Duff beer, brontosaurus ribs and gummiberry juice: top five cartoon foods we wish were real

There are quite a few cartoon foods we're glad aren't real: spoo, for example, a substance described as "meat jello," that's made an appearance on not one, but two cartoons. Other disturbing foods found in cartoons include the sawdust-y "powdered toast" from Ren and Stimpy and the Futurama beverage called slurm, a.k.a. the anal secretion of a giant worm.

But while we can do without spoo and smurm, there are quite a few cartoon foods that we wish were real. Here are our top five:

1. Homer Simpson's Duff beer. Duff beer is so ubiquitous on The Simpsons, which is why it's so sad and shocking that it doesn't actually exist. Homie's beer of choice even has its own slogan: "The beer that makes the days fly by," not to mention its own amusement park, Duff Gardens, and lots of flavors, among them "Lady Duff" and "Tartar Control Duff." A couple breweries have pirated the name for their own products but it's just not the same.

2. The Gummi Bears' gummiberry juice."Magic and mystery are part of their history, along with the secret of gummiberry juice ..." So goes the theme song from the 1980s-era gummi bear inspired Gummi Bears Saturday morning cartoon. The potent juice inexplicably gives the bears the ability to bounce at terrific heights and speeds -- accompanied by great sound effects -- while empowering their ogre enemies with abnormal strength. Bouncing to avert danger? Count us in.

3. The Flintstones' bronto ribs. The prehistory enjoyed by Fred and Wilma Flintstone and friends included electricity, drive-in movies and fast food such as bronto burgers and bronto ribs. The closing credits in every episode were worth waiting for just to see the 1950s-inspired carhop teeter out with a rack of ribs larger than the roof of the Flintstones' floorless car. The weight of the slab of dinosaur meat promptly causes the car to tip sideways, to the family's apparent glee. Lesson: Larger than life food really is funny.

4. The Jetsons' Food-a-Rac-a-Cycle. Just like the freeze-dried astronaut ice cream and pizza you always used to beg for, food from the future is always somehow appealing. Ditto food-making machines. While strikingly similar to a vending machine, the Jetsons' food-a-rac-a-cycle machine, which presents hot meals with the quick press of a button, makes things like Irish stew and beef stroganoff seem potentially worthwhile.
5. Popeye's spinach. Real spinach may actually promote strength, but not with the almost frightening and awe-inspiring speed of the spinach Popeye throws back. If you've seen it once, the image is seared. When the squinty-eyed sailor throws back his head and tosses the green stuff down his maw, his toothpick arms instantly bulge -- Lou Ferrigno-style -- allowing him to beat the hell out of whatever and whoever he wants. In Popeye's world, steroids are so passé.