Tangs for the Memories…


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.

NEXT: Parking Violation

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  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. 🙂

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.