My latest Twitter distraction is Discontinued Foods (@Snack_Memories). The account just reached 10,000 followers by digging up photos of supermarket foods from the 1970’s and 1980’s (and beyond) that faded away. From Fruitopia to Screaming Yellow Zonkers to Kellogg’s Product 19 cereal, Discontinued Foods will spark memories of foods you haven’t eaten for decades. Which brings me to Pillsbury Wiener Wraps.
Packaged in a tube like biscuits or cinnamon rolls, Wiener Wraps were rectangles of dough that you’d wrap around a hot dog and bake. The dough came in four flavors – plain, cheese, onion, and “Mexican.” Classified as “wrap around buns,” this magazine ad promised, “It turns plain hot dogs into four different meals.” That meal seems to be a Wiener Wrap, a leaf of lettuce, a wedge of tomato and, I think, potato salad?
Suddenly, I remembered being six or seven and Mom and Dad going out to a cocktail party, which meant my brother and I were going to get something simpler than a “real meal.” Frozen dinners were still novel and still in aluminum foil pans, but sometimes, we’d get Wiener Wraps. As a little kid, you could almost help make them before they went in the oven. Yes, they’re just pigs in a blanket, but it was something we didn’t do all the time. They were salty and starchy and had a sweaty hot dog in the middle. What else could a kid want? Chicken nuggies weren’t a thing yet.
Back in 2022, I found old commercials for Wiener Wraps on YouTube. This one has three kid actors. I recognize Adam Rich, who was on “Eight is Enough,” and Moosie Drier, who played Howard’s son on “The Bob Newhart Show” and later, John Denver’s son in “Oh, God!” I’m not sure what that is Moosie is dipping his dawg into. Mustard? Chicken gravy? If anyone recognizes the blond girl, let me know.
A little more digging and I discovered that Wiener Wraps still exist in Canada. As far as I can tell, Pillsbury is down to just the plain flavor and now prints the label so they stand on end in the refrigerated case. Here in the US, I know I could get close with a can of unrolled crescent rolls, but it just wouldn’t be the same.