Memories of family cooking and childhood food experiences aren't all rosy and nostalgic. Our experiences with food as we grow up shape all our preferences, including our strong, can't-change-'em, never-shake-'em food avoidances. What were your worst childhood memories and experiences of food? Anything that scarred you so bad you won't eat it to this day? Or have you overcome all of your childhood food loathings?
My childhood avoidance was fairly cliché: steamed lima beans. The wrinkly texture of the rubbery skin, the pale mush inside, and the faintly bitter taste — I would gag trying to get them down. I would swallow a big bite, then drink a glass of milk, and go spit everything out in the bathroom. I would also make a game of quietly and unobtrusively nudging each individual lima bean underneath my plate, smushing it under the bottom.
My husband's one food avoidance was rather more dramatic. He worked as a temp one summer in high school, and for one day was sent to a Sloppy Joes canned meat factory in Virginia. He worked there for precisely one day and has never touched Sloppy Joes since.
What about you? What are your worst childhood memories of food?
MORE FAMILY COOKING
• On Family Cooking and Eating Together: Can You Do it All?
• My Family Recipe Rocks! What Does Your Family Make Better Than Anyone Else?
• Family History: How To Document Recipes That Aren't Written Down
(Image: Flickr member tracitodd licensed for use under Creative Commons)