Tangs for the Memories…

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Arts & Letters Daily points to Mark Steyn's recent obit for Bill Mitchell, the inventor of Tang, Cool Whip, Pop Rocks and other milestones in fake food:

If you're at a county fair or a church bazaar and you buy the local fundraising cookbook, you notice how in a relatively short period (Cool Whip, the world's first non-dairy whipped topping, dates back only to 1966) Bill Mitchell's products have become the great staples of "down-home cooking" and traditional "family recipes". In the Tunbridge Volunteer Fire Department Cookbook from Tunbridge, Vermont, for example, Mary Vermette's excellent "Pudding Dessert" requires for the first layer 2 sticks of oleo, 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of chopped nuts (mix and bake); for the second layer, 1 cup of confectioner's sugar, 8 oz of cream cheese, 1 cup of Cool Whip (combine and spread on the first layer); for the third layer, 2 small packages of instant pudding and [2.5] cups of milk (mix and spread on the second layer); and for the fourth layer more Cool Whip sprinkled with chopped nuts. I made it and ate it in the interests of research, and had such a good time I clean forgot what it was I was meant to be researching.

Whole thing here.

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  1. Also remember that Tang (and Velcro) are one of the justifications for NASA. 🙂

  2. Sugar free sugar, and fat free fat, and non dairy dairy products are the reason for an obese nation. “I want to eat, but I don’t want the calories”

    If there is a God, and God is punishing us for our complete lack of willpower, I am thankfull for it.

    If you go to McDonalds and then get a diet soda, you deserve what you get.

  3. Before there was Starbucks, there was 16 spoonsful of Tang in 8oz of water. That my teeth survived that period is a testament to the power of flouride toothpaste.

  4. Jason Ligon,

    “Sunny D” I think has replaced Tang in its role as fake OJ.

  5. Jason Ligon,

    “Sunny D” I think has replaced Tang in its role as fake OJ.

  6. Also remember that Tang (and Velcro) are one of the justifications for NASA.

    Velcro is a Swiss invention.

  7. Jason,

    While NASA’s use of Tang certainly popularized the beverage powder, I don’t know that Mitchell actually was working for NASA when he invented it any more so than the guy who invented the fruit-of-the-loom underwear the astronauts wore.

    On a separate note, Tang works well as a coffee or tea sweetener.

  8. I had thought the association between Tang and NASA had come about because Tang was not really making any headway in sales, and needed a good promotional campaign. At the same time, NASA was looking for some sort of high-energy lightweight drink for astronauts, and the super sugary, already powdered Tang made for a good fit. More here at this lazy link: Tang in Spaaaaace

  9. Obviously you folks have never been around many NASA engineers. 🙂

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