Friday, July 22, 2011

Spaghettios

Spaghettios seems like they've been around forever, but they're Gen Xers, too. They came out in 1965, just in time for me to later be born and pretty much live on them for most of my childhood.

Tasting them today, I can see why I liked them, but I can also objectively admit that they're pretty awful. Sweet, bland, gummy...but I loved 'em. Easy to heat up, easy to clean up, and to my kids' palate, deeelicious.

The kind I never did like though were the kind with added meatballs. The added hotdog pieces, well, those were pretty good -- I'm not a moron. But the meatballs had a funny, off taste to them. And I realize how ridiculous it is to get all foodie-judgy about Spaghettios, but there you go. I actually liked Raviolios better.

Of course, Franco-American hit the jackpot with their "Uh-oh, Spaghettios!" slogan. It's used in this ad, for the meatball variety, which oddly features a giant can of the stuff riding a carousel. The three-martini lunches ad men had back in that era really surface in the work sometimes.

Yes, that's Barry Manilow singing the jingle!

Were you (are you) a Spaghettio fan? Or do you find it hard to hear someone say "uh-oh!" without automatically adding "Spaghettios!", even if just in your head?

10 comments:

Alison said...

I loved Spaghettios as a kid, but it was particularly the meatballs that I liked. I'd always save one for last so that that would be my last bite. As an adult, I find myself preferring the Chef Boyardee Spaghetti and Meatballs, for those once-a-year "treats". Of course, I can't get any of it now that I'm living in Europe. I need some friends to come visit!

Brian said...

I still eat Spaghetti-o's! I love 'em because I never had them as a kid (didn't come up to the standards of my mother's refined palate). Funny story: Chef Boy-Ar-Dee was a real person, Ettore Boiardi, arguably America's first celebrity chef. He began mass-producing his signature pasta in the 1930s, made rations for troops during WWII, and became a fixture on TV after the war. Hard to imagine that one of America's great chefs would come up with something like Spaghetti-o's, but whatever. You figure that his products hit the market at a time when Italian food was still a novelty in the US. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ettore_Boiardi

Mike said...

I loved Spaghettio's as a kid. The meatball version was my favorite, but I ate the hot dog one on occasion, just to mix things up. I kind of hated the plain version because the sauce was different. If you look at it you'll see that the sauce has cheese in it where the meatball and hot dog version doesn't. I don't know what kind of cheese was used, but it seemed like Velveeta or some other fake stuff. I would hate having it at my friend's house because they always had the plain one. They also always used Miracle Whip, but that's a bother story.

Emily said...

I grew up with an Asian mother so I never got them at home. They were an absolute treat for me when I would babysit and have to feed the children Spaghetti-Os. I definitely preferred the ones without meatballs or with franks..;)

HR Human said...

I only like the one with the weird meatballs. I think it must suck up some of the sweet taste of the sauce, because the non-meatball ones taste too sweet for me.

Mrs Pinchloaf said...

I loved the meatballs. My dad called them little rubber balls and they were. Of deliciousness!

I can't stomach Spaghetti-Os now, but I really did love them when I was a kid.

Nilliem said...

I developed an aversion to Spaghetti-O's....after an adult dumped them, boiling hot, on my leg. The smell just...no. I love Beefaroni; Raviolios are decent too. But every time my girls heat up the 'os, I find myself elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

I never did like Franco-American's sauce formula...too cheesy and bland for me. But anything that culinary genius Chef Boyardee did still hits the spot!

Brian said...

Duh! I didn't realize until yesterday that Chef Boyardee didn't make Spaghetti-o's! They were made by Franco-American, now Campbell's. But Chef Boyardee makes an equivalent...

Funnygirl2004 said...

Loves Spaghetti-o's as a kid. Very rarely did we get the hot dog kind, our house was just the plain old regular ones. Served with bread & butter - YUM. Can't eat them now though, they have a weird taste.