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Retro Candy Flashback: Rock Candy – It’s Geologically Delicious

Categories: Candy,Classic and Retro Candy,Hard Candy




Rock Candy
When I was a kid, I used to love to go to this zoo that was not far from my house. Space Farms was not only a zoo, but a museum as well, so my mom could feel especially educational when she took my younger brother and me there. The zoo was obviously very cool, boasting a considerable collection of wildlife for rural New Jersey (It’s not an Urban Myth! Rural areas do exist in New Jersey!), including the world’s largest grizzly bear (R.I.P. Goliath).

I would suffer through the museum portion of our trip because there was a light at the end of the tunnel of seemingly endless antiques that my eight year old mind found tedious. After you left the museum, there was a penny candy store that sold old-fashioned candies. I usually got a few candy sticks, red licorice rope, or rock candy.

Rock candy was always a favorite of mine because I love sugar, especially when colored, and let’s face it, rock candy is all sugar. It came both on little swizzle sticks and on strings, though I liked the sticks best because it was much easier to eat the candy that way.

Looking back, rock candy was certainly not the most exciting candy compared with all that was out there. I mean, it did only taste like sugar, and not my favorite childhood flavors of “pink” and “blue”. However, it had an old-fashioned charm coming from that penny candy store, and it looked really cool. I always loved the idea that someone had to grow that candy for me to eat it, like some sort of mad scientist.

When I found out that I could grow my own rock candy, my young mind almost imploded. I could grow an endless supply of my very own candy! The only problem with this was finding an adult that I could trick into helping me do it. Luckily for me, my grandmother could be talked into almost any ill-advised project if it was in the name of my education (baking soda volcano anyone?).

So, my grandmother helped me gather the supplies for my latest “science project” and we attempted to make our own rock candy. I wish I could tell you that my experiment was a success. Unfortunately, the rock candy I grew looked terribly mutated. I’m talking Chernobyl mutated. At least it still tasted good.

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7 Responses to “Retro Candy Flashback: Rock Candy – It’s Geologically Delicious”

  1. 1
    cds says:

    i still take my class to space farms every year for their final field trip. goliath is still there (RIP) – albeit stuffed – but still standing as the world’s largest kodiak bear. and…so is the rock candy!

  2. 2
    Laurenq says:

    I have so many great memories of Rock Candy…

  3. 3
    stefan says:

    Ah rock candy. brings back such good memories.

  4. 4
    Julie Nicolay says:

    Jawbreakers, Pez, lemon drops, licorice whips, chocolate in any form, cotton candy…the list is endless when it comes to favorite candy as a kid (and, uh, ahem, still as an adult), but my number one, all-time favorite candy was always rock candy! Didn’t matter if it was colored (though that was just an added bonus), and yeah, I’d eat it on that string, but on a stick was the BEST!

    I still veer towards it and buy some whenver I come across it, but it was better when I was young. Just had a different taste, somehow, and was consistently PERFECT.

    Who among us candy addicts could resist solid sugar in that sparkly geometric explosion, the light being caught on every angled surface, making it look like the finest and most expensive jewelery? Not me then and not me now!

  5. 5
    Trish says:

    You know what rock candy reminds me of? The Museum of Science , Boston, Massachusetts. Growing up in Massachusetts, one of the most common field trip destinations was (and probably still is) the Museum of Science. I went to that museum on field trips an insane number of times and several with my mom, dad, and brother besides. It’s still my favorite museum today, with all it’s hands on displays and experiments. The musical stairs still strike a chord :). The gift shop, which was a must see place at the end of every visit (which kid wouldn’t want to see all those cool gadgets and toys and candies/foods and maybe persuade their parent to get them a little something) always had rock candy. Many of my classmates would buy rock candy there to have on the bus on the way back. I remember those bins of color sugar crystals on sticks on strings. Sure, I’ve seen them in plenty of other places too, but they’ll always remind me of the Musuem of Science.

    I remember trying to make them once when I was little with my parents, but it didn’t work. At all. All we got was a coating of sugar on the inside of the jar. Nothing crystallized on the strings.

  6. 6
    ashle says:

    I love rock candy so much i’m doing a science project on it. its called the colored candy!cool…huh?

  7. 7
    Megan says:

    I L-O-V-E rock candy. I’m in my early twenties and it is still my favorite(Even with all these crazy new candies and flavors). Blue Raspberry is still #1.

    Whenever we go to the mall, I head to Hallmark to pick up a few sticks of it.

    Crunchy, sweet, and a little bit of tang from the flavor. Perfect combination.

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