Food is so personal and nostalgic, sometimes it's hard to believe the dishes we grew up eating are actually a little strange to others. I'll admit that as a former picky eater, my go-to snack was cheese sandwiched between two slices of banana (please don't judge me, it was really good). So when redditor u/kerker1717 asked the r/Cooking community to share the odd food combinations they grew up with, I was excited to see what my fellow weird-eaters had to say. Here are the foods people didn't realize were a little odd until they got older.
1."As newcomers to Canada in the '90s, ketchup wasn’t really a thing in my home country. So we became obsessed with it when we got here. As a kid, I used to put ketchup on everything, but my favorite was ketchup sandwiches (ketchup plus bread) and ketchup sandwiches with bologna or sliced ham."
2."Whenever my mom used an egg wash and breadcrumbs there would be leftovers from the breading station. So she used to mix them together, add a little water if there was too little of the egg left, and let the breadcrumbs hydrate. Then the mixture went into a skillet with heated olive oil to be fried like a breadcrumb pancake. There was no way she was going to throw out those breadcrumbs."
3."Eggo waffles with melted sharp cheddar cheese. It was such a regular breakfast in my family, I literally didn’t realize it wasn’t a thing until I had my first apartment. I told my roommate she was welcome to the Eggos and cheese, and she was like, 'I’m sorry, what?'"
4."Our Thanksgiving leftover meal was turkey with gravy over waffles. Delicious. But when I got to high school/college, people told me it sounded gross and weird."
5."I grew up poor and my mom used to put cut up hot dogs in everything. Cut up hot dogs in scrambled eggs, in boxed mac 'n' cheese, in stir fries with vegetables to eat on top of rice, in fried potatoes to make some kind of hot dog hash, etc."
6."Shepherds pie, but instead of mashed potatoes, mac 'n' cheese on top!"
7."My grandmother always put grape jelly on her grilled cheese, so I also like to. Apparently that is not something people normally do."
8."Grew up super poor. We ate flapjacks, which in our house were just flour, salt, and water pan cooked into flabby flavorless pancakes and then my mom would try to make syrup by cooking down sugar and water. Another regular was toast with ketchup, and yet another was spaghetti noodles with canned beans. I don’t know that I can say — I thought it was normal and it was what there was to eat."
9."Strawberry jelly on a sausage biscuit. Learned that working fast food at 15."
10."Unsweetened shredded wheat (it was large size, not spoon-sized) toasted in the oven with sharp cheese and fried bacon served with a bit of maple syrup on the side. It was, I think, a recipe on the cereal box, but seriously good. I never see those big shredded wheat squares around any longer, so I can't make this."
11."My grandpa used to make peanut butter toast (crispy bread, like just under burnt, smooth PB, and he always buttered the bread before putting on the PB) and hot chocolate and would dip the toast in the hot chocolate. Didn't realize it was weird until I got to college, did it in the dining hall, and got some weird looks."
12."Growing up in the Midwest, chili and cinnamon rolls were a common combination. It wasn't until I was an adult that I learned this is pretty much only a Midwestern thing."
13."Kraft mac 'n' cheese with sugar over the top of it. My dad and sister did this. YUCK!"
14."My husband taught me to scramble leftover French toast batter once the bread is gone. It’s eggs, milk, and vanilla and it’s delicious. Now, I sometimes just make that. Best served with maple syrup."
15."Sliced pickle and Kraft singles sandwiches. Did not ask for and did not want these, but got them in lunches regularly."
16."My mom didn’t realize that you were supposed to create a broth with the ramen noodle spice packet. She would drain the noodles, then stir in butter and season it to taste with the flavor packet (usually about 1/4 of the packet). It was delicious!"
17."We were kinda poor, and my mom used to take a package of uncooked hot dogs, grind them up, and mix them with sweet relish and mayonnaise. That was our 'ham salad.' My friends all loved the stuff!"
18."My little old great-grandmother used to wake me up at 3 a.m. every morning and give me an Eggo, cheese, and ham sandwich with a gigantic 40-ounce mug of hot cocoa and tell me that I hadn't eaten anything all day and I had better eat."
19."When it was dad's turn to cook...S. O. S. Ground beef browned with salt and pepper, thickened, and creamed. Essentially just hamburger gravy on toast. Meh."
20."When I was young and my dad was a single parent, he'd try to have 'fancy' dinners for my sister and me. His go-to appetizer for us was a slice of bologna covered in peanut butter, then rolled up into a log. He'd then cut it into sections and each would have a toothpick in it. Voila! Appetizers. Whenever I start missing my dad, who passed away when I was 24, I make those appetizers."
21."Cubed-up baguette tossed in Greek yogurt and chopped mint. Sometimes, some honey to make it a sweet treat. This was strictly an after-dinner snack for some reason."
22."The weirdest thing I can think of is my grandma taught me to eat coffee and crackers. Basically, you take a plate and line it with saltines, pour-over coffee until they're softened, then spread some sugar to taste and eat with deli ham. It's basically a poor man's country ham biscuits and red-eye gravy. It's not the most filling breakfast in the world, but it hits the spot every once in a blue moon."
23."Having milk to drink with spaghetti, super refreshing. It counters the acidity perfectly, but my Italian-American friends think it's bizarre."
24."Grilled cheese with a side of cinnamon sugar rice."
Are there any slightly odd food combos you grew up eating? Let us know in the comments below or fill out this anonymous form!
Note: Responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.