if i could go back in time i would eat these foods
brb gonna order fossilized sanrio gum on ebay
My favorite topic to write about is childhood food memories. I’ve been collecting these for a while, and feel like it’s time to compile the first installment of the foods I can almost taste when I think about them:
The biggest mistake America has ever made is getting rid of all the Sanrio stores. This was always my first stop when my family went to San Francisco. My grandma would give me a $5 bill and let me go buckwild in the Sanrio store at the mall. I miss Sanrio gum so much. The best flavors are BY FAR lemonade and cola, but kiwi, peach, and strawberry were also incredible.
Mortadella sandwich from the Ferry Building
Speaking of San Francisco, I had this fantastic mortadella sandwich there from an Italian deli in the Ferry Building that I will always remember. I was probably about 10 when I had this sandwich and my dad made my brother and I split it because it was so massive I could barely get my child-sized mouth around it. I can’t find the name of the deli that sold it (the closest I got was Mastrelli’s, which I don’t think is right), but I can see the little corner deli at the very end of the Ferry Building so clearly.
Rhubarb and custard pie
This is a point of contention in my family because my mom swears she’s never made this pie but I remember eating it so clearly. My mom always makes strawberry rhubarb pie, but one summer when I was very little (probably about 4 or 5, we still lived in my childhood home that we moved out of when I was 6), she made rhubarb pie with the most delicious eggy vanilla custard. I remember it being so good and she’s never made it since!
BBQ twist Fritos, Oreos, and root beer
When I was a pre-teen, I had the messiest room of all time and once, my mom bribed me to deep clean it by buying my favorite snacks. She let me pick one savory snack (BBQ twist Fritos), one sweet snack (Oreos), and a drink (root beer) and we made a fun day out of cleaning my room and eating junk food. BBQ Fritos are a criminally underrated and misunderstood chip that I still love to this day.
Cupcake culture honestly still has a chokehold on me. St. Cupcake was THEE cupcake spot back in the early 2000s, the spot that every rich kid’s parents went to for classroom birthday treats. They are still my favorite cupcakes in the world. The batter tastes like it’s made with cornmeal or buttermilk, it has a kind of savory, hearty tang to it. And the cream cheese frosting is just to die for. My favorite cupcake from them is the Big Top: yellow cake with chocolate chips in it and cream cheese frosting with sprinkles.
Chocolate milk straws
There used to be a really cute candy store on NW 23rd (every middle schooler’s favorite street for shopping). For some reason, I really gravitated toward Valomilk marshmallow cups, Choward’s guava mints, and these plastic straws with chocolate beads in them. You were supposed to cut open the top and sip milk through it, and I thought it was the coolest invention ever.
Saturday turkey sandwiches
One of my favorite childhood rituals was going to Thriftway (a local grocery store) with my dad after Saturday ballet class to get sandwich ingredients. Here’s what was on our grocery list: Grand Central baguette (he taught me how to squish it and listen to the crackle to make sure it wasn’t a stale loaf), sliced mesquite turkey and Jarlsberg Lite swiss cheese from the deli counter, a bag of BBQ Lay’s, and brown-eyed Susans (shortbread thumbprint cookies with thick chocolate fudge in the middle) from the bakery section. Sometimes the POG salesman would have a table set up, in which case we would buy a carton of POG juice. And in the checkout line, if I was lucky, I’d get to pick out some mints or candy (I always picked out Altoid Sours to bring to school and trade my friends).
TCBY frozen yogurt
Before frozen yogurt got Big, there was TCBY. My go-to combo when I was 5 was regular vanilla/tart yogurt with gummy bears. I still love how gummy bears get all frozen and tasteless on frozen yogurt.
Feta chicken pizza
I lived in NYC for 6 years and still some of the best pizza I ever had was at an end-of-school party when I was 12. There were dough balls and bowls of toppings for each kid to assemble their own personal pizza. I spooned pesto onto my dough and topped it with feta and chicken, and handed it over to be grilled on the BBQ. I think I must have mistaken feta for a cheese I was more familiar with, but when I took my first bite I was obsessed with the briney, sharp cheese and the way it tasted on my BBQ-charred pizza.
Please share your childhood food memories in the comments!
On a hot summer day, my favorite meal my mom "made" was a melon(Cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon)cut in half, all the flesh scooped out. And then several scoops of orange or pineapple sherbet and then the melon piled back in. SO refreshing and why don't we eat sherbet anymore??
For me when I think of childhood food I think of corn toasties (which are basically flat corn breads you put in the toaster) smothered in butter for breakfast. They're so simple but just perfect. We also used to get cases of vanilla coke every time we were going to the beach so I would chug them just during that one week. I also miss Schwann's mini pizzas (had to be there) and dunkaroos. Where are they now???