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Pop Rocks, Pudding Pops and more: Best junk foods of the '80s

JelloPuddingPops Craving a Pudding Pop? You can blame it on today's guest blogger, Jeff Fisher of Raleigh, N.C., whose obsession with junk food has become today's blog fodder. Bon appetit!


Several months ago my wife and I hosted an '80s party at our house. When you host an '80s party, you’ve got to have only foods from the '80s. We were shocked how many foods we were introduced to in the '80s were junk foods. I suppose our clogged arteries will catch up with us in the next decade or so. Here are some of my favorite '80s junk foods that I’m still enjoying today:

GUMMY BEARS: We are forever in debt to Haribo and Black Forest for this fruity gelatin creation. It wasn’t long before we saw gummy worms, spiders, snakes, peaches, raspberries and cherries. Now everything seems to be gummy and sour. For some reason in junior high we licked the back of gummy bears and wore them on our jean jackets!?

REESE'S PIECES: Yes!  E.T. we thank you for this amazing peanut butter candy innovation! Talk about
product placement. I still remember playing my crappy Atari 2600 E.T. game and collecting Reese’s Pieces on my way to save Elliott. 

JELL-O PUDDING POPS: Bill Cosby didn’t stop with the greatness of Fat Albert. He brought us the Cosby show and Jell-O Pudding Pops. No Bill Cosby impression is complete without exclaiming, “Bring me some Jell-O Pudding Pops! Buuhaaah!” 

Bigleaguechew BIG LEAGUE CHEW: Nothing like pretending you're really dipping tobacco, and really having a wad of Big League in your chin! We used to have contests in our neighborhood to see who could shove the most in their mouth. Don’t forget to spit out the juice, or you’ll get sick … right?

THE DAIRY QUEEN BLIZZARD: Ice cream is just not enough without more junk food mixed in it. I didn’t even visit a DQ until the Blizzard was invented. Remember when they would blend it so much they could turn it upside down in front of you and the ice cream wouldn’t slide out?   

MAGIC SHELL: Still on the ice cream theme here. How cool is it to pour chocolate, mint chocolate or butterscotch on your ice cream and have it create a hard shell!  What’s in that stuff anyway, ready-mix concrete?

CAPRI SUN: This is for all of those grade-school kids who took their lunch and had to either buy milk at school or suck down some old Kool-Aid from their Empire Strikes Back thermos. Capri Sun revolutionized brown bag lunches. And the juice pouch was so cool too!

YOGURT-COVERED RAISINS: Many of my friends hated these. I loved to suck on them until the yogurt wore off. I want to meet the guy that looked at his little bucket of yogurt and thought it would be a good idea to coat his raisins or peanuts with yogurt.

Poprocks POP ROCKS: We still love these. “Hey, Mom! Pass me that bag of exploding candy!” Candy’s just not good unless it’s dangerous. Every school kid on the playground seemed to know a kid that died when they ate Pop Rocks and downed a Coke. I was never so brave to try it. 

I’ve left out tons of great junk foods so this is your chance to sound off.  For a huge list of great foods that were widely available in the '80s, check out this website.

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 2:45pm]


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