The best and worst of 80s Food (Part 2)

Curly Wurly

Curly Wurlies are a kind of chocolate trellis up which you can train strawberry laces. Seemingly random wiggling and intersecting snakes of caramel are enrobed in chocolate. As with most of Cadbury’s products, they’re not as large now as they were in the 80s. Or maybe that’s because my hands are bigger these days and they seem smaller by comparison? Or it could be a perspective thing as my arms are longer now and they’re further away from my eyes?

Discos

These are crisps which have been shaped into circles (hence the name) and flavoured with the most powerful essences at mankind’s command. The Salt and Vinegar ones could remove the enamel from your teeth and cause at least one of your eyes to do a 360. Forget the Ghost Chilli Challenge, try eating that triangular collection of flavoured dust that collected in the bottom corner of the packet without passing out.

Flumps

What I’ve just read, I don’t like or believe. Apparently, there is no singular Flump. One of these squishy items of confectionary is called a ‘Flumps’.

One Flumps.

Does this mean that more than one Flumps is called some Flumpses? I always thought they were named as such because they were fluffy lumps. Lumps of pink, yellow and white marshmallow, usually spiralled around each other.

Having said all that, you haven’t lived unless you’ve tried the chocolate covered flumps they sell in the bigger confectionery shops in shopping centres. Forget Mana or Nectar – I think the Gods all sit around on gold thrones knocking back bags of chocolate flumps.

Love Hearts

These were a bit creepy. They were aimed at kids yet they were emblazoned with slogans such as ‘Tease me’, ‘Will you’ and ‘True lips’. I think you were supposed to offer one to someone you liked, making sure the next one in the packet carried a slogan which represented your sentiments. Offering someone a Love Heart was the 80s version of Tinder. Eating the offered Love Heart was the equivalent of swiping right. Shaking your head and walking away was swiping left and taking the packet out of someone’s hand and throwing it over a wall was the equivalent of blocking them and contacting the authorities.

The makers of Love Hearts tried to move with the times by including phrases in the 90s such as ‘Fax me’ and ‘Page me’; these days I’m told they have ‘Tweet me’, ‘Take a Selfie’, ‘Increase my self-worth by clicking like on my social media post’ and ‘That TikTok dance you did in Aldi’s car park will come back to haunt you worse than that picture of your dad in the 70s with his walrus ‘tashe and mullet’.

Monster Munch

These were referred to as ‘crisps’ for some reason. However, inside the packet you’d find some oil with three corn representations of a monster’s foot floating in it. Because the ‘crisps’ were so massive, you only got a maximum of four in the bag and they left a greasy residue on your fingers that you could only remove with trade-strength fairy liquid or two tubs of Swarfega. The Pickled Onion ones measured fifteen on the ‘Disco Scale’; Not enough to affect your eyesight, but sufficient to stop you tasting anything else for a few days.  Eating the beef flavour ones would mean that your fingers would smell of beef for the next thirteen years.

Skips

These are the Marmite of ‘crisps’. You either love them or you think they’re alright (or you don’t really like them much). Like Monster Munch, they’re not your archetypal crisp in that they’re made of corn rather than potato. The majesty of these shell shaped things was contained in the fact they melted away to nothing on your tongue. The most famous Skip flavour is Prawn Cocktail. KP did release other flavours but none caught on and so the humble prawn remains king of the Skips.

The advert for Skips in the 80s was weird. It featured a man smashing up his house; breaking the television and punching holes in the walls. Then he and his wife start eating Skips and everything goes all bendy. Everybody then rushed out to the shops thinking they’d released a new range of LSD flavoured Skips.

 

Smith’s Salt ‘n’ Shake Crisps

Now owned by Walkers, these were crisps which you could customise. As we’ve discussed, some crisps came with far too much flavour; having the option to ‘dial it down’ would have improved many people’s enjoyment of their chosen snack. Smiths recognised this and essentially started selling naked crisps. The crisps in the pack were not flavoured at all. Inside the bag you’d find a small blue pouch which contained the salt you’d normally find plastered all over your fried potato snacks. It gave you the ability to tailor the level of salt you required.

This was great in theory but in practice, you’d tip the salt into the bag, shake the packet up and down (which sometimes resulted in dropping the bag or causing crisps to fly out into the air), then find that two of the crisps had all the salt and the rest had none.

Alphabetti spaghetti

I’m not sure if these pasta letters in a tangy tomato sauce were meant to be educational or not. AlphaBetti Spaghetti was probably invented to teach children how to spell but we mostly just used it to make rude words. Introduced back in the 60s, Heinz have since developed their range to include pasta shapes of Bob the Builder, Thomas the Tank Engine, Peppa Pig, Minions and the thing they created to brainwash children and their parents into buying anything remotely related to it, Frozen. I think it’s meant to make eating processed food fun or to be used as a gateway to harder pastas such as Rigatoni and Spirelli.

Battenburg cake

Everything about Battenburg is wrong. It ruined Sunday evenings for me when it was brought to the table with the ham sandwiches and bowls of wagon wheel crisps. Marzipan, as a concept, needs to do one and as for the pointless and weird-tasting coloured sponge, likewise.

Why, when all other desserts and cakes exist would this be the choice you make? Even if the apocalypse had come all the Nandos had been destroyed and you hadn’t eaten for two weeks, you’d still think twice about putting a slice of Battenburg in your mouth.

This evil ‘cake’ was created in 1884 and one hundred years later, was still spreading misery around the country. We need to ban this now, who’s with me?

www.petition.co.uk/banbattenburg

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