Maybe’s it’s the meal you were eating when your high-school sweetheart dumped you. Or the snack you overindulged on at a slumber party. Or a dish you now associate with a really scary movie you were watching at the time. But for whatever reason, you just haven’t been able to stomach this particular foodstuff since. We ask our staff and you, our Takeout commentariat: Due to various traumatic previous experiences, what food has been permanently ruined for you?
A few weeks ago, our office was abuzz debating the supremacy of Red Vines versus Twizzlers. You know who didn’t participate? Me. I can’t even smell Twizzlers since I ate one licorice strip too many at a visit to the Ringing Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus when I was a kid. At the big top, I was inadvisedly given red licorice, popcorn, and circus peanuts (when in Rome, I guess) for a snack. It was something about the tremendous steep height where we were sitting (definite nosebleed seats), the smell of animal manure that somehow reached all the way up to the top of the tent, and the unsavory combo of Twizzlers, those heinous orange peanuts, and tremendously dry popcorn that made me hurl all over my rickrack-trimmed dress. Which then made me feel even sicker. Fortunately, popcorn and I survived, but I haven’t been able to look at a Twizzler ever since. I pointedly avoided the office kitchen that day. [Gwen Ihnat]
Jimmy John’s pickles
First things first, I love pickles. So when coworkers at my previous job came back to the office with their Jimmy John’s orders and asked who wanted the pickles they didn’t care for, my hand shot up like a bottle rocket. I also had a pickle with my own sandwich order, so throughout the afternoon, I unwisely ate three or four giant pickles. By the final pickle, all was not well. The vinegar felt like it was eating through my stomach and producing a bilious soup inside me. I believe that afternoon was the only sick day I ever took in the course of my employment there. Thankfully, there is a happy ending to this story, which is that I did not require medical attention, nor did the experience ruin all pickles for me—only the freaky fast ones. [Kate Bernot]
Chunky potato-bacon soup
In high school I had the misfortune of having all four of my wisdom teeth extracted at once. After the surgery, I was half-dead on my basement couch. It just so happened that day was my grandmother’s birthday party, and my mother, bless her heart, left me all alone at home with what had been my favorite soup: Campbell’s Chunky Baked Potato with Cheddar and Bacon soup. I was half-woozy when I began spooning this thick soup into my mouth—until I forgot thick, wet pads of bloody gauze were still stuck in my gums. The taste and the sensation was horrifying and nauseating. I threw my spoon down in anger and cried on the couch. I have not touched a can of Chunky soup since. [A.E. Dwyer]
Okay Takeout commenteriat: Don’t disappoint with your tales.