Junk Food Sunday: Almond Joy

Originally developed by Peter Paul Manufacturing Company in New Haven, Connecticut the Almond Joy was introduced in 1946 for 10 cents a bar. Now, Almond Joy is a tasty part of Hershey’s. Although Peter Paul as a company no longer exists, the name still appears on the wrapper as part of the bars’ brand names.

Almond Joys are candy bars with a coconut and almond filling, surrounded by a layer of chocolate for a yummy 230 calories each.

One of the baby boomer’s favorite candy bars the Almond Joy is one of the most long standing coconut candy items around.

The first product of the Peter Paul Candy Manufacturing Company, established in 1919 in New Haven, Connecticut, was called "Konabar" and was a blend of coconut, fruits, nuts and chocolate. All products were made at night when air was coolest and sold fresh, door-to-door the following day.

 In 1920 the MOUNDS candy bar, sweetened coconut enrobed in dark chocolate, was introduced.

Variations of the Almond Joy were also made. Chocolate Almond Joy in 2004, a limited edition White Chocolate Key Lime and Milk Chocolate Passion Fruit Almond Joy in 2005 and a limited edition Toasted Coconut Almond Joy in 2006.

Almond Joy holds a place in many American’s hearts because of a very popular advertising campaign in the 80s and their jingle that says, "sometimes you feel like a nut and sometimes you don’t" to distinguish between their two coconut bars. Even though that campaign is long gone, the phrase "sometimes you feel like a nut" still knocks around as a cultural reference.

Make Almond Joy’s at home
Almond Joy Cake
Almond Joy Cheese Cake
Almond Joy Martini

Junk Food Guide: Hawaiian Punch

High level of crapHawaiian Punch, originally created in 1934 comes from the original recipe’s ingredients, the seven fruit flavors: apple, apricot, guava, orange, papaya, passion fruit, and pineapple. It was created by A.W. Leo, Tom Yates, Ralph Harrison as an ice cream topping in a garage in Fullerton, California.

You may think of Hawaiian punch as a fruit juice but it is not nearly that healthy, only containing about 5% fruit juice. The rest is water and High Fructose Corn Syrup as the sweetener.

The punch is most often associated with the animated character “Punchy” which was a short fat little guy with a crown who would go around and hit this larger moke.

The mascot “Punchy” was originated by cartoonist Joe Malerba, and voiced in the commercials by and Len Maxwell.

Punchy’s catch phrase, “How about a nice Hawaiian Punch?” would be followed by his victim’s character answering “Sure!” and was then punched by Punchy’s punch.

The Punchy and Opie/Oaf characters and tagline were used intill the 1990s, when such antics were drummed out of polite society by the politically correcticans.

Punchy is undergoing a redesign, one of many he has had over the years. Over time, his quick-to-comical-violence approach to life has been tempered, his clenched fist turned into a “hang loose” hand gesture. In recent years he is no longer a hyperactive troublemaker, but a laid-back surfer dude. Ouch.

Today, Hawaiian Punch comes is lots of flavors including Fruit Juicy Red, Orange Ocean, Berry Blue Typhoon, Lemonade, Lemon Berry Squeeze, Green Berry Rush, Wild Purple Smash, Bodacious Berry, Mazin Melon Mix, Island Citrus Guava, and Mango Passionfruit Squeeze.

Hawaiian Punch is also used by the adult set in lots of drink concoctions including:

  • Adrenaline Punch (Rum, Gin, Hawaiian Punch, Peach Brandy, Sugar, Vodka
  • Bloody Roadrunner (Gatorade, Hawaiian Punch, Southern Comfort)
  • London-Maui Connection (Hawaiian Punch, Stretton’s London Dry Gin, Water
  • Surfin Hawiian (Hawaiian Fruit Punch, Orange Juice, Vodka)

Hawaiian Punch ad from the 60’s with Punchy and Oaf.

Donnie and Marie Hawaiian Punch Commercial from 1982


Wikipedia:Hawaiian Punch:


Drinks containing Hawaiian Fruit Punch:

Junk Food Sunday: Kit Kat

"Give me a break, give me a break, break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar…" is a familiar jungle for the delectable confection from Nestlé, the Kit Kat Bar.

Kit Kats, originally created in 1935 each finger of a Kit Kat is composed of three layers of crème-filled wafer, covered in an outer layer of chocolate that is a top ten candy bar in the US and a popular treat throughout the world, especially in Japan a phenomenon attributed to the coincidental similarity between the bar’s name and the Japanese phrase kitto katsu, which roughly translates to "You will surely win!" This has reportedly led to parents and children buying them for school examination days as a sort of good luck charm.

While mostly popular as a traditional and dark chocolate Kit Kat bar in the US. there are a wide variety of the Kit Kat available in the UK and Japan including Pickled Plum, Bubblegum(made with blue chocolate), Mango, Wasabi, and Green Tea.

A Kit Kat bar is not all it’s snapped up to be around the globe for the generic bar as well. Within the US the Kit Kat The wafer bar is manufactured by Hershey’s under license from Nestles of Europe. Outside of the US Kit Kat is manufactured by Nestlé, so side by side the taste is different. The chocolate used to make the non-U.S. version of the Kit Kat is the exact same recipe as the chocolate found in Nestle Crunch. Surprisingly, the non-U.S. Kit Kats tastes strangely similar to Nestle Crunch (the chocolate is the same, and the little rice crispies have pretty much the same flavor as the Kit Kat wafer).

Thought the many varieties of Kit Kat bars they are all broken into what are affectionately called fingers, referring to a chunk that can be broken off from the rest of the bar. The biggest finger bar is the chunky one that comes as one big mammoth bar. The bite size bars have two fingers and the standard bars come in 4 finger units. Larger versions have up to 8 fingers.

At a whopping 218 calories for a four-finger bar (regular size) is contains 38% of your daily saturated fat. Maybe breaking off a piece isn’t such a bad idea.

Junk Food Sunday: Pringles

Containing 17% (for 14 crisps) of your daily fat count is the ever tasty and mysterious Pringle’s Potato Chips.

Pringles chips are a product of the 70’s was originally produced on the 1968 and became popular in the mid 1970’s. It’s name actually came from a Cincinnati telephone book, having been inspired by the street name of Pringle Drive in Finneytown, Ohio.

While other chips have been sold in bags back to the turn of the century Pringles are different. From the distinctive shape to the the unique packaging Pringles chips are an enigma. For many years Proctor & Gamble, the owners of the Pringles brand has gone back and forth in legal wars as to the designation of what a Pringles is. Is it a chip or is it some other type of confection.

Originally known as "Pringle’s Newfangled Potato Chips", but other snack manufacturers objected, saying that Pringles failed to meet the definition of a potato "chip". The US Food and Drug Administration weighed in on the matter, and in 2005, they ruled that Pringles could only use the word chip in their product name within the following phrase: "potato chips made from dried potatoes.

In international law, reversing an earlier decision, Britain’s Lord Justice Robin Jacob has ruled that Pringles are, indeed, potato chips. The decision means Pringles parent Procter & Gamble will be stuck paying $160 million in back taxes. P&G had insisted that the chips lack enough "potatoness" to qualify as a potato-based product (and be taxed as such).

But whatever the snack designation, Pringles are uniquely tasty, and memorable, sold by the sleeve in a tubular can with a foil-lined interior and a resealable plastic lid, which was invented by Fredric J. Baur while employed by P&G.

Pringles is not without controversy as to the formula, as the urban legend stated that Pringles potato chips are made from McDonald’s unsold fries. This obviously is not true. Pringles however are made from less the 50% potatoes. Pringles potato chips are made from dehydrated and flaked potatoes.

Original Pringles Advertisement (1973)


1990’s Pringles Adversitement


Junk Food Guide: Jolt Cola

"All the sugar and twice the caffeine."

Jolt cola, a product of the ’80’s was put out prior to the energy drink craze. Shortly after its 1985 launch, the power drink was featured on the David Letterman show and in USA Today.

Other product placement of Jolt Cola included the movies Deep Impact, Gremlins 2, Men At Work, Basket Case 2, 11:14, and Looney Tunes: Back in Action.

As a cola, Jolt didn’t have the smooth taste like Coke or Pepsi but rather tasted like a store-brand soda with, well, a jolt.

The syrupy soft drink has been offering twice the caffeine with all of the taste of regular cola, according to its peppy marketing campaign, for 24 years.

Jolt Cola could be found in flavors including lemon-lime, Raspberry, Black Cherry, and even a diet version called Ultimate. The latest incarnation of Jolt Cola no longer uses pure cane sugar but contained lots of caffeine.

It was targeted towards students and young professionals, stressing its use as a stimulant in a similar manner as energy drinks.

The original Jolt Cola formula contained real cane sugar and 72 milligrams of caffeine, which was the highest amount of the stimulant allowed by federal law.

The latest Jolt cola was a 23.5 ounce can of Jolt Energy, which contained 280 milligrams of caffeine in a resealable bottle that resembled a large AA battery, It was this bottle however, that lead to the company’s ultimate demise.

Pummeled by increasing competition, and a contract for cans it didn’t have the money to buy, Wet Planet Beverages filed for Chapter 11 protection in September 2009.

Raise a bottle to Jolt if you can find it.

Junk Food Sunday: Hostess Sno balls

Marshmallow and coconut, what’s not to love. The Hostess Sno Ball was first made in 1948 and is a combination of marshmallow, coconut and chocolate cake with a cream filling.

The cake at the base of sno ball is the same as the Hostess cupcake, turned upside down.

Each year over 25 million of these fluffy treats are made, but not all of them are covered in pink coconut. In fact the snowballs are produced in white for the winter season, orange and glow in the dark for Halloween, green for St. Patrick’s Day and lavender in the Spring. Many can nostalgically remember the packaging with one white and one pink one.

The original Sno Balls were white marshmallow and shredded coconut covered chocolate cakes. In 1950, the creme filling was added, and not long after, in an effort to add a little pizzazz to the white Sno Ball, Hostess decided to tint the shredded coconut pink.

Make your own Sno ball Recipe

Sno ball goof commercial:

Junk Food Sunday: Egg Cream

There is nothing as satisfying than the old-time luncheonette treat of an egg cream. While not traditionally thought of as a crap food it securely holds its place in the category with other quenching treats.

While the egg cream is easily made at home, there is something to be said for having the treat made in a New York Jewish delicatessen.

For the home version recipes and preferences differ, most will agree on the ingredients. milk, seltzer and as true New Yorker will insist, Fox’s U-Bet Chocolate Syrup.

It is important to use seltzer water over soda water, since seltzer does not contain salt.

Because a traditional fountain egg cream relied upon seltzer under high pressure being delivered via a siphon nozzle rather than poured from a bottle, modern preparation has been slightly altered to preserve the traditional layer effect.

Pour one part very cold whole milk, optionally froth with handheld frother. Pour two or three parts seltzer from a just-opened bottle for maximum fizz, add a quarter to half-inch of chocolate syrup, and froth just a second or two at the very bottom of the glass to mix, this is to preserve the distinct layers.

Then you must drink immediately, preferably gulping down the contents. Remember, an egg cream will lose its head and become flat if it is not enjoyed immediately. 

Eggcream History

For many years, you could only find an egg cream in a NY soda shoppe. Bottled versions had a tendency to separate and to go bad after a couple days, and pasteurization ruined the taste. Today, egg cream drinks are bottled by a few small companies.

The origin of the name "egg cream" is constantly debated. Stanley Auster, the grandson of the beverage’s alleged inventor, has been quoted as saying that the origins of the name are lost in time.

One commonly accepted origin is that "Egg" is a corruption of the Yiddish word echt ("genuine" or "real") and this was a "good cream". It may also have been called an "Egg Cream" because in the late 1800s, there were already many chocolate fountain/dessert drinks using actual eggs, and Auster wanted to capitalize on the name.

Like many other treats fondly remembered the egg cream has had its time to shine on television and the movies. In one episode of ‘The West Wing’ President Bartlet describes the drink to his Communications Director Toby Ziegler. Toby then responds by saying the drink is called an egg cream, and that it was in fact invented in his hometown of Brooklyn.

The preparation of an egg cream is also demonstrated in an episode of Seinfeld where Elaine is shown preparing egg creams in Jerry’s apartment using soda from an old-fashioned soda syphon.

Want to try one for yourself or awake your nostalgic taste buds? This lin will show you where you can still get an egg cream in New York:vanishingnewyork.blogspot.com


Junk Food Sunday: Mallomars

One of the most beloved confections from my youth was the Nabisco Mallomars with the bright yellow box.

For those who have had them, it’s not appropriate to call the Mallomar a "cookie." If you think of it as a cookie, then what of the puff of marshmallow, not to mention you would never dunk a Mallomar! Just as a chicken is not fish, the Malomar is not a cookie.

Mallomars in the U.S. are produced seasonally at Nabisco and are only available for about 5 months, begining about October and continuing until about April. If you speak to a true Mallomar fan they try and make the season last as long as possible by freezing a supply as squirrels will store nuts for the winter, or in this case summer.

The National Biscuit Co. debuted Mallomars in 1913 at a grocery store in New Jersey. The bakery was based in New York City. Today, about 70% of the treats are devoured in the New York area.

The construction of the Mallomar is deceptively simple. A circle of Graham cracker is covered with a puff of extruded marshmallow, then "enrobed" in dark chocolate, which forms a hard shell. I’m not sure what "enrobed" as Nabisco likes to refer to them really means, but it sounds delicious.

Similar chocolate-coated marshmallow treats are produced in different variations around the world, with several countries claiming to have invented it or hailing it as their "national confection."

Mallomars have also has their time in popular culture with references by Billy Crystal in "When Harry Met Sally" and Rosie O’Donnell raving about them on her daytime talk show — both instances by native New Yorkers. Other instances have included the movies "The First Wives Club" and "Regarding Henry."

Surprisingly a search for how to make a mallomar could not be found on the Internet, but there were numerous recipes for including them in various desserts.


Junk Food Sunday: Twinkies

Twinkies have been part of the fat and furious diet since the 1930’s. If you’ve been a coinsure of twinkies throughout your life like I have you will obviously know that the rich creamy filling was not the first filling for twinkies.

Actually, Twinkies originally contained a banana cream filling, but this was replaced with a vanilla cream filling because of a banana shortage during World War II. Since then, 500 million of these tasty treats have been baked each year.

Twinkies in the factory are baked for 10 minutes, then the cream filling is injected through three holes in the top of the cake which becomes browned from baking. The cake is then flipped before packaging, so the rounded yellow bottom becomes the top and the 3 holes are nicely nestled under the cardboard bottom of the cellophane packaging.

Throughout history, people have surmised that Twinkies have an indefinite shelf life. If you’ve ever seen the first Die Hard movie or visited Snopes.com you’ll know that is not the case.

But did you know that your favorite snack cake will explode in a microwave? According to Hostess, it takes 45 seconds to explode a Twinkie. Try it for yourself at home.

A single Twinkie has between 150 and 160 calories. Packed in there is 4.5 grams of fat, which has 2.5 grams of saturated fat. Not bad for single serving snack, but lets be realistic. You’re not having one of the double packs, so that’s 300+ calories.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Twinkie the Kid, the loveable mascot introduced by twinkie in 1947. Twinkie the Kid was a Western cowboy cartoon to sell the snack.

Twinkie the kid was one of seven fun characters created by Don Duga, representing Hostess Cakes starting in the 1970s, along with Captain Cupcake (Cupcakes), Happy Ho Ho (Ho-Hos), Chief Big Wheels (Big Wheels), Chauncey Choco-dile (Chocodiles) Fruit Pie The Magician (Fruit Pies) and King Ding Dong (Ding Dongs). All have been retired except for Twinkie The Kid.

Twinkies have become a part of the American Experience in movies and tv as well as our stomachs. Archie Bunker, from the 1970s sitcom All in the Family, loved Twinkies. He even called it the white man’s soul food, offering it to Sammy Davis Jr. when he visited his humble home. In a pivotal episode of Family Guy, Peter leaves his loved Cohog after a nuclear event in search of the twinkie factory to survive. And in Buffy the Vampire Slayer Xander teaches the Mummy Girl about this essential American food. twinkies have also made appearances in countless Hollywood movies, like Ghostbusters, Grease, and Die Hard.

Recipes and Links