Potlucks are meant to be delightful gatherings filled with scrumptious dishes and the joy of sharing meals. However, as we all know, there are times when some guests bring culinary creations that can leave everyone scratching their heads, or worse, running for the hills. We scoured social media and found a treasure trove of stories that will make you appreciate the “safe” potato salad and lasagna at your next potluck. Here are some of the grossest things you’ve ever seen someone bring to a potluck, according to the online community.
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“This is another reason I never eat at pot lucks. Some people have no concept of food safety.”
Imagine showing up to a potluck and discovering a crockpot filled with canned corn that’s been stewing for days. Yes, you read that right! One user shared the story of a fellow potlucker who proudly presented his “specialty corn” – and it wasn’t a hit. Despite its unsavory appearance, he continued to indulge in it, earning himself the humorous nickname “Corn Cob Rob” at work.
“Both cake and soup, while also being neither. I’m dead.”
Some users suggested that it’s not just one dish but everything brought by their grandma-in-law. One memorable instance involved stale cake floating in a bowl of syrup. It was a confusing mix of cake and soup, all while being neither.
This grandma is also known for her timeless collection of meat in her deep freezer, which can rival the age of her grandchildren. She follows her own rules when it comes to expiration dates, even offering cough medicine to a 2-year-old that had expired nine years before the child was born.
“Since this blew up, I shared it with my sister, who reminded me that she was also there for this and she had tried the brownies first, and that they were actually the reason she stopped wanting to come to church. She started doubting the entire establishment.”
At a church potluck, someone took the concept of “surprise” to a whole new level. They baked brownies with ground meat in them, leaving a vegetarian friend in shock. Her confusion and horror weren’t about eating meat but about the existence of this culinary abomination. The question on everyone’s mind: who thought brownies needed a meaty twist?
Ever experienced a potluck where the snacks tasted like dirt? One user revealed a cringe-worthy incident when a bag of Doritos with a promotional tie-in to “Mockingjay Part 1” made its way to a mixed department potluck. The catch? The chips had expired in 2014! The mystery remains: who brought those ancient chips to the feast?
Devilled eggs are a potluck favorite, but some users shared a tale of devilled eggs that took an unexpected turn. Instead of the classic paprika, the chef opted for cinnamon as the finishing touch. Talk about a sweet surprise in an unlikely place.
“The thing is…half of the chefs at work had learned to make kimchi correctly and safely since various different kimchis used to be on the menu before she was hired. So we all instantly knew it was wrong and unsafe, but no one wanted to tell her.”
One brave Korean American coworker decided to showcase her culinary skills by bringing homemade kimchi. There was just one problem: she didn’t actually know how to make it and decided to “wing it.” The result? A moldy, dumpster-juice-smelling concoction that left everyone baffled and disturbed. Note to self: kimchi recipes should not be improvised.
“Not even kidding. They crawled out of the bag she brought her dish in. I stopped participating in potlucks after that.”
What’s worse than a questionable casserole at a potluck? A casserole with an unexpected side dish – roaches. Some users had the misfortune of encountering this horrifying surprise at their communal gathering, turning their stomachs and leaving them with a story to tell.
Grandma’s Jello salad might sound like a comforting dish, but one user warned against this family classic. In their case, it was made with cottage cheese and celery, a combination that didn’t quite win over the potluck crowd.
“I thought they were a dessert because they were pink and couldn’t figure out what a pink sandwich would be. It was truly one of the worst things I’ve ever put in my mouth.”
A Super Bowl party took a bizarre turn when one guest attempted to make pimento cheese sandwiches without knowing what pimento cheese actually is. They combined shredded cheese, an excessive amount of mayonnaise, and maraschino cherry halves, topped off with an avalanche of garlic salt. The result? A concoction that left everyone reaching for the nearest trash can.
Ever encountered a “lasagna” that had little to do with the Italian classic? One user shared a potluck nightmare with layers of pasta, chicken, grated cheddar cheese, canned jalapeños, mushroom soup, frozen mixed vegetables, and spicy mayo. It was a culinary train wreck, to say the least.
“It was an acquaintance of mine. The potluck was for our graduation party and was at another friend’s house. Her mom was in town and took her out to Olive Garden the night before. She knew it was a potluck for several days.”
Sometimes, guests at a potluck bring a little extra something from the previous night’s dinner. One unfortunate soul found himself staring at a half-eaten chicken something from an Olive Garden meal. Leftovers are fine, but maybe not for a communal feast.
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