Are there any foods you hated as a child - but grew to love?
- NellyNel Mar 17, 2009 11:08 AM
Or Vice -versa - something you used to love but absolutely hate now?
It has been on my mind lately because I have recently fallen head over heels for Ikura sushi.
When I was about 19, I became introduced to sushi when I jot a job at the first sushi place in Brooklyn. I was really adventurous and immediately fell in love with the cuisine. I loved all of it.
All of it - that is - except for ikura . Ughh I hated it
- Slimy big balls of goo!
I can remember my order was always a "sushi deluxe - NO IKURA please!"
I'm 42 now......last year I was eating at a South American place and I had these corn cakes that were sprinked with salmon roe . (yes - ikura)...I'm still adventurous so I started picking at them.......hmmm pretty pleasing.....yeah!
Now I am addicted.
I can't believe I let all those years go by without having salmon roe in my life!
At least I can make up for lost time!!
Any foods like that for you?
Pretty much the worst punishment my mother could give me growing up was to make me eat asparagus. I was mostly ok about vegetables, but asparagus were just little satan spears.
It wasn't until about 6 years ago that I was out in a formal dining setting and alongside my main course were the hated green sticks. A glass of wine or two helped me feel a bit more adventurous, so I bit in. And Loved it. Now I put asparagus in practically everything.
In the reverse, I have no idea how I ever ate kraft macaroni and cheese. It was the biggest treat in the world to get that growing up. Now you'd have to bribe me to take a bite...
Hated steak as a child. Mostly, because my sister did and because meat was always well done in our house. I was staying with a friend when my parents were out of town and they gave me the option of steak or liver. To their utter shock, I chose liver (which I loved then and still love).
As a kid, I thought i hated asparagus (the white kind, of course, the REAL deal), because my grandma didn't peel it enough -- having lived through two wars, I guess she was averse to wasting food --, and it made it almost impossible to eat. I nearly choked every time I tried.
Peeled right, served with smoked raw ham, new potatoes, and drawn butter, it is pure heaven. I relish the two months that it is in season in Germany.
I also hated oysters & olives -- love oysters now, and olives are ok, though I don't go apeshit over them.
I probably eat less sweet things than I did as a kid -- marzipan was a fave, and toffifay, the latter of which you couldn't pay me to eat now.
Tomatoes hands down. I have many memories of being made to sit at the dining table until both my brother and I ate our sliced tomatoes. One very vivid memory had us sitting at the table well into the night for hours because we flat out refused to eat the slimy watery vegetable.
Flash forward to today, I love tomatoes...whether they are sun dried, roasted, mixed in a pasta, and yes...even raw. There are days where all I eat for dinner are sliced tomatoes with a hint of olive oil and balsamic vinegar and a nice scoop of cottage cheese.
Now I look forward to summer not because of no school (which I wish I had summer vacation at work LOL) but because of the summer fresh home grown tomatoes.
Third on the tomatoes. I used to have the dry heaves just from having the wedges placed in front of me. Now, I can't wait for the first sign of the summer crops.
Speaking of having the dry heaves, papaya and mango used to be on that list as well. As a kid, I used to frequently visit my relatives in Hawaii. One had a mango tree, and everybody had papayas growing in their yards. Usually served at breakfast, I'd hold my nose and swallow huge spoonfuls as fast as I could. Mangos tasted like turpentine to me - I refused to eat them. Now, mangos are like fruits from heaven, and I relish papayas - particularly the pink-fleshed ones, but they are getting harder to come by due to some blight that attacks that particular variety.
Funny... I grew up overseas in Indonesia and we used to have all the papaya and mangos we could get our grubby hands on. The memories of squeezing lime over freshly cut slices of papaya makes me hungry....which is rather odd because now I can't stand eating either of them. I don't know whether it's the texture or the fact that the smell of both make me gag. Truly odd.
Papayas have that enzyme that breaks down protein, papain - I think that is what contributes to the scent component that made me gag. It reminded me of vomit - something that I was an expert at when I was a baby, according to my mom. The only reason I'd eat the papayas at my relatives' homes was because it was usually my favorite aunt who served them up - didn't want to hurt her feelings and tell her her papayas tasted like vomit!
And as I mentioned earlier, that turpentine smell from many varieties of mango just flat out made me refuse eating those. If you eat them when they're at or before their prime, the turpentine smell is far less noticeable. Also, the "Manila" variety of mangos (sometimes called "Honey") have almost no turpentine component at all, even when beyond their peak.
Mangos didn't click with me at all - I think part of it was the fact that I used to be around pine trees a lot when I was a kid. The smell from the sap left me with headaches after a while. When I look back at my childhood, I can't believe how many things would cause headaches for me. Now, it's just my kids. :)
Brocolli Rabe. My mom somehow got the idea that boiling to the point of being overcooked, then tossing them in olive oil and garlic would make them "easier to digest". They were mushy and bitter, and not at all appetizing.
I was amazed when, as a college student, I watched a friend wash them and toss them into a deep saute pan with garlic, olive oil, and crushed red pepper just long enough to wilt them. With a little salt, they are now one of my favorites.
When I was a child I refused to eat hamburgers. I think my disgust stemmed from my hatred towards ketchup (which I still cannot eat by itself), but after having a bulgogi burger from a fast food chain in Korea, I opened myself up to all kinds of burgers and now I live in a happier and more delicious world.
On the other hand, I remember as a kid I used to LOVE bbun dae gee, which were canned silkworm larvae. I would open up the little tin can, pour the little bugs into a bowl with all the juice, and microwave for a minute or so and munch happily. I recently picked up a few cans at a korean market the other day and the moment I emptied the can into the bowl, I knew I wouldn't even try.
But overall, with the exception of some truly wonderful food moments in my childhood, I was a kid who would throw away her lunch to have a few more minutes of playtime at school, whereas today, I am a chowhound.
Things I used to dislike, but now I love (or like):
Camembert and brie with the rind on- I used to cut the rind off and just eat the middle- now I feel like something's missing if the rind isn't there.
Things I used to love:
Pancakes. They don't do anything for me now.
I used to think bleu cheese was disgusting...I totally love it now. Ironically, I cannot eat *all* bleu cheese due to an allergy. So I really wish I still hated it, but it's soooooooooo tasty.
I didn't like stuffed mushrooms when I was little, but my mom always made me try a little of everything. Then as I got older and my tastes started to turn, she's say, "Well, don't like it TOO much!" ;)
Up until about 9 years ago, I didn't want to know word one about sushi. I would only eat veggie sushi. Then one day I tried raw tuna...nothing like nasty, cat-food smelling Bumble Bee in a can. Now sushi is one of my favorite things to eat--and I've even eaten octopus head! But please keep the eel away from me. I don't want to make friends with eel EVER.
I hated pancakes as a kid until I figured out you didn't have to eat syrup on them. Once I discovered butter and brown sugar on them I loved them - still do.
Even into my 30's I thought blue cheese was disgusting, but then I went to a restaurant that served blue cheese au gratin potatoes. I fell in love with the flavor and now eat it just about every way possible. Love it on a baked potato with nothing else.
I would be very surprised if any chowhound DIDN'T have a food that they hated as a child and liked now.
There are many for me:
Whole wheat products
i was a very odd child i can honestly say there is nothing i didn't like as i child that i love now i know i'm so annoying! but stems from the fact i travelled a lot and didn't think any food was weird because all the children in whatever culture i was surounded by happilly ate what would be considered weird by some western children (most probably)
I liked fruit punch as a kid, but absolutely adore milk tea and coffee now
And practically all savory tasting Asian food.
Well I don't know about that - Krackel would be my second choice!
Then hesitantly - I'd go for the Reg. Hershey's bar...but never .....no matter how desperate - would I have gone for the dark.
No one in the house would...the scattered Darks would sit in the bottom of the bowl for weeks...gathering dust...loose change... etc!
I didn't really care for fish when I was a kid, now I love it. I developed a taste for it when in high school, but remember refusing to eat when we had it on Fridays when I was young. Oysters were kind of the same way, I liked the juice, but the oyster itself I didn't acre for, I have definitely acquired that taste for them though.
Liver was another one that I couldn't stand, now I love it.
Some other posters are mentioning a lot of other food items that I was never exposed to as a child (ethnic food, I don't think I tried chinese food until high school, didn't try sushi until my late 20's)
But I used to love ( and still do) pigs feet, tongue, pig tails.
Something I used to love but hate now: potted meat and vienna sausages
All seafood except fried fish (fish and chips only, probably more because of the chips than the fish). Chinese food (in its Canadian and US iterations). Then I went to live in Taipei for a couple of years and fell in love with pretty much the whole spectrum of seafood and all types of real Chinese food. This time abroad really taught me to eat. Have only within the past 5 years or so become very fond of lobster and scallops, and am trying to make up for lost time!
Vegetables that had a sweet note took years to grow on me.cooked carrot,squash,sweet potato,peas etc.I would eat tiny amounts reluctantly; pre-teen years.Gradually ate more and more out and about and the taste texture thing faded away.I still won't eat any if over sweetened in any way.A discreet maple or balsamic glaze is mostly OK,marshmellows and brown sugar are not.
All cheese,offal,fish and shellfish however was love at first bite even as a child
the two things I thought of immediately were mushrooms and tomatoes. In any form.
I would cry if there were even specks of mushrooms, Cry and gag and make a scene.
my poor father, its a wonder he didn't kilt me.
Cheese and all things creamy textured including mayo and all cream-based sauces and even boston creme pie. I was severely lactose intolerant as a child and developed an aversion to all things remotely creamy - save chocolate ice cream which was an exception in my book but not my insides. I only ate boxed cheese product - it didn't have the creamy mouthfeel or taste of cheese. Somehow I went from no creamy anything to a cheese tasting last weekend. I still don't like asiago cheeses but I do like parm-reg and provolone. I have a key lime pie in the fridge leftover from Pi Day.
Believe it or not: mozzarella. As a kid, the only way I would touch it was cooked on pizza. I absolutely hated the fresh stuff (I realize now that, at the time, I didn't even really know what it tasted like). I think it was a textural thing. Then, at some point during my teens, I decided to give it a shot. Now I can't get enough of it.
As a child, I would only eat pasta (we only had spaghetti back then) with butter and salt - NO sauce!
And I hated pizza.
It wasn't until I got to college that I started eating pasta with sauce and learned to love pizza. Now, it's a once a week thing for one or the other.
And.i never liked lamb (too fatty for me) until we moved to the UK. The lean Welsh lamb turned me.
When I was a little kid, I couldn't stand honey. Used to complain to my mother that I could taste the bees' buzz in it. Don't know if it was related to being stung by a bee at a very young age. Love it now. I use it undiluted on my baklava instead of rose or orange flower syrup.
Also couldn't handle fresh bell peppers. Just inhaling their aroma caused my throat to close. Love them now.
Raw onions. As a preschooler, I told a lot of lies determined to figure out how to tell a lie like adults did... People BELIEVED their lies, but no one believed mine! So to "cure" me from lyng, my mother forced me to eat half a raw onion. I think I was 35 before I could bite into a piece of raw onion that should not have been there without throwing up.
Liver! As a kid, I could not stand being in the house when my mother was cooking it. I used to fake bing sick -- stick the thermometer in hot tap water -- so I wouldn't have to eat on liver nights. As an adult, I get a craving every once in a while, but admittedly, I do NOT cook it at home! Have to go to a restaurant where I order liver and onions with fried potatoes.
The only other food I recall not liking as a kid was the mud hen a friend and I bagged in a miniature post-heavy rain "lake" while we were playing Peter and the Wolf with our Red Ryder bee bee guns. We insisted my mother roast the mud hen for us to share for our supper. Mud hens taste like whatever they have been eating, and that particular mud hen had not eaten anything good!
So, Caroline, you like the mudhen now???????????<G>
And I'm afraid you can add me to the adult camp that hasn't had liver since it was forced on me as a child, and I expect that the next time I have it, the pearly gates will be opening to greet me to that big pizza oven in the ........oops....where are we?
I used to do the same when my mom was cooking liver and onions. "Mom, I have a headache (I really did from the smell) - I think I have a fever (show warm water-soaked thermometer)." "Eat it anyway - it's good for you." This was worse than a death sentence for one night.
Liver to me was congealed mud, blood and poo. Now it's something I can eat if need be but still don't have much of a taste for it. I forced myself to eat it after having major surgery a few years back and recently after a couple of minor procedures - very high in iron of course. Chopped chicken liver is another story. I grew up around a lot of kids of different nationalities and religions. Chopped liver was party food for some of my Jewish friends' families (mostly Reform Jews). I didn't know what it was, and it kinda tasted weird, kinda tasted ehh, but weighted more toward the "kinda tasted good on a bready-thing" side.
spicy food in general
The common element? My mother didn't (and still doesn't) like any of these things. It wasn't until I went away to college that I discovered I do in fact like them all.
Also pretty much any vegetable except corn, peas and lettuce. That one I can't blame on my mother. But now I love all vegetables, including the ones that a lot of adults aren't crazy about, like beets, brussel sprouts, lima beans . . .
I was very unadventurous as a child, although I would go through phases where I would only want to eat white rice and tomatoes, or milanesas (argentinian veal escalopes) or cheesy pies. The things I couldn't stand (and now I love) were fish, chard, carrots, olives and olive oil and, believe it or not, pizza! I didn't like anything that looked remotely exotic so, basically, a bloody pain in the neck. When I was in college, I would have bags of Cheetos and sweets as my daily food intake...I cannot believe that I am that person as I couldn't be more averse to junk and processed food these days if I tried.
There is always hope...
I may have mentioned this before.
Tomatoes in any form, typically I threw fits over the pasta sauce because it harbored...
onions. and/or garlic. and also oregano- if I found one fleck I would lose my mind.
My pasta was portioned separately and topped with butter and grated parm. (hey I'm the baby, I wasn't spoiled my Mom was too tired to fight over it!)
Tuna could not contain anything, pickles were passable but anything else and it was over for me.
Any fish that may possibly harbor a bone.
Now that I think about it, that last item is one that I never really grew to LOVE, because I don't love having to reach in my mouth to pull out a tiny bone or worse- having to spit food out, but I will (and usually this means my meal is OVA....)
Here's a twist- I used to SLATHER mayo on everything- now, nooooooooooo.... I just don't care for it very much. That and insane amounts of sugar on my toast (with cinnamon as an afterthought)
I didn't like canned pineapple. Still don't. Used to like fruit cocktail though and now I wouldn't touch it. Used to love twinkies. Now, would't even taste them.
In grade school, they served an overcooked creamed spinach that I couldn't even look at. Nowadays, in a different form, sautéed in olive oil w/garlic, just wilted, w/ a squeeze of lemon, oh baby, I'm Popeye the Sailor, man.
Brussel Sprouts come to mind here..could not get near em now love em,, as well as any root veggie,,, my mother over cooked em now I oven roast or grill em Love it
I was a pretty fussy eater as a kid. Hamburger, hot dog, pizza, fried chicken were myb favorites. I'd eat fish, beef, lamb and veal, but begrudgingly. I was embarraassed by the
Russian foods mom cooked, because I wanted to be "American" and the anti-Russian ethos of the 50's. I enjoyed the game that I shot or caught, part of my Mountain Man escape from school fantasies. After the military, I began to search out food of other cultures and after a year in the old Ussr, I was hooked. Today I refuse to eat highly processed foods and avoid chain restaurants. I do all the cooking and grocery shopping in our family and am pleased with what good eaters our kids are.
I still eeally enjoy good burgers, dogs, "za" and fried chicken, though.
Anything with curry powder. Didn't like it when I was younger love it now.
The opposite. Cooked fish. I use to love cooked fish when I was younger, now I really only like it raw.
Oh, my. Do you have a couple of hours? I remember spending the night with a new friend in the 8th grade and coming home to report, "She's even pickier about what she'll eat than I am!" When I was about 19, I realized it made me look like an unsophisticated kid from a small town - which, of course, I was, but living in a big city, I wanted to be worldly....sophisticated....even blase. So I began eating Things.
Many, many years later, I was having Christmas Eve lunch at one of the banana-leaf curry houses in Singapore with my husband. Fish head curry and liver curry. Delicious. The waiter was taking apart the fish with a couple of serving spoons, just like it was a $50-an-entree house, and serving us. And there came the first thing I wouldn't eat after a period of decades. Whoa. FISH EYE. But hey - it's an androcentric culture, and they gave it to him, hahahahaha.
When i was a kid the only way my mother could get eggs down me was scrambled, with loads of ketchup on them. Today I adore eggs, and the only way I won't go near them is ---- with ketchup on them. Gross!
I also hated cooked carrots (actually raw as well) and beets. Now, as things often happen, carrots are my go-to veggie side dish, and I am expanding my beet repertoire.
This whole thread (great fun) goes to prove that profound philosophical thought: Never say never.
Zuccinni. We used to grow huge zuccinnis in the garden and my mom would quarter them legthwise and grill them. I HATED them as a child and went to great lengths to make sure that I got the absolute smallest quarter. Now, I love zuccinni and add it to everything. YUM.
Interesting about the ikura. I went the opposite way. As a child, I loved them. Then one day I decided that they tasted like blood and I couldn't eat them after that. I still am not a big fan, but I had ikura-zuke (I think that's what it's called) - fresh roe marinated in shoyu, sake, etc. It was outstanding. The normal bright red salt cured ones are just too salty for me.
Wow - Ikura-zuke sounds amazing!
But Ikura that I know is orange and not salty at all (although I did buy some in a jar once that were very salty...but they had a different taste to the...almost all salt) But fresh Ikura is just so incredibly delicate...maybe akq - you have only tried the jarred stuff?
There were lots of things that it turned out it wasn't that I didn't like them, it was that I didn't like them the way my family cooked/ate them...
pancakes with syrup (now love them with butter and brown sugar)
tomatoes with sugar (my grandmother still eats them that way) - love them now, but sure as heck not with sugar on them
grapefruit - also with sugar - no wonder there are so many diabetics in my family - I thought they were disgustingly bitter, but now I sprinkle just a little salt on them to bring out the natural sweetness and love them
steak - Tbone well done - I'll take a medium rare filet mignon thank you
There are probably many more, but those are the ones that come to mind immediately.
Asparagus - until age 11 I disliked it - then, post tonsillectomy, as soup first, then in any form, love!
Some things I hated as a child I still hate (honey, cooked root vegetables, margarine).
Other things I tolerate (white fish, bell peppers - which the smell of made me gag back then).
And some things I love (soft boiled eggs, golden syrup, maple syrup, olives, strong goat cheese).
As a child I did not like beets. The only way my mother could make them palatable was to make "Harvard Beets”. The creamy, gelatinous sauce made them sweet and sour and I loved them.
As an adult, I love beets – pickled, roasted, sauteed, any way you want – except Harvard Beets. Go figure...
Indian food - (although my mother would sprinkle "curry powder" into stuff and call it Indian Food - how WRONG is that? - yuck.)
Things I can't believe I liked at ALL:
Chef boy ar dee ANYTHING
Kraft Mac and cheese
lol - we used to make fried bologna and american cheese sammiches with ketchup. I just get the shivers thinking about that now.
Oddly enough though, when I was a kid, I used to LOVE sardines with onions and hot sauce, liverwurst, pate, anything really spicy, escargot, ALL fish and shellfish (except scallops always tasted really strong to me.) My parents would not let us "turn up our noses" at anything until we tried it. They were FIERCE about that rule.
My culinary tastes have almost done a one-eighty since I was a child. When I was young (up to age twenty) I was a really, really picky eater. I was finnicky about texture (the crunch of a piece of onion in a bite of otherwise soft food would ruin the meal for me) and didn't like raw vegetables, most other vegetables, fruit, most dairy products, etc. I liked my foods processed, thank you, and my parents, for the most part, obliged. Breakfasts were usually Pillsbury Mini-Pizzas, lunch was canned soup in a Thermos, dinner would be bland meat, overboiled vegetables and lots of starch.
The day after I finished university I moved from Canada to Spain and had to quickly adjust. However, I went to a restaurant called Organic and, for some reason, the salad there converted me. After that lunch I couldn't get enough salad. A home-cooked meal of rabbit stew also converted me to vegetarianism. A move a few months later to Torino (Italy) further adapted my eating habits. I would try to replicate dishes that I ate out, and got really into roasted and grilled vegetables. I also started making a lot of soups, which has evolved over time into the weekly pot o' soup (different types, of course!) that I've made for the past three years. Then I followed Dr. Joshi's Holistic Detox for a while (try doing a no-wheat, no-dairy, vegetarian diet in Italy!) and expanded my grain repertoire. A few years later I did a half-year work exchange in Mexico, where I finally developed an appreciation for fruit (I've eaten a banana a day since!) and yogurt.
There is virtually nothing that I eat today that I would have eaten ten years ago, and there is almost nothing from my diet back then that I eat today.