The Most Annoying Thing To Experience While Eating, According To Reddit

What are the most annoying things to experience while eating? Recently, u/Suspicious_Block7385 threw out the question to the AskReddit subreddit, and thousands joined the discussion. However, one response swelled with greater attention than all others.

"Feeling a crunch where it shouldn't be," one user wrote. As of writing, over 45 thousand people have agreed with the sentiment, and thousands of similar comments flooded beneath. "Really any surprise texture where it shouldn't be," someone else added. "Like eating something with shrimp and biting into a mushy one. Or finding something stringy in chicken." This quickly expanded to people sharing gastronomic horror stories.

Some were not so bad, like an unwanted tomato or mashed potatoes with the skins still mixed in the dish. Others would horrify many: "I found a 1/2-inch long fingernail (nail polish included) in a doughnut from my formerly favorite doughnut place." In cases like the latter, of which there were many, the surprising texture is followed by the horror of eating a bone, an eggshell, an insect, or something even worse. Indeed, some people said they dislike an unexpected crunch due to fear of the latter. "This is why I hate nuts in soft things, like muffins or ice cream," a third explained. "That sudden misplaced crunch makes me feel like I just ate a bug, or some bit of foreign matter."

Texture changes how we perceive food

The reason why the unexpected crunch resounded with so many people is that it's a common bias. After all, we experience food texturally, so a sudden, surprise texture rings alarm bells. Beyond that, though, there are many examples that show how texture changes our perception, but no universal solution yet. In January of 2020, Science Daily shared the findings of a team that investigated how healthy oatmeal cookies appear to be based on their texture. Participants deemed the cookies with a more "pronounced" texture as healthier than the smoother ones. Furthermore, the less healthy the food appeared, the better it apparently tasted.

But, of course, it's not something we consciously think about. "Texture is something where you don't think about it, but when it's wrong, it really hits you," Christine Scaman, a food science professor at the University of British Columbia, explained to The Globe and Mail. "A couple particles of sand in a product that you are consuming completely throws it off." So, like a crunch where no crunch should crunch, anything that doesn't feel as expected draws attention to itself. And usually, it's negative attention.