Archive for the ‘Candy History’ Category
According to Gourmet Live, the first American chocolate bunny was made in the mid-1840s by Whitman, but the fad did not catch on until they were mass-produced and marketed in 1916 by Bortz. The tradition of chocolate bunnies started in Germany in the early 1800s, though. Probably they were more like sinewy, gangly hares than soft cute bunnies, though.
Whatever the history, you can’t deny that they are an Easter classic. How do you eat them? Ears first or feet first? Back in the day when I worked at NCA we had quite a lively office debate on the topic. I still eat them feet first. You don’t want the little guy scampering off. But tell us your method and reasoning. I think of the ears as a perfect handle to get the cute little feet taken care of but some say that’s the wrong way.
The Zero Bar is not your average candy bar as it is a candy with a history spanning over 70 years!
It was first introduced in the 1920’s by the now defunct Hollywood Brands Candy Company and is now owned by Hershey Foods although this transition took place over many years and included many owners in between.
The candy bar is unique in that it consists of a delicious amalgamation of almonds, peanuts and caramel nougat covered, or shall we say , drenched, with delicious white fudge. This was even more controversial upon its release as most candy bars then, as now, are coated in milk chocolate.
As per the name, this has been the subject of candy lore as it was not touted as a reduced calorie candy bar – hence the name Zero – but rather because the white coating was supposed to give the impression of snow and, metaphorically speaking, “cool as zero degrees”
The original wrapper had a Polar Bear on it and upon it’s initial release, was called Double Zero. It wasn’t until 1934 that it formally became known as the Zero Bar
The original Zero Bars were distributed in the summer as fudge has a much higher melting point than milk chocolate and, as there wasn’t air conditioning readily available when the bar was first released; retailers stored this in their refrigerators.
Yes, this candy bar like others will melt if exposed to high temperatures but there is something intriguing about this bar that makes it endure as a classic if only because it is delicious and holds true to it’s original formula and because it is over 70 years old!
PS: The vintage Zero Bar wrapper pictured above is VERY rare as it shows the Polar Bear! This is circa early 1930’s
The former pride of Pittsburgh and McKeesport , the beloved Clark Bar, has just released a All Natural Dark Chocolate version which is truly a unique twist on one of the best tasting candy bars available
In case you are not familiar with Clark Bars, they are a candy bar consisting of a honeycomb peanut butter crisp center with a rich milk chocolate covering.
The signature item of one of the country’s largest candy empires started in 1891 with a small operation run by young entrepreneur David L. Clark located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Within a few years, he made enough money to open a modest factory in McKeesport which is where CandyFavorites has been located since we opened our candy filled warehouse in 1927 ( actually it was in 1926 but we didn’t incorporate until a year later)
By 1911, the candy had become so popular that the company was forced to relocate, and Mr. Clark purchased a large building from a cracker manufacturer.
In the 1920’s, when the company was making approximately one hundred and fifty (150) different types of candy and gum, Mr. Clark decided to create a separate company for the gum-making business, thinking that the candy and gum operations would be more successful if run separately.
He opened the Clark Brothers Chewing Gum Co. across the street from his candy factory and his family continued to run the business until 1955. The company remained a Pittsburgh mainstay for several decades but ran into financial difficulties in the 90s and the brand was rescued by the New England Confectionary Company known to candy lovers as NECCO.
In 2010, the formula was changed for Clark Bars and now includes All Natural Ingredients. The Dark Chocolate version of the Clark Bar is one of the few examples of a formula being improved and we think that this variation is so delicious that, someday, it too will become a classic!
The other day, I had the good fortune to communicate with Gary Duschl who holds the Guinness Book of World Records for the LONGEST chain made out of gum wrappers. I asked Gary if he would share his experience with the readers of our candy blog and below is an excerpt from his reply.
I find project amazing on many levels, both physically and metaphorically, and it is one of the more interesting uses for recycling candy/gum wrappers – Jon H.Prince, President, CandyFavorites.com
I started the gum wrapper chain on March 11, 1965 while a student in the ninth grade. As some of the kids were making them and I asked them to show me how to do it. My competitive nature took over and I had to have the longest chain in the class, then the school, then the town and I just kept going from there.
My wife and I visited the Ripley Museum in Niagara Falls in 1992 and saw what was on display as a giant gum wrapper chain. My chain dwarfed that one, and after contacting the manager, I found that there was an actual Guinness Record for gum wrapper chains.
I contacted Guinness and they advised as to what I would have to do to register my chain with them. After doing so, I have held the Guinness World Record for the longest gum wrapper chain ever since.
The chain is made up of Wrigley wrappers only but, unfortunately, Wrigley’s has stopped putting wrappers on their gum in North America which makes finding suitable wrappers more challenging.
I have been in and on numerous radio programs, books, newspaper articles and TV shows including the Rosie O’Donnell show. I have recently returned from a press conference and book signing at the Ripley Museum in Times Square. The president of Ripley Entertainment signed the 3 millionth link (1,500,000 wrapper) at a special presentation.
I have been working on the chain now for over 45 years and I do get the odd comment about it being a waste of time although I look at it differently. I worked as a General Manager with the responsibilities for four plants for the last 40 years and have just recently retired. I play golf, baseball, hockey and guitar and have a number of other outside interests.
I work on the chain while relaxing in front of the TV and add to it a little every day. I do this as well as other things, not instead of other things and it is surprising how things grow if you add to them a little at a time on a regular basis.
I have averaged 91 wrappers a day for the last 45 years and the result is a chain 63,527 feet long. It is measured by professional land surveyors every March 11th and I send this new information to Guinness every year so they can update their data base.
I am very proud of my status with Guinness and with Ripley’s. It is a tremendous feeling to be recognized as the best in the world in your field or profession. Guinness has recently nominated my record as one of the top 100 records of the decade. After the polling by Guinness of fans all over the world, my record was voted tops in my category (stunts) and as a result is now included in the Guinness top 10 records of the decade. My ultimate goal is to have my Guinness World Record Gum Wrapper Chain reach a marathon length of 26.2 miles.
My website is www.gumwrapper.com and no, I have not chewed all the gum myself. I have received wrappers from wonderful people all over the world. I also have a video on YouTube which I use to show people how to make their own chains
Denture Danger: 8
These simple little classic disc candies are one of the best.
The butterscotch flavor just hits the spot no matter what mood you might be in. Butterscotch is a color, and a flavor, and yours truly, a candy. Butterscotch’s base ingredients are brown sugar and butter; corn syrup, vanilla, salt, and cream are usually added to the concoction to create the deliciousness that this candy so well exemplifies.
It is made similarly to toffee, but the sugar is boiled to different levels in the two candies.
The word butterscotch prossibly originated in Doncaster, England by a man named Samuel Parkinson. He began making candy in 1817 and in 1851 the Queen royally approved the recipe.
It is a good thing she did or else we might not have these sweet satisfying little discs to bring us an extra moment of happiness in our beautifully busy, yet amazingly enjoyable, ineffably incredible lives.
Denture Danger: 8
1937 isn’t just the year that U.S. Steel raised workers’ wages to $5 a day, or just the year that the first quadruplets finished college, or just the year that China declared war on Japan. 1937 is the year that the Rolo candy was introduced.
Nestlé Rowntree manufactured this delicious candy, and Nestlé continues to produce Rolos everywhere except in the United States. Here in America, we have accredited The Hershey Company with the Rolo candy since 1969.
Rich milk chocolate surrounding a soft, chewy caramel filling; this candy is classic, this candy is delicious, and this candy is rolly. The most well known Rolo slogan, “Do you love anyone enough to give them your last Rolo?” is quite appropriate because the Rolos used to come with 11 in every package leaving 10 for you, but in 1995 Rolos reduced the number of candies in each package to 10 making giving up one much more difficult.
They also advertise the candies as rollable, you can roll them to your friend, you can roll them to your mom, or you can roll them to me.
A few fun facts about the vintage Rolo label:
This wrapper is interesting as it shows the “Mackintosh’s” brand above the candy name
Originally, Rolo’s were from the United Kingdom and it wasn’t until the early 1980’s, when Hershey acquired the brand, that the Mackintosh name would be removed from the label.
Also, if you look carefully, you will see that NECCO is on the label and that is because the New England Confectionary Company was the original distributor and manufacturer of Rolo’s in the United States.
Denture Danger: 7
The Reese’s Cup might taste better (and it might not, it’s all a matter of opinion), but it doesn’t have the novelty factor of being the first ever cup candy made in the United States. The Mallo Cup takes the trophy for this honor.
The whipped cream center has the consistency of melty marshmallow and is covered in a chocolate coconuty cup shell. The taste is odd at first but quickly grows on you and if you don’t like it, I’m sure someone at the lunch table will be happy to relieve you of the burden of eating the second cup.
Boyer Brothers, Inc. founded in 1936 in Altoona, PA is the company that manufactures these gloop filled cups. They used to manufacture many different kinds of cup candies including a s’mores cup and a peanut butter marshmallow cup, but all of these came after the original Mallo. Now, the only cups they manufacture are the peanut butter cup (the standing competitor of the Reese’s cup), the smoothie cup which is a peanut butter butterscotch cup, and of course, the Mallo.
-The Boyer Plant makes over 2 million cups every day. If you were to line these cups up side by side they would cover 58 miles.
– It takes 20 tons of the Mallo filling to fill 2,000,000 Mallo Cups.
Denture Danger: 4
Obviously, (almost) anything covered in chocolate is a taste treat. Even though the malted milk ends up stuck in your teeth it is worth the crunch that it adds to the soft melty milk chocolate. These little generic malt balls are tasty, but they don’t come close to the satisfaction you find when you bite into a real gourmet malt ball also known as Brachs Malts. But not to say these malt balls aren’t delicious, they way they melt in you mouth or crunch between your teeth is quite unique.
Malted milk is a powdered food that is made of malted barley, wheat flour, and evaporated whole milk, all mixed together in one crunchy, airy snack.
The idea for malted milk was originated by a pharmacist named James Horlick who was trying to develop a wheat and malt based nutritional supplement for infants.
In 1873, James and his brother William formed their own baby food company. Soon after, they patented their formula for of dried milk, trademarking the name “malted milk” and marketing their product as “Diastoid.”
Though the intentions were to make a healthy supplement for infants, malted milk became popular in may other respects. The fact that it was lightweight, non-perishable, and packed a lot of calories made it a perfect snack for exploring travelers worldwide.
It was also a popular drink that was commonly found at soda fountains and a delectable addition to ice cream. Now you can find malted milk within the shell of chocolate in almost any candy store.
Denture Danger: 2
Also known as a circus peanut, this orange peanut shaped marshmallow became one of the first penny candies after it was introduced in the mid 1800s.
To be honest, I never understood why everyone liked these things so much. Yes they have a good texture, and yes they are a classic, but what I don’t understand is why the peanut shaped marshmallow taste like artificial banana. It just doesn’t make sense.
If you are a fan of marshmallows that taste like bananas, then this candy might be your calling. Unless you are trying to relive memories from the past, this almost sickeningly sweet confectionary won’t leave you very satisfied.
In 1963 man named John Holahan discovered that the shavings of the circus peanut are a delicious addition to breakfast cereal. Mr. Holahan was coincidentally the vice president of General Mills and these marshmallow shavings were the influence to creating the first cereal with marshmallow bits (marbits) and one of everyone’s favorite cereals, Lucky Charms.
For some reason the Lucky Charms marshmallows were created without that banana flavoring. If only the Lucky Charms’ marshmallows were enlarged to the size of the circus peanut… now that would be profitable product.
(You can get them individually wrapped too!)
Denture Danger: 7
Not to be confused with the 90’s rock band, lemonheads are a small ball of a hard candy coated in a soft sugary layer that adds the bang to the tang.
The big lemon heads are good, I mean who doesn’t like one of their favorite candies in monster size, but they don’t have the same tang as the small original lemon heads that you get in the concessions box at the movies. It has to do with the ratio of hard candy center to the soft sour outer shell.
The original lemonheads have a perfect ratio that blends well whether you chew it up your let it melt away in your mouth. The big lemon head has a thick sour coating that is delicious, but is gone well before the large ball of candy.
Lemonheads originated in 1962 from the Ferrara Pan Company using the same method used to make Red Hots. The hard candy center is made by mixing and heating sugar and corn syrup, pulling and kneading the dough-like clump of sugar to aerate it, and forming it into a rope that is pressed between two rollers that form the candy balls.
After cooling, the balls are put into the same revolving pan that Ferrara’s atomic fireballs were put into, a process known as the cold panned process. As the candy beads spin around and around corn syrup and sugar are added which gives them a sugary coating that continues to build in layers to form the shell as the pan continues to spin and more ingredients are added.
Through my personal experience I have seen Lemonheads hoarded by kids and I have seen them being shared amongst friends. One little Lemonhead holds the same sweet and sour satisfaction as ten so don’t hesitate to dish out Lemonheads to your envious friends. Approximately 500 million lemonheads are created by the Ferrara Pan Company each year, get out there and eat your share.