Here I am once again reminiscing about some old junk food. I could write about foods I miss as the only thing I post here on Retro Ramblings and probably never run the well dry, so here are three more delectables that I still crave today for a tasty edition of Retro Ramblings.
Keebler O’Boisies Potato Crisps
Those little Keebler elves have made a lot of tasty treats in their day. Unfortunately, a lot of them left the shelves far too quickly. O’Boisies, for me, is the primary example of this. They hit the market in the mid-late ’80s and were gone by the early ’90s.
Keebler always tried to claim that O’Boisie’s weren’t a “chip”. I’m not sure what they thought they were, but they were the finest example of a potato chip that I can think of. The flavor in these things packed quite a punch. It seemed like they had a higher salt content than other chips, and their main feature was little pockets of air baked into them. This made them one of the crunchier chips I can recall….and when it comes to potato chips, I want them crunchy!
You could get O’Boisies in Original, Sour Cream & Onion, and BBQ flavors. I’ve never been a fan of BBQ chips, but I was all in on the other two flavors. You could always find these chips in our pantry for an after-school snack, or a Saturday afternoon pick-me-up while playing Nintendo. But my favorite memory of them is that my Mother and I would sit at night snacking on them while watching Nick at Nite when my Dad was out of town and my brother was at work. And in recent years, she and I would mention them to one another and reflect back on those good times.
Now I know that technically, this product hasn’t gone away. You can use the jiggler recipe on whatever type of Jello you want to turn it into a jiggler version of that flavor. But I guess what I miss is all the hype around the creation. Jello put out quite a few dollars in marketing this “new” way to eat Jello with your hands.
My mom bought into the craze hook, line, and sinker back in the early ’90s, and was buying every Jello Jiggler mold kit they produced. That never bothered me any as I was more than willing to eat her creations of small flags and stars in red and blue colors, or the purple and orange Halloween-themed molds of gelatinous goodness. Heck, I was actively searching the grocery aisle for new mold kits that I could point out to her, hoping that later that afternoon I would be holding that cool goodness in my hands. Yes, my hands. Something about holding and eating Jello instead of putting it in a bowl and eating it with a fork just made it better.
I think Jello still puts out new mold kits from time to time, but their heyday has certainly passed. And while that picture above of the Halloween mold kits looks totally awesome, it sadly isn’t available anymore. But I’ve got good news for you! You can use any silicone mold to make Jigglers, and I found an awesome silicone ice cube mold on Amazon that would make an excellent substitute for the above kit. It’s got six different tombstone designs featuring skeletons, spiders, spider webs, and the like.
While technically, this is still available, it’s just not the same as it was in the beginning. The can has changed, and there are no longer many advertising dollars spent on it. Today, you know it simply as Caffeine Free Pepsi.
Back in 1982, Pepsi became the first major soda company to introduce a caffeine-free soda to their product line. They pumped a lot of advertising dollars into the launch and continued to heavily promote it throughout its lifespan.
The original can was a reddish-orange in color, with a blue logo outlined in white, and struck quite an image to a young soda fan like myself. While not really knowing what it even was, I was hooked by the can design, the promotion of this hot new thing, and the “taste”. I swore to everyone that it was the best-tasting soda on the market.
Everywhere I spotted a Pepsi machine while out and about with my old man, I begged for him to buy me Pepsi Free, and he would oblige. At this point in life, I’m assuming that he was more than happy to supply a can of “pop” without as much kick as other sodas so he may hopefully get a little peace and quiet in the afternoon without a wired child running around.
The product in its original name was phased out in 1987. From that point on, it’s been known simply as Caffeine Free Pepsi. But I believe the sales would rise a little if they would go back to that beautiful orange and blue can.
I remember O’Boisies fondly, though Tato Skins were always my favorite from the Keebler lot.
And Pepsi Free was practically a staple in our house. And you gotta love that it was immortalized in Back to the Future. “Give me a Pepsi Free.” “You want a Pepsi, pal, you’re gonna pay for it!”