10 fast foods, candies and snacks turning 50 years old in 2018
What were we noshing in 1968? Well, a lot of the same snacks we crunch today. Just as we still listen to the Beatles, we still bite into Big Macs. They're both classics. Just as the Fab Four were starting their Apple Records label, McDonald's was serving up its first Apple Pies. What a year to be alive.
Of course, there were more foods introduced than a couple McDonald's menu items. Some beloved restaurant chains kicked off in '68. A staple of school lunches was launched. A new cereal mascot appeared in the grocery aisle. Smucker's made sandwiches even easier. Sweet and sour treats tickled our tastebuds.
Here are ten food items that are turning 50 years old in 2018. Which is your favorite?
McDonald's Apple Pie
Not everything on the menu comes from the corporate test kitchens. The recipe for McDonald's pipin' hot pie was developed by Litton Cochran, a franchisee in Knoxville, Tennessee. It became the first dessert item on the menu when added in 1968. In 1992, the original fried pied was replaced with a baked pie, but we all know which is superior.
Image: McDonald's / The Guardian
If you were living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in the 1960s, consider yourself lucky. You were the test market for the Big Mac, which means you got the iconic burger a year before anyone else, in 1967. The rest of the country had to wait until '68, when the Big Mac was introduced nationally for 45¢. The "Two all beef patties, special sauce…" jingle would not arrive until the mid-1970s, however.
It's peanut butter and jelly — in the same jar! An informal survey in our office concludes that nobody's mother would allow us to eat the stuff, which is a bit weird in hindsight. We ate the ingredients separately, but somehow storing them in the same glass vessel seemed like junk food. Delicious junk food. Now that we're adults, we'll eat all the Goober we please, mom!
Image: Smucker's / Flickr
Red Lobster is a Disney reference. Did you know that? In Walt Disney's 1940 film Pinocchio, there is a bar called the Red Lobster Inn. In March 1968, entrepeneur Bill Darden borrowed the name — minus the "Inn" — for a joint in Lakeland, Florida, about 50 miles from Walt Disney World. His Red Lobster restaurant was billed as a "Harbor for Seafood Lovers." Half a century later, we all sing the praises of their Cheddar Bay Biscuits. Even Beyoncé name-drops the chain in her songs.
Hunt's Snack Pack
The metal pudding cans had a revival recently thanks to the first season of Stranger Things, when a fridge full of the stuff was found in the school. Today, a plastic version of the pudding cups still makes lunchtime more fun, but we miss the metal cans, even if they were a bit of a cutting hazard.
Image: Hunt's / adbydee
Essentially a less sweetened Cap'n Crunch, King Vitaman remains a sort of cult cereal of connoisseurs. A few different iterations of the King have been used, beginning with this cartoon character on the original box. Two different elder actors played the mascot in following decades, including one with a crown made of spoons, but today Quaker has gone back to an animated king.
Image: Quaker Oats
The sour bombs trace their origin back to Italy. That sour burst would radically change the candy industry. A couple decades later, kids couldn't get enough of extremely sour tongue assaults like Warheads.
Image: Candy Warehouse
The first Roy Rogers opened in 1968 in Falls Church, Virginia. If you're looking to go there to celebrate the chain's 50th birthday, don't. It's now a McDonald's. The chain was founded by Marriott hotels, who licensed the name of the popular cowboy to replace their brand of quick-service eateries called Hot Shoppes Jr. Today, there are a little more than 50 Roy Rogers in America.
Image: Vintage Ad Browser
The Taco Salad
The very first taco salad is a little difficult to pin down, though it did originate in the 1960s in Tex-Mex restaurants. However, according to the book American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century , the earliest recipe the author could find for Taco Salad popped up in the May 1968 issue of Sunset magazine. Here it is, if you want to replicate it.