Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Old Food for Dessert

After dinner, the grandkids asked what's for dessert?  Nothing.
As we were sitting at the dining room table I looked up the shelf that encircles the dining room and I notice a "collectible" can looked like it had never been opened.  I have a couple of collections of stuff.  Not too much and certainly nothing to overwhelm the house.  Some of these collectibles include old fashioned looking tin cans.  I have raisin, Cracker Jacks, Marshmellows, Grape Nuts, and Ritz crackers, to name a few.  I think we are going to have Cracker Jacks for dessert.  They were excited. 
I looked at the can.  1995.  Let's see what 15 year old Cracker Jacks taste like.  I took off the plastic wrapper, opened the can, and took out the package.  It was still wrapped in the silver colored aluminum package.  No evidence of bugs.  Let's try it.  Yuck.  It was awful.  It tasted like the molasses had soured.  We spit it out.  The kids thought that was funny.  I on the other hand was disappointed but not surprised.  After all, they were 15 year old Cracker Jacks.  New Cracker Jacks are that good.
Then I saw another can up on the shelf that didn't look opened.  This one was from 1996, only 14 years old.  It held two packages of Nestle's chocolate chips.  Still wanting dessert and not deterred by the awful Cracker Jacks, we decided to be brave and try the chocolate chips.  I took off the wrapper and opened the can.  The two bags were regular bags.  Just like you would buy at the store today...only the can cost $2.50 for the collectible can and two pounds of chips.  I opened one bag.  The chocolate chips were a mottled brown and white.  It was obvious that the fat had separated from the chocolate somewhat.  We ate them anyway.  After all, we wanted dessert.  They were good!  The grandkids said they wanted 14 year old chocolate chips every night.  They just want candy.
To me, this was a really exciting experiment.  I didn't do anything special to preserve those chocolate chips.  They have been heated up each summer as they were kept less than a foot below the ceiling.  I now know that I can buy chocolate chips and just keep them in the package, put them into a tin can, and they will last for a long time.  They may not look as perfect as brand new chips but they tasted great. 

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