What Are Your Very Earliest Memories About Food?

Just wondering what your earliest memories about food are, or those items that made a big impression on you when you were very young?

I remember mine clearly, even back to toddlerhood.
They are:

Coca Cola, ice cold in a 7 oz bottle on a sultry day in Houston. ( Dad gave me a drink of his) It blew my young mind - couldn’t believe the bubbles & the taste. I’ve been a Coke/Diet Coke girl ever since, though I drink it rarely these days.

Meat on the grill with bbq sauce. My parents had a cookout, and dad gave me a tester, thought it was the best thing I ever tasted. Hung around the grill, but no more testers. (Hope to god us little ones didn’t get hot dogs, but I bet we did) :slightly_frowning_face:

Stuffed crab, we must have gone crabbing with friends in Galveston or somewhere like that. I was equally fascinated and terrified of the crabs in the buckets. We then took them to my parents friends’ house, where they were stuffed and baked. I had never smelled anything that good before. My mom told me I wouldn’t like them, but let me taste the stuffing. Loved it, so got some crab for dinner.

Anyway, what foods made a big impression on you as a very young child?


Was told to go out and shoot sparrows with our bb guns from nonna . Stuffed with bread crumbs, garlic , and rosemary. Served over polenta. Burned in my my mind still after 55 yrs .


I was between 2 and 3. My favorite shirt had 3 pockets across the bottom trimmed with rick-rack. My mom gave me raisins for 1 pocket when I would play outside. A second pocket held oyster crackers. A third pocket was empty for my found treasures. I was fascinated by the tiny snails in our garden. I’d collect them and tuck in the extra pocket. One day a baby sitter placed the raisins in the wrong pocket. So my big bite of raisins became a mouthful of gritty snail shells. My other food memory from that period involves cake and ice cream. I remember being very distressed that they were served together in the same bowl. I did not like the cake becoming soggy from the melting ice cream. I protested. My Aunt, who had served it, called me a brat.


Birthday cakes
Cracker Jack bags from the park vendor
YooHoo from the fishing marina vending machine
The smell of Sunday gravy
Meat and foil wrapped potatoes in the fire pit
Lots of pb sandwiches

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Wow, great topic! Very early memory - I hated milk so mom put an egg in it. I must have been quite young as it was a bottle but I was walking. The smells of grandma cooking- onions, garlic! Best smell! The flowers on top of birthday cake. Rainbow cookies with marzipan from a German bakery in Astoria.

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I was 4-5, we lived in Chicago (1962-1963)

The Chinese restaurant where I asked for chicken with snow peas, it wasn’t on the menu, the cook came out to see the kid that asked for it. He made it for me.

The bowl of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup I was eating when the radio announcer said JFK was dead.

The smoked ducks hanging from the cabinet doors in my neighbor’s kitchen.

The can of Hamm’s I found out front sitting on the curb in the sun. No can opener (flip tops came later) so I punched a hole in the top with a rock and stood over the spray of hot beer and enjoyed the experience.


My first memories involve sweets. One was being given rock candy by my mother; I don’t know how old I was, but it would have been younger than age 5 because we were still living in our first place. The second is being on the playground in Brooklyn, around 4 or 5 years old, and being allowed to get a bomber pop from the Good Humor truck. My mother usually never let me have Popsicles or such (she made her own juice pops), so this would have been a rare treat.

Oh, also around the same age: I remember going out for Chinese food, and the restaurant seeming impossibly large.

There’s a photo of me around my 2nd birthday pondering a Cheerio held between my fingers, but I have no actual memory of the event.

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Standing on a chair in my grandmother’s kitchen on a hot and sticky summer day, a dishtowel tied around my waste, stirring grape jelly with a wooden spoon while my grandmother, her sisters, and nieces chattered around me. I was just 3 or 4, but I still feel the love that filled every inch of that tiny, overcrowded, hot kitchen.

(Its dusty in here)


Lol. At that age, it was my waist.

Nowadays, waste is probably more accurate.


Sliced tomatoes with salt. I think I was in a high chair.

Nothing has ever tasted as good as that.


Complaining to my mother that my bib smelled bad. It was flannel-backed plastic so to clean it, she just wiped it with a dishcloth. She pooh-poohed my objections for days. FINALLY, she found a rotting string bean in the pocket. Though just a toddler, I relished having known better than Mom. When I was 5-ish, she caught me hiding the crusts from my standard sandwich lunch inside the decorative metal cover of the living room radiator. There was quite the collection, and a well-deserved spanking. Thank goodness she was a clean-freak, so there were no bugs or mice in the house. On the good side, when I was about 10, and my strongest food memory to this day, perhaps 6 decades on, the taste and heady aroma of wild strawberries found in a sunny meadow in the Catskills.


In going with a bunch of junkfood since this sticks out in my head more than any veggie or protein…hey we were kids!

Jiffypop popcorn
Pretzel sticks (those super thin ones with a million mg of salt per stick)
Bazooka bubblegum
Jolly ranchers
Chocolate milk
Big league chew
Red liquorice from peddlers village in PA
Orange creamsicles


What made that red licorice memorable?
We used buy the long hollow shoestrings
of them for a penny and use as a straw with our 10 cent Dodger or Nehi pop.
A good black cherry soda will still stop me in my track.

This was basically sugar and nothing like real liquorice (I hate black liquorice.) Something about the flavor and texture. It had a bite to it. You had to kind of chew through it…not a snap but far off from a gummy bear or twizzler texture. So good. I could eat bags of them. It looks like this


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Did anyone else use to make cinnamon toothpicks? These were the rage in Jr. High. Most of the kids didn’t have money to buy the cinnamon oil from the pharmacy. I “invested” my weeks lunch money in the oil and toothpicks and went into business. I had several levels of “hot” - the extreme was soaked for a week! No recollection of what I sold the toothpicks for but I had trouble keeping them in stock. Chewing gum was 5 cent a pack so I imagine a toothpick went for 1 cent, a 7 day soak was probably more. It made money and I was able to add a 45 record to my collection weekly!


Oh geez, I’d forgotten those.

The fad at our school ended about a week after everyone ended up with a matching blister at the corner of our mouths from the oil.

This is too funny, DH & I had a conversation about the cinnamon toothpicks a few days ago. And then there were the lemon drops we sucked on constantly in school. Not sure I did my teeth any favors in my misspent youth…:scream_cat::scream_cat:

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Cinnamon toothpicks! I had forgotten them too. And it made me remember - I wonder if eating CoffeeMate right out of the jar with a plastic spoon was a fad in jr high/high school in other parts of the country. This was a girls only fad but a lot of girls did it. Since it’s largely corn syrup solids it has a very familiar commercial junk candy taste, quite a lot like the inside of a Mars Bar. I never liked any of the Mars candies so this may be the main reason I never got on board the the CoffeeMate trend.

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How about honey suckles? Does anyone remember those? Also, I chowed down on wild raspberries when I was a kid. Those grew right near my house, along with crabapples in nj. The rasp grew like crazy! Come to think of it, I ate other things like dandelions and I think my parents would be charged with neglect nowadays lol. At least I wasn’t glued to a video game or tablet (as I write this very memory)