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Food & Drink

9 Food Lies People Are Telling You, From Casual Myths To Straight Up Betrayal

Sorry to break it to you, but some of them are your family and friends. And they are liars.

Sometimes, someone will tell you something about food that just doesn't sound right. You'll think, "That doesn't totally jive with me, but maybe they're right." We're here to break the news to you: people are telling you food lies, and some of them are your family and friends. Sorry to be the ones to break it to you.

These common food lies run the gamut from harmless myth to outright betrayal, and we're here to expose them once and for all. Some of these might be painful, but we promise it's for the best.

LIE: Spaghetti Squash Is A Great Substitute For Spaghetti
Listen, just because something looks like something else doesn't mean it's the same. Crisco and vanilla frosting look pretty similar -- would you substitute one of those for the other? Just because you can twirl spaghetti squash up with a fork like spaghetti doesn't mean that it will taste or satiate you like pasta will. One more time, just to be clear: spaghetti squash is a vegetable, spaghetti is made with flour, eggs and water. Okay? Call it stringy squash if you're still having trouble.
LIE: Red Wine Should Never Be Served Cold
WRONG. How do I know? Lambrusco for one. This sparkling red is traditionally served chilled, because it tastes better that way. Also your pinot noir? It could use a 40 minute vacation to the fridge before you drink it. Not ice cold, but under 65 degrees. Try it, thank me. You're welcome.
LIE: Truffle Oil Is A Great Substitute For Truffles
Let's just take this stinker apart once and for all. Truffle oil has about as much to do with real truffles as artificial raspberry flavoring has to do with raspberries (it comes from the ass-end of a beaver -- seriously). Most truffle oil is made by adding a synthetic compound called 2,4-Dithiapentane to olive or grapeseed oil. 2,4-Dithiapentane is one of the compounds that gives truffles their pungent aroma. By isolating this compound and infusing it into oil, what you are getting is essentially one aromatic profile from a truffle dumped into oil. If you think a whole bottle of that is as good as a single slice of a real truffle, go ahead and drink the stuff for all I care. Just keep it away from me.
LIE: Quinoa Tastes Good In Everything
I know, I know. Quinoa has so much protein. It's a superfood. Well, it doesn't have more protein than oats, beans or MEAT. And you know what else is a superfood? Spirulina. And that stuff tastes like you scraped it off the bottom of the ocean. Quinoa is fine, as grainy pellets of things with very little flavor go, but it doesn't need to be in everything. I don't need it in granola, I don't need it in bread, I don't need it in EVERY salad and I sure as hell don't need it in mac and cheese. Cool it.
LIE: Gluten-Free Bread Is The Same As Regular Bread
I of course understand that there are truly people on this earth who have to eat a gluten-free diet. For those people, I am truly happy that a gluten-free bread solution exists. Now, as for the rest of you: just eat bread. Bread IS gluten. That is why it tastes good and is light and fluffy and doesn't crumble into a million pieces when you touch it. If you like gluten-free bread, that's fine, but let's not pretend that it's bread.
LIE: You Should Never Eat Fish With Cheese
Whoever came up with this rule has been missing out tuna melts for their whole life. I'm so, so sorry.
LIE: You'll Never Know You're Drinking Soy/Rice/Almond/Coconut Milk
Yes we will. Let's be honest. As with the gluten-free bread conundrum, I understand that for either health, ethical or philosophical reasons, some people just can't drink cow's milk. Guys, Godspeed. Everyone else, have you ever seen what happens when you pour soy milk into coffee? It's gross. Is almond milk a little better? Yeah, sure. But it tastes like almonds. These things are alternatives, not substitutes.
LIE: Keeping The Pit In Guacamole Keeps It From Browning
This stupid myth is so incredibly pervasive, I feel like I meet a new person who believes it every day. Please tell me why you think this actually helps. Actually don't. Just read a scientist tell you that it doesn't. Add in some lime (which you should be doing anyway), press some plastic wrap onto the surface of your guacamole and throw the stupid pit in the trash where it belongs.
LIE: Everyone Loves Cake Pops!
We've railed against cake pops before, so I won't bore you by doing it again. Suffice it to say, I can direct you to at least a dozen people who do not love mushed up cake and frosting wrapped in fondant and sold to them at the price of an entire slice of cake.

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