There are plenty of trendy eats and drinks from the entire decade of the 1990s that we either don't miss or that just won't die so we can miss them -- like spinach-artichoke dip, weirdo fruity martinis, molten chocolate cake, chicken Caesar salads and sun-dried tomatoes on everything. But there are also some delicious delicacies that never should have been ripped away, and in this age of prequels and over-sentimentality, should be resurrected immediately.
Here's a list of five '90s eats and drinks we'd like to see make a comeback. Included in the nostalgia-fest are squeezables, Doritos of badassdom, Bill Cosby's pre-trouble cashcicles, and the clearly Canadian solution to underage drinking.
5) Skippy Squeez' It Although peanut butter was not invented in the '90s (it's generally thought that the Aztecs did it first), it was revolutionized into squirtable form by Skippy in the decade of "Rump-Shaker." Packaged in what appeared to be a double-wide toothpaste tube, Skippy Squeez' It was our beloved creamy peanut paste that could be pooped on to bread, toast, crackers or a spoon. Sadly, squeezable jelly survives to this day, but squeezy PB got nuked along with the mini, to-go version, Skippy Squeeze Stix. (The '90s was a time when spelling things wrong was fun and empowering for food products.)
It's a pure pity that we lost squeezable PB products, since everyone knows the best way to eat peanut butter is to place it directly into your mouth, with as little fuss as possible.
4) Jumpin' Jack Doritos
The words "limited edition" were never so painfully true as when the sadistic jerks at Frito Lay decided to introduce Jumpin' Jack Doritos in the 1990s, waited for everyone to grow addicted to the pale, cheese powder-dusted corn chips, then tore them off the store shelves, cackling and screeching like hyena-witches. Although there was no discernible heat to the chips (face it, mass-produced pepper jack cheese doesn't have any actual heat, either) the Doritos were still enjoyable, just like Cool Ranch Doritos with a hint of cheese.
The loss of Jumpin' Jack Doritos certainly supports the adage that anything good gets zapped because life just isn't fair. And also that Frito Lay hates us all.
3) Nestle Banana Milk
Breakfast hasn't been the same since Nestle banana milk went away. Nothing was better than sitting down every morning to a plate of bacon, eggs and toast, and a tall, refreshing glass of milk mixed with goober-sweet banana drink mix. Chocolate and strawberry milk mixes survived the great Nestle purge of the '90s, but poor, deprived
adults children are growing up today never knowing the delight and satisfaction of drinking banana milk at the most important meal of the day. Why not bring back the blissful banana beverage that we all remember fondly and miss terribly, and while you are at it (I'm looking right at you, Nestle!) do a test-run of some single-serving add-to-milk packs, and some to-go banana milk chugs.
C'mon, Nestle: General Mills is bringing back French Toast Crunch in 2015. Can you let GM beat you at breakfast? By the way, you can still find Banana Milk on Amazon -- but it ain't cheap.
For more dearly-missed '90s treats, read on.
2) Clearly Canadian If there was one pervasive beverage trend that dominated the '90s, it was teen/tweener mocktails. Happy hour for junior high and high school kids ran from school let out until the obligatory return home for dinner, and no happy hour was complete without some sort of fancy, bottled drink to show off (preferably one that looked as much as possible like a wine cooler). Clearly Canadian sparkling fruit drinks hit peak popularity in the mid-'90s for good reasons: They came in glass bottles like booze, they could be bought individually at convenience stores, and they were offered in exotic flavors like Western Loganberry. There is currently a crowd-sourcing, direct-to-consumer pre-sales campaign working to bring Clearly Canadian back to production, and it cannot come fast enough.
To this day I have still never seen a loganberry, but I hear it exists as a creative raspberry/blackberry hybrid; maybe Clearly Canadian will bring it back to prominence with some trend-necromancy.
1) Jello Pudding Pops
It's hard to recall a more widespread level of adoration for a frozen dessert than what '80s kids and '90s teens felt for Jello Pudding Pops: velvet-smooth chocolate, vanilla and swirl pudding frozen into Popsicle form and bestowed upon an adoring public by spokesman Bill Cosby. When Jello Pudding Pops vanished, they left a hole in the universe, one that the Popsicle brand tried to plug in the early 2000s with a new but hardly improved line of pudding pops that were half the size of the originals -- and didn't taste a fucking thing like they used to.
Perhaps it's time for Kraft Foods to conduct an archaeological dig into its dusty vaults to retrieve the recipe for the original Pudding Pops (it couldn't dig Cosby out of trouble with a magical bulldozer), get them back in production, and find a new spokesperson (try Betty White or Seth Rogen -- they seem wholesome enough) and give us back our treasured pudding treats.