/ Food & Drink

Beef dripping, anyone? Let’s reminisce our forgotten foods

A BBC article about getting forgotten foods back on the table grabbed my attention. It made me wonder which foods we’ve cast aside, and whether there’s anything from the past we’d like to reheat.

The journalist in the article mentioned black pudding made from fresh blood – they apparently use a dried blood mixture these days as it’s easier to transport.

Others lamented the difficulty of finding foods from their childhoods. Some mentioned ‘Gipsy tart’, ‘cows udders served warm with brown bread and butter’ and ‘proper beef dripping sold from trays’.

Others missed ‘barley port wine gruel’, ‘Titbit brown sauce made by Fletchers’ and ‘Black Bun’; a dense fruit cake eaten on Hogmanay.

Penny sweets – now only £1

It got me thinking about my diet when I was younger. At first, I had trouble remembering what I ate growing up in the 70s and 80s, and I certainly couldn’t remember anything I felt a real nostalgia for. That’s apart from penny sweets; but you can still buy these, even though they no longer cost a penny.

My colleagues told me they missed popping candy, but you can still get this (and it’s a favourite of Heston Blumenthal). They also mentioned ‘Oink crisps’ (hollow pig shaped bacon crisps) as well as other brands of sweets and crisps, potato waffles and Findus crispy pancakes.

Still, much of what we remembered is still around but we just choose not to eat it anymore.

Leave some food in the past

It was actually much easier for me to remember the things I definitely don’t miss – the milk we were made to drink at school that had been sitting around and had a thick layer of cream on the top, or the school dinners of rubbery liver and spam – yuk!

So tell me – what foods do you miss from your childhood and want to see back? And which ones are you glad to see the back of?

Comments

Malt extract as a follow up to cod liver oil – really more-ish, and got rid of the fishy taste. I seem to remember a couple of different varieties.

Fru-Grains breakfast cereal – looked like a bowl of bits of bark, but tasted pretty good.

Rectangular boxes of twiglets – on a Saturday, I’d spend my pocket-money on a comic (Beano, Victor, or Eagle) and a box of twiglets. They’d both be finished by bedtime.

Lucky Bags – when buying comics with my mates, we’d buy Lucky Bags – you’d get a sherbert dip, a cheap toy, and a couple of penny chews or bubble-gums or similar, and a joke.

Multi-colour gob stoppers. I could barely get my jaws around these, but they’d last a whole weekend, changing colours layer by layer as they rotted your teeth.

Proto-veg, an early textured soya meat substitute. It came dried, in boxes or pouches, as mince or chunks. It tasted pretty bland, but was very cheap and good for bulking up curries. I ate a lot of it as a student in the 70’s.

Pete says:
12 May 2015

One of my favourite milk chocolate drinks of the 1950s had a TV advert running which went “Need a Quickie, have a Mikki!, The chocolate flavored drink” it had a lovely malty taste and came in a small ribbed bottle, another tasty treat were the Horlicks Tablets which usually came in small tins, times back then were rather harsh for our family and we too would enjoy the occasional dripping sandwich for supper and loved the darker beefy layer that always sank to the bottom of the dripping container laced with salt and pepper,other treats back then were buttered sandwiches with a coating of sugar or sometimes a layer of Nesle’ or Fussell’s tinned milk,plus once or twice the large family Yorkshire pudding intended for the Sunday lunch was forgotten in the oven and not realized until too late (although the oven had earlier been switched off it still remained warm) to save it being thrown away as a kid i tried some with blackcurrant jam, it soon became a favorite as an after dinner snack, yet another shop bought sweet treat i have never seen remembered were the Propellers, these were oval flat sweets 2-3 inches long with two small holes close together in the centre and came with a piece of long strong string which was then threaded through and tied to form a continual loop grasping each end and spinning the sweet so as to wind up the thread the string was then pulled tight forcing the sweet to spin like an aeroplane propeller (hence the name) in a similar manner to a yo-yo principle of continual motion, then, when tired of playing, it would finally be consumed as a sweet, those were the days!!!.

Celia Gollin says:
9 May 2017

St Ivel Lactic cheese, and Royal Scot biscuits. Proper cheddar cheese, cut with a wire on the counter from a large proper cheese, termed ‘mousetrap’ (ie cheap), but absolutely delicious! Proper bacon, sliced to order, and wrapped, like the cheese, in greaseproof paper. Real dripping, on real white unsliced bread. Fruit and vegetables from the local greengrocers, supplied by the surrounding market farms, Walton-on-Thames Surrey area, free naturally from all pesticides/additives/ processes, and unwrapped. Eggs from the local hens. Homemade cakes and jams, courtesy of home and neighbours. Mrs Faulkner’s homemade lemon curd. Gold top milk. Plain dark chunky huge bars of chocolate, slabs of squares of real toffee you had to break off into pieces with a hammer, silver cylindrical tins of proper liver pate, sent over post war from relatives in Canada.

David says:
10 June 2018

Gipsy tart still exists – the bakery in Goudhurst Kent still sells it. The filling is not too difficult to make to fill your own tarts. Evaporated milk with a little black treacle boiled up with a little cornflour and whipped till it is cool

Neville says:
28 October 2018

Who remembers Lovely Jubbly Orange Drink. (Del Boy didn’t invent that expression!) Aztec bars made by Cadburys. Caramac and Cadbury’s eggs with a chocolate fondant filling. What about Mikki chocolate drink from United Dairies? Them were good days!

Pete says:
7 July 2019

I also remember the Mikki chocolate drink – also sold by Express Dairies.
Besides tasting nice, in my case, it was a excellent laxative !
One food i don’t want ever again, are the spam or corn beef fritters, as made by my late father- greasy and repulsive
Incidentally, can anyone recall the brand-name of the 50/60’s processed cheese that was sold in a ‘Half-hexagonal’ cardboard box that contined three large foil wrapped triangular cheese ‘wedges’,

Pete says:
7 July 2019

I also remember the Mikki chocolate drink – also sold by Express Dairies.
Besides tasting nice, in my case, it was a excellent laxative !
One food i don’t want ever again, are the spam or corn beef fritters, as made by my late father- greasy and repulsive
Incidentally, can anyone recall the brand-name of the 50/60’s processed cheese that was sold in a deep, ‘Half-hexagonal’ shaped cardboard box that contined three large foil wrapped triangular ‘wedges’,

Were you recollecting Dairylea Cheese Spread? I think there was also a round version containing six segments. It might still be available. It was one of a few products where ‘processed’ didn’t mean ‘awful’.