


brownpau CC BY

Oysters might be an aphrodisiac, but they’re pretty humble in appearance. Who would imagine that something so unattractive could be such a luxury food item? Oysters are briny, sweet, fresh, and wonderful going down, completely contradicting their first impression. In fact, oysters might just be the poster child for not judging anything based on looks.



There is probably no food that says home more than meatloaf, but meatloaf can be pretty homely. Even when it’s dressed up with cheese or tomato sauce on top or chopped carrots and green herbs inside, it’s not much to look at. All of that belies its hidden secrets of garlic, onions, moist beef, cheese, and comforting texture.


merri CC BY-SA

This Ethiopian traditional dish comes to your table as a bit of a mess. A huge platter-sized, grayish-brown, spongy teff pancake is topped with piles of chopped meats and vegetables with sauces. You eat it with your hands, ripping off pieces of the pancake and grabbing the toppings with it. It might look a bit like a child’s art project, but that soft pancake dunked in all the savory toppings is a flavor experience.


David Berkowitz CC BY

Gumbo is one of the most traditional foods of the deep south, but its dark color and lumpy texture could put you off if you aren’t familiar with its deep, rich flavors: okra, sausage, tomatoes, seafood, lovingly cooked roux, and more. Gumbo has a story to tell, and it starts with the first bite.


Purple Slog CC BY

A big bowl of trifle is a showstopper, but its dirty little secret is that it’s mighty unattractive once dished up. This pile of pudding, cake, cream and whatever other treats nestled in it is sweet, decadent, and wonderful but not so picture perfect on your dessert plate. None of that matters when you dig your spoon in though.

Brette Sember is the author of Cookie: A Love Story: Fun Facts, Delicious Stories, Fascinating History, Tasty Recipes, and More About Our Most Beloved Treat available on Kindle. Her website is www.BretteSember.com.

Dumpling photo by Daniel Morrison CC BY