Nostalgia Week #5: Hunt’s Snack Pack Ice Cream Sandwich Pudding

Hunt’s, the liquid assets of kids. Insert random story about making friends at Jewish summer camp here, bada bing, bada boom. So! Woe betide the kid whose mom packed peanut butter and jelly on flax bread fo’ sho’. It was almost as embarrassing as for the kids who thought that the Marilyn Monroe quote I invented on a quiet Facebook day was real and not completely made up, but I’m banking that the bulk of them won’t read this, so…I win.
Handi-Snacks has come out with quite a few funky flavors lately, and by funky, I obviously mean designed to make little kids cry. While I’d never tried ice cream sandwich inspired pudding before, I figured it deserved the old college try, as anything that costs under a dollar warrants. Perhaps it’s the power of suggestion, but there’s an aggressive milkiness to this that makes it almost taste like the real deal. Or at least, the chocolate wafer part. Despite its glossy, thick texture, the pudding itself has a certain severe lack of moisture and a dry, very cocoa-heavy aftertaste that mimics the cookie pretty well. The package is also incredibly meta and its enthusiastic visual, an ice cream cookie whizzing at record speeds into a pile of what I assume is this very pudding, provides a bonus recipe if you don’t care about health or sugar or dignity.
Where things fall apart in the realism factor is the mid-section. Most companies would slap some vanilla in there, call it a day and go home to watch Mad Men on DVD, but Handi-Snaxxx opted to try and flavor it like ice cream with less than stellar results. The end product tastes somewhere in between cereal marshmallows and Splenda and has a snarly, artificial aftertaste that lingers around like a teen loiterer. I mean, just look at that pudding pompadour. Fortunately, this was tempered by the strong and doubled chocolate layers, but still left a dry feeling in my mouth along with that fake sweetener on my breath. Bland. Boring. Lacking substance and riding on a tired gimmick. Ah, such is life.

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