In the BAD old days before my mom discovered nutrition I remember a number of items frequently found in our larder that in retrospect must have been absolutely horrible for us. I’ve been trying to dredge up the memories to horrify my readers or, possibly, to frighten children with.
Among those noxious, allegedly food items two stand tall above the others: Cheez Whiz and Marshmallow Fluff. I recall my mom heating up a jar of Cheez Whiz in a saucepan of hot water (remember: these were the days when microwaves were limited to commercial use; they’d only been invented in 1947) to make a quick cheese sauce to pour over vegetables or for a quick Welsh rarebit.
Marshmallow Fluff was mostly used to make fudge or an easy cake frosting. Since Marshmallow Fluff’s famous fudge recipe wasn’t produced until 1956, that hones in on the timeframe pretty well.
Both Cheez Whiz and Marshmallow Fluff continue to be made
We also ate Spam, canned Vienna Sausages, and Underwood Deviled Ham. I haven’t let any of those things cross my lips in, perhaps, a half century and I sometimes wonder about them. Would I be able to stomach them now? I also have a vague recollection of tinned tuna sausages.
The other awful things that I recall were mostly kid things, e.g. Fizzies and Flavor Straws. Fizzies were tablets put into water to make a disgusting colored, flavored, and sweetened drink. Sort of like carbonated Kool-Aid but worse in flavor. Fizzies were dealt a deathblow by the federal government when some of the substances used to make them were banned. I understand they’ve made a resurgence with a new formulation.
I note that Flavor Straws, too, have made a come back. I would have thought that a stake would have been driven through their heart long ago but apparently not. Sometimes I’m surprised that we survived to reach adulthood.