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Retro Candy Flashback: Bridge Mixture

Categories: Candy,Candy Reviews,Chocolate Candy,Classic and Retro Candy,Foreign (non-US) Candy,Gummi/Gummy Candy,Mint Candy,Soft Candy

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Bridge Mixture

When I was a kid, my candy preferences consisted of the longest-lasting candies I could afford on my meager candy allowance. But when I felt like splurging, that splurge was often Bridge Mixture.

To my childhood self, there was something sophisticated about Bridge Mixture – the mixture of dark and milk chocolate coatings, the way that you never quite knew which filling you were going to get, just like in a “grown-up” box of chocolates, the fact that it was named after a complicated grown-up card game at a time when I only knew how to play Old Maid and Crazy Eights.

Bridge Mixture seems to evoke a love-it-or-hate-it response in people, so I vowed to track down the elusive candy and see if it lived up to my childhood memories. But first, a little background info. Bridge Mixture, for those of you who don’t know, is nothing more than an assortment of chocolate-coated centers – caramel, a selection of fondants, peanuts and raisins, and two flavors of what the Internet calls “Turkish Delight,” but has always seemed to me like a pretty standard jelly. (Note that they have no relation to the Licorice Bridge Mix we’ve previously reviewed.)

The most familiar brand of Bridge Mixture, the one in the yellow box, is made by Hershey’s, and as far as I can tell, it’s a Canada-only thing, though other brands exist in the United States as well, some of them quite upscale. I couldn’t find much information about Bridge Mixture on Hershey’s website or anywhere else online, so I was forced to resort to Wikipedia, where I learned that:

-The name of the product comes from a footbridge in a Hershey’s plant, onto which candies from a bunch of different conveyor belts used to fall; this “bridge mixture” proved such a popular snack with the employees that the company decided to market it; and

-The President of Uganda once cracked a tooth on a too-hard Bridge Mixture piece while on a visit to Canada, leading to strained Canada-Uganda relations; and

-A 24-foot-tall granite statue of a box of Bridge Mixture stands in front of the factory where it was invented. The statue has been blessed by Pope Jean Paul II.

So in the end, all I learned is that trusting Wikipedia for serious research purposes is probably a pretty dumb idea. I guess in the end, all we can say for sure about Bridge Mixture is that its true origins have been lost in the mists of time.

Though finding reliable information about Bridge Mixture was difficult, the candy itself proved easy to track down – it’s a common dollar-store item around here. Inside the familiar yellow box, the candies looked pretty much like I remembered them, though my box seemed to have an overabundance of fondants and caramels and no Turkish Delights at all, which disappointed me because they were my favorites. (And yes, if you’ve had them before, you can kind of tell which piece is which by the shapes.)

There is real chocolate in the ingredients, which surprised me, since I remember them tasting pretty waxy, even when I was a kid. Sure enough, when I popped a few in my mouth, they were pretty much like I remembered – if that’s real chocolate, it’s been heavily cut with some kind of confectioner’s glaze, making it hard and brittle. It readily flakes off of the harder centers when bitten, and there’s very little difference between the dark and the light.

The caramel center is a little dense and chewy, and very mild-tasting. The fondants are all very hard, making me wonder about the freshness of this box. (Though really, I don’t recall ever finding a soft fondant in a box of Bridge Mixture, so perhaps they’re not supposed to be that way.) The mint is a standard peppermint patty mint, and the orange has a tangy, perfumey (if a little stale-tasting) flavor that, more than any other piece, brings back memories of eating these as a child. There’s also a third fondant, which I believe is supposed to be coconut, though it kind of tastes more like plain sugar than anything.

The peanuts and raisins are, well, peanuts and raisins – if you’ve had Glossettes, you’ve had these. The peanuts, like everything else, are a bit stale. The Turkish Delight pieces, from what I remember, came in red and green, and I don’t even remember them tasting that good – I think I liked them more for the texture and the novelty of a chocolate-coated gummy than anything.

None of the above description really makes Bridge Mixture sound all that good, and I guess it’s not. Yet I’m still downing the stuff by the handfuls as I write this review. Just nostalgia? Perhaps – or maybe this Pope-sanctioned, Presidential-tooth-breaking candy has powers beyond the comprehension of mere mortals. Try some… if you dare.

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5 Responses to “Retro Candy Flashback: Bridge Mixture”

  1. 1
    amypaige says:

    how funny. i always thought bridge mix was dark and milk chocolate covered cashews and peanuts and almonds and raisins and stuff. i don’t remember fondant and turkish delight at all.

  2. 2
    JPLRUBIN says:

    I’m not a huge chocolate fan, but I definitely am curious to try the Turkish Delight ones because Turkish Delight is amazing.

  3. 3
    Mike says:

    i’ve loved bridge mix since i was a kid. We always bought the Brach’s version in the US (never saw Hershey’s) and you can still find bags of it commonly in grocery stores, etc.

  4. 4
    Candy Addict » Candy Review: Joyva Jell Rings says:

    [...] find than chocolate-coated marshmallows – I can name Muddy Bears, the chocolate-coated jellies in Bridge Mixture, and Canada’s Big Turk bar. And now, I can add Joyva Jell Rings to that short [...]

  5. 5
    vickie says:

    I love Bridge mix, but I am Very sad that the bag I got had very little milk chocolates carmels in it. To many mint and peanuts in it!

    P.s. Why?

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