Loading...
Grocers

Squid Ink's Most Beloved Discontinued Products: Well, A Few of Them

Comments (0)

By

Tue, May 3, 2011 at 9:30 AM
click to enlarge We hardly knew you. - DSL IN JAZ/FLICKR
  • DSL in Jaz/flickr
  • We hardly knew you.

Our favorite convenience foods are like friendly co-workers holed up in the next cubicle over. We meet them, like them, grow accustomed to their presence in our lives, and then, just as soon as we realize we can't quite imagine life without them, they disappear, frequently for reasons we're never permitted to know -- even when they're prime-time pals like Steve Carell. We're left whimpering in the aisles of Whole Foods, chasing phantom flavors. Where have they gone? Why, we wonder, were they yanked? Poor sales? Dwindling markets? Safety concerns? So we took a quick poll of a few Squid Ink writers...

When asked to name their most treasured discontinued edibles, a number of the respondants mentioned beverages. Jim Thurman misses Pepsi Lime and Diet Cherry Chocolate Dr. Pepper. Noah Galuten bemoans the disappearance of Knudsen's Hibiscus Cooler. At least, he hasn't had encountered one in a while and fears the worst. That's always the thing with discontinued products. You're not always sure if they're gone forever, imagining that perhaps they still live on in some tertiary market, still holding down a slim bit of real estate on the shelf of a market both time and customers have forgotten.

Elina Shatkin wishes she could still snap into a Mars Bar, doubting that the "ersatz British version" can ever stack up. Emma Courtland remembers her own personal breakfast of champions: Kellogg's late "wonderfully robust" Pop Tarts Crunch cereal. She blames "poor advertising" for the product's untimely demise.

Our tastes lean savory, of course, and in the direction of that big house of short-timer products: Trader Joe's. Just as it was with those friendly co-workers back in our office days, it seems like every time we start to dig something at Trader Joe's (first the herbal shampoo in the blue bottle, then the frozen cheese pierogies) it evaporates. For instance, Ali Trachta wishes she could still enjoy the spinach and goat cheese quesadillas. As for us, there's much we've bought, enjoyed, and then had to learn to live without, but nothing, nothing at all, approaches the wonton chips.

When we lived in San Francisco, we bought them every week and seldom made it home without barreling our way through half a bag, no mean feat when steering the wheel of a borrowed ride or swaying in the center of a crowded bus. Those wonton chips--pale crisp squares, salty, slightly curled at the edges--were fantastic. We ate them without dips. They made beer better. They were there and then, maybe four years ago, we stopped seeing the bright red bags in the snack aisle. We haven't spotted them in Los Angeles either. A friend tells us they thrive on in Hawaii but we're not going that far to get them.

Anything you miss, dear reader?

Related Content

Related

Now Trending

  • Deep-Fried Doritos Debut at SoCal Fairs

    Every year, Charlie Boghosian, aka Chicken Charlie, tries to outdo himself with his deep-fried concoctions sold at California fairs. The man began his arterial onslaught modestly several years ago with deep-fried Twinkies and deep-fried Snickers bars. Seeking ever greater challenges, he took on deep-fried Oreos, deep-fried cookie dough, deep-fried Spam,...
  • No Tipping, No Reservations, No Phone at Petit Trois

    Petit Trois, the long-awaited space next door to Trois Mec, will open tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. Owned and operated by the Trois Mec team — Ludo Lefebvre, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo — Petit Trois aims to offer  Bar a la Carte, described as the traditional French bar experience.  "I...
  • 5 Great Sandwiches Worth the Drive to Atwater Village

    If Tacos Villa Corona were open reasonable hours, this list probably wouldn’t exist — what point would there be in seeking out other cheap and hearty lunch options in a neighborhood already blessed with such spectacular burritos? But thanks to their abbreviated schedule, we have found ourselves on an island, stranded and...

Slideshows

  • Ladies Gunboat Society at Flores
    At Ladies Gunboat Society, the new operation out of the restaurant that used to be Flores on Sawtelle Boulevard, the Hoppin’ John is served as an appetizer or a small plate rather than a side, and the price is the stuff of comedy.
  • Malibu Pier Restaurant and Bar
    Malibu Pier Restaurant and Bar, with chef Jason Fullilove at the helm, is in the two buildings at the pier’s entrance that used to be Beachcomber Cafe and Ruby’s Diner. Those buildings, which have been overhauled completely, reflect both the pier’s 109-year-old history and the cultural import of Malibu itself.
  • The Tasting Menu Trend
    In Los Angeles especially, but increasingly across the country, restaurants are either switching to tasting menus, putting a greater focus on a tasting-menu option (while offering à la carte items as well), or opening as tasting-menu operations from day one. The format that used to be the calling card of only the fanciest of restaurants is becoming ubiquitous, even at places where the waiter calls you “dude” and there isn’t a white tablecloth in sight.