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Thursday, February 28, 2013
The current retro trend is moving in many directions. It is no longer limited to clothing and popular culture. As more and more people discover a love of all things vintage, whether from a sense of childhood nostalgia or a fascination with history, one thing bound to put people in their grandparents' shoes is old-fashioned candy. As retro items and vintage living make a comeback, food is a big part of this trend. People might be surprised to discover that their current sweet favorites were actually invented more than fifty years ago.

While the days of the penny candy shop are long past, many folks will still remember the items they could find there. When asked about candy from the 1930 s, a grandparent may recall Red Hots, Beechnut Gum, Pixy Stix, Candy Cigarettes, just to name a few. The sights, smells, and tastes associated with candy bring back special childhood memories for people of all ages. Candy, after all, is not usually an everyday pleasure, but a treat reserved for special occasions.

Candy production began in earnest in America in 1854, when the first box of Whitman's Chocolates became available. Many brands familiar to today’s consumers were produced throughout the 1800's and early 1900's. The 1920's saw the greatest growth in candy production, with the 1930's a close second, particularly between 1930 and 1932.

Candy from the 1930 s included such things as the Snickers bar, introduced in 1931 and named after the Mars family’s horse. The 3 Musketeers Bar, first sold in 1932, originally was a combination of three flavors – chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. The Krackel bar, first introduced in 1938, included almonds as part of the initial recipe. The Hershey's Miniatures often sold during the holiday season first debuted in 1939.

Cookbooks in the 1930’s often included recipes for "Divinity", a nougat or meringue type of confection, as standard fare. Jellybeans, which have been around since at least 1898, were widely associated with Easter by the 1930's. Another confection that enjoyed immense popularity during that time was the marshmallow, used for both its medicinal properties and to make a variety of baked goods.

These are just a few examples of confections and candy that were either invented in or popular during the 1930's. Knowing the history of a favorite candy treat is another way folks today can imagine themselves back in a simpler time, and indulge in sweet nostalgia.

by: Woodstock Candy


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