Throughout my childhood and teen years, I kept noticing new foods that didn’t resemble ones I was familiar with. The first jolt was seeing Wonder Bread. Supposedly it could “build strong bodies 12 ways,” but I was most intrigued by its ability to be squeezed into tiny balls and hurled across the classroom. My mother refused to buy it, maintaining that they had taken everything healthy out of the bread and she used to say “I WONDER why they call it bread.”
At the same time, some of my classmates arrived with strange sugar deserts in their lunch boxes. Among them were Hostess Twinkies and Hostess Cupcakes. Sadly, having these in your lunch became a status symbol. But my mother refused to “waste the money on that junk,” and we stuck to regular cookies.
The strangest invention of all was Tang, soon to be advertised as the drink of the astronauts. My mother did succumb to our pleadings to buy this wonderful invention. She warned us that it would probably fail to live up to its advertising. Sadly, she was right. In no way did it taste like orange juice, and it even fell short of the kick from orange Kool-Aid, a much cheaper powdered drink. That unfinished Tang bottle hung around for months.
Today kids are used to invented foods from Pirate Booty to Gogurt. But they were a rarity in my childhood, and I remember the disappointments of each one.