Thursday, November 12, 2009

An Ode to Lost Products

Much as it pains me to admit it, sometimes my sublime tastes are not shared by the rest of America. It’s a heavy burden I bear, and one with a cost. You see, the result is that sometimes products of which I am terribly fond do not stand up to the test of the free market, and they disappear. The great unwashed masses of American society don’t even miss them – if they did, they’d never have been discontinued in the first place. So I’m left to bid them a fond farewell all by myself. But in a way, these products live on, if only in my memory. These were some of my favorites:

Tahitian Treat – I barely remember this treasured beverage from my childhood. It was a deep red, carbonated drink with a sharp fruit punch flavor, something like really intense Hawaiian Punch. But it was delicious and I loved it, and at some point they stopped making it. Well, a Wikipedia consult advises me that they didn’t stop making it, they just stopped selling it around here. Evidently it’s produced by Dr. Pepper/7-Up and is primarily sold down south. Maybe I’ll try buying some off the Internet to briefly recapture my childhood.

Koogle – again, I hardly remember Koogle except that I liked it. According to Wikipedia, it was a flavored peanut butter that came in chocolate, cinnamon, vanilla and banana. I remember liking the chocolate kind a lot. It was made by Kraft, released in 1971, and discontinued later in the 1970s. I want my Koogle back, Kraft!

Pringles – sure Pringles are still around, and they make more varieties now than they ever did. But some of my favorites no longer exist. One of them I don’t even remember the exact name. I think it might have been “Country Style,” because it was in a can that was decorated to look like denim or somesuch. I just remember that I liked them, and then they went away. But the greater loss is Pringles Rippled. They were awesome – I got very good at breaking them along the rippled lines so that I would have thin strips of chip to munch on. They were salty and delicious and they’re gone. I even emailed the manufacturer to register my displeasure, but to no avail. I also have a general complaint that Pringles’ quality control is lousy – there’s only a small chance that each can will contain perfectly-cooked bliss, instead of crisps that are puffy and just a bit “off.” But that doesn’t change my longing for these lost flavors, particularly the rippled.

Australian Toaster Biscuits – I need to first confess that these weren’t actually “Australian” and my wife and I knew it. But these little breakfast biscuits, sold in the same aisle as Thomas’s English Muffins, were so damn tasty we didn’t care. They were extremely light and flaky and had a great flavor. My research on this product led me to some recipes online that I may have to try sometime, but officially I’m still disgruntled that I can’t just buy these in the store anymore.

Diet Cherry Coke – this one hurts the worst. Coke decided that Cherry Coke Zero was “close enough” and yanked this product out from under me after years as a loyal addict. Sadly, there’s no replacement for Diet Cherry Coke and I miss it terribly.

Berry-scented Softsoap Foam – this one is the latest in this ignominious line-up. The biggest difference is that after local retailers stopped stocking it, I was able to find it online. I bought a case. Most foaming hand soaps either smell like chemicals or flowers, and either way I hate the lingering smell of my hands after I use them. This one smells nicely of strawberries, which I like. I’m not sure what I’ll do when my 50 bottles are all gone. I’ll probably sniff my hands a lot less, I suppose.

So that’s it, a sampling of favorite products that due to the whim of the free market I can no longer get. My only hope at this point is to generate a fervent, rabid following for my blog, with which I can influence major manufacturers to maintain support for those products I enjoy. Congratulations – if you’re reading this, you’re part of the movement to ensure that Mike gets to keep buying the stuff he likes. Tell your friends.

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