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Retro Candy Flashback: Mary Jane

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


Mary Jane Bag

Mary Janes are one of those candies I heard about growing up, but never ate. They were, like most Necco products, something that I saw in stores, but never gave much thought to when it came to buying. I never watched any of my friends eat Mary Janes, and reasoned it was probably a candy better left to my imagination.

But after so many years of having Twix, KitKats, and other candy items I routinely buy at the store, I find myself bored. I still love me some Twix, but a guy needs to mix things up every now and then!

Whenever this feeling overtakes me, I head on over to the part of the candy aisle I usually neglect. Often, it’s full of candy from another generation, including Circus Peanuts, Wax Bottles, and Candy Buttons. On this trip, I snatched up a bag of Mary Janes.

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Retro Candy Flashback: Banana Split

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


Necco Banana Split Tub

My previous exploration of Necco’s old-fashioned candy mix yielded a strike of gold with the Clark Bar. However, within that package were two other candies: Necco Wafers – more like coal than gold – and Banana Split.

I have heard of Banana Split and its counterpart Mint Julep, but never had the opportunity or desire to sample one. Like the Clark Bar, this candy is regional in its abundance, probably being highly concentrated around the Atlantic seaboard where Necco is headquartered.

Had these not been included in the bag of Clark Bars, I probably would not have bought them separately. But since they came along for my Clark Bar adventure, I thought I would give them a try.

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Candy Review: Stretchy and Tangy Hanna Strawberry-Banana Laffy Taffy Bar

Categories: Candy,Candy Reviews,Soft Candy


Stretchy and Tangy Strawberry-Banana Laffy Taffy Bar

As Monica correctly alluded to in her love ‘em or hate ‘em candies, taffy is definitely a divisive confection. I happen to be a lover of this candy, ever since the days I journeyed to Catalina and discovered what taffy is.

As a product, taffy doesn’t really have a large niche in the candy aisle. Most people only know it in its small, saltwater form. There are, however, a few big logo names out there. Yes, both Airheads and Starburst are forms of taffy (a lot of people have an “oh yeah” moment when they hear this). But even if it might not be as popular as these other two forms, the most recognized brand of taffy out there is probably Wonka’s Laffy Taffy.

Most people identify Laffy Taffy with the small little pieces purchased as penny candy or in bulk that contain jokes (which I tend to find not funny) on the back. The small ones come in a variety of single flavors. This product also has two other forms. One is a taffy rope, which is essentially the small pieces just in a longer, rope format. The second is a spinoff product called Stretchy and Tangy Laffy Taffy.

The stretchy and tangy variety consists of about an eight-inch bar of taffy. I have seen it at various gas stations mostly, which is where I bought mine, and was curious about them to see if the stretchy and tangy part made them taste any different from their smaller counterparts. Since most of the seven flavors this product offers are duplicates of the smaller product, I chose the strawberry-banana bar, as it had no equivalent mini form.

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Candy Review: Taffy Town Taffy

Categories: Candy,Candy Reviews,Soft Candy


Taffy Town Taffy

The people at Taffy Town have been making these candies for 89 years, so it stands to reason they would have gotten it right by now. A bag of assorted flavors of Taffy Town Taffy arrived at my doorstep, so I had a nice selection of them to try. I was struck by the sheer array of flavors they offer – everything from the traditional peppermint to the more en vogue flavors like chocolate chip cookie and raspberry lemonade.

These taffy has a beautiful homemade look about it, with each piece individually wrapped in a small square of waxed paper. The colors are bright and the variations in terms of stripes, swirls and dots make these as nice to look at as they are to eat. A perusal of the website showed loads more taffy innovation – flavors like pomegranate and strawberry cheesecake, sugar free versions, versions with images in them (flowers, etc). Who knew that taffy was such a serious business?

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Candy Review: Annabelle’s Chocolate Abba-Zaba

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


Annabelle’s Abba Zaba Chocolate Cream Center Package

One of the new candies unveiled at this year’s All Candy Expo was this new twist on a classic candy: the Abba-Zaba Chocolate Cream center. When Brian told me about his find on the showroom floor I couldn’t help but respond by asking a gazillion questions about it. For me, a new addition to the Abba-Zaba family was big, big news.

The original Abba-Zaba is a sweet taffy with a stripe of peanut butter running down the center. There’s also a Sour Apple variety with the taffy carrying the flavor and the peanut butter center remaining intact. What I found most exciting about this new Abba-Zaba was the replacement of the peanut butter with “chocolate cream” (ok, so it’s really mockolate), which sort of takes away the consistent component of the candy. I was curious to see if this hurt the formula of the bar at all.

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