Rejuvenile by Christopher Noxon  

10.04.06 Rejuvenile foodstuffs

The highly entertaining food blog Slashfood has a nice post today about so-called ?retro foods? ? citing familiar examples like gourmet cupcakes and mac-and-cheese, but also pointing out that many adults now happily and unapologetically snack on Hello Kitty Pop-tarts or chicken nuggets shaped like dinosaurs.

It’s true that eating often unlocks long-buried childhood sensations. Abba Zabba, candy-covered almonds, alphabet —  single taste can unleash all sorts of eerie and sometimes quite wonderful sense memories. My own list is endless, but in honor of my daughter Eliza, who is doing “C week” in kindergarten school right now, here a few of my favorite “C” rejuvenile foods:

??Cap—n Crunch cereal - eaten by boxful at friends? houses, ripping up roof of mouth and causing intense sugar rush, all the better for watching Saturday morning cartoons.-orn —  yellow mustard, preferably accompanied by a root beer float from A&W.
??Carob chips - only “sweet” permitted in my crunchy-granola household. -orned beef —  may have looked like dog food plopping out of the can, but it was pure heaven prepared by my grandma Betty, fried up in a pan and layered with thin reddish bits of crust.
??C —  nouveau fancy red velvet and green tea cupcakes are nice, but let us not forget the glory of a junky supermarket cupcake.

We all could probably come up with a substantial menu of favorite retro foods. What’s perhpas surprising, tho, is that so many of us are now not merely reminiscing; we’re reclaiming and reinventing these foods as adult fare. The upscale restaurant Campanile here in L.A. does an successful grilled cheese night on Thursdays; young professionals in Bloomington, Indiana feast on 30 varieties of cereal and gourmet peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at the new Cereal Barn and Peanut Butter Caf?; and the lines continue to stretch outside gourmet cupcake bakeries like Magnolia in N.Y and Sprinkles in L.A….

Elsewhere on the Slashfoods site, there’s mention of two more faddish rejuvenile food items ? frozen yogurt topped with Cap—n Crunch at the new Pink Berry chain, and a new twist on the sno-cone that’s causing culinary conniptions in Tokyo.

What about you? What are the foods that most reliably take you back? Tater Tots, Lucky Charms, Jello, Slurpees?

Posted at 12:05 pm in Rejuvenile Eats | 1 Comments


I grew up around baseball fields (I played in Little League and we lived right next to a city park where games were played), so I have lots of memories from concession stands. It’s probably where I got good at math. I remember clutching two quarters, trying to calculate what combination of super rope, fun dip, Mr. Freeze ice pops and Laffy Taffys I could walk away with. My youngest brother liked going to our games solely for the trip to the concession stand.

Posted by Jason Kotecki on 10/20 at 09:18 AM

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