Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup: As Bad (or As Good) As We Remember?

Did you grow up eating a lot of baked casseroles anchored by a can or two of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup? If so, you'll appreciate Esquire's look at one writer's culinary journey back in time, to his mother's "fancy" chicken cutlets in Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup sauce. Can it be that bad, if he loved it so much as a kid?

Writer Tom Junod decides to serve his mother's famous cutlets alongside his usual cooking at a dinner party, without telling any of the guests about their origins or canned contents. He has high hopes:

Impossible hopes, really, because they were redemptive in nature -- because I hoped not simply that people would like it but that they would like it more than anything else I served, and thereby prove me wrong about cooking in general, and my mom's cooking in particular.

But the cutlets are untouched, except by an eleven-year-old boy who loves them, because he has never had anything like them before.

For anyone who has ever felt that peculiar mix of shame, pity, pride and nostalgia for a childhood spent eating lots of Campbell's Soup cookery, this is a must-read.

Check it out: A Moment of Inspiration at Esquire

Have you ever revisited the less-sophisticated dishes of your past?

Related: Recipe: Chicken Divan Casserole, from Scratch

(Image: Flickr member neil conway licensed under Creative Commons)

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Anjali is a former private chef who is currently pursuing a graduate degree in nutrition, with plans to become a registered dietitian. She lives in Los Angeles. You can read more of her health-focused writing at Eat Your Greens.