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.
The Oh Henry Bar is a straightforward, delicious candy bar with a somewhat complicated history. As opposed to Snickers that was named after Forrest Mars’ beloved racehorse, no one is 100% certain where the name for Oh Henry came from.
Theories abound but one thing that almost everyone agrees upon is that this is a delicious candy bar and has been for close to 100 years. And no, this candy bar is not named after the baseball great Hank Aaron.
Spark your curiosity? Read on…
Lore has it that the name was derived from that of a randy young man who made frequents visits to the original manufacturers – the Williamson company – less for sugary sweets and more to flirt with the eye candy who worked on the assembly line. This leaves us to assume that the young man’s name was — you guessed it — Henry. But certain proof eludes us.
Perhaps a more credible theory is that the candy bar was named after the owner of the now defunct Peerless Candy company. The owner’s name was Tom Henry and in a vainglorious move, created the Tom Henry Bar. It was a short-lived venture as he sold the rights to the candy bar in 1920 to the Williamson Candy who changed the name to Oh Henry.
Oh Henry was also one of the first examples of “guerilla marketing” as an employee of Williamson Candy Company was determined to make the Oh Henry Bar famous. Lacking the funds to launch a full frontal Madison Avenue advertising campaign, this wily salesman had bumper stickers printed with only two words – Oh Henry. Curiousity didn’t kill the cat and this candy bar quickly made a name for itself.
Things remained much the same for close to 65 years until 1984, when Nestle acquired the rights to distribute Oh Henry in the United States. The candy bar is also sold in Canada but distributed by Hershey with the difference being a “chocately” coating as opposed to milk chocolate.
This is a question that candy lovers have pondered for 83 years.
A New Kind of Candy Bar
In 1930, Frank Mars, the father of Forrest Mars, named his candy bar after his beloved horse named Snickers. Ironically, the name of the family farm located in Tennessee was Milky Way. These candy bars stirred a bit of controversy upon their release as they were priced at 20 cents at a time when customers expected candy bars to cost a nickel. The inspiration for the bar wasn’t a candy bar at all, but rather a confection made of nougat, peanut & caramel.
Taking Over the World
Little did he know that this delicious chocolate and caramel would go on to become the best selling candy bar on planet Earth. At one time, confusion abounded as this delicious bar was originally called the Marathon Bar in the United Kingdom. The name was changed to be consistent worldwide, but the Snickers/Marathon confusion continues. In the UK, if someone mentions a Marathon bar, they could be talking about the early Snickers, or the now-discontinued bar best imitated by Cadbury’s Curly Wurly. To make things even more complex, Mars now markets a “Marathon” branded version of the Snickers bar as an energy bar.
Not Going Anywhere for a While
Snickers is the best selling candy bar in the world, accounting for over $2 billion dollars’ worth of annual sales for M&M Mars. Its success is largely attributable to some epic marketing campaigns, and today’s “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” campaign is no exception.
In case you were wondering, there are roughly 16 peanuts in every chocolate-and-nougat-packed bar, and Mars packs 100 tons of them into 15 million Snickers bars every day. Over the years, more than
40 variations of the Snickers Bar have been marketed
in various places around the world.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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