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Reminiscing on the unforgettable Zimbabwean taste

Made by Kuda (MADE IN ZWE), a gift to Plot Mhako and the earGROUND vision.

Reminiscing on the unforgettable Zimbabwean taste

Once upon a time, before ama 2k took over the world and flipped it upside down. Before we were huge consumers of imported goods and all still seemed calm in our teapot shaped country(Ha! the calm before the storm). Yes, once upon a time, our home grown giant Willards dominated the shelves and brought us the best cereals and snacks and along with that Lyons made the most amazing ice cream.

By Valerie Tendai Chatindo

Though we all share various sentiments about this era. White privilege, colonialism, the first appearances of corruption and economic disparity. There is however one thing we can agree on. The snacks were amazing! So for a few minutes, let’s put aside our political opinions, barriers, soccer teams and just take a trip down memory lane to a time before we became the Southern African version of Things Fall Apart.

Honey Crunchies

Man! Who can forget that sticky and overly sweet cereal that came all clumped together? Honey crunches may not have ruled the breakfast table but they certainly made a good snack. I mean maybe it’s just me, but I honestly found them disgusting with milk. They were nice just as they were. No milk, no sugar just the honey crunchie nje.

Chip Stix

I do believe Willards is making these again but when I did try them, they just didn’t taste the same. They do say, all senses are enhanced in childhood but after taking a bite from the packet of the Chip Stix I bought recently? I will definitely say I missed the unhealthy saltiness and intense vinegar flavour that made these thin cut snacks a hit in the first place.

Chompkins 

Yes, yes, I know Chompkins just like Spuds are still around but when I was young(God I sound like a granny) Chompkins dominated the shelves. We didn’t have Lays, Pringles, Freemax’s and Simba Chippies. Back then, we had a manufacturing industry and most of what we consumed in Zimbabwe was made on our home turf. Well the white people were making everything and of course getting rich in the process but that’s a discussion for another day. Back then Chompkins came in this shiny packet that almost made you blind and they had this short story trivia thing at the back. Most importantly? They just hit different. And unlike Spuds, they didn’t get better over the years.

Sorry!

Fish Biscuits/Crackers

I tried to Google this one because the truth is, I don’t remember the company which made these. But man! Those little fish shaped biscuits were a staple at every party and gathering. They didn’t taste that great but you just had to have them. Kinda like someone you’re not crazy about but just can’t do without. You know what I mean?

Those fish things!

Biscuit

Along with Chomp and Fredo, this was the chocolate of our time. Well there was Milko too, but that’s milk chocolate which isn’t even really chocolate. Maybe someone out there doesn’t know this, milk chocolate has no coco in it, it’s just powdered milk and palm oil, so hey you’re welcome. Anyways, Biscuit was a wafer topped with layers of chocolate. Biscuit was just the best thing on earth. Of course I have to give a shout out to my boy Fredo who now mostly graces the tills as an alternative to change. In my time, we actually went into the Supermarket to buy Fredo! 

How the mighty have fallen.

Cellphone & Fish Drink

It’s really ridiculous now that I think of it. And it was probably overrated and actually tasted like a freezit but those little cellphone and fish shaped juices were a treat every kid had to have after visiting the supermarket. 

Ripe n Ready

It almost gave me bronchitis but hey, that juice tasted good. Is there anyone who didn’t cough after drinking Ripe n Ready?

Sugar Frosted Flakes

I must have battled with stupidity or rather extreme blondeness as a kid. Well even now if I’m being honest. I always wondered how they frosted sugar frosted flakes, in fact I believed they were made in the North Pole. Now that I think of it, they probably were just coated in icing sugar. Still, they were my favorite cereal and if anyone knows where I can get them please let me know.

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Liquorice & Toffee Roll

Back then, sucking on a pointed object was the most innocent thing in the world and my did that sweet just last. You would start sucking on it(sounds dirty) at break time, wrap it up for after school and then take it home and fall asleep with it in your mouth. And probably take it up again the next day. 

I can’t believe I just typed that.

Pinkies & Cigarettes 

I don’t think anyone ate these for the taste. Do correct me if I’m wrong. Pinkies tasted like pills and cigarettes….well I don’t remember what it tasted like. I just recall that I felt like an adult actually smoking a ciggie at that age. Wait, could that be why a lot of my fellow millennials have taken up smoking?

Cracker Jax

Made by Victoria brands, I believe, these corn snacks were quite spicy and flavorsome. And who can forget the image of the Seekh man sitting there blowing a flute. Don’t know what that had to do with food, but hey they were quite awesome.

Honey Nut Conflakes

Another Willards’ legend. Please bring them back Willards employees if you ever read this. I used to love having these with warm water.

Of course I’ve only just scratched the surface with my throwback to the best millennial snacks. A lot of what was available pre2000 still graces our shelves today. Cheeses, Things, Chicken Flings, Jupiters, Pascal, Charon Chocolate Biscuits, Mazoe Orange Crush(which doesn’t make you cough), Laker Nax, Zap Nax, Dandy, Chomp, Top 10 sweets,Cerevita and Cerelac. Some brands have evolved and improved, others have just lost it. I mean what’s going with Cerevita and Cerelac?

Whatever the case, we can all agree that nothing will ever be the same again and as a 90s baby, I’ll always look back on the pre and early 2000s through a rose coloured lens.”



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Made by Kuda (MADE IN ZWE)
A gift to Plot Mhako and the earGROUND vision.
Truly, for the culture.

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