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Thursday, July 05, 2012

Fond Farewell Of Food Favourites

It’s very hard to say goodbye to a place that holds so many happy memories.  This past weekend, I had to say goodbye to one.

I’ll make a bit of a mini-confession here before I get to the big one.  I am somewhat of a pizza snob.  I’m quite fussy when it comes to finding the perfect pizza.  I’d say that the part of a pizza that I am most fussy about is the pizza sauce.  To me, the pizza sauce can make or break a pizza.  I’ve had pizza where the sauce is runny, or has no flavour.  I’ve had pizza where the sauce is so spicy, I can’t swallow it.  And, I swear, there is one pizza place in my hometown whose pizza sauce literally tastes like the two main ingredients are mucilage and no-name brand ketchup.

And, no, I won’t reveal the name of this pizza place either.  I don’t believe in slander.

About nine years ago, a new pizza place opened up in town.  The name of the place was Milano’s Pizzeria.  It was a pizza place that was conveniently located within walking distance from my apartment building.  Because it was a new place, I was very keen on trying it to see what it was like.  At the time, I was a bit disappointed with the selection of pizza parlours we had in town, and decided to give it a whirl.

It ended up being the best pizza I had ever tasted.  The cheese and toppings were delicious, the crust was the right amount of thickness, and the sauce was my idea of perfection.  From the summer of 2003 on, I had found my main pizza hangout.

Oh, but they just didn’t make pizza.  Their poutines were fantastic (in case you don’t know what a poutine is, it’s a dish made with French fries, gravy, and cheese curd).  They also made delicious onion rings, hamburgers, chicken wings...really, everything on the menu was delicious.  I also got to know the people who ran Milano’s, and they were great people.

However, this past weekend, I received the news that I dreaded.  On June 30, Milano’s was closing up shop for good.  I won’t go into the details over why it happened, but I will say that I respect their decision, and wish them all the best.  But I will say this.  Their last day of business, I made sure to order one final pepperoni pizza, because I wanted to enjoy it one last time.  While it was just as delicious as all the other pizzas that I had eaten there, it was bittersweet because I knew that it would be my last one.

And, it got me thinking about today’s Thursday Confession.

THURSDAY CONFESSION #27:  Milano’s Pizza isn’t the only food item that I have mourned the loss of.

And, that's what this blog entry is about.  The foods from my childhood that no longer exist.  And the foods that I want back in my life.  The most recent one, of course, is Milano's Pizza...but there's other foods that I used to love in my childhood, and I am so upset that they no longer exist, or they are too hard to find.

I'll come up with a list of these foods below.  Who knows?  Maybe some of you will remember them.

Okay, here's the first item.


I think that a lot of you who are my age or older will likely remember the commercials over the candy itself.  You know, the ones where the lady gets crushed by oversized pieces of fruit, and then for whatever reason laughs about it?  I remember the commercials well, but I also remember the fruit chews.  They came in all sorts of flavours which included grape, orange, watermelon, and even chocolate flavoured.  I don't know what it was about those candies, but I couldn't get enough of them.  And back in 1986, it seemed as though Bonkers dominated every candy counter and supermarket check-out stand in Canada.  I even remember getting Bonkers fruit chews on Halloween when I went trick or treating.  There was just something delicious about the dark, rich center of the chew that made the flavour burst into your mouth.  However, it has been years since I've had Bonkers fruit chews.  I don't even know if they are still being made any more.  If they are, they certainly can't be found in Canada.  I'd love to know.


This is one that still makes me furious even though this was discontinued in Canada well over fifteen years ago.  I know that many of you associate the Lea and Perrins name with worcestershire sauce, but years ago, they made a barbecue sauce with a lot of bite to it.  The sauce was so delicious, and it went with almost any type of meal.  Steak, chicken, burgers (and yes, I do eat meat) made them even tastier.  When the only supermarket that carried it ditched the sauce, I was devastated.  I couldn't stand the other leading brand named barbecue sauces at the time, so I thought that my steaks would remain forever bland.  This story has a semi-happy ending, as I discovered that Bulls-Eye barbecue sauce had a similar taste to Lea and Perrins...but it's not quite the same.


I will make a bit of an announcement before I continue on with this.  Nothing, and I mean, nothing, will top my mother's homemade, freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.  Homemade cookies are always the best kind ever.  But as far as store bought cookies go, I do have my favourites of those as well.  I've always liked Oreos, and I don't mind the Pirate cookies (the ones with the peanut butter filling inside of them).  Chips Ahoy are another cookie that I used to eat as a kid, but there were only one kind of them that I liked.  Years ago, they had a "Striped Chips Ahoy" cookie.  It was a standard cookie that had stripes that were made with chocolate drizzle.  I used to eat those cookies all the time as a kid.  Granted, those cookies probably contributed to the weight problem I endured throughout school, but regardless, I loved them.  So, naturally because I loved them, they got rid of them.  Typical.


Okay.  Let's get it out of the way.  I am not a big fan of green tea.  But, I love most flavours of yogurt.  So, when I embarked on a weight loss journey three years ago, and saw a yogurt made by Danone with green tea extract mixed in, I was skeptical.  But, looking at the nutritional value inside the yogurt, I thought I'd give it a shot.  It ended up being delicious.  It turns out that when you mix fruits such as raspberries and pineapple with green tea, you can't even taste the green tea.  All it tasted like was, well, raspberry or pineapple.  It was a great tool in my quest to get healthier.  It's just a shame that I was apparently the only one who liked it.  The yogurt only lasted a year on the market.


All right.  I do not drink much Kool-Aid these days.  But when I was a kid, I used to guzzle the stuff down every day.  I enjoyed several flavours of the drink, including cherry, lime, grape, and tropical punch.  But my all-time favourite was a flavour known as Purplesaurus Rex.  It was purple in colour, but the flavour was unique.  It was a mixture of grape and lemonade, and it tasted awesome.  I think I must have drank gallons of the stuff in 1989 alone.  But it didn't last too long on the market, and shortly after Purplesaurus Rex disappeared from the shelves, I stopped drinking Kool-Aid.

Those are just a few of the food items that I mourned the loss of as a child, and that I admittedly still miss.  But I ended up surviving it, and soon found other foods to eat.  I'm sure that I'll survive the closing of Milano's Pizza too...although I'm now struggling with finding a new pizza place to satisfy my pizza snobbishness.  

BONUS QUESTION:  What are some foods of the past that YOU miss?

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