Food, like music and art, is so subjective. I don't believe there is any such thing as a bad meal - unless it makes you actually physically ill. Just things that are not to any one individual's taste.
My thoughts exactly. I mean, I consider my mother a good cook who consistently makes delicious meals but if she were to put it in front of a professional food critic they’d probably find fault with it.
I'm not sure I fully understand the premise here. Anyone making a subjective assessment of a thing is, by definition, criticizing that thing--and therefore a critic. But even assuming we're talking about profession critics... does anyone really lend much credence to that sort of thing? Like, it's not like there's a RottenTomatoes equivalent for food out there that tries to ascertain a general consensus on the quality, or at least favorability of meals.
Also, whether a meal is good or bad is highly subjective to the eater to begin with. I have family in the American Midwest: if objectively bad food exists anywhere on this Earth, that's where you'll find it. Undercooked, unseasoned, mixed with various ingredients I dare not even name....
But, like, anyway: just to hone in on the two adjectives mentioned in the opening post... those are not necessarily negative attributes. Bland food can be optimal for overly sensitive palettes; mushy food can be very beneficial for those with weak teeth, or even folks like me who are on medication that can make swallowing difficult. Whether these things are good or bad are entirely dependent on both individual preference and individual circumstance.
All that matters is that you enjoy the meal you're eating; or, perhaps, additionally, that the meal you serve is enjoyed by those you share it with.
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