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Old-School Candies That Will Bring You Straight Back To Your Childhood.

old-school Candies: Zagnut bar, Jujubes, Now-and-Later, and Bit-O-Honey

Candies seem to be a staple of every childhood. We all have our favorites. My dad always had Good & Plenty hiding somewhere. Although I’m not particularly fond of licorice, I occasionally indulge my childish memories and grab a box. Surprisingly, Good & Plenty might be the oldest candy still in production in the United States! Introduced in Philadelphia in 1893, the candy is still available almost everywhere.

My mom always carried Doublemint gum in her purse. She would dutifully tear each stick in half and allow us to chew during church to keep us quiet. I’ve tried Doublemint as an adult, but it tastes slightly different. The hint of perfume, staleness, and purse crumbs might be missing. So many memories can be evoked from the candies we grew up consuming.

1. Bazooka Bubble Gum

I do not know how this has been a childhood favorite since 1947. The little bricks of gum seemed to come from the factory already stale. But there was the Bazooka Joe comic strip! You could also save up your wrappers to send away for a “Secret Club Ring.” Bazooka Gum is still available if you want to stress-test your dental insurance.

Nostalgic Candies -- Image shows a round bowl containing several pieces of Bazooka Bubble Gum.
Image from Flickr.

2. Bit-O-Honey

Another one of the candies from the past that always seemed rock hard and stale was Bit-O-Honey. This was introduced in 1924, and they might still be working on selling out that first batch. All kidding aside, this was a very popular item in Halloween baskets. It came in individual pieces or larger bars that could be broken apart. The honey-flavored taffy with almonds is still available and popular today.

Nostalgic candies - Image shows individually-wrapped Bit-O-Honey
Image from Wikimedia Commons.

3. Nik-L-Nip

Nik-L-Nip candies were popular for the tiny wax bottles. Kids would bite the top of the bottle off and suck out the sweet, fruity liquid inside. The wax bottles could be chewed when the liquid was gone, much like stiff, flavorless gum.

4. Now and Later

Created in 1962, these candies were supposed to last longer, hence the name. The concept was that you could have some now, and then have some later. The wrapping was almost impossible to unwrap, so you also got in an aerobic activity before enjoying it. The taffy-like candies started out quite hard, and took some lengthy chewing to soften them up a bit.

now and later candies
Image from Flickr.

5. Mallo Cup

Two candy-making brothers, named Bill and Bob Boyer, created the Mallo Cup in the 1930s. Best described as a cross between a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup and a Mallomars cookie, Mallo Cups quickly became a favorite. These candies are still available today.

mallo cup candy
Image from Flickr.

6. Jujyfruits and Jujubes

Jujyfruits and Jujubes are “sister” candies. The larger Jujyfruits are supposedly shaped like the flavor each piece represents. That doesn’t ring quite true, though, as the lime-flavored pieces are actually shaped like a bundle of asparagus! They are VERY chewy. The smaller Jujubes are all shaped like dots and are much harder to chew. You can still find both items on store shelves.

box of jujubes
Image from Flickr.

7. Original Dubble Bubble

Dubble Bubble gum predates Bazooka by almost 20 years. This gum has been available since 1928. The twin brothers, Dub and Bub, were the stars of the original comic strip printed on the inside of each wrapper. You can still get Dubble Bubble at many retail outlets. It is available in classic and new flavors.

8. Chuckles

Coated with a layer of sugar (marketed as a ” light dusting”), these chewy jelly candies hit shelves in 1921. Still around today, the candy includes five flavors: lemon, cherry, lime, orange, and licorice.

chuckles candy
Image from Wikimedia Commons.

9. Necco Wafers

These were first made in 1847 as ‘hub-wafers.” Union troops carried them during battles in the Civil War! Necco Wafers have eight flavors: Lime, lemon, cinnamon, orange, wintergreen, licorice, clove, and chocolate. Technically, Necco Wafers are older than Good & Plenty, but the name change confuses historians. Aside from the licorice, clove, and chocolate, the flavors taste like the same flavor of sidewalk chalk.

10. Rolo

Rolo candies are delectable! The drum-shaped, bite-sized pieces come in a handy roll, making them easy to eat and store (seriously, are there ever any left?). Milk chocolate covering a melty caramel center is a perfect mix of flavor and texture. They have been a popular choice since 1937 and remain a favorite (you couldn’t tell they’re my favorite, could you? I try not to show bias).

rolo candies
Image from Wikimedia Commons.

11. Sugar Daddy and Sugar Babies

If you like caramel, Sugar Daddy caramel suckers will delight you. Created in 1925 as the Papa Sucker, the name was changed in 1932. They take forever to eat, so you can grab some Sugar Babies if you don’t have much time. The small, bite-sized candies have a milk caramel filling inside a candy coating and are perfect for an on-the-go snack. Both candies are available in a variety of retail establishments.

12. Zagnut candy bars

Zagnut might be your ticket to happiness if you want a crunchy candy bar. They’ve been around since 1930, and you can still buy them, so someone must like them. The bar contains crunchy peanuts and coconut. According to photographer Mike Mozart, a vintage Zagnut bar was used in the movie Beetlejuice!

zagnut bar candy
Image from Flickr.

13. Goo Goo Clusters

I’m unsure where the name Goo Goo Clusters originated, but these should be called Heaven in a milk chocolate coating. The inside is marshmallow nougat, roasted peanuts, and caramel. These were first made in Nashville in 1912. Their claim to fame is that it was the first candy made with more than one main ingredient.

Candies have a history as old as man. Cavemen ate honey (nature’s candy). The first individual candies were made with nuts and fruits caramelized with honey. Licorice and ginger are among the oldest candy types, with mint taking a role as the all-time favorite flavor. We can appreciate the old-school candies of yesteryear while relishing the development of new flavor combinations. Whoever put salt on caramel? Genius!

You can find the source of this story’s featured image here, here, here, and here.

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