Yes, Snack Pack pudding is still around, available at any grocery store in the civilized world. But, any 70s kid will readily attest that this isn’t the same pudding they enjoyed in their youth, the one that lay ready to slice your tongue open should you dare lick the top of the can. Yeah, that’s what we’re talking about, the good old days.
The idea of pre-packaged pudding first surfaced in the late 60s, when Hunt-Wesson brands decided to offer a tasty dessert to all those consumers who packed their own lunches for work, and their kids lunches for school. By 1969, they had developed a canned pudding that required no refrigeration whatsoever, nor a can opener.
Each can of pudding, sold in bundles of four, could be easily opened via a pull-top lid. Hunt foods lined each can with an enamel coating to ensure that you only tasted the rich pudding flavor, but any fan from the 1970s will tell you that the product still had a decidedly metallic flavor.
Of course, when you pulled the top off, it was coated with a thin layer of the sweet stuff, and you surely didn’t want that to go to waste when all it took was a few swipes of the tongue to get the job done.
As a result, a whole generation of kids have small scars on their tongues, the result of slicing them open to get those last few licks. Some even have multiple scars, since a tiny laceration was a small price to pay for pudding that tasted that good.
Snack Pack was, and is, sold in a variety of flavors, including vanilla, chocolate, tapioca and the sinfully delicious butterscotch variety. Unfortunately, the flavor changed dramatically in 1984, with the introduction of the all-plastic container.
Oh sure, it eliminated the danger of injury, but that sublime flavor of sweet aluminum (yes, it was better than it sounds) was forever altered, leaving a mediocre substitute in its place.
Thankfully, all of us Long Island 70s Kids were able to enjoy Snack Pack during the glory years of its existence, when a can at the bottom of brown paper bag lunch made everything seem right in the world, if only for a moment. It’s an experience the younger generations will never experience in quite the same way.
If you were a fan of Snack Pack pudding as a kid, maybe even have a couple of scars on your tongue to prove it, I would love to hear all of your memories of this iconic dessert in our comments section below.