It's a Matter of Taste
Candy Raisins--local treat of a pox on sweets nationwide?
Anyone with a sweet tooth already knows of the threat that hangs over the heads of Southeast Wisconsin aficionados of the little brown treats--the Pewaukee plant that makes 'em is pulling up stakes for New England, with the fate of Candy Raisins in doubt. There's a link to one of my past blogs that'll hook you up to a website where you can electronically petition NECCO (formerly Start Candy of Milwaukee) to keep cranking Raisins out even after the local plant folds.
I, for one, could live without Candy Raisins. Some call it an acquired taste. My Wisconsin Morning News partner o-the-week, Jon Byman, compares their flavor with that of ear wax.
Another co-worker, Craig Koplien, reminds us of some of Stark's past claims to fame on his blog...his memories of things like "Snirkles" or candy cigarettes is a lot more pleasant than mine. Even those little Valentines hearts that Stark cranked out over the years are best remembered for the messages they contained, rather than their flavor which was not unlike some sort of concoction a well-meaning parent would cram down your neck when you were, what shall we say, a little bit loose in the bowels. Good medicine, maybe, but nothing I want in my bag of penny candy. And, for those of you old enough to remember candy cigs, can you remember anyone sitting down and actually EATING a whole pack of them? It would be like ingesting an entire pack of Peppermint Life Savers in one sitting. You'd have great breath, plus a fist-sized hole in your gut. Candy cigarettes were props in my neighborhood--a chance to look like an adult without having to actually procure a real coffin nail. No one ate them--you just broke off the soggy end after you'd walked around with it hanging in your mouth for an hour or so.
A reader writes of her love of Bonomo taffy, and I can remember those wax sticks filled with that mystery liquid which tasted like a sweeter version of Lavoris mouth wash (do they still make Lavoris? What then of "Score" hair gel?). There are scads of websites dedicated to the flavors of our youth (provided you're over 40). Here's one of 'em. Please drop me a line if you find any more, or just care to shoot the breeze about the stuff that used to rot out teeth and fill our bellies with empty calories in the days before we got our I-D's and let beer finish the job.