The culinary world has never given enough credit to lunchbox food — the individually-wrapped, kid-friendly fare sustained so many of us through the vital elementary, middle and high school years. Whether you packed it in a paper bag or a cute insulated pack, lunches (and what were in them) were integral to our early years of life. But lunch food wasn't merely a means of sustenance, lunch food was social currency. Some food was desirable; some food was not. The sugar-laden mini cookies that came with their own icing for dipping? Elementary school gold. So I'm sure you will be just as excited as I am to hear Dunkaroos are back, proving the ultimate lunchbox addition of the '90s will never truly die.
Instagram user @Junkfoodmom, a Michigan-based food blogger who documents unusual junk food finds, posted a photo of Chocolate Hazelnut Dunkaroos she received in a food swap. In the caption she details, "Made by Nestle Australia the crackers are shaped like kangaroos and the chocolate dip is made with real hazelnuts." So basically the folks at Nestle took a snack that is already near-perfect and swapped out the traditional vanilla frosting for something reminiscent of Nutella. Truly revolutionary.
Before you hop in your car and head to the store to pick some up, I have some not-so-great news. For now, these babies are only available in Australia (hence the kangaroo-shaped cookies). Alas, the original Dunkaroos remain unavailable in the United States since General Mills ceased production of the snacks in 2012. Legend has it you used to be able to snag some from third-party sellers on Amazon, but at the time of publishing none could be found. It is also worth noting most of the reviews complained the cookies were stale, which stands to reason as they must have been eaten far past the date of expiration.
If you're angry, you're hardly the only one. In the years since Dunkaroos left American store shelves, people have actively tried to fill the roo-shaped holes left in their hearts. The Globe and Mail reports in 2016, manufacturers of the Canadian Dunkaroos even launched a marketing campaign that encouraged Canadians to smuggle the snacks across the border to their sad, roo-less neighbors in the United States. The so-called 'Smuggleroos' website has since been shut down.
If you're not picky about brand names, Walmart recently came out with something that has to be almost as good as the original; their Dunk n' Crunch is like a larger, more sophisticated version of Dunkaroos. It eschews the animal-shaped cookies but keeps the confetti-flavored frosting. Instagram user @JunkBanter’s says Walmart's take is noticeably different, but delicious nonetheless. “Yeah the cookies are different and the frosting is thicker, but whatevs. I actually like your take on it with shortbread cookies,” they explain.
But I'm sure some people out there will never be satisfied by anything other than the original Dunkaroos. Those of you who miss the snack less for its taste and more for its nostalgia. If that's the case, may I suggest indulging in one of those that are still available? If you have not been looking for them, the number of nineties kid snacks you can still find on shelves may surprise you.
Perhaps something fruity and chewy — but still somehow deemed healthy enough to be candy— is what you crave? Fruit Gushers, the liquid filled gummies that always morphed into one giant sugary lump in their foil baggie, are still widely available. The snack that changed the game by making gummies two-dimensional is also pretty easy to find. if you're trying to feed a crowd consider snagging a box of Teddy Grahams and a can of frosting.
The original Dunkaroos may be a thing of the past in the United States, but there are other options that might curb your cravings. If nothing else will do, pack your bags and head for the land down under — their 'roos aren't limited to marsupials.