This post is part of our series ranking the top 25 bygone products and trends we'd like to see return.
Amazingly enough for someone who grew up on Wonder Bread and Hostess products, I eventually grew into something of a whole food nut. I'd rather make food from scratch then get it out of a box or a can. I buy organic milk. I keep a bag of nuts and twigs in the car for when the kids get hungry. Indeed, the rare times I allow them near the Golden Arches is when we're on the open highway. Then a Happy Meal really shuts them up and keeps them happy.
But just the other day, driving up to see Mom for Mother's Day, we stopped at McDonald's, and I fell prey to a longing I was unprepared for. Maybe it was a whiff of the fry basket, or the aroma of fruit coming off the Chain's new, healthy fruit salad.
Wherever it came from, all I could think of was that fried apple pie.
I ate a lot more McDonald's growing up than my kids do. But even in the routine of hamburger, fries and a Coke once a week, the fried apple pie was a special treat. Even my mom, Fast Food Believer that she was (and still is), would rarely allow us one. So when we got them, my brothers and I rejoiced. (Then the bargaining would start... I'll give you a Wacky Pack for your fried apple pie... No way!)
The thing about McDonald's is, we all grew up with it. And we've come to expect that our burger and fries will taste just like we remember they did in childhood. Like it or not, it's comfort food for us. We know what we're getting. And anyone who grew up in the '70s will remember the fried apple pie with a tear in the eye. That crunchy, processed pastry crust. The super-sweet tangy fruit-like product within. Ah... bliss when you're a ten-year-old. I can still taste it now.
Alas, I have only memories. McDonald's phased these bad boys out in favor of the ostensibly more healthy "baked" apple pie sometime around 1992.
That didn't sit well with the treat's many fans, however. One fellow did his homework and found out some good news: apparently, there are still a few places where you can find the fried version, including many McDonald's outlets based in Wal-Mart Stores. Why does that not surprise me?
No matter. Apparently you can go home again. Maybe I won't mention this to my kids.