And here I go with my second attempt at a “food” blog. Fasten your seat belts and be sure to grab a good towel to catch any drooling that might occur while I reminisce about some of the best snacks I’ve ever eaten – that you can’t buy anymore…
Paramount Potato Chips (d. 1992)
Meet “Slim Chiply,” the flavor deputy who ensured freshness in every bag. He even had his own jingle, which you can listen to here
Unless you grew up in the Flint/Genesee County area or outlying Mid-Michigan counties in the 1970s or earlier, you’ve probably never even heard of these chips. I’m pretty sure there’s even a photo in one of our family albums of my dad enjoying a bag of these chips, but I’m not sure he’d approve of me putting a 1970s-era photo of him with sideburns, an undershirt, and horn-rimmed glasses in this blog! In fact, he’s probably giving my mom an indignant look in the photo!
According to this bit of info I found online, this chip company was founded in Flint in 1958 and lasted until 1992, when competition from those bastards at Frito Lay and others managed to cause Slim Chiply’s final death throes. Though Slim Chiply is pictured with two holstered guns, clearly he brought a knife to the ultimate gunfight in terms of cutthroat snack food competition and shelf space supremacy. Let’s have a moment of silence for this stalwart “flavor deputy.” Michigan-made Better Made chips are still surviving, but believe me…they don’t even come close to being as good as Paramount chips were.
My enduring memory of Paramount chips was the flavor, which probably came from whatever oil was used to cook them. I am at a loss to describe this “flavor,” it probably came from whale oil, space alien oil, lard, or whatever other artery-clogging, trans fat-laden carcinogenic and slow-death causing oil was used to fry them! Whatever this “mystery oil” was….it was delicious! The texture/consistency was similar to the “kettle cooked” chips you can get today.
Planter’s Cheez Balls (d. 2006)
These were reportedly discontinued in 2006, but there is an online campaign to bring them back
My first memory of eating these salty, nuclear orange colored, cheedle-laden, air-filled delights was in 1984, when my cousin had a high school graduation party at our house. These were akin to crack in terms of their addictiveness. Since they were filled with so much air, you could pretty much eat a whole can by yourself and not even feel full. Unfortunately, if you did that TOO often, you’d wind up with a figure that wouldn’t even closely resemble the slim physique of Planters’ monocled mascot “Mr. Peanut,” who is pictured on the can. Then he would rap you on the head with his walking stick and tell you to keep eating more of them because his job is on the line if people don’t eat his snacks!
3D Doritos (d. early 2000s, still available in Mexico)
My husband and I both loved these, and nicknamed them “Dorito Pillows”
Why oh why can’t I get these at my local junk food emporium anymore? Such lovely little gems of spicy, air-filled, cheedle-laden awesomeness…why when I ate these, there was a party in my mouth and… no one else was invited! Yes, this was a snack you wanted all to yourself. I don’t like them enough to make a run for the border to buy ’em (it’s rumored you can still get them in Mexico), but if they came back to my local junk food emporium, I would probably buy them again!
C.C. Ricers (d. circa late 1990s)
Unfortunately, I could not find any images online of C.C. Ricers Chips, but an article I found online discusses this doomed chip a bit and talks about its launch in 1992…Keebler was acquired by Kellogg in 2001.
I ate quite a lot of these while I was college in the mid-1990s. The taste can be best described as being similar to Frito Lay’s Munchos, which are still available. C.C. Ricers were thinner and had a lighter, less greasy texture than Munchos. Why don’t they make these now? Slap a “gluten free” label on these rice-based chips and add hipster friendly flavors such as vape vanilla, pork belly, kale and beet and….why these things will FLY off the shelves faster than…I could eat a bag of these! I’ll take my C.C. Ricers unflavored, thank you very much! Beet chips? Bleah! Kale? Pfffft…why kale is just spinach’s gross, inedible cousin! No THANK you!
Honorable Mentions – Tato Skins, Pizzarias (d. ????)
While I loved munching on Keebler’s CC Ricers in college, Tato Skins were my boyfriend’s (now husband) snack crack. I still remember the whole jingle from ’80s commercials. TGI Fridays makes a similar snack, but apparently it’s not the same…
While we were grocery shopping today, my husband gave in to temptation and bought a bag of pizza flavored potato chips. While he said they were very good…they don’t even come close to being as good as these! I tried one of them and my taste buds were very confused, lol…