You'll be hearing from the staff at Food52 in Too Many Cooks, our group column in which we pool our answers to questions about food, cooking, life, and more.
If you've ever taken a bite of a cookie and felt like you traveled back in time, you know that food can double as a teleportation device. This is the type of food that was lovingly prepared for you by a parent or grandparent -- or artificially-flavored, excessively sugary or salty, packaged in bright wrapping, and enjoyed in school cafeterias. Today, we're celebrating edible portkeys of all sorts and poking some fun at the foods of our past by asking the Food52 staffers:
What's your favorite retro food?
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Savory or sweet? Crispy or gooey? Wholesome or shameful? Tell us your favorite blast-from-the-past food in the comments below.
Tim: Don't judge me, but I still can't resist Top Ramen with a little Valentina hot sauce. I know I'm not 12 and/or in college and that I have delicious ramen all around me, but there's something about slightly undercooked Top Ramen that really speaks to me.
Channing: When it comes to nostalgic snacks, the saltier and crunchier, the better! I don't think anything will ever come closer to 3D Doritos (specifically Cool Ranch flavor...duh) or Planter's Cheez Balls. Unless, of course, you offer me a bag of exclusively red, white, and purple Shark Bites.
Bryce: I always went for the powdered sugar mini donut snack pack you can (still) find at the gas station.
Erin: Since I was cursed with a mother who made everything from scratch, junk food of the not-homemade variety was a scarcity. Once, at a friend's house, I tasted the sweet, sweet nectar that was the Pillsbury Toaster Strudel. I saved all of the icing packet for the last two bites.
Stephanie: Lipton's Chicken Noodle Soup with soooooo many Saltines. Especially the Alligator Noodle Soup kind with the tiny alligator-shaped noodles, or the Turkey Noodle Soup with the ring noodles.
Haley: I used to beg for the Kraft brand Shake and Bake chicken. And it's a known phenomenon that we still frequently serve Annie's boxed mac and cheese at fancy holiday gatherings -- this one, though, is my brothers' fault.
What foods make you nostalgic? Tell us in the comments!