Another Candy Case Giveaway!

February 4th, 2014 by Jessica Prokop

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Treasure chest-original

A few months ago, we gave away a briefcase packed with candy.

Now there’s another one up for grabs!

We already know it holds almost 400 pieces of candy, so we’ll be doing this a little differently. This time, we’ll just draw a name from our mailing list. All you have to do for a chance to win is be on the list. If you’re already on the list, you’re already in the running. If not, sign up!

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Things we email about:

  • Coupon Codes & Flash Sales
  • Discontinued Candy Alerts
  • Contests (like this one)
  • Exclusive Discounts
  • Rare & Hard-to-Find Candies

It’s only the awesomest of awesome! We’ll draw a winner on Friday, February 28th!

*No purchase necessary to enter or win. Winners will be notified via the email address used to sign up for our mailing list. If no reply is received within 48 hours, another name will be drawn. This will be repeated until the prize has been claimed.

Bit-O-Honey – A Nostalgic Taffy History

January 31st, 2014 by Laurnie Wilson

retro-bit-o-honey-candy-wrapperBit-O-History

There’s something great about the sweet stick-to-your teeth Bit-O-Honey that everybody knows and loves. It’s a nostalgic treat that’s been around for what feels like an eternity. But did you know all the chewy details of its past?

Bit-O-Honey first took the stage in 1924. In that year, Schutter-Johnson Company, based in Chicago, Illinois, created a new kind of candy bar. A bar made of almond bits in a honey-flavored taffy; Bit-O-Honey was a far cry from popular chocolate bars at the time.

Made with egg white for extra chew, the six pieces of taffy wrapped in wax paper were a huge success. People were craving that taffy from the minute it was on the market!

bit-o-honey-unwrapped-taffyBit-O-Change

Then in 1969, Schutter-Johnson Company merged with NYC’s Ward Company, the makers of Chunky, Oh Henry! and Raisinets. It was during the time of this merger that a chocolate version of the treat, aptly named, Bit-O-Chocolate was made. However, something about the chocolate variety didn’t catch on, and the product was later discontinued.

Other flavors like Bit-O-Licorice and Bit-O-Peanut Butter were also made, but, once again, failed to find wide approval. Clearly, when it comes to Bit-O-Honey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Bit-O-Bee

Although the different flavors didn’t work out so well, there was an addition from the late 70’s that did manage to stick around. Can you guess what it is? The Bit-O-Honey bumblebee, of course!

This guy has been adorning Bit-O-Honey wrappers for over 30 years! And, just like the original flavor, he doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

bit-o-honey-modern-wrapperBit-O-Quality

Nestle bought the Bit-O-Honey brand in 1984, and just last year, Pearson’s Candy Company purchased Bit-O-Honey from Nestle. But while this classic treat has been shuffled around quite a bit in its day, you can bet that the Bit-O-Honey you bite into now is just as good as the original.

Text Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bit-O-Honey
http://www.candyblog.net/blog/item/bit_o_honey
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/01/ct-pearson-bitohoney-idUSnPNNY04841+1e0+PRN20130501
http://pearsonscandy.com/candy/bit-o-honey

Image Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bit-O-Honey
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bit-O-Honey-Bar.jpg
http://tgm123.com/bit-o-honey-singles-10x36x1-7oz/

The History of Pez Iconic Candy Dispensers

January 23rd, 2014 by Jessica Prokop

early-pez-dispensersNothing says childhood quite like PEZ. There’s something nostalgic about these familiar little treats that bring back memories of yesteryear with each and every bite. But would you believe that your favorite PEZ didn’t start out as the fruity candy we know and love today? It’s true! In fact, this is one candy that has a history that may surprise you.

Pfefferminz to PEZ

Eduard Haas III invented PEZ in 1927, in Vienna, Austria. The name of the candy originated from the German word for peppermint, which happens to be “pfeffermintz.” Haas took the ‘p,’ ‘e,’ and ‘z’ from the German word to get the candy’s name, PEZ. And after eight years, the company was doing so well that they had to build a factory in Czechoslovakia to increase production.

PEZ For Your Health

Then in 1948, Oscar Uxa revolutionized the PEZ experience, designing a PEZ dispenser that allowed one piece of candy to be dispensed at a time. This was a sanitary measure that prevented people from touching every piece of candy before choosing one. However, it also doubled as an anti-smoking campaign.

The push for people to eat PEZ instead of smoking a cigarette was a real one. In fact, early slogans for the candy boasted, “No smoking, PEZing Allowed” as Haas hoped his candy might lower smoking rates.

PEZ in the USA

pez-space-gun-dispensersIt wasn’t until 1952 that PEZ made their way to the United States. In that year, the first U.S. PEZ headquarters were established in New York City. Despite PEZ’s success in Europe, Curtis Allina, the first president of PEZ in the U.S., found the candy difficult to sell because of the strong peppermint flavor. So, in an attempt to draw children to the brand, PEZ came up with the idea to create fruity flavored versions and cute, character-themed dispensers.

The idea worked. In no time, children and adults alike were in love with PEZ. The very first dispensers available were a Full-body Santa, Robot, and Space Gun. And since then, the character-themed dispensers have really taken off! Today, there are countless different PEZ dispensers to choose from, and ten different candy flavors available. We have Hello Kitty PEZ Dispensers, Marvel Superhero PEZ dispensers, and everything in between. There really is a PEZ for everybody.

pez-dispensersFrom Far to Near

And while PEZ are sold worldwide, the PEZ candy that you eat in the USA is made in America. So with a single satisfying click of any PEZ dispenser, you can feel good knowing that the candy in your mouth is really much closer to home than you would expect.

Remember Licorice Snaps?

January 16th, 2014 by Jessica Prokop

Snap From The Past

retro-candy-covered-licorice-snapsBlack licorice. Some people love it. Some people hate it. But no matter where you stand on the licorice spectrum, wouldn’t licorice be better if it was coated in something sweet?  Like candy? We think so, and apparently we’re not alone. You see, the good people at the American Licorice Company are one step ahead of you, and have been for quite a few decades.

An Instant Classic

The American Licorice Company started in 1914 in Chicago, Illinois. Back then, their very first candy was licorice twists. Next came licorice cigarettes and cigars, during the Great Depression. As it turns out, when times were tough, people seemed to need a candy fix even more than when the living was easy. It wasn’t until the 1930s that The Original Snaps Classic Chewy Candy appeared on the main stage.

Snaps, with their licorice center and pastel candy coating, became an instant classic. Originally, they were sold in distinctive red boxes for only 2 cents each. That’s a bargain you won’t see anymore! Even the packaging boasted of the Snaps success, deeming them the “Classic Chewy Candy.” There’s no doubt that these were a fantastic hit.

Original Licorice Snaps PictureLong Live the Snappy Memories

Over the years, Snaps have had a somewhat turbulent history culminating in their recently being discontinued. But they’ve had a long run, developing a cult-like following in the process.

Until very recently, Snaps enjoyed a beloved treat by baby boomers and many more. For those who enjoy the bite of black licorice mixed with a sweet sheen of candy, this has been the treat of choice since its debut in the 30s. It will go down as one of the most iconic late candies of our era. But when you need a candy-coated-licorice fix, former Snaps lovers will have to resort to Licorice Pastilles and Good ‘N Plenty like everyone else.

Sources: Text and Images

http://www.americanlicorice.com/about/companyhistory/
http://www.candyfavorites.com/blog/licorice-snaps-the-new-formula/
http://www.candyfavorites.com/blog/claps-for-licorice-snaps/

Candy History: Angel Mints

December 23rd, 2013 by Laurnie Wilson

A Mint From The Past

am_singleIf you’ve eaten candy in the last almost 100 years, then chances are you’ve had Angel Mints. These minty masterpieces were first introduced in 1919 on the Atlantic City boardwalk. The boardwalk was the birthplace of many popular time-tested candies, such as Salt Water Taffy, as people are more apt to treat themselves to sugar on a day in the sun.

Originally, each batch of Angel Mints was cooked in copper kettles over gas stoves, to maximize moisture content. After cooking, the candies were individually wrapped to ensure freshness. It’s that little extra effort that has continued to make a huge difference in taste for almost a century.

Divinely Inspired?

And the heavenly name? Legend goes that people raved about the candy’s peppermint zing with comments like, “this candy tastes heavenly” and “this recipe had to be divinely inspired,” so that the candy maker could see no more fitting name than Angel Mints! Not bad, eh?

Peppermint Power

angel-mints-bigOne of the reasons Angel Mints have remained so popular over the years is their apparent healing property. The peppermint oil in each Angel Mint has palliative therapy benefits that have been reported to help treat indigestion, respiratory problems, and everything in between.

In fact, peppermint oil has a whole host of healthy properties. It contains manganese, iron, magnesium, calcium, folate, potassium, copper, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins A and C. As if you needed more reasons to love Angel Mints! Now you know, they’re actually good for your health!

A 21st Century Mint

Today, production of Angel Mints has moved to Florida, but the process hasn’t changed a bit. Each batch is still handmade according to the original recipe, and wrapped on the same K-H cut and wrap machines that have been around since the dawn of Angel Mints time. A traditional process in a modern era: now that’s history that you can taste.

Source Material

http://www.angelmint.com/our-candy/angel-mints/

Images

http://www.angelmint.com/our-candy/angel-mints/
http://store.veganessentials.com/angel-mints-by-florida-candy-company-p4034.aspx

Candy History: Candy Canes

December 20th, 2013 by Laurnie Wilson

The Origins of the Candy Cane

We’ve probably all heard the story of the German choirmaster who created white, sugary shepherd’s hooks to keep the children quiet during the services. But, there are almost as many candy cane creation stories as there are varieties of candy canes!

What’s certain is that these popular Christmas treats were originally all white. Many have attached a religious connection to them, saying that the white candy cane represented the sinlessness of the life of Jesus. As for the shape, many also claim that it’s meant to look like a shepherd’s hook, to remind children of the shepherds who visited the baby Jesus.

candy_canes_white-candy-cane
Although they were probably created in 1670 in Germany, it wasn’t until 1844 that a recipe for straight candy sticks was published. And in the mid 1800s, candy canes were hung on Christmas trees for the first time. Back in the day, it was common to hang sweets and baked goods from the festive tree, so the candy canes were a perfect addition!

Candy Stripes

retro-nostalgic-candy-canesChristmas cards from before and after the 1900s reveal that it wasn’t until the turn of the century that candy canes earned their stripes. There’s lots of lore around the stripes as well, with some saying the thickest stripe represents Jesus, while the three smaller stripes represent the Holy Trinity.

Around the turn of the century, peppermint and wintergreen flavors were also added to the sweets, whose flavors could be distinguished by either a red or green stripe, for peppermint or wintergreen, respectively.

In the 1950s, a Catholic priest by the name of Gregory Keller invented an automated candy cane machine, to twist the candies into their popular shape. And since then, there’s been no looking back.

Today, candy canes are arguably the most popular holiday candy with the longest-standing history. And they’re not just peppermint and wintergreen anymore. Check out all of the canes we have to offer. You’re sure to find something for every candy-cane-craving sweet tooth.

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Source Material

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candy_cane
http://inventors.about.com/od/foodrelatedinventions/a/candy_canes.htm

Images

http://whydyoueatthat.wordpress.com/2011/12/06/day-6-candy-canes/
http://justalittlefurther.com/making-candy-canes/

Candy History: Brach’s Chocolate Stars

December 12th, 2013 by Jessica Prokop

Ask anyone on the street if they’ve ever heard of Brach’s candy and they’ll probably think of those infamous bulk bins in the grocery store. Or, they may sing you a little jingle, “Stop where you are, buy a Brach’s candy bar.” But do you know how it all began?

As it turns out, Brach’s is almost 110 years old, as the first store was opened all the way back in 1904. Brach’s was created by a German immigrant by the name of Emil J. Brach. And, believe it or not, the store in 1904 was his second attempt at starting a candy business. His first, in the late 1800s, was a complete failure.

brachs-stars-retro-adBrach’s Booms

The first Brach products were caramels, made in the back of the store and displayed at the front as a way to lure in customers. And lure them in it did! Between 1906 and 1913, the Chicago-based company had to move locations three times to keep up with expansion due to high demand.

It’s no surprise that they were so popular, too! Brach’s has always prided itself on quality, being the first candy company to institute what we might call quality control on candies coming off the line.

Star Quality

Back in the day, Brach shipped his candies by horse, car, mail, and train. So you could have your candies, no matter how near or far you were to the store. That dedication to customer satisfaction is one of the main reasons Brach’s has stayed in business for so long.

The Brachs kept the business in the family for a long time, too, only selling to a non-family buyer in 1966. But the change in ownership didn’t change anything about the taste! Those Chocolate Stars are still sure to be as good as you remember.

brachs-candy-companyToday, Brach’s abandoned factory has some film credit fame to its name, as it became Gotham Hospital in the 2008 movie, The Dark Knight. Cool, right? And since you can’t make delicious confections in a decaying building, you can rest assured knowing that your Brach’s candies are made safely in Texas by company Farley’s & Sathers.

Brach’s is truly a company for the ages. What started as a niche has exploded into a huge candy empire, reaching sweet tooths, everywhere.

Source Material:

http://www.candyblog.net/blog/item/brachs_milk_chocolate_stars

http://americanurbex.com/wordpress/?p=779

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brach’s

Image Sources:

http://americanurbex.com/wordpress/?p=779

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jon_williamson/4394507133/

What’s a Cordial Cherry, Anyway?

December 12th, 2013 by Jessica Prokop

cherry-cordials-inventedA Cordial Past

Cordialed cherries have always been a huge hit around the holidays. They’re sweet and perfectly festive- a treat normally reserved for this time of year. But did you realize just how old the method of cordialing is? If not, let’s just say that it’s a little older than you may be expecting.

Cordials for the Heart

In fact, cordials started being made hundreds of years ago, during the Renaissance. They were originally made for medicinal purposes, as the strong flavor was thought to promote health. The meaning of the word itself betrays earlier thoughts that cordials were good for the heart, as “cor” means heart in Latin.

First produced in Italy, this heart-helping drink slowly spread its influence throughout all of Europe. And, over time, this purely medicinal beverage became something of a social-statement, as cordials evolved into what we know today as liquors.

Cordials and Candy

Liquors are often the perfect remedy to a cold winters night, so it’s no surprise that home cooks soon began soaking their fruits in the stuff! What could be more delicious and practical than liquor that you can both drink and make candy with? Our forefathers really knew what they were doing.

chocolate-covered-cherries-cordial-with-cream-2Generations of cordial recipes have been passed down over the years, and many families still make their own, today. Cherries tend to be the most popular cordialed fruit, as the cherry lends itself well to soaking and then being smothered in chocolate. But cordialing takes time- months in fact, to wait for the fruit to sufficiently imbibe itself with the delicious liquor it’s soaking in. And who wants to wait for that? So if waiting is not quite your thing, check out Brach’s Villa Cherries. They might be just what you need to remind yourself of holidays of old.

This year, treat yourself and your loved ones to a taste that has almost outlasted the test of time. Be sure to add cordialed cherries to your shopping list.

Image Sources:

Sources:

Candy History: Necco Peach Blossoms

December 7th, 2013 by Laurnie Wilson

A Peach Blossom A Day

Peach Blossoms are a candy that tastes as sweet as it sounds. A truly American treat, they also happen to be made by an American company with a history that stretches far longer than you may have expected.

It all started back in 1847. It was in this fateful year that a man by the name of Oliver Chase invented the lozenge cutter. Chase was a pharmacist, so he wasn’t necessarily in the candy-making business. But, as it turns out, the creation of this machine, which allowed long ropes of sugar to be cut into manageable pieces, was just what the confectionary doctor had ordered.

retro-necco-peach-blossomsIn fact, the machine was first used to slice up what we know today as NECCO Wafers. Originally used as cough drops, or a way to soothe the stomach, these wafers were yet to come into their candy prime. Alas, who would have known that a simple little machine, similar to a pasta maker, would have such an impact on U.S. candy production?

Peach Blossoms Blossom

In 1901, Chase & Company, Hayward & Company, and Wright & Moody – three pre-Civil-War-era candy companies – joined forces to become NECCO: the New England Confectionary Company that we know and love today.

Four years later, in 1905, NECCO introduced Peach Blossoms. And the smooth peanut butter, wrapped in a crunchy candy coating has been delighting sweet tooths ever since.

But, don’t expect Peach Blossoms to actually taste like peaches. The candy is more reminiscent of the flower than the fruit, as there’s no peach flavoring inside. Somehow, the misleading name has never been a turnoff, as generations have been enjoying the candy ever since.

buy-necco-peach-blossoms-onlinePeachy Keen

Today, Peach Blossoms are manufactured in Revere, Massachusetts. The factory still uses many machines that have been around since before World War II and relies on real live workers to add food coloring and whisk mixtures – no fully automated candy production, here! So the Peach Blossoms you buy today are made with the same personal touch that has been sweetening every batch for decades.

Source Material:

Image Sources:

Candy History: Old Fashion Christmas Hard Candy

November 21st, 2013 by Laurnie Wilson

old-fashioned-christmas-hard-candySpecial Occasion Candy

Few things are sweeter at Christmas time than a handful of candy. Everyone has a favorite holiday treat that they look forward to all year round. There’s just something especially nice about savoring a candy that only comes by for special occasions. And while we can’t imagine ringing in the Yule-tide feelings without a sugary treat or two, it wasn’t always this way.

Old Fashioned Sweetness

While people have been enjoying sweets for centuries, the first mention of Christmas candy came in the form of candy canes. In 1672, the choirmaster of the Cologne Cathedral created white, sugary sticks to keep the children quiet in his church. These boring white staffs morphed over the years into the hooked, red and white striped favorites we know today – and they still have the remarkable ability to hush any whiny mouth.

old-fashioned-christmas-ribbon-candyOver the years, the tradition of cut rock candy has remained a staple of Christmas festivities.  Decades of grandmothers have known the secrets behind whipping up the perfect batch of sugary confections: ribbons, bows, and disks, all dyed and pulled to perfection. It’s a tough job, but somebody had to do it!

Luckily, with our Old Fashioned Christmas Candy Mix, you never have to worry if your sugar has reached the proper boiling point. You can have all your favorite Christmas candies, with none of the sugar-burning disasters.

Old Fashioned, Not Outdated

candy-cane-figurinesThat said, not all homemade candy attempts end in failure. In fact, some of the most beloved candies started in home kitchens before rising to the greatness they have today.

And speaking of great candies, if you enjoy nostalgic confections, you should take a look at our Americana Penny Candy Mix. Chock-full of sweets you may remember as a kid, this is one mix that shouldn’t be missed.

Around the holidays, we celebrate the things we hold most dear: family, friends, and the candies we grew up loving as children. With our Old Fashioned Christmas Mix, you can help make Christmas traditions come true.

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candy_cane

http://www.happywink.org/christmas-day/christmas-candy.html