Raspberries Aren’t Blue!

Last night, I impulsively bought a Slurpee from the corner 7-Eleven. I hadn’t had one in more than twenty years. After about three or four sips, I dumped the whole thing out because I found it disgusting. This surprised me; growing up, I loved Slurpees!

In retrospect, I shouldn’t be too surprised. I got the blue raspberry flavor. But raspberries aren’t blue, are they? They are usually red, and while there is a variety known as the whitebark (sometimes referred to as black raspberry or blue raspberry), it is more of a dark purple in color. The neon blue found in the Slurpee is courtesy of a synthetic dye known as Brilliant Blue FCF. There’s a brief article that does a great job of explaining how blue raspberry came about here, if you are so inclined.* So, we can add food coloring to the list of ingredients that make up a Slurpee! Along with sugar, and probably a lot of other things I don’t what to know about. I told Tara the next time we pass by the patch of grass where I dumped the contents of my cup, we’re liable to find scorch marks. img_slurpee

* Tara pointed out recently that I have an obsessive thirst for knowledge, most of it useless. I thought about it for a moment, and realized she was right. I’m naturally curious by nature, and not a day goes by when I’m not scouring the internet for some random tidbit of mostly useless information. For instance, I can tell you why people named Richard are sometimes called Dick; why Greenland is an island but Australia is a continent; and that the aforementioned 7-Eleven was originally called Tot’em and each store featured an actual wood-carved totem pole out front. I’m like a real-life version of Cliff Clavin, minus the Boston accent. Mostly this vault of knowledge goes unused, though during the barn wedding we recently attended, a baby bird fell out of a nest in the rafters. One of the guests said, “Don’t touch it, or the mother bird will have nothing to do with it.” “That’s a misconception!” I practically shouted to Tara. “As long as the nest isn’t disturbed, the mother bird will continue to care for her offspring!” So if nothing else, I might have saved a bird’s life (during the very same trip in which I ended another bird’s life. Oh, the irony).

Anyway. Pardon the long digression. This realization that a former childhood favorite failed to live up to its sweet, sweet memory made me wonder what else I liked back then that I would find unappealing now. I know for a fact that Spaghetti-Os make that list. And Slim Jims. Cookie Crisp cereal, too. Pop-Tarts for breakfast? Damn good in 1978, but disgusting today. And while I haven’t made a fried bologna sandwich with ketchup since the early 80s, I’m pretty sure this is something present-day me would find revolting. Driving back from California a couple of weeks ago, I bought a Yoo-hoo at a gas station. Even that wasn’t as good as I’d remembered. What a weird drink Yoo-hoo is, by the way. It was created in the 1920s in New Jersey by an Italian-American grocer who wanted a chocolate soft drink that wouldn’t spoil. This explains why it’s mostly water rather than milk. (See above: useless knowledge).

Other childhood favorites included Fresca, Sweet Tarts, and Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup. I haven’t tried any of those in a long time. I wonder what I’d think of them today?

On the opposite end of the spectrum, I once loathed broccoli but love it now.

Watermelon and I are still sworn enemies, however.

How ’bout you? Any childhood favorites you recently revisited and discovered didn’t live up to your memories?

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13 thoughts on “Raspberries Aren’t Blue!

  1. ” 7-Eleven was originally called Tot’em and each store featured an actual wood-carved totem pole out front.”

    Now I find VERY interesting, Mark, because I never knew that!?!

    Like you, I was a HUGE Slurpee drinker back in the ’80’s when I was still living in Florida (because of the constant heat). I bet I drank a Slurpee every single day (cherry). And I can still remember how RED my tongue got afterwards. I haven’t had one in soooooo long, but I have a feeling I would have the same reaction as you did. Now I’m into drinking Rita’s Italian Water Ice in the summer. Lemon. Love them!

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    1. Rita’s Italian Water Ice sounds about 1000 times better than a Slurpee, regardless of whether it’s blue raspberry, cherry, or Coke. That’s something we can’t get out here! Sounds perfect for summer.

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  2. I loved Wacky Wafers and tart n tinys…they don’t make them anymore. Also love Satellite Wafer candy-then and now. I used to love grape, orange, cherry soda-now-blech. I also used to love…wait for it….chicken hearts, livers, and gizzards…we didn’t really think about what we were eating….LOVED them…but now? I don’t think I could get past the gag factor!! I also used to love Snickers bars-pregnancy took care of that! I also used to LOVE cheese….like could eat a brick of it….pregnancy also changed that. I mean, I like it ok, but I don’t love it like I used to……

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  3. I’ve often wondered why I don’t like foods now that I loved as a kid. Did my taste buds change, or did they change the recipe? Probably both!

    My list would include Pop Tarts, Sweet Tarts, Hostess Snoballs, candy apples, and Trix.

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  4. I think I am still too close to my childhood to turn on my past favorites. I will say though that I am becoming more and more open to things I once loathed. For example, all of my childhood I would not even touch pasta. Mostly because the red sauce makes me want to vomit. But due to it being cost effective, pasta has recently become my friend. Ahh the tribulations of being an adult.

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  5. Watermelon & I are not on speaking terms either, but then no other melon is either. I like the fruit Slurpees they have here – Pear, Apple & Mango or Passion Fruit is really good. And it actually tastes something like the fruits it’s supposed to mimic.

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