If You Grew Up In Michigan, Was This Your Favorite Lunch?
While I was a kid growing up in Mid-Michigan, my favorite lunch was a whole 15 oz. Can of Franco-American spaghetti. All the kids I grew up with loved Franco-American!
And now it's gone.
“Franco-American”, that is.
Gone is the familiar old yellow label that sported the 'Franco-American' logo & flag on the front...now it's manufactured as “Campbell's” spaghetti.
Bah. Not as fun.
When my mom went grocery shopping (usually at a Spartan grocery store) she would buy two cans for me: one I would have when I came home for lunch on Monday, the other on Tuesday. I was always told “if you have one early in the week, just save the other for the end of the week”......but I couldn't. I had to have it as soon as I could.
I would open the can, dump the contents on a big plate, and smother it all in ridiculously generous amounts of grated parmesan cheese. The label boasted “in tomato sauce with cheese” but I still needed that extra ton of grated parmesan. Yes, I would eat it cold, refusing to heat it. What for? It would take too long and I wanted it RIGHT AWAY.
“Why don't you heat it up?” my mom would ask. No one in the family understood that to me, it tasted better this way. My dad made jokes about my passion for Franco-American spaghetti throughout my school years.
With the overwhelming success of their spaghetti, Franco-American had other variations: Spaghetti & Meatballs, Spaghetti n' Beef, and Italian Style Spaghetti. The Italian style was more tangy than the regular spaghetti and I really liked it. It only hung around for a few years. The ground beef version was awesome and didn't last long either.
Then they tried a different tactic... Franco-American Macaroni & Cheese. It was okay and I didn't eat much of it, as my taste buds needed those four different spaghettis.
In 1965, Franco-American (owned by Campbell's) introduced SpaghettiOs. Then SpaghettiOs with meatballs...then SpaghettiOs with sliced franks. They were OK, but to me, they didn't seem as tasty as the regular spaghettis, so I stuck with the spaghetti varieties.
In the late 1990s Campbells' took over the spaghetti line, used their own logo, and completely eliminated the “Franco-American” name. Nowadays, all you see are SpaghettiOs on the shelves and hardly any spaghetti at all.....Needless to say, I haven't eaten it since.....can't find it anywhere!
In retaliation, I switched to Chef Boy-Ar-Dee.
FRANCO-AMERICAN - THE FAVORITE OF MICHIGAN KIDS!