Top Foods Adults Love and Children Hate

Staff Writer
The ultimate "mature palate" ingredients
Foods Kids Hate
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Foods Kids Hate

My parents have a wonderful, probably universal, proclivity to pass along relics from my childhood, reminders of what I was like back then. For instance, my mom regularly rediscovers my third grade "book" on Susan B. Anthony that I comprehensively researched in the A volume of the Encyclopedia Britannica.

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Last night, my dad emailed me a document entitled "Sarah's Food Preferences" from when I was 12 and went to live with him after my parents' divorce. He's a lawyer, partial to lists and other official documentation. Some highlights from my diet then include, "loves hot dogs," "no meat loaf," and "hates spinach, asparagus, 'big green beans.' " Those thick stringy green beans are the worst, young and old can agree, but do some kid hates inevitably become adult loves? By and large, I think yes. Here are the most obvious ones. What would you add or delete from this list of foods that adults love but kids hate?

1. Scallops
This delicacy that now stars in my special dinners at restaurants and at home haunted me as a child with its vague oceanic flavor and unidentifiable origins.

2. Asparagus
It just tasted too much like a vegetable to eat as a kid, but everything changed when I tried a dish like this, except with Parmesan, at a cool cafe in New York. The college years are educational like that.

3. Breads that have a strong taste (like sourdough, rye, and pumpernickel)
Used to be that if my sandwich was between anything other than a mild wheat or white bread, I would just eat the insides out from between whatever weird-tasting slices were there. Now, I refuse to eat pastrami without rye.

4. Cilantro
I know this is a controversial one, but I include it because so few kids can bear it, while a population of adults adore it. This leafy herb used to pose as parsley and sneak into my burritos to make me gag. Perhaps taste buds do dull with age, because now I love its fresh, green taste.

5. Cauliflower
This colorless vegetable frightened me as a youth, maybe because people didn't know how to roast vegetables in the '80s. Now crispy cauliflower is one of my favorite vegetable dishes.

6. Brussels Sprouts
See #5.

7. Sushi
Not all adults love sushi, but most Western kids can't stand the idea of raw fish. As a teen, I was only willing to eat gateway sushi—cucumber rolls, avocado rolls, and lesser-known mushroom rolls. It wasn't until my 20s that I experimented then fell in love with salmon sashimi, yellowtail sushi, and the rest.

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