General: Food Humor, Things We Hate »
…how bad are these things? I’ll put it to you this way: I cooked it over a week ago, and the pungent stench that it left behind in my kitchen still lingers in the folds of my memory, and haunts my sleep in the night.
At first, I was quite excited by the premise of the Hormel Compleat. “Wow,” I thought. “A 90 second meal that is low in calories… AND has a clever name!” Ah, I was so young and naive then. My excitement started dwindling as soon as I started struggling with the packaging. The actual plastic food bowl is encased in a thick cardboard that is really hard to remove. And after giving the product a second look, I couldn’t help but wonder just how many preservatives it takes for a meat product to NOT REQUIRE REFRIGERATION (the shelf life of a Hormel Compleat seems to be around 8-10 months).
The directions on the package told me to poke a hole in the plastic film, and I complied. Honestly, I hardly got the knife out of the container before THE STENCH started filling the air. I had no idea such a putrid, rotten, intense smell could emit from such a tiny hole.
I took a deep breath, and proceeded. Hormel is insistant the meal will be “complete” in 90 seconds – however, that must only be true if you’re on the core of the sun. I had to cook mine for 3+ minutes. And here’s where it got really scary – I removed the film entirely, revealing a murky, grainy pool of gravy and a portion of mashed potatoes that literally looked like the brain of an unidentified farm animal. The potatoes were dry and thick and the overall presentation was like “an english muffin sitting on top of a brown cesspool.” Even worse, once you try to stir the potatoes into the gravy, you can kiss ‘em goodbye. They dissolve into the gravy and cause the mixture to ooze over the bowl sides.
AND THE SMELL! To think I thought it was bad when I had only poked a small hole in it! Let me tell you a story: with the entire film removed, it smelled like my kitchen was suddenly transformed into a factory that produced Purina Wet Dog Chow. It reeked of dog food, mixed with the stench of a bloated trash bag in a dumpster on a hot summer day. Unfortunately, I’m not exaggerating.
The meat bits are cut and processed into cubes (I counted a whopping 3). Hormel also threw in a few bonus pieces of slimy mushrooms that were so thin, I could see light pass through them.
So how did it taste? Don’t ask. I took two bites and was unable to continue. I couldn’t swallow it without gagging. Your mileage may vary. I thought I detected hints of teriyaki and curry powder. What’s actually in it? I have no clue. Hormel only lists “flavoring and spices” in the ingredients. Hmmm. Your guess is as good as mine.
Bottom line: I would not eat this if it was the only thing I could eat all day. The smell is worse than dog food and garbage, and it looks as aesthetically pleasing as a plate of fresh brains. Do people really eat this and enjoy it? Wait – was I just punked?
Please enjoy the following bonus video – it contains ACTUAL FOOTAGE of our experience with the Hormel Compleat as described in this review.
Other posts on Food Network Humor:---THINGS WE HATE: Barefoot Contessa’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix
---Famous Foodies By The Smell (Part 2)
---Why I Hate Rachael Ray
---Hungry? The Neelys’ Smashed Potato Salad Really Satisfies!
---THINGS WE HATE: Paula Deen’s Nuts