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Dum-Dums (My Favorite Flavor is Mystery)

Categories: Candy,Candy Reviews,Classic and Retro Candy,Lollipops

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OK world, are you listening? I want to tell you all something. You probably already knew this, but I wanted to make it official. Are you listening? OK… here goes… Dum-Dums. Are. Completely. Totally. Rad. No, you’re not shocked, but you are nodding your head in agreement! I knew it!

I don’t remember my very first Dum-Dum pop, but they’ve been a pleasant part of most of my life. Personally, I became a lifelong fan of Dum-Dums when they helped me learn about irony in the 7th grade: I noticed my dentist had a big bowl in his office, and his receptionist always insisted I take two or three.

These little babies have been around for more than 80 years, and all this time they’ve been sweet, unassuming, and never expect too much from anyone. Let me tell you, I am all about candy that doesn’t require a huge time-commitment. Giant Jawbreakers, All-Day Suckers – these make a statement. They say, “I love sugar, and I want everyone at this amusement park/school/beach/carnival/mall to know it!!! Look at me and my ridiculously large candy!!!” Whereas Dum-Dums are really the prefect size for a sucker. Just about the time you’re getting tired of the corn syrupy, artificial taste, you’re done!

Dum Dums wrappedI got my hands on a small bag recently, and I noticed a few changes from my junior high Dum-Dums heyday. Foremost: the pops are now opaque (they used to be transparent).

Sadly, my favorite flavor, peach, is mysteriously “on vacation,” so I’ll be looking forward to that return. Some interesting new flavors like Cherry Cola and Pink Lemonade have joined the roster, although they didn’t make it into this particular bag. Pretty much everything else is still the same. Same mini size, same white stick, same waxy wrapper. I enjoyed a cream soda pop and it was exactly like I’d remembered it, extremely sweet and slightly chewy.

To me, all the flavors have a kind of sno-coney, bubble-gummy note to them. Let’s be honest with ourselves, we’re not attempting to imitate nature here. But the diminutive size packs just the right sugar wallop without that gross “I just ate a cup of refined sugar” feeling, and there are some unusual, if unnatural, flavors happening there.

An interesting factoid: It turns out that the “mystery flavor” is a combination of any two flavors. See, the machine that makes the pops probably shoots out thousands per minute, and it wouldn’t be cost effective to stop the machine, clean everything out, and restart every time it’s time to change flavors. So, they wait till there’s just a little bit of, say, strawberry, in the machine, then they just go ahead and pour, say, watermelon right on top. For the next 20 minutes, what comes out is strawberry-watermelon, and its sold as “Mystery Flavor”! Isn’t that genius! I would give anything to see Dum-Dums being made…

Buy Dum-Dums online:

lollipops, spangler, retro

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10 Responses to “Dum-Dums (My Favorite Flavor is Mystery)”

  1. 1
    Natalie says:

    There was a thing about how their made on unwrapped.

  2. 2
    Becca says:

    I love them even more now. I always hand them out at halloween. Question? Any idea what the “mystery ” flavor really is? It tastes almost like pineapple.

  3. 3
    Julie Nicolay says:

    I LOVE the factoid about the Mystery flavor – thank you for that! I always wondered what I was tasting and could never quite figure it out; now I know why. I love knowing food/candy trivia! Now I have to go share that with my best foodie friend…after I hit up the candy aisle at the Mexican grocery store (I live in Tucson, AZ, where Mexican candy is thankfully very plentiful)!

  4. 4
    Mariaaa says:

    Dum Dums.
    About three years ago, my dog got into my Halloween candy (Oh the horror!), and there was probably nothing, at all, left in that bag that resembled much edibleness.
    So me, in my distressed state, crawled into bed – and underneath the covers, there were multiple Dum Dums hiding there. Underneath the pillow too you ask? Why yes.
    Well, turns out, she’d taken all the lollipops, and stashed ‘em throughout the house. Six months later, we were still finding dum dums!
    Even the dog loved ‘em. Ridiculous.

    …Just thought I’d share. =)

    (And that’s super interesting about the mystery flavor… I always assumed that it was a regular flavor with a mystery wrapper on it. =s)

  5. 5
    Gracie says:

    ah…the good old days when dentists used to give out lollipops! Now all they give is a stupid pencil or a sticker.

  6. 6
    Celes says:

    I love these! They should make a bigger version though. :P They don’t last long enough! Cream soda and butterscotch are my favorites.

  7. 7
    Sylva says:

    How do I get peach back? I’m so distressed that it’s gone, it’s my favorite candy. . .

  8. 8
    TomC says:

    I know this is forever a dead post, but if you are still out there I just thought I would say hi! I work for the Spangler Candy Co., who makes Dum Dum pops. Another Factoid about Dum Dums Mystery flavor. There are actually two ways they make that flavor, one is when they change flavors on the line, as they make dum dums all the time (to the tune of 8 million a day). The other is, right before they are packed, quality control checks to make sure that the pop is wrapped porperly. Those that are not, are unwrapped and saved, and then rewrapped as mystery flavor. Hope all is well.


  9. 9
    DASH says:

    Peach is my favorite flavor too and i always wondered what happened to them. I want them to bring it back. Let’s start a petition!

  10. 10
    Trish says:

    About the only flavor I disliked from these was the buttered popcorn. I don’t like buttered popcorn jelly bellys either. To me, it’s just like eating solid or chewy butter- there’s no popcorn flavor, plus that’s a flavor that doesn’t mesh with the idea of candy for me. I liked the root beer ones though. And strawberry. My little bro liked the cream soda.

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