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Jackson Blue

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Food can be a time machine. I’m sure you’ve tasted something that immediately Quantam Leaped you to a previous time and place in your life. Here are 20 foods that we think might take you on a little time traveling jaunt back to your childhood in New England. Sure, many are still enjoyed today – but they still have that little je ne sais quoi that is like a warm hug from the past. Let me know what foods you’d add, I’d love to hear your New England food memories too!

  • Meatloaf

    Let’s start with good ol’ meatloaf. Honestly, nobody really loved it in my house except my dad – but that was good enough for it to be a weekly feature on our dinner table. I’m sure mom got sick of making it (especially when she didn’t even really eat it) but dad loved his meat and potatoes so every week there it was. He even loved the Hungry Man meatloaf, though he preferred Salisbury Steak.

  • Brown Bread

    Straight from the can baby!! The can bumps and lines on the bread represent love.

  • Chocolate Jimmies

    Rainbow sprinkles. Chocolate jimmies. I don’t know about you but I ordered soft serve just for those jimmies. And after strategically licking round and round to eat all those jimmies off the surface like a sugar-hungry anteater I didn’t even really want the ice cream and cone… just kidding. But the jimmies were my favorite part.

  • Amato's

    4 words: “The Original Real Italian.” Generations have been housing them. Future generations will too.

  • Hoodsie Cups

    Ice cream tastes better eaten with a tiny wooden spoon. Every boring event thrown by grown ups for kids ended with these and suddenly everything was A-OK.

  • American Chop Suey

    Confession: I lived my first 9 years in New Jersey before moving to New England for the rest of my life (so far) where we called this “Goulash.” But when I got to New England I realized that “Goulash” was not a thing anymore and that American Chop Suey was a way of life.

  • Chocodiles

    Were they just chocolate covered Twinkies?? I can’t really remember. But when I was researching foods for this article I came across these and had to include them. I remember as a very small child thinking that they looked just like crocodiles and I loved them. Now with my adult eyes I see that they more closely resemble a bowel movement than anything from the animal kingdom.

  • Scrod

    No matter what fish it was, it was broiled with a stick of butter and called “scrod” in my house. That covered it all.

  • Cream of Wheat

    I had a love/hate relationship with Cream of Wheat as a kid. Ok maybe it was more of a hate/hate relationship. I wanted Froot Loops and I got Cream of Wheat?!? No amount of maple and brown sugar could fix that.

  • Fish Sticks

    Wasn’t this a staple in every family’s freezer? Not ours for some reason, but every friends’ house I went to had multiple boxes of these and the kids of the family swallowed these down like seals at a Sea World show. I tried to keep up but dang that Gordon’s Fisherman must have hated me or something. I preferred the butter-broiled “scrod.” Whatever the hell it was this week.

  • Fluffernutters

    This was like a sugar-high dessert that was acceptable for lunch. And not just acceptable but beloved since Fluff was local. It was like the perfect double-whammy for kids – and to be honest, I still freaking love a good Fluffernutter today, but you have to have a perfect 50/50 PB/Fluff blend or perfection has passed you by.

  • "Red Snapper" Hot Dogs

    If you loved these growing up you probably either grew up in Maine or had relatives there. Either way there’s something about that red dye that made them (and makes them) taste extra special.

  • B & M Baked Beans

    Beans on Sunday!!

  • Ben & Jerry's

    Now Ben & Jerry’s is a monster and has been for a while but growing up it was known as “that special small-batch super expensive ice cream from up north.” I grew up in Vermont so to me it was just delicious ice cream that made you broke. And the kids who had their birthday parties there and got The Vermonster instead of birthday cake were immediate legends.

  • Acorn Squash

    I’m so happy that my daughter loves acorn squash as much as I did growing up. It’s another case of something looking healthy actually being a dessert-in-disguise that you ate with the meal and how could you not love that? We still slice it in half, scoop the guts, toss some butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup in there and cook at 350 til it gets soft. Mmmm… Fall…..

  • Humpty Dumpty Chips

    They were always cheaper, they always seemed a little saltier, and the BBQ was the best around. (Now Wachusett gives them a run for the money.) These came on every fishing trip with my Aunt Rachael, my grandpa, and me. Some of my favorite memories involved eating these chips with worm fingers after a day on the water.

  • Canned Peas

    Every meal. Always. I used to love the ones that would pop with not much mush inside… but I liked the mush too to be honest.

  • Friendly's Jim Dandy

    I never had one – they were friggin’ HUGE – but whenever anyone ordered one my family would oooh and ahhhh. Jim Dandy brings me right back to the late 80’s. Friendly’s may still serve them but I have no idea…

  • Candy Cigarettes

    I was sure this was something that was long gone. I mean how can you sell candy cigarettes to kids in 2022? I used to love these sugar sticks (and especially the ones that were gum wrapped with paper that puffed “smoke”). Of course my daughter found a place that sells them in town and she now loves them. It both makes me feel a warm sense of nostalgia and makes me feel like a bad parent at the same time. What’s Ying without a little Yang, huh?

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