Yes, I remember boxed foods, especially sugared cereal. When we moved to NJ when I was 4 1/2, my new pediatrician counseled my mother to ban any cereal with sugar in the first 3 ingredients. All those yummy things disappeared.

When I was 15 I went on a summer program where I lived in a frat house with 21 other teens and 2 advisors. The program hired a cook who ordered food for us in bulk, Costco-sized boxes of cereal included. I appropriated pounds of Fruit Loops and tried to make up my lost consumption during those 2 weeks.

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I miss Carnation Breakfast bars. I am not a picky eater unless I'm served Frisee.

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I'm not a picky eater, but this feels like a safe space to admit kraft mac and cheese with sliced hot dogs is still a comfort meal I eat once a year.

The biggest fallout from this is the only non Kraft mac and cheese I ever truly enjoyed was a mind-blowingly good side dish at Poppy & Harriet's in Pioneer town.

Oh. And because my mom only baked weird things from scratch like apricot squares I can'tfor the life of me replicate, I generally dislike homemade brownies. Which is not to say Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines are amazing--they're mediocre--but I only discovered their mediocrity when I happened upon the nirvana that is Ghirardelli dark chocolate brownies.

I am not taking questions at this time.

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Your friend Greg did you an huge favor: Fisher's The Art Of Eating is an excellent compilation of her work. It's one of my favorites along with Pepin's The Apprentice (worth getting just for Maman's recipe for cheese soufflé). I look forward to hearing about your favorite food writers soon!

Your experience as a picky eater mirrors that of my wife. When we met she had never had fresh fish and thought fish sticks were as good as it got. All those packaged foods you mentioned were her friends, especially the Kraft M&C. I grew up with the same foods but became an adventurous eater. I worked in a French restaurant at the time, so I challenged her to try new things. She now loves seared tuna and salmon carpaccio as well as sushi and sashimi; she has eaten escargot in Hong Kong, ceviche in Mexico, duck scrapple in Cleveland, and conger eel in Chile. She will try shrimp occasionally but doesn't like the texture. She absolutely devours broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and spinach, and she insists that I make her shepherd's pie with lamb every December.

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thats so interesting! for me, my mom mostly cooked homemade stuff (at least for herself, sometimes she’d make us kraft mac and cheese) and my brother actually grew to dislike it--he’d rather have a microwave meal now. i’m also sad that having dumplings so much led me to not want it for a while. ive grown to like pickles and tolerate olives.

it’s been interesting to see how my family members tries to “integrate” more western things into her chinese meals -- like using whole grain flour for her dumplings, or cooking chicken with coca cola.

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