13 Controversial Food Opinions We Will Not Apologize For

Pineapple belongs on a pizza, and we will not say otherwise.

It's time to get down to brass tacks. We at The Takeout spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about food, and on certain divisive topics—pizza, hot dogs, french fries, mayonnaise—we have taken a stance from which you will not sway us. Since no amount of lively debate will change our minds on these issues, we present them here proudly and unapologetically, daring all of you to challenge their wisdom. What follows are our most controversial food opinions, and we hope you chime in with your agreement or dissent. In either case, we'll know in our hearts we're right.

Mayo belongs on hot dogs

There's one condiment in the backyard cookout canon that incites rage like no other: mayonnaise. While it's not something everyone immediately reaches for when topping their frankfurter, we firmly believe that mayo has its place on wieners. Ever try a Sonoran dog? Absolutely divine.

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Mixing ketchup and mayonnaise together to create a next-level french fry dipping sauce is already standard practice. So why shouldn't we apply the same concept to hot dogs? Why do people still kick and scream when presented with this rich, fatty, beautifully simple topping? Mayonnaise belongs on hot dogs. Full stop.

Pineapple on pizza is terrific

We get it. Some of you really, really, don't like pineapple on pizza. That's okay. You can stick to your boring, played-out pepperoni; we'll be over here enjoying our sweet and savory Hawaiian pies. We're here to say that pineapple does indeed belong on pizza, and this is a statement of fact, no matter how loudly you say it isn't. If you feel like these are fighting words, by all means, name another topping that balances sweet, tart, and juicy while melding perfectly with mozzarella and an herbed tomato sauce. Refusing to see the merit in pineapple on pizza is to willfully ignore what we know about the science behind great flavor combinations. Embrace Hawaiian pizza. Life's better on this side of the divide.

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In-N-Out’s fries are terrible

In-N-Out is a terrific fast food restaurant for many reasons, and high-quality ingredients are a huge part of its winning formula for a damn good fast food burger. Now that that's out of the way, we can state clearly that their fries just plain suck. They're limp, pale, hardly salted, don't have a lot of personality, and are barely redeemed when ordered Animal-Style, which adds a slice of American cheese, grilled onions, and In-N-Out's Thousand Island–style sauce. If that treatment can't save a spud, what can?

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Some defenders will tell you that ordering the fries at In-N-Out "well done" will improve them somewhat by getting them closer to a crispy golden brown. But customers shouldn't have to use a secret ordering system just to get acceptable french fries. They should come that way to begin with. In-N-Out, we love you, but these potatoes are unacceptable.

Culver’s is better than In-N-Out, no contest

Like we said, In-N-Out is good and everything—great, even—but in the Midwest, we have something even better: Culver's. This fast food chain isn't just known for its burgers, but also serves dishes like pot roast and fried cheese curds and a wide array of shakes and frozen custards. Somehow, the giant menu still feels curated, catering to a Midwestern sensibility, and care is lent to every order in a way that you'd expect more from a sit-down restaurant than a counter-style chain. The burger is a top-tier burger; the fish sandwich is a top-tier fish sandwich. In every category of its menu, Culver's is all hits, no misses. For these and for other reasons, Culver's is way better than In-N-Out in every way. Order yourself a ButterBurger (or CurderBurger) and tell us you feel any different.

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Sucking on candy is better than chewing on it

If you want to coax the most flavor from any piece of candy, you've got to suck on it rather than bite into it. That's all there is to it. Chewing decimates the candy too fast, preventing you from maximizing your enjoyment of Whoppers, Skittles, and everything in between. We know, it sounds gross—but sucking on all these things is the only way to properly savor them. Don't just tear right into an Andes Mint, you animal! Instead, let the cool, minty flavors permeate your whole mouth, the melty chocolate going silky on your tongue. After all, isn't flavor what you're here for? Read more of our candy-eating tips here. 

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Eggs and beer are a delicious combination

Ever hear of a beer flip? No? In that case, you need to try one immediately. A flip is a cocktail that includes some combination of beer, a spirit, and an egg; the latter gives the drink some body and richness that a cocktail doesn't typically include, and despite the fact that some of you are probably making a face right now, we'll stand by the fact that the resulting beverage is delicious. Eggs belong in more cocktails in general, but a beer flip is the one we stand for most firmly. Try it for yourself—here's the recipe so you can see how right we are.

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Watermelon burgers are spectacular

Despite what you may think, watermelon grills perfectly well—and it makes for a perfectly delicious and juicy burger, especially when paired with the bold complementary flavors of fennel gremolata and goat cheese. Let us say that again: watermelon burgers are real, and they're a damn miracle. You might think the whole thing is liable to fall apart once you slap it on a bun, but it's not; the char on the outside of the watermelon seals in juicy flavors and maintains structural integrity. But then again, we don't need you to believe us when we say this combination works. The recipe is empirical proof.

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You can wash your cast iron pan with soap and water

Listen, despite what people may say on the internet, you can indeed wash your cast iron pans with soap and water. The natural nonstick coating on your cast iron pan is polymerized oil (not just plain oil), and it's tough enough to withstand a mild amount of detergent. So go ahead and use soap and water for the real tough messes. As long as you're not too rough on it, the pan will be fine. We stand firmly in opposition to the kitchen scolds who tell you otherwise.

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Cow’s milk is awesome

With all the different types of alternative milks on the market now, it feels like dairy is being left in the dust. We at The Takeout think cow's milk is perfectly delicious, and the persistent trash talk is unwarranted. In fact, a lot of the public's current obsession with oatmilk, almondmilk, and other alternatives feels more informed by marketing campaigns than actual nutritional info.

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You've got to get the right kind of milk—you can't just buy mass-produced skim milk and expect it to taste identical to a carton of sugar-packed oatmilk. But the creaminess of the farm fresh full-fat stuff is unbeatable, and science hasn't yet come up with anything that remotely compares to it.

Sprinkles suck

Sprinkles, we are not afraid to say, are useless. No baked goods have ever been measurably enhanced by these little pops of color—and if it's color you're after, why not go with a multicolored icing, or mini M&M's, or some tidy Funfetti? When you add sprinkles to a dessert, you're stripping that treat of its on-the-go snacking potential and turning it into something altogether more precarious. It's a flavorless mess of a topping with a burdensome texture, and we suspect that the twee aesthetic of Baking Instagram has a lot to do with sprinkles' ubiquity. Besides, many sprinkles don't even qualify as edible from an FDA standpoint. They're simply not worth the trouble.

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Ditch the sprinkles. Your kitchen floor will thank you.

Frozen hash browns are better than homemade

A bag of store-bought, frozen, pre-shredded hash browns isn't just an acceptable substitute for hand-grated potatoes—it's preferable to them.

Preparing hash browns at home from scratch is a labor-intensive task that factories are already doing way better than we can. A series of machines grate, rinse, and dry the potatoes for us, and that last part, the drying, is key to achieving crispy hash browns on your stovetop. If your hand-grated spuds are even a little bit damp, you can say goodbye to diner-quality results, and chances are, that golden-brown crunch is the whole reason you chose to undertake the project in the first place. Don't create unnecessary work for yourself. Use what the freezer aisle offers you.

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Nuts belong in cookies

Unless you're allergic to them, we think nuts belong in cookies. There are plenty of people who think the act of folding nuts into cookie dough is practically treasonous. We, however, think they fill the gap in bites where you'd ordinarily munch right into a bunch of blank dough, in between chocolate chips or raisins, and they provide texture and richness. While we're at it, we'll also advocate for nuts in brownies, chocolate bars, salads, ice cream, and just about any other application you can think of. Nuts are versatile, and right at home in any classic drop cookie.

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Popcorn salad is fine and you all need to calm down

A while back, the internet decided to have a complete and total meltdown/dunk-fest when it encountered Food Network star Molly Yeh's recipe for popcorn salad. Featured on an episode of Girl Meets Farm, the recipe in question included shredded carrots, snap peas, popcorn, shallots, and a dressing of mayo, sour cream, vinegar, and dijon, among other ingredients. Commenters far and wide voiced their horror and disgust. But you know what Popcorn salad is fine! Get over it!

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First of all, corn, in all its forms, is used as a textural element in recipes all the damn time. Five-star chefs pull this trick out for all sorts of dishes and we don't question it. Most of the criticism of popcorn salad are related to potential sogginess, and yet we never lob those complaints at croutons in a caesar salad or tomato-soaked bread in a panzanella.

Maybe what people are really afraid of is expanding their definition of what a salad can be, and allowing something so quirky-casual to enter the modern recipe canon. If that's the case, well, enjoy your descent into a life of Twitter snark. 

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