The influence of early formed dietary practices on food choices and preferences during adulthood has often been assumed but rarely adequately demonstrated given the difficulty of studying the subject matter with conventional laboratory or observational research designs. This article examines this assumption by analyzing the information from 31 structured interviews on the respondents' current preferences for combinations of six side dishes with bread or mămăligă (boiled cornmeal mush, similar to polenta). All the respondents had consumed mămăligă in their childhood but in their adulthood had switched to bread following the social and economic upheavals from 1960s Romania. The results show that a) for specific combinations, physiological factors and/or cultural norms that defined bread as a ‘prestigious’ food have been capable of overriding the effects of early socialization with mămăligă as the accompanying food and b) that consumers continue to prefer certain side dishes with mămăligă even after decades of predominant consumption of bread although confounding factors might account for such preferences. These findings qualify the expectation that an early familiarization with healthy eating habits will promote this desired lifestyle during adulthood by showing that physiological and socio-cultural factors are capable of overriding its effects on hedonic preferences.