There’s always been a sort of brotherhood among lunchrooms spanning the globe. Despite the food fights, the relentless cruelty of teasing, and the eating disorders, elementary school cafeterias were always filled with an overwhelming sense of community. This unity stemmed from the pirate-like bartering system that existed in our 40 minute microcosm of lunchtime–trading snacks.
Whether it was a banana for a pudding pack or a handful of gushers for a fruit roll-up, there was always an endless amount of sharing and exchanging that went on between friends. Everyone remembers the kid whose mother wouldn’t let him have anything unhealthy and his desperate attempts to trade up his fruit cups for something more delectable. Sucks to be that nerd.
One of the hottest commodities on the lunchbox trading scene was the grandaddy of all snack foods in the 90s. This treasure was a product that still graces grocery store shelves with a deliciousness that cannot be denied and mascot who only ups the level of intrigue. I’m talking about the be-all, end-all treat that made normal kids turn into shivering crackheads at the sight of it. I’m talking about DUNK-A-ROOS.
Launched in 1988 by Betty Crocker, this amazing food was pioneered by mad scientists who knew how to please children. Its mascot, the Australian-accented Sydney the kangaroo was just as demonic and lovable as Joe Camel or any of the other kid-centric monsters of marketing. He knew exactly what he was doing when he hopped along the TV screen, enticing kids with his poor Paul Hogan impression.
When it comes to nostalgia and whimsical sentimentality, there is nothing more seared into my brain than the cornucopia of snack foods that have littered my school lunches and dank cupboards along the path of childhood.
From Dunkaroos to Gushers to Shark Bites, there will always be a place in my heart for child-themed snack foods. As much of America can attest to, however, Doritos brand tortilla chips were among the most popular.
There were two Doritos iterations, however, that never got enough respect and were pushed aside and cancelled due to the lack of attention. I am here to pull these delicious snack foods out of the shadows and force them back into the limelight because they deserve to be recognized.
Being a disgustingly obese capitalist American pig, I’ve had my fair share of dealing with snack foods over the years. Whether it be prepackaged snack cakes, chips, candy, soda, or those forgotten crumbs of deliciousity known as Munch Ems, I’ve taken quite the fancy to the evolution and study of such salty, sugary, calorically-overwhelming pieces of Americana.
Some of the most-consumed products of this type from my childhood were the holy triangular pieces of scrumptious delight known only as “Doritos.” Friday night horror movie viewing parties would not be complete without a bag of these flavor-blasted tortilla treats. If you lined up the total number of bags of Doritos I’ve eaten over the course of my lifetime, you could probably reach to the moon and back. They were something special.
Part of the allure and temptation of these kind of snack foods were the devious ways in which in which they were advertised. It was not just a product they were selling to you, but a sense of belonging and “coolness.”