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What is the strangest thing you ate as a child?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on June 15, 2007

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Photo of Amy Thompson

“I used to eat little wads of paper. Well, sometimes I ate them and sometimes I spit them at my brother.”

Photo of Dan Eckert

“I remember trying to eat paste. It always smelled good, but I don’t remember what it tasted like.”

Photo of Elizabeth Ross

“I ate construction paper and plants that I would find outside.”

Photo of Fernando Ipanaque

“Probably chalk. You know, you chew on those kinds of things at school when you’re little.”


kj 10 years, 10 months ago

I tried dog food when I was a kid.

H_Lecter 10 years, 10 months ago

p.s. Sometimes I really miss mom & dad

southerngirl 10 years, 10 months ago

I used to love playdough! Guess that is why I am a teacher now! : ) ~d

sourpuss 10 years, 10 months ago

I ate my mother's hard, green contact lenses, because I thought they were candy. Boy was she mad... those things were crazy expensive!!

jonas 10 years, 10 months ago

As a kid I was pretty conservative, but I did eat a fish eye a few days ago.

It really wasn't that good. Not to say it was bad, but, ya'know, if you're going to get over the idea that you're eating something's frickin eye, then it needs to be delicious, and sadly it was not.

Stephen Prue 10 years, 10 months ago

my mom watched me eat a june bug one evening on the porch i don't remember it but i'd do it again on a dare. maybe

sunflower_sue 10 years, 10 months ago

Rocky Mountain Oysters...but they were not as strange as the cow brain sandwiches.

sunflower_sue 10 years, 10 months ago

buffalo, just don't do it around me. Hearing the crunch triggers my gag reflex!

Bone777 10 years, 10 months ago

As a very small boy, I ate some 'divinity' out of my grandmothers backyard, where her beagle, Bridgett, resided.

Lesson learned: Grandma makes better divinity than Bridgett...

jonas 10 years, 10 months ago

No job at this point, though I think I could probably get one from YRC (Yellow freight) without trying too hard. My focus, right now, is still on school, though. I'm shooting for an internship in the states next summer, with perhaps a jaunt back to China for a month or so. I'm not sure I'm up to living in China at this point. It's interesting, but it's frickin' crazy over here! I like it a lot, but the states is definately preferable, in terms of living standards and other externalities.

It's my birthday tomorrow! First birthday in a foreign country since the Dominican Republic when I was 16. Thankfully, my wife is here for it, before we part ways for a month or two.

acg 10 years, 10 months ago

I once ate a daddy longleg. My siblings talked me into it. They were mean.

coolmom 10 years, 10 months ago

my father tells the story of looking over while working in the yard and seeing me peel a dried up nightcrawler off the sidewalk and popping it into my mouth and crunching away. he says that when he asked me why i ate it i said "because it was dead" apparently he felt slightly sick and said that was his first real experience with childhood logic.

sunflower_sue 10 years, 10 months ago

jonas, HPB tomorrow! Have a moon cake or two. (Avoid the fish eyes!) :$

Jaminrawk 10 years, 10 months ago

I ate fiberglass insulation. It wasn't cotton candy like the guy said... my tummy itches.

farmgirl 10 years, 10 months ago

My brother dared me to eat alfalfa pellets once. And in fifth grade the teachers had us all bring the most disgusting food we could find to share with the class. The pig brain was pretty good, but I couldn't bring myself to try the cow tongue.

coneflower 10 years, 10 months ago

Liverwurst and Limberger cheese. My mom was a German warbride, so this was normal in our household. I miss her apple strudel.

acg 10 years, 10 months ago

Limberger cheese in the nastiest stuff in the world and I'll tell ya'll a secret. You ever want to get even with someone? Take the face plates off of their electrical outlets in their house and stuff limberger cheese in there and then put them back on. Did that once to a boyfriend that cheated on me and his friends told me he moved because he could never figure out what that awful rotten smell was. Hehee, vengence is mine, sayeth the acg!!

Chrissy Neibarger 10 years, 10 months ago

I accidentally drank some bleach when i was young. Mom had an iced tea container sitting next to the sink soaking, and I couldn't tell you what I was thinking, but I took a swig.

ms_canada 10 years, 10 months ago

Jonas - I hope that you and your wife have a happy celebration tomorrow for your birthday. Watch what you eat. Sunflower sue - would you please tell this ignorant gal what Rocky Mountain Oysters are. I was trying to think of something strange that I have eaten. Can't think of a dang thing. My daughter Diane used to crawl around the back yard and eat dirt. What a mess that made when she expelled it the next day.

Linda Endicott 10 years, 10 months ago

Ouch, fleeba...

I would guess it was diluted bleach, or you probably wouldn't still be around now to talk to us!

I used to chew on paper when I was a kid. I tried the pencils and erasers like the other kids did, but I thought they were nasty. Never tried paste, and I couldn't get past the smell of Play-Doh.

Outside, I used to eat clover all the time from the yard. Grass, too. My brother dared me once to eat a dandelion stem, which I did, but it still makes me shudder to think about it even now.

My brother and sister used to eat uncooked macaroni and oatmeal, but I never developed a taste for those.

And for those of you way too young to know it, it used to be a common thing for grocery stores around here to sell one gallon buckets of pork and beef brains. My mother used to fry them. They were pretty good. It was poor people food back then. So was cow tongue.

Now all that stuff is gourmet food.

Never did eat the yellow snow, though...

trinity 10 years, 10 months ago

my kids say that my passion for peanut butter sanniches with chocolate chips on 'em is plenty weird. but if i go back to childhood, i'd guess chalk&library paste had to be the weirdest, lol.

happy bday tomorrow jonas! it's fun to read of your experiences.

and acg-lordie have MERCY, i LOVE the way you think! :)

dminear60 10 years, 10 months ago

We used to eat handfuls of wheat as it was being harvested. It has a nice nutty flavor. Honestly, I think the things I ate as a kid were more ordinary than the things I eat as an adult (sushi, oysters on the half shell, etc.)

i_have_only_valid_opinions 10 years, 10 months ago

Paper (if the wad wasn't getting thrown at the bald spot of my science teacher Mr. Parr) Elmer's Glue (after it dried on the palm of my hand) Play-Doh (the real thing and mom's homemade) Grass and clover (diddo crazyks)

ms_canada: Rocky Mountain Oysters are fried cow balls. Calf fries are the same thing only they are sliced and then fried.

My brother and I talked another kid into eating a moth at church one Sunday. The kid was younger and we told him they tasted good. Still remember the look on his face when he stuck out his tongue and it had moth dust all over it. I guess he ran and told his parents because we got spanked for it when we got home. It was worth it though.

ms_canada 10 years, 10 months ago

But I don't know what a cow ball is. I hope it isn't what my imagination is hinting at.

My mother used to make the most delicious dandelion salad. Sis and I would head out with a big basket and pick the freshest, tenderest leaves and wash them well. Mom made a dressing of crisp fried bacon bits, a bit of sugar in the fry pan then some vinegar and a bit of water. Pour that hot over the dandelion leaves. We loved it.

kj 10 years, 10 months ago

My dad used to bring home milo once in a while and we would pop it like popcorn.

LittleMissFlea 10 years, 10 months ago

Paste and dog food I actually tried as an adult, just to see. The dog food didn't taste half bad but was too hard for human teeth, and the paste (the old-fashioned kind) tasted like minty flour.

staff04 10 years, 10 months ago

I ate mothballs once when I was really little. I got to go to the hospital and have my stomach pumped. It was delightful.

beatrice 10 years, 10 months ago

Chef's special during grade school lunch, usually on Wednesdays. I still have no idea what type of meat that was stuck in that fried dough pocket. Yuck! And put some clothes on Elizabeth! You will always remain an assistant if you run around the streets nekid.

packrat 10 years, 10 months ago

I ate tripe, then my cousin told me what it was. I was sick all over him.

Later, I tricked him into eating chitlins.

motomom 10 years, 10 months ago

fried pig snouts, blood sausage and head cheese. i grew up in a german town. occasionally, my nana would boil pig kidneys to eat with our brain and purple onion sandwiches......yeeee gads........................

ms_canada 10 years, 10 months ago

I can't believe I was so ignorant. My face is scarlet, guys. Thanks for the enlightenment.

bige1030 10 years, 10 months ago

Once, I made some homemade ice cream in a coffee can with the ice and rock salt sealed in Ziploc bags. Well, my friends and I decided to play kickball with the coffee can ("Hey, that'll make it finish mixing and gelling sooner!"), and the bags broke. I grossed out my friends by eating the ice cream we made that was overly saturated with rock salt.

Bone777 10 years, 10 months ago

Elizabeth is an executive assistant at The Flamingo.

I tried to scroll down twice in the picture, to no avail.

coolmom 10 years, 10 months ago

oh and a cousin and i had a tea party and dranl grill fire starter. that one wasnt as pleasant as the worm and did result in my first (though not last) stomach pumping. as a kid the er workers knew my name lol.

sunflower_sue 10 years, 10 months ago

Ms_C, Yep! My uncle would fry up a batch and feed them to us. The adults all ate them ('cause that's just what they were use to, I guess) and us kiddies just ate what was put in front of us. Testicles or no. All we knew was that they were breaded and fried yumminess with mashed potatoes, gravy, and plenty of corn and cobbler.

My mother said that her mother often made head cheese (because nothing ever went to waste with 12 kids) but, thankfully, my mother detested the stuff and never made her own kids eat it.

jonas, I have no idea what I wished you... maybe HPB is some exotic disease or something...what I meant to say was: "HBD tomorrow!" (sorry, I ate too many cow testicles and brains as a child.)

sgtwolverine 10 years, 10 months ago

I ate baby carrots. And baby corn. And lamb. And veal.

Oh, wait. They mean when I was a child, don't they. Not when my food was a child. Oops.

Crossfire 10 years, 10 months ago


Was granola invented in Granola, Kansas?

Nope, but payola was invented in Kansas?

Crossfire 10 years, 10 months ago

Frog legs are good and fun to watch kick in the pan when you fry them. June bugs are sweet, but they try to crawl back up unless you wash them down. And snake does not tase like chicken. It taste like snake. n-yum-yum

ms_canada 10 years, 10 months ago

Nothing to do with what I ate but, once when I was driving home from my sisters in Montana, I rounded a bend and there was this big, old red barn with a huge sign across the front. Testicle Festival, come in and have a ball. I nearly lost control of my car. I was just looking up stuff on the web and spied a whole bunch of such festivals taking place in Montana. Well............. it is cowboy country and all. Now then, I was born and raised on a farm and I think my ignorance earlier today stems from never having seen a cow with balls. Bulls certainly, but never a cow. On butchering day, our treat was when Grampa Tony boiled up the tongue, then thinly sliced it for warm tongue sandwiches. He never failed to be given the tongue. Us kids loved his sandwiches made with think slabs of homemade bread and fresh churned butter. Yummmmmmm

person184 10 years, 10 months ago

thebcman (Anonymous) says:


Cats dig it too.

Wow! My cat loves a good old q-tip. Guess she's not alone.

Bill Chapman 10 years, 10 months ago

One spider - it was on a web and I was riding a bike GULP! kinda squirmed on the way down too. Rattlesnake- does taste like chicken.

Ceallach 10 years, 10 months ago

After reading some of the posts, I suppose I would say beef tongue. We never thought it was strange, just mighty fine sandwiches. Although I was a teenager before I saw my mothers peel off the skin and taste buds, that was a pretty strange experience. Guess that is why she never shared that part of the process with us.

Happy Birthday, tomorrow, jonas!! The closest I've been to fish eyes is eating tapioca pudding :)

Sandra Willis 10 years, 10 months ago

Wow, I really like it when I learn things.

Happy B-Day, jonas.

denak 10 years, 10 months ago

I ate cat food on a dare.

Liked the article on cats and earwax, have any idea why my rabbit likes to ear pizza crust?

Steve Mechels 10 years, 10 months ago

Wow, this is the most entertaining thread in quite awhile, and nobody has even insulted anyone!

When I was young I ate lots of dog food, drank turpentine (trip to the hospital), and God only knows what some of the stuff was I ate in 5 summers in Eastern Europe.

Happy Father's Day everyone!

OldEnuf2BYurDad 10 years, 10 months ago

My brother's spit. He held me down. It was warm. It happened more than once.

He had/has issues.

Clint Bradley 10 years, 10 months ago

I ate a dog, small one. Not bad with lots of breading and ketchup.

the_dza 10 years, 1 month ago

What dress are you wearing Elizabeth?

Dixie Jones 10 years, 1 month ago

my son ate a worm on a dare.... dont dare him to do anything .......he will

Dixie Jones 10 years, 1 month ago

ahhh and other son ate 86 flintstone vit. wtih iron.... does anyone know how fast syurp of ickapec works ????? lol FAST......... yeah that was just the begining of our trips to lmh....

Frederic Gutknecht IV 10 years, 1 month ago

I ate thousands of decapods! I also recall being tempted to eat the flesh of a dragonfly. I've eaten many more strange things as an adult.

Atalanta 10 years, 1 month ago

Apparently I used to attempt to eat June bugs as a child. No one knows if the attempts were successful.

RedwoodCoast 10 years, 1 month ago

I just apparently had trouble finding my mouth. I vaguely remember sticking an uncooked macaroni noodle up my nostril when I was about a year and a half old. Had to go to the hospital to get it out. I also apparently had the same experience with sticking an unpopped popcorn kernel in my ear. Hospital again.

Other than that, I would sample cat food (dry) and dog biscuits on occasion. I also remember plucking the large blossoms from trumpet vine (Campsis radicans) and sucking the nectar out. It tasted good, but my dad said it was probably poisonous. I also ate snapping turtle once. Don't worry, it was prepared snapping turtle, and I didn't prepare it.

RedwoodCoast 10 years, 1 month ago

the_dza (Anonymous) says:

What dress are you wearing Elizabeth?

Oh, I forgot to mention that. It almost looks like she's... well... topless or something. I propose that she fed her shirt to some orphans.

bevy 10 years, 1 month ago

Strange things to eat:

Sweet Feed (for the horses) full of molasses and whole grain goodness - YUM! Red ants. Bite 'em and they taste really sour. My brother was the big one for those. We also ate "sour flowers" (some kind of weed in our yard) and sucked the sweet nectar out of some other flowers. Can't recall the name right now. We were warned off the "coffee beans" that fell in their pods from our neighbor's tree, because they were poisonous.

I, too, collected "greens" from the yard with my great-grandmother. I laughed the other day when I saw that the merc sells dandelion greens at a fairly impressive price. People will buy anything!

Have prepped, cooked, and eaten cow tongue. It tastes like a really nice, tender beef roast but I decided it's not worth the grossout factor of skinning it and just went with the roast instead...

My sister told me that pork n beans were daddy longlegs with the legs pulled off. Didn't eat them for YEARS!

gccs14r 10 years, 1 month ago

I don't think I ever ate any non-food items. One of my sisters regularly ate cigarette butts, though.

notajayhawk 10 years, 1 month ago

I ate a newspaper column called "On The Street" once, but it showed up years later on the Journal-World's website.

been_there 10 years, 1 month ago

Use to eat flowers, especially carnations dipped in coke. Quit when someone gave me a purple iris, really burned my throat.

sourpuss 10 years, 1 month ago

My mother's green hard contact lenses. Boy was she mad - those things were expensive.

notajayhawk 10 years, 1 month ago

sourpuss (Anonymous) says:

"My mother's green hard contact lenses. Boy was she mad - those things were expensive."

Seems like they should have come back intact. Wasn't she willing to wait and get them back, or didn't she want to use them afterwards?

GretchenJP 10 years, 1 month ago

Oh, remember those Ayds diet candy? I know, I know with the STD of the same name it's hard to believe there was a diet candy out there but it's true... from the 70's. I thought it was just plain old candy, it was delicious! So I ate, like, 60 of them. I went through gradeschool about 20 lbs.

coolmom 10 years, 1 month ago

i saw this and for just a second thought i was having a stroke lol. same things already mentioned growing up in kansas i ate a lot of cool things as my family hunted and lived on a farm. i dont usually think of them as strange until this subject comes up and people look at me like we were pretty strange and unusual. that can be fun and at school with my classes it is really fun.

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