Everyone has a favorite food from childhood. Whether it’s a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with the crusts removed, a crunchy pan-fried grilled cheese, or mom’s homemade chocolate chip cookies, we all treat ourselves to a classic kiddie food from time to time. Much like us, our favorite foods have evolved over the years; many of our childhood favorites are now available in “grown-up” versions with a more sophisticated flavor profile.
Lots of our favorite foods from childhood have gotten a cheesy makeover. Macaroni and cheese can be found studded with salty blue cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches are spread with tangy chèvre, and pizzas forego mozzarella in favor of Manchego, Gruyère and dollops of ricotta.
Our favorite sandwiches have been updated, too. The breads are more wholesome, more flavorful, and artisanally-crafted. The fillings are reminiscent of childhood flavors but have been updated to suit a sophisticated palate; prosciutto, arugula, and heirloom tomatoes join the cheesy goodness of our grilled sandwiches, and homemade nut butters and fruit compotes stand in for peanut butter and jelly. And is that Brie on you “grown-up” PB&J? Absolutely!
Even desserts have evolved. Lots of childhood favorites are studded with savory ingredients and spiked to boozy perfection; chocolate chip cookies are salted and used to sandwich whiskey-infused vanilla cream, ice cream is drizzled with olive oil, and your fruit slushie may or may not include a healthy measure of vodka.
We’ve rounded up some of our favorite reimagined childhood foods. What do you think? Can they compete with the original?
Is there anything you can’t put on top of a hot dog? Our grown-up favorites include pickled veggies with cilantro and chili pepper sauce, mango chutney, or sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Thousand Island dressing.
Long gone are the days of the one-dimensional syrup-drenched pancake. Savory pancakes are in; think onion, ham and cheese, and pea and pesto.
Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal’s Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.