While driving home from Market Basket today, Marc and I discussed the irony of how we LOVE certain foods that most definitely sounded gross as children — like pot roast, broccoli, Brussels Sprouts. I think a lot of people, specifically people whose food tastes are varied and mostly all-encompassing, often have this conversation. Somehow, we started talking about things that we ate as children that we certainly would not touch with a ten-foot pole as adults. As it turns out, I have more childhood foods that I wouldn’t eat than Marc does, so I decided to share them with my generous Internet audience, in hopes that you might be able to tell me some of the things that you loved as a child that totally gross you out now.
Here’s my top four, in a very definite and specific order (I have thought a lot about this):
1. Spaghetti-O’s with Meatballs or any other canned pasta product by Chef Boyardee or Franco American: I cannot even begin to fathom the grossness of the orange-red Spaghetti-O sauce, not to mention the gelatinous “noodles” (in multiple fun sizes and shapes…) and the diiiiiiisgusting fake meatballs that floated in the nasty sauce. We had Spaghetti-O’s, most often at my Aunty Cece’s house and I’m sure at home every now and again. I definitely remember running the noodles through the gaps in my baby teeth (yes, please tell me that this is totally grossing you out as much as it’s grossing me out!!!), and thinking that Spaghetti-O’s were the cat’s meow, but now, the thought of it absolutely makes me want to barf. When I was selecting the picture to the left, the spongy consistency of the meatballs came back to me immediately, as did the shininess (and sweetness) of the sauce. No way, no way, no way. You could not pay me to eat Spaghetti-Os, Beefaroni, filled Ravioli or any other iteration of canned pasta product. Sick. The thought of it sliding out of the can is enough to send me into a fit of revulsion.
2. Kraft Macaroni Cheese: I’m pretty sure that Kraft Macaroni and Cheese might be excellent hangover food for some, but reconstituted toxic orange “cheese” is not my thing. Even worse is the microwave version, Easy Mac. (We DO have Easy Mac in our house, but that is because Marc is actually a big fan.) Now, I’m not THAT much of a snob that I will only eat homemade Mac and Cheese (though I do love it). I definitely enjoy the gooey, saucier Velveeta Shells and Cheese, or Annie’s Shells and Cheese, but classic Kraft in the blue box is not for me.
3. Canned Campbell’s Soup, specifically Chicken Noodle and/or Chicken and Stars: If you read my other blog, you will know that I am absolutely a soup fan. I could eat soup every day of the week and in the winter, I have been known to make a new soup each week and eat from it almost daily. I, however, do not do any soup from a can. I WILL, every once in a while, indulge in some Mrs. Grass’ soup (like my Granny would make in a pinch) but any sort of soup in a can just will not do. Probably the greatest offender in my book is the Campbell’s Chicken Noodle or Chicken and Stars soup. The noodles are gummy, and the little chicken bits that float in the (really greasy) broth are …. ugh. Sick. As a child, I am sure I LOVED this soup, because I have ALWAYS been a soup fan, but I do remember shunning the canned soup at a relatively young age, saying to my Mom at maybe 12 or 13 that “condensed soups [were] DISGUSTING”. Lucky for me, I come from a long line of soup makers and so I was given the tools early, to make phenomenal homemade soups of ALL kids.
4. Lunchables: Marc and I had a long discussion about Lunchables, when I was making this list. For all intents and purposes, I have no idea how I EVER got to partake in the Lunchable craze. I come from a family where money was always pretty tight, and so the idea of these relatively expensive pre-packaged cheese and meat slices was almost always out of the question. My mom would sometimes make us “homemade” Lunchables, with little cuts of deli meat and American cheese, but anyone who has ever tasted, craved or desired a Lunchable knows that the homemade stuff just doesn’t pass muster — plus, there was always that added fear that your peers would make fun of you for your homemade Lunchable, while chowing down on their very processed and salty meats.
Every now and again, as a special treat and purchased with a coupon, the Kocinski-Mulder kids were allowed to pick out a Lunchable. Let me tell you….those were SERIOUSLY red-letter days. We each had our favorite (I remember being pretty partial to the Ham and Swiss myself, while my sister was a big Bologna and American fan). It felt so special to crack the little container open, and to place the (somewhat warm–especially after having been in the elementary school coat room!) cheese on top of the wet, veiny, grade-D meat, and top it all off with a buttercrisp cracker. I remember feeling SO special, and SO en vogue with my lunch, especially while other people around me were just eating their plain old sandwiches.
Would I eat a Lunchable now? HELLS no. I would not even touch that nonsense with a ten-foot pole. You could not pay me to eat the wet meat. Ew.
What about you? What are foods you enjoyed as a child — for whatever reason — but could not imagine partaking in now?