Thursday, November 16, 2006

Space Food Sticks

If you’re of a certain age you may remember Tang, Astronaut Ice Cream and Space Food Sticks. All of these became famous because of the space craze of the sixties and seventies. As normal mortals we couldn’t go to the moon, but we could eat like an astronaut!

Space Food Sticks less candy and more like the current meal replacement bars. They’re a balance of fat, protein and carbohydrates. Of course many candy bars also contain a lovely balance of fat, protein and carbohydrates in the form of chocolate (fat), nuts (protein) and nougat/caramel/cookie (carbohydrates).

I’m thinking the major attraction to these is nostalgia. I’m not sure anyone who didn’t live through the landings on the moon and Skylab is going to be terribly interested in an early version of an energy bar.

I never had these when they first came out. (I did however, plop down my shekles at the Air & Space Museum in junior high for Astronauts Ice Cream ... you know it said ice cream in the name, not food. It was dang expensive at $1.00 a package and really cut into my gummi bear budget.)

Anyway, one to what I have in hand, which are the present day versions of Peanut Butter and Chocolate Space Food Sticks because the persistent Eric Lefcowitz of has brought them back into production after they’d become a quaint memory to many of us.

The format has changed slightly, from a pair of long wand to 10 small pieces. The wand shape was because the snack needed to be inserted into a little hole in the astronaut’s helmet. I actually kind of like the new format, they reminded me of protein-packed Starbursts!

The Chocolate ones smell kind of like Nestle Quik. Not creamy but kind of flat like cardboard or a Tootsie Roll. They’re soft and have an easy bite that might border on crumbly. Kind of like cookie dough and less chewy than a Tootsie Roll. The chocolate flavor is just that, more like flavor, though it does boast real chocolate and cocoa in there. I can easily taste the soy in there, which is a pleasant enough. They’re a bit on the salty side (200mg), which I find a little refreshing and if you’re an athlete probably a good idea. As a candy they’re not really that satisfying. As a snack item, I kind of enjoyed eating some with some mid-day pretzels and almonds.

The Peanut Butter ones were more promising. The peanut smell was pleasant with a touch of honey (though none listed in the ingredients). This had the same crumbly chew which reminded me of eating a slightly raw peanut butter cookie or just the flavor of the old Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch. The little pieces were great, because I could eat two or three and not have to worry about resealing the package to keep the rest. Just a little twist of the packet and they were safe for later.

As a candy I probably wouldn’t buy them again. As a snack item I appreciate the real ingredients in them. So often the label on a Power Bar or other meal replacement bar can be daunting - this is pretty simple with real ingredients. Of course with only “real” ingredients there’s no fortification with additional vitamins and minerals like you might find in an energy bar.

Cruftbox reviewed the original-style stick-version of them back in ‘04. The SpaceFoodSticks website also has some great old commercials from the Pillsbury product (and one from a competing PET product called Space Energy Sticks).

Old Time Candy sells them in singles (1.99 each) but if you decide you like them and want more, go straight to the source for the best price. It’s possible this will become the hot “stocking stuffer” item this Christmas, as I’m sure there are a lot of 40-50 somethings pining for the good old days.

Name: Space Food Sticks: Peanut Butter and Chocolate
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Space Food Sticks
Place Purchased: samples from Space Food Sticks
Price: $1.99 retail
Size: 1.66 ounces
Calories per ounce: 127
Categories: Chocolate, Chew, Peanut, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:35 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. Space food sticks! Those were DELECTABLE, and I viewed them as more of a confection than a nutritional enhancer. (I only had the chocolate) They were a staple in my 2nd grade school lunchboxes and am glad to see they returned! (Now, if they would only include a MINT flavor in the lineup!)

    Comment by Sparkina on 11/16/06 at 4:25 pm #
  2. Funny, this company sent me the same samples for review.  I haven’t tried them yet though. smile

    Comment by Steve Johnson on 11/16/06 at 8:46 pm #
  3. Hey I paid $3 for my space ice cream at the Air and Space Museum. It might have been a bit later though smile

    I think there is an act of congress that keeps freeze dried ice cream in the gift shop of every kid friendly museum.

    Comment by agent156 on 11/20/06 at 8:41 pm #
  4. Cybele's avatar

    Sparkina - I’d love a malt one!

    Steve - do post about them when you try them!

    agent156 - yeah, and I KEPT buying it for some reason. I didn’t even like it that much!

    Comment by Cybele on 11/23/06 at 7:03 am #
  5. The new ones don’t even hold a candle to the old version! The flavor and texture are totally off!

    Comment by mary on 4/04/07 at 12:35 pm #
  6. I bet them food sticks, taste like a luxurious meal for astrnauts. Even though they only look like a chocolate bar to us.

    Comment by Space Food on 5/15/13 at 6:04 am #
  7. Are Space Food Sticks still around? I want to order some and can’t find anywhere on line where I can order some! Thanks!

    Comment by Patty Garnto on 6/15/17 at 11:20 am #
  8. Once when I had one my brother and some of his friends said LOL “are you eating DOG poop”?Yech.

    Comment by SJCarras on 6/15/17 at 6:37 pm #
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