Archive for the ‘Nostalgic Candy Favorites’ Category
The first Valomilk candy cup was created in Kansas by the Sifers company in 1931. The Sifers company had gotten its start by making hard penny candy and then moved on to boxed chocolates and 5-cent candy bars. Like most great inventions, the first Valomilk was the product of a happy accident (serendipity, you might say).
Making a Marshmallow Mess
At that time, the vanilla used to make marshmallows had a lot more alcohol in it than it does today. When a candy maker added too much vanilla, it would prevent the marshmallow from setting properly. Fortunately, when life handed Sifers a batch of runny marshmallow and some chocolate, they made Valomilk!
Valomilks were first sold in the Midwest and were made up of 2 ounces of marshmallow in one chocolate cup. Now the same amount of candy is split up into 2 smaller cups, making the treat easier (and cleaner) to eat.
Fighting the Good Fight
Valomilks have now been on shelves for 5 generations, but it wasn’t without a fight. In 1981 the Valomilk factory shut down and this classic candy was nowhere to be found.
Thankfully the great grandson of the company’s founder combined the original copper kettles and the traditional family recipe to begin making Valomilks again in Kansas. They only disappeared for 6 years!
To get Valomilks right, they have to be made by hand, so that’s how they’re still made today — one by one, right here in America.
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 The candy bar was originally made just a few blocks from the warehouse where our candy company has resided since 1927!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.
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
Sweetly fall into the gender roles of the 1960’s by providing the ladies of your premiere party with wax lips, and Sugar Daddy’s. You know, while the men talk business. You can even enjoy the exact same treats featured in the show! In a 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.
Radz is all about making candy fun, and a big part of that is our collection of colorful Radz characters. Meet Twig, Scorch, Antic, Max and Bubbs!
They’ve each got their own personalities. We like to think of them as your typical group of friends, each with their own passions and quirks.
We’ve got Twig, the outdoorsman.
And Scorch, the extreme sports loving “bro.”
There’s Antic, the prankster of the group.
Max is the traveler, ever on the go.
And finally, there’s Bubbs, the loyal buddy always ready to lend a hand.
We’ve taken a lot of care getting to know our characters (and yes, we can even tell you who’s frenemies with who) and we’re very excited to share them with the world through our candy dispensers (available soon at CandyFavorites!) and our fun, free online entertainment portal. But we also know we’re hardly the first to figure out that tasty candy and fun characters make an awesome duo.
So, in the spirit of CandyFavorites, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at some other candy characters and mascots that have appeared over the years.
Choo Choo Charlie was the face of Good & Plenty starting in 1950.
He may not be around anymore, but many fans still remember how much Charlie loved trains and his Good & Plenty! Check out one of Charlie’s commercial’s here.
M&Ms have been around since the 40s, but it wasn’t until 1954 that the characters Red and Yellow made their debut. Remember these guys?
The characters got an overhaul in the mid-90s, when a computer animated Red and Yellow began appearing in TV commercials, soon be followed by Blue, Ms. Green, Orange, and the recently introduced newest member of the M&M bunch, Ms. Brown.
The Dum Dums Drum man was developed for Spangler Candy in 1966.
Wally Warhead burst onto the sour candy scene in the 1980s with his signature puckered lips.
And Mr. Jelly Belly first appeared in 1996.
Did we miss your favorite candy character or mascot? Let us know in the comments! And come check us out and learn more about the Radz characters at candyfavorites.com and radzworld.com!
Being in the candy business is a lot of fun. We often get to connect people with candies they’ve loved and lost. Each holiday brings a wave of exhilaration at being part of something joyful. But every once in a while, we’re fortunate that our work allows us to do something really cool. Just before Christmas this year, an email from a drowsy dad gave us just that kind of opportunity.
Nearly every young child has their favorite thing — some item they hold on to for comfort throughout their early years. For one boy, it was a soft yellow M&M’s pillow. He’d slept soundly with it every night, beginning with his first night home from the hospital after being born. On a recent vacation, that M&M’s pillow went missing and sleepless nights began.
After searching desperately (without any luck) for a replacement, the boy’s father wrote to Candy Favorites. The pillows were long gone from our inventory, but he hoped that just maybe we could connect him with one yellow pillow. It just happened that our President,
Jon Prince, had set a few collectible pillows aside, thinking they were interesting novelty items. He went searching, and sure enough, a yellow M&M’s pillow was among them. Jon was delighted to send it off just in time for Christmas.
We are so grateful to this family for sharing their Christmas with us. Like anything else, the candy business has its ups and downs. But these are the moments that make it all worthwhile.
Interested in celebrating yet another holiday between Thanksgiving and Christmas? Need a distraction from your kids’ constant countdown? Belsnickel Day is the perfect opportunity to practice your early-morning home-videography skills and encourage children to keep the pre-holiday tantrums to a minimum.
A few of us graced with the good fortune of growing up in rural German Pennsylvania towns know the joy of a little early Christmas visit. On the evening of December 6th, we put our shoes (one pair apiece, of course) next to the front door. In the morning, they’d most likely be full of candy treats and small gifts. This was, however, the only occasion on which we really ever saw lumps of coal. After all, it was Belsnickel’s job to let Santa know whether we’d been behaving our P’s and Q’s.
A Sometimes Troubling Tradition
The tradition of Der Belsnickel was brought to America by German immigrants and was soon adopted by other settlers. The name translates roughly to “Niklos in furs,” and the character is traditionally covered in, well, furs. In some traditions, he’ll even wear masks or be painted to look pretty terrifying. The job of Belsnickel is to reward good children and punish those who’d misbehaved.
The Belsnickel I believed in was a far cry from the mythical being who scared the Bejeezus out of kids (and probably their parents). In my own view, Belsnickel was more or less Santa’s brother or cousin popping in to make sure things were as they should be as Christmas approached. Though I never stayed up to try and catch a glimpse, had I known the real legend, I imagine I’d have refused to sleep — or maybe even to leave school. As it turned out, I stayed blissfully unaware and reveled in the fact that I got to enjoy the gifts of an “extra” jolly gentleman who passed by the homes of my classmates.
Keeping a Classic
The Pennsylvania Dutch tradition of Belsnickle started fading in the 1920’s. It’s for that reason that I’d really like to keep it alive. It’s one of those opportunities to celebrate a fading cultural practice and develop a yearly tradition at the same time. Just like I feed my friends saurkraut on New Year’s Day, I plan to add a shoe-Santa moment to my pre-Christmas ugly sweater party. What better way to add a dash of unexpected magic to the holiday season?
Mark your calendar for December 6th and check out our naughty-and-nice stocking stuffers for the perfect Belsnickle treats!
Der Belsnickel of the Pennsylvania Dutch
Belsnickel on Wikipedia
They say that variety is the spice of life. Well, Brach’s is delivering a variety of spices with its new lineup of holiday nougats.
Okay…so they’re mostly mints. But you get the idea. You might remember Christmas Nougats from going “treeing” at other people’s houses. They have these tiny little trees in the middle, and you can’t help but try and bite around the candy just so, in an effort to free the tree from a forest of nougat. And then, when you fail, you can’t help but try again. Over the years, I wiled away many hours this way, waiting for adults to finish talking. These candies, for many of us, are a signal that the holidays are really here.
Classic Peppermint Christmas Nougats
It all started with the Brach’s Peppermint Christmas Nougat. This red-and-white variety is the classic soft candy of Christmas, but as a kid I shied away from them. But as an adult, curiosity struck. What I found is that these are actually quite addictive.
The texture seems to be hard before you open them. But the nougat softens as you chew, giving way to one of the cleanest and smoothest candy textures I’ve experienced. They’re really nice after dinner (and after dessert) to make your mouth all fresh and tingly. They’re more peppermint than sweet, so you feel like you’ve eaten a mint rather than a candy.
Wintergreen Christmas Nougats
Somewhere over the years, Brach’s decided to mix it up. So now those more inclined to eat Canada Mints can have a Christmas candy, too. Wintergreen is one of those bizarre flavors that you don’t think you want to eat on purpose. Pepto Bismol might have done that to us. But one bite of something Wintergreen that’s actually yummy, and you can’t stop eating it.
Brach’s Wintergreen Christmas Nougats are no exception. They have the exact same wonderful texture and festive design as the Peppermint nougat, but the base color is light green instead of white. These leave you with a distinct cool feeling in your mouth.
Cinnamon Christmas Nougats
Cinnamon might be the best variety for children new to the world of Brach’s Christmas Nougats. These also have the little tree design, but the main color is pink. When you open an individually wrapped piece, you’re immediately hit with a jolt of cinnamon fragrance. These are just remarkably pleasant, because they have potent cinnamon flavor without overwhelming you with a burst of heat.
Cinnamon Christmas Nougats give you all the texture of classic nougats, plus a cinnamonny experience without the annoying loss of flavor you get from chewing gum. Unlike the mint varieties, this one leaves your mouth feeling warm and toasty.
Chocolate Mint Christmas Nougats
And then there’s one more — the fun one. Brach’s Chocolate Mint Christmas Nougats take things outside the box. They abandon the classic tree design for a basic but totally cute irregular swirl. This makes them fun to smash, so kids — or you — might end up playing with them more than the others. The chocolate and mint layers are made from two distinct flavors of nougat. The chocolate is a really nice surprise. It has none of that essence-of-fake-chocolate taste, but rather adds a subtle chocolate tone to the distinct mint flavor.
I carefully nibbled at the mint layer of several of these, trying to decide what kind of mint it was. I gave up. It has the light green hue of wintergreen but the freshness of peppermint. And seems too much like a Peppermint Patty to be Wintergreen. Either way, when you eat the layers together, you still get that very consistent, smooth nougat texture, with a refreshing flavor that leaves behind notes of mint.
A Christmas Candy Tradition
The nutrition facts on these puppies makes them an indulgence that’s worth it. The stats are pretty similar for all varieties, so 5 pieces have around 160 calories and 3 grams of fat. That’s not bad at all for candy in any season. Stick with Brach’s to revive old traditions or start new ones. These candies are so unique, they won’t be forgotten.
Candy is as much a part of our American culture as hamburgers, jazz, and baseball. Since so many of our sweet memories include candy, we decided to pitch a contest to see to who has the best one to tell.
Do you remember the first time you had Pop Rocks? Did your grandmother make a bad day better with caramel creams? Did your toddler stash all the Marshmallow Peeps in her diaper to keep her siblings from getting any? We know you’ve got something worth sharing.
Give us your best candy story by Friday, August 19 and you could win a $150 Sweetcertificate to spend on CandyFavorites.com. Who else will reward you for reminiscing about candy?
Browse our huge candy selection to jog your memory and we bet you’ll be surprised how many happy scenes return to you. Enjoy, and we look forward to reading your story.
PS: To enter the contest, simply post your memory or story as a REPLY to this blog entry. Good Luck!
There’s something about old fashioned candy that immediately transports everyone with a demanding sweet tooth back to the days of picking out their favorite treat at the corner store.
CandyFavorites.com specializes in reviving sweet memories with the internet’s largest selection of retro candy. In fact, browsing through our site is much like taking a quick lesson in the history of candy.
Most candy connoisseurs have a definite product in mind when they turn to the Internet to find their favorite candy. If that item falls under the retro candy genre, they might even have a specific timeframe in mind especially if they are looking for candy for an anniversary or special birthday!
Instead of forcing shoppers to waste valuable time browsing through page after page of random choices, we have organized our vintage sweets by the original date of manufacturer which we call our Shop by Decades Retro Candy Section.
If you’d like a more extensive look at how candy has evolved through the years, don’t forget to click on the confectionary timeline as you will be amazed at how much candy has stayed the same and changed over the past hundred years!
Take a walk along the candy timeline today for a tasty reminder of your childhood or to introduce your kids to a sweet treat from a past era.
We have long believed that the future of candy is rooted in the past…..
For those of you who are keeping up, researching the new guy here, and cyber stalking me, you already know that I once took a trip to Thailand to become a Buddhist monk. It was a heck of an exciting trip to take for many reasons. However, it was not all fun and games, not that you likely expect a lot of fun and games in a Buddhist monastery. I experienced a good bit of loneliness and culture shock there, even though I was among friends and knew a good bit about the culture I was in.
Something that helped me out was chewing gum. No, I am not making this up. I had gum for my plane ride and took to having some from time to time as a reminder of home. It was easy to find in the country, as almost every town had a 7-11, Lotte, or other convenience store. It reminded me of where I came from and gave me a little taste of home, something to savor among the sing-song syllables of a foreign land. It grounded me and made me feel a bit less lost during my stay.
Have you ever had a particular taste that reminded you of home?