We all have those specific food items from our childhood that we hated more than anything. Usually they originate from a particular horror story and it can be quite fun to reminisce and share the horrific, yet comical experiences of our youth. We wanted to know which foods belonged in some of your Room 101’s and our contributors definitely did not disappoint! From quiche to Petits Filous, here are a few select stories that changed our contributor’s culinary habits for life!
Quiche by Meg Davies
Picture this: you are eight years old, at a standard child’s birthday party having the time of your life. Lo and behold, you see some pizza on the table, you cannot wait to try it! You grab a slice of the doughy looking pizza and shove it into your mouth, only to taste the most disgusting combinations of flavours you have ever experienced. That is quiche, the master of deceiving foods.
Who in their right mind serves quiche over pizza at a child’s birthday party? What is wrong with a simple margarita? I almost felt rude when I spat the contents of that terrible tart into a napkin. But looking back now, I feel no remorse.
Google defines ‘quiche’ as, ‘a French tart consisting of pastry crust filled with savoury custard, pieces of cheese, meat, seafood or vegetables’. I will stop it there and say this, savoury custard definitely should not exist. We should stop making foods savoury when they are perfectly fine sweet. In fact, savoury tarts as a whole can go too. Also, why is the cheese in pieces? Melt the cheese, I beg!
When talking to my friends and family, I have been met with a lot of disagreement. It seems that quiche is rather beloved by the majority, but I will never stop campaigning for the end of the tart’s glory days. I find it simply unimaginable as to how people enjoy the odd flavours that, excuse the vulgarity, taste like vomit.
To make matters even worse, quiche on the outside looks delightful! As I mentioned, when I was younger, I could easily mistake it for a doughy pizza. Today, I am less naïve. Although, if I saw a quiche for the first time, I would be fooled into thinking that pastry looks rather delectable. Perhaps that is why I resent the savoury tart so much, because of its deceit. I do not like it when people lie and I think quiche is the master of all liars.
Maybe you’re reading this thinking, ‘she has got a lot to say about quiche, but I like it’. Well, stop liking it, this food should be universally disliked. When we finally all see the truth, maybe quiche can finally be forgotten and fade into obscurity forevermore.
Chicken Kiev by Kimberley Jones
“all you taste is gone-off cheese, garlic butter, and a chicken piece that tastes like it’s been left in the freezer for a year and been forgotten about.”
The worst thing ever to have been created is the chicken Kiev. Imagine you are starving and just crave chicken and chips, you get given a plate with a breaded chicken steak and fat potato chips but, when you cut it and bite into it, all you taste is gone-off cheese, garlic butter, and a chicken piece that tastes like it’s been left in the freezer for a year and been forgotten about.
I had this meal when I was about 13 and on an Army cadet camp, we had just spent the whole day outside in the November cold, crawling in mud surrounded by bugs and flies. All I wanted was a nice, hot meal and then go straight to bed as I was exhausted from the activities in the day. So, I approached the kitchen food counter eagerly with a plate, I asked for the chicken and chips with some peas, as, despite my small size I was starving. I sit on a table with my friends who all had chosen the spaghetti Bolognese, unbeknownst to me I took a bite of the chicken and all I could taste was the equivalent of mouldy cheese. I chose not to eat anymore as I couldn’t stomach it, I looked at my friends for sympathy but instead I was told ‘That’s why I had the spaghetti’.
Well, I believe the chicken Kiev should be scrapped altogether, they are dry with a funny texture due to the over-processed meat, plus the added tasteless mixture that seems to have been carelessly shoved into it makes chicken Kiev’s one of the most disgusting things ever to have been made. Perhaps it may be redeemed if it was homemade, with fresh ingredients and some TLC from an experienced chef. I am always up for trying new things, and really believe in having to try everything at least once. However, the shop-bought chicken Kiev is something I will never have again and will strongly encourage others to not go through with buying it in hopes of saving another poor soul from a disappointing meal.
Chocolate and Raisin Crispy Cakes by Katie Waits
Back in Infants School, I didn’t mind school dinners most of the time. Sometimes, we would have cake for dessert, and on Fridays we’d have fish and chips which was always a treat. However, that doesn’t mean that it was all great. From lumpy mashed potatoes and soggy spaghetti hoops, to runny custard that tricked me into thinking I didn’t like it at all for years – it wasn’t nice, but I could deal with these things. I avoided the lumps in the potato and chose vegetables instead of spaghetti hoops. There was, unfortunately, one food item that I didn’t think to avoid – chocolate crispy cakes.
“You bite into it, expecting the usual crunch. Instead, you find yourself chewing something strange. It’s a raisin.”
Don’t get me wrong, I love chocolate crispy cakes. They’re amazing at Easter when people make them with Mini Eggs on top. The ones from school, however, I loathe even to this day. Picture this: you’ve just finished your school dinner and you’re super excited to eat your dessert which has been sitting on your tray for what feels like forever. Today, you’ve got a chocolate crispy cake. You bite into it, expecting the usual crunch. Instead, you find yourself chewing something strange. It’s a raisin. You eat a bit more, assuming it got in there accidentally. You’re wrong. It’s filled with raisins.
You may think I’m being dramatic, but for 6-year-old me, this was the ultimate betrayal. I hate raisins. The combination of cereal with the surprise texture of raisins was awful and it makes me shudder to remember it. Finding them in what was once one of the best school desserts was a nightmare. Sneaking raisins into cakes to try to ‘promote healthy eating’ and then serving them to children was a mistake. I vividly remember my friend and I inspecting the cakes every time we had them, trying to figure out if they were normal or not. One lunch time, we even smashed up our cakes, making a mess, in order to remove the raisins.
Nowadays, whenever people bring up bad school dinners, I always mention those cakes. The fact that I still remember them, even though I’d rather not, just goes to show how much of a big deal they were to me. They were terrible. Hiding raisins in those cakes without telling us made it even worse and ruined my trust in school dinners. Even today, I still have to check to see if cakes have hidden raisins in them. I’d rather not have a nasty surprise like that ever again.
Petits Filous by Omo Ifabua
“I was scooping the yoghurt into my mouth, one spoon after another, until I paused.”
I am not a fan of yoghurt in general, but Petits Filous? Just the thought of it makes me cringe. Now that I think about it, Petits Filous is probably the reason I don’t like yoghurt in the first place. For those of you fortunate enough not to know what I’m talking about, ‘Petits Filous Fromage Frais’ is a “creamy” kid’s yoghurt, sold in mini pots – the kind they say are “perfect for packed lunch”.
Like most other children’s food, the strawberry one was the most popular and therefore, it was the flavour I had in my lunch box on that unfortunate day.
I remember sitting at the dining table in my primary school hall, with my best friend Timi at my side, delicately eating her ‘sandwich’. I on the other hand ripped open my High School Musical 3 lunch box (cool, I know) and grabbed out the Petits Filous pot. I was scooping the yoghurt into my mouth, one spoon after another, until I paused. I felt something on my tongue. If it was a lump of fruit, I would not have minded that much, but feeling a gritty, strawberry-flavoured powder on my tongue was certainly not pleasant. I suppose it was a factory malfunction and it just so happened that my pot wasn’t fully blended – but their mistake was bad enough to end my lunch-time early that day.
“Upon research I found that ‘Petits Filous’ actually translates to ‘Little Rascals’ from French, so perhaps it was my fault that I believed their ‘Goodness Guarantee’ back in the day.”
Hours later, I still felt the strange grit in my mouth – although, I could’ve been having a Lady Macbeth moment and simply imagined the awful taste all over again. I know it seems like an exaggeration, but I honestly haven’t had a Petits Filous yoghurt since; I switched to Munch Bunch for my lunches from then on.
Upon research I found that ‘Petits Filous’ actually translates to ‘Little Rascals’ from French, so perhaps it was my fault that I believed their ‘Goodness Guarantee’ back in the day. So, my advice to you is, if you ever feel like taking a trip down memory lane, or ticking off one of your five-a-day, avoid eating Petits Filous!