Barefoot by the Sea: 80s Candy and Memories

Friday, June 3, 2016

80s Candy and Memories

When I was little, we used to visit my grandmother couple times a week. She lived one town over and next to a farm and I absolutely loved it. She had goats right next to her house and I would feed them tall grass and visit with them all the time. I would pick black raspberries for hours, they grew all around her property. As I got a little older, I walked to the farm store to grab veggies for my Grandmother. She usually would give me a quarter for some penny candy too.
Hanging out at Grandma's, circa 1977
One day, my father was mowing her lawn and she asked me to go get her some summer squash. I happily went over to the store, grabbed the squash and eagerly went over to the candy. There they were, candy cigarettes!!! I thought about it for about a minute but in that kind of sly, rebellious way decided I needed them, payed for them and walked home. I'll never forget my father's face as he saw his eight-year-old coming towards him with a puff of pink candy smoke and what I'm sure from a distance, appeared to be an actual cigarette. My father stopped mowing and my grandmother hustled over to me, grabbed my smoke and threw it on the ground. I'll never forget how she attempted to squish it in the soil with the toe of her Dr Shoells but being candy, it just sort of cracked and crunched. Still, it made an impact. I remember wondering if she thought it was lit or something, but she simply snatched the pack out of my hand, threw them in the garbage and told me I wasn't to buy them again. So I didn't. Over the years I saw that they sort of disappeared from the shelves and I remember hearing more buzz about how they were taken out of stores for obvious reasons. I pictured it being a major operation, like countless army men needing to remove the sticks when in reality, it was probably a clerk at the store. 
She always had lawn ornaments, circa 1981
All that to say I'm seeing some CRAZY things lately out there in the stores. Remember my t-shirt post? This post is dedicated to my Babci (Grandmother in Polish) who would be happy to know I never did pick up this habit and never, ever bought a candy cigarette again!

Imagine my surprise when I found these at a country store on the way back from hiking a couple weeks ago. What?!! They are STILL selling? I thought they were illegal? Still, I stood there in both horror and fascination with the blatant similarities. I mean, who really picks these up and thinks, "Gee, this is a good candy for my kid!" I know, probably someone who isn't saying, "Gee". I don't see them often but clearly there's a market if I came across this size display at a random New Hampshire store. 
After doing a little more research I found that the US considered a national ban in both 1970 and 1991 but neither ban was past. Instead lawmakers mandated they had to be called, "candy sticks" and not "candy cigarettes" but still, similarities are unmistakable. 

Totally random post today but who cares? It's Friday! Have a great weekend my friends! 


  1. I love this random post and blast from the past!! I remember them well. Your photos are so adorable!

  2. I thought they were outlawed as well, I've never seen any! And all the adults that I've heard talk about it say that they were banned out outlawed or whatever. Sadly, before you even got the explanation part about them not being outlawed, I saw the photo, saw it said "bubble gum" and thought "well, they're not candy *cigarettes* so they don't count in the law, I'm sure" - sad that that's how things work out, though.

  3. I can still remember what those tasted like! Kind of like sweet chalky nothing... but I did think they were banned. I had to comment on this post because just yesterday I was in Old Navy and they were selling Pop Rocks! I had to buy two bags and plan on surprising my kids on the last day of school with them. I know they have heard about them but never tried them. I just have to make sure they don't eat them with soda! - I always remember a rumor that supposedly a kid's stomach exploded from combining the two! Anyway, I figured trying them one time won't hurt! Enjoy your weekend!

    1. I've seen those at Old Navy too! It's all coming back - I used to love Pop Rocks as a kid. My teeth, not so much!

  4. whoa, that's crazy! I'm amazed that they haven't been banned, considering that you can't buy toy guns that are black anymore, again for obvious reasons. Your memories of visiting your grandmother sound so idyllic! The goats!

  5. Excellent post. I love how you describe the whole scenario. I remember the candy cigarettes! I am guessing that the market may be adults that are feeling nostalgic? Maybe?

  6. Hi Jessica,
    You did a great job writing this post. I could feel the story.
    I also had to chuckle, I remember the candy cigarettes at the store when I was kid too. ;-)

    1. It was quite a scene! I was quite the little rebel back then ;)!

  7. I really thought that they had been outlawed as well. Watch, now I will probably see them in a store tomorrow :)


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