Friday, January 15, 2010

Volume 5, Number 2: Foods I Miss

I was just going through a list of foods I had years ago that I wish I could find today:

Kellogg's Nut 'N Honey Crunch - Corn Flakes with a nice, relatively thick honey coating and little bits of peanut on them. Simple yet awesome. Kellogg's stopped making it in the late '80s, but later did a "Honey Nut Corn Flakes" (which just wasn't the same--not as much honey or nut). They recently started making a "Touch of Honey" version of Corn Flakes, of which I can say, at least it doesn't get soggy like regular Corn Flakes do, but anyway, darnit, I want my Nut 'N Honey Crunch back!

Campbell's Chunky Soup: Fisherman's Chowder - Apparently, I'm the only person left in the world who remembers this variety of Chunky Soup. Chunks of fish and potatoes in a creamy broth. Again, simple yet awesome. My dad introduced me to it when I was around 11 years old, and at the time, I didn't like New England Clam Chowder (I do today), so I didn't think I'd like this Fisherman's Chowder. But I more than liked it--I loved it. I tried to find it when I first went food shopping on my own (around 1995) and found out that they stopped making it around '85 or '86. I imagine it was probably more expensive to make than beef or chicken soups, but for Pete's sake, do I have to go to some expensive seafood restaurant for fish chowder?

Pierre's French Ice Cream: Mississippi Mud - Back in the '80s, there was a supermarket chain in Michigan called Great Scott! and it sold a line of ice cream called Pierre's French. Mississippi Mud was this chocolate ice cream with coffee and chocolate sauce, and I think it had bits of chocolate cake in it, too. I find it odd that Pierre's is based on Ohio, and Kroger (the chain that bought Great Scott! and took away everything good about it) is also based in Ohio, but Kroger stores in Michigan do not carry Pierre's ice cream products.

McDonald's McD.L.T. sandwich - The greatest sandwich McDonald's ever made. The concept was simple, yet brilliant--keep the cool ingredients (tomato, lettuce) separate from the hot (hamburger) ones until the customer is ready to eat the sandwich (as opposed to, say, Burger King's Whopper, in which the lettuce, tomato and pickles may be lukewarm by the time the burger is served to the customer). Then a number of events conspired to kill it. First, the container the sandwich was served in was styrofoam (this was true of all McD sandwiches at the time, but the McD.L.T. container used twice as much styrofoam because it had two compartments). Second, there was a big anti-fat movement that was apparently spearheaded by a bunch of paranoid hypochondriacs, because when McD pulled the McD.L.T., they replaced it with... the McLean Deluxe (which was basically crap). The only complaint I ever had with McD.L.T. was that they kept putting the cheese on the "cool" side when it should have been on the "hot" side, but that's just me nitpicking (I prefer the cheese on my cheeseburger to be at least somewhat melted).

Taco Bell Fajita Wraps - What the McD.L.T. was to McDonalds, that's what Fajita Wraps were to Taco Bell: the best thing they had going. Cuts of real meat and fresh veggies (as opposed to the liquefied beef and bagged shredded lettuce they generally use in their tacos). (Now, I suppose I could try making something like that at home, but that's beside the point.)

Campbell's Chunky Soup: BBQ Seasoned Burger - They introduced this one in 2006. It instantly became one of my favorite varieties. Apparently it wasn't popular because they didn't make it for long. It had beef (similar to the beef they use in the Sirloin Burger version), potatoes, corn, beans, and celery in a mild barbecue sauce.

Campbell's Chunky Soup: Pepper Steak - This one, they recently stopped making; until then, they had been making this variety since the '80s. You'd think someone else would fill whatever "niches" Campbell's has abandoned by making this and the other two ex-Chunky Soups I mentioned in this blog entry, but that hasn't happened yet.

Fresca (the one with saccharin in it that they made in the '70s) - I had the saccharin version of Fresca and I enjoyed the taste of it. Thing is, after all the findings about saccharin being bad for one's health, the makers of Fresca decided to replace it with aspartame (aka NutraSweet). Bad move. Aspartame has a terrible aftertaste and I don't know anyone could drink any soda with an aftertaste like that. Heck, I'd wish they'd make one with sugar (or high fructose corn syrup, at least) and rename the aspartame-sweetened one "Fresca Light."

Mr. Phipps Pretzel Chips - Nabisco made these in the early '90s with the idea that the best part of a hard pretzel is the crispy outside. Very addicting. (Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps are a good subsitute, but I just liked the taste of the Mr. Phipps Pretzel Chips better.)

Apple Newtons - Back in the '80s (there's that phrase again), Nabisco decided to wrap that soft cake they were using for their Fig Newtons around other fruit fillings, like strawberry, raspberry, blueberry and apple. Apple Newtons were addicting as well, but sadly, Nabisco stopped making them.

Nabisco Ideal Bars - Peanut butter on cookies, covered in chocolate. Tasted WAY better than my lame description. Angie from Georgia wrote on this board: "When I was growing up my mother would buy Ideal bars and hide them... when [I and my siblings] found them they didn't last too long. My mom would be so mad she would spank our butts... They were worth every whack! Please bring them back, my mom is too old to catch us now!"

Carnation Breakfast Bars - You've heard of Instant Breakfast for years, but back in the '70s and '80s, they had Breakfast Bars. They came in flavors like Chocolate and Peanut Butter and were chocolate-coated, and I really liked how they tasted, but to boot, they also generally had more nutritional value than your typical bowl of cereal. Other companies have made nutritional bars (Slim Fast, Kellogg's Krave), but they'd be better off to try to replicate the original Breakfast Bars.

Crystal Pepsi (the second of the two formulas they had) - The formula Pepsi had when they first came out with it in 1993 was too bitter, but they went to a "citrus cola" formula in '94 and that was a hit in my book. Most sodas, I generally sip, but Crystal Pepsi, I could chug. Then suddenly, Pepsi stopped making it.

Hostess Choco-Bliss - Chocolate overkill in the form of two layers of chocolate cake with chocolate creme filling in between, with a chocolate frosting on top of that. You can find commercials for it on YouTube, like this one.

Hershey's Cookies & Mint chocolate bar - To be fair to Hershey, this was a limited edition. But they should make it a permanent addition to their product line.

Hostess Banana Twinkies - Also a limited edition, and the next time they have them, I'll buy a package; the last time Hostess made these (2005, I think, around the time Peter Jackson's remake of King Kong came out), I didn't exactly have the income to justify spending a few bucks on junk food.

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