Childhood food memories have a profound impact. No meatloaf will ever be as good as your grandma’s meatloaf, even if your grandma’s meatloaf wasn’t actually that good. But some food memories are so tied to a time, that they won’t be repeated. Commercial foods are taken off the market, fads come and go, ideas about nutrition change, and the result is that some food memories will remain just memories, sometimes for the best. But nostalgia is a cozy feeling, so it’s nice to revisit food memories, even for foods you’d never eat today even if you could. Here are some foods you’ll probably remember and your kids will probably never have.
— brooklynsupper, Babble
Image: Smile Lee
The first TV dinner was sold in 1953 and they gained new life with the popularity of the microwave oven in the '80s. In my house, the occasional TV dinner felt like a real treat. As I grew older, I realized that adults didn't really share that feeling, which is why for the most part, the niche of fast, convenient dinner has been supplanted by the hot prepared foods that are now sold at grocery stores, and soon a "TV dinner" will seem as alien to our children as the idea that you had to watch shows on a TV.
Image: Laura Levy
Sure, it's still technically possible to melt a bunch of different cheeses together, put things on skewers, and dip them in there, but unless you're having a '70s theme party or you are Swiss, why would you? (Side note: I took a class on American history when I studied in France in college and the prof referred to America as a "fondue pot." I never learned if this was just his own thing or if that's what they say instead of "melting pot.")
Take a walk down memory lane — make beer and Swiss-Cheddar fondue.
General Foods withdrew Pop Rocks from the market in 1983 due to the amount of money they lost after paying out the family of the actor who played Mikey in the Life cereal commercials. No, wait, according to the Internet, it's because they weren't profitable and had a short shelf life. That's what General Foods would like you to believe anyway. Another company makes and distributes them now, but on a much smaller scale -- I've never seen them in stores. Today's kids will have to start their own urban legends. Which reminds me, did you hear that the kid who inspired Phineas in Phineas and Ferb went into a coma after eating too much Pirate's Booty?
It's powdered pudding mix that you add milk to and shake. When you're done, you have something that is sort of almost like the consistency of pudding. I think this product was a goner when they figured out how to do individual servings of pudding. Check out a Shake-A-Pudd'n commercial from the '60s.
Ethnic Food Kits
Image: Vintage Chun King ad via Ebay
America's international palate has been steadily expanding since the country's founding, but increasingly people are comfortable cooking cuisines they didn't grow up with. Italian food used to be something of a specialty food (unless you were Italian) but now most home cooks have at least a couple of pasta recipes with sauces from scratch they can do. Similarly, taco night or Chinese food night used to mean buying a taco or Chinese food kit, but nowadays it's possible to get wide variety of authentic ingredients and experiment with all types of international recipes.
Click here for more Food Memories My Kids Won't Have.
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