My wife and I were reminiscing over long lost Kool-Aid flavors and relishing in the sheer awesomeness of our youth through highly sweetened snacks, treats and whathaveyous. As we talked she looked up a variety of Kool-Aid products including Mountain Berry, Rock-a-dile Red, Rainbow Punch and Purplesaurus Rex to name a few of the particularly awesome flavors...it's strange...I didn't live in a Kool-Aid house but because of that I could place the exact place I was whenever a packet of that good stuff got mixed up be it at the pool, at a friends house, a birthday party, a sleepover, anything. That's the power of nostalgia when mixed with scent and taste I guess. :)
So I whipped up a quick mix of 20 great, yet completely unhealthy and probably better to not exist in the long run, treats from my youth I remember that still have a warm place in my heart and still make me a little hungry.
1. Hostess Pudding Pie - Very tasty from 1987. I remember getting these at the Convenient Mart in South Side, they were like éclairs crossed with Boston cream pies in a pouch...in retrospect I wonder how the pudding kept from getting rancid but screw it. It was the 80's! C'mon!
2. Tato Skins - I don't care...these were the Cadillac of chips. Cheddar Cheese and Bacon, Sour Cream and Chives, Baked Potato, Barbeque, YOU WON'T BELIEVE YOUR EYES...that was the totally awesome theme song to these flavor monsoons!
3 and 4. Oboisies and Pizzarias - Didn't really like them but giving credit where credit was due with the whole baked and puffed chip thing that is a huge craze now. Oboises seemed like hollow chips to me and Pizzarias were self defeating since if you wanted pizza just eat a pizza or if you had a dollar, get some pizzeria pretzel Combos that were infinitely better. It was like they tried to pack too much flavor and it ended up tasting like ragu flavored potato chips.
5. Bonkers - two toned, chewy candies in fruit, chocolate or any other conglomeration of articifical flavor. I liked the green and red watermelon ones. They kicked serious ass and I remember a commercial for them on a "Muppet Babies" VHS tape my mom made me off Saturday Morning Cartoons...They used to always have print ads in Star Wars comics too.
6. Gatorgum - Tasted nothing like Gator-Aid but still was pretty damn good. Lasted like .3 milliseconds before having to cram another piece of "sports" gum in your mouth. Go figure, they scrapped this idea but now we are stuck with "Goo." Bah.
7. Ice Cream Cones Cereal - There were quite a few cereals I remembered; some good, some bad....but even the bad ones had a place as a great period in our 80's lives known as merchandizing to the fullest extent. A literal mass of "Space Balls the Breakfast Cereal!" but really..."Bill and Ted's Excellent Cereal", "Nintendo Cereal", "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves Cereal", "Addams Family Cereal" all of which were pretty shitty however there were some genuine gems of which I have four listed. The first was Ice Cream Cones Cereal...so good, I remember the chocolate Bugel-like cones with the malty ice cream balls. My uncle always had this cereal and it was awesome. I even loved the neon looking graphic design on the box. Researching these pics bought back really fond memories.
8. Smore's Crunch Cereal - Really tastey cereal that can only now be emulated in the form of modified Golden Grahams that never really do it like this brand did. They made an "exteme" version called "S'morze" in the 2000's and it's just was awful. Smore's Crunch was truly where it was at.
9. Circus Fun Cereal - My hands down favorite cereal of all time. Chock full of tasty puffs and more marshmallows than you could shake a stick at that were levels above Lucky Charms in tastiness. Super fun commercial too.
10. Ghostbusters Cereal - Rare instance where a movie tie in produced any food product worth a damn. Ghostbusters did it twice. The cereal was super cool with a glow in the dark box if I remember correctly. I remember winning Ghostbuster swag in there as a prize and the very first prize in the cereal I ever remember came from a box of this stuff and it was none other than a Wacky Wall Walker! Double Nostalgia points!
11. Ecto-Cooler - Lightning in a bottle for the h nds down, best drink ever made. Formulas have been repeatedly tried to recapture this magical tangerine, citrus, green-clad flavor. It was the coolest shit you could drink and it commanded high prices at the lunch table for the kid who controlled the green flow. Seriously, Ecto-Cooler probably served as the first thing most kids ever hustled. It stayed popular long after the allure of the Ghostbusters in any other capacity stayed relevant and always kept my young mind hopeful of a new movie or series...alas. My co-worker today just said he would blow up a school bus to get his wish of a fully stocked 'fridge of Ecto-Cooler every morning. Well played.
12. Clearly Canadian - Remember getting this tastey treat after swimming at my grandfather's house in the summer at the cornershop. Best carbonated drink ever made. Only makes sense it was discontinued. There's actually a poll to reignite the franchise for a limited time due to popular demand. Click HERE!
13. Kool-Aid Rainbow Punch - Like I previously stated, this started the whole post but God help me, was this ever a treat when that magic pitcher made its appearance at a neighbor's house. I remember my uncle Paul and aunt Deb having this specific flavor and I loved the design, rainbow and everything about the packet. Then I tasted the punch...pure kick-assness after a day of swimming at Nay Aug Pool.
14. Mickey's Parade Ice Pops - Nothing said, "beginning of Summer" like Mickey's Parade pops. I remember my neighbors who had siblings fighting over specific characters. I just remember the cherry and orange being the best.
15. Dunkaroos! - I'd prefer a boomerang for the whole Aussie theme but still pretty great. The fudge (which there never seemed to be enough of) was more valuable than gold and taught us at a young age the power of conservation....cuz it sucked ending up with a bunch of kangaroo cookies with nothing to dip them in.
16.. Shark Bites - That God-damned Great White haunts my dreams. It was like a big freaking deal if you scored the Great White... then they wussed out and released pouches of nothing but Great Whites. Boo.
17. Amazin' Fruit - Gummy Bears...but fun as hell Gummi Bears that danced a conga line. The tropical ones were pretty great. I'd get them at the bus stop at the "Family Derbis" at Green Ridge Corners.
18. Giggles Cookies - One of the earliest cookies I ever remember having. Happy faces. Two Kinds of cream. Memorable slogan and marketing. Good stuff....let's get rid of it.
19. Bar-None - Unleash your chocolate Beastie...it really makes me wonder when a candy bar goes totally belly up. Like we have 40 varieties of some candies now, dark, mint, cookie, pb, but a chocolate wafer, coated in chocolate, peanuts and more chocolate didn't seem to get enough takers...yet sonofabitching Mounds still gets to clog up candy aisles. Honestly, you can still get a 5th Avenue, Heath, Charleston Chew, Riesen, Zagnut, O Henry and Sugar Daddy Bar if you shop around but Bar None is forever dead?
20. Chicken Little Sandwich - I'll end with fast food...THE BEST FAST FOOD ITEM ever made. 99 cent amazingness. My dad would stop at the South Side KFC...now a freaking drive through Cigarette store and load up on these tasty morsels. Perfect size for a snack like if White castle's equivalent to chicken sandwiches. They always had a burst of tangy mayo and a perfectly buttery bun. We were super bummed when this got taken off the menu. I was psyched when they instituted the chicken snacker but it didn't even come close to measuring up...that also was taken off them menu to make way for bowls and double down disgusting-wiches. That's the rule, you like it: they are certain to take it away and burn down the evidence....same goes for the Bacon Mushroom melt from Wendy's, the Bacon Club Chalupa from Wendy's and the Roma Chicken Pasta from Ruby Tuesday. Bastardos!