Sweet Thinking

ImageGiving up sweets each year during the Lenten season can be a true sacrifice for sweet lovers.  The first few weeks are tougher than the last, but, by the time Easter arrives, the desire to partake of sugar is often an afterthought for those who have weaned themselves off of crystalline carbohydrates.

What about you?  What is your relationship to sugar?  Do you consider yourself to be a sweet tooth?

In recent years, I’ve learned to appreciate the natural sugars found in fruits like strawberries, pears, etc.  But, oh, I do recall the candies of my youth.  Candy rings and candy necklaces helped start my candy history, a history that included many Gummi bears and the chocolate bar that I had fun joking was named after me (Baby Ruth).

Below is my personal “Top 10 List of Childhood Candies” along with brief descriptions of which part of my youth that I associate with the particular sweet:

10. Lemon Drops  – My third grade teacher kept a jar of these coveted yellow candies on her desk and would rewards students with them.

9. Mr. Goodbar – These chocolate bars were a routine, post-ballet class reward, along with Cherry Coke and peach ice cream scoops.

8. Now & Laters – Throughout the middle school years, an afterschool treat.  Favorite flavors:  green apple and banana.

7.  Nerds – Boxes of these tiny treats contained either one or two flavors and often were part of care packages received during the summers while away at Camp Morehead By the Sea sailing camp in eastern North Carolina.

6. Milk Duds – A “go to” chocolate and caramel candy often chosen while on high school dates at the local movie theater.

5.  Skittles – Hands down, the choice during junior high years while playing board games like SorryLIFE and Monopoly with friends.

4. Life Savers and M&Ms – Often devoured after eating pizza at many a middle school-age girlfriend’s “spend-the-night,” sleepover party.  The green-colored ones of both varieties were considered lucky.

3. Fun Dip – Similar to eating Tang drink mix, eating this candy was as simple as licking a sugar stick and dipping the stick into flavored sugar.

2. Snickers – Often consumed during summers by the pool along with a can of Mountain Dew.  Occasionally, chocolate melting-on-the-pool bag issues arose.

1. Marathon Bar – Discontinued in 1981, this bar is the first favorite chocolate candy bar that I can remember.  I’ll never forget the bright orange-red packaging that contained a ruler with inch markings to prove that the bar was eight inches long.  The braided chocolate and caramel was also unforgettable.  I was pleasantly surprised as an adult to learn that Cadbury’s Curly Wurly chocolate bars are very similar and are available to US customers via importing from the UK.

What about you?  What were your favorite childhood sweets, and what favorite memories do you associate with those treats?

If you can’t exactly recall, online sites like Old Time Candy can help jog your memory.  Careful though, you might just hit the order button.

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