I Want Candy: Celebrating National Candy Month!Lisa Quinones-Fontanez
June is National Candy Month and nothing makes me feel more nostalgic about my childhood than candy.
In my neighborhood, there were bodegas (corner stores) and candy stores. You went to the bodega for your milk, bread, eggs or any other food staple. Bodegas were for grownups or if your mother sent you. But the candy stores…the candy stores were for kids.
The candy store in my childhood neighborhood was Gloria’s on 43rd Avenue in Queens. Gloria’s is where we gathered after school – with either dollar bills crumpled in our palms or loose change jingling in our pockets. Gloria’s is where boys played video games as girls flipped through teen magazines, all of us snacking on “quarter waters,” chips or whatever candy sweetened our tooth. The neighborhood candy store was the place any poor kid could feel rich even if they only had a few pennies in their pocket.
In honor of National Candy Month, I decided to take a walk down candy cane memory lane. Gloria’s doesn’t exist anymore but the candy I loved as a kid still does. So after work I strolled over to the FAO Schweetz Candy Shop. And I felt like a kid in a candy store – literally! Except I needed much more than a dollar to satisfy my sweet tooth.
Feeling Like a Kid in a Candy Store! 1 of 21
Take a walk down candy cane memory lane with me! Click through to see some of the candies I loved as a kid. (And still do!) Notice how big I'm smiling...I seriously could not contain my excitement. And after almost an hour, I had to drag myself out of the store before more damage could be done.
Hubba Bubba Bubble Tape 2 of 21
I really had no business chewing gum after the 4th grade. (I had my braces.) But I did. It was always a toss up for me between between Bubbalicious and Hubba Bubba. But I found that it was easier to blow bubbles with Hubba Bubba.
Air Heads 3 of 21
I loved these chewy sticks of goodness. My personal favorite flavor is blueberry.
Big League Chew 4 of 21
I'm not a baseball fan but I love gum in all forms. And I loved chewing on this shredded gum. The grape flavored gum was my favorite.
Charleston Chew 5 of 21
I never purchased these but they always showed up in my Halloween bag. And I always enjoyed them. My favorite was strawberry!
Charms Blow Pop 6 of 21
The Blow Pop really was the perfect lollipop. Crunchy candy and gum. I loved that moment when I first bit my way through the candy and into the gum. Crunchy gum is wonderful. My personal favorite is sour apple.
Chiclets 7 of 21
I think I would go through this whole pack of gum in one sitting. I loved chewing them one by one until I had one big wad of gum.
Fun Dip 8 of 21
Probably the candy my mother liked the least. It was just a fun sweet snack, perfect for a lazy afternoon.
Goobers 9 of 21
This is still a movie theater must for me. Toss them into a bag of buttery salty popcorn and I am ready to watch a good movie. If you haven't tried this combo, you should!
Good & Plenty 10 of 21
This is another movie theater favorite for me. What was your favorite movie theatre candy?
Spree 11 of 21
This was the perfect candy to sneak into class. Lemon was my favorite! And loved mixing flavors together.
Haribo Gummy Bears 12 of 21
Who doesn't love Haribo's? I still can't resist these if I see them.
Jaw Breakers vs Lemon Heads 13 of 21
Growing up there were two kinds of kids. The kids who liked Jaw Breakers or the kids who liked Lemon Heads. I liked Lemon Heads. What about you?
Laffy Taffy 14 of 21
I loved the jokes inside Laffy Taffy's - this candy gave me two reasons to smile. My favorite is a tie between grape and sour apple.
M&Ms 15 of 21
Growing up there were just M&M's and peanut M&M's. Now there is an assortment. But I will always be a Peanut M&M's girl - I can never say no to them.
Mary Janes 16 of 21
Another classic candy that I didn't seek out or purchase but they always showed up in my Halloween bag. And then I ate them and remembered how much I loved them. Just a sweet simple taste of old fashioned goodness.
Pop Rocks 17 of 21
I. LOVE. POP ROCKS! They still make me giggle when I eat them. I gave these to Norrin for the first time last year and the expression on Norrin's face when they popped in his mouth was just priceless.
Reese’s Pieces 18 of 21
In 1982 there were two things I loved: Reese's Pieces and a movie with a certain Extra-Terrestrial.
Sour Patch Kids vs Swedish Fish 19 of 21
When it comes to candy - people tend to prefer one over the other. I prefer Sour Patch Kids to Swedish Fish. But if Swedish Fish were the only option, I'd take it.
Sweet Tarts 20 of 21
Another favorite to sneak into the classroom. I loved the sweet sour flavor of these little candies.
Tootsie Roll Pop 21 of 21
Saturday morning cartoons were not complete without a little boy asking wise Mr. Owl, "How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?" It still remains an unsolved mystery for me...
I don’t give Norrin candy often. I don’t even like keep to it around (because I’ll eat it all) but it was fun sharing some of my childhood favorites with him. (And I can’t believe I left a lot of other favorites off this list…Starburst, I’m so sorry. You know I love you.)
What was your favorite childhood candy?
Read more of Lisa’s writing at AutismWonderland.