The story of the jelly bean is remarkable, spanning cultures and centuries, involving sultans and ancient apothecaries, wars and great literary figures. It began around 226-652 CE in the Persian Empire where the ruling power, the Sasanids, enjoyed a sweet called “abhisa” made of honey, fruit syrups, and starch.Read More
The Remarkable Life and Times of the Jelly Bean
Retro Candy You May Have Missed
The universe of “retro” candy is a large one, spanning over 150+ years – Wax Lips (early 1900s), Good n’ Plenty (1893), NECCO Wafers (1847) and such sensations as Fruit Slice Gum (1960s) and Turkish Taffy (around 1931)… to name a few. But wedged into this clutter of wrappers, flavors and advertising stints are candies Read More
The Return of Black Jack, Clove and Beeman’s Gum – But Returned from Where?
The iconic Black Jack, Clove and Beeman’s Gum have gone in and out of fashion for years. They left the market in 1978, returned in 1985 and, just a few years back, vanished again.Read More
The Deep – and Not Dark – Backstory of Holiday Candy
One of the most beloved – and inexpensive – gifts during the holidays is Christmas candy. So, it’s ironic that the candy has little to do with Christmas, the birth of Jesus, or even the wintry season.Read More
Happy Birthday Robert Johnson!
Today is the birthday of Robert Johnson – the remarkable and legendary blues musician – born in 1911. The influence of just about any cultural effort affects so much in our culture, and Johnson’s influence on our cultural history and American music is profound.Read More
The Dumb in Dum Dum
I recently visited Cracker Barrel – a regular event for me, as the food chain has the broadest assortment of old time candy anywhere. Their offerings are a window into what’s next: they’re the first to get new old-time candies; they know what sells and doesn’t, creating a road map for other candy-seller’s decisions; and Read More
Dandelion Mania: Dandelion Jelly, Dandelion Tea, Dandelion Gardens…
The dandelion, so remarkable, unforgettable, and essential. Plus… so loathsome to Americans, they invented a specially crafted hand tool to extract it.Read More