The early ’90s were a great time for music videos (speaking of which, Axl, when will you return my six year-old self’s calls?), flannel manufacturers, and ridiculous food innovations. Just like grunge and the music aspect of MTV, many of these absurd delicacies are long dead, but that doesn’t mean they don’t get stuck in my head just as often as Smells Like Teen Spirit does. These are some of the stupid foods that I miss the most.1. Pizzarias Pizza Chips
“Pizza” flavor was huge in the Ninja Turtles-centric ’90s and Keebler cashed in on it with these snacks, which came in three mildly distinguishable flavors: Cheese, Pepperoni, and Supreme. Now, if one flavor is Supreme, who were the self-loathing losers buying the other flavors? And, while we’re on the subject, I believe in one conspiracy theory: today’s “Tomato and Basil” is just a re-brand of ’90s pizza flavor.
2. Hi-C Fruity Bubble Gum
Many of my peers mourn the extinction of Slimer-endorsed Ecto-Cooler but, for me, the saddest juice-box death is that of this inimitable pink flavor. It actually sort of tasted like bubble gum and featured a wad of bubble gum with Chucks and a boom box as its mascot. What’s not to love?
3. Crystal Pepsi
I think the assumption was that, if cola was clear, it had to be healthier. Trust me, this stuff was just as effective at giving you diabetes. It didn’t taste like cola, either, but I miss its sweet aftertaste. I also miss its Super Bowl commercial featuring Van Halen, even though it had Sammy Hagar and not David Lee Roth.
4. Jell-o Pudding Pops
As awful as Bill Cosby was in Ghost Dad, he was right in leading children such as myself to eat these frozen treats. These babies came in chocolate and vanilla and chocolate-vanilla swirl. I liked the vanilla best because I was one exciting kid.
5. Dr. Pepper Bubble Gum
Diet Dr. Pepper is my favorite stimulant these days, so it’s no surprise that I miss these large hunks of gum which oozed 23-flavor syrup into your mouth when you bit into them. Drinking Mr. Pibb while chewing Bubble Yum is an unfulfilling alternative.
6. Butterfinger BB’s
I love bite-sized candies almost as much as I hate unnecessary, misused apostrophes. Lisa Simpson should have caught that. Still, to me, candy bars look too much like turds. I prefer to eat balls. YEAHHH, BABY, BEHAVE. Oops. I went too far into the ’90s with my references.
7. Pop Qwiz
This tasted like plain old popcorn, but it came in a brightly colored bag and you had no idea what color the popcorn itself would be until after you popped it, hence the “qwiz” angle. Today, I resent the disappointing sense of certainty I feel when I microwave myself a bag of popcorn and know it will be slightly yellow with faux butter.
8. Fruit String Things
I was blessed to go through childhood during the golden age of fruit snacks.These were narrow chewy fruit substances that formed abstract line shapes on a sheath of thin cardboard. The flavor itself was terribly artificial, even by fruit snack standards, but I still miss them.
9. Brach’s Rocks
Dinosaurs were the height of rad in 1992 so, if you gave a T.Rex a bodacious varsity jacket, shades, and a lot of ‘tude, you had a role model for America’s youth. Thus began my addiction to this fruity, chewy candy. They didn’t taste like rocks, the comic advertisement insisted, but sadly, that was not enough to ward off extinction.
Are there any ’90s foods that you wish would make their way back to grocery store aisles? Let us know in the comments!
You can contact Betsy, the author of this post, at firstname.lastname@example.org.