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
In 2016, 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
Brits practically revolted in 2015 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.
In the early 2010s, 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. In 2014, General Mills altered the recipe to make lemon and orange less prominent and amped up the berry factor. General Mills made the cereal more natural in recent years — until demand brought back the artificial flavors. In 2018, General Mills brought back the '90s fruit shapes for Millennial nostalgia.
Image: Flickr / christianmontone
5. Hellmann's Mayonnaise
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.
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
8. 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.
10. Chips Ahoy!
In the 1960s, Chips Ahoy! ads boasted that each cookie contained, on average, 16 chips. Someone will have to do the math on the modern versions for us. Beyond the chips, the recipe has changed over the years, both on the original and the Chewy varieties. There are Reddit threads devoted to the change. Folks feel the same way about Famous Amos and Cookie Crisp, too. Is there a support group? With milk?