Top 10 Things I Ate in College That I’ll Never Eat Again

I don’t consider myself a gourmet chef or anything, but I can make some pretty delicious magic happen in the kitchen now and then. I will admit that in the four years I spent away at college, I made some pretty questionable food choices. Often. And not just when I was inebriated, although I will admit that three flaming Dr. Peppers and a few Malibu and pineapples (and possibly a shot of Aftershock from an ice block luge) will lead to some horrifying 2am take-out orders. So this list isn’t comprehensive by a long shot — but I can guaran-freakin-tee you that I won’t be eating any of these things any time soon. Meaning ever, ever again.

10. Bread in a Can

Okay, maybe this one isn’t that bad. I mean, it’s not like I was eating the plain variety, because that would just be gross — I only ate the raisin. With cream cheese. But it’s bread — in a can. The ingredients themselves aren’t that heinous, but the idea of canning bread just seems, kind of, wrong? Okay so maybe I’d eat this one again. After a bottle of Strawberry Hill  (like anyone drank that after 12th grade, pshaw).

9.  Spray Butter

The label is misleading — show me one person who actually has a hard time believing this isn’t butter. But you’ve got to make choices in life. If you want to avoid gaining the dreaded “freshman 15,” you can either make healthy choices and eat real food, or go with hydrogenated spray oil masquerading as butter to save some calories. Or cut out the alcohol and eat actual butter. Either way. This is best when sprayed on some Light Wonder Bread with a slice of  Kraft Singles Fat-Free American “cheese” and then nuked in the microwave for 10 seconds to make a lovely “light grilled cheese sandwich.”

 8. Congealed Nachos

Fast food nachos are all fine and well, I’m not saying I’d never eat them again (because I totally would). I’d just never eat them 3 days after their inception, cold and congealed in a Styrofoam container dug out of the back of the fridge. Because money’s tight. Meaning you’re out of cash and the credit card machine at the pizza joint is down so you can’t use mom’s Visa. My nachos of choice were from Freebirds (no BBQ sauce!), so they definitely qualified as delicious before their demise. An empty jar of leftover pickle juice makes a great complimentary beverage here. (photo by Newbirth35)

7. Copiously Frosted Fast Food Desserts (Choose Your Poison)

Cinnabon® rolls, Dunkin’ Donuts fritters, Winchell’s donuts – choose your poison. Sometimes a tooth-achingly sweet, gooey confection is in order — when you’re downing 3 cups of coffee an hour to pull an all-nighter studying, you just need the sugar rush. And the trans-fat. My artery-clogger of choice was Woodstock’s Cinnabread – basically a cinnamon roll on pizza dough, slathered in frosting and served with an additional cup of frosting to dip into. This doesn’t fall into the “That’s so gross I can’t believe I ate that” category, more in the “How did I eat that regularly and not have a coronary?” category. Because this 18-year-old wasn’t too familiar with the term “moderation.” (photo by hullam)

6. Frozen Broccoli in Canned Cheese Soup

This was a favorite during my “vegetarian” period – a bag of frozen broccoli, nuked in the microwave, topped with a can of Campbell’s Cheddar Cheese Soup. And yes, the ingredients in this one are terrifying. Commonly consumed with a can of Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper.

The Top 5: Ice cream, tacos, and a truly sinful serving of Mac and Cheese

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  • Ruby September 28, 2011  

    I would add to that list pizza that’s been sitting on the coffee table for four days.

  • erica September 28, 2011  

    omg, i’ve had used plain water before strawberry yogurt! you’re brave!

  • ML September 28, 2011  


  • Aly September 28, 2011  

    You must have gone to UCSB, because I too am a victim of the late night cravings for Woodstock’s (of course we’d get the frosted one which at the time was called crazy bread, as well as an order of the wild bread). Both are terrible for you but totally delicious.

    We were also dangerously close to Freebirds (within blocks), and frequently found ourselves ordering late night burritos and quesadillas. I guess that’s what happens when your food is super cheap, really tasty, and open 24 hours!

  • Jessica September 28, 2011  

    erica – Is it bad that until you mentioned that I never considered water?

    Aly – Yesss, I lived a few blocks from Freebirds, too. Woodstock’s wild bread was a magical thing – of course you have to do the double dip into both marinara and ranch. The Cinnabread makes my teeth hurt just thinking about it.

  • Emily September 28, 2011  

    I used to love all-you-can-eat sushi when I went to college in California, and I can loudly and proudly say NEVER AGAIN. I’ll pay for quality over quantity now.

    Also, I lived off Taco Bell bean burritos in college… I would like to say things are different now, but I would hate to lie to my beloved fellow bloggers. I mean it’s no Freebirds, but it is a step above JitB tacos. (Right guys? Right?)

  • Borracho September 29, 2011  

    There are so many things that could be on this list though I love your choices! For me spaghettio’s would definitely make my list, especially since we didn’t have a can opener and typically opened the can by stabbing it with a butter knife and slurping out the unheated contents

  • Abby September 30, 2011  

    In defense of bread-in-a-can: I’m from Maine where brown bread is a pantry staple. On the contrary to your comment about raisins, I always opt for the plain kind and never got into the one with raisins (it’s not the traditional type and isn’t seen often in Maine). I eat it in thick slices, warmed up and slathered in butter with afternoon tea. It’s hard to find brown bread in grocery stores around Philly, which I live now, so I have my Dad mail me packages of brown bread and always bring some back with me when I go visit.

    When you make it yourself, it’s actually supposed to be made in a can. The bread steams in a water bath inside its can in the oven and the result is so rich and moist. Can’t be beat. Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations show went to Milo, ME which is very close to where I’m from and it has a great scene of a community bean supper where you can see homemade brown bread being served.

  • Kelsey October 3, 2011  

    Bread in a can? I can’t say I’ve ever seen that!

  • Chris J. October 4, 2011  

    This list is fantastic. The Strawberry Mac & Cheese is heinous, but I can see how that may happen after way too many jaeger bombs. My list(in no particular order) is as follows:

    1. Instant Mashed Potatoes: We decided to add slices of processed american cheese to give it some sort of definitive flavor. Needless to say it didn’t work. The finished product did make for a really durable wall spackle though.

    2. The Black Triangle: Un unrecognizable triangular mess of carbon that was originally supposed to be a grilled cheese. Turns out my roommate can’t operate a George Forman-style sandwich press under the influence of Andre Brut.

    3. Andre Brut.

    4. Clock Dust: Ok so my roommate ordered 3 pizzas from Dominos solely for HIMSELF. I begged and pleaded for a slice, stating that I’d “do anything” to get one. He graciously offered me an opportunity to lick the dust off the top of his wall clock. Yes…it happened.

    5. Hot Dog Sandwich: That’s right, I know you’ve done it. A couple of “Bar S” processed meat logs, sliced down the middle, on a toasted piece of white wonder bread, with a slice of melted kraft american, and ketchup. When I made this sandwich it literally made my roommate gag.

  • Jessica October 6, 2011  

    Andre Brut!! I’m adding Cook’s Brut, too. I once split a magnum of Cook’s with a girlfriend – at 10am. So gross.

  • erica October 6, 2011  

    i wish i could say there was some gross college food i would now eschew, but to be honest, i’m still not too good for Taco Bell on occasion. Or SpaghettiO’s once in a blue moon. Hamm’s. cheap whiskey in tea (i grew up and use brandy now).

    wait.. now that i think about it, Totinos Crisp N Nasty pizzas probably won’t ever show up at my house again. or boxed mac n cheese, though i totally eat the leftovers that my friend’s kid doesn’t touch 🙂 tortilla pizzas and butter noodles pretty much replaced them.

  • Emily October 6, 2011  

    @Jessica – Hey now, Cook’s isn’t the best champagne (duh) but I’ll admit I still drink it on occasion. Even at 10am, actually, ESPECIALLY at 10am. It’s called tailgate mimosas 🙂 And I guarantee I imbibe more than half a bottle.

    You can take the girl out of the Dawghouse, but you can’t take the Dawghouse out of the girl… (meaning I graduated from University of Washington three years ago, but my drinking habits honestly haven’t changed too much.)

  • Pingback: Half-Cheating: Frozen Dumpling Soup October 18, 2011  
  • Matt March 11, 2012  

    One time and one time only did I eat this…I was hungry and the only thing I had was 2 packages of ramen noodles with out the seasoning packets( no clue as to why they were missing) Cooked the ramen up in my electric hot pot, drained them and then added a huge chunk of velveeta cheese that somehow survived in the fridge for an undetermined amount of time.
    The taste was ok at best but the filling properties were amazing, i was not hungry for at least 2 days afterwards.

  • M May 29, 2012  

    My contribution to the list was developed by the guy I was dating in college: ramen with instant mashed potatoes and ranch dressing. I have trouble now remembering how exactly it’s made, but I think after cooking the ramen you keep only enough liquid to re-hydrate the insta-mash, then after it all congeals a bit add in ranch dressing to taste. Something about the mix of salty ramen seasoning and tart ranch made it good at the time…

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