It's no secret we're a nation of foodies. But sometimes, does the thought of yet another gourmet delight or hipster creation put you off? Do you ever secretly crave a food that's long been relegated to the pile marked 'passé'? If so, you're not alone. CHOICE staff and members of CHOICE Community share their love of so-called 'uncool' foods that they secretly – or unashamedly – love.*
A treasure trove of gems.
Potatoes often get a bad rap in health-conscious circles, but it turns out we can't get enough of them – especially when they're turned into chips or potato gems.
"My dirty food secret is oven-baked chips with sweet chilli and Kewpie mayo," says CHOICE design manager Ren Matthews, while health insurance expert Uta Mihm loves potato gems. "Back in Germany during family celebrations I'd always have them with schnitzel and a nice gravy," she says.
Verifier Wendy Evans is also a card-carrying gemologist: "They have four whole health stars so I can pretend they're a vegetable!"
There's no mention of D'Affinois (or that famous Aldi duplicate) here.
"Laughing cow cheese is great for kids' lunches because they're quite bland, but I can't resist snacking on one myself," says whitegoods expert Ashley Iredale.
Meanwhile, media support officer Amira Stevenson-Hynes loves coming home to a Kraft Mac n Cheese or Uncle Tobys LeSnak after a night out. "I always feel sick after I eat them, but I'll never give them up," she says.
"Everything tastes better with Spam!" says CHOICE staffer Isabel.
It seems quite a lot of us harbour a secret love of processed meat.
"I love twiggy salami sticks," admits Pru Engel, audience and engagement editor. "My Nan used to sneak them to me when I was tiny, and now I guiltily add them to my shopping trolley and hope no one sees."
Consumer insights researcher Isabel Lam can't get enough of Spam. "I love it, and I think a lot of Asians like me share that love," she says. "Everything tastes better with Spam!"
Over in CHOICE Community, @grahroll thinks tripe in white parsley sauce is "the bees' knees", while @suzieo associates uncool food with a 1970s classic: "Cubes of Devon, cheese and a cocktail onion all skewered on a toothpick – then stuck into an orange to make a 'porcupine'."
There's still a lot of love for neenish tarts.
There's a lot of love for sago and tapioca pudding among CHOICE Community, with some suggesting it's due for a comeback.
"Don't spread the word or the influencers will call it the next superfood and the price of sago will go up," says @syncretic.
Others have been reminiscing about the custard-like dessert Junket, while CHOICE staffer Pru admits she still loves an old-school bakery neenish tart: "Yes, even with that 'mock cream'".
But wait, there's more…
Turns out when you ask people what their guilty food pleasures are, there are enough answers to create your own Sizzler-esque buffet.
"I have a big love for Weetbix and eat it multiple times a day, which is probably more than most people do!" says Katelyn Cameron, media and PR assistant.
"I still like 70s-style sweet and sour made with pineapple juice and tomato sauce," says CHOICE Community's @julwood.
I have a big love for Weetbix and eat it multiple times a dayKatelyn Cameron, CHOICE media and PR assistant
Even our food and nutrition expert Rachel Clemons isn't immune to the lure of uncool foods. "I love old-school apricot chicken made with pack of instant French onion soup and a can of apricot nectar," she admits. "Plus tinned spaghetti and alphagetti (preferably in a toastie) and chicken-flavoured Twisties."
Now you'll have to excuse me, all of a sudden I have a craving for some cabanossi and cheese…*Comments have been edited for space and/or clarity.