Taste is such a bizarre thing—in one sense, kids are extremely picky about food and have to “acquire” a taste for exotic fare like oysters and offal before they feel comfortable eating it. On the other hand, children are usually down to consume things that adults would find “challenging”—like apple sauce and eggs, Pepsi-soaked peanuts, and cheese-wrapped bananas—because the combos are just so weird. These days, though, this evolution is becoming hazier than ever as chefs draw on nostalgia to inspire oddball menu items like Justin Warner’s Cocoa Puffs spaghetti carbonara at Do or Dine in Brooklyn, or Roy Choi’s “CHU-DON’T-KNOW-MANG” (pound cake churros served with malted chocolate milk and vanilla ice cream) at A-Frame in Los Angeles.
We were curious to see if we at the Complex office still appreciated the foods we once loved as kids. So, we asked the Complex staff to divulge the strangest snacks they ate growing up, and then made them taste-test them again as adults to see if they hold up. Apparently, our officemates were into some bizarre stuff as youngsters, like cubed spam mixed into mac and cheese, and plates of microwaved marshmallow Peeps—though, to be fair, some of these dishes just sound like trendy menu items at a restaurant in Williamsburg. We can’t help to think: Are the weird foods we craved as kids influencing the dining scene more than we realize?
Click through the gallery to see Complex staff members taste and review the foods they once loved as children.