Sweet Memories

Last week I messaged Nicole and Hannah in a panic because I had forgotten it was my day to post, my husband was in Korea and I was depleted and bereft of inspiration. I said I loved blogging with them but it was triggering my anxiety and I thought I probably had to bow out. Because they’re sweet, kind friends who I totally don’t deserve, they totally let me off the hook and said I could post whenever I felt like it. Then I went to the local bar to meet my friends for a beer (that’s right – one of the reasons I couldn’t post was because it would eat into my weekly beer-drinking time. I’m awesome like that) and we started talking about junk food from childhood, and if I had come home just a little earlier I could have had a post that day after all.

So. Margot and Michael liked Jos Louis, but Collette preferred flakies. I’m with M and M on this one – flakies seem like they should be great, but the pastry always tasted slightly stale to me. Does anyone remember the Pop Shop? Wait, was it Pop Shoppe? Hang on – yes, it is? And it’s back! I completely did not know that. My dad used to go down to ‘the bottom of the hill’ (that’s where the stores were where I grew up) and my sister and I got a little drink of pop before bed (it was the seventies, that was how we rolled). I think she liked root beer. Lime Rickey was my favourite. Apparently Pop Shoppe pop came back in 2004 after being squeezed out by the Cola wars, and is now Canada’s number one premium pop brand.

Sweet Tarts and Bottle Caps – sugary, sour powder that makes your tongue curl up. I’ve seen Sweet Tarts around – actually I got into trouble when I bought Sweet Tarts for my daughter’s friend who has an egg allergy, because I knew I had gotten them for her before and they were safe, but these were Sweet Tart CHEWS, which are NOT egg-free, and I felt like a giant asshole – but I haven’t seen bottle caps. Root Beer bottle caps were a staple of my Apartment-Store-Candy trips (there was one apartment building in the town where I grew up. It had a name, but we always just called it The Apartments, and the store on the ground floor we called The Apartment Store. Whenever my mom was sick she’d made me go there and buy her a chocolate bar. Sometimes she’d change her mind when I got home and make me go back and exchange it. And they let me.) And Fun Dip! They actually still have Fun Dip at the Bulk Barn and I used to buy it for my kids, because no child should be deprived of the crystalline, madcap joy of dipping a stick made of sugar into yet more sugar.

This conversation also made me realize that I’d never had a pop tart. I have a feeling I wouldn’t have liked them much even then. I didn’t have a Twinkie until I was in my thirties, but those were pretty good, in a dirty, white-trash kind of way (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

Our friends always have a Halloween party for parents and kids, and last year I brought a giant package of pop rocks and I was a total hero. We totally mixed them with Coke and nobody exploded – it was a bit of a letdown, honestly.

So obviously we have plans to have a party where everybody brings whatever they can find that they used to love when they were ten. I assume it will mostly taste like crap now. My friend Zarah and I used to love sour cream and onion Ruffles potato chips. She says that they’re not as good now that the new trans fats rules are in place. I think she’s fooling herself about our aging taste buds, but who knows.

I was about to ask what your guilty pleasure was when you were young, but the great thing was that there was no guilt about it back then, wasn’t it? Maybe that was the most delicious part of all.




4 thoughts on “Sweet Memories

  1. I love this post so much. Nerds! I loved Nerds. And my parents used to get a case of Pop Shoppe and they would always get a grape or an orange for me, since I didn’t like cola or lemon-lime. Fun Dip was awesome, and Sweet Tarts too. I’d eat the hell out of those if I had some in my possession. Actually, the thing I liked most was ketchup chips, the Old Dutch kind. I still like them now except that all that food colouring and artificial flavour gives me an immediate headache. I’d eat an entire double-bag box of them if I could.


  2. We’ve had bottlecaps recently – I think from Sugar Mountain, which is a total mecca of glorious candies from our youth. We used to beg my mom for 25 cents and then go down to the Becker’s and spend an agonizing hour deciding which penny candies to get. GOOD TIMES.

    Now I totally want Fun Dip. A single Fun Dip and stick would be a kickass Halloween giveaway, don’t you think?


  3. Oh man I’d forgotten entirely about Fun Dip until Oldest scored some on Halloween last year. I used to love that stuff. Now find it utterly disgusting. Other things I loved and can no longer stand: orange soda, Hostess cupcakes, cool ranch Doritos, etc. All taste unbearable to me now so much so that I encouraged my kids to eat the disgusting sweets they love now because they think when they grow up they’ll buy them all the time and love them, but, in fact, when they get old enough to buy and eat crap whenever they want, it will all taste like garbage. Those taste buds have an expiration date!


  4. Flakies all the way. Although I’ve had them recently (now called Passion Flake) and they don’t taste as good. And there was a very specific way to eat them too. Open them up, eat top part first, then eat the edges of the bottom, and then the rest. No idea why that came about. Don’t mind the Jo Louis. Better than the May West. Who remembers the Croquette? Or the Swiss Roll? We were Vachon cake family. I’m not a huge candy fan but loved Sweet Tarts. My parents never went to the Pop Shoppe but I had friends who were lucky. Loved grape. Now I have a craving. And I would have (and still would now) bathed in Doritos. Regular of course. All those other flavours are abominations.


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