A few weeks ago my manager brought in a utility tub of animal crackers for a work party. These were the sugar-cookie, cakey animal crackers that come in such tubs, not the graham-cracker-adjacent animal crackers which come in those tiny boxes shaped like circus train cars, which you could carry around via their string handle. I hadn’t had an animal cracker in years, and thoroughly enjoyed chowing down on them. We just had a discussion today of the cookie-crackers vs. the graham-adjacent-crackers, when another co-worker brought up Dunk-a-Roos. I’d never really got into Dunk-a-roos as a child, but recently did consume a package I found at a mini-mart somewhere, as part of a one-man experiment I’ve been unofficially participating in as of late, which is trying favorite foods from childhood and seeing if they hold up (the Dunk-a-roos, did not).
This all started last fall. I was on a very hungover ride home from NYC, where I’d celebrated Halloween, and not even a Wawa buffalo chicken hoagie was making me feel human. My brother and I stopped to get gas at a convenient store somewhere out near Tobyhanna, and I saw him buying a package of Pop-Tarts. Maybe those would help, I thought. Maybe I need some real junk. I don’t know that they helped me feel better, but they were delicious. I couldn’t stop talking about how good they were. My brother was nonplussed. He’d never gotten off the pop-tart train. I tried to remember why I did, as they aren’t necessarily a strictly juvenile food. I think it was because during college I simply consumed so many I needed a break, then just never returned. Regardless, this piqued my interest. I wanted to see what still held up, and what, if anything, was simply built for a child’s palate. I have to say I’ve been pleasantly surprised with what I’ve found.
Childhood treats that I’ve found withstand the test of time.
- Lunchables- Pizza lunchables are a classic (I’ve never quit the ham and cheese ones-they’re great in a pinch)
- “Yodels”- AKA Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls. Delicious. 5 Stars. Can’t rave about these enough.
- Fig Newtons- Delicious. 5 Stars. Can’t rave about these enough.
- Ice Cream Sandwiches- I feel like artisinal ice cream sandwiches are having a moment right now, but ya know what? The old school black and white predecessor ain’t too shabby.
- Capri Suns- Refreshing. Delightful. Still never want to see it outside the bag. Judge those who use these as mixers.
- Butterscotch Krimpets- Moist (I have no aversion to this word) and delicious.
- Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes- Tastykake is a powerhouse for a reason.
- EL Fudge Cookies- Not something I want to eat all the time, but legit.
- Oreo- Why did I give these such a long hiatus? Soggy, milk-drenched, falling-apart Oreos are one of life’s greatest pleasures.
On the other hand, there were some grave disappointments.
- Spaghettios- I was physically repulsed by these. I didn’t expect to have my socks knocked off, but I wasn’t expecting to be disgusted. This practically used to be one of my food groups.
- Reeses Cup- I guess I’m just not much of a candy person? This wasn’t bad by any means, but just kind of there (and cannot hold a candle to a Gertrude Hawk’s peanut butter bar).
- Peanut Butter Captain Crunch- The texture was weird!
- Jello Pudding- I think I eat too much Greek yogurt. It felt too watery. This one hurt.
What about you? Anything you’ve had recently after a long absence of note? Anything I absolutely need to try? I try to treat myself to one throwback snack per weekend. It’s really a slippery slope though. The other day I actually purchased a whole box of Swiss Cakes Rolls and counted them as my “breakfast carb” for the week.