Jason Carr: Weird things I ate as a child (salt and radishes?)

Radishes. (Pexels)

I did some strange things when I was a kid. Well, they didn’t seem strange at the time because you’re a kid and don’t know jack squat. Some of those oddities involved the consumption of odd foods.

Take sockeye salmon, for example. My mom’s mom used to open the can, use the almost-removed lid as a strainer, drain off the liquid inside, then finish removing the lid, hand me the can with a fork and tell me to have at it. Why dirty a plate, right? It didn’t seem weird or unsanitary so I later did the same with Star-Kist tuna, Chef Boyardee raviolis, Armour Vienna sausages and even those Pennsylvania Dutch brand mushrooms. Sometimes mustard might be involved and maybe saltine crackers. But yeah—straight from the can.

I also ate raw radishes with salt sprinkles-- like I was a deranged rabbit gnawing on something in the garden.

I don’t recall being a picky eater but if my Mom or grandmothers discovered I liked something I could have all I wanted within reason. Peaches and nectarines, cottage cheese (small curd only or I’d hurl literal chunks), processed cheese spread on celery or toast, Grandma Carr’s chicken noodle soup, pepperoni rolls from Dearborn—all go-to’s for sure. Even canned spinach a la Popeye sautéed with—I swear—vinegar and melted butter.

Later as my palate expanded we added liverwurst but not olive loaf. You get that olive loaf away from me, you inhumane monster! What do you take me for? A rube? A simpleton? Someone who would eat Chef Boyardee straight from the—

Oh. Right.