What are some foods you thought you hated, but turned out your parents just sucked at cook them?

Let’s talk!

My mother was the cook and I must admit she wasn’t very good at it. Probably because she hated cooking in general. And lots of our foods came from a can or a box. On special days, we had fast food. I actually got a lot of my cooking inspiration from my grandmother. It’s her food specifically that reminds me of home.

I would have to salads. Does that count? For a long time, I thought that salad was just made up of not very fresh iceburg lettuce and gross salad dressings. And I just didn’t like salads, I just couldn’t figure out why on earth anyone else would.

Now I know different. A salad is basically a bowl of cold deliciousness. The more varied they are, the better.

I honestly don’t know where to start. My parents were “meat and taters” people - that’s how they were brought up and that’s how they raised us. I started to change in high school when my part time job was in a restaurant - they start you as a dishwasher, let you do short order items as time goes on. I learned that steak wasn’t supposed to be well done! :fearful:

It was shortly after that, that I converted my parents to rarer steaks. Also got them to enjoy shrimp the way it should be cooked (on a grill) (though fried in garlic butter’s ok too - that is the preferred dipping sauce) :slight_smile: Those “shrimp rings” are just awful. No-one should eat shrimp like that. They may as well be flavourless chunks of skin that you’re dipping in the cocktail sauce. It’s solely a ketchup & horse radish delivery mechanism. :wink:

Also got them liking lamb, duck, escargot, taught them how to make hollandaise and béarnaise (and why the sauce mixes from the grocery store are just crap). (say that crap with a Scottish accent lads and lassies) :wink: Got them eating real, delicately poached fish, rather than deep fried, breaded, highly processed “biscuits” of fish. shudder

I basically turned them into foodies that appreciate high calibre food.

It’s really just educating people. It’s out of ignorance that people eat bland, boring food. They simply don’t know what’s out there.


Congratulations to fischer’s for being his parents’ teacher.

Restaurant operators have a substantial challenge in orientating and training novice employees as it’s rare to find someone who has been exposed to a broad variety of food by their parents, or on their own.

And don’t get me started on dining room food and beverage service. When most of your foodservice experience has been the drive-thru at McDonalds learning the subtleties of competent table service is like learning a new language.

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My mother was actually an excellent cook and I cannot remember anything that was not good. We lived on a small farm and had chickens and butchered a steer every year. We lived on an an island so clams, oysters, crab and fish were always available if you went out and got them. We also had a large garden and did a lot of canning. We were in the Pacific Northwest so the growing season was short and there was not a lot of variety.

I think what I was not exposed to was the variety of food that was available. For instance our salads were lettuce and cucumber with mayonnaise. I did not try a salad dressing until high school. I also was never exposed to ethnic foods. What was different than today is that we ate every bit of the steer. Brains, heart, liver and tail all were cooked and served. I also remember our eggs being essentially deep fried in bacon grease. It sounds terrible but placed on top of toast it is delicious.


Hi @john.jcb! It’s not really on topic, but as a Puget Sound native myself I’m just curious which island you were raised on! :slight_smile:

My Mum was a trained domestic science or home economics teacher. It went a bit further in those days than the scones and banana cake that was on offer when I was in high school. As such, she was a mighty fine, old school cook. But, as was the way in that era, she used to cook vegetables to death. I like my vegies with some life left in them. So, I have a habit of ordering salad when I eat out (yes, growing up it was usually iceberg lettuce with mayo, tomato and pickled beetroot.)

Oh. Curry was something that she used to cook that I didn’t like. It tended to be done in the English tradition, usually with sultanas and sometimes bananas involved. I was never much of a fan as a kid. Now I cook a lot of Indian and Bangladeshi style curries.


I was raised on Bainbridge Island

Haha, my immediate family used to cook steaks until there is no pink in it. But, since giving them an Anova, they enjoy beef on the pinker side.

I love that they were able to make improvements! My family pretty much still cook the same things over-and-over, but that’s just the way it is. But they are getting better results with sous vide.

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Sounds pretty varied to me! My experience with food wasn’t very wide either, until I moved. How were salads with mayo?

Actually pretty good. Something else to try is using mayonnaise as a dip for french fries. In Amsterdam this is a favorite when served with mussels.

I am intrigued by this mayo + salad thing. @john.jcb mentioned it too. Did i taste alright?

The vegetable thing - I grew up experiencing the SAME. I do like my veggies with a snap or crunch. A lot of the vegetables I had were either canned, so they were dead long before they ended up in my home.

We need to talk about curries, because I have ZERO experience in them. Well, I made it once, but wasn’t good enough to share. I love north Indian food and I think it’s time to bring that into the kitchen.

I add cajun seasoning to mayo…maybe add a little more cayenne…makes a nice dip for just about everything. :slight_smile:

And…yes…I’ll definitely be getting some mussels on my layover in Amsterdam on my way to India in July. :slight_smile:

Alyssa…I knew growing up that brussels sprouts, asparagus, broccoli and cauliflower were something I would never eat again or feed my kids. They polluted the house with their stench when boiled for an hour. WoooooHooooo now they are favorites but skip moms cooking process…

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I think we were lucky growing up in an area that had a strong Asian influence. the cold weather vegetable were readily available and my Mother steamed them. It was not until much later that I found out that was not the normal way of cooking. I wish she had known to roast them in the oven. Brussels sprouts and cabbage prepared this way is delicious.

Yes. I can relate with the sprouts and broccoli. And cauliflower needed cheese. :wink: Asparagus was this strangely brown green squishy thing that came out of a can. I think I only tasted it once as a kid. Not that it was on offer often in the '70s. Occasionally, for a special dinner party, Mum would wrap canned spears in pre-sliced square white bread with crusts removed to go with pre-dinner drinks.

I eventually met real asparagus about 15 years ago at an awards dinner and a love affair started.

Cabbage is delicious shredded thinly and sauteed to wilt in bacon fat and garlic.

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It’s good to know i’m not the only cook here who saves bacon fat.

It’s great slathered under the skin when roasting chickens.

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Celery and liver stands out as two foods which I only learnt to appreciate in my twenties. Then again, it might just have been my tastes changing as I grew older.

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“crahp” - how’s that for a Scottish accent? :laughing:

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Both celery and liver are somewhat bitter. Young people are far more sensitive to that taste. It’s common for people to not like such food until their twenties.

Celery is still something that I can’t handle on its own. But I do use it in mirepoix because you notice when it’s not there. It’s not the bitter compounds that are the problem for me because broccoli and spinach are high on my list of vege faves.