How many of us had a favorite candy bar, licorice, Christmas candy, or a favorite old-fashioned candy as a kid? I sure did, and luckily for my grandkids (and me), quite a bit of it is still available in stores. While some of yester-year’s candy bars and chocolate candy might be a little harder to find, most can still be located online or in specialty shops. So, for those looking for fun, nostalgic candy for the kids, try a few of my favorites.
Candy Bar: Chunky® was one of my favorite chocolate candy bars as a child. I loved the way it lived up to its name, with a “chunky” square of chocolate loaded with raisins and nuts. Although not that easy to locate in grocery stores, Chunky is available at several online, nostalgic candy stores. OldTimeCandy.com not only carries it, but also gives an interesting history of the candy bar.
Christmas Candy: Sure, there are always marshmallow Santas or a bag of chocolate bells available, but neither of them beat ribbon Christmas candy for the brightest, most visually appealing confection for the holidays. Ribbon candy is a hard candy made in multi colors, and shaped like a rippled ribbon. It’s sometimes carried in local grocery stores, but is more often available in retro restaurants like Cracker Barrel, or in online old-fashioned candy stores, such as OldTimeCandy.com.
Licorice: I love both black and red licorice, but as a kid I always thought the licorice hollows were wonderful because they came in bright colors, with a soft, colored coating on the outside and black licorice on the inside. It’s hard for a licorice lover to choose just one type, though, and I also loved Twizzlers®, Good and Plenty®, licorice buttons and licorice caramels. Face it, licorice in any form is a mighty fine treat! Most of the brand named licorice that I’ve mentioned is available in grocery stores, and a few of the others are available at candy stores such as See’s Candy.
Taffy: To show how strong an impact a great taste and a fun jingle can make, I still remember the melt-in-your-mouth, honey-flavored taffy taste of Bit-O-Honey®, and hear the jingle in my mind. And this was from more than forty years ago … “Bit-O-Honey goes, a long, long way. It’s the chewy candy you don’t have to chew; just melt it in your mouth ’til the nuts pop through!” The candy is still available in bulk packages in the stores during Halloween, but it’s a little harder to find off season. For those who crave a Bit-O-Honey before or after Halloween, it can usually be found at Cracker Barrel restaurants, specialty candy shops, or online candy stores such as CandyDirect.com.
Jellied Candy: I’d be remiss to give a list of old-fashioned candy and not include the jellied candies. There are so many to choose from, including raspberry sticks, jelly beans, and orange wedges, but one of my all time favorites is Chuckles®. The package of six, sugar-coated jelly candies gives kids an assortment of flavors that include cherry, lemon, licorice, orange and lime. According to my own inclinations as a kid, they were always eaten in the following order: Cherry, orange, lime, lemon, and licorice, although I’ll admit that sometimes I’d trade the orange, lemon, and lime around. However, it was imperative to always eat the cherry first and the licorice last. They were my favorites! I bought several packages of Chuckles® just a few weeks ago at Cracker Barrel and they’re also available at online stores.
So, there you have it … my pick of the best old-fashioned candy. However, I must say that it’s hard to pick only five. What about Necco Wafers®, Clark Bars®, Zagnuts®, Blackjack Gum®, and wax lips? Maybe the best thing to do is what my hubby did for me several Christmases ago … order a huge box of assorted nostalgic candy from an online store and let the kids enjoy it for as long as it lasts!
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