The 8 Childhood Snacks You Probably Still Crave
This piece originally appeared on Refinery29.com.
Look, we embrace the way food culture has emerged as its own huge world. We'll be the first ones to jump on a cronut, we enjoy making ricotta from scratch, and the toast that accompanies it, we try to shop at the farmers' market for fresh local produce when we can, and we try to eat healthfully in general and not scarf too much sugar (within reason). But, some of our fondest childhood food memories involve packaged (and yes, probably processed) noms — and we have no plans to mind-erase those pleasures.
The truth is, though it feels virtuous (and genuinely good) to prepare and cook with and eat whole foods like kale, sometimes what we really crave is Jacked Doritos or old-school peanut M&Ms. We took a walk down memory lane to revisit some of our favorite snacks from childhood (and just a couple of items that we couldn't resist when we saw them in the supermarket).
1. SpaghettiOs came on the market in 1965. The 'O' was reportedly generated after a study of what shape pasta could be eaten least messily (rejected ideas were cowboys, Indians, spacemen, and stars). We await a handmade pasta O.
2. Hostess Cupcakes Long before New York City's Magnolia Bakery helped launch the national cupcake craze in the 1990s, Hostess cupcakes presented a little bit of dessert perfection: plush chocolate cake filled with the sweetest white fluff, topped with a firm shell of icing and that signature white swirl. In the early years of Hostess (around the '20s), they also reportedly offered a malted milk flavored icing. Bring that back!
3. Lunchables, a tidy package of bologna circles, cheese squares, and round buttery crackers, have spoken to mothers pressed for time since their arrival in 1985. Regardless of your feelings on packaged lunches, we can all get behind a meal composed entirely of charcuterie and cheese.
4. Spam — essentially canned pork shoulder — became a mainstay of the U.S. military's diet during World War II when food preservation was an issue. Nowadays, homemade and small-batch pork terrines and pates are the territory of foodies all over (and we're more than a little giddy at the mention of a pork shoulder).
5. White Wonder bread is reportedly one of the first breads to be sold pre-sliced, leading to the phrase "the greatest thing since sliced bread." (In 2010, a whole wheat version finally came to market.) However, we think the original just feels naked without marshmallow fluff and peanut butter in tow.
6. Popsicle Popups There's something so satisfying about a frozen dessert that you eat gradually, pushing it up as you make progress. Smaller ice cream shops across America now offer push-up ice cream and popsicles in an array of sophisticated adult flavors, like Vietnamese iced coffee and mango lemongrass — yet sometimes we just long for the original Orange Burst.
7. Powdered Mini Donuts The package copy for Hostess Donettes Powdered Mini Donuts includes the phrase "sweet rings of beauty." We truly couldn't have said it better ourselves. These are safest enjoyed alone/when you don't have to worry about dusting off the loose powder off your work ensemble.
8. Easy Cheese can be entertaining for both children and wistful adults, and as a bonus time-saver, you won't need fancy cheese-label markers or utensils to enjoy it. Admit it, you're guilty of spraying this bright orange goo straight into your mouth. Crackers are always optional.
All images photographed by Danny Kim