What's a food that was ruined in your childhood?
Yes, time to blame the upbringing for why I, an adult, spat out your coleslaw
My father and my brother - and now I suspect Max Ruse as well - both tell a story of how they once sneezed into their respective bowls of porridge, and ever since, have been unable to eat, smell, behold, or otherwise accept that other people nearby may enjoy it. It’s rather needy actually - and I’ll confess I’m sceptical. I think what happened, way back at a table in the 1970s, is my dad didn’t want to eat up all his breakfast, and thought he could get out of it by sneezing into it. And then my brother had the same blighted idea.
Anyway it’s allegedly been ruined ever since for them, and it meant the brown sugar never ran low at home, so I don’t even know why I’m complaining. Besides, we all have scarring moments, self-perpetrated or otherwise, at the dining table. We all have foods that transport us back to our lowest, crying at 9pm with asparagus between our teeth, swearing that we would die at our seat. And we never carried through with that, damnit.
I like to think that I’m good at putting childhood food trauma behind me, and a campaign of self-improvement has seen me start to love one-time food foes, like olives, relish, and mushrooms, on a good day- but I’ll be honest, there’s still 4 foods that when confronted with, I feel an ancient horror rise.
1 - KRAFT EASY MAC
Hermes Rivera on Unsplash
Without going into the vivid details, just how ill-fated the poor chap’s dash to the toilet was - I saw three helpings of it all over the bathroom. The smell, gah damnit. That vile, cheesy smell of death and sickness. Well, not death.
2 - CHICKPEAS
I’ve written about this elsewhere, but in short, the adult fear and loathing can be traced all the way back to a flawed decision by my mother dearest to substitute chickpeas into every dish, and then deceive her lovely children with hummus-based pizza, chickpea meatballs, and mashed potato that was actually a wad, a cannonball-rolling-about-in-the-gut wad, of chickpea.
3 - CHEESE TOASTIES
I know, right? It started off well - but for some reason it became the default lunch for about 2 weeks, and during that period, I grew to hate the smell of the grill; the cheese tasted too thick, the bread too stale, and to this day I’d rather miss lunch than have toast with melted cheese.
4 - MUFFINS
My mum had a stunning recipe for chocolate chip muffins with jam in the middle, that would keep the whole muffin moist and be a stream of raspberry lava you’d eat your way towards. It was all happy, until my eldest sister- who said she was for the team - found a one-bowl, 5-minute Never Fail Muffins recipe. Cue an era of dry, sawdusty muffins, which led to an era of zucchini muffins with visible zucchini, and these days I’ll only eat a muffin if it’s from Maccas and it tastes moist and fake.
Right, your turn.