Last night, I impulsively bought a Slurpee from the corner 7-Eleven. I hadn’t had one in more than twenty years. After about three or four sips, I dumped the whole thing out because I found it disgusting. This surprised me; growing up, I loved Slurpees!
In retrospect, I shouldn’t be too surprised. I got the blue raspberry flavor. But raspberries aren’t blue, are they? They are usually red, and while there is a variety known as the whitebark (sometimes referred to as black raspberry or blue raspberry), it is more of a dark purple in color. The neon blue found in the Slurpee is courtesy of a synthetic dye known as Brilliant Blue FCF. There’s a brief article that does a great job of explaining how blue raspberry came about here, if you are so inclined.* So, we can add food coloring to the list of ingredients that make up a Slurpee! Along with sugar, and probably a lot of other things I don’t what to know about. I told Tara the next time we pass by the patch of grass where I dumped the contents of my cup, we’re liable to find scorch marks.
* Tara pointed out recently that I have an obsessive thirst for knowledge, most of it useless. I thought about it for a moment, and realized she was right. I’m naturally curious by nature, and not a day goes by when I’m not scouring the internet for some random tidbit of mostly useless information. For instance, I can tell you why people named Richard are sometimes called Dick; why Greenland is an island but Australia is a continent; and that the aforementioned 7-Eleven was originally called Tot’em and each store featured an actual wood-carved totem pole out front. I’m like a real-life version of Cliff Clavin, minus the Boston accent. Mostly this vault of knowledge goes unused, though during the barn wedding we recently attended, a baby bird fell out of a nest in the rafters. One of the guests said, “Don’t touch it, or the mother bird will have nothing to do with it.” “That’s a misconception!” I practically shouted to Tara. “As long as the nest isn’t disturbed, the mother bird will continue to care for her offspring!” So if nothing else, I might have saved a bird’s life (during the very same trip in which I ended another bird’s life. Oh, the irony).
Anyway. Pardon the long digression. This realization that a former childhood favorite failed to live up to its sweet, sweet memory made me wonder what else I liked back then that I would find unappealing now. I know for a fact that Spaghetti-Os make that list. And Slim Jims. Cookie Crisp cereal, too. Pop-Tarts for breakfast? Damn good in 1978, but disgusting today. And while I haven’t made a fried bologna sandwich with ketchup since the early 80s, I’m pretty sure this is something present-day me would find revolting. Driving back from California a couple of weeks ago, I bought a Yoo-hoo at a gas station. Even that wasn’t as good as I’d remembered. What a weird drink Yoo-hoo is, by the way. It was created in the 1920s in New Jersey by an Italian-American grocer who wanted a chocolate soft drink that wouldn’t spoil. This explains why it’s mostly water rather than milk. (See above: useless knowledge).
Other childhood favorites included Fresca, Sweet Tarts, and Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup. I haven’t tried any of those in a long time. I wonder what I’d think of them today?
On the opposite end of the spectrum, I once loathed broccoli but love it now.
Watermelon and I are still sworn enemies, however.
How ’bout you? Any childhood favorites you recently revisited and discovered didn’t live up to your memories?