Tuesday, 16 June 2009
The 90's brought us "Friends," Bill Clinton, and grunge music. They also ushered in a plethora of new food trends, some genius (Stuffed Crust Pizza - yum!) and some horrendous (Chips made with Olestra - maybe the phrase "anal leakage" rings a bell?). Here's our ode to the mostly artificial, mind-numbingly unhealthy snacks that we munched all the way through the good old 1990's.
Orbitz fruit drinks
These sickeningly sweet beverages were all the rage in the mid-90s. Sort of the juvenile forerunner of bubble tea, Orbitz consisted of a Kool-Aid type liquid bobbing with tiny, gummy pearl-shaped blobs. All the cool kids at school had them, but looking back, we're glad we were content with our non-protoplasmic Juicy Juice boxes.
Koala Yummies cookies
So cute! Koala Yummies came in a cardboard tube that, once opened, yielded handful after handful of hollow, koala-shaped cookies. The marsupials, who were pictured performing realistic koala tasks like reading and playing soccer, were stamped on the cookies with...um...chocolate ink?You could choose chocolate or strawberry filling, which in actuality more resembled a stale Tootsie Roll than luscious frosting. Apparently, you can still find these in Asian grocery stores.
Don't tell me you don't remember those commercials - all-American quarterback type gets into a bind, gets out of it, and with a pepperminty smile credits Mentos - the "freshmaker". Tastewise, Mentos were nothing special -- lackluster chewy wafers that consistently got stuck in your teeth. But then the fruit kind came out, and you anxiously unwrapped that stick hunting for the pink ones. Mentos are still in the candy aisle today, and they have even expanded to gum.
This new fluorescent soda from Coca-Cola was the first energy drink. Touted as an extremely potent Mountain Dew, Surge came in ectoplasm-colored cans and hyped up 12-year-olds everywhere with its deadly combination of sugar, caffeine and empty calories. Coke eventually transitioned Surge into its energy drink Vault, but in the 90's, this was the Red Bull of the masses.
Bagels were big in the 90's, and some lucky genius decided to shrink them down, smother them in fake pizza sauce and even faker cheese and market them as a microwaveable snack. You ate them after school, and you thought they were awesome. Bagel Bites have even survived the 90's, so if you're feeling nostalgic, head to your grocery store. And remember to fold the box into that toasting tray.
They were salty, they were stuffed with questionable goo, and they came in flavors that snack food should never attempt (Pizza? Cheeseburger? Bacon and Eggs?). But we all loved them. Combos, our hearts are yours.
Fruitopia was the big David that rose from nowhere to take on the Snapple Goliath. While Snapple was busy charming us with their cutesy glass bottles and down-on-the-farm flavors like Peach Iced Tea, Fruitopia silently emerged like a sugary-beverage panther, clubbing us over the head with their hipster image and New-Agey flavor names like "Strawberry Passion Awareness." And who won in the end? Well, Coca-Cola doesn't keep beverage brands around for long, and it pulled Fruitopia from the market in 2001. Snapple is still going strong, especially after their recent redesign. But Fruitopia, though you have vanished into "The Grape Beyond", we toast to you with a goblet of high fructose corn syrup.
Did you eat any of these foods? Which did I forget?