A few weeks ago, I launched a new series called “Back in My Day.” The first installment chronicled games that I used to play as a little Mondoo. Well, today I’m hungry. (No surprise there). And Baby wants sweets. So, I thought that it would be fun to take a look back at some of my favorite candy as a child. Now, as an adult, I’m admittedly not a big fan of candy, unless it’s chocolate. But I think that all kids love candy. Probably because parents act like candy is something forbidden. Well, I’m smarter than you, Baby. I’ll tell you that you can have all the candy that you want and reverse psychology tells me that you’ll then eat your fruits and veggies like a good little girl. Oh who am I kidding, if Baby Girl wants candy, I know just the person who is going to give it to her: Nana. Two reasons: 1) Nana LOVES candy. 2) Nana is a sucker. All Baby Girl is going to have to do is look in the direction of candy and Nana will proclaim “But she wanted it!” Oh Nana. Pappy is going to have fun babysitting the both of you someday. Now, onto the sugar.
Boston Baked Beans
As previously noted, my mother loves candy, so as a child, I was not left wanting for candy. Ever. Many a time during the summer months, Mom would take us up the street to a little store with a hodge podge of treats: Slush Puppies, chips, pretzels, and of course, candy. My sisters and I would each get a dollar to spend and let me tell you, a dollar takes you a long way when it comes to candy. Part of my budget was continually committed to a Blue Raspberry Slush Puppie (I later graduated to Watermelon), but the treats always differed. Until one day I discovered the sweet, salty crunch of Boston Baked Beans. To tell you the truth, those peanuts were so candy coated that I really didn’t know there were peanuts inside. Nevertheless, they were an awesome treat and went well with my Slush Puppie.
A love for candy must run in the family because my grandparents also loved to ply us with candy during summer vacation. Grandma would give us old, leathery purses and fill them with change and we’d all walk, seemingly back in time, to an old mom and pop grocery store with a penny candy counter. The ancient woman behind the counter would open small brown paper bags and let us choose how many candies we wanted of each type. It was really an excellent math lesson. Educational and delicious. A staple in the brown paper bag were Flying Saucers. I had many different ways of eating them: 1) Pop them in my mouth and let the wafers melt releasing a sea of candy sprinkles in my mouth. 2) Nibble off the edges, crack the saucer open, eat one wafer, eat the candy, and then devour the remaining wafer. 3) Using my little kid fingers, pop the saucer open, down the candy, and then melt the wafer in my mouth. Oh the many different ways to enjoy Flying Saucers!
Sour Patch Kids
Another penny candy staple was Sour Patch Kids. I loved and still love Sour Patch Kids. The green ones are my favorite. This past fall, I made the mistake of purchasing “fun size” Sour Patch Kids as one of our Halloween treats. Early on in my pregnancy as I was battling morning sickness, I found that small snacks throughout the day helped me not feel so crappy. And you better believe that I used this snacking necessity to justify snacking on these “fun size” Sour Patch Kids. This could be why I’ve gained almost 20 pounds so far during my pregnancy. I blame the candy companies, why do you call them “fun size?” All fun size means to me is that I can eat more of them because they are so damn small. Besides, everyone knows that a real fun size is king size anyways. One more thing about sour candies though. If you’re talking about sour candies, you can’t leave out Sour Patch Watermelons. I’m ok lumping them in with Sour Patch Kids because Watermelons are essentially the same thing, just a bit sweeter.
I was introduced to Nerds by my cool, older cousin. If she liked Nerds, then I liked them, too. To be honest, if she liked anything, I liked it too. Garbage Pail Kids, crimped hair, Paula Abdul. But as far as candy goes, Nerds were the thing. They are basically candy coated sugar in different colors and flavors. But by far my favorite aspect of Nerds was the box that they came in. I loved that in order to eat the Nerds, you had to slide the little paper flap away from the opening on the top of the box. This made them easily dumped down your gullet. No wonder I could eat an entire package in a matter of minutes! How ergonomical!
Hands down my favorite candy as a child was a Bar None candy bar. Never heard of it? Then that’s way too bad for you because they were the most awesome candy bar ever made! Apparently Hershey’s didn’t agree with me because after developing and later reconfiguring it, it was discontinued in the mid-90s. I honestly have no idea why. It was essentially a mixture of the Kit Kat and a Whatchamacallit with its cocoa wafers, chocolate filling, peanuts and a milk chocolate coating. Caramel was added during the reconfiguration. As a pregnant woman with certain cravings, I’ve done my research and apparently you can still get them (or something like them) in Mexico. Mexico, huh? Calling Mr. Mondoo!
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Pop Rocks. As a child growing up in the 80s, I, of course, indulged in Pop Rocks. Because I had many older cousins who loved to scare the little kids, I also knew all about the Pop Rocks/Cola urban legend. I wasn’t dumb enough to try it though. Who needs their insides exploding? Not me. I didn’t want to get grounded.
Were any of your favorites on the list? What was your favorite candy back in your day?