Archive for the ‘Nostalgic Candy Favorites’ Category

B-O-N-O-M-O, O-O-O-Bonomo(BAHN-uh-moh) [not so] Turkish Taffy

Friday, June 11th, 2010 by Becca Droz
A vintage Bonomo's Turkish Taffy Wrapper

A vintage Bonomo’s Turkish Taffy Wrapper

Sharability: 7

Denture Danger: 10

Convenience: 8

Novelty: 10

Overall: 10

Once upon a time in the land of Turkey lived a man named Albert J. Bonomo. Al emigrated to Coney Island, New York and founded the Bonomo candy company in 1897.

This candy company made hard candies, but specialized in its saltwater taffy. As delicious as Al’s saltwater taffies must have been, it was not Al, but the son of Al who introduced the masterpiece of the Turkish Taffy that we have all known and loved since we learned to say the word “taffy.”

An interesting thing about this candy that Tico, son of Victor, pointed out is that it is not technically taffy, it would be better described as nougat because of its corn syrup and egg white ingredients. Also the taffy is not any kind of Turkish secret family recipe. It was named Turkish Taffy purely for marketing reasons.

When the candy was first distributed into Woolworth stores it came in school desk size sheets that were broken into pieces with ball-peen hammers. In the late 1940s the hammers were dropped and the bars of taffy took the field. The bars have a unique way of being eaten.

Before opening the wrapper you can smack the candy against the table so that it breaks into bite size pieces. When the taffy is too soft to break, a few minutes in the freezer does the trick to help the candy shatter. Bonomos’ flavors include vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and even banana.

Bonomo was one of the first candies to be advertised on television and it surely wasn’t poorly marketed. The Magic Clown was a character on NBC Television who did your usual clown tricks and gags, but it all depended on the magic word: Bonomo. The commercials had a catchy hook, “B-O-N-O-M-O, O-O-O BONOMO!” that helped to make the candy so successful; they were so successful that in the 50’s and 60’s, 80 to 100 million bars were sold per year.

In 1980 Tootsie Roll industries bought the candy and only nine years later they discontinued it. In 2003, the people who could only feel the melting taffy in their mouth through nostalgic memories began a movement to bring Bonomo back. The Bonomo website lacks information in that particular area, but I had the privilege to chew up some tasty Bonomo, so they must be in production somewhere. The Warrel Corporation claims that the Bonomos that you all love and miss so much will be back in stores and available for purchase this summer in July of 2010.

That, my friends, is the story of the elusive Bonomo.

Patience will prevail as you await the return of this wholesome nougaty Turkish Taffy. The day will come again when we will all hold our Bonomos above our heads and slam them against the table in unison.


Choo Choo Charlie says Love my Good & Plenty!

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010 by Becca Droz


Vintage Good and Plenty Advertisement Circa 1960's

Vintage Good and Plenty Advertisement Circa 1960′s

Sharability: 7

Denture Danger: 6

Convenience: 8

Novelty: 9

Overall: 9

The Quaker City Confectionary Company first produced the Good & Plenty candy in 1893 and believe it or not it is the oldest branded candy in the United States.

Over the years the company has changed hands from Quaker City, to Warner-Lambert, to Leaf Candy Company, to Beatrice Foods, to the current manufacturer, Hershey.

There was much controversy over the naming of this candy, but eventually the Quaker City Confectionary Company settled with Good & Plenty as the name instead of the less catchy Bad & Scarce.

The name is sometimes misleading because though it might imply that there are plenty to go around, once you give them away you realize that there aren’t enough for you.

Over 50 years after the candy was first produced, the company came up with a catchy cartoon character for marketing the candy. Choo Choo Charlie quickly became popular to kids all over America (including my mom) with his theme song:

Once upon a time there was an engineer
Choo Choo Charlie was his name, we hear.
He had an engine and he sure had fun
He used Good & Plenty candy to make his train run.
Charlie says “Love my Good & Plenty!”
Charlie says “Really rings my bell!”
Charlie says “Love my Good & Plenty!”
Don’t know any other candy that I love so well!

The only kind of person that doesn’t like the Good & Plenty candy is the kind of person who doesn’t like the black licorice flavor to begin with. If you like black licorice then this candy is great. The chewy licorice cylinder is covered in a hard candy shell, and the best part is that the ratio of candy to licorice is just right.

The question lies in the color. Does the white one have a different flavor than the pink one? I have personally done field research to answer this question, as I’m sure most of you have done as well. I have found that the results concur with my hypothesis, and friends, I’m pleased to inform you that the answer is, (SPOILER ALERT) no. So you can all stop fighting over the last pink one.



Wax Sticks Aren’t Among the Best Picks

Monday, January 4th, 2010 by Becca Droz
Wax Syrup Sticks are a true retro classic....and can be a bit messy too!

Wax Syrup Sticks are a true retro classic....and can be a bit messy too!

Sharability: 8

Denture Danger: 5

Convenience: 7

Novelty: 9

Overall: 6

This wax vial filled with a sugary liquid has an oddly popular appeal to little kids (at least they did to me when I was little).  After all these years, when I attempted to transfer the liquid from the vile to my mouth, I had a small deal of trouble. I bit off the top and tried to drink it out like it was a straw, that didn’t work.

 I tried to pour it into my mouth, that didn’t work. This liquid was just reluctant to let me taste it. Then I figured it out. After you pull or bite off the end here is the best way to taste the neon sugar water. Starting at the opposite end, squeeze the wax together forcing the liquid to be pushed into your mouth.

For all the effort it takes to access the liquid you only get a tiny taste of colored sugar water that is only mildly satisfying. 

What my brothers and I found more fun as kids than the liquid itself was chewing on the wax. Chewing on the wax is satisfying for the first few chews, but then the wax starts to get stuck in your teeth and on your teeth and wax acts as a coating and the more you try to get it off the more stuck it seems to get.

The wax soda pop bottle is the same exact idea but the marketing is a little more advanced than this simple vile. This candy is more popular for the idea than the taste, so if that’s the kind of fun you like to have, by all means coat your teeth with wax and enjoy the mild gratification you get out of wax sticks.

Pittsburgh’s Very Own, Vintage Clark Bar and Zagnut Bar

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009 by Becca Droz
Clark Bars are a true retro candy and hail from Pittsburgh which is home to

Clark Bars are a true retro candy and hail from Pittsburgh which is home to

Sharability: 3

Denture Danger: 6 (It’s sure to get stuck in your teeth)

Convenience: 5

Novelty: 10

Overall: 9

The Clark Bar is—as it says on the wrapper—“Chocoaltey Coated Peanut Butter Crunch.” I guess you could say this is Necco’s version of the Butterfinger. The filling is slightly different than the Butterfinger, however. The Clark bar has a little soft peanut butter snuck into the crunchy, flakey, filling which adds an extra bit of peanut buttery goodness.

In second grade I had a teacher named Mrs. Clark, naturally, her favorite candy was the Clark bar. I brought in a bag of Clark bars for the class and she took every wrapper and hung them around the bulletin board on the wall. Now Mrs. Clark was an advocate of the Clark bar, but she wasn’t the inventor.

Irish-born, David L. Clark, was a guy just trying to make a living like the rest of us. He went through working at a variety of jobs including at a fish market, an art glass factory, and a paint manufacturer. He founded the Clark Company in 1886 in two rooms of a small house in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, what is now the North Side of Pittsburgh.

The company continued to grow and was soon producing some of the nation’s favorite candies. Clark’s company experimented with ingredients such as coconut, mint, and peanut butter, which had never been used in candies before. Some of the most delicious and most popular of these innovative creations were the Clark bar and the Zagnut bar.

The Zagnut bar is basically the exact same thing as the Clark bar, but instead of the flakey peanut butter being coated in chocolate, it is coated in a sweet coconut shell. I know that there are a lot of people out there who don’t like coconut in their candies, but  before you make that claim, try the Zagnut bar. The coconut flavor is far from overwhelming, and incorporates an excellent additional flavor to the crunchy peanut butter.

The Clark Company changed hands quite a bit. It was sold to the Beatrice Food Company in 1955, Leaf Inc. in 1983, renamed to Clark Bar America in 1995, and bought again by New England Confectionary Company (NECCO) in 1999, which is where it thrives today.

I feel like the Clark Bar and the Zagnut bar have declined in popularity in comparison to their cousin, the Butterfinger. I know that I had never even heard of the Zagnut bar until now and I think that is a shame. Not only is this candy an ultimate classic, not only was this candy originally produced in Pittsburgh (my home town), but this candy, along with his brother the Clark bar is absolutely delicious. So next time you are craving a Butterfinger, think back to David Clark and the struggles he must have gone through to create the delicious candy bar that is undoubtedly the candy that influenced the creation of the Butterfinger.


Ferrara Pan’s Jaw Busters, the Original Jaw Breakers, Eat at Your Own Risk

Friday, November 6th, 2009 by Becca Droz
A vintage box of Ferrara Pan Jawbreakers - the candy is now known as a Jawbuster!

A vintage box of Ferrara Pan Jawbreakers - the candy is now known as a Jawbuster!

Sharability: 10

Denture Danger: 10 (if you try and chew it)

Convenience: 8

Novelty: 8

Overall: 4

It puzzles me to think how a candy marketed as “Jaw Breakers” is and has been so successful. It seems like it would have gone out of business with the cigarette company called “death” and Chevy Nova car in Latin America, which translates to “it doesn’t go.” I think the brand name almost comes off as a challenge to kids. The kids who have managed to have bite into a Jawbuster without breaking their teeth in the process have something to brag about (though I’m sure kids would love brag about how they broke their tooth trying to bite into a jawbreaker, “It didn’t break my jaw like it was supposed to!”).

I am reluctant to call this candy by its name, Jaw Busters because growing up they were always called Jaw Breakers. I think the Jaw Breakers began to go a bit unnoticed (which isn’t surprising considering the danger implied by trying to bite into one) so Ferrara Pan changed the name to “Jaw Busters, the original Jaw Breakers.” They call it the original Jaw Breakers because jawbreakers used to be a generic term thrown around by candy companies as any hard candy and Ferrara Pan took that name and created a product.

Jaw Busters are created with the same rotating pan process as lemon heads and atomic fireballs, but the Jaw Buster process is a little more intense. The process of adding more sugar to the pan is repeated over 100 times in a 14 to 19 day period, which is why this candy isn’t so easy bite into. Don’t try and prove yourself worthy for any reason by attempting to bite into one of these candies because even if you don’t break your jaw, you could hurt your jaw or break a tooth and I don’t think biting into any candy is worth that sacrifice (which is why I don’t know how this candy is still in the market). So, eat at your own risk.

Go Bananas for Circus Marshmallow Peanuts

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009 by Becca Droz
Marshmallow Peanuts are one of the oldest candies and few people know that the flavor is banana!

Marshmallow Peanuts are one of the oldest candies and few people know that the flavor is banana!

Sharability: 10

Denture Danger: 2

Convenience: 6

Novelty: 9

Overall: 5

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!)

Brachs Cherry Cordials Do Not Fail to Impress and they give Brachs Villa Cherries a run for their money

Monday, September 28th, 2009 by Becca Droz
If you loved Brach's Villa Cherries, discontinued in 2003,  you will love their new replacment!

If you loved Brach's Villa Cherries, discontinued in 2003, you will love their new replacment!

Sharability: 6

Denture Danger: 4

Convenience: 4

Novelty: 5

Overall: 8

I have to admit I’m usually not a fan of fruit inside my chocolates. And when I say I’m not a fan, every time I bite into a chocolate with fruit flavored filling, it usually ends up in a gross, slobbery mess inside of a napkin.

I tentatively took my first bite of the cherry cordial expecting the same sickly sweet fruity flavor of most fruit fillings, but I was quite pleasantly surprised. Within the chocolate shell, surrounding the maraschino cherry, is a sweet goopy filling. It has the same consistency of the stretchy, soft caramel in Caramello chocolates. I’m not sure what exactly the filling is, some sort of deliciously sweet, milky substance. Whatever it is, it makes this candy what it is. The milk chocolate blend, with the goopy sweetness, and the fruity cherry creates a perfect trifecta of flavors. This candy is classy too. Place them around the edges of a plate filled with fruit and you can serve that for dessert to Obama at his grand table in the white house. 

You might remember Brach’s Christmas time Villa Cherries (I’ll admit that I don’t), which were discontinued in 2003. These may not be the original Villa Cherries that you all knew and loved, but they are new and improved. Whatever those Villa Cherries may have tasted like, I can tell you that these Brach’s Milk Chocolate Covered  Cherry Cordials  taste even better.

So whether you are going to the Obama’s for dinner, or it’s Christmas(/Chanukah) time,  or it’s right now, the cherry cordials’ trifecta of sweetness will leave you with your eyes closed and absentmindedly expressing your satisfaction through the universal “mmmmmm…”

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.

Beware of the Aliens in the Mystery Satellite Wafers

Thursday, August 6th, 2009 by Becca Droz



Satellite Wafers Candy have been enjoyed by candy lovers for over fifty years!

Satellite Wafers Candy have been enjoyed by candy lovers for over fifty years!



Sharability: 10

Denture Danger: 0

Convenience: 5

Novelty: 9

Overall: 7

Also known as UFO candy, this candy is back from the 50s. These wafers remind me of what the priest puts on everyone’s tongue at communion. These paperlike bubbles come in blue, orange, white and pink and are filled with multicolored beadlike sugar candy balls.

As soon as you drop the UFO into your mouth you taste the plain styrophoam like disc immediately begin to dissolve. As soon is the seal is broken the alien inhabitants pour out and scatter into your mouth taking over. Without you knowing those little sugar beads posses your mind and before you know it, the aliens have succeeded, and you are eating another one.

The sugar candies in the inside are tasty but if you rip open the pouch and just eat the candies they prove to be a little too sweet. They taste especially good after the cardboard tasting piece of styrophome wafer has touched every taste bud on your tongue. Then again, not much would taste bad after cardboard. They figured out (through many tests I’m sure) that the best taste directly after cardboard is little multicolored sugar balls. Try it out, but it won’t be easy to find something that tastes better after cardboard than the little aliens inside the satellite.

Well,  enjoy Satellite Wafers and as you eat them  remember that over 50 years ago kids were doing the exact same thing.

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!