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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

13w ago

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.


Hermes Rivera on Unsplash

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.


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.


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.


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.

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Comments (58)

  • I used to hate beets because of a silly accident 😅. I was fooling around with my sister in the kitchen and she made me laugh while I was drinking water. I tried to hold the water in mouth to avoid making a mess but the water came out of my nose 👃💦. It was horrible and the very first thing I smell after that leaking event was the beets my mother prepared for dinner. I couldn't eat beets after the leak 😂😅.

      3 months ago
  • I suspect you are right. Us young drama kings (i.e. your father, brother and I) and our abhorrence of porridge/oatmeal to a degree is self imposed this far along from childhood. However, my hatred of tofu, coconut milk, and eggplant are validly hated. Admittedly I’ve not even really had eggplant that often but it’s just an awful looking, purple squidwards nose that has no business gracing my plate with its presence whatsoever

      3 months ago
    • Yes, eggplant is vile. My mum first served it up saying it was just like zucchini, which is a way to make a child gag more than he was already going to.

        3 months ago
    • That’s like a double dose of gagging

        3 months ago
  • Sauerkraut! My grandmother wasn't that awesome of a cook, made horrible sauerkraut, and I was told I wasn't allowed up from the table until I finished my plate. I won that one, and I was eventually sent to bed.

    And I haven't been able to eat sauerkraut since then!

      3 months ago
  • Umm I don't have anything. 🤔

      3 months ago
  • Tomatoes in any form and no one knows why my Mum thinks I may have eaten a bad one in a dark restaurant when I was about 3 as up until then Toms and I had no problems. As a parent I do suck it up and eat them, and I will put tinned tomatoes in sauces and ketchup on burgers etc but the horror remains and a small twitch occurs when I see an uninvited tomato on my plate.......

      3 months ago