Tag: Forgotten Food

Forgotten Food: McDonald’s McD.L.T.

McDonald's McDlt

The McDonald’s McDLT gets mentioned on it’s fair share of fondly remembered foods list, and for good reason. Of all the great, and horrible, things to ever grace the menu of McDonalds, the McDLT was one of the best items they created.

It was a burger in similar size as Burger King’s Whopper sandwich, and featured mostly the same ingredients. A quarter pound beef patty, lettuce, tomato, mayo, cheese, pickles, and ketchup on a toasted sesame seed bun. The beauty of the McDLT though was it’s packaging. It came in one of McDonald’s signature styrofoam containers. But this one was slightly different. It featured two separate compartments instead of one.

On one side, the bottom bun and burger patty rested, while on the other was the rest of the toppings and the top bun. This allowed the hot parts to remain separate from the cold parts until you were ready to put it together and eat. And that was the brilliance of it all. A fresh tasting McDLT when the hot patty met the cold toppings.  What I could never figure out though, was why the slice of cheese was included on the cold side.  To me it would have made much more sense to put it on top of the patty on the hot side so it could get all melty.  But apparently, I’m not a genius like the burger builders at McDonald’s.

McDLT

It was released in the early 80’s to much fanfare, but was eventually pulled in 1990 due to pressure from environmental groups protesting their use of the styrofoam containers. Once the divided container was gone, so was the magic of this burger. It was later re-released as the Big ‘n’ Tasty burger, but without the separated ingredients, the burger fell flat.

 

More McDonald’s  |  A Visual Guide to McDonald’s Styrofoam Containers

 

As a kid, I was getting a little old for Happy Meals, and found the McDLT to be a perfectly acceptable replacement for it. I’m guessing it was basically the novelty of it that turned me on to it, but it was a great burger in it’s own right so that kept me coming back for more.

As a side note, McDonald’s lost a little luster to me with the fall of those original containers. Each container was a different color to represent what was held inside, and even the McNuggets had a little compartment built in to hold the sauce cup. I understand the environmental impact and agree with the decision to stop using them, but dang, they looked cool, and figure prominently in my memories of McDonald’s and childhood in general.  As a matter of fact, we did a whole post just on those old McDonald’s containers, and you can check that out here.

Now I know a lot of you reading this remember the McDLT, so we wanna hear from you.  What did you think of the concept?  Let us know in the comments.  And if long gone McDonalds food items is your thing, check out our post on the fabulous McDonald’s McPasta from the early 90’s.

McDLT

 

 

McDLT
McDLT in Package

Forgotten Food: Del Monte Pudding in a Can

 

Pudding in a Can

Kids who came along in the early 90’s and later can have their Hunt’s Snack Packs, or their Swiss Miss from the dairy aisle. For me, the king of the hill when it came to pre-packaged pudding was Del Monte’s Chocolate Pudding in the can. Not a plastic cup, but in the little metal can! Scientists can conduct all the experiments they want to determine what effects tin and plastic packaging have on the taste of packaged food, but I can save them a little time and sum it for them in one sentence. It just tasted better out of the can! Period. End of story.

Of course fond memories, nostalgia, and many, many years of time can mislead the brain when it comes to reality. Maybe it wasn’t the metal can that made it taste better. It could have been the fact that I would get this fantastic little treat when visiting my grandmother. She always kept a large supply on hand, because she had 16 grand children, and every one of us were fans of these little cans of chocolate heaven. More times than I can even start to remember, my cousins and I would sit on her front porch indulging in the magic of those little cans of pudding while talking about important subjects of the day like He-Man, Transformers, and the latest issue of Batman.

 

When I was sick and out of school, that meant a day at Grandma’s to recuperate. And on those days, you were treated to not one, but TWO cans of Del Monte Chocolate pudding. One with lunch, and an extra one “just because” later in the afternoon. You pair those cans of pudding with some Tropicana orange juice out of its glass bottle, and a can of Chicken Noodle soup, you had a remedy for sickness better than anything a doctor could prescribe.

Nowadays, you can always run to the store to pick up a 4-pack of pudding in cheap plastic cups, but you’ll not find that incredible taste that you could enjoy when you popped a top on a can of Del Monte back in the day.

A Brief History of Jolt Cola

Jolt Cola

Way back in 1985, a fellow by the name of CJ Rapp changed the soft industry for years to come with his special concoction that would come to be known as Jolt Cola.  A few years before that though, he was still a student in college.  While he was there, he noticed that his fellow students would mix all kinds of beverages to help them stay awake to finish term papers and study for exams.  So when he was able, he set out working on Jolt.

He eventually packed it with 72 milligrams of caffine…which is the maximum amount allowed by the FDA.  In the mid-80’s, while other soda makers were promoting the idea of “less is more”, and marketed their products with zero caffine or less caffine, sugar, and calories, Rapp made his reputation by going in the opposite direction.  Rapp promoted Jolt by emphasizing that it had twice the caffine found in his competitor’s drinks.  By emphasizing that difference, Rapp gave Jolt Cola high visibility, and it wasn’t long until it was featured on the David Letterman Show, Good Morning America, and CNN.  He even boldly put the difference right on the can with the slogan, “All the Sugar, Twice the Caffine!”.

In 1987, the company began marketing a new low calorie version of Jolt, and then later diversified the line to include new flavors like CHerry Bomb, Citrus Climax, Orange Blast, and more.  In 2005, they revamped the entire line, changed the logo, and even their cans.  Instead of the standard soda can, Jolt was suddenly available in a AA battery shaped, aluminum bottle.  It wasn’t very long after that that they rebranded themselves as an energy drink.  In 2009, Jolt Cola had to file for bankruptcy due to a dispute over pricing for their distinctive cans with their supplier.

But now it’s 2018, and Jolt Cola is again on the market!  Since it returned in August of 2017, it has only been available at Dollar General Stores, but it’s available in all of their stores nation-wide.  You can also pick up a 4-pack of 16 oz. cans on Amazon.  But how does this latest generation on Jolt Cola stack up to it’s predecessor?  Check out my review in the video below:

 

Forgotten Food: Oatmeal Swirlers

Oatmeal Swirlers

I was very fortunate that my Mom didn’t work when I was growing up. My Dad made a good living and she was able to stay at home and raise us kids for the most part. At two different points, she took jobs and only worked for 6 weeks at each, so for 99% of my childhood, she was always home. This meant that every morning before school, she was up early and making home cooked breakfast for the family. Most days that consisted of eggs and toast, or biscuits and gravy, and sometimes her home cooked oatmeal.

On the rare occasion when she or one of us had something going on early, she would turn to something quick like frozen pancakes or waffles or cereal. My favorite of the quick breakfast options however was instant oatmeal. I loved Quaker Maple Brown Sugar Instant Oatmeal. It was a staple of my breakfast diet then, and it still is now. No other instant oatmeal could touch it in my eyes. That is until I first saw a commercial for General Mills’ Oatmeal Swirlers.

Oatmeal Swirlers

It was instant oatmeal that came with a squeeze pack of what I guess would be best described as jelly. You could squeeze out smiley faces, or words, or even play tic tac toe with the pack. It was awesome. When this stuff hit the market it took instant oatmeal to a whole new level.

While I don’t even faintly remember how it tasted, I do remember how much fun breakfast was on those mornings. I can remember almost being excited going to bed on those nights when I knew that Oatmeal Swirlers was going to be for breakfast the next day. Sadly, like so many other favorite foods of my youth, this one bit the dust far too early. For a long time after it vanished from the shelves, I missed it terribly. Time went on and other breakfast novelties came along to take its place, but it certainly left its mark on me as to this day I wish I could pick up another box of this stuff and share it with my kids.

 

 

 

 

 

Back When Pizza Hut Was an Experience – The Video!

One of the most popular things I’ve ever done here on Retro Ramblings was my post on how Pizza Hut used to be so awesome called, Back When Pizza Hut Was an Experience.  It has been by far the biggest attention getter, so when I thought about doing a YouTube video for the site, it was only fitting that it would be the first subject I tackled.

Now this video is a little rough around the edges as it’s my first attempt at editing for YouTube. But check it out and try to enjoy me rambling on about what I miss from Pizza Hut back in the day.

WWF Ice Cream Bars Ad

WWF Ice Cream Bars

I gotta admit, I never had the pleasure of trying one of the WWF Ice Cream Bars, but it’s not because of a lack of trying.  Back in the late 80’s, I never got to got to a live WWF event, which I assume is where you could get these things.  I also never saw them on the shelves at my local grocery stores, nor on the ice cream truck that patrolled the road I lived on.  It’s a shame too, because I was such a huge wrestling fan.

The advertising itself looks pretty solid, and I imagine this ad probably came from an issue of WWF Magazine, but I could be wrong.

So what about you?  Did you ever get to try these things?  Where did you get them?  What wrestlers do you remember being featured on them?  And if you’re into cool old ads, be sure to check our “Advertising Archive”.

Do You Remember Morning Funnies Cereal?

 

Morning Funnies Cereal

If you’ve ever read much of what I’ve written, you should know by now that food is one of the more nostalgic things in my life.  I can tie so many great memories to different foods, meals, and restaurants that I could probably do this whole blog focusing just on food.  So in keeping with that tradition, I want to talk just a minute about one of my favorite cereals from the 80’s, Morning Funnies.

Morning Funnies Cereal was produced by Ralston Cereals in 1988 & 1989. It was a super sweet cereal, bright in color and shaped like smiley faces.  The taste and shape wasn’t the hook for this cereal though…..the box was. The box featured comic strips on the front and back panels. In addition, the back of the box featured a full size flap that opened up and featured even more comics on the inside. The company actually won an award in 1988 for “innovative packaging” for the fifth panel design.

The comics featured were Dennis the Menace, Beetle Bailey, Hagar the Horrible, Hi and Lois, Family Circus, Luann, Marvin, Funky Winkerbean, and What A Guy!.  Not a bad lineup, but still it left something to be desired when Garfield, Peanuts, and The Far Side were all the rage at the point this cereal was on the market.

 

 

Morning Funnies Cereal

 

The cereal was canceled in 1989 due to poor sales. The ultra sweetness of the cereal turned off parents, and the lack of fresh cartoons turned off the kids.

From my own experiences, I remember seeing the commercials for the cereal and feeling that I just had to have it. For one thing, it was part of my morning ritual to read the funny pages from the newspaper while I ate breakfast every morning, so this cereal seemed right up my alley.

More Food Stuff:  Back When Pizza Hut Was An Experience | Why Wendy’s Ain’t Like It Used To Be

 

My mother bought just one box. She rarely went for gimmicky cereal like this, but caved under my constant pressure. I don’t remember what the cereal tasted like, but I do remember enjoying reading those comics on the box…..at least for the first two or three mornings. After that, the novelty faded and I was back to reading the fresh daily comics from the newspaper.  I remember looking at the comics on the boxes at the grocery store, and they were all the same.  Maybe if they had different strips on different boxes in the same case, it could have led to more sales.  As it were, you could grow very tired of seeing the same strip every morning.

It seemed like a good idea at the time, but quickly fizzled in execution. However, I would love to see it back on the shelves at the local grocer just to give it one more shot.

Other people who remember Morning Funnies Cereal and have written about it:

Dinosaur Dracula
Retroist
Saturday Mornings Forever