Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cookies certainly were good

Did you have a favorite food you can’t buy anymore?

At dinner the other night we discussed “can’t find” foods - things that aren’t on the shelves anymore. The manager will explain that if it isn’t in the warehouse it just isn’t available in the store. If the tab marking the place on the shelf is gone, then it isn’t available.

For instance, does anyone remember Mary Ann cookies? They were soft, rectangular cookies that tasted something like molasses cookies but they were different.

After school I looked looked forward to a glass of milk and a Mary Ann. We bought them from a box in the grocery store you could open and take out how many you wanted. When this display became outmoded the cookies came packaged with the other desserts.

Store-bought cookies were a treat because generally the only ones at our house were homemade. In the boxes there was a marshmallow one with coconut on the top and there was a cartwheel that was similar to the Mary Ann.

There were also Fig Newtons which is one of the cookies you can still purchase today but there isn’t the flavor that was there in the ones that came in the boxes with the glass doors. Today you can also purchase these cookies with apple, strawberry Newtons which the children seem to care for more than the fig. We’ve concluded the reason they don’t taste the same as in the good old days is because they are now fortified with all the preservatives to make them last so much longer on the grocery shelf.

And did you ever look at the ingredients in what cookie you are nibbling on? Is it any wonder they taste more like a piece of cardboard sometimes than a cookie? Or is it my imagination?

What about the penny candy? We know we couldn’t buy it for a penny, but it isn’t even available for a nickel or dime. There was the Necco wafers and tubes of brown Hershey kisses.There were the watermelon slices that tasted like coconut. The licorice pipes that were hard and chewy and the banana peanuts that were soooo good. These are still available, but the other penny candy doesn’t seem to be.

I can remember going into a store that had in its front window a shelf with all of the penny candy displayed. If you had a nickel or sometimes a dime (which was almost never) the store owner would have a small brown paper sack and you could pick out enough candy with the nickel to half fill the paper bag. If you were careful the bag could last you a week if you spaced it out.

You can still find some of this candy, if you go to a store that specializes in it. They have candy like those days. You can still buy some of it through catalogs. It costs much more than a penny and the postage costs more than a large sack of candy, so it isn’t cheap.

But isn’t it fun to look at the items and remember what we could buy for just a penny?

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