Beloved Childhood Foods You Would Never Eat Today

Except that they don’t taste the same as they did when I was a kid. Somewhere along the way they changed the formula.

I guess I’m the only one who will gladly eat Chef Boyardee. Well, just the Beefaroni, and that with a good deal of extra cheese melted in.

Obligatory Seinfeld reference (Beef-a-reeno):

I hadn’t heard that, but there’s a similar effect from the blue coloring used in a lot of blue or purple colored foods, like pretty much anything “grape” flavored. Apparently it turns green when it reacts with the enzymes in your digestive system, resulting in bright green poop.

Spaghettios. Used to love 'em. Far too sweet now.

I don’t know if they changed or I did.

Well. That explains the grape Kool-aid after-effects. Thanks for clearing that little mystery up for me, lo these many years later.

[startled] I wonder if that treatment is why I can’t stand peanut butter? I love peanuts, but the mouth feel of peanut butter, and some of the taste, has always turned my stomach. I can’t even eat cookies made with it. I’ll have to find someone has non-commercial PB and see if it makes a difference.

These brought back shocking memories. In Britain, typically at seaside resorts, you could (and presumably still can) get a stick of “Rock”.

We’re talking about a stick of processed, mint flavored sugar approximately the size of a regular candle - up to a foot long, say. Jesus, my teeth hurt even thinking about it. Synthetic, dangerously hard (to teeth), incredibly sticky, somehow always managing to get stuck in your hair. We loved them, of course. Sheesh.

And that reminds me of Edinburgh Castle Rock:

Hmm - they’re failing to mention “gritty” and “weirdly perfume flavored”.

These things I have not eaten for many decades. And rightly so.


I’ve gotten all three Monster cereals for my kids throughout the 2010s. I think still they taste all right, especially as kids’ cereals go. But: their flavor seems very muted from the way they tasted in the 1970s and 1980s. Today’s Franken Berry and Boo Berry kind of taste alike … kind of a vague hint of berry-ish flavor. Maybe? Count Chocula doesn’t really taste chocolatey anymore – it’s not bad, just not much chocolate going on.

To all folks who say the food tastes different to them now, and they attribute that to a change in the recipe: That’s NOT always the case. The sense of taste does change with age. Fortunately, or such delicious foods as aged cheeses, dark stouts, cocoa, coffee, pesto, asparagus, eggplant, olives, mushrooms, and cranberries would never appeal. And we’d still be eating mostly stuff like chicken fingers, plain burgers, mac & cheese, fries, pizza, white bread, and corn.

Seriously, if you find most commercial peanut butters too sweet/weird feeling, find yourself a jar of Smuckers. It’s available in most large grocery stores, and has the right ingredients list: Peanuts, Salt.

For the easiest stirring with minimal spilling of the oil, stir with a chopstick.
But to keep it the same consistency, keep stirring every time you serve yourself some. Otherwise it’ll get weird and dry toward the end of the jar.

Interestingly, in his new book, Moss describes an experiment. Children and adults were given a standardized glass of water (volume not specified) and allowed to add as much sugar as they wished to make it maximally delicious.

Children added an average of eleven teaspoons of sugar which was sweeter than most soda. This was more than twice as much as the average adult addition. Older people crave less sweetness, an observation both interesting and startlingly obvious. Seinfeld has a great bit on remembering when you first learned about trick or treating.

I vividly recall enjoying the taste of pure table sugar. I’d scoop some onto a teaspoon and get a pair of decent mouthfuls out of it. Kind of like unflavored Pixie Sticks, or Lik-M-Aid (Remember this? Same candy, older packaging).

As noted above, I’d also spread sugar right on top of white bread, no butter or nothing.

These days, fast-forwarding 40-something years?

Very occasionally, I will shove down a quick spoonful of sugar as a hiccup remedy (it works because of the granular texture). It’s not exactly unpleasant, but it’s certainly not something I’d ever otherwise do for the taste of it.

Has anyone mentioned cotton candy?

Not yet, I don’t think. But this gives me the opportunity to talk about the time I sweetened my coffee with cotton candy when the office was out of sugar.

It did not go well.

For a while when I was a kid, whenever we went out to a restaurant I’d steal a bunch of sugar packets from the table, and dump the sugar into my mouth during the drive home as “dessert”.

My brother and I used to eat the sugar which had always spilled out of torn bags on the supermarket shelf. :crazy_face:

I can’t recall a single childhood favorite I would turn my nose up at now. I was a pasta fiend early on, and nothing has changed. The reverse is certainly true - I like spicy foods that I would’ve been loath to eat then.

I recall watching in stupefied horror as my grandfather ate gefilte fish. There is no way even as an adult that I would consume a product that resembles turds of a severely anemic person.

As a child, I suspect you made Wednesday Addams look perfectly normal. :smiley: