Archive for candy

Nerd Lunch Episode 27: Lots of talk about vintage candy

Posted in candy, pop culture, snacks with tags , , , , , , , on March 7, 2012 by Paxton

Nerd Lunch Podcast

The Nerd Lunch crew returns for episode 27. You are welcome, Internet. This week we are joined by Jason Liebig, proprieter of one of the newest and best nostalgia sites on the Internet machine, CollectingCandy.com.

Collecting Candy

Jason joins us for a lively discussion about candy. We talk about the actual candy, but we also discuss candy packaging, marketing and the problems inherent in collecting candy that is thirty years old.  It’s a fun discussion and I guarantee you’ll learn stuff that you’ll immediately want to forget.  And at the end of the episode we give a shout out to a good friend of this blog, Trish, who has never listened to a podcast.  Hopefully, this will get her to start listening (at least to our awesome podcast).

Download this episode from iTunes or listen to it on Feedburner. And yes, we are still on the Zune Marketplace despite recently getting a negative review from someone.

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2008!!! Costume and Candy!!

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, candy, costumes, Halloween, holiday with tags , , , , , on October 31, 2008 by Paxton

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It’s H-day, baby!! All Hallow’s Day. Halloween. Sam Hain Day. Black and Orange. Spooky Time. Creepy Crawlies. Dress up like a nutball and drink yourself into a blind stupor and wind up disoriented and bleeding on the back porch of some stranger’s house…with no pants (you have no pants, not the stranger, who may or may not have pants). I love Halloween!

Want to see my costume for today?  Here it is:

Sav-Rite nerd

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2007: Halloween retail goodies

Posted in candy, Elvis, Halloween with tags , , , , , , on October 31, 2007 by Paxton

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I love looking around stores during Halloween. The aisles are decorated with cardboard haunted houses, pumpkins and pics of gouls, ghosts and monsters. It’s so much fun to walk around the Halloween sections of retail stores like Target, Wal-Mart and your local grocery store to see the scary versions of some regular favorites that come out every Halloween. Companies also seem to release new Halloween themed items every year. Here’s some of the coolest stuff I noticed while shopping around this Halloween season.

You can click the individual pictures for a bigger size.

Reeses Pumpkin
I love Reese’s Cups. LOVE them. They are top of my list of snacks including Cheetos and peanut M&Ms. During Halloween Reese’s will release different shaped cups (bats, pumpkins, skulls, etc). The package says DOUBLE sized and, man, they aren’t kidding. This is one giant brick of peanut butter in a thin layer of chocolate. It’s like carrying around a small child. It easily weighed as much as my head. I had trouble finishing it. If you decide to get some of these, make sure you bring along a car trailer or a pack mule. You aren’t going to get a box of these home on your own.

M&Ms
Ahhh, another seasonal favorite for me, Pumpkin Mix M&Ms. Yes, this is just regular M&Ms dressed up as black and orange pumpkins, but I LOVE M&Ms and the packaging is always too cool to pass up (check out Yellow carving a pumpkin that looks like Red). I buy them every year (peanut are my favorite followed closely by peanut butter).

Gummy Body Parts 2Gummy Body Parts 1Oozn Eyeballz
Gummy candy in the shape of human limbs seems to be pretty popular this year. The one on the left even comes in its own coffin. Nothing quite like candy that makes you feel like a cannibal. They make these things extremely realistic. Just sitting there looking at them I got a little queasy. Great, great idea, I’m glad companies are embracing the macabre during the Halloween season, but I’d be lying if I said these things don’t creep me out. Like chopped up midgets in a bag. Yikes.

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Quick History of the American Candy Bar

Posted in candy, food, pop culture with tags , on February 9, 2007 by Paxton

So, I’ve been in training this week. Yes, again. This particular week we are learning about PeopleSoft Billing and Accounts Receivable. Awesome, huh? I get goose-bumps just talking about it. Seriously, the atmosphere in this class is like the encore at a Lynard Skynard concert. They just started singing Free Bird, lighters are lit and raised, people are losing their minds. It’s almost a religious experience. Oh yeah, I’m completely lying, it’s as boring as last week.

Since the class is so boring, Winn-Dixie is providing a jar of candy to keep us all buzzed on sugar. So not only am I losing consciousness due to lack of interest, I can also hear myself getting fatter eating fist fulls of chocolate trying to stay wake. Seeing as how I’m slowly being bored to death and fattened up by my company, I could just copy and paste last week’s article into this week’s article and be done with it. But you, my readers deserve better.

I was approached recently by my mother-in-law to research and write an article about candy bars. I guess she and HER mother were discussing candy bars they remember from their childhood and wanted to know a little bit about their history and what was the first candy bar. I’ve done that research and the accompanying article is below. It’s fitting that I write this article while shoveling obscene amounts of miniature Hershey bars into my mouth. Enjoy.

Chocolate itself has been enjoyed, as a drink, since the early 16th century. Montezuma, ruler of the Aztecs, the conquistador Cortez, and many of the royal families in Spain have enjoyed drinking chocolate as a beverage. It wasn’t until the mid-19th century in England that chocolate was consumed as a non-liquid confection. Actual bars of chocolate start showing up in the late 1800s. Candy shops would sell off chunks of excess chocolate from their store supplies in order to wring every last penny out of their inventory.

At the 1893 Columbian Exhibition in Chicago, Milton Hershey would purchase his first chocolate making machinery (up to this point, he only made caramel) and set up shop in Lancaster, PA (later moved to Derry Church, PA). His first Hershey bars would show up a year or so later and get national distribution by the end of the century. This is not to say that other candy bars weren’t around by this point, but it is generally believed that the Hershey bar is the first and oldest still-produced chocolate bar in the world. Other American companies would mix in ingredients like peanuts, caramel, fruit, etc. through the start of 1900, but the chocolate bar wouldn’t really take off in popularity until after World War I.

During WWI, the Army had chocolate manufacturers send 40 pound chocolate blocks that would then be cut into individual-sized bars and given to soldiers in Europe. After the war, when all the soldiers returned home, they had fond memories of those chocolate bars and started buying them. This caused a major boom in the chocolate industry and by the 1920s over 40,000 different chocolate bars could be bought across the country.

That was essentially how the whole candy bar business was born. Let’s take a look at some of the more interesting trivia tidbits of these candy bars.

In 1920, the Curtiss Candy Company started producing the Baby Ruth candy bar. Since that time, the origin of the bar’s name has been debated over and over. The official story is that Baby Ruth is named after the daughter of former President Grover Cleveland. Another story contends that the company was looking to capitalize on Babe Ruth’s popularity without paying royalties. Which is true? We may never know, BUT let’s look at some facts. Baby Ruth was introduced in 1920. Grover Cleveland’s last year of office was in 1897, 23 years prior. Grover’s daughter, Ruth, died at age 12, 16 years prior. Babe Ruth was traded from the Red Sox to the Yankees in 1920 and was coming into the height of his popularity. It may all be coincidence. Apparently Ruth Cleveland was born in-between Grover’s two terms in office and, at the time, was a national sensation. Why, though, it took 16 years to get a candy bar named after her, I don’t know. It’s also said that the bar was named after the granddaughter of one of the original formula’s developers. Since he was a nobody, the whole story was concocted as a marketing gimmick. That one is interesting too, but it’s all speculation at this point. An interesting footnote, in order to combat the mis-use of his nickname, Babe Ruth released a candy bar officially endorsed by him. Click here to see the wrapper.

I’ve always enjoyed the “look” of the Zero bar (see pic). I don’t know if you’ve ever had one, but it looks cool, even if it tastes a little weird. I always wondered why they called it Zero. What’s zero? Calories? No. Fat? No. WHAT?! Well, if you look here you can see an early version of the Zero wrapper that shows the original idea was that it was a “cool” treat, as in “zero” degrees cool. Get it? Haha, that’s so dorky.

Did you know 3 Musketeers was originally three small candy bars in one package, hence the name? Also, each bar had a different flavor (chocolate, vanilla and strawberry). Interesting how that concept got lost, huh? Now, the 3 Musketeers bar is a flat taffy-like candy. WTF?!

Well, class, that’s it for today. My information/research came mostly from Wikipedia and the National Confectioners Association website. Also check out The Candy Wrapper Museum and Mike’s Candy Wrapper Page for great images of some of your favorite candies and their packaging. All of those sites are very informative.

Me, I gotta get back to acting like I’m not falling asleep. Oh, by the way, today is my friend Steve’s birthday. Let’s all wish the old sonova ‘B’ a happy one. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, STEVE!!!

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Bring On Halloween!

Posted in Halloween, holiday, pop culture, reviews with tags , , , , , on September 15, 2006 by Paxton

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I have been in a very Halloweeny mood lately (haha…I said weeny!). Part of it started by reading X-Entertainment’s Halloween Countdown. Each weekday leading up to Halloween night Matt reviews fun Halloween items like scary masks, food items and movies. It’s a ton of fun.

Like Matt, I also love when stores start preparing for the Halloween buying season and put out all their goulish wares. The decorations and varieties of Halloween themed candy always make stores look cool. I especially love it when regular food, candy or drinks change things up and start offering Halloween-specific offerings. Cool items from years past include Mountain Dew Pitch Black, the Jones Soda Halloween Collection and Halloween themed Kool-Aid called Ghoul-Aid. Actually, one of X-Entertainment’s favorite things to review are the yearly Halloween offerings of Kid Cuisine microwave meals.

So, needless to say, all of this is putting me in the Halloween mood, and it’s not even October yet. Despite that, I found a cool Halloween drink the other day at my local Winn-Dixie and thought I’d share it with you. Feast your eyes below to the terrifying visage of Tropicana Twisters’ two scary flavors, Green Ghost and Midnight Storm!! AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

Tropicana Twisters are a very flavorful drink, but usually they are a mixture of two or more juice flavors, hence the moniker TWISTERS. For some reason the “suits” decided to eschew the “two juices twisted into one” idea and are presenting these twisters as solitary flavors; Sour Apple and Grape Thunder. If you are thinking of getting these, be prepared, it’s like drinking a truckload of flavored sugar. Very, VERY sweet. The apple and grape flavors are good, but the overall results are like a sugar baseball bat to the tastebuds. The packaging is cool though. And what scary sidedish am I enjoying this afternoon with my creepy sugary juicy liquidy goodness? Why, it’s M&Ms Pumpkin Mix!!!

These M&Ms come in orange and black and have cute little jack-o-lantern (or pumpkin) faces on them. They are also filled with peanut butter, not chocolate.

So now that I’ve made myself sick on apple flavored sugar syrup and peanut butter hard candies, I think I’ll adjourn for the day.

Actually, tomorrow morning my wife and I will be leaving for Tampa to board a cruise ship headed to the Western Caribbean. All next week my ass will be drinking umbrella drinks and hanging out with butt-naked freaks. Don’t worry, I’ll be back, I know you’ll miss me. 😉

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