December 12 2019

Mighty delight

With a few obvious exceptions to the rule (mainly noodle or cous cous based), food that comes in a ready-to-reconstitute packet can’t quite throw off the It’s Bad For You, wartime or student budget image: the classic triumvirate of conceits that earn such products a prime location on any guilty pleasure seeker’s shopping list. But of all the reconstitutable powders that magically turn into food, Bird’s Angel Delight rules the roost.

Launched in 1967 as ‘a soft, smooth and sophisticated luxury you’ll love to serve’, this powdered pud was an instant hit. Back in the days when spaghetti was served on toast, Angel Delight provided the ultimate ‘afters’: a sweet, thick, creamy gloop, insanely moreish and yet as insubstantial as candy floss. But unlike our childhood days, AD hasn’t disappeared. The packaging has funked up a bit since the 70s and ‘Forest Fruit’ has been added to a line up that still includes the chemically charged tang of butterscotch, the sickly, synthetic-tasting banana and the surprisingly rich chocolate. Children of the 90s probably just cut the powder into fat lines and snorted it, but aficionados whisk it with milk, wait five minutes and start slurping. The best bit is finding a little wodge of unreconstituted powder that somehow escaped the whisk in the middle of your fourth spoonful; only then do you get the full-on, intense hit of your flavour of choice, thrown in to sharp contrast by the smooth, mild-mannered slop that surrounds it.

Go on: whisk up some guilt today.

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