Foods That Have Traumatized Me


This last few weeks was pretty stressful and full of sadness for me, after the passing of my grandfather and all the stuff that came after it. That meant for a lot of stomach upset, which culminated last night in horrible stomach traumas that I will just file under the category of: too much information to share.

It’s times like these that give me an opportunity to pause and reflect on all the foods that have traumatized me in years past. I think you will find that my list is about as bizarre as everything else in my life.

#1 Ice cream and yogurt, but not frozen yogurt or milk or cheese

You want to see me miserable, give me some ice cream or plain yogurt. For a while I thought I was lactose intolerant, but then I ate about a bucketful of mozzarella cheese and washed it down with half a gallon of milk, so I’m pretty sure it’s just the ice cream and yogurt.

But not frozen yogurt. Frozen yogurt I can eat until the cows come home (no pun intended … OK, pun may or may not have been planned, you decide).

#2 California Italian food

I’ve talked about this many, many times before, but something about the Italians out here in California makes their cooking taste like crap.

We went to a party before Christmas where a guy told me that Chicagoans “can’t cook Italian food worth shit.” Funny, in the family cooking contest we had both entered, he only garnered one vote (his) while I came in second place. Chicagoans can’t cook Italian food “worth shit,” huh? I’m about as Italian as that guidette Snookie is modest, too.

Every time I eat a California Italian’s cooking, though – every time without fail – I have a problem swallowing it, and spend 3/4 of the night sitting upright with acid reflux. Of course I put on my sweetest smile and gobble the stuff up, but it’s always like pasty mush mixed in a sea of something that resembles baby diapers.

#3 Coffee

Coffee for me is like a recipe for cardiac arrest. Don’t get me wrong, I love my caffeine; but anything beyond the amount found in a $1 Diet Coke from McDonald’s and I am a walking heart palpitation, just waiting to burst.

#4 Fish sticks

No, I’m not piggy-backing off any Southpark jokes, here – fish sticks have actually traumatized me, and therefore I will never (not ever) eat fish, of any kind.

When my parents first got divorced, I lived with my mom for one year (before she decided to leave me behind to move across the country and shack up with a dude that was still married). That year was a little weird for me, mostly because my mother was constantly trying to trick me to eat things she thought would be good for me.

Most of them had very little nutritional value at all.

The worst were the fish sticks. She promised me that they were chicken strips. She showed me a box that they had supposedly come out of. But then when I took a bite into those mercury-filled, fishy-flavored gems, I knew that she had lied to me. Not that I should have ever trusted her to begin with, but from that moment on I had a hard time believing anyone about what I was eating until I tasted it, for at least ten years.

#5 The fried cheese grilled cheese sandwich at Denny’s

Why does this exist? Calling them “grilled cheese” is usually inaccurate to begin with – those puppies are fried just like most every other sandwich on the Denny’s menu. But to then insert battered and fried sticks of mozzarella in the center of a grilled cheese sandwich; well, that just makes no sense to me.

People clearly order it too, because it’s been on the menu for quite a few years now. Fortunately we eat at Denny’s so infrequently that I don’t often see it; but on the rare occasion that we do, and I see it on the menu, my arteries quiver just a little when I see that gooey photo on the menu.

#6 Shellfish

So I’m allergic to everything it seems, and shellfish is included in the list. I’m also allergic to MSG and sodium nitrate, but it isn’t often that a restaurant slips that into your meal, like has happened to me with shellfish a number of times.

The most recent was last August. I had just returned from a few days in the faux-Danish town of Solvang and met my dad for happy hour and dinner at Macaroni Grill. I ordered angel hair pasta with asparagus and chicken, but when I bit into a piece of my chicken it tasted like shrimp. Within minutes my throat was starting to feel tight, so we left and I gave myself an Epipen.

Macaroni Grill sent me $20 for my troubles.

So, faithful blog followers, have you had food traumatize you? I don’t need to hear stories regaling for me the details of your bathroom experiences, or the consistency of your vomit or anything. Then again, maybe I’m the only one who lets her food mess with her head…


  1. sicklyjoye

    Yogurt gets to me too. The smell even, makes me gag. Ever since my mom tried to use yogurt in brownies in the microwave, and then fed it to me, I can’t even think about yogurt without feeling nauseated.

  2. Enchanted Seashells

    Meat traumatizes me. Veal especially. Lamb too. Babies. I’m good with chocolate tho, how about you?

  3. UndercoverL

    I have had a couple of food nightmares. First came a few years ago when I decided I was going to conquer my hatred for salmon. I made a pasta with salmon and poured myself a huge glass of milk, just in case. Took a bite of the salmon, hated it, took a drink of milk to wash it down and the milk was SOUR! Second came while making a sandwich using bagged lettuce (pre-washed, mind you). Took a bite of my sandwich, went to take a second bite and almost bit into a beetle that was meandering around in my sandwich. Third came when I was eating a bowl of vegetable soup in a small restaurant in Canada. I went to take a spoonful of soup and there was a dead fly in the soup. (I had already eaten most of the soup. Still makes my stomach turn.) I am always very wary of milk, bagged salad, and soup now. 😛

  4. addercatter

    Cocoa Puffs. When I was 5 or 6 I ate a bowl and it… uh… didn’t stay down for whatever reason. I still can NOT even look at a box of that cereal without my stomach turning. Blech. Even thinking about it makes me queasy…. Kat

  5. Gem

    Hubby has lived in Chicago and Cali and I spent a month gorging myself on Chi-town Italian. Yes, Ca Italian is very indigestion-y. Also the oregano used is often Mexican, whereas Chicago uses Italian oregano more often- they are actually two separate species. So now you know, lol.

  6. geethecakelady

    Poor thing. Sometime food memories are not good ones. I am always amazed that food, smells and flavours can take us to a totally different place and time!
    Hope all picks up soon for you.

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