Sometimes I need a little sweetness to overcome the more bitter aspects of reality. The result of our recent change of planetary address and circumstance has generally been very good but, contrary to any impressions of transitional ease I may have fostered, there have been a couple of stumbling blocks along the way. One of these days I'll get around to writing and drawing some new Adventures about a couple of incidents, admitting outright the details of just how dumb and naive a reasonably intelligent woman can be. It turns out I can on occasion be hilariously idiotic when stressed but, happily, not fatally so. In fact, the mistakes likely saved us from potentially much worse results had they not been made.
While undergoing emotional changes, it became necessary to check on how much of the candy I remembered from my youth was still available in Canada and this little store was a good place to begin the investigation:
Mackintosh Toffee - This is a unique Canadian treat that starts out hard and becomes creamy soft as you chew. My having enjoyed a lot of it pre-fluoride may well have contributed to the long hours spent in dental office chairs later in life.
Bassetts Licorice Allsorts - The original Allsorts Licorice is an assortment of black licorice cuts, straws, sandwiches and buttons which turn my teeth temporarily black and are an excellent cure for constipation.
Coffee Crisp - Canadians typically will consume this chocolate coffee treat in layers, eating each layer separately, enjoying a unique taste with each layer. Yes, Canadians are weird too.
Smarties - Similar to M&M's but not quite. The words for the Canadian advertising jingle were:
"When you eat your Smarties, do you eat the red ones last?
Do you suck them very slowly, or crunch them very fast?
Eat those candy-coated chocolates, but tell me when I ask,
When you eat your Smarties, do you eat the red ones last?"
I used to like using the red ones as lipstick in the days before girls were given make-up kits at the age of 7.
Skor Toffee Crunch - Buttery toffee crunch wrapped in milk chocolate. I actually preferred sucking the chocolate off these and throwing away the toffee.
Ste Julie Cream Fudge - Cream fudge maple syrup candy. This was a delicacy I learned to appreciate as a grown-up along with the amazing maple sugar pie that apparently you can only buy in Quebec.
McCormick's Marshmallow Bananas or Strawberries - Dried out marshmallows not suitable for roasting. I may have seen something similar in the US but I wouldn't buy them there either.
Purity Candies - Purity is the famous candy company in Newfoundland whose specialty is Peppermint Nobs and Candy Kisses. Newfoundland is still on my list of places to go when the weather warms again and I may buy my first Nob when I get there. Considering ferry costs a Nob may be all I can afford.. or a beer.
Chris and Larry's Clodhoppers - Fudge covered graham wafer clusters that come in two mouth-watering flavours - "Vanilla Fudge" or the original "Chocolate Fudge". I've never eaten either but I like the name.
Wine Gums - In unique and strange flavors wine gums (or winegums) are chewy, firm sweets similar to gumdrops, except they aren't sugar-coated. I once ate a pound of them on a childhood plane ride to England and threw up the whole lot when we hit air turbulence.
As with so many other things, many of the candies I remembered have been discontinued as the companies that made them were subjected to the type of corporate takeovers that have been the ruin of small businesses everywhere these past few decades. Black Magic Chocolates were my very favorite for years but Rowntree was bought by Cadbury who now produce fancy chocolates that taste of chemical additives and nobody likes that.
I wonder if there are sweet shops and candies you remember that can no longer be found?