Archive for the ‘Candy History’ Category

Share Your Lemonheads Amongst Friendlyheads

Monday, August 24th, 2009 by Becca Droz
Did you know that over 500 Million - no, this is not a typo - Lemonheads are produced yearly!

Did you know that over 500 Million - no, this is not a typo - Lemonheads are produced yearly!

Sharability: 10

Denture Danger: 7

Convenience: 7

Novelty: 8

Overall: 9

 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.

SWEDISH FISH: The Journey From Sweden to the USA

Monday, July 20th, 2009 by Becca Droz
Swedish Fish are one of the most enduring and popular gummi candies

Swedish Fish are an enduring retro candy favorite!

Sharability: 10

Denture Danger: 7

Convenience: 7

Novelty: 7

Overall: 7

The Swedish Fish, as the name implies originated in Sweden by the Malaco candy company.

In 1958 the Malaco company began exporting some of their candy goods to North America starting with licorices. In the late 60s into the early 70s Malaco started exporting Swedish fish and Swedish berries (the same candy shaped as berries and, sadly, now discontinued) which were altered slightly to appeal to the North American market.

The Swedish fish are now made by the Cadbury Adams Company in Canada and are distributed all over the US. The winegum Swedish fish candies are a popular concession candy and are loved by people of all ages world-wide, especially in Sweden.

Winegum candies are very popular in Sweden are made in many different shapes including flowers, cars, coins, and boats. In Sweden the candy is called “Pastellfiskar” which literally means “pale colored fishes.” The original red fish is of an almost indistinguishable flavor that in my opinion seems to be a mix between cherry and strawberry.

Swedish fish come in different sizes (as there are all different sized fish in the sea) and in different flavors (as does most candy). You can find yellow lemon, green lime, orange orange, and purple grape Swedish fish flavors if the original read doesn’t tingle your taste buds. Forget paying for overpriced Swedish fish at the movie theatre, prepare ahead of time and order your Pastellfiskars from

Double your Bubbles with Dubble Bubble Bubble Gum

Thursday, July 16th, 2009 by Becca Droz
Dubble Bubble Gum was invented in 1928

Dubble Bubble Gum was invented in 1928

Sharability: 10

Denture Danger: 10 (what can I say? It is gum)

Convenience: 9

Novelty: 8

Overall: 7

 Dubble Bubble was first invented in 1928 by a man named Walter E. Diemer, an accountant at Fleer chewing gum company. Diemer experimented with chewing gum recipes and one day accidentally created a less sticky, more stretchable gum, and best of all, it made bubbles!

Beginning in 1930 the gum was wrapped up with a comic strip about twin brothers Dub and Bub. Dubble Bubble was even a part of military rations during World War II. It wasn’t long before the gum was wrapped without the accompaniment of a comic strip and put on the shelf next to a variety of Dubble Bubble flavors including grape, watermelon, and apple. The newer flavors all pale in comparison to the original bubble gum flavor.

 The colorful yellow, blue, red, white, and pink Dubble Bubble wrapper is an automatic attraction to the eyes. You pull the ends and out spins a bright pink cylinder chunk that you get to toss into your mouth. The first few chews are a little tough on the jaw, but the juicy bubble gum flavor leaks out as the chunk of gum becomes softer and easier to chew.

Then you get to stretch out the gum around your tongue and blow your best bubble. The gum is slightly thicker than other gums which makes the bubble’s walls more durable and stretchable for bubble blowing. It may loose its flavor but it never looses the chewy bubbleable consistency.

 My friend Mark had been chewing a piece of Dubble Bubble for a little while before he randomly blurted out: “I really like this gum!” When I pressed him for why he said, “It’s really chewy and has a lot of flavor and it is not the standard bubble gum taste.” I couldn’t have said it better myself! So if you aren’t feeling up for a piece of candy, grab a piece of Dubble Bubble Bubble Gum instead and blow away.

Will the real Fun Dip please stand up

Monday, July 6th, 2009 by Jon Prince
Fun Dip was once called Lik-M-Aid
Did you know that Fun Dip was once called Lik-M-Aid

Are you still searching for Lik-M-Aid?

True candy lovers know that the classic “lick and dip” candy known as Lik-M-Aid was introduced in 1942 and disappeared in the late 1980’s only to reemerge as Fun Dip. 

The candy was always intended for dipping but the iconic “dipping stick” known affectionately as Lik-A-Stick was not added until the 1970’s.  The actual flavor remains a mystery and a subject of debate.

As for the powdered sugar ,different variations have been introduced throughout the years and they remain similar to what is found in Pixy Sticks which ,ironically, is owned by the same company, Nestle USA, and featured in their Willy Wonka line..

Despite all, one thing is often overlooked and that is that Fun Dip is a candy with an illustrious, close to seventy year (70) old, history. If you look closely at current packaging, you will see that Fun Dip still pays homage to its original namesake as well it should!

McCraws Taffy is back!

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009 by Jon Prince
McCraws Giant Taffy Sticks are back!

McCraws Giant Taffy Sticks are back!

Mc Craws Taffy disappeared from the shelves of candy stores about two (2) years ago without explanation. The phone number for the original manufacturer was disconnected and rumors circulated as to whether this classic taffy would ever be available again. 

A few months ago, it was announced that the original owners were back in business and candy lovers rejoiced! 

Why the fuss you ask?

Mc Craw’s Old Fashioned Taffy Sticks have been a cult item ever since their accidental discovery in 1900.   They are colorful, great tasting and oh so retro.

Originally, the company sold popcorn and the taffy was introduced as something to compliment the line. Ironically, as time passed, the fame of the taffy grew and the popcorn business dwindled.

Ironically, when the company changed ownership last year – the original owner sold the company and then repurchased it – they found themselves closed on their hundredth anniversary which is sad as this would have guaranteed them a place in the pantheon of oldest candy manufacturers in the United States.

Regardless, despite this ever so brief hiatus, the box still states that they have been “ticklin’ the taste buds since 1908” and that these taffy sticks are “ lovingly crafted by the fine folks in Farmersville, Texas.”

As the slogan goes, “try to eat a piece without smiling….” We wish you the best of luck in this endeavor….

Baby Ruth Candy Bar

Thursday, November 1st, 2007 by Jon Prince




Introduced in 1920 , the Baby Ruth candy bar has fueled one of the great candy mysteries with speculation as to where it got it’s name

Some say it was the great baseball slugger, while other’s claim it was President Grover Cleveland’s daughter.

Here’s another piece of candy trivia:

The fabled Baby Ruth and Butterfinger candy bar were originally made by the now defunct Curtis Candy Company

The company president, Otto Schnering, used a unique, albeit dangerous, marketing ploy of dropping these candy bars out of planes over major cities

The candy is no longer manufactured by the Curtis Candy Company and distribution is, more often than not, by truck but they remain one of America’s favorites candy bars

Bazooka Bubble Gum: A Hard Knock Life

Monday, January 29th, 2007 by Jon Prince


Long gone are the days of “Bazooka zooka bubblegum.” Remember how easy it was to recognize the small red, white, and blue in the bucket at the corner store? Remember how important it was to read about Bazooka Joe while chewing hard enough to blow bubbles? I collected so many of those wrappers that I could started pasting them in a scrapbook and read through them often. But Bazooka left those simple days behind.

I ignored the strange expansion of the Bazooka line to include flavors like strawberry and grape. I even turned the other way when they decided to change the signature red, white, and blue to match the flavor of the gum. I scratched my head when I saw a Bazooka lollipop. This has gone far enough! Now even the shape of the gum is no longer intact. It has conformed to the average chewy rectangle commonly associated with Winterfresh and DoubleMint gum.

The wrapper, gum color, and shape make Bazooka chewing gum virtually unrecognizable. Yes, it tastes the same. Yes, the comics can be found in the wrappers. However, I do wish for the simple times when I could reach into a plastic bucket and pull out a handful of red, white, and blues without wondering why on earth someone would tamper with such tradition. Bazooka chewing gum is no longer a part of our simple life.

Peerless Quality Confection Since 1914 – RIP

Friday, January 26th, 2007 by Jon Prince

It came as a complete shock but effective 15 February,2007, one of America’s oldest candy manufacturers will be closing it’s doors leaving a void in the domestically produced bulk candy industry. Truth be told, few saw this coming and below is an excerpt from their letter as to the reasons as to why they are ceasing production…

January 12, 2007


We regret to announce that Peerless Confectionary Company, manufacturer of quality hard candies in Chicago, Illinois, since 1924, will cease operations effective April 30, 2007. Declining consumption of hard candy and the increasing prevalence of imports and offshore production are two major factors influencing our decision. To remain competitive in this environment would require us to move our facility offshore, which is not an option we are willing to consider. To do so would betray our tradition of quality and our commitment to our family of workers.

For 93 years Peerless has been proud to offer our customers the finest quality hard candies made in America. That tradition will continue until the last piece of candy is produced….”

While their candies will surely be missed, we have been told that there will be some marvelous condos available in the “former candy factory…”

It’s an interesting thought experiment to consider how much of their closing is truly due to the hard state of the candy biz these days, and how much of it is due to the financial benefits from selling the business to build these condos. Writing this from Pittsburgh it’s hard not to think of all of the amazing things here that have closed down and been turned into condos (the legendary rock club Laga comes quickly to mind), and Chicago is another city with a lot of history that’s suffering from the same sort of urban ennui. Whatever the motivation for Peerless Candy’s withdrawal, it’s a shame that another locally-owned company is throwing in the towel. And really, aren’t there enough luxury condos?