Whenever you’re in need of a little pick-me-up after a long and tiring week, you can always count on junk food to come and save the day. While, yes, it isn’t technically the picture of health, it still does a good job of lifting spirits and brightens up a tough day. If you’re a sucker for junk snacks, then you’ll love this list of Top 10 Iconic Junk Foods (Part 4).
10. Miss Vickie’s Chips
Everybody loves a good bag of potato chips. Whether it’s as a movie snack or during a mid-hike break, potato chips are ideal. But, despite how delicious and iconic chips are, they can sometimes become a little redundant. Cue Miss Vickie’s Chips! These salty, crunchy treats are everything a good chip should be, without being boring. What makes Miss Vickie’s so special is the way they are prepared. Created in Canada in 1987, Miss Vickie’s are kettle-cooked instead of fried, which gives them a more potato-like taste which is more “natural” than regular plain old chips. This old-fashioned approach is made using farm-grown select Canadian potatoes and quality, simple ingredients. Even though potato chips are always supposed to be indulgence – no matter how healthy they may seem – Miss Vickie’s wins a lot of points in the health department. For instance, they have no trans fats, no MSG, and no artificial flavors or colors and are made using only three ingredients; potatoes, vegetable oil, and sea salt. There is a huge variety of flavors to choose from, including the Original, Sea Salt And Malt Vinegar, and Applewood Smoked BBQ. The special packaging also helps the chips to stay fresh and crunchy, and delicious. So, while Miss Vickie’s are still potato chips and potato chips are, well, not carrots, they do have a few tricks up their sleeve to help distinguish themselves from the rest.
9. Hershey’s Chocolate Bars
If you had to name some of the greatest, most iconic chocolate bars out there, your answer would probably include more than one bar from Hershey’s. Everybody knows Hershey’s. The creamy and delectable chocolate can be used in just about any recipe that calls for chocolate, from chocolate chip cookies to chocolate fondue. It’s perhaps one of the most known candy bars, thanks to the brown-and-silver wrapper and the unmatched taste. You have the dark chocolate, the Cookies and Cream, the Almond Bar – you name it – but the classic Hershey’s milk chocolate bar has the power to bring back fond memories of s’mores and camping that simply can’t be compared with any other. As one of the largest chocolate manufacturers in the world and the #1 chocolate producer in North America, the Hershey Company knows a thing or two about making and selling quality chocolate at a reasonable price. The first Hershey’s product, Hershey’s Cocoa, was created all the way back in 1894, and from there, the brand was born. Back in the day, chocolate was considered a luxury only the rich could afford, but Milton Hershey – the founder – wanted to make the treat available for everyone. WEll, he succeeded and today, Hershey’s has expanded from its classic chocolate bar to over 80 global brands like Reese’s peanut butter cups, Twizzlers, and the Hershey’s Kisses.
8. Ritz Crackers
Probably one of the most versatile snacks on this list, Ritz Crackers will never disappoint when it comes to snack emergencies. You need something to pair with your cheese ASAP? Grab a box of Ritz. You need an on-the-go snack for a car ride? The Peanut Butter Bits are there for you. Or, maybe you just need something light to snack on before bed? Take your pick! Literally, anything you can think of, you can do it with Ritz Crackers. With a whole lot of variety, you can be sure to find something that will satisfy your craving perfectly. Whether you’re in the mood for some crispy and thin crackers, oven-baked chips, or some toasted chips, Ritz has got you covered. They all have the perfect amount of salt and buttery taste, no matter which flavor you decide to go with – and there are a lot to choose from. You can get anything from Low Sodium and Reduced Fat Ritz to Whole Wheat, Bacon, and Garlic and Honey Butter Ritz. The Ritz brand was introduced by Nabisco in 1934 and became a top seller almost immediately. Today, it has ranked at the top of America’s snack polls for a number of years. Yes, the circular, lightly salted cracker can eaten right out of the box, but it can also be used in a lot of recipes, like Ice Cream Ritz Sandwiches and Homemade Thin Mints. As Ritz says, whatever the party, they’ve got the pleaser!
7. Little Debbie Chocolate Cupcakes
Nothing screams childhood like Little Debbie snack cakes. Finding out your mom had packed one of these treats in your lunch was the ultimate discovery and most likely the best news of the day. While so many fancy and complicated cakes to chose from, there was nothing quite like the delicious simplicity of the Chocolate Cupcakes. People tend to underestimate just how good chocolate cake can be on its own and how it doesn’t need a lot of fancy extras to be great. These snacks provided just that; a satisfyingly uncomplicated moist chocolate cake topped with a layer of smooth fudge icing, along with a small decorative swirl and filled with a delicately light creme center. This old-school snack was a delicious and enjoyable guilty pleasure that everyone could easily indulge in. Even though they are relatively new in the Little Debbie snack repertoire, the Chocolate Cupcakes have still been able to create a respectable reputation among snack fans. This should make total sense since the company tested more than 200 recipes before agreeing on the version we enjoy today. This eventually led to one of the best snack cake mergers ever, the Cosmic Cupcakes – a mix of Cosmic Brownies and the Chocolate Cupcakes. The best of both worlds, literally!
Looking for something tasty, crunchy, and salty? Fritos are there for you. These fried corn chips have made a name for themselves in the snacking world and basically deserve their own category. Not quite the traditional chip, Fritos is still grabbing the attention of snack lovers all over the world and has been for more than 80 years. Fritos practically launched a snack empire when they transformed a typical Mexican street food, fritas (or little fried things), into a mass-produced, mass-marketed snack staple. It was in 1932 that businessman Charles Elmer Doolin stumbled upon the recipe and purchased the rights to it, along with the customer list from the man who originally made them. He went on to perfect the recipe even further, and the rest is history. Every good snack is made with good ingredients, which is why the corn used to make Fritos is a special hybrid of corn to ensure the best quality possible. While the original recipe is exquisite and pretty straightforward, Fritos didn’t stop there. Over the years, multiple varieties of Fritos have hit the shelves, like the Spicy Jalapeno, the Fritos Chili Cheese, and Ranch Style – and that’s only in America. Around the world, there are some pretty unique flavors, from Chorizo and Chipotle in Mexico to Chutney and Peri Peri in South Africa. Fritos have been used for dips or topping for soups or chili, but the real deal is the Fritos Pie. If you’ve never heard of it, it might be time to try it out. You’ll never eat Fritos the same way again after that!
Cheesy, crunchy, and cute as a button, Goldfish are the epitome of a practical snack. A handful here and there in between tasks or simply downing an entire bag while watching your favorite show are both viable options. These fish-shaped cheese crackers manufactured by Pepperidge Farm might not be the most virtuous in terms of health benefits, but that doesn’t take anything away from the satisfaction you get from eating them. They’ve got everything going for them. Not only are they always baked, but they also contain no artificial flavors, but they contain 0 trans fat, and are very low in saturated fats – which is way more than we could ask from other cheesy snacks on the market. Plus, as we learned from the Goldfish commercials: You could eat them every day, and your mom says that’s OK, so why shouldn’t we indulge in a little under-the-sea treat once in a while? Goldfish has got your snack time covered, and you can count on them whenever your craving hits. There are the classic, the family-friendly Goldfish – which can come in multiple flavors – the epic flavor combinations of the Flavor Blasted Crackers, and one of the sweetest varieties are the Goldfish Grahams. Goldfish are sure to bring a smile to everyone who snacks on them.
4. Kit Kat Bars
Did we not say that most of the greatest chocolate bars came from Hershey? Here is the proof! Manufactured by H.B. Reese, a division of Hershey – but only in the US – Kit Kat Bars are every chocolate lovers’ delight. First introduced in the 1930s by Rowntree’s, Kit Kat is owned by Nestle and is sold in over 16 countries around the world, including Canada, Australia, Japan, and India. This is the main reason why Kit Kat bars in America don’t taste the same as everywhere else; different makers. Made up of three layers of wafers covered with a layer of chocolate inside and out, there is truly nothing like Kit Kat. As much as the classic flavor is iconic and definitely tasty, Nestle has still been rather aggressive in expanding the flavor lineup for Kit Kat, especially in Japan. There have been over 350 Kit Kat flavors offered in Japan over the years. Japan even created a bakeable Kit Kat, which is covered in dough and filled with flavors like pudding and cheesecake. In America, all we have is milk chocolate, white chocolate, or dark chocolate, along with a few seasonal flavors. Don’t get us wrong; we’re still very grateful; it just seems like flavors such as Sweet Potato, Green Tea, and Apple Pie would all probably be very successful over here, as well. So, in the meantime, after a long day, take a break and have a KitKat! You deserve it.
3. Microwave Popcorn
Who says you need to buy a fancy machine to enjoy some real, good popcorn? Well, no one has said that since the ultimate movie snack became so easy to make at home with the invention of microwave popcorn! Sure, you can still make it on the stove or buy little machines to pop your own corn, but why would you when you can just press a couple of buttons? Just put the bag in the microwave, sit back, and enjoy. It doesn’t get any better than that! But who should we thank for this marvelous invention? His name is Dr. Percy Spencer, an engineer who worked for a technology company. The story goes this way: he was conducting experiments with a magnetron, and one day, he noticed that the candy bar in his pocket had melted. Curious to see what else it could do, he tried some tests with other food, one of them was corn kernels, and well, they popped. The company absolutely loved the idea and realized they were onto something, and the microwave was created. That’s right, the two were created together; if that doesn’t prove that they go hand in hand, then what does! Obviously, this was just the beginning of the microwave popcorn revolution. Over the years, various companies have worked to improve microwave popcorn with better packaging and flavoring. General Mills, for instance, is responsible for the first microwave popping bag, and now, it’s the most common way of eating popcorn at home. Your movie nights never would’ve been the same without it!
What’s one of the most famous and delicious brands of cookie dough to ever exist? Why, yes, it’s Nestle Toll House! Being the most popular cookie in America, it can be surprising to hear that the chocolate chip cookie was actually invented by accident – but then again, all the best things were. The original Toll House Cookie, aka the first chocolate chip cookie, was invented during the 1930s by Ruth Wakefield in Whitman, Massachusetts, at the Toll House Inn which she and her husband had just bought. As she was experimenting in the kitchen, she wanted to create something different that had never been seen before. While making her famous butterscotch nut cookie, she decided to add little bits from a bar of Nestle semi-sweet chocolate to the batter. A lot of stories claim that she ran out of nuts and swamped them with chocolate, but it’s very unlikely. It wasn’t a rookie mistake; it was destiny. Within a few weeks, the chocolate chip cookies became a sensation, and the recipe was posted on the Nestle bar’s wrapper; and a couple of years later, they even started selling the chocolate bits in their own bag. Today, the recipe is still there, almost unchanged. So, if you’re in the mood for some authentic chocolate chip cookies, you’ll always know how to make them!
Almost everybody is familiar with orange fingers. You know, what happens after you’ve eaten an unholy amount of Cheetos? While some people have tried to avoid this with extraordinary measures – like eating them with chopsticks – the fact remains; everyone has had their neon-bright finger moment. The cheesy, chewy snack has been around for ages, ever since the late 1940s. Since then, Cheetos has gathered an impressive cult-like following and has garnered quite the reputation. With fast-food restaurants integrating the snack into their menu items and creating whole campaigns around them, with numerous flavors and variations coming out every year, and even an official cookbook, let’s just say Cheetos knows how to party. But Cheetos doesn’t just own the snacking world; it’s also expanding much beyond that. Back in 2019, they partnered up with Forever 21 to create a line of Cheetos-themed clothing, including socks, t-shirts, and even a dress, as well as a makeup line. The recognizable color, the trusty mascot Chester, and iconic taste have all contributed to the rise of this one-of-a-kind, delicious snack.