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Candy Memories, Candy News

LifeSavers – “A Hole Lot of Fun”

May 19, 2017 by

 “Sometimes memories sneak out of my eyes and roll down my cheeks.”

Did you ever wish you could have just one special day back from your childhood? A day where you could be in a certain place, with a specific person, at a particular time? A day you could freeze and thaw anytime you wanted? I think memories work like that.

I have many ”wish days” but there’s one that I’d love to relive. That certain place would be at our family store, Davidek’s Market, the specific person would be my dad, and that particular time would be after school.

When I was in junior high, the bus left me off 2 blocks from our little neighborhood store.  I’d walk there after school. Wednesdays were one of my favorite days to come through that swinging glass front door. I knew my dad would be waiting for me. In his crisp white starched apron, standing behind the wooden meat block cutting pork chops, probably for our next door neighbor’s dinner. I see him smile and hear him say, “There she is,” as I dropped my books near the black metal, manual adding machine.

Wednesday. It was the day our candy order was delivered. My dad knew to leave it for me to stock. It’s the day I got to open orange boxes of Clark Bars; brown and green boxes of Milky Ways; red, white and blue boxes of 3 Musketeers and cellophane wrapped boxes of Wrigley’s, Juicy Fruit, Double Mint and Teaberry gum. But my favorite candy treasure to open was the little packs of Life Savers.

Did you know LifeSavers were first made in 1912 by chocolate maker Clarence Crane because he wanted a sweet treat that wouldn’t melt in the summer heat? They got their name because they looked like life preservers.

Right in the middle of my dad’s long, white, porcelain meat counter sat a long metal LifeSavers holder. That holder held that same spot for as long as I could remember. I loved filling in each spot with the different colored rolls. I’d unwrap my favorite flavor first –Wild Cherry, which always seemed to be the first ones to go (hmmm . . . I think I had something to do with that). Then the multi-colored 5 Flavor rolls. The green Wint-O-Green. Next the blue Pep-O-Mint. Each little roll fitting snuggly in their designated spot.

Then when I was all through with my candy duties, I’d grab my roll of Wild Cherry LifeSavers, pull that little green string through the foil and plop one in my mouth. Just like it was yesterday, a burst of that sweet cherry delight swirling across my taste buds can bring it all back to me.

Memories of that one special day sneaking into my eyes. Just me and my dad, in the store after school, laughing and talking behind that white porcelain meat counter. With a roll of cherry LifeSavers in my pocket as I catch a tear rolling down my cheeks.

Candy Memories, Nostalgic Candy Favorites, Retro Candy

Lik-m-aid, Candy Necklaces and Tootsie Pops – Oh My!

April 28, 2017 by

“Candy is childhood, the best and bright moments you wish could have lasted forever.”

–Dylan Lauren

retro candy adThe sun teases me as I sit in my fourth grade classroom. I’d squirm at my desk and anxiously wait for that 3:30 dismissal bell to ring.  3:25, 3:26, 3:27. Come on bell. Gees! Can’t that minute hand move any faster? Oh man, I hope Mrs. Daugherty doesn’t give us math homework today. Doesn’t she know it’s a beautiful spring day? Doesn’t she know children need to get outside and play after school? You know, jump rope. Play dodge ball. Roller skate up and down my street, and best of all – hop on our bikes and ride to the neighborhood candy store. Ring bell . . . RRRIIIIIIING!!!

One of my most favorite after school childhood memories is walking into that little store. I’d  run home from school, fly through the house to change into my play clothes, then grab a dollar out of my piggy bank and jump on my old pink bike. I’d head to Cindy’s house (my best friend), who lived just across the street. She knows the plan, as I drop my bike near her back porch and fly up her back steps. In a matter of minutes we’re zooming off to the neighborhood candy store for all kinds of sweet candy treats.

Cindy and I pedal down the back alley and onto the street that leads back to our school. We take the short cut through the old baseball field, our bikes rattling through the dirt path as we get closer to our destination. Down Penn Street and we’ll be there! Some days we’d try to beat our brothers there so we’d have first dibs. Older sisters rule sometimes you know. No matter what those silly boys say.

Finally our bikes jump the cement curb in front of the store, and come to a halt. Eagerly we grasp the handle of the store’s weathered, crayon green, screen door. BANG!

The door slams behind us and suddenly we’re in front of the huge glass case that contains countless candy confectioneries. Mmmmmmm. We press our noses against the glass as the store owner greets us with her sweet smile. She reaches for a little brown paper bag and asks what we’d like today.

tootsie pops

I go first since Cindy is still undecided. “I’d like four packs of Lik-m-aid, one bag of Indian pumpkin seeds, five satellite wafers, two candy necklaces, five Ice Cubes, five Smarties and two cherry Toostie Pops.” My fingers leave prints on the front of the glass case as I point out each treasure. Then Cindy chooses her brown paper bag of goodies and we say good bye as more kids rush through the door.

Sometime we sat on the cement steps outside the candy store and enjoyed our treats and sometime we rode to the playground and ate them on the swings. And sometime we rode back home, sat on my front porch and listened to my mom say, “You’re going to spoil your dinner!” Haha. We didn’t care.

What could be better than a mouthful of purple Lik-m-aid sugar, or chocolate Ice Cubes that I swear felt cold as I bit into them, or wearing a pink, blue, yellow and white candy necklace?

Maybe it’s a lazy summer afternoon of roller skating, or laughing with my best friend on my front porch, or not waiting for that school bell to ring, or having no math homework after school.

Or maybe it’s finding just one more cherry Tootsie Pop in the bottom of a little brown paper bag.

Candy History, Candy Memories, Easter Candy

It’s a Marshmallow “Peep” World

April 14, 2017 by

“Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.” ~From the television show The Wonder Years

marshmallow peepsWith a Peep Peep here, and a Peep Peep there, here a Peep, there a Peep, everywhere a Peep Peep!

Easter baskets loaded with all kinds of goodies. Jelly beans, chocolate bunnies and lambs and of course yellow Peeps peeking out of the plastic green and pink straw that lined my brother’s and my Easter basket! Mmmmmm. . . Delicious memories.

I remember my dad searching for that big plastic bag in our basement that held our Easter baskets captive. It was time to get out the coffee cups and the bottle of white vinegar out as my mom cooled the dozen of hard boiled eggs. Then my younger brother and I would sit at the kitchen table, plop the color tablets into the cups and see how long it would take to make the darkest purple, blue, pink, yellow and orange egg you’ve ever seen!

Yellow, pink and white were the only color Peeps I can remember way back then (I am old you know) but still young at heart. But the other day, I walked into a super store and was flabbergasted to see a myriad of Peeps in every color and flavor imaginable.

I saw orange creme, vanilla delight, strawberry, chocolate mousse, raspberry, cherry limeade, cotton candy, fruit punch, limeade, blue raspberry, triple chocolate, vanilla caramel brownie, bubble gum, party cake, sour lemon-lime, sour watermelon, and even sugar free Peeps! My eyes as well as my taste buds were thrown into a sugary, rainbow, marshmallow world!

Did you know that Sam Born founded Just Born, Inc. in 1923 in New York, and this family-owned candy manufacturer then moved its headquarters to Bethlehem, PA. in 1932?

It used to take 27 hours to make the Peeps but Born created a way to automate the cooling process and make them in 6 minutes from start to finish. About 5.5 million Peeps are made each day. And now you can find green trees at Christmas, orange pumpkins at Halloween and red hearts for Valentine’s Day in addition to chicks and bunnies.

If you love Peeps, you’re not alone. Justin Bieber, Miranda Cosgrove and even Joe Jonas love this sugary treat. More than 1.5 billion will be consumed this spring!

So what are you waiting for? Pick up a box or two for Easter and remember how fun they are to eat, and eat and eat. And now if you’ll excuse me those triple chocolate Peeps, oh and those vanilla caramel brownie Peeps are calling my name! And wait! Maybe just one box of the chocolate covered marshmallow ones. . .

Happy Easter Peepsters!

Candy Memories, Candy News, Retro Candy

Just a Small Town Girl Sharing Her Sweet Memories…

April 7, 2017 by

 

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” Anais Nin

First of all, let me tell you that I am honored to be a blogger. My name is Mary Lynn Davidek Alpino. When I broke the news to my 20 year old daughter, Ashley, she was pleasantly surprised that her mom even had an inkling of an idea just what a blogger is and my 25 year old son, Ryan said quite simply, “That’s cool mom!”

And since this is a blog for CandyFavorites, it is my intention “to taste life twice.” Did you know memories can affect taste! Recalling a positive memory about eating a certain food will make a present experience with it more enjoyable (Health World). That’s what I want to focus on in my upcoming articles, recalling a memory, a feeling, a place, a moment in your life that you’ll never forget.

“Well I was born in a small town”

The song “Small Town” by John Mellencamp reminds me of where I grew up and who I am today. Brackenridge, Pennsylvania, is where I called home. A small town about 22 miles from Pittsburgh. The kind of town where you could walk to the bank, barber shop, post office, dry cleaners, town news, drug store, shoe store and church all in a matter of 2 long blocks. My father owned a neighborhood meat and grocery store, one of 4 in that 2 block area. A store that my grandfather started.

“Oh, those small communities”

My two brothers and one sister all grew up working in the store. And as I grew older, I realized our store kept us close as a family, taught us core values, and gave us tons of great memories. I started my “store career” in grade school when my dad taught me how to make change so I could wait on kids that came in for candy and pop after school. The prestigious job of sweeping the tile floor and washing the meat case windows was bestowed on me as I longed to be there helping my dad any way I could.

“Used to daydream in that small town”

My day dreams used to be of being a nurse just like my mom. But one day in my college English 101 class, Sister Teresa asked me if I ever thought of writing as my major. She said, “just think about it.” So I did and I decided to be a journalism major. The rest they say is history. I’ve worked in public relations and enjoy freelance writing for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

So come and taste life (and candy) twice with me for “nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.” –L.M. Montgomery

Bonne Vie!

Hard To Find Candy

Introducing Limited Edition Haribo Gold Gummi Bears

January 27, 2017 by

Get Them Before They’re Gone!

When you’re in the mood for a gummi bear, you have plenty of options to choose from. But, in order to really satisfy your sweet tooth, you don’t want to settle for any sub par treats, do you?

You deserve only the highest quality, first-rate gummies. You deserve candies that have been pleasing sweet tooth cravings for almost a century! You deserve Haribo.

If we’re on the same page with this Haribo appreciation, then there’s a chance you’re always on the lookout for the latest and greatest invention from one of the greatest candy companies of all time.

And if that’s the case, then you’ve come to the right place! Because we adore Haribo just as much as you, we’ve got your gummi needs covered with our new Haribo Gold Limited Edition Gummi Bears.

Apple, Cherry and Watermelon, Oh My!

A time-sensitive treat, our Haribo Gold Limited Edition Gummi Bears are exactly what you need to shake up your gummi routine. These bears have been released in three flavors—Apple, Cherry, and Watermelon—so whether you prefer something more traditional or something a little more out of the box, there’s sure to be a flavor you love.

While supplies last, you can order one flavor, or have all three in our Haribo Limited Edition Gold Gummi Bears Combo Box. This is a great idea for those of you who know you’d never be able to choose just one!

No matter which option you order, all are packed in 4 oz. bags, and in the combo box, are separated by flavor. We think these are going to be perfect for your next company or school event! And since they’re Haribo, you know they’re going to be a big success.

But remember, these are only available for a limited time. So once they’re gone, they’re gone! You may want to choose carefully and stock up. Although, after you’ve tasted these flavors, we don’t think we’ll have to tell you twice!

Candy News, Retro Candy

It’s Time to Sip Some Candy Flavored Coffee and Hot Chocolate

January 13, 2017 by

Heads Up, Candy Lovers! Candy Flavored Coffee and Hot Chocolate Is Coming To You

sugar babies hot chocolateWhen you think of CandyFavorites, we’re willing to bet that you probably think of us as straight up candy people. And, it makes sense. After all, we were founded on the principle of great, accessible candy. However, nothing maintains greatness like innovation. So, it should come as no surprise that, in this new year, we’ve got a few new tricks up our sleeves.

One such development involves candy flavored coffee and hot chocolate! You read that correctly. We’re excited to announce that we now carry a variety of candy flavored coffee and hot chocolate from 2 Rivers.

The flavors come in pods that have 12 to an order and are ready to go in your instant beverage machine, so you’re never far away from some great tasting drinks. But what exactly will you be getting yourself into?

andes creme de menthe coffeeSatisfy Your Endless Sweet Tooth Cravings

Well, if you’re a coffee lover, then Ande’s Crème de Menthe may be calling your name. Think: all the chocolate-minty goodness of Ande’s combined with the invigorating taste of coffee.

Or, if you’d rather something a little fruitier, Cella Chocolate Cherry Coffee might be right up your alley. After all, what could be better than chocolate covered cherries, in liquid form?

junior mints hot cocoaOh, but don’t worry hot chocolate fans. We didn’t forget about you! To get your own minty goodness, we’d recommend the Junior Mints Hot Chocolate. It’s the perfect combination of soothing and bright. And if you’re in the mood for something a little bit richer, then the Tootsie Rolls Hot Chocolate may be the one for you. Think chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate.

But this is just the beginning! We have a vast and tasty selection of candy flavored coffee and hot chocolate. So, you’ll want to take a look around. Who knows? Your favorite candy may now become your favorite cup of Jo.

Candy Memories, Christmas Candy

Christmas Candies In Your Kitchen

December 12, 2016 by

Christmas is on its way! And if you’re like many people, that means holiday baking is in full swing. There is something so magical about baking during the most wonderful time of the year. The sights and smells are just too good! And the temptation to eat everything before it gets out the door to your nearest and dearest is challenging, indeed.

While candy may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of holiday baking, it very well could be! After all, nothing takes a treat from good to great quite like the addition of a few candy pieces! Around here, we’re partial to the ones that have been gracing our tables for a few decades, and we have a feeling that you might be, too.

While the latest and greatest treats are fun for enjoying on their own, when it comes to holiday baking, we put our faith in only the most tried and tested candies we can get our hands on. What can we say? We’re big fans of tradition. And if that sounds like you, too, then you’ll want to keep reading. Because we’re about to serve up some of our favorite classic candies, and the many ways you can enjoy them, this holiday season.

candy canes.jpgA blog post about Christmas candy that did not mention the beloved candy cane should not be trusted! But, joking aside, this is one treat that has been gracing Christmas-loving taste buds for centuries. While you can always take the traditional route and hang them on your tree, we like to be a little more inventive.

You can crush them up into your peppermint bark, use them as a stirrer for your hot chocolate, or stick them into a cut lemon for a sweet and sour treat. The candy cane is one ingredient that keeps on giving, so get creative!

Because everyone knows and loves the power of the Hershey’s Kiss, it only makes sense to bring it out in full force during the holiday season. We especially enjoy using Hershey’s kisses in our cookies, for an added chocolatey boost. But, you can also use them to adorn your gingerbread houses, or melt them down into rich, homemade hot chocolate. The possibilities are endless!

And while we won’t recommend trying your hand at a fruitcake, we can highly recommend chocolate covered raisins, cranberry chocolate clusters, and chocolate cherry cordials, if you’re looking for a few chocolate-fruit combinations to satisfy your holiday sweet tooth.

So go ahead and fire up those ovens! We’re willing to bet that there’s a candy for every recipe on your list.

Candy Memories, Christmas Candy

A Gingerbread Home For the Holidays

December 9, 2016 by

gingerbread houseWhen Christmas time rolls around, there’s one major food-related item that’s always on our minds. Have any guesses? We’ll give you some hints. It’s spicy, sweet, and although it is completely edible, we don’t usually end up eating it. Have a hunch? Well, if you thought ‘gingerbread houses’ then you’re entirely correct!

This time of year, families and friends come together to decorate adorable and tantalizing gingerbread homes for the holidays. Whether they’re big or small, they’re always a fun way to occupy a few hours and fill the house with lots of holiday cheer.

But this tradition didn’t just pop up overnight. On the contrary, it’s been around for quite a while. Food history is always a treasure trove of information, as most food traditions have some winding and unexpected pasts. If you’re looking to uncover the very beginning of gingerbread, you’ll have to go back quite a few years.

Gingerbread was baked in Europe for the first time in the 11th century. However, the crusaders, who brought the idea back with them, first came across this treat in the Middle East, where it is said to have been enjoyed, long before the Crusaders arrived.

Luckily, we don’t need to go back quite so far to understand the origins of the gingerbread house. This confection came onto the holiday scene in Germany in the early 1800’s. Many food historians agree that the gingerbread house was inspired by Hansel and Gretel; the famed fairy tale from the Brother’s Grimm, where two children stumble upon an abandoned candy house.

Now all of those candies we use to decorate our ginger bread houses make sense, right? And if you’re decorating an edible home for the holidays, you’ll want to make sure you bring only the best of the best.

Luckily, we’re here to make sure all of your gingerbread house-decorating needs are satisfied.

If you’re anything like us, then you know that a bulk order is the only way you’re going to have enough candy for everyone and their gingerbread houses, too! Fruit slices will add a pop of color, while cinnamon imperials will turn up the heat! And everyone knows that a gingerbread house wouldn’t be complete without gum drops, right? M&Ms are always a welcome addition. And Nonpareils are a great way to add a little more glitz to your edible home.

We have all of your favorite festive candies to help make this year’s gingerbread house even more attractive and delicious than last year’s! So what are you waiting for? When you check out our bulk section, you can see for yourself.

Candy Memories, Retro Candy

How to Celebrate Thanksgiving With Your Favorite Retro Candy

November 11, 2016 by

When Thanksgiving comes around, there’s bound to be plenty of discussion about food. Especially if you’re the one tasked with hosting the event, we’re willing to bet that you are already up to your ears with ingredient lists and potential food ideas that will please the many varied taste buds that you’ll be welcoming around the dinner table.

While most people tend to stop their checklists at dessert, we feel that isn’t quite fair to the most important food group: candy, of course. Sure, pumpkin pie and turkey are Thanksgiving staples, but has anyone ever complained about a little bit of candy on the side? We don’t think so. And, if you’re as much of a candy lover as we are, then we would definitely support your motion to bring candy to the Thanksgiving table.

In fact, we’re so enthusiastic about this that we want to help you celebrate with your favorite retro candies. Sound like a plan? Then read on!

cherry-slices-unwrappedIf you fancy something that’s fruity and gummi, we highly recommend our Cherry Jelly Slices. These treats will give you a little taste of yesteryear with their endearing cherry flavor and their irresistible chewy-ness.

Your relatives may remember when these came onto the scene in the 1950’s, which will add an extra nostalgic boost. But even the ones too young to remember will definitely be able to satisfy their sweet tooth.

candy-buttons-neccoFor something a little more interactive, we’d recommend our Necco Candy House Candy Buttons. Once you get going on these, they can be quite addicting!

So whether you favor the pink or the blue buttons, we think everyone will agree that these are a great addition to your Thanksgiving table. The fact that they’re share-able makes them just that much better. Talk about a candy that gets the spirit of the holiday, right?

milkmaidcaramelsforwebOr, for a more classic taste, our Brach’s Milk Maid Caramels will go perfectly with your other holiday flavors. Plus, since they come in bulk, you really will have more than enough to go around.

These are just a few delicious retro treats that would be a welcome addition to your Thanksgiving spread. We have plenty of candies from days gone by, so feel free to take a look around! When you bring one of these sweet treats with you to Thanksgiving, you’ll have just one more reason to be thankful.

Halloween Candy, Retro Candy

Halloween Costumes Inspired By Our Favorite Retro Candies

October 24, 2016 by

Nothing says “it’s time to eat candy” quite like Halloween. While we tend to think that any time of year is a good time for a sweet treat, the celebration of Halloween practically requires it! After all, the night would just not be as fun if it didn’t end with a sugar high!

But before you can even begin the trick-or-treating, you’ll have to decide on a costume, right? That is definitely the most important part. And, as a result, there’s a chance you may be at a loss for what to do.

Around here, when we have a question we can’t seem to answer, we get inspiration from our favorite retro candies! And you can, too.

A vintage Baby Ruth Candy Bar advertisement from when the company was owned by Curtis Candy Company

Try Baby Ruth on For Size

One of the most popular candy bars over the years has always been Baby Ruth. The origin of the name is a little bit disputed, which means that it may inspire more costume options! While some claim that the bar was named after the famed baseball star, Babe Ruth, others claim that it was named after the daughter of President Grover Cleveland.

So whether you like sports or children, this may give you just the boost of inspiration that you need! And it will certainly make for a great option to hand out to all of your trick or treaters.

No One Can Resist a Gummy Bear

Another fantastic retro Halloween candy is the Haribo Gummy Bear! These little cuties were first invented all the way back in 1920! Thanks to their convenient gummy nature, they won’t melt if your Halloween happens to be a little hotter or rainier than expected.

As for costume inspiration, there’s really nothing cuter than a toddler dressed as a bear, right? It’s a look that’s sure to get lots of oohs and ahhs as you go door-to-door, calling, “trick or treat!”

And, Of Course, Candy Corn

It would be remiss of us to write about Halloween without mentioning candy corn! Easily the most beloved and polarizing candy of the holiday, candy corn is a staple of October 31st, and has been for quite some time!

This sweet tooth satisfier first came into existence in the 1880’s! So if that’s not a retro candy, we don’t know what is.

We also appreciate the fact that candy corn can be so easily transformed into a cute and recognizable costume for all ages! So whether it’s your first year out on the trick or treating trail, or your 75th, you’ll be well received by everyone on your path.

So, as Halloween draws near and the scent of candy fills the air, we recommend looking to a few of your favorite retro treats to get you in the costume-making mood!