If you’ve been following this blog for long, you know I like my food local, if possible. I do indulge in the occasional California avocado or Florida orange, but overall, my meat and veggies are locally raised or grown within a 100-mile radius of my front door. This is daunting task for someone that grew up in the 80s eating Captain Crunch and drinking Mountain Dew.
Lately, I’ve been dreaming about dipping an Ellio’s frozen pizza in ranch dressing (I blame winter). These dreams cause me to reminisce about the processed foods of my youth, and I’ve narrowed it down to five of the most memorable, most of which happen to be lunch foods.
Chef Boyardee Beefaroni – My mom rarely bought any Chef Boyardee products. We were always forced to eat nutritious meals that included vegetables and non-heart-attack-inducing sodium levels. However, on occasion she would fill my Strawberry Shortcake thermos with Beefaroni and send me off to school. I would happily recite my multiplication tables and practice my cursive knowing what goodness lunch had in store.
Jell-O Pudding Pops – I was a sickly child. If the flu hit the school, I’d be down for two weeks. And strep throat? I’ve had it at least a hundred times. Nothing’s better for a sore throat than a Jell-O Pudding Pop, especially if while eating it, you imagine leaning your feverish head on the swirly-sweatered chest of Bill Cosby as he does the voice of Fat Albert, just for you.
Fruit Roll-Ups – NO ONE in my third grade class was a bigger fan of strawberry fruit roll-ups than I was. NO ONE. I would trade my left arm (and definitely my Kudos bar) for one. Why did I love these sheets of fruit-flavored high fructose corn syrup? I spent my entire lunch period cutting them into mouse shapes, just so I could pretend I was the lizard-alien Diana from the TV series “V.” I dangled them menacingly over my mouth before chomping down. Charming.
Chocodile – If you don’t remember this delicacy, you’re missing out. It wasn’t really a Twinkie, but it seemed like a Twinkie, covered in chocolate. Or at least it seemed like chocolate. Chauncey, the Chocodile mascot, convinced me that if “I had to wait awhile” I NEEDED a chocodile.
Funyuns and Mountain Dew – Every ninth grade lunch period, I would head happily to the vending machine (most likely humming Step by Step by New Kids on the Block) to buy my lunch— Funyuns and Mountain Dew. One could not be without the other. They were eaten together, while playing a rousing game of “HORSE” in the school gym/cafeteria with my best friend Allie and the English/Chemistry teacher (it was a small school). I was obviously one of the cool kids.
This post was published first over at Childhood Relived, where the amazingly funny and talented Angie reminisced about her growing up years. If you’ve never been over there, you should go. Bring some Captain Crunch with you. Oh, and get ready to see another epic photo of yours truly. This time my whole family gets in on it.
So tell me, what are the most memorable lunch/processed foods of your youth? Did you have big hair while you were chowing down?