10 favorite foods that don't taste the same as when you were a kid
Do fries, ice cream and cookies taste different than you remember? There is a reason.
You know how it goes. You go years without eating a particular brand of cookie. Then in a moment of hunger and nostalgia pangs, you pick up a box at the store. You eat one (or four) and think, "Is this different or is it me?"
Your taste buds are not evolving; recipes change. Whether it was for economic or nutritional reasons, many of our most beloved snacks transformed over time, rather subtly.
What foods don't taste the same as you remember?
1. Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner
Earlier this week, Kraft acknowledged that it quietly changed the recipe of its creamy treat, replacing artificial coloring such as yellow 5 and yellow 6 with natural spices like paprika and turmeric. Over 50 million boxes sold without any uproar or particular notice. It had changed before. If you look at boxes from the 1950s you'll note the ingredients were "Sharp American cheddar cheese, with added skimmilk solids, salt, sodium phosphate and artificial color."
2. Cadbury Creme Egg's
If English society should crumble in the coming weeks, perhaps you can attribute it to this candy. Brits practically revolted recently after Cadbury altered the chocolate in its Easter treat. Sales plunged approximately $12 million. About a decade ago, there was a minor stir when actor B. J. Novak went on Conan O'Brien and moaned about the eggs shrinking.
A little over two years ago, candymaker Mars shrunk the size of the bar, reducing it for the first time in over 80 years.
Image: Bon Appetit
This one is visible to the naked eye (beyond the shape changes). Vintage Trix are far more orange and yellow — with reason. The cereal used to be primarily citrus flavored. Two years ago, General Mills altered the recipe to make lemon and orange less prominent, and amped up the berry factor.
Image: Flickr / christianmontone
Note we did not say "Ice Cream" because the company is no longer allowed to. Where the tubs once proclaimed "All Natural Ice Cream" on the upper right, they simply read "Quality Since 1866." At the bottom you will note that it is now labeled a "Frozen Dairy Dessert," as federal regulations require a certain amount of milk fat to be present to qualify as ice cream. To put it simply: There's more milk, less cream.
6. Hellmann's Mayonnaise
Last year Slate wrote a piece about the evolving texture of the sandwich spread. Lovers of the product complained that Hellmann's had lost it's viscosity… wait, this vintage ad is distracting us. Did people really make peanut butter and mayo sandwiches?
The iconic Hostess snack cake briefly went away a few years back when the company went bankrupt. In 2013, Twinkies returned, with a different maker, size, shelf life and taste. Of course, before World War II, Twinkies were radically different, filled with banana cream before the fruit became rationed.
Happy 50th birthday, Doritos! In what was called "the costliest redesign in Frito-Lay history," the company spent $50 million in 1994 to revamp Doritos, despite the chip raking in $1.3 billion a year. The company made Doritos 15 percent thinner, 20 percent larger, and made the sharp corners round.
Image: Flickr / jasonliebigstuff
9. McDonald's fries
Before switching to pure vegetable oil in 1990, McDonald's cooked its fries in a blend of 93% beef tallow and 7% cottonseed oil. Sorry, vegetarians!
Speaking of trans fats, the classic Oreo cookie has undergone alterations a few times. In the 1990s, Nabisco removed the lard and replaced it with trans fats. A decade later, the trans fats were gone and oleic vegetable oils were used.