Chef Boyardee’s Mini Dinosaurs!

It’s been a rough month. I needed something simple and pleasant to ease my way back into the wonderful world of low-level blogging. I think pasta shaped like dinosaurs is just the ticket.

Me and Chef Boyardee don’t cross paths often nowadays. It only happens during those rare times when I’m forced to go food shopping at shady convenience stores. The kind with lax attitudes about expiration dates, and magazine racks with a whole lotta lady nipples in plain sight.

But even when I go to normal supermarkets, I still love to look at the Chef Boyardee stuff. It makes me happy. Those cans are fun and colorful, and I’m always impressed with what they’re able to shape pasta like.

Last night, I found this. I doubt it’s new, but I’d never noticed it before. Chef Boyardee’s Mini Dinosaurs with Meatballs. I was immediately enamored, in part because it’s dinosaur macaroni, but also because they managed to make those meatballs out of pork, chicken and beef. Impressive in one way; overkill in another, perhaps more literal way.

Aside from making me feel like an eight-year-old, this also makes me wish I had the flu. Hell, I’ve been dodging it for two months now, and I’m definitely owed one.

Sane people can’t stand the flu, but I relish it. It’s nature’s permission to be a whiny, useless slug who cares for nothing except immediate gratification. That sounds like the perfect time to be the thirty-something who cries for Chef Boyardee without giving two fucks about how it sounds. Somebody cough on me.

The can delivers as promised. It’s a bowl of tiny, edible dinosaurs. The neat thing is that all of the pasta dinos that fell apart just look like random dinosaur bones. From an artistic point of view, nothing in that bowl missteps.

I know it’s hard to identify the specific dinosaurs when they’re swimming in a pool of blood, so I constructed this absurd guide, just for you:

The tyrannosaur is my favorite. If you turn its pasta shape sideways, it looks like a defensive crab.

The quickest way to my heart is to be a dinosaur and a crab at the same time. I’ll serenade you with Barry White’s My First, My Last, My Everything, right on the spot. Then you’ll kill and eat me, because you’re a dino-crab.

I didn’t want the meatballs to just be meatballs. There should be a cohesive canon to this. Let’s think of them as the comet that killed all of the dinosaurs, even if I’ve never really bought that particular extinction theory.

Maybe “fossilized dung” would’ve been a better way to identify them, but I don’t want to eat that.

  • LarryP.

    I used to eat these when I was a kid. I guess I knew they still made them, but I didn’t *realize* it, if that makes any sense. I mean, my eyes always just kinda scanned over them at the store.

    Now I want some.

  • mandy_Reeves

    I loved at the end of the original Dinosaurs pasta commercial, the guy in the song would go up an Octave and pronounce dinosaurs, like DIE UH NA SOREZ!

  • Terror Claws

    I still painfully long for Pac-Man pasta. Every. Single.Time.

    Not even my wife knows that I look for it, illogically, every time we are at the store. Sigh.

  • kidneyboy

    Wow, a can of up-to-date pasta? Movin’ on up! Do you still have the Pac-Man pasta in chicken sauce? Yum!

    I still enjoy the Chef, it is a feel-good food for me. Some spaghetti and giant meatballs, bread and butter, I’m good to go.

    On another note, I wasted a good hour-plus on ebay looking at soda cans. Shit, I could have spent megabucks! Not much for Crystal Pepsi, but there WAS a can of Crystal BY Pepsi!

  • Church

    Oh man, used to LOVE Chef Boyardee ravioli! Seriously, I went through a phase where my Mom would stockpile it because it was the only thing I would eat. Granted, it didn’t have the cool factor of dinos and comets but I thought it tasted pretty good.

    Since you mentioned the one dino looking like a crab I think Ptero looks a little like an alien from Intellivision’s Space Armada (Space Invaders sucked!) with a new antenna.

    @kidneyboy, I also check out ebay after reading DD articles. I wonder how much ebay traffic these articles actually generate? I just purchased an unopened Nerfman because of an article I read from another site. I’m easily affected :)

  • Thorzul

    This article gave me a limitless amount of happies. When I hit the grocery store after work tomorrow, I will buy something similar, not for my 17-month-old daughter, but for me. I hope I get the flu, too.

  • kidneyboy

    I wanted to say, I also saw two cans of original formula Pitch Black!! Can’t remember how much they were asking, but it was cool to see!

  • Emily

    I stopped eating canned pastas after I threw up an entire can’s worth of Where’s Waldo’s (similar to Spagettios) when I was a kid. That, and I’m just not into slimy pasta sauces.

  • Ultra Magnus 2005

    Matt, speaking of crabs, what ever happenes to the Mooncrab you have?

  • Shawn


    On the topic of food but digressing from the Chef, I’m trying to track down images of a specific McDonald Happy Meal. Back in the early Eighties McD’s put out a Happy Meal where the container was the toy. They were flying saucers that according to th commercial really flew. You were suppose to apply the stickers that came with the meal and when you were done with the food component you could toss the spaceship around like a frisbee.

    If anyone remembers these and knows of a site where I could find them I’d really appreciate it.

  • DJ D

    Sooo…no SNT tonight then?

    Wow, this joint is a ghost town.

  • Matt

    Dinosaur macaroni reviews just don’t have legs!

    Clearing up some RL stuff this weekend/Monday, then back in the swing.

  • late night reader

    Hey now, I am here reading so it can’t be all that bad, it has legs, just small ones.

  • pizzaparty

    Do SNT’s still take place unofficially? They don’t seem to be promoted anymore.

  • Terror Claws

    Poor old SNT. Hasn’t been the same in years. I always saw XE then DD as my refuge, but even time to get over here still seems stolen from somewhere else.

  • drew do

    I think SNT has become much less formal. Now, every once in a while a good group shows up and we get a good one. I vote we try to persuade Matt to do an old fashioned XE/DD movie night. Those were always a blast!

  • Daniel

    I had to go listen to that Barry White song immediately after reading that paragraph!

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  • TwinkleRhinovirus

    I hope you mean Apatosaurus rather than Brontosaurus. God I need a life…

  • JaiGuru

    @ King Adrock

    Yes, there will friend. And every episode is new, there’s never a rerun.

  • sarahsepanek

    I LOVE Chef Boyardee Dinosaurs. I have been eating them since there were only THREE shapes. It also had the requisite accompanying commercial that makes eating a bowl of Chef into a game – “Get all three on your spoon, and you win!” along with this boppy song – “It’s a dinosaur hunt with Chef Boyardeeeee, Dinosaurs! (and new Dinosaurs with meatballs!” I am so engrossed by these small prehistoric pastas that I abused my press privilege and wrote a column in the paper where I work all about Chef Boyardee shaped pastas of the 80s and 90s. I was hoping it would make its way to ConAgra and earn me a tour of the factory. No dice yet.–A-classic-story-of-girl-meets-Boyardee.html

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