Comfort food is basically “something that is not necessarily healthy for you to eat but which you are comforted by.” I mean, MAYBE someone could be comforted by a leafy salad but I’m definitely not one of those people. And speaking of comfort food, it was a little different for us in the ‘90s —which was basically the era of kind of weird comfort food. Like, yes we were given those little ice cream cups with the wooden spoons (that maybe sometimes gave us splinters), but there were also some very creative gems you could only find in the ’90s.
Behold, the ultimate comfort food of the ’90s list. Prepare to feel hungry.
There were tomato & mayo sandwiches
Did you also read Harriet the Spy as a young human child because your mom loved it when SHE was a young child and then you wanted nothing more than to be Harriet the Spy yourself? And then you were stoked because a movie starring two of your favorite people based on the book ALSO came out when you were a child?
Okay well, Harriet eats tomato and mayonnaise sandwiches and my first order of business after reading the book (I already had many notebooks, you see) was to start requesting the exact sandwiches for lunch. Then I mixed it up and started making cucumber and mayo sandwiches. Genius.
And cream cheese and jelly sandwiches
I’m admittedly not sure if this was a thing anyone did except me and my friends but one of my favorite treats at my grandparents’ house was a cream cheese and jelly sandwich. Not cream cheese and jelly on a bagel but cream cheese and grape jelly on two pieces of bread.
Oh yes. Kraft cheese and bologna sandwiches
Another thing I only got if I asked my grandparents at the exact right time was bologna. Was bologna newly invented in the ’90s? Is it just something kids of all generations love? All I know is I was obsessed with bologna and was not allowed it at home (for reasonable reasons) and would just have to catch my grandmother at a good time at the deli to get some. But boy was that a good meal when I got it.
Not to be confused with “Kraft CHEESE…and macaroni”
Ah. Bagel Bites.
One of the best jingles and now a staple of my late-night, post-party eating habits, the Bagel Bite is…perfection. Sure, sometimes that tomato sauce burns your tongue or sometimes you forget they’re in the oven and burn them but find me a better snack and I’ll call you a liar. (Wait, what?) But don’t forget, when pizza’s on a bagel, you can eat pizza anytime. (Because bagels are an anytime food whereas pizza…is not.)
Pop-Secret Pop Qwiz
Remember when the big trend was either to add weird colors to stuff (those purple ketchups) or to remove all color from stuff? (Clear Pepsi) Well, Pop-Secret Pop Qwiz was a perfect blending of that where you got weird-colored microwave popcorn and these crazy ’90s ads! I recall it tasting a little strange but even as an adult I’m a sucker for stuff like that.
Lunchables because OF COURSE
I don’t mean to keep saying “my parents didn’t let me eat _____” but…my parents didn’t let me get Lunchables. I get it. What’s the nutritional value in these things? But man are they fun. I got one at the airport recently and was immediately transported back to elementary school and finally didn’t have to be envious of everyone else’s lunch.
And lastly…Push-Ups, my friends.
For dessert it was a Push-up! Always! Or, whenever I could snag one. These are what we’d pick up at the corner store after school. Remember that bizarre, kind of plastic-y taste they had? Delicious. Remember when they were always Flinstones characters? Amazing.