Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The original energy bar

When I was a kid during the Apollo space program (just typing those words makes me feel old), companies that made toys and candy could sell damned near anything as long as they used a marketing strategy that linked the product to astronauts or rockets.

One of the products I’ve never forgotten was Space Food Sticks, the “nutritional energy food” that was—according to the package—developed for the guys we were shooting into orbit.

Who knows? Maybe NASA actually fed them this junk, but I doubt it.

Anyway, every year or two I’m reminded of Space Food Sticks when I catch a whiff of something that smells like them and triggers something deep in the memory chip of my brain.

This happened a week or two ago when I was carrying some kind of plastic to the trash—it smelled just like Space Food Sticks, which probably doesn't say much about how those things actually tasted. All I remember is some sort of chocolate flavor.

Just for the hell of it, I Googled “Space Food Sticks” and found a photo of a package of those suckers. I was stunned and amazed, for right there on the box was a space-age kid catching air on his bike!

I ate Space Food Sticks. I ride bikes.

Memories, marketing and shitty food come full circle!


Jeff said...

Space, Food, and Sticks. Three words that have absolutely no relation to each other. Sounds delicious! About as good as Mountain Broth Squares.

Tim Kelly said...

I remember those "things" too. That's right, just call me GeezerMan, with a capital G. My memory of those things, and I won't call them food, was quite similar. I can remember with anticipation that my mom was going to be bring some home from the grocery store and my brothers and I couldn't wait to try them. I don't recall that she ever bought another package, because that "stuff" tasted like chocolate flavored cardboard. That's the most favorable description I can think of. They were so bad you had to wash them down with Tang!

More interesting though was that at that time was when I was first discovering biking. I'd gotten a Schwinn Sting Ray for Christmas you couldn't keep me off of it, even in the winter. How funny that 40+ years later I still enjoy riding in the snow. Sure wish I still had that bike.

"Grill Master"

Tim said...

I never had a Sting Ray, but one year my parents gave me a knock-off version with a 3-speed shifter mounted on the top tube and a big slick on the back wheel.

This was in Kansas. My birthday is in February. Ever try to ride slicks on snow and ice? Not a good idea.

the old bag said...

Oh man, do I remember those....