Who doesn’t love some old school candy? These 5 old-fashioned treats have become traditions in my family. They’ll help to make sweet memories for today’s kids, too!
1) Whoppers Malted Milk Balls
One of the most vivid memories I have of my grandfather is him offering me hand-fulls of malted milk balls from the giant glass jar he always kept next to his bed. When my grandfather got older, my mom and I would bring packages of Whoppers to him at the hospital. Whether or not he had an appetite to eat them, they always made him smile. My mom said they’d been his favorite candy for as long as she could remember. Since Whoppers bring back such important memories for me, I dug up some history on them:
Overland Candy Company debuted malted milk balls called “Giants” in 1939. Leaf Brands purchased the company and reintroduced “Giants” in 1949, giving them the now familiar name “Whoppers.” Whoppers were originally sold unwrapped at 5 for a penny. They were then put in cellophane, then finally into the well-known milk carton packaging we still have today.
Whoppers are still one of my favorite nostalgic candy treats – both for their taste and the memories they bring back. Today’s kids are sure to love them too!
2) Candy Buttons
When I’d dump my bag of trick-or treat goodies out on the kitchen table on Halloween night, I was always hoping for a haul of Butterfingers and Snickers bars. My Dad’s face however, would light up when he saw the paper strips dotted with Candy Buttons. His excitement over these treats was so contagious that we’d always end up eating the Candy Buttons first, peeling them off with our teeth, color by color. Today, whenever I see Candy Buttons, I think of the look on my Dad’s face as he relived his own childhood memories. I know the next generation will have as much fun with these rainbow-colored treats as we did.
3) Licorice Snaps
My father recently rediscovered these favorite childhood candies in the bulk section at the local grocery store. Now, whenever I visit my parents house for dinner or to do laundry, I snag a handful (or a bag-ful) of these hollow, multicolored licorice candies.
Warning: they will turn your tongue bright pink. However, I still can’t stop eating them because they are so darn delicious. In fact, they areso delicious that their manufacturer, American Licorice Company, hasn’t changed the recipe for them since they debuted in the 1930’s. Today’s kids might be put off by the odd look of these candies, but they’re really missing out if they don’t try this nostalgic treat.
Nik-L-Nips, the tiny wax bottles filled with colorful juice concoctions, are an old-fashioned candy that I hope never goes out of style. I definitely had more fun with these than with any other candy. While I always loved having Nik-L-Nips with my parents, my favorite memory is of the heated dispute they initiated between my best friend and I. My friend, who shall remain nameless, always ate her bottles of Nik-L-Nips by chomping down on the whole thing, smushing the wax and squirting the juice out all at once. I, on the other hand, felt it was proper to remove the top of the bottle with my teeth, suck every last sweet drop out of the bottle, and only then to chew on the wax.
Today, I see the merit of both positions. However, I will remark that Tootsie, the manufacturers of Nik-L-Nips, explain on their website that the name Nik-L-Nips ” is a combination of the original cost (Nickel) and preferred wax bottle-opening technique (NIP).” Note, they use the word “nip,” not the word “chomp.” Whichever way you eat them, Nik-L-Nips are one of the most entertaining nostalgic candies for kids of any generation.
5) Necco Wafers
These are another old-fashioned candy that my Dad introduced me to when I was a kid. Unlike the Candy Buttons, he couldn’t convince me that NECCO’s flavored, rainbow-colored wafers were worth my while. However, as I grew up, he continued to keep them around, and eventually I’d find myself nibbling on them without even thinking about it. Today, my Dad and I even have the same favorite flavor – Chocolate. Recently, my father ‘fessed up that he didn’t enjoy NECCO wafers as a child either. He first became fond of them as a college student in Boston, Massachusetts, where the NECCO factory is located. Each day would bring the scent of a different wafer wafting through Boston’s air. My dad’s favorite production day was Chocolate, of course.
NECCO Wafers, available since 1847, have recently been updated to better suit today’s health-conscious consumers. Now, NECCO Wafers are made with all natural flavors and colors only, so they are the perfect nostalgic candy for modern parents and children!
The candies I’ve talked about are still widely available in stores, but if you’re having trouble finding them, or are looking for another nostalgic candy favorite, try an online store that specializes in old-fashioned candy, like NostalgicCandy.com. Enjoy!