Remember those foods you hated as kids?

When I was a little, my mother would impose foods on me that simply did not pass muster. My younger voice would claim something was gross or yucky. Now, some of these same foods are delicious. Did my palate change or am I open too trying more foods? Maybe it is a little of both.

A good example is orange marmalade. It is a little bitter because of the sliver of orange peels, so as a child it did not measure up to the overly sweet jellies and jams. Now, it is a staple best used with peanut butter on an English muffin or cinnamon raisin bagel.

Another example is fried okra. Why would anyone want to eat such a thing? Now, if it is an available vegetable at a cafe or diner, it is a must order. One BBQ restaurant serves fried okra as an appetizer. The other excellent use of okra is in gumbo. So, this hard to pick vegetable is well-worth it.

Another vegetable whose taste had to be nurtured over time is collard greens (and turnip greens). I would not touch the stuff early on, but my grandmother imposed them on me, even teaching us how to cook them. Like fried okra, greens are a must order as a side at a restaurant.

My wife would add brussel sprouts and beets. Now, she loves them both and will eat pickled beets out of a jar. I can tolerate brussel sprouts, but beets remain a bridge too far for me. She can have full and sole access to the beet jar.

What are some of your adult-learned favorites? When did the tide turn in their favor?

24 thoughts on “Remember those foods you hated as kids?

  1. Kale, cabbage, beetroot, brussel sprouts, spinach, plus more. Now I love them all! I guess the turning point was 2014. I stopped eating meat and started eating these instead. (I prefer cabbage and spinach raw).

    • Persia, that certainly is a point of reckoning. I eat more veggies now, but still like eating meat and fish. We do eat a lot of salads, which is great for a fixed budget. Thanks and congrats on the healthy eating. Keith

  2. Note to Readers: I have shared before my mother majored in education and home economics. Her profession was teaching, but the latter discipline was applied at home. My mother mapped out a two week menu for our family and that dictated her grocery list. We kids would get tired of the recurring menu items, but as adults we crave what Mom made then.

  3. I hated eggs as a child and most meats and bread, but loved veggies.
    Through mid life, I ate everything.
    Then, now that I am getting old (and things don’t work so well), I found that I am quite sensitive to the foods I hated as a child.
    Eggs cause me arthritis, as do most meats. Breads and wheat gluten in general cause me great problems in my digestive tract.
    So now, I love my veggies and nuts and beans….and don’t bother with the rest.
    I have always loved beetroot in any form! 😉

  4. Oh my. I HATED green beans. To be honest, my mom served the gray, canned variety. Now peas, I liked. But the beans. There is a family story of my 5-year old self sitting at the table long after it had been vacated by everyone else and cleared of all the dishes but for my little serving of beans, which I stubbornly refused to eat. I even tried to pack them between my lips and my teeth to hide them. It was a hellofa night! Now I adore fresh cooked green beans. Believe it or not, I was okay with Brussels Sprouts and I like beets. Matter of fact I’ve got some cooked ones in the fridge awaiting some little magical experiment.

  5. Dear Keith,

    I would not eat grits as a child or escargot. But now when grits are on the menu, I will order it as a side dish, and the same goes for escargot. The first time I had kimchi, i almost gagged. This is fermented vegetable, spicy vegetable food that is very popular in Korea.

    As per 2/24/17 Financial Times, “The east Asian nation this week stole global headlines and the crown for longest lifespans after a study from Imperial College London found that, by 2030, its citizens are set to live longer than anyone else. Girls born in South Korea 13 years from now can expect to live on average to the ripe age of 91.

    The South Koreans chalk up their good health to eating a lot of kimchi.

    Hugs, Gronda

    • Gronda, grits have always been on our plate, but I did not try escargot until as an adult. The South Koreans do a lot of things better than we do. A health management consultant once told me America’s largest export is “obesity.” Keith

  6. As a kid, I liked pickled cucumbers and tomatoes but was turned off by pickled beets and other ghastly ways to use beets (like puré-ed with sour cream to make pink borsht).

    Redemption: one market I go to sometimes has plain raw beets, peeled and cut into chunks.  I give several chunks a spritz of water, cover loosely, and steam them in the microwave by letting it think it is reheating something.  Great while still warm, or in a salad after cooling.

    «All we are saying is “Give beets a chance”» 🙂

    • Anyone who will paraphrase John Lennon, needs to be heeded. I will give “beets” a chance. Maybe the “Instant Karma” of microwaving with water, will help them.

      • Thanks for the advice. We have been roasting the vegetable on a roasting pan and a little olive oil. Often, we throw green beans, carrots, onions and potatoes together. We love asparagus this way. The key to any approach is fresh veggies. Now, I am hungry. Keith

      • I lobbied my wife to do this for Thanksgiving in lieu of green bean casserole. We tend to over-casserole for the holidays.

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