Snack Attack: Fruit By The Foot


[Photographs: Robyn Lee]

Fruit snacks: I could talk about them all day. From your basic Shark Bites to the famous Gushers to the iconic fruit roll-up, I longed for those gummy, fruity, sweet treats through every moment of my childhood. Longed for them! Whenever I would go over a friend's house for a play date, it was the first thing I hunted for in their cabinets. The closest thing I got to fruit snacks in my house was fruit leather —ugh, insult to injury, mom! Today, we're talking about the king of the fruit snack category, in my humble opinion. Just the name awakens excitement in my heart: Fruit by the Foot.

Fruit by the Foot is utterly magical for the same reason as Handi-Snacks. There is an interactive quality to the snack that goes beyond just its excellent taste. First, you unwrap the foil package, salivating in anticipation. Out pops a soft, squishy, little roll, its parchment-like paper just barely obscuring a rainbow of color. You start to unroll it, spools of colorful stretchy fruit unraveling like ribbon, and tear off portions of it at your every whim. Life is good with power in your hands and Fruit by the Foot in your mouth.

Why is Fruit by the Foot the superior fruit snack? Well first off all, it's softer than your average fruit roll-up and doesn't get as lodged in your teeth. Also, it's somehow more sanitary, with that dainty paper casing. Plus, there always seems to be so much of it (a foot of it?). I don't even really remember or care about the flavors. I think strawberry was the key one, but they all tasted like happiness to me.

Niki reminded me what a big deal it was to play with your fruit snacks. Fruit by the Foot reigns superior here as well. Sure, any fruit-roll-up iteration can be wrapped around your finger and sucked on (so gross in retrospect, but you know you did it), but what other snack can you let hang out of your mouth, pretending it's a tongue? (And then eating that tongue...okay, also gross.) The saddest part about Fruit by the Foot is when it's over, and you are left with nothing but a blue tongue, holding that long strip of empty parchment paper, hanging lifelessly like so many carnival tickets...

Man, writing this really re-awakened my love for the double F. Would it be weird if as an adult I started rocking it as a snack at my desk? I guess since that desk is in an office of a company that allow me to write about Foot by the Foot on the internet, it wouldn't be that weird.

What are your Fruit by the Foot feelings? I know you have them...

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