If, like me, you regularly sit on your own, staring into space and regretting all your life choices, then chances are you eat a lot of tinned food.

Tins are great. For the miniscule effort of figuring out how to use the bloody tin opener, you can be rewarded with a vast array of culinary delights, ranging from beans to coq au vin, and back to beans again. Mostly beans. Also, if the bloody tin opener won’t play ball, you can sometimes just smash the tin against your head and it might open.

Another brilliant thing about tins is that you can throw them at burglars.

Anyway, the world of tinned food has seen a great deal of heroic pioneering… stuff over the years, as companies competed with each other to seal increasingly exotic food in a living tomb. Mostly though, they just stuck to beans and novelty pasta.

You know why I’m rambling? I got stung by a stinging nettle today, and my hand still hurts. Anyway, tins. Here are 10 of the best tins.

1. Chef Boyardee Sharks


I never ate these because they’re from the USA, but I saw them and I knew the child me would have killed to eat such a menacing and deadly fish. Killed.

The customer is offered a choice of with or without meatballs. How can I choose between these two? That’s like being asked to choose between my kids. Which would be easy actually – neither of them. I don’t have kids, but if I did they’d be little shits.

For interested parties, the answer is obviously ‘with meatballs’.

2. Heinz UFOs


If you’ve eaten these, be sure to go to the press about it. Be sure to also add that, after you’d eaten them, mysterious men in grey suits visited you and made you sick them up, then took your sick away in a bag and threatened to cut you if you told anyone.

3. Heinz London Grill

london grill

This is mysterious. Is it actually made from bits of London? This is like the recipe for the equally odd-sounding “London Pie”, as demonstrated in the Bros annual I own.

NB: I know the contents are listed on the tin. The line above was a joke. Please don’t comment explaining this back to me. Please don’t be Twitter, no one wants that.

4. Sonic The Hedgehog pasta


Just be aware that, for the entire time Sonic is trapped in this tin of liquid, the drowning music plays.

5. Heinz Haunted House spaghetti shapes

haunted house

Presumably these “shapes” are ghosts and Draculas, rather than tetradecagons. Those things are terrifying.

6. Chef Boyardee Tic Tac Toe pasta shapes

tic tac toe

Another American cheat. I’ll be honest – most of these picks are just tins I like the look of. And what?

Can you imagine playing noughts and crosses (we invented America so don’t start all that renaming shit) with sloppy, sauce covered pasta? Your mum would be spitting on your face within seconds.

That’s a really small boy.

7. Heinz Real Ghostbusters pasta shapes


I assume these two pictures are of the same tin. If not, shame on you Heinz. Where do you get off selling a real ghost in a can? I know it says “contains 1 ghost”, but I still reckon Claims Direct would have a hell of a win on their hands if one of your customers got scared to death.

The other tin presumably contains a sex pest with the voice of Garfield.

8. Goblin tinned hamburgers

goblin hamburgers

“Contains pork”. As opposed to ham. And presumably some beef. I don’t know, I’m confused. Anyway, these were lovely. You know what else were lovely? Those really thin hamburgers you got from Sheila ‘n’ Bob’s burger van at the car boot sale. I think they were from a tin. And they only made you shit yourself a bit.

9. Heinz Barbie pasta shapes


“Fortified with vitamins and iron”. To keep you thin and 8ft tall like Barbie. But it’s Barbie, so shut up.

Also, why are kids’ pasta tins now half the size? It’s almost as if they want us to buy two tins or something, but they’d never be that diabolical.

10. Pac-Man pasta in expensive sauce

pac man

In “golden chicken” sauce. Obviously Americans always have to have better stuff, like golden chickens. Meanwhile, us plebs in Britain have to make do with round, red chickens called tomatoes. Anyway, that tin’s empty, so whoever bought it was a fool.

Honourable mention: Heinz Beanz with Balls


I don’t really care that this is modern, the fact that you can buy it from a site called hotcan.com qualifies it for this list. Hotcan.com. I’m still laughing.

It’s funny because it sounds like you’re eating human testicles. Like and share if you agree.

2 thoughts on “10 nostalgic tins of food

  1. Heinz Invaders were good – spaghetti shaped as different UFOs. In the spirit of innovation, a kid in my class said he’d eaten a plate of them without chewing them, and that he vomited them up shortly afterwards.



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