Tag Archives: candy

Kids Stuff: Pixy Stix

Pixy Stix have been around since 1952, and are still delivering sugar highs almost 60 years later. Uploaded by random.hydryad.com.

Want to hazard a guess about how Pixy Stix came to be popular? Okay, maybe you think it was created as a drink mix. But then kids found out how good the powder tastes, so the powder came to be sold as straws. Hey, you’re right! Your next challenge is to guess how Jujubes got their name.

Uploaded by m.reporternews.com.

Pixy Stix have been around since 1952, marketed then by the Sunline Company in St. Louis. Today you can get the Stix in two sizes – a smaller paper straw and a larger (almost two feet long) plastic straw. And they’re now available in a variety of flavors, including blueberry, orange, watermelon, lemon, pineapple, strawberry, Maui punch, cherry, green apple, and grape.

Because of their high sugar content, Pixy Stix aren’t recommended for those with a tendency to have blood-sugar fluctuations. Oh, by the way, if you wonder what Pixy Stix powder would taste like if it were made into a solid, the boys in the lab can tell you. They’re called Sweet Tarts. Same stuff. It’s better living through chemistry.

Kid Stuff: Movie Candy

Movie candy has traditionally been sold in those larger boxes so that theater owners could charge higher prices. Of course, another tradition is to stop at the 7-Eleven on the way to the movie, buy cheaper candy and hide it in a purse. Uploaded by couponmamainsc.wordpress.com..

I’ve placed this post under “kid stuff,” but we have to be honest here. Lots of adults prefer candy to popcorn (or nachos or any other current concession fads) as movie fare. For many of us, it allows us a (mostly) non-judgmental way to eat what we wouldn’t otherwise buy out in public.

Uploaded by infinitegift.com.

There’s a certain canon of concession confections we all know. Some have been bringing profits to theaters for generations. Some of the most popular candy items sold through the years as movie treats include:

  • Twizzlers
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (Great American Things, March 14, 2010)
  • Milk Duds
  • Raisinets
  • Junior Mints
  • SnoCaps
  • M&M’S (Great American Things, July 19, 2011)
  • Dots
  • Goobers
  • Good & Plenty

Of course, movie candy has always come in those large boxes, allowing theater owners to charge outlandish prices. But that’s part of the movie-going experience. Also part of the movie-going experience is stopping at the 7-Eleven on the way to the theater and hiding candy in a purse. Whoops! Did I let a secret out of the bag?

Americana: Stuckey’s


Started by a Georgia pecan farmer as a roadside stand for his crop, Stuckey's at one time had more than 350 locations and was an American highway fixture. Uploaded by leealumni.homestead.com.

What you see now, if you pass a Stuckey’s along the highway, is just one among many convenience/snack/confections stores along your route. But there was a time when one of the few available options for travelers was this oasis known for its pecan products. Back then, Stuckey’s was the stuff.

Uploaded by confusereviews.com.

You can’t make up a name like Stuckey’s, and sure enough, the company was founded in the 1930s by W.S. Stuckey, Sr. in Eastman, Georgia. Like hundreds of other farmers, he had a roadside stand along a main route to Florida selling his produce – in this case, pecans. Before long, Ethel Stuckey began making pecan divinities and pecan logs to sell at the stand. The business was so successful that they constructed a building. Then added a restaurant. Then gas pumps.

I suppose the rest of the story tells itself. At one point there were some 350 Stuckey’s locations across the country. Then America’s travel habits changed, competition increased, and Pet Milk purchased the company. Pet didn’t devote many resources to Stuckey’s, and the number of stores dwindled to 75. The Stuckey family repurchased the chain, though, and now has more than 200 stores in 19 states. They’re clean, and nice, and still sell lots of pecan candy. Even so, the memory of seeing that Stuckey’s sign on the highway and trying to persuade dad to stop is an enduring childhood memory.

Food: Life Savers

In the five flavors roll of Life Safers, watermelon and raspberry replaced lemon and lime. Is that an improvement? Uploaded by bewarethecheese.com.

Pep-O-Mint Life Savers came first, back in 1912. The second flavor introduced was Wint-O-Green. The best flavor ever, Butter Rum, came out in the 1920s, and then the iconic five-flavor roll made its debut in 1935.

Though they were called Life Savers from the beginning, the technology to make a hole in the middle of the candy wasn’t invented until 1925. Other flavors were introduced in those early years that weren’t so successful included Cl-O-ve, Lic-O-Riche, Cinn-O-Mon, Vi-O-let and Choc-O-Late. They stayed around for a long time, but never captured the public’s taste.

Uploaded by icefoundry.co.uk.

The original five flavors, which stayed the same for half a century, were lemon, lime, orange, cherry, and pineapple. Today, raspberry and watermelon have taken the place of lemon and lime. I’m sure that’s in line with tastes today, but it seems just wrong somehow .

Perhaps you received a “book” of Life Savers in your Christmas stocking. What a great treat that lasted long after you’d put away most of the toys Santa brought. As I said, Butter Rum was my favorite, and still is. A friend happened to offer one of these great candies to me this week and I remembered just how much I love them. They taste every bit as good as they did when I was a kid, and you can’t say that very often.

Food: Hershey’s Kisses

Hershey's Kisses. Uploaded by wallpaperoriginals.com

Hershey's Kisses. Uploaded by wallpaperoriginals.com

When I worked in an office, I always kept a jar of Hershey’s Kisses on my desk. One day a co-worker brought her little girl to work, and the child wandered to my office. I said, “Hey! Would you like a kiss?” The girl, who had been sternly taught the difference between “good touching” and “bad touching”, made a beeline straight for her mom. Ha! More for me.

These delicious chocolate mouthfuls have been around since 1907. They were initially hand-wrapped until Hershey’s developed a machine to package them. That’s when the little “plume” was added, too.

Uploaded by typepad.com

Uploaded by typepad.com

Although Kisses now come in a variety of flavors, nothing has surpassed the original milk chocolate variety. But go ahead, give them a try – Milk Chocolate with Almond, White Chocolate Hugs, Caramel Filled, Special Dark. And literally dozens of other varieties Hershey’s rolls out for a limited time.

I expect they have plenty, since Hershey’s makes more than 80 million Kisses each day. I probably couldn’t eat more than a million a year, so you can have the rest.

Here’s the bad part, and there’s no way around it. Nine Kisses have a total of 230 calories. That means if you want a 100-calorie snack of Kisses, you can have four. Four. I’m just getting warmed up at four. While I’m opening the next bag, here’s a Kisses commercial in Spanish featuring singer and soap opera actress Thalia. Yeah, I don’t know who she is either, but she’s easy on the eyes…

Food: Whitman’s Sampler

Photo courtesy of Flickr, posted by Cinnamoroll and Roll

Photo courtesy of Flickr, posted by Cinnamoroll and Roll

I know, I know…someone already took the great dark chocolate ones , and you never get the chocolate-covered cherry (the “cherry cordial” in Whitman’s-speak). And even though there’s a diagram showing what each piece of candy is, there’s a greater thrill in hoping you get a nougaty, nutty treat instead of one that tastes like it’s filled with toothpaste.

Whitman’s Samplers come in a variety of sizes, from 1.75 ounces all the way up to 40 ounces. (Though, let’s be honest, the four pieces in the smallest box is hardly deserving of the title “sampler.”) In addition to the traditional “Assorted Chocolates” box, you can also get Nut, Chewy & Crisp, Dark Chocolates, Pecan Crowns, Milk Chocolates, Chocolate Covered Nuts, and Sugar Free varieties.

Most Samplers are sold at Valentine’s Day (surprise!), but quite a few are given for Mother’s Day gifts as well. Just remember this simple etiquette lesson. There’s no shame in taking a bite, and discreetly throwing the rest away if you don’t like what you got. But it’s never acceptable — never — to put the half-eaten piece back in the box.

Are you reading this Uncle Richard?