The Titanic Awards: 10 Worst National Cuisines

Slideshow  •  Doug Lansky  •  05.05.10 | 10:29 AM ET Photo 2 of 10

9) India: 1.7% Pictured: Vegetarian thali in Pune, India.

Doug Lansky is editor of and the book The Titanic Awards, as well as and the book series "Signspotting."

24 Comments for The Titanic Awards: 10 Worst National Cuisines

Eva Holland 05.05.10 | 11:08 AM ET

I’ve already published at least one defense of British food on World Hum, so I won’t repeat myself on that score, but I do want to say that the folks who voted for India must be ten kinds of crazy, and possibly palate-impaired. And that the ones voting for the US should probably try eating somewhere other than the big-name fast food chains. (There. Gauntlet, thrown. Yes, I am trying to pick a [food] fight, folks.)

Namrata 05.05.10 | 11:27 AM ET

India..!!! are these people serious…. ???? I can understand raw fish!!!!

Terry Ward 05.05.10 | 12:51 PM ET

They are wrong about Dutch food, too. Herring is really good, and good for you. Kibbeling is another yummy fish thing (friend, not raw). The Dutch have great bread. Hagelslag (chocolate sprinkles) on beschuit rounds for breakfast, French fries with mayo (of course) and all kinds of other yummy things. And great coffee!

Karen 05.05.10 | 4:57 PM ET

At least half of those looked delicious to me.

Chuck Kirchner 05.05.10 | 6:13 PM ET

Oh, come in - the Irish Breakfast?  I never eat that stuff at home, but when in Ireland, its like perfect - especially after a beer or two or six the evening before or in preparation for a beer or two or six in the coming evening.  (The blood pudding, however, can remain on the Titanic list.)

Nicholas Gill 05.05.10 | 6:30 PM ET

Indian and Chinese? Seriously? WTF. No one thought of Canada, Mongolia, or Greenland first?

Elizabeth 05.06.10 | 10:09 AM ET

I love Norway, but how did lutefisk not make this list?

Chelsea Bridge 05.06.10 | 11:58 AM ET

I love pierogies in borscht. And Indian food. And herring. The people who voted on these cuisines must not have actually tasted them, or must be totally unadventurous. (The Philippines fertilized-egg-in-the-shell thing I can do without, though).

Cristina 05.07.10 | 2:22 PM ET

Hmm I could think of worse things close to home… Indian vegetarian meal? are you serious? how abt blood sausage (Hungary, Romania…) ?? or maybe a pig’s ear ?

Kelly 05.07.10 | 3:08 PM ET

What is the judge of ‘worst’?  Is it most unhealthy, or most disgusting?  I’d say that pickled pigs feet, whole roasted guinea pig and menudo with tripe are worse than most of the things on this list. And yes, I’ve eaten all three.

Tim L. 05.07.10 | 9:06 PM ET

Any list like this that has India in it is instantly suspect. But then again, as much as I like Doug Lansky, these surveys were far from comprehensive. The readers also rated U.S. beer as the worst in the world, which may have been true 30 years ago, but now? There’s a great brewpub in every town now and even dive bars have good local stuff on tap.

Darth 05.12.10 | 4:58 PM ET

Indian Food is the worst ?!!? WTF is wrong with the people who voted for this ? Fraudulent survey…..

Clooney 05.12.10 | 5:05 PM ET

A thali does not make sense being on any list with the term worst in it. Whoever voted hasn’t had a good thali and I wish they’d undertake a proper culinary education before assuming that they’re capable of creating meaningful lists. Ignorance sadly isn’t bliss in this case.

captain stupendousness! 05.13.10 | 12:36 AM ET

Yeah, sorry. Somebody, somewhere named Doug Lansky has just behaved like an idiot in public. I can understand complaining about borscht or lutefisk, but Indian food is one of the great world cuisines. Several of the world’s great cuisines, acutally.

On the other hand, this is probably the guy you want to go hit a restaurant with. “You gonna eat that”?

Dipti 05.13.10 | 4:31 AM ET

A thali in this list. Ridiculous!! And irish breakfast seems quite interesting as well!

Captain Strong Stomach 05.14.10 | 12:05 AM ET

1) Couldn’t list Brit food because every foreigner who’s eaten it consistently has died of boredom.
2) Also couldn’t list Bangladesh: Bowl of rice, empty bowl, empty bowl, empty bowl.

Denni 05.16.10 | 2:01 PM ET

You should maybe have had a poll for the worst _dish_ rather than cuisine, there are some stinkers in most national cuisines but few cuisines are a write-off (India? China??). As for Britain: it’s undergoing a food revolution. I’m not ashamed to serve bangers & mash made with organic ingredients and proper caramelised onion gravy.

Patty 05.19.10 | 7:25 AM ET

“A fertilized egg that is eaten in the shell”!?! C’mon people!! How is that NOT the worst food ever?!  I mean really!!  ...gag…gag…

Terry 05.19.10 | 7:27 AM ET

I’m with you, Patty. I had 17 day egg in Vietnam and it is horrific. I had a tiny wet feather stuck in my tooth when it was all over.

jon mountfort 05.19.10 | 3:11 PM ET

Perhaps a qualification should be instituted for writing an article like this, such as a palate. China? India? Really? Where does the author ordinarily sup? Has his palate been spoiled on Mount Olympus, or ruined at the landfill?

Were these selections the result of a vote? In that case I can understand. People with no taste, traveling to exotic places, will simply dislike whatever they find. Many people travel to India and China, many people travel from the places with the worst food and ruined palates… hence the result.

Incidentally, does the “editor” understand the difference between a dish and a cuisine?

Eva Holland 05.19.10 | 3:20 PM ET

Hi Jon -

Yes, the selections resulted from a poll conducted at As for the images, rather than attempting to find photos depicting an entire cuisine, we selected photos of popular dishes for each of the cuisines listed. Thanks for reading.

Kevin Evans 05.21.10 | 1:25 PM ET

Whoa, how can you say a traditional Irish breakfast is bad!? Fried bread, black pudding, egg, bacon and the works. Gorgeous! Just make sure you’re hiking to the summit of Carrauntoohil to burn off all the cholesterol!

Rain 05.30.10 | 10:02 PM ET

Indian vegetarian food is the most tasty, balanced and nutritious food .... compare to gross blood pudding, meat pies, pig legs .. completely unimaginative!  People who have rated this must not even tasted it, or must have palette defects…,

Miguel 06.24.10 | 3:10 AM ET

Filipinos don’t eat Balut (unfertilized duck egg) for our meals… I don’t even eat it at all!

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