Tastes from Yesteryear

It wasn’t long ago that Cadbury’s relaunched a limited-edition run of their once-defunct chocolate bar, the “Wispa”. I still haven’t got my hands on one (although there hasn’t been much effort on my part either), but now twice this week I’ve eaten stuff that I haven’t tasted for over a decade with mixed results.

The first was Ambrosia Rice Pudding. I think there’s an advertising campaign on the telly at the minute and the subliminal thoughts got to both me and my wife (see, marketing does work!). So we bought a couple of cans from the supermarket and off we went.

Wow! From the second I opened the can and got a whiff of that distinctive aroma, I had travelled back 15 years. That stuff was and still is great. Katrina had the bizarre notion that she should lace her portion with sugar before eating (yuck!), but we really enjoyed it. If it wasn’t for the threat of severe tongue lacerations, the recycling bin would have seen its cleanest tin can ever.

I often think that treats are getting smaller these days: bags of crips are not a snack any more, they’re just an expensive way to make you thirsty without feeling like you’ve eaten anything. They’re all packaging. Unfortunately with rice pudding in a can, it’s blatantly not the case. What was sold in a 454g tin yesterday is still exactly the same quantity as was sold in a 454g tin ten years ago. So why does half a can now not feel enough, even as a dessert following a huge amount of home-made lasagne? I’m pretty sure my mother didn’t give me a 1kg can to myself either, so why the disparity?

Now we move onto something else. At Rainbows last night, we did one of the badge activities where the girls tried to make a sandwich while blindfolded. This was supposed to increase their appreciation for the gift of sight, and make them realise that if you were blind things would be extremely difficult. As 5-year-olds do, however, they didn’t quite grasp the concept and the biggest problem with blindness seemed to be that you wouldn’t know if someone was pulling a funny face at you. Ah well.

Anyway, back to the sandwich. We bought some cheap bread from the supermarket, along with some own-brand cheese slices. I tried my hand at making a sandwich (which I must say was a pretty good effort) and then took a mouthful of the finished article. Now I used to regularly eat cheese-slice sandwiches, but something has changed inside of me. It may have been the bread, which appeared to have the texture of polystyrene and the taste of, well, probably polystyrene. If you ever walk past a building site, they’re insulating the walls, you look at a wet sheet of thick plastic between foam boards, and think “I wonder what that tastes like?”, then your quest is over.

The bread seemed to vaccuum up all moisture from my mouth far more efficiently than any of those tubes a dentist pokes in your mouth during a filling. Then you have the cheese “hit”, which is more of a slap against the roof of your mouth. A slap and stick there really. Why was this ever nice?

I’ll stick to the rice pudding thanks.