More Fantasy Foods Made Real

The imaginary has come to life: Scooby Snacks, Cheesy Poofs and even Soylent Green

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man
Stay Puft Marshmallow Man Courtesy of Flickr user martinteschner

Last year Lisa wrote about imaginary foods from movies, books and television shows that initially existed purely to tantalize the imagination. As luck would have it, some of those imaginary foods were turned into products you could actually purchase. With incredible edibles such as everlasting gobstoppers and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, it’s amazing how these culinary flights of fancy have been translated into the real deal—and we’re pleased to note that even more have sprung up.

Cheesy Poofs: The animated comedy “South Park” has been on the air since 1997, and most people with a cursory knowledge of the show will know that foul-mouthed eighth-grader Eric Cartman has a penchant for Cheesy Poofs. (His love goes so far as lead him to enter a jingle-writing competition. And of course he wins.) Various puffed corn snacks rolled in atomic-orange cheese flavoring have long been known in the real world as Cheetos, cheese curls, cheese puffs and by an assortment of other names. But bona-fide Cheesy Poofs have never graced grocery store shelves until this summer, when Comedy Central joined forces with Frito-Lay to produce a limited edition run of the snack that will be on sale at Wal-Mart until “South Park” resumes its 15th season this October.

Stay Puft Marshmallows: The animated series “The Real Ghostbusters” was the cornerstone of my Saturday mornings (well, at least after “Pee Wee’s Playhouse” went off the air) and I definitely recall more than one occasion on which I tried recreating the Stay Puft marshmallow man—the smiling, bulbous monster in a sailor hat that terrorizes New York—with toothpicks and whatever campfire-size marshmallows were handy. It was only a matter of time before someone in a marketing department had the bright idea to entice people like me to buy back a bit of their childhood. Not that I’m complaining—the Stay Puft packaging is pretty spectacular with its bold, minimalist graphics and marshmallow-textured box. It might be a while before I fork over 20 bucks for gourmet marshmallows infused with caffeine (sweet liquor of life though it is), but I can’t say I’m not tempted.

Scooby Snacks: Scooby Doo is a scaredy-cat great dane who can muster the courage to thwart evil-doers only when he indulges in specially-crafed doggie treats that induce a temporary state of euphoria. In 2002, Del Monte, which manufactures Snausages and other nibbles for your pets, created Scooby Snacks for your four-legged friends. They come in an assortment of fun shapes, from bacon-flavored Mystery Machines to chicken-flavored dog tags. A people food version of the treat—little more than vanilla wafers in packaging emblazoned with the TV show’s characters—was also temporarily on the market. (However, if you ever find yourself in Glasgow, Scooby Snacks refers to a decadent hamburger served from late-night food trucks. There is also a Scooby Snack mixed drink.)

Soylent Green: In the sci-fi film of the same name set in the not-so-distant 2022, humans subsist on processed wafers called Soylent Green. In the marketing, this food gets its high energy properties from oh-so-tasty plankton. But as it turns out, (spoiler alert!) Soylent Green is people. (Take this as a subtle reminder to read nutritional information labels.) The last time we covered this topic here in the blog, this product was lumped in the “so glad it doesn’t exist” category, but soylent green crackers have since hit the market—strictly as a gag gift meant to inspire conversation.

Are there foods from a favorite book, television show or movie that you wish you could find at the local grocery store? (Or any that you think are best left to the imagination?) Tell us in the comments section below!

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