It’s easy to look back on the past and feel a pang of nostalgia. We all long to revisit the places of our youth, but, unfortunately, many of those sites are long gone. Just like that old drive-in or favorite store at the mall, there’s another major source of nostalgia: food products that are gone but not forgotten.
In 1992, Butterfinger rocked every kid’s sweet tooth with the introduction of Butterfinger BB’s, which were basically entire Butterfinger bars shrunk down into little ball format. The low melting point of the chocolate meant that each time you’d reach into the bag your hands would come out covered in chocolate, but no one seemed to care. They were discontinued in 2006. After much uproar, Butterfinger Bites were introduced in 2009, but they’re just not the same. Thankfully Butterfinger’s new peanut butter cups are pretty good.
There was a time when Twix bars were available in a wide range of flavors, including Chocolate Fudge, Triple Chocolate, and Peanut Butter (which, thankfully, made a comeback last year), but there’s one that we really wish was still around: Cookies-n-Creme. Released in 1990, these featured an insanely tasty cookies and crème filling in place of caramel. Sadly, like the Chocolate Fudge Twix that were released simultaneously, these only stuck around for a few years.
Available in a few flavors, including Jalapeño Cheddar and Zesty Ranch, these were Doritos that were puffed up to create a hollow center. Bite-size and supremely crunchy, they probably would have done better if they were introduced as a product completely separate from beloved Doritos, but the early 2000s shined just a little bit brighter because of them.
Introduced in 1987, Bar None was delicious: milk chocolate-flavored wafers filled with chocolate cream, covered with crushed peanuts, and then covered with a coating of milk chocolate, they really did “tame the chocolate beasty,” as the great motto urged. They were perfect just as they were, but in 1992 Hershey’s added caramel into the mix and split them up into two bars, possibly in a misguided attempt to one-up Twix. By 1997, they’d disappeared from shelves entirely, although we hear you can still track them down in Mexico.
Either you remember these with extreme fondness, or you’ve never heard of them; nobody who ever experienced a Ninja Turtle Pudding Pie looks back on it with neutrality. They were released in 1991 as part of a giant cross-promotional stunt that also looped in Ellio’s Pizza and Hi-C, but these were by far the oddest of the bunch. These huge pies (way too big for a kid to eat) were dyed a shade of deep green, which gave way to a yellowish vanilla-flavored pudding when you bit into them. Each package also came with a TMNT trading card. Not only were they crazy-looking, but they were pretty darn delicious. They only stuck around for a couple of years, and Hostess confirmed in 2004 that "the pies were always meant to be a limited item and… we do not intend to re-introduce them to the marketplace." Oh well. Even the pudding pies without the green crust are really tough to find these days.
Between 1969 and 1993, Jell-O sold a product that was truly Space Age: one packet of powder that, when mixed with water and chilled, resulted in a dessert with three distinct layers: Jell-O on the bottom, mousse in the middle, and creamy topping on top. While it’s no longer available, Kraft posted the recipe for a reasonable facsimile online.
These things were awesome. Shortbread cookie on the outside, fudgy chocolate on the inside. We don’t even know how they were made, but they turned out delicious. While their popularity hit its peak in the late 1980s, these were still going strong among kids in the '90s, and were quite possibly the greatest type of cookie to dunk into milk (seriously, how did they get the chocolate in there?). They met a quiet end, but the Facebook page dedicated to bringing them back has nearly 1,500 likes.
Shaped like slices of Swiss cheese, complete with holes, these crackers were salty, cheesy, and covered with just the right amount of cheese powder. They didn’t taste exactly like Swiss cheese (not by a long shot), but we’d put these up against Cheez-Its any day. You can still find an approximation of them in Canada, but they’re just not the same.
In 1992, Planters rolled out a line of peanut-shaped snacks called P.B. Crisps. With a peanut-flavored, corn-based shell on the outside and creamy peanut butter on the inside, there wasn’t much not to like about these. They didn’t hang around for too long, but we remember them fondly.