Old-Fashioned Candies That Can be Found at Colorado Ranch Stores
The candy selection at farm and ranch stores in Colorado is unique. Typically you don't see the latest and greatest version of some old chocolate bar. Instead, you see lots of plastic-wrapped treats.
There are staples like licorice, lemon drops, yogurt-covered pretzels, and saltwater taffy, but then there are some rather unique candies that I personally have never seen anyone buy or eat.
It's time to discuss what these five weird candies that can be found at Colorado farm and ranch stores are and what is in them.
What are Circus Peanuts?
An orange puffy candy that sort of looks like a Play-Doh peanut. Recently, I heard them described as "orange styrofoam." Circus Peanuts are marshmallow candy that dates back to the 1800s.
Here's the confusing part, Circus Peanuts are orange colored, called a "peanut," but taste like bananas.
Yes, the flavor of Circus Peanuts is banana.
According to Wikipedia, we can thank Circus Peanuts for Lucky Charms cereal.
"Circus peanuts led to the creation of Lucky Charms in 1964 when a General Mills employee chopped pieces into a bowl of Cheerios."
What are Licorice Allsorts?
Black licorice is highly controversial. You either love it or really hate it. It seems Licorice Allsorts added confection (frosting) and fruit flavors to black licorice to see if more people would like it.
This idea was born in 1899 when a candy salesman supposedly tripped and dropped a tray of samples, according to Wikipedia. The scrambled mess of candies led to this licorice confectioner idea.
What are French Burnt Peanuts?
Putting the word "burnt" in the title of your candy doesn't seem like a positive thing, but perhaps I'm wrong. Most people call these "candy peanuts".
They are a favorite at European Christmas markets and apparently at farm and ranch stores in Colorado.
The French Burn Peanut is a close relative of the candy-coated peanut known as Boston Baked Beans. However, this one comes with a spikey coating and a burnt (caramelized) sugar taste. These candies date back to the early 1900s.
What are Boston Baked Bean Candies?
Nothing about this title seems like candy. These sound like a side dish at a barbecue. Nonetheless, Boston Baked Beans are a candy that has a lot of history.
Dann Woellert, a food entomologist, explained, "Boston Baked beans are ‘cold panned,’ a process that goes back to France in the 1700s." This is how they, along with their cousin, the Jordan Almond achieve that smooth sugar coating. He says that this process led to substituting molasses and sometimes smoke flavoring for that burnt sugar taste.
What are Wintergreen Mints?
If you thought all mint-flavored candies would be colored green or white, think again. These Wintergreen Mints are pink and chalky.
The Amazon product description of the ones made by Necco says, "The original pink lozenges first appeared in Canada during the late 1880s but didn't arrive in the United States until the early 1900s, hence their nickname 'Canada Mints.'"
Who packages these old candies?
The majority of these candies are labeled as the brand Family Choice and include the words "Take Time for Family and Prayer-Always Give Praise."
On Rucker's website, they state that "Family Choice is our own house brand. We want to provide a wide variety of candy and snacks with a unique look." Rucker's also says they "promise to make you more profit in less space than any other bag candy competitor, create a demand for our product in your store, or your money back."
These candies are full of nostalgia and seem to have a real place amongst the farm and ranch communities.