Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fizzies are back! ...uh, why?

When my wife and I tried living on a tight food budget some months ago, it brought back childhood memories of a weird product that seemed to be part Kool-aid, part Alka-seltzer and part soda pop; the product was Fizzies. Back in the '60s we were a financially challenged family (poor) and real soda pop was not to be found in our fridge, not in our budget. But, we did have Fizzies tablets on a kitchen shelf — a treat. Drop a tablet in a glass of ice water and you had instant pop, complete with bubbles.

Well, the other day I caught a program on television featuring Fizzies. They're back! But why? In truth, they were not that good. When cyclamates were banned, Fizzies disappeared along with the sweetener. I didn't think anyone missed them.

In the mid '90s they briefly reappeared, this time sweetened with Nutrasweet. They fizzled out again. Today, making a third trip to the plate, Fizzies are now sweetened with Sucralose and reportedly taste much better. Talk about damning with faint praise.

Yet, I confess, when I think of Fizzies I smile. My mother knew how to budget and in truth there was no money for Fizzies in her budget. She found the money, somehow, and I knew those foil wrapped tablets were valuable. It was a real treat to be given a Fizzie. Orange was my favourite but root beer was O.K.

When I think of Fizzies, I do not think of an off-sweet drink, cyclamates did not taste like sugar, but I think of love. That orange soda magically appearing where only a moment ago there had been a glass of water was a small miracle — the small miracle being that my mother could not afford it and yet there it was. :-)

They say Fizzies taste better today. The flavours are fruitier and the sweetener sweeter. They're now fortified with vitamin C and they are, of course, calorie free. And for me, they come complete with an all important ingredient — memories of my mother's love.

I confess. I ordered a package, a six-pack package. I have young nieces and nephews and I bet they'd be delighted with Fizzies. Give 'em a Fizzie and give 'em a memory. (Hey, go rent some Leave It To Beaver videos and make it a full-fledged '60s moment. Welcome to my world.)

And me? I'm going to drink a bubbling glass of orange Fizzie in memory of a grand and very wonderful lady, my late mother.


  1. Wow, Fizzies. We had 'em too. I liked them for the novelty more than the taste. Thanks for the memory, ol' friend. I'm not really anon., I'm ...
    Jim in Kanata

  2. Who can ever forget Fizzies just drop a tablet into a glass of water and watch the fun