Nostalgia Week #1: Lunchables Cracker Stackers

Lunchables, as much of a household name as Justin Bieber, terrorism, and Alf. If you grew up in the 80’s and 90’s, you know them as the number one underground currency of the lunchroom and playground. Seriously, at 7:30 in the morning in any classroom across America, intense trades were going down with these suckers before Wall Street even woke up. Unless you were one of those kids whose parents stopped giving a crap and just slipped you one of these babies and five bucks for milk every day, having one of these was like Christmas, your birthday, and a surprise appearance by Mickey Mouse all in one.
And the most famous and coveted of all these was the cracker stackers. Long before the advent of deep dish cold pizzas with chewy, dog-treat esque pepperoni and cold sliders was the beloved combination of crackers, a cheese block, and bologna or turkey. For many kids, this was our first introduction to the concept of handheld food and likewise, the very same subconscious reason that compels us to keep eating cracker and cheese sandwiches at parties.
What used to be a grubby, sticky means of self-immunization via finger-transmitted germs atop turkey flavored petri dishes is now a remarkably sterile, kid formulated version of crudites. The crackers are enhanced with whole wheat, the turkey circles are free-range, the Skittles are organic and free of allergens. It’s like they don’t even know me any more, man.
However, the Capri Sun libation remains untouched and the Lunchables folks still had the wherewithal to include the obligatory games and prize on the back of the-what the fuck is this!? Win a trip to Illinois? Why? And not just the awesome, deep-dish pizza eating, Chicago Bears Illinois, the type that brings back aaaaaaallllll your horrible repressed memories of agonizing family vacations. This trip sucks.
But the Lunchables! The Lunchables! They’re just as delicious as I remembered and maybe even more so because they’re now bereft of sticky kid germs. The flavor is classic- creamy cheese product dominated with a slick, liquid salinity from the turkey, shaped in discs sourced from the frisbeenus part of the turkey breast. Washing it down with my Pacific Cooler, a fine example of the classic Capri Sun varietal I know and love, delivering a healthy dose of sugar to fuel a body through recess.
My mind wandered the nostalgic romance and betrayal of trying to woo Allison from the 3rd grade with a pack of contraband filched Doritos, only to discover that she’d been driven to sharing Pat’s cracker stackers with him tableside style, Caramel the lunch lady waiting anxiously to deliver their valet-parked Big Wheel. Damn them all. True to form, as I remembered this awful time in my life, I blew up the Capri Sun container after drinking its contents and stomped on it, the straw shooting out of the box like my disgruntled sexual frustration.
Regardless, these deliver a flavor that doesn’t make me want to run for the garbage can or even trade these for someone else’s gummy bears. It’s both heartwarming and edible, a classic combination almost as classic as turkey discs and Skittles.
Too bad their website is straight-up sketch. Now we’re packing fruit indeed, says the Hannibal Lecter of pineapples.
Also, Allison, call me. Please. My mom made Rice Krispy treats!

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