Food delivery ordering mistakes

Delivery options have certainly evolved in the past few years. It used to be reserved for those nights you were craving pizza; now you can order everything from soup to a full roast dinner.

But there are still delivery staples, Chinese food, Thai, and pretty much anything based around noodles. This is because these dishes are still delicious after being cooked, boxed and shuttled across town on the back of a bicycle. They are also easy to reheat, and a huge source of relief on those too-busy-to-cook nights.

Meal delivery can be a lifesaver on cold nights when you don’t want to venture outside, but that doesn’t mean it’s without its issues. Some foods just can’t withstand the plastic containers, temperature changes, and shake-ups during transit. So, here’s a list of foods you should avoid and what to opt for instead to ensure a tasty and satisfying meal.

Avoid poached or fried eggs
It’s likely you won’t get the optimal taste and texture of eggs if they’ve been ferried from the restaurant to your door after being cooked. So, if you can’t poach eggs and whip up a hollandaise at home, put the picture-perfect eggs benedict out of your mind until you can safely sit at your favourite cafe again. Unless you’re happy to risk having to scrape the yolk off the top of the container when it gets to you.

Opt for an omelette
If you’re really craving a tasty egg brunch, an omelette or breakfast sandwich is probably the safer way to go. They’re both made to stay together so there’s a lesser chance of essential components sliding off and you having to put it back together to create a franken-brunch.

Avoid soggy salads
It’s tough to create a perfectly crafted salad, and the perils of delivery will often take away its best features. The way the dressing is tossed so it perfectly coats each ingredient will leave it soggy upon arrival, and you can’t quite replicate that at home even if you opt for dressing on the side. In the time it takes to reach your door, the warm ingredients will likely have cooled, and the crisp, cold ingredients warmed, add in a bit of condensation and you don’t have a recipe for success.

Try a Thai salad
The good news is, some salads can withstand delivery and be in tip-top shape when they arrive at your door. Thai salads make the perfect delivery candidate as they forgo crisp greens in favour of julienned vegetables like cabbage, carrots and kale. Som tum is a fresh papaya salad with dried shrimp, chillies, fish sauce, peanuts, and sugar that is left to marinate in the ingredients’ juices to enhance flavour, so it’ll only get better with time in a delivery carton.

Larb is another great Thai option that’s a little heartier than a typical salad. It consists of minced meats, fresh herbs, lime, chilli, and dry roasted rice. It can be served hot or at room temperature, making it a great choice for delivery.

Avoid nachos
With their tortilla chip base, nachos and hard-shell tacos can arrive looking sad and soggy. The chips are already under a mountain of pressure from the weight of the cheese, guacamole, sour cream and other accoutrements, one turn taken too quickly can send the whole thing crashing down.

Choose a chilli
Chilli is typically hearty and warming and travels well in a container. And if you really fancy nachos, you can always open a bag of chips and use them to spoon the chilli into your mouth.

Avoid shoestring fries
Our favourite potato-based side dish is just never as good delivered as it is fresh from the fryer in a restaurant. The steam that collects in the container often make fries limp on arrival and, unless you have a deep fat fryer at home, no type of reheating can revitalise them.

Pick potatoes
If you’re still after a starchy side dish, try potato, or sweet potato, wedges. They’re not supposed to be as crisp and crunchy as the humble French fry so they can withstand a bit of extra time before they get to your plate. Other potato dishes like roasted, boiled or baked could be a good choice too, and easier to reheat if needed.

Avoid cold sandwiches
The idea is simple, but unfortunately, there’s a lot that can go wrong with a sandwich. Tomatoes or pickles could turn the whole thing into a soggy mess. A bump in the road taken too fast could cause the filling to slide out. Once crisp and crunchy lettuce might be limp by the time it gets to you. The bread could be squashed by a poorly placed bottle of pop. The list goes on and, honestly, you can probably make a pretty good version of it yourself anyway.

Have a hot sandwich
If you’re really in the mood for a sandwich, a hot one is a better choice. A hot sandwich that’s had time to cool down in a bag is easy to pop in a warm pan on a low heat and you’ll have a tasty sandwich with a crunchy exterior in just a few minutes.

Food delivery options are typically associated with greasy, fatty foods like burgers, pizza and fried foods but there’s so much more out there now. Many restaurants offering delivery have great vegetarian options and meals for the health conscious, too.

Do you enjoy a takeaway every now and then? What was the last meal you had delivered?

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Written by Ellie Baxter

Writer and editor with interests in travel, health, wellbeing and food. Has knowledge of marketing psychology, social media management and is a keen observer and commentator on issues facing older Australians.

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