C A N D Y
My Favorite Food Group
by Linda Lee Dobbins
Unless I can somehow obtain wealth enough to replace all my "post-diet" clothes, I am condemned to the world of phenylketonurics (a.k.a. Nutrasweet). However, I still remain a dedicated fan of the only true food: CANDY. In fact, I now work for a food distributing company which supplies local markets with just about every kind of candy made. And, yes, I get free goodies to nosh at work! Who needs a 401K when you can have FREE CANDY?!?!
Following are some personal recollections and observations regarding some of my favorie candies:
GRAPE BAZOOKA BUBBLE
- has purple wrapper
- delicious, if yet cloying flavor
- still has same awful "comics," but now Bazooka Joe is a '90s kind of guy -- he's in a gang, has a fax machine, etc.
- to be worn for a period not to exceed one (1) day
- very difficult to chew off one piece without slobbering on others next to it
- can be purchased from ice cream trucks - as a kid, this was a major deciding factor in what candies I bought
- are never finished - I sometimes come close, within one or two loops of the candy left on the rubber-bandy thing, but I don't ever finish one. I usually end up leaving it on my nightstand 'til it gets all dusty and gross, then I throw it out. (When I was little, my mom would throw it out before it even got a chance to get all dusty and gross! Oh, the injustice!)
IT'S A CANDY!! IT'S A GUM!!
- supposed to be gum, but it tastes so good and crumbles up into such small pieces, I just end up eating it (see also: Tiny Chiclets)
- can be purchased from ice cream truck
- very interesting shape - short, cylincrical with bumpy tops resembling raspberries (probably the only remote connection this candy has to real fruit of any kind)
- sold products totally unrelated to Razzles (or any gum or candy, for that matter) on back of wrapper -- all items requiring at least 1,000,000 proofs of purchase (see also: Dum Dums)
- good flavors: cherry, pineapple (YUM!), lime
- "Dum Dum's dum dum" - has band from seal of candy mold going around "equator" of lollipop instead of crossing "poles" (parallel to stick); also has a guy in a dunce cap on the wrapper - I don't make this stuff up, mind you, I'm just telling you how it is.
- stuff sold on wrappers for 1,000,000 proofs of purchase*
- on large package of Dum Dums, plastic bag has a marching band-type drum with a face on it...why?
- fruit assortment is some of the best tasting gum ever made (see also: Tiny Chiclets), but spearmint is darned good, too
- really cool box - has a little flap that lets out only one piece at a time, and a cellophane window so you can see in the box - handy for taking gum inventory... this packaging is a control freaks dream come true...
- delicious fruit flavor!
- cinnamon is available, but I haven't tried it and don't trust it - cinnamon is usually an "adult" flavor - used to mask cigarette breath, etc.
- same problem with eating these instead of chewing them ala Razzles
CHARMS BLOW POPS
- far too wide to put in your mouth... hell, they're probably too wide to fit in Mick Jagger's mouth, for cryin' out loud!
- I always thought the commercial for these things was really cool... Picture the scene...a duel...a man presents a box that looks as though it would contain dueling pistols, but instead it has Charms lollipops in it...the object of the duel, then, is whoever finished their Charms lollipop first, wins... Well, maybe you had to be there...I was very impressionable then, what can I say? Does anyone else remember this ad?
- again, these things were just too big to fit in your mouth...
- to make matters worse, they didn't have anywhere near enough gum in them
- a mildly uncomfortable shape, but good flavors - raspberry, chocolate, lemon (YUM!) You know, though, I haven't seen lemon Tootsie Pops in many moons. I suspect they've stopped making them...
- apparently a common ailment among "filled" candies, these didn't have enough Tootsie Roll in them
- wrappers have cool old drawings of kids playing on them
- bizarre concept of the early '70s -- candy with a "fizzing" middle - sort of a "Brachs-meets-Alka-Seltzer" kind of thing
- mediocre flavors - I recall lemon and grape, and I think they had cherry, too
(Note: My favorite fruit flavor is raspberry, except for yogurt, in which case, it's blueberry.)
- each piece came individually wrapped, but attached in a strip - kind of like sausages or something...
- two shapes - one, long and flat (like their "Fire Stix" - yes, candy can be painful, as well as unhealthful!), the other, rectangular filling rippers - if you hold one of these babies between your upper and lower teeth for a few minutes, it will bond your mouth shut. For some folks, this can be an improvement.
- LETHAL flavors (virtually all Jolly Rancher flavors are too sour or spicy) - SOUR apple, cinnamon (HA!) - it's so *(@#)_%&@ hot, how can anyone discern a flavor - the damn things are about 379° kelvin!
- One really good thing about Jolly Rancher, though, is that they employ a great many handicapped and learning-disabled people in Denver -- folks who, otherwise, might have a really hard time getting work. I think that's just great.
- prize pack used to have "Conficius"-type sayings on it - now it just has a warning like "NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 3" ...witty, huh?...
- prize pack also used to have a prize in it -- and NO, I do not consider a sticker or a "mini baseball card" a prize
- actually seem to have more peanuts in them than before (a marked improvement, yes?)
- I always had a mild dislike for candy corn. I only mention it here 'cause my mom was a candy corn junkie. She would wait for my sister and I to come home on Halloween night and she'd be waiting at the door Jonesin' for our candy corn. Perhaps the source of my fixation with candy is becoming more apparent?
- I've seen "Easter Corn" - in pastel colors, no less... heck, I thought plain candy corn was bad enough as it was!
- orange peanut-shaped marshmallow things
- yet another candy my mom liked - and if I remember correctly, she actually preferred them stale and crunchy as opposed to fresh and squishy - EEEEEK!
- Where is the infamous circulating bag of circus peanuts? DO YOU KNOW???
- Patrick Wayne, son of John Wayne, portrayed "Marathon John" in their commercials. The protagonists in these ads always said something like, "I'm Quick Carl. I do everything fast." Then, Marathon John would enter and say, "Well, I'm Marathon John, and I...do everything...slow."** He'd give the villain this candy bar, which, due to its chewiness and length**, would cause the villain to slow down, and consequently be caught. Again, I guess you had to be there. Does anyone remember this ad?
- anyway...this candy bar was a flattened braid of caramel covered in milk chocolate
- one of the gimmicks in the ads was pointing out that the bar was a foot long...hmm
- yep, I mean those little dots of hardened colored sugar goo on what appears to be something akin to case register tape
- many people don't consider these to be an actual food item...they're probably right, but I love 'em anyway... (the candy, not the people...)
- it is impossible to eat any significant quantity of these without getting at least a little of the paper backing on them -- but anything worth eating is worth a little fussing over (artichokes, for instance...but WOW, that's really another league!)
- a caramel-y, gooey filling puller -- on a stick!
- If held in place a while, a Sugar Daddy can take a really accurate and detailed impression of the roof of your mouth. I was always fascinated by this as a kid. What can I say? I was easily amused.
- used to have trading cards under the wrappers -- I recall that most of them had dinosaurs on them
- I often got Sugar Babies when Trick-or-Treating - they're made out of Sugar Daddy goop, but they're about the size of M & M's.
WAX BOTTLES (aka
- very similar to Sugar Daddy, but flavors other than caramel (and no trading cards)
- flavors: banana, chocolate, vanilla, strawberry
- very simple - wax bottles (sometimes shaped like soda bottles, monsters, pencil-sized tubes, etc.) filled with some "mystery liquid" - sweet, and yet, just a little bit spicy - kind of burns your throat going down... My grandpa has always referred to it as "bug juice." Mmm, mmm! That's eatin' pleasure!
- I consider it a personal victory that I've gotten my husband to try these. He actually likes them!
GOLDENBERG PEANUT CHEWS
- THE BEST CANDY BAR EVER MADE. PERIOD. THIS IS NOT OPEN TO DEBATE.
- about 5" long, 1" wide, ½" high
- chocolate covered, had a peanut-buttery, crispy inside
- made by Willy Wonka Candies
- WAS made by Willy Wonka Candies... (sob!)
- the SECOND best candy bar ever made
- available wrapped as a bar with five to seven pieces or in snack size "nuggets" in a box
- available in eastern US (NJ, PA, etc.)
- a very chewy molasses-based center studded with peanuts and covered in a rich, sweet dark chocolate
- my grandparents always stocked up on these for me when I came to visit
- If you go back east and can score me some, I will pay you handsomely!
GOLDEN NUGGETS GUM
- occassionally got these in Christmas stocking at grandparent's house
- Everyone I've spoken to who remembers getting these speaks of them fondly.
- had a good fruity flavor
- shaped like little gold nuggets (what else?)
- came in a coll package that looked like an old-fashioned tobacco bag - it had a drawstring and everything!
- unfortunately, I always ended up chewing it all at once, and then I didn't get to make use of the bag
- another Willy Wonka candy
- shaped like, yes, bottle caps
- really cool innovative candy flavors - cola, root beer, orange, cherry, grape, lemon-lime
Well, I could go on for days, but...why? I'll wrap this up with one final entry and a listing of other candies worthy of mention. Thanks for reading. See you at the candy counter!
- for the uninitiated, these were stickers that spoofed real products
- I know, I know. These aren't candy, but didn't you ever buy these with or instead of candy? I just had to include them.
- a few I can remember are: Mess Clairoil (Miss Clairol), Dampers (Pampers), Crust (Crest), Grass Wax (Glass Wax), and Wormy Packages - yes, they weren't above teasing themselves
- Didn't everyone have at least one of these stickers on something when they were kids?
Candies worthy of mention for which I did not give summaries follow. Some of these are personal favorites, but I have run out of time to pursue this further and some are so universally known that it would be condescending to say anything about them:
M & Ms
$100,000 Bar (now
called "100 Grand", but I refuse to call it that!)
Gobstoppers (in original and now, chewy!)
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