Recently my friend, Peggy, and I got into a discussion about our favorite childhood candy. I liked, and can occasionally still find, the caramel with a cream center. My brother and I knew them as “bull’s eyes”. He and I also used to have bubble-blowing contests. In our humble opinion Dubble Bubble, with the bonus of a comic included with each piece, produced the best results. We often needed several pieces to get a really big bubble and it took a fair bit of chewing to get the right consistency. At that point our mouths smoothed the bubble over the end of our tongues and we began to blow. Slowly. When our bubbles were as big as we could get them, just before the point where they popped and stuck all over faces, it was time to remove them. This was done by pulling back our tongues, grabbing the bubble end that was between our lips, and squeezing it together with our fingers so the air did not leak out. Our personal rules called for the successful removal of the bubble from the mouth and presenting it to the other person for comparison. Results had to be mutually agreed upon or a redo was required.

My father liked to suck on hard candy to “wet his whistle”. He really liked Dad’s Root Beer Barrels and could suck them down to nothing. Nougats with colored jelly bits in them, tiny wax bottles with their teensy taste of liquid, and thin Necco wafers also came to mind. (The now politically incorrect candy cigarettes with their red tips were a nefarious treat in our staunchly non-smoking family.) My friend said her favorite candy was the tri-colored (pink/white/brown) squares with coconut.

I looked at our local candy store, “The Candy Vault”, and found several of the candies along with the long forgotten but always kid-popular wax lips and mustaches. The colored coconut squares were not to be found but instead there was a colored coconut slice. I also scored Necco wafers, Nik-L-Nips, and Bull’s Eyes. Cool.

I looked on the Internet to find the others. Amazing the amount of old-fashioned candy available. Word of caution though – when you order on-line it may only be available in large quantities. I have enough Dubble Bubble gum to have a citywide bubble-blowing contest. Just kidding.

In the above photo from L to R: Dad’s Old Fashioned Root Beer Barrels, Dubble Bubble gum, Nik-L-Nips, Brach’s jelly nougats, Necco Candy Wafers, Candy Farm’s Neopolitan Coconut Slice, Wack-O-Wax’s Pucker Pete Wax Lips and Mr. Stache, and Goetze’s Caramel Creams (Bulls-eyes).

So, what was your favorite childhood candy? I bet you can still find it.


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