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Retro Candy Review: Abba-Zaba

Categories: Candy,Candy Reviews,Classic and Retro Candy

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Abba Zaba

Today we have another guest review written by Tanna Reynolds who recently reviewed Mo’s Bacon Bar. (Remember, anyone can write a guest review for Candy Addict, just email us)


Abba-Zaba and I go way back… all the way back to my childhood when I would lord over my trick-or-treat hauls full of Abba-Zaba at Halloween. Recently, I decided it was time for us to be reacquainted. For me and my candy-greedy brother, Abba-Zaba’s chewy peanut taste and taxi cab yellow and black packaging was sweet perfection. Each year, when the final bell rang at the neighborhood-wide open market candy exchange in the days following Halloween, I was dozens of Abba-Zaba’s richer. My wealth could be measured in both sweet sticks and time because my brother was always willing to perform my chores in exchange for an Abba-Zaba. As long as they lasted, my brother was mine.

As I tried it, bite number one was different than I remember it being in the past. Had Abba-Zaba always been so hard? “Maybe I was now being sensitive to its type or its texture”, I thought as I went for my second share. That is when it hit me; Abba-Zaba had always been hard, but as a youngster, I never minded or considered what havoc it might cause my teeth. Abba-Zaba was reminding me of my mortality, but was I losing the love. After gaining composure I continued to chew and realized the more I ate, the less my bite felt in jeopardy of losing a tooth. I would issue a warning to any Candy Addicts who have spent thousands on dental work; this might not be the candy for you.

As for its peanutty taste, it was still near perfection. To be honest, I’m not certain of the outer taffy’s intent; by intent, I mean flavor. I like to think of it as sugar taffy or a mystery that serves Abba-Zaba’s soft peanut butter interior quite well. The combination is not overwhelming but just right and lovingly light enough to encourage a person to want more and more. There is something clever about Abba-Zaba’s ambiguity and it’s not limited to its flavor but extends to its name and packaging; it’s an enigmatic cowboy candy.

The peanut taste satisfied my craving and served my memory well, except for one small problem. Before I criticize my childhood comrade, I need to admit that it is also tied to old age. I detected a slight plastic taste that worried my non-candy mind that in turn generated questions of health and forced me to analyze the ingredients for likely culprits. Luckily, my candy mind took over by whispering such wisdom as, “everything has some unhealthy ingredient, but we must eat. Just stop looking for trouble and take the path of pleasure.” I followed my candy sage’s advice.

I mentioned that it’s a bit on the hard side and that it gives your jaw a workout, but I didn’t add that the workout gets easier as the candy becomes more chewy than firm. If you pass the initial test, you will be well on your way to peanut taffy that does not melt right away like some salt water types often do. Abba-Zaba gives the mouth the sweet treat it requests while its taste holds out throughout each movement of the jaw. My final verdict; Abba-Zaba is still a great candy that has no conscience and that’s the way all candy should be.

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5 Responses to “Retro Candy Review: Abba-Zaba”

  1. 1
    joyce says:

    I just bought a mixed bag of the Chewy Assortment: Abba zaba, Big Hunk and Look bars. The Big Hunk and Look bars seem ALMOST the same as years ago, but the Abba Zaba was lacking!! Maybe it is because they are the miniature size, but it was hard to find ANY peanut butter in them. IN fact, the first 3 we tried had no peanut butter, the next had very little. And yes, they did appear to be much harder, but the most disturbing thing I found, was the first ingredient is now corn syrup instead of sugar. So as I don’t sound to be totally unhappy with my purchase, the Big Hunk tasted quite good, as did the Look Bar.

    I triple love candy, but I do not like the fact that so much of it is starting to taste like ‘plastic’ or chemicals. My love of candy goes back to a loooooooong time, and I taste a huge difference in it now that they are all using so much more corn syrup, it is made from corn after all, and in my book..corn is a vegetable! LOL

    I guess the days of really wonderful candy are over, if they would just go back to using real sugar and real food products then I will probably continue to think that most candy tastes like plastic too. ( See’s is the one exception..they are fabulous)

    Have a sweet day!

  2. 2
    Marty says:

    OMG… i love these things. I grew up easting Abba-Zaba’s. For years, I could only get them in Calif but have recently seen them here in Utah.

    In fact, I just ate one yesterday. Cool to know they have them in the snack size.

  3. 3
    Marilyn says:

    Question: how do Abba Zaba compare to Mary Janes? I don’t recall ever encountering Abba Zaba while growing up, and never had the curiosity to try it once I grew up – but my childhood passion for Mary Janes has never abated – if anything, I like them even more now. (With the financial investment of a VERY expensive sportscar in my dental work, I only dare SUCK on MJs) – but flavor is flavor, and not having personally sampled AZs, I ask: Can anyone compare the two?

  4. 4
    MumboJumbo says:

    Has anyne ever seen the old Abba-Zaba wrappers, the original Cardinet design pre-Annabelle, with the problematic depiction of a monkey-like creature? They are practically an urban legend.

  5. 5
    joe says:

    i saw this candy in half baked do they still sell this

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