Thursday, February 17, 2005

Speaking of chocolate and children


I don't know how many of you are near my age and remember Carnation Breakfast Bars. The originals from around the '70s and '80s, not the sad "chewy" ones they remade in the '90s to compete with all of the other "chewy" nutritional bars and poo.

The original bars had a kind of dry, crumbly texture on the inside and were sheathed in a thin layer of "chocolate". I say "chocolate" because it didn't taste like real chocolate. It had a waxy texture and didn't melt in your hands like actual chocolate would. Perhaps it was treated chocolate. Or waxified. Vincent Price might have had something to do with it although I don't know for sure, so don't quote me.

Doesn't that sound yummy?

Actually, they were quite fantastic. They just dissolved in your mouth and tasted of all kinds of goodness and love.

As I recall, the flavor assortment consisted of chocolate, peanut butter, and peanut butter/chocolate chip. At least those were the only flavors I remember ever wanting. There might have been some strawberry monstrosity, but I don't know for sure and a google search didn't help much.

My favorite after-school snack when I was a tot was a cold glass of milk and a Peanut Butter Breakfast Bar. This was long before the creation of that "crack" that all the kids are fond of these days. Even better was when I was allowed to spend my allowance on an entire box of the things (8 bars per box, as I recall) and I could eat them at my own pace and discretion, rather than invest in Microsoft like the other geeky kids did. It's no surprise I now find myself poor and chunky.

Now why, you may wonder, am I talking about a breakfast/snack food that has been out of production (the good kind at least) for around 20 years?

You know how you'll occasionally smell something or taste something and it will trigger memories in your noggin of days long gone? That happened to me last weekend. Heather had stopped for gas on our way back from picking up Chinese food and I went in to get some soda and perhaps something snacky for dessert. They had on display a new "Limited Edition" flavor of Resse's Peanut Butter Cups that I hadn't seen before. It was called "Fudge" and I figured, "Sure, why not?" and picked up a couple.

When we got around to eating them I was amazed. It tasted almost exactly how I remember the peanut butter Carnation Breakfast Bar tasting, but without the texture. So it wasn't perfect, but it wasn't bad either.

I've been checking around the various convenience stores around town since then (but not the original gas station – that would be too easy) and haven't seen them for sale. I want to get a "few" more to try again and see if I imagined the taste similarity or not.

Oh, and while we are on the subject of discontinued snacks, I wish they would bring back Reese's Chunky Peanut Butter Cups. MmmMMmmm.

For more "memory lane" type stuff, head over here.

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