HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


Remembering Flavor Straws...just for a moment.

I know this post has nowhere to go but back, waaaaaaay back...
Does anyone remember those original flavor straws?

I mostly remember that it had a piece of felt in the upper part that was saturated with an ammonia-based (or some volatile-like chemical!) flavor, like strawberry! I used to take the straw apart just for the felt! (It's a good thing there were no ingredient labels then to titilate our tongues...I can't even imagine what was in them!)

I also wonder why no food company (Nestles?) has updated them and brought them back????

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I saw a commercial for them last night, in London. And I wondered how they came to be revived after all this time! I don't remember who the maker is. Chocolate and strawberry.

    12 Replies
    1. re: mnosyne

      Interesting enough! I only remember chocolate and strawberry. Was there a vanilla flavored one as well?

      1. re: liu

        Are these the straws used for milk and not pixie straws with flavored sugar? The straw was used to flavor the milk as the milk was sucked through it.

          1. re: liu

            Anyone? Put aside your canes and your walkers and tell me what else you remember about these! I remember that they came in a narrow box.

            I never see them offered in the retro candy stores. Why did they "die?" Do you think the FDA had anything to do with their demise?

            1. re: liu

              They were really flimsy paper and often collapsed before you were through with your milk. They were striped in the color the flavor was supposed to be. I think my mom bought them a couple of times but none of us really liked them. The novelty is what was appealing but not much else.

              Chocolate, strawberry and vanilla are all I can think of and the chemical taste wa so strong I thing the color stripes were to give you an idea of what they were supposed to taste like, not that they really did.

              1. re: Candy

                Candy -- Were the stripes vertical, horizontal or diagonal? I am trying to remember...

                1. re: liu

                  Horizontal w/picture of young boy w/cap sipping straw

              2. re: liu

                Oh, Candy -- Bingo, TWICE! Yes, the straw paper was really flimsy and I remember it almost disintegrated in the milk. You put it better -- that it collapsed before we were done.
                And yes again: the straws were striped in the flavor color. What flavors do you remember other than chocolate and strawberry? Vanilla, perhaps?

                Thanks for reviving -- for the moment -- this childhood gastronomic experience!

              1. re: liu

                Yes,I remember COFFEE flavor...which was my favorite!

                1. re: bjs2

                  Hi, bjs2!
                  I don't remember the coffee ones. Either I had lost interest by the time they were introduced to the flavor straw line-up, or they were not available in my area. I do, however, remember vanilla, strawberry and chocolate.

                  But the coffee flavor makes a lot of sense. As kids, we loved to have our parents spoon a little of their coffee into a cup of milk for us to sip. I can see how the coffee flavor would have had much appeal!

                  1. re: liu

                    It did - that's why we had Coffee Time coffee flavored syrup on the shelf alongside the Bosco chocolate syrup for our milk!

            2. I dimly remember having them at a friend's house. Were they bendy, or was that another sort? I remember I didn't especially like them.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Aromatherapy

                "Bendy..." - I don't remember! That may have been advanced technology that had not yet been developed????

                "...didn't especially like them..." Yech! There was nothing to like, but what did we know -- we were kids and they were ----

                1. re: Aromatherapy

                  Yes, they were, I believe, the first "bendy" straws, quickly followed by unflavored Flex Straws.

                2. I caught that commercial again: they're called Nesquick Magic Straws ("they transform milk").

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mnosyne

                    My interest is piqued! I don't know if Nestle was the original, but it seems logical that they would produce such a product now.

                  2. Sipahh a company out of Australia developed the new concept of flavored straws and is claiming that Nestle infringed on their patented straw.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: cristinq

                      Are the Sipahh straws to which you refer available in the U.S.? Nestle is not currently producing them...how did they infringe?

                      1. re: liu

                        I just saw these at Walgreen's in San Francisco. I think they were even on sale. I remembered someone asking about them on Chowhound and lo and behold, here is the post.

                        1. re: debby

                          Yes, I was so excited to see them at the Walgreens in the Philly area. They taste the same but they look A LOT different.

                          1. re: debby

                            debby -- The flavored straws you saw at Walgreens: what were they called? Are they made by Nestle?

                      2. I remember flavor straws, chocolate, strawberry and I think coffee. They were very flimsy with a felt like strip inside the straw. I guess we're showing our age

                        9 Replies
                        1. re: murphtilda

                          I LOVED flavor straws! I got them each year from the Easter Bunny in my basket. They were striped straws and I have been talking about them for years and most people don't remember them! I would love if they were made again. I remember inside the straw was the felt looking piece full of the syrup. It reminded me of the inside of a marker. i always got the chocolate ones and my brothers got the strawberry ones.

                          1. re: mtherhen

                            Flavor Straws. Yes I remember them chocolate and strawberry. A friend used to gross us out by using them on his Cambels Soup. Yetch!! They were in the same time frame as Fizzies. You dropped them in a glass of water and they fizzed up to make another disgusting drink.

                            1. re: HungryChris

                              Lol!! But boy oh boy did we think that stuff was good when we were just a kid!! Beat the heck out of Kool aid!?!? I seem to remember the straws had the stripes going around the straws, and I thought it had that flexy thing on top that would allow the straw to bend. Funny, I don't think I ever took a flavor straw apart to see how it "worked" Now....how about those "Space Food Sticks" Do you remember those too??

                              1. re: dustyrose2003

                                "Space Food Sticks" -- intrigued! Please, do tell!

                                dustyrose2003, if you remember flavor straws, then we grew up about the same time. Perhaps the space food sticks were a West or East Coast thing? I grew up in the MidWest. I don't remember anything called "space food sticks," but now I'm really curious.

                                I also remember the stripes of those flavor straws! I do remember taking them apart and there was a "flavor"-saturated felt strip inside...I'm not sure what the FDA would say about that!!!

                                1. re: dustyrose2003

                                  I thought I was the only person who remembered these straws! And Fizzies...wow. I found a pic of the old flavor straws box.

                                  1. re: hungryinmanhattan

                                    Hello, hungryinmanhattan!
                                    That picture is SO cool! I haven't seen such a box in many, many years...it brings back memories of the kitchen I grew up in! I remember sitting at the table -- without a care in the world -- leisurely sipping on one of those straws while talking to my mom!

                                    And Fizzies! What took you THERE? I remember Fizzies! What do you remember about them?

                                    1. re: hungryinmanhattan

                                      Man oh man, blast from the past! Love the drawings of the kids. Re Fizzies - remember they were more fun to lick than to drink the drink they made. Also remembered being warned about putting a whole one in my mouth and did anyway (lived to tell the tale, obviously).

                                2. re: mtherhen

                                  mtherhen -- I'm laughing at your comment about the felt similarity to "the inside of a marker." That's it! I knew the inside of a marker was familiar to me, but I just never made the connection...brilliant of you!

                              2. yes I remember the strawberry ones-they were okay--but Nestle's Quick was better. You popped the straw into a glass of milk and they flavored the milk and turned the milk pink.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: marlie202

                                  Maybe your wish has been granted:From an e-mail I got today!
                                  Sipahh Straws - These straws come in a slew of yummy flavors. The concept is brilliant: Small flavor beads inside the straw melt and make your milk (or other beverage) taste like chocolate, strawberry, banana, or cookies & cream. The best part? Each straw only adds 15 calories to your drink, which is why it's great for moms, kids, and dieters!

                                  1. re: louweezy

                                    thanks louweezy-I'll check it out

                                    1. re: louweezy

                                      Thanks, louweezy, for this find! I am the original poster and to date, flavor straws are a faint memory. However, perhaps this is about to change.

                                      I wonder what is in these straws????? I didn't find an ingredient list. When I was 6 years old I didn't care, but now I do!

                                      1. re: liu

                                        You're welcome-I went to their main web page but it doesn't seem to work well.

                                        click on the flavor you're interested in & the info pops up.

                                        http://www.maiatime.com/ iced coffee straws, mmmmm

                                  2. I use to love the chocolate ones as a kid. I also use to take my red vines, bite off both ends and use that to drink my milk. That was some good stuff.

                                    1. I have some information on these straws!!! I was just thinking about these last night and mentioned them to my sister today...she said they sell them at Walgreens in Chocolate and Strawberry flavors. The original ones were chocolate, coffee and strawberry. Just found Fizzies in a store last night- remember they were like alka-seltzer and after you dropped one in a glass of water it would fizz up and taste so good. Oh, to be a kid again!!!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: mais1990

                                        Thanks, mais1990, for this fun info. I just spotted the straws at an upscale local market, so I guess they are working their way back!

                                      2. Apparently McDonald's in New Zealand and Australia include these sippah straws in their Happy Meals now. This product sounds so incredibly interesting and it's really fascinating that they are that incredibly popular across the globe.

                                        1. Sure, I remember them, but even as a kid I didn't care that much for the artificiality of the flavor. We mostly sweetened our milk with either chocolate (Bosco) or coffee-flavored (Coffee Time) syrup. Bosco also figured prominently in my first erotic dream at age 13, but that's a story for another board...

                                          1. I was obsessing about Flav R Straws recently and found this post. I know the taste was peculiar and I'm sure there was nothing healthy in them, BUT I loved them. I wish I could get my hands on a box!

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Leni

                                              Hi, Leni...I hear you! Those straws really did impress us as kids, and that "peculiar" flavor that you so perfectly described is the stuff of obsession! I wish I had saved one!

                                              I have seen copy cats on the market shelves and even in drug stores over the past couple of years. I do not know if they are still available, however. Even if they are, they can not possibly be the same. Those dyes and flavor chemicals are probably highly toxic and have gone the way of DDT and the like!

                                            2. I remember these! I used to get them in my trick or treat bag at Halloween. What I recall is a striped straw filled with something that looked and tasted like sugary Kool Aid mix. I remember strawberry and orange flavors. I never knew you were supposed to put the straw in milk! I just sucked the powder out of the straw. Don't recall the felt, though...

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: CookieWeasel

                                                Hi, CookieWeasel!
                                                It sounds to me like your Halloween bag contained those straws with the sugary powder that you just pour into your mouth...different from a flavor straw. (Those sugary sticks always broke in my bag creating a sticky but colorful desert at the bottom!)

                                                You would remember that felt!!! It was vile!
                                                Also, I don't remember flavor straws in orange...just the vanilla, strawberry and chocolate flavors!
                                                Might your treat have been those sugar sticks?

                                                1. re: liu

                                                  As I think more about this, CookieWeasel, I don't remember any sugar granules in the flavor straws. It was the felt that delivered the flavor to the milk. Can anyone else confirm this?

                                                  1. re: liu

                                                    Yup, I bet I am thinking about a different kind of straw-treat. It's the name "Flavor Straw" that sticks in my mind, though. There must have been two different things floating around back then, and I had the sugar stick type. I would have liked to try the felt version-- especially the vanilla flavor!

                                                2. My strongest memory of Flavor Straws is of "moving" the milk back and forth over the flavor strip to build the flavor.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Cameraman

                                                    Those things were pretty potent! Did we ever reuse them or was the wick good only for one glass?

                                                  2. I have a couple of boxes in my pantry. Walgreens has them every now and then, so when I see them, I stock up. Sipahh straws is what they are called. They come in chocolate, strawberry, banana, and cookies and cream. They are almost as good as I remember them to be. My kids like cookies and cream the best.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: jeanmarieok

                                                      Really? Are they REALLY similar to the originals?

                                                      Do they taste like turpentine or something volatile...like I remember the originals tasting? But we loved them...it was a kid-thing!

                                                      Do they have that cotton-y wick full of flavor? Are they striped?

                                                      I might have to buy them next time I see them.

                                                      1. re: liu

                                                        I think they taste pretty good - I remember that 'flavor' you are talking about - these don't have it - I think because the straw is plastic, maybe?

                                                        1. re: jeanmarieok

                                                          Plastic...oh, NO!
                                                          Flavor straws must be made from easily disintegrating paper...and so that is why we never were able to reuse them! They went limp in the milk after just a short while.

                                                    2. When I was a kid in West Texas, the flavor straws were very popular. I also remember liking root beer-flavored Kool Aid, Cheese Whiz, and candy cigarettes. Happily, my tastes have evolved!

                                                      1. Years ago I sold candy, and a big favorite among kids was the giant pixie sticks.
                                                        About 18" tall, full of that sweet sugary powder.
                                                        Parents complained about all mess in the back of their mini-vans.
                                                        I used to encourage the kids to chug them down
                                                        before they got home! What a mess.

                                                        1. I was into poprocks myself

                                                          1. Okay....here's the deal on Flavor-Straws. They were originally marketed in only Vanilla and Chocolate flavors....this was at the height of the Ovaltine (Captain Midnight and/or Jet Jackson) and Bosco craze. They were met with instant acceptance and the product was heavily advertised on early Saturday morning TV....Sky King was one show that promoted this product. In very short order, the Strawberry flavor was added to the line. I distinctly remember the visual look of the straws....striped diagonally with the color of the flavor...and the straw was made out of an uncoated paper....so they never held up for the requisite drinking time. I took the straws apart on many instances....and there was a firm (but not solid), longish rectangular cartridge that was imbedded in the actual straw. When milk was sucked by the cartridge, the liquid was flavored....but only a subtle taste....never a heavy chocolate or vanilla taste. The cartridge would soften when the liquid hit the surfaces....but it never fully dissolved.....so it must have been some material that was impregnated with chemicals and/or flavoring. At the very end of the Flavor-Straw thing....they added Banana....which was pretty rough tasting. Many years later I recall the product was again re-introduced in a plastic straw....but it was short-lived and disappeared from the marketplace quickly.

                                                            7 Replies
                                                            1. re: Bud Moon

                                                              WOW...thanks, Bud Moon, for all this very critical information. Now I can edit my memory of these luscious treats!

                                                              I don't remember the banana, but it is a flavor that I would not have noticed anyhow. I do remember the dense, cottony "cartridge" that was saturated with chemicals. I also remember that the straw became soggy quickly. And those outside stripes were distinctly attractive! How sad that these flavor straws went out with the dodo.

                                                              1. re: Bud Moon

                                                                The center of those straws always reminded me of felt.

                                                                1. re: Bud Moon

                                                                  I have very much the same memories. We must be the same age. Nicely done. I wonder what was the crap that impregnated the "felt" ? I can vividly remember the odd flavor.

                                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                    That odd flavor that saturated the felt had a volatility about it; I think the strip was soaked in flavored gasoline!

                                                                    1. re: liu

                                                                      I have a very strong taste memory of the strawberry flavor (tasting it right now, actually), and volatility was definitely part of it.

                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                        How fascinating, buttertart!
                                                                        I, too, can still taste it. I think if there had been a spark around, my mouth would have ignited! That taste memory is pretty interesting...

                                                                        1. re: liu

                                                                          It really was very peculiar, wasn't it? Flavor technology has certainly developed over the intervening years. (The waxed paper straw angle is also very evocative of the experience.)

                                                                2. oh my god , i remember them!! i wish we could still get them!!!!! as a child i loved them!!!!

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: candikane

                                                                    Hi, candikane! I just wonder if we'd still like 'em? Truly, they were so nasty.
                                                                    As has been mentioned, they do sell a similar product in the supermarkets, but it is not the same.

                                                                  2. I remember strawaberry and chocoate flavo-r straws back in grade school. Found out they were sweetened artificially w/saccharine.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: rlb1251

                                                                      "...sweetened artificially w/saccharine."


                                                                      1. re: liu

                                                                        Exactly, who knew that back then our bodies were being poisoned