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People Are Sharing The Horrific "Crimes Against Food" Their Parents Committed When They Were Children

Mom, I love you, but we need to talk about Brussels sprouts.

As kids, we were at the whim of our parents — and as adults, many of our food preferences and aversions stem from the things we were served as children. So Redditor u/whatacad asked, "What did your parents teach you about cooking that has since been disproven?" Here's what people chimed in with.

1. "We ate pork chops often growing up, but my mom used to overcook them severely. She told us cooked pork with any pinkness wasn't safe to eat. For my whole life I thought I hated pork because it was never juicy enough...until I finally tried a pork chop cooked to medium-rare."

Two pork chops with boiled veggies
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2. "My mom was a decent cook, but apparently salmon wasn't her strong suit. I thought I detested salmon because my mother's version was so dry. When I finally had salmon at a restaurant, I couldn't believe this fish could taste so moist and flaky."

Baked salmon with herbs and lemon
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3. "Vegetables must be boiled, particularly broccoli. Maybe if my parents had roasted veggies from time to time, I would have eaten a lot more of them."

Straining boiled broccoli with a skimmer spoon
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4. "My mom never cooked with salt and told me to completely omit salt when cooking. As it so happens, food tastes a whole lot better when salted."

A woman boiling green beans with salt
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5. "I always thought that meat must be cooked to a point of total shoe-leather-level dryness in order to be 'safe' to eat. Neither of my parents would touch a piece of chicken that wasn't completely overcooked to the point of desiccation or a piece of beef with even so much as a touch of pinkness to it."

Skillet fried chicken breast on the stovetop
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6. "My dad always told me that mushrooms should be added to the dish at the very last minute so they are barely cooked. As a result, I always thought I didn’t like mushrooms. But when I finally ate mushrooms that had been sautéed until golden brown, I was blown away. Turns out they are way better fully cooked!"

Sliced white mushrooms on a plate
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7. "My mom happens to be a great cook, but growing up we probably had tacos once per week. Like many American families, our taco night consisted of a DIY spread of hard taco shells, ground beef (maybe flavored with taco seasoning) shredded cheese, lettuce, and chopped tomatoes. They were perfectly enjoyable...but it wasn't until I tried my first battered fish taco in a corn tortilla that I realized my mother's version were not real tacos."

Ground beef tacos topped with romaine lettuce, diced tomato, and diced purple onion
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8. "My parents instilled in me that you shouldn't eat more than three eggs per week or you'd die of heart failure from the cholesterol."

Frying eggs in a skillet.
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9. "Canned spinach was part of the regular dinner rotation when I was growing up, along with boxed fish sticks and microwaveable rice. I didn't realize spinach could be so fresh, crisp, and tasty until I tried a spinach salad at my in-law's house. It was a whole new world to me."

Canned spinach on a white plate
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10. "That all fat is bad fat. I grew up with this and so many 'low-fat' foods in my house packed with so much sugar to make up for flavor."

A woman shopping in the dairy section of a supermarket
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11. "My entire childhood we had margarine and never ate real butter. I always thought restaurants had some special technique that made their food taste incredible. Turns out it was just regular salted butter, and I was missing out."

Spreading margarine butter onto bread
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12. "I never understood the hype around steak while growing up. Now I realize it's because my mom was always feeding a family of eight, and as a result she brought cheap, tenderized cuts that she could afford. She'd cook these meats to the consistency of cardboard and tell us how lucky we were to be eating steak for dinner. I was totally indifferent to it as a meal, but I was taught to eat what's in front of you and never complain. It wasn't until I moved out on my own and ate a really good steak at a restaurant that I realized I had misunderstood beef for 18 years. Now I absolutely love to cook and eat steak."

A well-done piece of steak being sliced.
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13. "My parents put oil in pasta water to 'keep the pasta from sticking together.' I learned later that adding oil to pasta water is frowned upon. It does nothing but waste oil. The better method for preventing sticky pasta: Stir the noodles periodically, drain them, and finish cooking them right in the sauce."

Close-up photo of pasta being boiled
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14. "I just recently made meatballs after not eating them for 15 or so years, and they were delicious. I guess my childhood ruined them for me. As much as I love my mom and appreciate her cooking for us kids, I guess meatballs just weren't her specialty. They'd always come out dry and burnt on the outside but plain wet on the inside."

Meatballs cooking in a skillet
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15. "My parents boiled hard-boiled eggs for a minimum of 20 minutes until the yolks were dark gray. It was only in adulthood that I discovered the magic of properly boiled (and medium-boiled!) eggs."

A hard-boiled egg being peeled
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16. "For my entire childhood, I thought mashed potatoes came in a box. It didn't even occur to me that one could make them from scratch."

A bowl of mashed potatoes
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17. "My parents never used seasonings and spices so everything always tasted extremely bland. Once I went off to college and started experimenting with cooking, I realized how my parents' cooking lacked flavor and how easy it is to enhance the taste of any dish with some simple spices."

An above-view of a person seasoning a fish steak
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18. "My parents thought that grilling was synonymous with burning. It wasn't until I bought my own barbecue and played around with grilling that I learned 'barbecued' does not mean charred beyond recognition."

Charred hot dogs on a grill
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19. "My mom never added enough liquid to boxed mac 'n' cheese, and she never stirred it enough, so the noodles would taste sticky, and occasionally I’d get these little pockets of cheese powder that would explode in my mouth. She would actually do the same thing with pancake batter, so our pancakes would contain little clumps of powder."

Preparing mac 'n' cheese with cheese powder and butter
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20. "My parents corrupted salad for me for a long time. Our salads were always iceberg lettuce, tasteless tomatoes, and a couple of unhappy croutons all covered in ranch dressing. It took me a long time to realize how tasty salad could be."

A bowl filled with garden salad topped with ranch dressing
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21. "My parents tend to err on the side of burning things, and sometimes they err very hard. I always assumed bacon was the solid food equivalent of coffee. It smelled amazing but tasted like bitter, burnt ashes. When I was 12, I had bacon cooked properly at a friend's house, and it actually blew my mind."

A close-up of fried bacon on paper towel
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22. "My mother is actually a decent cook, but she hates spicy food and never adds a kick to anything she's cooking. As a result, her chili con carne is basically just Bolognese sauce."

A wooden spoon stirring Bolognese sauce
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23. "When I first tried fresh asparagus that was roasted in the oven until crispy, it blew my mind. I never knew this vegetable could taste so good. As a kid, I was always served boiled asparagus or even worse: asparagus from a can."

A piece of salmon with a side of asparagus
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24. "My mother always put a packet of Lipton’s onion soup mix in everything she makes. I'm talking every single dish! Rice, mashed potatoes, taco meat, etc. It was always the only consistent thing about her cooking."

Homemade broccoli, mushroom, and rice casserole
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25. "My mom made Brussels sprouts all the time for my family, but they were always boiled or steamed. She claimed to love them, but my siblings and I would hardly touch them on our plates. They tasted so strong and sort of bitter. Turns out she was just a product of her time when boiling vegetables was very in vogue. Nowadays, Brussels sprouts — roasted with olive oil, salt, and pepper until crispy — are my absolute favorite veggie."

Hand-squeezing lemon juice from a fresh lemon onto cooked Brussels sprouts
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26. "My mom always made adjustments to recipes that somehow made sense in her head but were not practical. For example, she would see a recipe that called for two cups of shredded cheese (too much cheese, according to my mother) and then she would replace one cup of cheese with shredded carrots because they looked similar. Or when cooking enchiladas, she'd add two cans of diced olives because they vaguely resembled ground meet once cooked. Once I got older, I realized I enjoy enchiladas...just not how my mother prepares them."

Close up shot of black bean, onion, and cheese enchiladas
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27. "It was only when I grew up that I realized the pasta I was served throughout my childhood did not taste the way it was meant to. This is because my mom left pasta in the water until it was time to serve it, even if the noodles were practically starting to dissolve by that time. When dinnertime came along, she'd drown the pasta in butter so it wouldn't stick together."

An up-close view of mushy noodles
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28. "My dad always scrubbed mushrooms lightly with a brush instead of washing them in water. As it turns out, rinsing mushrooms doesn't affect their taste or texture because they're already mostly water to begin with. Plus, rinsing them is a much faster way of cleaning them."

Mushrooms being washed in the sink
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What's a food you thought you disliked or one that was almost ruined for you because of the way your parents prepared it? Tell us in the comments below.