Monday, September 23, 2013

From the Canned Goods Aisle: Zooroni

Product: Zooroni
Company: Chef Boyardee
Years: Late 70's - Early 80's

These animals all look stoned, and I"m not sure why.

Zooroni Ad - 1982Ok, ok......I know. This is the third Chef Boyardee product that I've covered now, and no, I am not on the Chef's payroll. It's just that the trail of dead canned pasta dishes goes back a long, long way. I mean, when you are selling noodles in tomato sauce, you have to keep it fresh, keep it fun for the kids. Some just so happen to be more memorable that others. And that is why today I am adding Zooroni to the list of extinct groceries. Everyone remembers Zooroni, and I would bet that there isn't a 30something adult around who hasn't tasted the splendor that is Zooroni. If there is, they are a liar.

Zooroni, a delicious pasta in tomato sause with tangy cheese (with or without meatballs) was basically animal crackers in sauce. Shaped noodles that looked like giraffes, camels, elephants and hippos. How they got the noodles to look like those animals is a mystery to me, though I have a hunch they hired a noodle artist to shape all the animals by hand. Or they used a big, industrial machine to make shapes that sort of looked like either a tiger or a rhino, close enough, nobody knows. Nobody but The Chef, that is. He knows, but took the secret to his grave, and though it may be fun to dig him up and get it, were just going to leave it alone.

So where does Zooroni rank in your canned pasta top 5? There are so many classics (Roller coasters, UFOs, Pac Man Pasta, ABCs and 123s, Tic-Tac-Toes, etc....), it's really hard to pick a favorite. Partly because despite the clever names and gimmicks, it was the same can of pasta retooled and sold back to you over and over and over, and us, being kids at the time, were really gullible. (Come on...we really were and you know it).

That being said, it was still a fun part of growing up, and Chef Boyardee was a master at getting us to get our parents to fork over their hard earned cash to get it, even if that meant throwing a tantrum on the floor in the canned goods aisle.

Not that I ever did that...... I was talking about you. Some peoples kids.

Was this one of your favorites growing up too? Express your love for Zooroni in the comment field below in 6 and a half words or less. (or more if you want, I don't care.)














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