Since it’s nearly love day, it’s time to address our deep and lasting romance with delicious food and drink!
Are there any foods or drinks that haunt your memories, lost to time and/or space?
As an immigrant, there are a lot of things I miss from my home country, a lot of which I didn’t even care about before I left. I could get fresh, cheap Krispy Kreme any time I wanted, but I almost never stopped to get any. Madness!
Thankfully a lot of things have made their way here, like Papa John’s, Krispy Kreme, and Mexican food in general. Sadly, Taco Bell changed their menu when they went British, so I’m still denied that pleasure experience. But I still can’t get Nutty Buddys, Cheez-Its, decent root beer, or Jolly Ranchers unless I spend a fortune at specialist foreign food stores.
What’s your lost love? Ecto-Coolers? Nerds Cereal? All that disgusting jellied stuff from the 70s?
I have a strong sense memory of eating an an old El Paso branded hard shell taco (sans filling) while watching the Berlin Wall come down. It was sourced from some honest to goodness ‘Mericans my parents were friends with. And I’d say until about 15 years ago that was the best you’d get anywhere over here. I didn’t eat an actual taco until I was in my 30s.
Anyway, I spent one glorious summer with these crisps and then they were gone. I don’t recall them having any effect on my teeth, though.
You know the food I miss more than anything else? There used to be this tiny little hole-in-the-wall Chinese place in the town where I grew up. I mean tiny. There was no room to sit down and if a line formed, it went out the door after about five people. But for not very much money, they gave you so much food. A styrofoam separated meal container filled so much you worried the styrofoam would break from the weight. Everything was super greasy and super delicious. And the MSG! So much MSG! They ladled it into the woks. Oh man that food was good. If I could have any food again that no longer exists, it would be a steamed dumpling and curry potatoes from Phoenix Dumpling in Bloomington, IN. Sadly, it will never be.
Just thought of another food I miss (and I’m probably alone here). My mom used to buy carob-covered raisins (as opposed to Raisinets) from a health food store. I absolutely loved them. I’ve wanted to have them again since I was a kid.
I’ve had a couple of local restaurants like that. One was a Mexican place, at a time those were rare, that did really good food. One day we dropped in to find it was closed, and by the dust inside had been for a good while. Another was when we moved back to a place we’d lived before, where there was a takeaway place that used to sell normal fish and chips but also had a really extensive and tasty Chinese menu. It had obviously changed management at some point and now only sells the fish and chips and a pathetic handful of not great Chinese items.
We’ve got an amazing Chinese place at the end of the road where we live now, and I’m sure we’re going to really miss that when we move in a month or two.
And another meaty-fruity finger pastry: the mini-empanadas Mom used to sell for parties in the pre-Trader Joes era. There were always bits of chopped raisin mixed in to the beef-with-chili-flavoring filling. Coneys were the same turnover dough, but the filling was chopped frankfurter and chopped kraut instead. Really, just fill a plate with all the canapes and little desserts from when I worked at those parties to get a little pocket money as a teen. Let me have just a nibble of each one more time.
This thread is making me so nostalgic for former foods… another one, a burger place in the same town where I grew up. They had a caesar burger. As in a burger with caesar salad on top instead of other toppings. And it was SO good. They didn’t survive COVID business strains sadly.
Yes! They had a distinctive flavor somehow. It’s weird I still think about them sometimes.
Also, the kind of Cinnamon Crispas (however it was spelled) from Taco Bell that were actually cinnamon-sugar tortilla chips, instead of the puffed extruded thing they became later. (Are they even still on the menu? I haven’t been inside a Taco Bell in probably a decade.)
Red Baron Mexican style pizza, discontinued, briefly brought back, gone again by 2019.
It was a little spicey, which was surprising because so many frozen pizzas are rather bland, but this had a zesty sauce, a little kick to it with the veggies and spices. But what I liked best -that I don’t find from restaurant pizzas- were the little chips sprinkled throughout, I loved that extra crunch, and the flavor. (it was a happy time when I’d open the box to see an extra helping of chips on the top)