Thursday, March 11, 2010

We Miss Our Discontinued Candy: Bygone Sweets


It probably doesn't bode especially well for our generation that we can get all wistful and misty-eyed over some nutritionally void sugar-laden snacks, but sometimes we just can't help ourselves in these matters. It's tragic in its own small way that today's children will never taste the glorious sugary sweets that so sustained us in our youth. By "sustained" of course I mean it kept our hyperactivity level off the charts and kept our dentists' respective children in expensive sneakers. What? It's a valid interpretation of sustenance, given you accept that these treats served no real nourishing purpose.

You just don't know what you have till it's gone. For a brief, fleeting period these sugary snacks enticed us with their off-the-charts sweetness. Like all good things, though, our love affair with these candies were forced to come to a bitter end. For many of us, we didn't even realize these sweets no longer graced our grocery store shelves until it was too late. Had I been alerted of the impending discontinuation, I would have stocked up on Hershey's Tastations before it was too late.



Mintaburst/Cinnaburst/Fruitaburst Gum



You name the flavor, this gum was a'burstin' with it. Unfortunately, it bursts no more. The burst in question was a mysterious compound of so-called "flavor crystals," which seems to be some sort of code for "gritty hard pieces in your gum that are kind of gross but also ripe with flavor."

Astropop



When I think of what the ideal adjective for describing a favorite candy is, "stabby" usually ranks pretty close to the top of the list. Any candy that can double as weaponry is okay in my book. That book, of course, is called "Lollipop Swords: Beginning Swashbuckling for Youngsters." Look for it coming soon to a bookstore near you.

These things were pure sugar, which from a child's perspective is the be-all-end-all of attractive candy characteristics. Astrioios unfailingly stained our lips and tongues, but this should have been the least of our parents' concerns. The most, of course, being that it was possible to lick the Astropop into a finely tuned dagger and inflict multiple puncture wounds onto our siblings on car trips. Ouch.



Tastetations



Mmmm....Tasteations. These things were creamy hard candy goodness with the Hershey's chocolatey seal of approval thrown in for good measure. Sure, you might feel like a crotchety little old lady carrying around hard candies in your pockets, but the taste made it well worth the minor image sacrifice. Apparently Hershey's first-ever hard candy just wasn't enough to hold our attention--their heyday was pretty short-lived.



Carefree Gum




How, I ask you, are we supposed to adequately sprinkle Clueless movie quotes into everyday situations when the cultural context has cruelly been discontinued? I'm referring, of course, to Cher's impassioned tirade against gym class in which she claims she barely burned off the calories in a stick of Carefree Gum.

By the way, that above commercial is actually pretty funny. Kudos to Milli Vanilli for taking the low road after their incredibly embarrassing lip-syncing debacle. You know what I always say: if you can't make fun of yourself in a gum commercial, you just can't make fun of yourself.



Gatorade Gum



Also known as GatorGum, this sports-themed chewing gum had it heyday in 70s and 80s and enjoyed a brief revival in the late 90s. When I think sports and quenchiness, I don't typically jump immediately to gum, but hey, it worked.

I know the commercial is a bit dated for what we usually post around here, but it's just so funny I couldn't resist. It's cheesy in a way that advertising just can't get away with anymore. "Active people are discovering the gum that's different!" (Man in sweatband crosses finish line) "Now you can lick...dryyyyyy mouth" (Sweatbanded man opens mouth to reveal a camel and some sand). Brilliant.



Dinosaur Eggs



These egg-shaped jawbreakers from the Wonka candy company came in individual boxes, which misled us to believe we could consume them in a single sitting. These things were huge, plus some of them had the added licking obstacle of the Dinosour taste.



Lifesavers Holes




If you ever wondered what they do with all the leftover cutouts at the Lifesavers factory, look no further than the briefly popular "Holes" candy pieces. It doesn't get much lazier than this. "Hey, you know those extra candy pieces we already have but usually toss in the trash?" "Yes?" "We should totally sell them." "Sounds like a plan. Let's give them a kind of gross sounding but fitting name." "Done and done."



Mars Bars (US)




These have been unavailable in the US (despite a steady supply abroad) for nearly ten years. I've heard a rumor, though, that they've been relaunched. If this is true, I'm off to devour one now. These things are awesome. One might even say out of this world. Ba dum ching!



Butterfinger BBs



Who better to take candy advice from than the man himself, Bartholomew J. Simpson? This kid knew his stuff. These have since been discontinued, so the best we can do now is chop up a bunch of butterfingers into small circular pellets and simulate the experience at the movies. Somehow, it just isn't the same.



Crispy M&Ms




Yet another bygone product from our pals at M&Ms. It seems every couple of years or so, they come up with some variation on the classic. The crispy kind had a sort of Nestle Crunch style popped rice inside. They were equal parts satisfying crunch and tastiness, though many of us failed to realize their deliciousness till it was too late.



Tearjerker's Gum


Do you love being tortured by sour candies? Instead of just enduring its presence in your mouth, do you prefer to chew the heck out of it for an extended period of time? Well, then you're in luck. Or at least you were if you grew up in the 90s. These may still be available in limited



Hershey's Cookies and Mint Candy Bar

Just when they come up with something I really adore, they pull it from the market. It's just my luck. This bar was magnificent--milk chocolate, oreo-type coookie bits, mint flavoring...it had it all. And it was not, as the package implied, green. Thank goodness.



This post has made me pretty hungry, which is unfortunate as all of these products are no longer available in safe sell-by date form. We may no longer be able to enjoy them, but at least we have our memories. Sigh. Oh, and if any of you knows where to find these, by all means, please share with the class.

33 comments:

Becki said...

Just a heads up that some of this stuff can be found on vermontcountrystore.com. I'm not affiliated with them, just was looking through their catalog the other night and was pleasantly surprised! Sadly they don't have the Hershey's mint chocolate bar or Tastetations, my two absolute favorite childhood candies.

Lorelai said...

Not only are Mars Bars readily available here in Australia, but they're among our most favourite chocolatey treats.

Tara said...

#1 candy that makes me think of the 90's: candy cigarettes. What the heck were people thinking? I walked my elementary school self up to the gas station all the time for those

nikki said...

I want GatorGum NOW NOW NOW!!! I was freaking addicted to that shit.

Vix said...

Does anyone NesQuik Bars? I LOVED those, not even sure if they were considered '90s. But I haven't seen them in years.

daisychain said...

they always discontinue the good stuff!
however we can sometimes still get crispy m&ms in the UK :)

Anonymous said...

I pretty much loved everything in this post! Does anyone remember the gum with gooey pop (soda, sorry, I'm from Michigan) in they center? That stuff was my absolute favorite.

Melissa said...

Hershey's cookies and mint was my absolute most favorite candy ever. And after years of stalking Hershey's, they returned for limited editions over two or three holiday seasons, only to disappear, once again. Sad.

perfectionishuman said...

Large case of mars bars heading your way :P

Anonymous said...

Carefree gum is still available in stores at least in PA and OH. The packaging is just slightly different now (its in a flatish carboard box that holds 15 sticks).

Jen said...

Does anyone remember Starburst Twizzlers? They were so f'ing delicious, but for some reason discontinued. Now Twizzler makes a vomit worthy fruit clone, but it tastes nothing like the original.

I miss my Starburst Twizzlers!

dragonzflame said...

They discontinued Mars bars in the US? I will have a moment of silence for you next time I'm at the supermarket and see them in abundance at the checkout. Praise you, New Zealand. Praise you.

For me, they're the ultimate comfort food, especially the smell when I open one. It's because when I was little and had to get vaccinations, my mum would buy me one after, for being brave (ie. not screaming the place down).

Lil' Woman said...

I loved some Cinn-a-burst but I never had any of the others.

coulrophobic agnostic said...

I loved Lifesaver Holes. Not so much because of the taste, but I loved those cute little tubes they came in.

You know what I miss? Those Keebler cookies that were basically little lumps with chocolate fudge inside. Best things EVER, why would they ever discontinue those? Were they called Magic Middles? I can't remember. Whatever they were, man, I miss them.

Emily said...

Oh lord...I LOVED those cookies and mint bars! For a long time, they still sold them around Christmas, even after they stopped selling them the rest of the time.

Anonymous said...

Those M&M's were the best! It's like regular M&Ms and KitKats made a baby and the world's perfect chocolate was born!

bibberly said...

Today I was writing a quiz for my students and was going to use "Hershey's Cookies and Mint bar" as one of the incorrect multiple-choice answers (for what the main character ate for dessert)... then I realized my students would not know what I was talking about. That was pretty sad. And then here it is in your post today, which is kind of spooky.
My great-aunts always had those TasteTations in their candy bowl, and I miss them.

Amanda said...

Makes me totally nostalgic for tasty forgotten treats! Wishing they still made those tasty Tart N Tinys. I'll just have to comfort myself with Cadbury chocolate eggs (which I wish they would make year round).

Badass Geek said...

I really miss Crispy M&Ms. Those were pretty awesome.

Kasey V L said...

PB Max! Does anyone remember that AWESOME candy bar?

Recap That! said...

It blows my mind that you don't have crispy m&ms in the US. Round my parts (of Australia) crispy are probably the most popular. Whenever there's a sale they're always the first to sell out.

And Mars bars are awesome. I'm eating Mars egg right now.

But, at least you still have Pop Tarts.

kanishk said...

they're among our most favourite chocolatey treats.
Work From Home

Anonymous said...

Dude butterfinger beebees were the whip as were buncha crunch! And can I just say that I failed to realize until maybe last year, that Crispy M&M's were no longer made, I just thought I hadn't really looked for them..definitely the best M&M variation!

Laina said...

Mars Bars and Butterfingers are both available in Canada :)

Betamaxrules said...

We still get mars bars and crispy m & ms in Australia, sucks that you don't have it. Snickers is way better than mars though.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering why they didn't have Mars bars at my school in the states, but we definitly have them in Canada.

My favorite candy that I can think of from when I was a kid was Bubble Jugs, the watermelon ones. I used to try to put as much of the powder gum mixture in my mouth as I could and swallow it almost instantly, it was so good. It makes my mouth water thinking about it.

aleesha said...

screaming saucers that turned your mouth all blue i loved them and the candy smokes as well :)

Melissa said...

Mars Bars have been relaunched at Walmart. Most of the others you can find at the mastgeneralstore.com or candybarrel.com which sells tons of vintage candy. I even found tongue splashers, warheads, rock candy, and so on.

Lena said...

hey does anyone remember these rock shaped candies from the 90's? i think they were made by the brock candy company. brock's rock's i think they were called. they were dark in color made to look like rocks. hard coat soft inside, can't find any trace of them online!...help...lol

corpseshowgirl said...

Thumb suckers! I miss those, even though the "gum" was suspiciously waxy tasting...

William Morris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
William Morris said...

Mars bars are still around, they're now called Snickers Almond in the U.S. but it's still the same bar.

Shane Flick said...

Why hasn't anyone mentioned Hubba Bubba Blueberry gum?!? The best gum of the 90s!!

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