10 Foods You Eat Regularly Now That Were Exotic (or unheard of)
When You Were a Kid
I don't know about many of you, but my parents were pretty good about exposing us to different kinds of food - we liked ethnic foods, and my parents had a lot of friends who were amazing cooks. My dad liked to cook, but was not always at home to cook dinner - weekends were his thing. My mother though? She loved to eat but she was not interested in cooking. At all. Plus, she was of the generation that thought cooking from scratch was "old-fashioned" - something her mother *had* to do.
On top of that, we were poor, so a lot of what we ate was food that was a) cheap, and b) could last a while.
But I digress. Here's my list, in no particular order.
1. Brown rice. Or even, anything other than Minute Rice (which admittedly, I LOVED as a kid!). We had rice pretty regularly, and I was an adult before I ever tasted "real" rice, much less brown rice.
2. Squash. Of any kind. We did not live near a farm, and there were not a lot of farmer's markets around. I knew what squash was, but seldom - if ever - ate it (other than the thousands of zucchinis that neighbors with gardens would give us during the summer!)
3. Edamame. WHAT?????
4. Any bread not white. Well, I take it back, we did used to have rye bread pretty frequently. And not Italian white, or potato bread white. Nope - cheap, icky, sticky, plain white bread. In spite of which I still managed to grow up loving bread of any kind! Go figure.
5. Pineapple. OK, we would have it very occasionally (usually at Christmastime), but it was always expensive, and as a result a real treat. I don't know that I eat it now "regularly" (it's still expensive!), but definitely more than once a year.
6. Fried pickles. I never even heard of these until I moved to Philadelphia, and only tried them the first time last summer. They are GOOD. We have them sometimes on weekends, with beer. Y-U-M.
7. Frozen custard. Again, never ever heard of it until I was an adult. I LOVE frozen custard! We have it in the summer every couple of weeks as a treat.
8. Homemade macaroni and cheese. Much like the Minute Rice referenced above, I never had "real" macaroni and cheese until someone gave me a cookbook when I was sixteen years old that had a recipe. Don't get me wrong, I've still been known to enjoy Kraft Macaroni and Cheese on occasion, but nothing is as good as homemade. Nothing.
9. Steamed dumplings. First of all, I never knew that there was such a thing as a dumpling that was considered Chinese food. And growing up, we ate quite a bit of Chinese food - real and American-ized. But when I read Amy Tan's Joy Luck Club, and they were [seemingly always] making dumplings, I knew I had to try them. Wow. I can't believe what I'd been missing!
10. Indian food. Of any kind. We must not have ever lived someplace with an Indian restaurant nearby, because I know my parents would have been all over that food!
The good thing about all of this? It's always fun to try new things, and broaden your horizons, particularly food-wise, as far as I'm concerned.
The bad thing about all of this? Now I'm *really* hungry ...