The Truly Disgusting Things We Ate as Children

Drew Swantak/Thrillist

Kids do a lot of weird things, like enthusiastically trying to spy on fat, old home-intruders every December 25th. What's truly remarkable, though, is their ability to enjoy vile food creations you wouldn't feed to a dog -- and lest you forget, dogs eat their own poo. We took an internal poll to find out the grossest things the Thrillist staff enthusiastically ate as children. If the results are any indication, we're probably not making it to 70.


I had a normal childhood. A good childhood. But there's one red flag: in every single Kodak moment from every single summer ('88-'95), I'm eating sand. Like, fist to face. I'm smiling, bleach-blonde hair waving with the wind, and aggressively chowing down on tiny rocks. My parents can't seem to remember why.

I can't imagine it was a taste thing, but I was eating it enough that, by way of pictures, I clearly loved something about this inedible summertime food staple. I remember liking my sand fine, not coarse or too rocky. And it could never be wet. It should go without saying that I don't eat sand anymore (I've replaced the crunch with a crippling addiction to potato chips), but I may try it this summer. If I don't have to immediately get my stomach pumped, I'll let you know how it goes. - Julie Cerick, assistant managing editor

Drew Swantak/Thrillist

Turkey, butter, and salt sandwiches

In what retrospectively seems like a lethargic attempt on my life, my granny used to make me decadent, hypertension-inducing turkey, butter, and salt sandwiches for lunch when I would stay over. The butter was not thinly spread at all -- big chunks of it lined the untoasted bread -- and you would catch yourself crunching on scattered accumulations of salt every so often, but I'll be damned if my childhood self didn't find them delicious. I'm pretty sure I lost a day off the end of my life each time I ate one, and I still count them as days well spent. - Tyler Beckwith, editorial project manager

Creamer cups

I used to crush dozens of those tiny half-and-half cups served with coffee at restaurants. They were my favorite thing. In fact, when my parents married when I was 4 (yes, that's right), I had a nearly endless supply. Later, my mom found some empty ones in a bunched-up part of her wedding dress that I had left while hugging her. I hardly ever use them in my coffee today. - Tony Merevick, cities news editor

Pistachio nut salt

So here's a great party trick for maximum enjoyment of pistachio nuts. The best part of pistachios, or any nuts for that matter, is the salt, obviously. And shelling pistachios is a lot of work. But you know what's not a lot of work? Sucking the salt off pistachio nuts and then placing those nuts back into the bowl. I mean, where else would you put them at this point? I did this consistently at large family parties from ages 5-12 and was only ever caught once, by my uncle's then-fiance, who was still brave enough to marry into the family. Do not eat damp, unsalted pistachio nuts. - Bison Messink, managing editor

Drew Swantak/Thrillist

Flour and water "paste"

As a young lad of 6, I decided one night that it was time to start earning my keep by "cooking" dinner for my family. My meal consisted of equal parts flour and water, lovingly mixed together in a bowl until it reached a consistency approximating spackling paste. It was delicious. My mother and father both took spoonfuls of the pasty mix (or pretended to, at least) and proclaimed how tasty it was, to my delight. My older brother, meanwhile, spat his portion out and told me it was the worst thing he’d ever eaten. Sobbing, I greedily consumed the rest of his portion. - Gianni Jaccoma, staff writer

Goldfish cereal

I used to put Goldfish in milk to eat as cereal because it just made sense to me at the time. Then I kept forcing myself to do it daily for a while because my mom said I'd hate it, and it would be disgusting. I HAD TO PROVE HER WRONG! - Laura Murray, photo editorial intern

Peanut butter, cheese, and bacon sandwiches

Sometime around age 10 or 11, I heard something about how Elvis enjoyed peanut butter, bacon, and banana sandwiches. At first I was disgusted, but then became curious about how peanut butter and bacon might taste together (bananas would push the concoction too close to health food). Of course, it was tasty. You know what else is tasty? Cheddar cheese. They have peanut butter and cheddar cheese cracker sandwiches, so it seemed reasonable enough. As I recall, it tasted pretty good. I don't know why I stopped eating them. Maybe I'll start up again? - Matt Lynch, deputy editor

Drew Swantak/Thrillist

Dog treats

I truly can't remember what exactly led me to the biscuit box, but it probably had something to do with "playing dogs." If you're unfamiliar, the game consists of three to five dog-obsessed little girls crawling around on their hands and knees, barking at each other and drinking water out of bowls on the floor. It was/is a total blast. One funny mom probably told me to sit and offered a reward, not realizing how deeply committed I was to my role. Honestly, they just taste like super-hard crackers. They're good for the gums. - Carrie Dennis, associate editor

"PS Fiestas"

When I was 10 or 11, I took one of those variety packs of overly sugared breakfast cereals, like Count Chocula, Frosted Flakes, Froot Loops, Cheerios, Rice Krispies, Special K, and I think Raisin Bran, then put them all in a food processor, added milk and water, and made this kind of breakfast cereal paste. Then I put them in balls and deep-fried them in used bacon grease and vegetable oil. We called them PS Fiestas. I believe the PS stood for "Pimp Shit."

I don't remember if it was necessarily all that gross, but then I dumped the almost two gallons of fat I'd used to deep-fry it in a pasta pot down the drain, and it congealed and overflowed into our basement, and cleaning a gallon of cooking fat off our basement floor DEFINITELY was very gross. - Matt Meltzer, Miami editor

Ungrilled cheese sandwiches

OK, so when I was a kid I used to eat non-grilled cheese sandwiches. It's not like a "regular" cheese sandwich -- if such a thing exists -- where it's bread with cheese, but a toasted bread sandwich with cheese. So, I'd put the bread in a toaster, slather it up with mayonnaise, and stick like five to 10 slices of American or cheddar cheese on it. Warm toast and ice-cold cheese, that was my scene in the '90s. - Jeremy Glass, Supercompressor vice editor

Drew Swantak/Thrillist

Nesquik, straight up

As a youngster around the age of 9 or so, I obviously hated milk and needed it to be way more like a milkshake, so my family ALWAYS had Nestlé Quik around. Being the brilliant child I was, I realized that the stuff that made my milk taste good tasted even better by itself. So being the not-so-brilliant child that I actually was, I'd eat it by the spoonful, straight up. But this was frowned upon in my household, so I remember many a time that I'd retreat to the woods behind my house and eat Quik straight from the container with a spoon. I'm not proud of shoveling granulated strawberry sugar substitute down my throat, alone in the woods, but I'd do it again in a second. - Pete Dombrosky, copy chief

Cheddar saltine ball

When I was little, there were cheddar saltines. They were super plain and meh. I would stuff as many in my mouth as I could fit, chew them up, then spit them out. I'd do that over and over until I had a slimy ball of cheese crackers about the size of a lemon. Then I'd eat it like an apple. I thought it made them taste like delicious Goldfish crackers. My mom caught me and began just, you know, getting Goldfish. - Andy Kryza, senior editor

Kristin Hunt is a staff writer at Thrillist. She never made paste, but she once served her family a half-baked box cake. Her brother was a real dick about it, too. Follow her at @kristin_hunt.