"It Has A Bad Rep Because People Don't Know How To Prepare It:" 25 Polarizing Foods That Are Undeserving Of All The Hate They Get

Some foods suffer from a serious PR problem (I'm looking at you, anchovies). But maybe these polarizing ingredients just don't get enough love or attention. So Redditor asked u/CanuckIeHead, "Is there an ingredient that you feel has a bad reputation but will always support?" Here are some of the answers.
1. "Spam. I only buy two or three cans a year because it's basically just pure salt and fat, but it's quite tasty when used properly. I love using it in fried rice or cooked until crisp and served on a sandwich or with eggs."
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2. "Yellow mustard. Most recipes call for gray poupon, dijon, or brown mustard, but I find it amazing how a dollop or two of yellow mustard can really brighten up a dish. Some of that comes from the vinegar, but I also love the more subtle mustard-turmeric flavor it imparts."
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3. "Tofu! In most Asian cuisines, it is eaten with meat, not just instead. It is also treated, prepared and enjoyed as a separate category of ingredients, not as a meat substitute. There are so many amazing tofu-centric dishes like Szechuan Mapo Tofu, Korean Sundubu, Japanese Agedashi Tofu and more. Unfortunately, in Western cooking it is often reduced to a mediocre, boring substitute for imitation meat.”
"First of all, most people don't seem to understand that you can't just treat tofu like a piece of chicken and expect it to taste good. This is exactly why tofu got its reputation for being bland and gross.”
4. “Beef fat and all animal fats in general. Beef fat is perfect for frying and is really affordable, especially if you buy it from a good butcher. People may say it's bad for you, but I don't eat fries to be healthy."
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5. "Spiralized zucchini noodles. I think most people associate zoodles with a soggy, tasteless pasta alternative. I felt the same way and used to overcook them so they got all mushy. Now I'm tossing zucchini noodles in a crispy hot pan just for some quick color. Once charred, I add basil, olive oil, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, and fresh parmesan. It's the best summer side dish ever.
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6. "Fish sauce. It stinks, I'll admit it, but a dash of that East Asian spice makes hearty dishes taste so much better.”
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7. "Peppers. Many people are not familiar with all the different types of paprika like Hungarian hot, Spanish allspice, smoked and more. They think it's just a lame spice that restaurants use to add color to mashed potatoes, but it's really such a powerful flavor."
—u/ Believer detective
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8. "Cottage cheese. I'm definitely not the only one who felt disgusted by that curdled, soupy meal. But as I got older, I realized that cottage cheese is actually pretty good. I really love using it in savory dishes: try dipping pickles in cottage cheese topped with sriracha, or serve it on crackers with smoked salmon and all the bagel spice."
– Hannah Lowenteil
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9. "Say anything you want about ketchup, but I firmly believe that this condiment is perfectly acceptable to use as an ingredient in your cooking." It's made almost entirely of tomatoes, sugar, and vinegar, but people get appalled or extremely snobbish whenever a recipe calls for using just ketchup instead of the separate basic ingredients."
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10. "Sardines. I've held off on these controversial fish for too long. Then one day I tried baguette slices with butter. Oh my god…mmmm!”
The story goes on

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