Just like our current government, you either love it or you hate it – there is very little room for those in middle ground. Foods can be like this as well – you either like them or you hate them – they are “Polarizing.”
Two of them that come to mind are White Castle and Spam.
White Castle burgers are consumed by the bag load, and to the hungry, they are either Manna from Heaven or the worst possible stuff you could let pass your lips.
Being in Arizona and forced to live via frozen (microwaveable) White Castle Cheeseburgers, I view them as the food of the gods, only available where I am not. The combination of unique taste, portable size, and steamed onions gets me right where I live.
Another polarizing favorite of mine is Spam. Here’s the uber-processed and canned pork shoulder and ham meat (it’s NOT posing as meat – it IS meat; TOFU is posing as meat) that came to prominence feeding our men overseas during World War 2. My folks wouldn’t serve Spam at home; they felt it was “beneath them,” kind of like Kraft Mac & Cheese (my mom would only make macaroni and cheese from scratch which was tons better, but still). I discovered Spam in the Boy Scouts on an early camping trip with Dave and Dan, brothers with whom I was in Troop 4 back in Floral Park. Sunday morning breakfast was ham and cheese omelettes, and they broke out the Spam. It was delicious. Doesn’t need refrigeration. Keeps well in backpacks. Makes for an excellent comedic stage play.
Ever since, I’ve been a fan of Spam. Others are not so enthused. It has such widespread negative connotations that it is now in the current lexicon meaning “annoying e-mail that has no bearing on my life except for making me wear out my ‘delete’ key.”