Archive for April, 2009

17
Apr
09

Reformulation blues.

If you haven’t eaten the foods of your childhood in a long time, say, since childhood, then you might be in for a shock the next time you reach for a time-honored classic.

Well-meaning do-gooders have reformulated many of your fondest foods into utter impostors, robbed of their former majesty. They’ve come along with things called “vitamins” and “minerals” and added them where they don’t belong. And everything is “calcium enriched”.
Remember Nestle Quik? It used to be a super-fine chocolate/sugar powder that dissolved fairly well in milk, provided you didn’t throw it in the glass first (common rookie mistake). The new Nestle Quik is granular, more sandy than powdery, and doesn’t dissolve nearly as well…never mind the awful taste. Barely chocolaty. Avoid it. Chocolate Malt Ovaltine, however, is just like you remember. No reformulation. Follow the directions! 4 heaping tablespoons! Skimp at your own peril.
Another victim: Cookie Crisp cereal. Cookie Crisp looks and tastes nothing like the original, which was sort of like Cap’n Crunch pressed into a flying saucer shape with lil’ tiny Chips Ahoy chips flecked all over the surface. Now it’s the color of whole wheat, has almost none of the original “cookie” flavor and let’s not even talk about the chocolate chips since they aren’t present in any meaningful way. During a recent sampling I also thought that I detected the flavor of those same vitamins and minerals. Why are these even added to children’s foods? They’re just a pathetic crutch for the lazy parent. C’mon people, they make vitamins that taste exactly like gummy bears now. No chalk. No grit. No weird pee smell. Just give those to your kids and leave the classics alone. Please?
Another classic that has stayed true to its original form: The Hostess Twinkie. I’ll be damned if the two-pack Twinkies don’t taste exactly like the ones that we used to have when I was a kid. In fact, they’re probably the same factory batch as the ones I had when I was a kid.

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