Cure Your Aching Sweet Tooth: APN’s Favorite Throwback Candies.


Photo by APN

Most children enjoy some sugar in their diets from time to time, some more than others. It’s like they place candy right near the registers just to make us beg. But there are some candies whose catchy jingles we will never hear on TV again. Here are some of APN staff members’ favorite throwback candies.

Amanda Johnston’s Pick: Razzles

“First it’s candy, then it’s gum!” Razzles were created long before my time, being introduced in 1966, according to Tootsie Roll Industries website, but my parents introduced them to me when I was around 5 years old. We had a drive-in movie theater where I grew up, and we would go a few times during the summer. My parents would always pick out a special snack for us to have while watching the movies. When we went to see “Inspector Gadget,” they brought Razzles. As someone who has always been obsessed with gum, and a child who likes sugary, fruity tasting candy, these were a great treat for me. I got to start with a crunchy, fruity candy coating and have it turn into gum to chew on for a few minutes, until of course, I wanted more flavor and crunchy candy again, then started all over with new Razzles. They can still be found in specialty candy stores, online, and occasionally you might get lucky and find them in your local dollar store or supermarket in the candy section.

Angela Lince’s Pick: Candy Cigarettes

Nothing beats the taste of a sweet, chalky-flavored stick that mimics a commonly used, dangerous carcinogen the human population knows all too well. Yes, we’re talking about candy cigarettes. This innocent product raised controversy in the 1950s due to negative health reports found in actual smoke-blowing “cigs.” Pushing aside that sour past and remaining stigma can be difficult for some, but really, eating one can take you back to times only you can remember. For myself, eating this white cigarette allowed me to become a temporary adult. I’d hold it between my two fingers, imitating my parents as they smoked their real, lung-damaging cigarettes. Unlike them, I didn’t have that lingering bad breath.

The best part about these candies is they’re cheap, and you can find them at your local candy shop!

Brendan Kelly’s Pick: Nik-L-Nips

When I was younger, I used to go on my annual summer vacation to Lake George, N.Y., with my dad’s side of the family. Every year, one of my uncles brought these little wax bottles that had some sort of liquid sugar in them.  They soon became my favorite kind of candies, but I never knew where I could find them.  I found out many years later that they were called Nik-L-Nips.  To this day, I still haven’t been able to find them in a store, but it looks like you can find them at a variety of online candy shops.   

Carla Pimentel’s Pick: Pop Rocks

Not only can you “Taste The Explosion,” but you can hear it too. From the moment you put the Pop Rocks in your hand, they start to pop. You hear the popping in your ears, and feel it in your mouth and under your tongue. Pop Rocks bring back wonderful memories from my childhood. My favorite flavor is still cherry. My grandmother never understood why I loved them so much. She would always say they aren’t healthy and warned me to never try them with Coca-Cola. Pop Rocks are a brief satisfaction. You don’t chew or swallow them, you just sit there and wait for them to dissolve while enjoying the explosion!

Deja Skipper’s Pick: Gushers

Gushers are like sweet gems with a gooey filling that flows through your mouth when you take a bite! I never could get enough of these! Boxes and boxes were stacked in the cabinets of my home. I would always sneak into the kitchen, stop, and check if I heard any footsteps upstairs moving toward the creaking stairs. When the coast was clear, I would head over to the cabinet near the sink, open it, and put my hand inside the Gushers’ box hoping there were some left. I was so addicted to them, I’m surprised I didn’t develop cavities! But even so, it was worth it!

Jainaba Darboe’s Pick: Baby Bottle Pop

Baby Bottle Pop is a distant memory; I haven’t had it in about 11 years. I do remember my favorite flavor being the blue raspberry. The candy is shaped like a mini baby bottle with the lollipop as its head and the bottle filled with flavored sugar. It wasn’t a good health choice , but I was young and a sugar addict; I didn’t know any better. Back in middle school, my friends and I would go to the deli grocery after school and stock up on candy. With the constant consumption of Baby Bottle Pop and my other favorite candies growing up, I am surprised I don’t have cavities at this point! Though Baby Bottle Pop was created almost 20 years ago, this sweet treat can still be found at Target, CVS, Wal-Mart and Amazon.

Keely Breen’s Pick: Wonder Balls

It was a chocolate sphere filled with chalky, fruit-flavored candies or mini prizes — could life be any sweeter with a Wonder Ball by your side? As a young child, I remember checking out at my local grocery store and quite literally begging my mom to buy a Wonder Ball time and time again just to see what extravagant goodies were beneath the chocolaty surface. They were my favorite treats and kept me entertained for hours on end! Wonder Balls came in cartoonish packaging that enticed anyone within a few feet, which made me fall in love every time I saw one. While their popularity was overwhelming, unfortunately, the momentum slowly declined, and they were discontinued in 2004, never to be found in stores again (boo!). Wonder Balls will always be a part of my childhood, and to this day, I still miss them.   

Sarah Trafton’s Pick: Runts

I never actually knew what these were called until writing this article. To me, they were just “those hard, fruit-shaped candies.” I remember getting them from mini vending machines, where you had to put a quarter in, turn it and wait for your prize or treat to fall out. They are brightly colored, and they both look and taste like fruit. Runts are nice and crunchy to eat as well. Another plus is that they are still around today!

Tess Acierno’s Pick: Chocolate Race Car

I’ll never forget the first time I had a chocolate race car. I couldn’t have been older than 4, and my mom took me to “The Chocolatier,” our local candy store. Looking back, my mom probably would have bought the 35 cent candy for me, but I guess the klepto in me couldn’t resist. I remember how shiny the packaging was and how badly I wanted it, so I sneakily (as sneakily as a 4-year-old can) put the chocolate into my pocket. Once we got home, my mom had seen what I’d done and proceeded to shame me for dishonoring our family, but she didn’t make me return it. The next day, I found the chocolate race car sitting on the kitchen table. I still wanted to eat it so badly, but I was terrified of being yelled at again. That’s when my mom walked into the kitchen, looked at the chocolate, looked at me, and smiled. Although chocolate race cars aren’t usually available at big-box stores, you can still find them at your local candy shop.  

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