In a few short days ghosts, goblins, princesses and pirates will take to the tri-city streets asking the age old question, “Trick or Treat?”
As a staff, the mention of candy recently prompted google searches and much laughter as staff members recalled sweet treat favorites from childhood. In keeping with the fun and frivolity of the season we decided to share our favorites and hope our readers do the same.
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While some remember the 1960s and ‘70s as a time of social change, strife, and hippies, I have fond memories of a different sort.
This slice in our nation’s history, at least as far as I was concerned, was the golden age of candy.
Growing up during this time I was fortunate enough to have a variety of candy to pick from.
And it was cheap.
I remember getting a dollar from my folks and riding my bike to the local Quik Stop market, where I would spend what seemed like hours perusing the shelves of chocolate and nougat nirvana.
And invariably, along with some penny candy that back in the day actually cost a penny, I would select a couple packages of Flicks.
Flicks were similar to Hershey Kisses, but they came in a foil wrapped tube. And while they were not made of actual chocolate – they were described as ‘chocolate flavored’ – they were pretty darn good.
The best part was how you could eat them. An inexperienced Flicks aficionado might shake a few out of the tube into his hand. Those of us who were true fans of this chocolate flavored delight knew the only way to truly appreciate them was to tip the tube up to your mouth, give it a jiggle, and gobble up the ensuing goodness.
Flicks came in a cardboard tube with a variety of foil wrappings. And while the manufacturer, Ghirardelli, claimed the candy found in each color foil was identical, everyone knew the best Flicks came in the blue package. You would buy the red or green packages if you had to, but everyone also knew to stay away from the yellow tubes.
Those were nasty.
As I became older, and my palate become a bit more sophisticated, I quit indulging in Flicks. I remember not being able to find them after the 1980s, although I’ve heard a new company is now selling them.
I just hope they discontinued the yellow wrapped ones…
Don’t remember a favorite childhood candy. I grew up in England during the war and chocolate was rationed. My parents would buy a Cadbury chocolate bar and share it out among my two sisters and me, two squares at a time for each child. My younger sister would hoard her ration and then eat it slowly in front of us.
It was always fun when growing up to get together with my brother after we had gone trick-or-treating and trade for the candy we liked that the other one had gotten. We each had our favorites from the ‘haul’ and were usually able to strike some sort of deal to make sure we got more of our favorite kinds. Luckily, our tastes differed.
Probably my favorite childhood candy was the Marathon bar. It got its name from the fact that it was about a foot long, an intertwined combination of chocolate and caramel that lasted as long as a marathon, if eaten judiciously. It may have been a precursor to the Twix bar, since that has the chocolate and caramel elements, plus the added crunchy cookie. Caramel is my favorite, so really anything with that in it is a good candy for me.
A close second, though probably more connected to the memories it evokes, were my traditional Twizzlers and Fireballs that I enjoyed Saturday afternoons when my siblings and I would go to the skating rink. I would bite both ends off the strawberry Twizzler to use it as a straw for my grape soda, then pop a Fireball in my mouth when I went back to skating. Probably made me skate a little faster, trying to escape the heat.
My fondness for Fireballs is known; I have my ‘suppliers’ that slip me a couple at Friday night football games. Good for chasing after the action up and down the sidelines.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups were my favorite Halloween candy as a child and secretly still are! For me it was the orange and black wrapper that tied it in with Halloween. Every time I saw them being stocked on the shelves in the stores it reminded me Halloween was coming up soon. Also I can’t forget how much fun it was to dump my bag out and see all that candy. Then before taking off my homemade Halloween costume, I would pick out all that chocolate, peanut butter goodness before my mom would find them.
In the spirit of Choo Choo Charlie, my favorite candy would be Good and Plenty. Since black licorice can be considered an acquired taste — either you like it or you don’t — I was very fortunate in my family as being the only one who appreciated the pink and white coated confectionery. Even now I can leave an opened box in our candy drawer without worrying that anyone else will snatch any. Besides, when full, the box can make a great harmonica sound when blowing into it. The same can be said about a box of Mike & Ike’s, but if one has more Mikes than Ikes, or vice versa, it changes the pitch.
When I was growing up we didn’t have a lot of money to spare on things like candy or soda but when I did manage to get my hands on something sweet, my favorites were Pop Rocks — who doesn’t like an exploding candy? — and the WHATCHAMACALLIT candy bar. Funny thing, I don’t care for either now as an adult but I do love a Snickers bar!
Kim Van Meter
I guess when it comes to candy I was a pretty unconventional kid. Chick-o-sticks, Cubes and Rice paper candy were my favorites. None of these candy choices were heavily marketed or found in every grocery. Chick-o-sticks and Cubes could always be found at our area “Stop and Go” (a 7-eleven type convenience store) and I often would treat myself to one with a Slurpee on allowance day. Rice paper candy we (my grandmother and I) would often pick up during walks through China town or in my later years at Cost Plus (now commonly known as “World Market”).
I’ve always had a healthy sweet tooth and do not recall passing up a sweet treat of any branding, but those would undoubtedly be my top three.
Staff Reporter/Circulation Manager