The Worst Easter Dishes You'll Eat This Year

When it comes to ranking holidays by their customary foods, Easter is no Thanksgiving, to be sure. Nor does it come anywhere close to Christmas. Even when you put it up against strictly candy-only holidays like Halloween and Valentine's Day — well, Easter certainly has no shortage of dedicated candies of its own (including the OG Peeps, even though this candy has now been co-opted by every other holiday out there), but the sad truth is, these run the gamut from meh to bleah.

And as for those traditional foods of Easter, the less said, the better. What is it about the start of spring that gets people thinking about taking perfectly good foods and then completely ruining them? Oh, and then there's the most enduring Easter food custom of all, one that goes on and on long after the holiday is over — endless egg salad sandwiches, all of which seem to bear unappetizing tints from their dyed shells. There are other ways to use up leftover eggs, you know — but no, can't buck tradition.

The main dishes are kind of gross

Among households that celebrate Easter with a special holiday meal (51 percent of us, according to the National Retail Federation), there's a split between Team Ham (think New York Yankees) and Team Lamb (more like the Mets). Nothing is inherently wrong with either meat in its original form (plastic-wrapped on a foam tray, as nature intended), but the things people do to them turn them into holiday horrors.

Ham is a perfectly good smoked meat product if you just leave it alone. Well, cook it, yeah, but that's all. It's flavorful enough as is, or served with a small dab of mustard. Smothering it in a disgusting sugary glaze, however, does it a disservice, and adding injury to insult by puncturing the poor ham with cloves is just wrong. Who wants to bite into a nasty little nail, after all? Plus, who even likes the taste of cloves, apart from Gen X-ers nostalgic for those kreteks they smoked as edgy teens?

Roast lamb can be delicious if you know how to cook it, but it's notoriously difficult, so it always comes out tough and dry. But the real damage is done when it's served with mint jelly, since this stuff is completely revolting. If you've been lucky enough never to have encountered mint jelly, it has the look and consistency of lime Jell-O, but tastes just like toothpaste. Imagine smearing toothpaste on dry meat, then see if you've got any appetite left.

These vegetables are pretty vile

What makes asparagus the official taste of spring, anyway? It's green, yeah, and it actually does taste like chewing on a mouthful of new-grown grass, only more bitter — maybe like chewing on grass that's just been sprayed with weed killer. And yet, this vegetable is best known for making your pee smell funny still makes an appearance on every single Easter table, probably because nobody can figure out what else to serve alongside syrupy ham or toothpasty lamb.

Apparently the other approved springtime vegetable appears to be peas, which are actually something nobody likes. We only serve them if we have kids and are passive-aggressively dedicated to passing on the whole "you can't have dessert until you eat your peas" legacy. And no, adding mint to peas does not add a delightful seasonal touch, it just makes them weird. What is it with Easter and inappropriate use of mint, anyway? Save your mint for lemonade or mojitos and quit using it to torture innocent meats and vegetables.

Easter desserts are downright disgusting

Let's be honest — jelly beans are nobody's favorite candy. All jelly beans are basically Bertie Bott's beans, since you never know if you're going to get a flavor that's merely OK (red or purple) or utterly gag-worthy (those speckled ones). One thing's for sure, the flavors bear no relation to the color, and they vary from brand to brand which makes it almost impossible to avoid a few nasty surprises. Even at their best, jelly beans are nothing more than Easter's candy corn — too small to be satisfying, and too sweet, period.

And then there are those aforementioned Peeps. They're certainly versatile, making for a fun science experiment or even an art medium — The Racine Art Museum sponsors an annual Peeps art exhibition. But you know why people are doing all these creative things with Peeps? Because it beats eating them. Marshmallows were meant to go in s'mores, not to stand on their own, and being tortured into chick and bunny shapes and dipped in food dye and sugar doesn't help their flavor one bit.

Oh, and speaking of those cutesy shapes, this is perhaps the most horrifying aspect of Easter desserts. If they're not egg-shaped (which in itself can be a little disturbing), they've all got faces. Whether it's a chocolate bunny or a lamb-shaped cake, somebody's always going to be biting into an adorable baby animal's head. Elmer Fudd, meet Hannibal Lecter. Easter should leave the horror to Halloween.