Controversial Foods – A Debate


Writers Gloria and Johan drinking orange juice and apple juice, respectively.

Cinnamon Raisin Bagels

Love: Johan 

Although cinnamon raisin bagels are a strange combination, they are an enjoyable and pleasing food when made correctly. The subtle taste of the bagel makes it sort of an acquired taste. The usage of cinnamon gives it that hit, but in a reasonable way that isn’t overpowering. It gets you that nice slight explosion of flavor your taste buds require on a cold morning. Cinnamon also gives it that holiday-like feeling, especially when it is accompanied by some sort of warm drink like  coffee or hot chocolate. This allows the bagel to be enjoyed best during the winter months. With cinnamon being often associated with the winter and its festivities, it gives many a comforting feeling, similar to the smell of pines during the winter months.

The sweetness of the bagel comes from the raisins, which are already furiously debated by many due to their high sugar content and weird texture. I would argue that this is what makes raisins such a good pairing with the cinnamon bagel itself. By incorporating it within the bagel, that sweetness and hint of cinnamon make the bagel a strange combination at first, but a tasty experience. The two flavors complement each other without overpowering one another. The sugary flavor introduced by the raisins make the eating experience better. Bagels already leave you wanting more, just like sweet foods, but the distribution of the raisins and the hint of cinnamon gives a satisfying conclusion, leaving you with no craving for more. 

Raisin bagels, when compared to others, do feel more like a treat than a breakfast item, but that’s what makes them that much more special. It’s not a food you constantly crave, but when you do, it fills that space. If people can eat donuts in the morning, which are arguably worse for you and intended to be more of a dessert, why shouldn’t we enjoy a warm and fulfilling bagel that not only satisfies our sweet tooth, but also gives us that sugar boost and fiber we need in the morning? 

Hate: Gloria 

In the grand scheme of food, cinnamon raisin bagels are fine. However, compared to an everything bagel, a poppy seed bagel, or even a plain bagel, they just can’t compete. The raisins in the bagel are the main complaint. When asked why they don’t like cinnamon raisin bagels, 11th grader Elise Edmonds said, “raisins ruin [the bagel] because bagels are not meant to be sweet.” Bagels are a savory food and are not meant to contain overly sweet elements like raisins. Bagels are quintessentially enjoyed with smoked salmon which could never be eaten with something with the sweetness or texture of a raisin. Additionally, the moistness of the raisins often make the bagel almost soggy and completely ruins their texture. 

Junior Alyssa Hazen agrees, calling herself “anti-raisin.” The sickly sweetness created by the raisins is bad enough on its own, but it also makes the bagel incompatible with the most common bagel spread: cream cheese. The only way to eat cinnamon raisin bagels, if one must have one, is without anything on it – except maybe plain butter – which makes the bagel inflexible and uninteresting. 

The cinnamon, being this bagel’s only redeeming factor, is often used much too sparingly. If the taste of the cinnamon is detectable at all, it is very faint and therefore unable to balance out the pungent flavor of the raisins. Sophomore Julia Godwin said, “[the cinnamon raisin bagel] needs to have a lot of cinnamon,” which is usually not the case. 

Overall, cinnamon raisin bagels aren’t completely inedible, but they fall miles short of the standards set by other varieties of bagel. 

Blue Cheese

Love: Gloria 

Blue cheese is, like many strongly flavored foods, underappreciated because it can only be enjoyed in small quantities. Much like garlic or onion, having a huge chunk of blue cheese is very unpleasant for most people. “It’s really good in small amounts,” said junior Mia Kitaeff.  It is powerfully flavored, so much so that any attempt to balance it out would produce a suffocating or overwhelming effect. However, blue cheese can shine when paired with a more neutral flavor, such as a plain cracker or simple salad, adding an interesting punch to the dish.

Hate: Johan 

Blue cheese is bad, and it’s time for us to recognize it. The idea of literally letting mold eat away at cheese and turning it into a more salty and worse-looking piece of cuisine is, and should be, unappetizing to everyone. Most people have seen mold grow on food at least once, whether it be bread or something else. It is not a very pleasing sight, which is why most people throw it out. Blue cheese, however, quite literally gets its color and name from the mold on it. Blue cheese was only discovered because someone accidentally left cheese and bread to rot in a cave. Then weeks later, they came back and decided it was a good idea to take a bite. If the discovery of a food is based on someone letting their intrusive thoughts win and then deciding to recreate it for their pleasure later on, I would rather try any other TikTok recipe that was brought into existence via the same thought process.

What makes this even more appalling, is that the creation and taste aren’t even the worst part. The smell of the cheese is arguably even more unappealing. Its odor is overpowering and can easily upset someone’s stomach. The smell can only be described as stenchy, and unappetizing. Sophomore Sarah Latcholia, stated “the smell of blue cheese is very repulsive, and pushes away anyone who wants to try it for the first time. That’s why I don’t plan on ever trying it again.” Blue cheese is too strong and overpowering to complement food, even in its tiniest amounts. When adding such an overpowering taste in a small dose, you practically eliminate the taste of the food you pair it with. 

Moreover, there are better alternatives for the food it is often paired with, like wings, which can be paired with other dipping sauces that won’t overpower its taste, such as ranch or bbq sauce. Other foods that are arguably better when not accompanied by blue cheese, are fruits, nuts, chocolates and crackers. If you noticed, most of these are snacks that people often carry around to snack on. By adding blue cheese, you also take its smell and have to deal with its lingering stench. There are simply no redeeming qualities to blue cheese. It can easily be out-competed by other options that carry a less unappealing taste and smell.

Orange Juice v. Apple Juice

Orange Juice: Gloria 

Orange juice has a much more well-rounded, dynamic flavor while apple juice doesn’t have any other elements to cut into its bland sugariness. Oranges have a quality of “tangy excellence”, as stated by junior Hendrix Martinez, due to their citrus, which creates a component other than sweetness and balances the juice. The citrus has the added bonus of making the juice “much more refreshing,” said junior Nina Hauckkampbjorn. The slight sourness has a similar balancing effect and adds layers to the juice’s taste.

Additionally, orange juice has the option of including pulp which, for those who like it, is a big draw. Pulp creates texture as well as a flavor as well as indicates freshness. However, many prefer the juice without the pulp and it remains very easy to buy it without pulp or strain it to remove the pulp if it is fresh. 

Apple Juice: Johan 

There shouldn’t even be a debate over whether apple or orange juice is better. Apple juice is the better drink, while orange juice is only good based on the situation. Having orange juice alongside your breakfast in the morning is a great combination that gives it that fresh, fruity, tangy taste. However, how often do most people drink orange juice to accompany a meal other than breakfast? When have people gone out of their way to obtain fresh orange juice for one of their meals? 

The most common argument for orange juice is that when it’s fresh, it’s better. However, not many places sell fresh orange juice. It is simply not a drink that’s convenient to get. When someone is picking out what will accompany their food or refresh them, the majority will never go for orange juice. As Junior Amela Cucovic stated,” Orange Juice is more acidic, however Apple Juice is more sweet and versatile”, and when asked, “Would you go out of your way to get Orange Juice for a meal other than breakfast?”, her reply was no. As stated by orange juice supporters, such as Junior Michael Doyle, “Orange juice is at its best when it’s fresh.” On the contrary, apple juice doesn’t pretend to be a fresh drink. When you buy apple juice, you know what you are getting, a very sugary and sweet drink. You aren’t choosing apple juice because of the health benefits, or because it’s “freshly squeezed,” you are choosing it because it’s a sweet drink. With orange juice, you end up checking the company that produced it because they have differing flavors, even though they are the same drink. Meanwhile, most apple juice drinks are consistent in taste.

Apple juice is also a drink that reminds you of simpler times- a drink that most kids enjoy after their school lunch or Happy Meal- and who doesn’t love to be reminded of their childhood? Apple juice is that nostalgic drink for everyone. It’s the drink that both refreshes you and satisfies your sweet tooth. Orange juice is only correlated with your classic American Breakfast, (eggs, pancakes, bacon, etc), and even then it only stands out due to its tangy taste in a meal that is lackluster in flavors. 

Lastly, with orange juice, you have to deal with pulp, which makes the drink much more inconvenient. The idea of chunks of fruit in my juice is strange and can sometimes ruin it. You’re getting it because you want something to wash down your food. If you want chunks of the ingredients, you would get something more like a smoothie. Pulp is a strange and unique issue with orange juice that splits its advocates. While on the other hand, apple juice deals with none of these issues because It is just a simple sweet drink