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Sweets Go Off to War
While the military was fighting in World War I and World War II, sugars and sweets were with them… but not for the reasons most people think. Enjoy this historic candy collection of soldiers rations spanning the two great wars of the 20th century. Candies sent by family, provided by the government, purchased from traders, and foraged or found.
The government sent tons of sour balls and Charms hard candies to troops which helped quench their thirst and stave off hunger. Malted milk balls – sent in tablets without their now familiar chocolate coating – were considered nourishing. Chewing gum served numerous purposes – it cleaned the teeth, protected against thirst, and helped relieve stress and boredom.
Dried fruit was durable, available, and rich in vitamin C. Cranberries were especially a favorite. Bugs, appeared in much of the food over time, whether on purpose as in some local diets or accidentally. Sugar, used as a medicine, preservative, fermenting agent, and ingredient the military literally needed to survive.
Candy bars, considered nutritious and a source of fast energy, hit the market in 1912 and were added to the first rations in World War I. Tootsie Rolls also provided fast energy, and were a code word for ammunition. Favorites also came in packages from home, such as licorice pastels and chocolate covered almonds, raisins, and peanuts – also known as bridge mix.
World War Mess Kit Candy… brought to you by the nation’s ONLY researched-based historic candy company. Our founder, Susan Benjamin, is author of numerous articles, even a book on the subject (her tenth) on Smithsonian’s Best Books About Food. Everything you get from True Treats is the best possible, most delicious version of her scholarly research – and World War Mess Kit Candy is no exception. True Treats products are sold in museum gift stores across the county. Enjoyed in homes everywhere!
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