Even those hounds who love expensive treats like foie gras and fresh truffles have a place in their hearts for simple, frugal food.

QueenDairy was one of three kids raised by a single mom, and she still gets cravings for the “poor people’s food” her mom lovingly concocted for them growing up. “She used to make sorullos (‘cigars’) with yellow cornmeal dough,” QueenDairy says. “She stuffed them with American cheese and ground beef if we had any, and fried them until golden brown. I used to love those as a child, imagining they were submarines, or fat cigars. They were very yummy and crispy.”

For Novelli, a favorite affordable food memory from childhood is popatone, an Italian-style meatloaf that’s “extended by hiding whole, hard boiled eggs inside the center,” Novelli says. And Tripeler still longs for “pinto beans cooked with ham hocks, along with skillet cornbread made with bacon drippings,” with turnip greens on the side.

BigSal‘s mom grew up in postwar Japan, “a very lean time.” The simple Japanese food BigSal remembers from childhood includes “tamago gohan (raw egg and soy sauce mixed with rice), ochazuke (dried package of green tea nori and dehydrated salmon), and natto (fermented soybeans). I never thought of these as poor people food,” BigSal says. “My brother and I just thought of these dishes as delicious. I still eat these dishes today.”

foiegras‘s mom made amazing dishes with the cheap, readily available ingredients in American grocery stores. “I wouldn’t mind having the turkey tetrazzini again (with green box Parmesan on top), or the yellow-pudding bundt cake covered in Cool Whip with a mound of fresh black cherries,” foiegras says.

The low-cost and accessible food we remember from our childhoods represents, in many ways, a richer way of life, some hounds say. “Frugal cooking meant that we didn’t have soda in the house, we didn’t go out to restaurants often, and we made everything from scratch,” caseyjo says. “I definitely appreciate that upbringing! There were some rough patches, but everything was cooked with love and we were never hungry.”

Discuss: Any memories of “poor people food” from your childhood that you still crave?

See more articles