The world moves pretty fast these days. New technologies come and go before the blink of an eye. In the rush of the modern world, a world so completely different from that of even ten years ago, how can we take a moment and relax, reflect, and remember a less hectic life? The answer is sweet and easy: candy.
As a child, candy can be the cure, cause, motivation, and reward for everything life throws at you. Candy is the life blood of childhood, and, like a savory time machine, familiar candies can transport you from the mundane existence of adulthood back to a simpler time. The transformative quality of candy should not end with you. Parents everywhere need to pass on these sugary, delightful memories to their own children. These are some of my favorite childhood candies that I will share with my children.
Sugar Daddy by Charms
Oh, the sweet, caramel goodness of the Sugar Daddy! It is the ultimate comfort food-sticky, syrupy-binding your mouth shut in a tangle of caramel and teeth. The pain of the impending toothache is but a distant worry when that heavenly, caramel lollipop hits your eager tongue. The Sugar Daddy is one of the only, if not the only, completely caramel lollipops. Charms took the best part of traditional lollipop (the inside!) and created an entire piece of candy out of it, leaving other pops in the dust. This is the best candy for children -they are the only people who can handle the teeth-clenching goodness of the Sugar Daddy properly. After all, they are going to lose those baby teeth anyway.
The candy necklace was one of my favorite candies. First, the candy is purely sugar in jewelry form. The actual taste of the candy was irrelevant though; the fun of the candy necklace is, of course, wearing it. It is the most portable of any candy-and fashionable to boot! Children love dressing up, be it as a superhero or a princess, or a little bit of both. The candy necklace takes two of the essential aspects of childhood-role playing and candy-and molds them together with perfect (and inexpensive) results.
Gum is a hot commodity when you’re a kid, and you can never get or have enough. All it takes is for one person to notice you innocently chewing, and then you better be prepared for an onslaught of gum requests. Bubble Tape was a life saver for me during these gum raids by other children. I could give away five or six small slivers and still have plenty of the 3-feet of gum left for me. Children today need the security of 3-feet of gum just as much as I did. “Just remember kids, “For you, not them!”
Another masterpiece of innovation from Charms, the Blow Pop was part lollipop, part gum, all good. Thirty-something years after its invention, the Blow Pop is still a household favorite. Sweet hard candy shell with a bubble gum center, the Blow Pop offers the best of both world. For children with an ever-changing attention span, the Blow Pop supplies two different flavors and sensations within one lollipop.
The ultimate nostalgic candy for adults and children alike has to be the fun, adorable PEZ with its inseperable PEZ dispenser. PEZ has been an American staple for over 50 years, and continues to spark the imagination and taste-buds of children today. The taste of PEZ candy was always the least of its appeal, but that didn’t stop me from eating piece after piece. The candy is merely an excuse to use one of the finest inventions of our time: the PEZ dispenser. They come in all shapes and sizes nowadays, and mimic the faces of our favorite characters from movies, TV, and comics. My favorite was Batman, a timeless hero that remains in production today. Avid PEZ fans can visit the Museum of PEZ Memorabilia in California for entire history of the fun food. An entire culture has developed around the PEZ dispenser, and can you blame it? Is there any better way to eat some powdery candy squares than out of the neck of your favorite character?
PEZ is still surviving today, and hopefully will for years to come. A world without PEZ is certainly no world I’d want to live in, or leave for my children.