Childhood food misconceptions

Seeing my nieces and nephews at Christmas Eve dinner reminded me about how little I knew about food as a kid. I thought Philadelphia cheese steaks were made with Philadelphia brand cream cheese and I certainly never wanted to try one. On a tangential note, I assumed that cheese cake was a regular cake made with cheddar or something and that just sounded gross. What foods did you badly misunderstand or wrongly dismiss out of hand when you were a child?

I’m not particularly interested in just hearing a list of foods you didn’t like when you were a child but love now but since I’m not the boss of you, well, post what you will.

When we were children at this Thanksgiving/Christmas time of year, our mother used to serve up the non-lumpy canned cranberry sauce by ejecting it onto the decorative glass dish in one cylindrical piece and then cutting it into even, round, bright red slices.

She did this one year, and my brother told her that he didn’t like the “cold beets”.

This may have been a regional thing, because my husband (who is from farther north and a less rural area) doesn’t remember ever seeing it, but it was common to package honey with a rectangle of honeycomb, apparently to add authenticity. I really, really had a problem with this, because it didn’t seem sanitary, and I also thought the comb probably had the occasional dead bee stuck to it* and that just seemed awfully chancy because everyone knows dead bees can still sting you. This would invariably lead to wondering exactly what part of the bee the honey comes from.

I didn’t eat a lot of honey.

*Note: I never actually saw any bee bodies in the honey; it just seemed to me that the company doing the the packaging was rather careless about such issues.

When I was a child I refused to even taste sour cream, because I thought it was just another name for spoiled milk. I finally had some when I was in college, and I loved it. Still do.

When I was a kid I made no connection between the delicious suet pudding served on holidays and the chunks of disgusting suet I helped my grandmother hang in the trees for the birds.

(I still love suet pudding, though)

When I was a child the Felippo Berio logoconfused me as to the origin of olive oil.

I thought beans were disgusting, because my mother didn’t like them and was pretty vocal about them being disgusting.

I finally decided to actually try some beans when I was in my early 20s and was surprised that they were just really mild and not disgusting at all.

Interestingly enough, I didn’t like fast food until I was about 12, for the same reason. “McDonalds burgers are greasy and gross! Don’t eat them!” my parents would say. Then one day, a friend’s mother took us through the drive-through. I was surprised as hell - “who does this? these are gross!” Then I had my first happy meal, and realized my parents were lying bastards.


These are all great. I really got a kick out of Bill Door’s memory. And MoonMoon prompted me to learn what suet is. Apparently I still have a lot to learn about food. Thanks.

I wanted nothing whatsoever to do with fresh tomatoes after my older cousin informed me that they grew on the vine ‘like boogers hanging from your nose’.

I was told by my older sister that marmalade was made of brains.

Can’t really eat it to this day.

Not mine, but apparently my Aunt, as a child, was convinced that the ‘100% beef’ stock cubes that they bought were, somehow, an entire cow compressed down to a 1 inch cube.

The mental image of a huge herd of cattle going into a factory, and a teeny box of stock cubes popping out the other end gives me great pleasure.

Hushpuppies are some sort of fried sea creature.

I was seven years old when we moved back to the United States from overseas. Chicken of the Sea tuna really confused me. If it was tuna then why did it say “chicken” on the can?*

Also, not being a Southerner, I didn’t know what chicken fried steaks were. I thought they were some kind of chicken either flattened or bits pressed together to make that piece which was then fried. (Probably didn’t help that the chicken fried steaks the school cafeteria served didn’t taste like chicken or steak.)

And I only knew hushpuppies as shoes.

*God knows what I would have thought if my mother had been buying Bumblebee tuna.

I remember seeing pieces of honeycomb in decidedly non-rural California. It wasn’t extra common, but I saw it.

Whoever convinced the children of the world that Brussels sprouts were gross should be punched in the groin repeatedly. I didn’t discover them until well into adulthood. I suppose this fits the spirit of the OP as there is nothing objectionable about them except playground rumor.

I couldn’t eat gooseberry products (jam etc.) as a kid (admittedly not something that’s hard to avoid. I don’t know why we had them or how to easily find some now). They were berries that were green and named after waterfowl.

I didn’t try pizza until an “advanced” age. It was probably 7 or something, but well after all my friends had tried it dozens of times. You want me to eat something that’s like half tomato? Once I got over that and that you can’t tell it’s tomato, we were cool.

Wasn’t there a Calvin and Hobbes or something where he was reluctant to try some gross looking food until his parents told him it came from something gross? Googling: yes!

When I was five I went to a diner near my maternal grandmother’s house. The waitress asked whether I wanted soup or salad with my lunch. I misheard, and affirmed ‘Super salad!’ :slight_smile:

*“Was you ever stung by a dead bee?”

*(What movie is that from, and why is it significant?)

My oldest friend’s grandmother would tell him that the ice cream truck was the Music Man, who went around the neighbourhood playing music so little children would take their naps.

Then when we were four, I moved in a few doors down and told him what was really on the truck.

I’m surprised no one posted that earlier.

My Grandmother and mother would tell me to eat liver because it’s good for you because it has iron in it to make you strong when you become a man.

20 years later I almost died due to all the iron my liver stored. Had to go through a years worth of phlebotomy to rid my organs of iron