Not So Spooky Halloween Candy History
Happy Halloween everyone! This morning Kenny asked me what I was going to dress for Halloween and I told him, “An old cleaning lady” which got quite a chuckle to start our day! Not ones for celebrating Halloween, just not as fun without kids around and living in the boonies, we have no trick or treaters that come a callin’. But I do think the ghost of Halloween did pay us a visit today as I was vacuuming, when I turned off the vacuum, it kept running but with a quieter motor sound like it was getting only half the power! So now, on top of everything else, the vacuum has to make a visit to the doctor for a checkup; glad this month is over!
Well, onto happier thoughts. Yesterday when we went to town, I picked up a local paper and it always has an American Profile magazine insert in it. This week they had an article by Sarah Miller about the history of candy and I thought I’d share some of her article with you, as candy is on top of most adults and children’s minds today! I’m picking out a few of my favorites and if you want to see the entire article you can go to americaprofile.com, October 27, 2013 edition.
Baby Ruth Candy Bars! One of my favorite as a kid and still is. Otto Schnering started this candy way back in 1916 with the name of Kandy Kake bar and was the founder of Curtiss Candy Co. Apparently he was not happy with the treat’s moniker and he redid the candy with new packaging and named it Baby Ruth in 1921 for a mere 5 cents each. Can you remember 5 cent candy bars? Well I can and that’s pretty scary to say the least. According to many, he named it hoping to utilize on the popularity of one of my dad’s favorite catchers, Babe Ruth! Schnering denied these allegations and insisted it was named after President Cleveland’s daughter Ruth to get out of paying royalties. Today, Baby Ruth’s are still popular and the Curtiss factories roast 73 million peanuts a day. That’s a lot of peanuts!
Candy Corn! What’s Halloween without Candy Corn? George Renninger worked for the Wunderle Candy Co back in the 1880’s and is credited with creating this little treat that we love so well and it was a success right from the get go. The only problem with the candy was the amount of labor involved in the processing. The original candy corn is still made today and is the longest producer of this tasty candy! Brach’s, however is the top name brand for candy corn. Do you eat the white tip off first? According to the National Confectioners Association, 43% of candy corn lovers do and I’m in that percentile!
Hersey’s Milk Chocolate Bar! Another candy I remember buying for 5 cents at the gas station up the road from me when I was a kid. Milton Hershey was a caramel maker and saw a machine for making chocolate at the World’s Fair in Chicago in 1893 and fell in love with it. After purchasing the machine for his factory, the Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar was born in 1900 and it later became the first mass-produced chocolate bar. The company uses cocoa beans from around the world and milk from local dairy farms. I like that last part, keeping local businesses working!
Melt in your mouth, not in your hands (or my popcorn), we finish up today with M&M’s, everyone’s favorite! M&M’s were started in 1941 by Forrest Mars Sr. and his partner, Bruce Murrie to send to our soldiers in WWII. Mars thought of this after seeing similar candies eaten by soldiers in the Spanish Civil War in the 1930’s. They were originally packaged in cardboard tubes that the soldiers could slip into their cargo pants. I love pouring a bag of M&M’s into my hot popcorn and mixing it up; the chocolate gets nice and gooey on the inside and the sweet and salty is just the right mix for me!
Some other tidbits from the National Confectioners Association:
30% of kids sort their candy out when they get home. 16% like to share with others and 7% swap candy with others. I used to do all of the above!
81% of parents admit they sneak goodies from their kids haul from the night! Now I have to admit, I just used threats like give me all of those Tootsie Rolls or I will confiscate it all! The witch comes out even more on Halloween! Of course daughter knew I was just kidding and always loved to share, especially what she didn’t like!
Hope you enjoyed all this trivia about candy thanks to Sarah Miller, the National Confectioners Association and some extra commentary by yours truly! Happy Halloween, be safe but have fun!