NECCO WAFERS ARE OLD-SCHOOL COOL
It’s hard to believe these delicious pastel wafers will soon be celebrating their 167th birthday. (They look pretty good for their age, don’t they?) Their longevity places them among the pantheon of great American candies.
A Burst of Energy Right Out of the Gate
One of the most interesting things about Necco Wafers is that these candies sided with the Union during the Civil War. They were invented by Oliver Chase who used them as a way to give troops an energy boost, making them the oldest energy candy that we know of. It would be another 54 years until New England Candy Company was formed, and it took 11 more years until Necco Wafers became common currency.
The beauty of Necco Wafers is that they are virtually indestructible. Legend has it that Admiral Byrd took 2 tons of this nostalgic candy with him when he made his expedition to the Antarctic in the 1930s.
They might not be a great cure for scurvy or other exotic illnesses, but it’s a fair bet that his crew wasn’t wanting for sweets.
A Taste of Home
In the 1940s, Necco Wafers saw a huge rise in popularity as the government ordered them to be included in ration kits for soldiers fighting in the second world war. They were especially important to those fighting in tropical environments where heat was an issue. Not exactly a substitute for mom’s home cooking, but you’ve got to start somewhere.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Things in Necco-Wafer Land remained basically the same until 2009 when the formula was changed to an All Natural version. The idea didn’t come from the same folks who changed the long-beloved original CocaCola formula, but the change made candy lovers livid. The company changed back to the old-school formula two years later.
Clark Bars are an American institution near and dear to our black-and-gold Pittsburgh Hearts. They were formulated right here in our hometown of McKeesport, PA at the turn of the century by a gentleman named David L. Clark. The candy bar was originally made just a few blocks from the warehouse where our candy company has resided since 1927! Since our founder Ernest Prince was friendly with Mr. Clark, we were probably the very FIRST candy wholesalers in the nation to offer this treat.
The company later changed its name to “DL Clark Company” and moved to downtown Pittsburgh. It graced the city with an illuminated candy-bar sign and remained until 1955 when it was acquired by Beatrice Foods. Over the years, they would be acquired by Leaf Confections and then again by Hershey, who returned the candy bar and its headquarters to its roots in Pittsburgh. It remained for three short but blissful years until New England Confectionary Company acquired it.
Despite Clark’s many owners and a few controversial ingredient changes (that were fortunately reversed), Clark Bars remain a tried-and-true classic combination of crunchy peanut butter and creamy milk chocolate. Today, this retro candy qualifies as a piece of edible Americana.
Is the difference subtle or substantial?
I love licorice snaps.
You could say I acquired a taste for them. Black licorice is my absolute favorite candy, so I’m always up for a new licorice adventure. The first time I ate Snaps, I thought I hated them. I thought they tasted like paint. But they had a tough toothiness that made them kind of irresistible. By the time I finished my first box, I was hooked. I don’t know what that paint thing was about. I love them.
At CandyFavorites, a customer recently brought it to our attention that he noticed a difference in his Snaps. While the bag said “same great flavors, softer, chewy center,” the taste he loved was gone. Saying that the change was far from an improvement, he likened it to what happened with the new Coke.
The New “New Coke”?
As a newly minted lover of Snaps, I was alarmed and tasted our latest shipment immediately. I felt like I could savor the old snaps, and these feel somehow less substantial and harder to hold onto. I’m able to go through a pile of them much more quickly than before. Which raises the point that I still enjoy them. I feel safer since the recall. But, as these things usually go, something seems to have been lost. I believe that luck does play a role in success, and striking just the right balance can make magic. That’s what I believe has happened with snaps. They’re still very good. They’re just not quite “The Original Licorice Snaps“.
Have you tried both versions of Snaps?
Tell us what you think in the comments.
by Loralee Leavitt
When you pop them in your mouth, Pop Rocks fizz, sizzle, and explode. These experiments show you why–and how to have fun with them.
Bubbling Pop Rocks
Why do Pop Rocks pop in your mouth?
It’s because they have a secret ingredient.
You’re looking at the secret ingredient — carbon dioxide that’s pumped into the candy when it’s still melted, trapping bubbles.
Do Pop Rocks Bubble, Or Don’t They?
Pour water into one glass, and pour cooking oil into a second glass. Then add Pop Rocks to each glass. Do the Pop Rocks in water bubble and fizz? What about the Pop Rocks in oil?*
Pop Rocks are made of sugar, which dissolves in water. As the Pop Rocks dissolve, they release tiny trapped bubbles of carbon dioxide, which make the bubbles and the noise. But sugar doesn’t dissolve in oil, so the Pop Rocks in oil don’t dissolve or release bubbles.
This is why Pop Rocks can be mixed with chocolate and still keep their bubbles, such as in S Chocolate’s Exploding Chocolate Frogs, or in Chocolate Pop Rocks (sometimes available from www.candyfavorites.com). They don’t dissolve until you eat them!
Jumping Pop Rocks
To see Pop Rocks in action, pour a small amount of hot water (about 140 F) into a clear soda bottle. (If you use a glass instead of a soda bottle, prepare for a mess and wear safety glasses.) Then dump in Pop Rocks and see if any of them jump!
Why do the Pop Rocks pop up?
The hot water dissolves the candy so fast that the air bubbles explode, making the Pop Rocks shoot up like popcorn.
Whether you soak your Pop Rocks, drop them in oil, or explode them like popcorn, candy experiments help you enjoy Pop Rocks in all sorts of ways. There’s only one thing left to know: why are the “Blue Razz” Pop Rocks green? That’s a question not even candy experiments can answer.
Loralee Leavitt destroys candy for the sake of science at www.candyexperiments.com. Find more crazy experiments, like growing giant gummies, making candy crystals, or turning cotton candy into slime, in her book Candy Experiments.
*Experiment adapted from the Science Sparks blog
About Candy Experiments – From Blog to Book
We think Candy Experiments is one of the coolest blogs in the whole world. Blogger and author Loralee (with some help from her kids) comes up with so many crazy and interesting experiments that can be done with candy and common household items. When we heard that Candy Experiments was becoming a book, we knew it would be cool. What we didn’t expect was that we would learn so much!
Candy Experiments uses the funnest sweet substances in the world to teach some serious scientific concepts. These kid-friendly lessons are sure to stick! Your kids will sink, float, squash, melt, stretch, and pop their way to a better understanding of tough topics like density, buoyancy, and how molecules bind together.
More Goodies on the Way
Candy Experiments can really stretch out the amount of fun you can have with candy. So we’re stretching out our celebration! Watch out over the next week for some special Pop Rocks experiments by Loralee on the CandyFavorites blog. And we’ll hook you up with a special scientific shopping list so your candy laboratory is fully stocked before you start experimenting.
The results are in! Thank you to everyone who submitted photos to the CandyFavorites.com Candy Photo Contest.
Grand Prize: Karen R. – $100 Sweet Certificate
First Runner Up: Kristi F. – $50 Sweet Certificate
2nd Runner Up: Joe C. – $50 Sweet Certificate
3rd Runner Up: Estella B. – $50 Sweet Certificate
4th Runner Up: Seiichi S. – $50 Sweet Certificate
All winners have been notified via email. If you are a winner but have not received an email notifying you of your prize, please contact email@example.com or call customer service at 1-888-525-7577.
We’re working on a website redesign that will make your CandyFavorites.com experience easier and more fun than ever!
CandyFavorites.com will be more fun than ever!
- Quickly find your favorite Candies
- Shop Retro Candy by Decade
- Learn about the history of candy
- Get help putting together a candy buffet
- Find out about new and limited-edition products
- Make secure online purchases
- Enter Contests
- Enjoy Free Shipping
Submit Your Photo for a Chance to Win
A new website needs fresh photos! We couldn’t think of a better way to add fun and quirky candy photos to our site than to get our visitors involved. Visit the Photo Contest tab on our Facebook Page or send your photo in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to enter.
All entries must be received by April 27th, 2013.
Win Candy & Be Seen on Our Site!
Four (4) winners will each receive a $50 Sweet Certificate,
and one (1) Grand Prize winner will receive a $100 Sweet Certificate.
The pictures can be of you, your children, or anyone you know eating candy. (Just make sure you own the rights to your photo!) Photos can be of any time period, but as an old-time candy store, we have a weakness for nostalgic, retro candy photos. The older the better!
Candy Photo Contest: The Fine Print
Fee – Fi – Fo – Fum
Beans have long outgrown the beanstalk fad and have even begun to take a stand against “bean bullying” tactics such as baking, refrying, slow-cooking, and buttering. They’ve moved on to new, exciting, and more diversified endeavors in the 21st century. At the forefront of innovation, Jelly Belly has long held the throne as champion of jelly-bean deliciousness. And as humble servants of jelly-filled royalty, CandyFavorites.com is here to champion the lastest thrilling new lines of Jelly Belly products.
Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy
Everyone knows the world’s most famous animated characters and their connection to great fun and memories. Now you can bring the Disney experience to any classroom, party, or less-expensive theme park with Mickey, Goofy, Minnie, and Donald Jelly Belly assortments. Each bag is emblazoned with the likeness of a Disney personality, and every flavor-and-color-packed bean assortment has just as much character as its quirky namesake.
Snapple, Sunkist, Cold Stone, Tabasco
Who likes to eat foods that are flavored to taste like other favorite foods? We do! Don’t you? Jelly Belly is famous condensing authentic, iconic flavors into bite-sized bursts. They’ve done it with great fruity beverages, the best citrus mix, our favorite ice cream. Now with new Tabasco Jelly Belly jelly beans, you can down your favorite daring hot sauce anywhere — no fried food, eggs, or pizza necessary!
The hardest thing about Jelly Bellies is choosing which ones you want. You can purchase by color, character, or fancy flavor. There are even sugar free jelly beans! But with Jelly Belly Bags, why decide at all? Buy a whole mess of them to mix and match, share, and trade.
Red, White, Pink, Brown
Have an event coming up? Need favors, snacks, or centerpieces? Jelly Belly can help you out with some tasty color coordination. Cheer on your favorite sports team with red Very Cherry bags, or brighten your white wedding with white Coconut. No Disney Princess party is complete without Cinderella Bubble Gum Jelly Bellies, just like a Star Wars themed party can’t go wrong with Chewbacca-colored Chocolatey treats.
Jelly Belly jelly bean bags are great for any occasion!
- Give them as gifts or favors
- Create Jelly Belly recipes by combining flavors
- Hold a “Who can eat the most Tabasco Jelly Bellies?” contest
- Hold a guess-the-flavor contest
- Hold any type of contest! Jelly Bellies provide all-inclusive competition. They work as the game pieces and the prize!
This Sunday, Mad Men is coming back for season six. Whether you’re gathering with friends for the big show or snuggling up solo to view your guilty pleasure, there are preparations to be made.
You’ve acquired a snazzy vest and equally dapper fedora. You’ve printed out all of the appropriate cocktail or mocktail recipes. You’ve listened to some Billy Page, Dusty Springfield, or Nancy Sinatra.
And you’ve got the candy.
You did get all the right 1960’s retro candy, didn’t you?
Well, if you have not yet set yourself up with yummy, relevant, retro candy, then we have some treats for you.
The first items you’ll want to stock up on are candy cigarettes. Now, you can join right along with the characters as their smoking their Lucky Strikes, but you won’t be coughing as much as they are. But, you know, this is a celebration, so you may want to enjoy a distinguished bubble gum cigar to kick off season 6.
Create A Happier Happy Hour
Some of the best Mad Men moments take place after work, at some of New York’s finest drinking establishments. Join Don Draper for a happy hour dirty martini. As he imbibes with olives on a swizzle stick, you can enjoy a rock candy swizzle stick (hold the olive) without ruining your Monday.
Get In Character
You can even enjoy the exact same treats featured in the show! In this clip from season two, episode four, Draper is quoted saying that he enjoyed eating “ham and candy that tasted like violets.” Though many misheard the quote; thinking he said, “…candy that tasted like violence,” he was actually describing Choward’s Violet Mints. These mints, introduced in the 1930’s, have a refreshing floral flavor and fragrance – In case you were wondering what Don Draper’s breathe smelled like.
This Candy Will Take You Back
You might be wondering why we’re talking about Mad Men on our Candy blog. But these two things have a lot in common. What we all love about Mad Men is the insight into, or the reminiscence of a different time. The show brings folks together through entertainment and reminds us of a significant time in our cultural history.
A part of that cultural history is the candy of the 1960’s. We’re an old-school candy company, and connecting people with nostalgic retro candies is the best part of our job. We like to think that, even though it’s a small part, these treats help bring people together over something delicious.
Lots of things are red! Roses are also expensive and short lived, and they don’t taste very good. Let’s tackle these issues one at a time, shall we?
Price (Reality) Check
It’s common knowledge that the price of flowers skyrockets around Valentine’s Day… especially red roses. It doesn’t seem fair to take advantage of those who are trying to express some love to one another. Talk about hypocrisy! Candy doesn’t play dirty like that. Our prices are the same every day, no matter what time of the year you want candy or what color you’re looking for.
When was it decided that presenting someone with a gift that dies quickly should ever be considered an acceptable symbol of love? Flowers have a life expectancy of – what? — maybe a week. Perhaps a little longer if you put the effort into all the recommended tricks of the trade to preserve them. If your beloved is a true klutz, they can end up killing them even faster while trying to extend their sentimental life.
Better to bestow a giant, 5-pound Hershey Bar and say (metaphorically) “My love is this big, and will last this long.” Consider the bunches of love implied by this Cherry Heart Lollipop Bouquet. Or the sappy sentiment of a big kiss. Any of these treats is sure to outlast any flower (though the length of time they remain available is directly proportionate to your rate of consumption) and be fun to share. Shouldn’t sharing be part of everyone’s Valentine’s Day experience?
Sugar is Sweet
Just like your love! And it comes in many forms, suitable for the most hopeless romantics and the best of friends. There are as many ways to express your love through candy as there are types of love! Plus, let’s not forget that chocolate is the perfect mood booster. When it comes to chocolate, the more the merrier (literally)!
Still not convinced that Valentine’s Day just isn’t Valentine’s Day without the flowers to go along with that traditional heart-shaped box? We understand, and we’re here to help. So then why not make Valentine’s Day a 2-day event? Candy on the day of, and an encore of flowers the day after (when roses are often sold at a steep discount). Stretch out the celebration while keeping some money in your pocket (perhaps to put towards a future dinner date).
You’ll get bonus points all around!