- Food and Cooking
The Worst Foods of Childhood - My Top 10 Food Horrors
Brachs Circus Peanuts
At about age 6, I was given a circus peanut at home, told that it was like a marshmallow.
This is the absolutely worst-flavored candy I have ever met! It's flavor and aroma are that of baby aspirin, plastic, and chalk! It also smells like certain brands of spray paint.
They also tasted stale, like they'd been in a discount, mark-down display for two years. But that's their normal favor.
Take it from me, they are nothing like Brach's Maple Candy, which has always been delicious.
Vicks Vap-o-Rub and Wheatena
At age seven. I contracted German Measles or Rubella, was covered with spots for the usual two weeks, but never got better. My fever went up to 1061/2 degrees and I contracted bronchial pneumonia. This was most likely because my parents each smoked 5 paks of cigarettes daily and would not open the windows.
My father forced me to eat Vicks Vap-o-Rub, convinced that this would help. It did not help and tasted horrible. In addition, it was not to be taken internally. My fever did not reduce and my eyes were so dry that it hurt to even blink.
I was placed into a bathtub of cold water, ice cubes, and alcohol, causing my fever to reduce a half of a degree, but not enough. When I was hospitalized in the local children's ward, name tags were placed on the wrong beds the first day and a nurse attempted to administer the wrong medication to me. I spoke up, fearing poisoning, and saved myself -- With the correct meds, my fever finally came down the first evening. The next day, I was given cooked cereal for breakfast, but it was uncooked, with no milk to put on it anyway. It tasted horrible.
A little girl two beds down from me died on the third day. By the end of the 4th day, I was released to go home and spent another week in bed, but never had to eat Vicks again.
However, I was given orange sherbet for the first time, having been told it was a Popsicle, so it would cool my sore throat. The acid in the all-natural sherbet burned my mouth and throat instead. This was enough to turn me against marshmallows AND Popsicles (all orange) and maybe even oranges, but I realized that some people just don't know how to described things.
Going back in time, at age 5, I went to a farm of a distant relative to an at-home funeral.
At the buffet lunch after the funeral, I was given a calf-brain sandwich and told to eat it without an explanation of what it might be. I took one bite and started yelling. It had the consistency and flavor of a sponge and I felt it was fake food or something for adults. Someone else ate it.
Have you ever eaten limp, cooked rope floating in vinegar? I was given long-overcooked canned spinach (over processed from the start) in vinegar a couple of times -- I can taste and smell it as I type this. I just ddn;t like it.
Today I love fresh spinach and don't even purchase it frozen - fresh or nothing.
Fresh is Best to Me
I cannot decribe the taste of canned peas. They are over processed in the can and any cooking makes them worse to my taste. Too mushy and a strange flavor. They're probably good in soup, though.
Today, I love frozen and fresh peas, but pass up the canned varieties.
Souse and Headcheese
I'm sorry, I can't eat this. My father enjoyed this product, because his family always made it on the farm. Their recipe was nice and tangy, with pickles, vinegar, pig parts and beef parts, and aspic (gelatin made right from the hoofs).
This one smelled good to me as a child, because of the pickles, but I couldn't get it into my mouth. I like beef tongue from the deli today, though.
Unfortuantely, if it was beef or pork, my mother often burned the meat, especially if it was steak or liver. Prok chops and beef roast always came out great, but steak and liver were doomed in the pan for some reason.
The liver was bad. It was placed into a skillet on top of a pat of butter and fried hard on both sides. It literally tasted like dirt.
Today, I don't eat it often, but when I do, I use bacon for fat an soemtimes add a bottle of Faygo Diet Cherry Cola or an equivalent and the liver tastes entirely different.
Pig Snout and Pig's Feet
I also incurred pig snouts and pig's feet as a child and when I became acquainted with Asian friends and rice shops as adults. To date, I can't eat any of these things.
Pig snout is often fond hanging in reice shops in Chinatown, red with seasonings after cooking. It is sliced and eaten over rice or other foods. It smells good, but I can't get it into my mouth.
Hot Black Tea
Every time I drank hot tea as a child, it came straight back up. My stomach did not like it for some sort of reason. Then again, perhaps a young child should not be given strong black tea?
Many kinds of tea are delicious to me now, but I still prefer iced tea to hot tea.
Uni Served as Sashimi
This is a bonus item on my list of childish horrors.
I'd heard of sushi as a child, but never had the opportunity to try it until I was an adult. Several types of sushi tasted good immediately. However, uni (Japanese sea urchin ovaries) are not to my liking. I have not yet figured out how to describe their flavor, beside being bad to me. Many people like them; I'm just not one of them.