There are literally hundreds of retro food blogs out there that list every possible snack, soda, TV dinner, candy and fast food that has been discontinued in the history of ever. Some even track down the original item and have them in possession for pictures and possibly a daring taste test some 15 years after expiration. To those people who are that devoted to the dead sodas and snack crackers of the world, I commend you. I am not that devoted. But, I will write my own personal thoughts and memories of some of these deceased items so you can get a little taste of my opinions as I bitch and moan over why I have cognitive haunts about a drink I haven’t tasted in 20 years.
The Item: I was a lucky to be of the perfect age for the invention of the fruit snack. As a young kid, there was nothing better than to witness the combination of candy and snack. Fun Fruits and Fruit Rollups were about as amazing as fire to a caveman for a six-year-old. It was our heroine and we had to have it. Poor Mom was never allowed to go to the grocery store without bringing home a box and if we were with her on that chore, there was always a scene. “But they have vitamin C! THEY HAVE VITAMIN CEEEEEEEE!”
Gone are the days when fruit snacks looked like deer shit and came in flavors like orange and cherry. No, nowadays they all have to have themes and familiar shapes to kids as if buying X-Men fruit snacks tasted any different from Barbie ones. These particular snacks have morphed into 3 feet long rolled up strips, snacks filled with goo, temporary tattoos for the tongue, stack-able cut outs, and formed into every Disney character ever created. I saw this coming in 1988 with the introduction of Shark Bites. I knew the simple days were through. The death of Fruit Corners died a quiet death, but I will still shed a tear.
The Item: Candilicious is not a stripper. I just wanted to make that clear because in search for the picture above, I was exposed to many of these dancers. That is a big distraction when waxing childhood nostalgia.
No, this was a great late 80’s candy that proved the mentality of my childhood was always bigger = better. Perhaps it was that my mandibular suck-hole was smaller but I remember almost choking every time I ate this. Imagine the taste of Starbusts, softer than Now and Laters and bigger than Laffy Taffy and you have Candilicious. It was a Bubbalicious product and in some ways it was the answer to my wish of swallowing my gum at the zenith point of it’s taste. I imagine 5 out of 5 dentists agree this candy should be not only discounted but wiped from all memory completely. But I remember. Nice try tooth nazis.
The Item: Burples might just be an item that history forgot. Perhaps it was the fact that the fruit drink was shockingly potent or maybe the futuristic attraction of the recently released Capri Sun, the Burples just never made a lasting impression. The bottle came collapsed with a powdered inside and all you needed to do was add water. If memory serves me right, it fizzed and expanded the accordion shaped bottle, but that might be in my head. The finished result meant a sugar high so intense, it will cause you to race around the house, slip on the linoleum and crack your head open on the kitchen counter.
The cool thing about these deceased drinks is that somewhere, buried deep in the two decade layered landfill, the non biodegradable containers still remain. A tribute to the 1980 consumer and our foresight beyond mutually assured destruction. Burples!
The Item: Five Alive was a staple in the house growing up and it was always in the condensed frozen can you see above. I can actually close my eyes and remember wrestling with the damn plastic strip that kept the metallic cap on. Then squeezing the can over the pitcher and watch it poop the orange/yellow concentrate in a slow sounding ‘schloooop’. There was a certain satisfaction of “making” juice, even if it just meant pouring in three cans of cold water and stirring. But there were a few times Dad would spit a large glop of frozen 5 Alive back into his glass. That’s what you get for putting a 7-year-old on juice duty.
I believe 5 Alive is still out there among the various juices and as an adult I am not sure if I would buy it. I remember not really liking it as a kid. Maybe it was the lime and grapefruit combination that had me wincing while watching ABC morning cartoons. What’s wrong with plain old O.J.?
The Item: The PB Max is..er…was amazing. Not only was it a brick of a candy bar but it would simultaneously enlarge your ass, give you type one diabetes and destroy the ability to whistle for a year. I heard a guy who had a peanut allergy one time walked into a gas station that sold PB Max’s and his lips, hands and feet exploded.
I can understand why PB Max’s died like Ryan White because eating half of a jar of peanut butter in one sitting is pretty amazing. Even for a candy bar. Plus it is a mess. It’s like a rapidly melting brownie filled with something that will smell up a minivan for years to come.
The Item: All the cereals of the 80′ and 90’s that had a link to either cartoons, video games or candy are pretty much dead. Long gone are the days when you could come out of the fort you built in the den and chow down on cereal with crushed lollipops and sugared marshmallow sugary sugars. No, the FDA says that they can’t use such marketing ploys to kill off kids, increase the medical insurance debacle, and cause adult depression linked to childhood obesity and repressed memories of mean skinny kids who sang “fatboy fatboy, why ya so fat? Cake on the lips, jelly in the gut, BIG BUTT!” Fuck you Sugar Bear. Look what you have done.
Now we have Grapenuts. With neither grapes nor nuts. I get no respect. Respect is niiiiice.
For real reviews of snacks and junk food you should… no… have to check out Matt’s articles. These are classics. Peace and love.