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Thursday, April 05, 2012

Sweet 'n Sour (Emphasis On The Sour)

Continuing on with “Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This Week”, it is time for this week's Thursday Confession. You're probably thinking that because of the theme, this week's confession will involve something sweet.

You would be wrong. Sort of.

I won't sugarcoat my feelings (despite the fact that this whole week is a spotlight on candy-themed pop culture references). My sweet tooth is probably one of the most overactive in the bunch. I reckon that I've eaten so many sweets over the course of my lifetime that I'm amazed at the fact that my sweet tooth hasn't completely rotted away from all the sugar.

I admit that in recent years, I have made serious attempts to keep my cravings for sweets under control, and ended up losing a lot of weight in the process. I still have those days where I really, really want a slice of chocolate cake or an Oreo Blizzard from Dairy Queen, and that's fine, so long as I don't indulge in them every day. My addiction to sweets is far from being as out of control as it was during my teen years, where I basically ate every sweet I could get my hands on to stop the bouts of depression that I endured during that time.

But, that's not my confession. If this were the first time that I was mentioning this, it probably would be, but regular readers would know that I've touched upon the subject of self-medication through food several times in this blog already. It doesn't come as much of a surprise.

And, besides, it doesn't quite fit with the theme for the week, which is supposed to be light-hearted.

Instead, my Thursday Confession for today happens to be related to the assumption that this confession will involve something sweet, and how that assumption is incorrect. Kind of.

THURSDAY CONFESSION #14: Some of my favourite sweet treats are really sour.

Yes, I thought I would dedicate this blog entry to some of my favourite “sour” treats. Various candies that make your lips pucker up the minute they enter your mouth, but turn sweeter and sweeter the longer you leave them inside.

(I see you snickering, and believe me, I understand. That last paragraph was incredibly difficult to write without making it sound “R” or even “X” rated.)

Some kids I went to school with didn't like sour candies at all, but I was always of the opinion that the more sour a candy was, the better. If the candy didn't make at least one of my eyes water, then it simply wasn't sour enough.

Now that I have made today's confession (which considering the subject matter of the topic at hand seems kind of bland in comparison to my previous confessions), I thought that I would dedicate the rest of this entry to open up discussion for sour candies.

I thought I'd make a list of some of the sour candies that I have enjoyed over the years (and still enjoy in moderation), and then I'd turn the floor over to all of you to ask all of you what your favourite sour candies are.

Here's my list, starting with the one sour candy that I will readily admit to being strongly addicted to.


Everyone knows what a jujube is right? It's like a gumdrop, only without the sugar sprinkles. Or, naked gumdrops, as I used to call them when I was six. When I was growing up, I loved jujubes, but I only liked certain flavours. Out of the five flavours that were offered for jujubes, I only liked the yellow and green ones. Orange were okay, but the red ones weren't that good. And as someone who has never been able to stomach the disgusting taste of black licorice, needless to say the black jujubes always ended up in the garbage. As much as I liked jujubes, the fact that I threw out (or gave away) so many that I didn't like made buying them seem like a waste of money.

But one day when I went with my mom shopping at the supermarket years ago, I spotted a new candy in the bulk foods section. Sour jujubes. My mom ended up buying a small container of them for us to try, and once we got home, I sampled the yellow, green, and orange ones, just to see what they were like. They were fantastic. It was as if someone took the flavouring of a regular jujube, and amped the intensity of them by 100%. Surprisingly enough, the red sour jujubes were delicious as well, considering that in regular format, the red ones were ones that I didn't particularly care for. I was a little hesitant to try the black ones, because of my dislike of licorice flavoured candy. To my surprise, the “black” sour jujubes were really dark purple. And they weren't licorice flavoured. They were grape. In one final contrasting statement for sour jujubes, the “black” sour jujubes are my favourites of the bunch, where as the black regular jujubes are easily my least favourite. Funny how adding sour flavouring to previously disgusting candies can make them better, huh?


Of all the sour candies that I have tasted over the years, I believe that Sour Patch Kids were the first ones I tried. It seems hard to believe that these little guys could be packed with so much sourness. And would you believe that when they were first created by Paul Mihalick in the late 1970s that they were initially called Mars Men? They were renamed “Sour Patch Kids” in 1985, and if I remember correctly, they used to be sold for a dime a bag over at a local convenience store called Hengeveld's. At the time, my grandparents lived just down the street from that store, and I would go in there for my fix of Sour Patch Kids. There was just something about getting candy from behind the counter that brought such a rush. Sour Patch Kids came in raspberry, orange, lime, and lemon flavours, all flavours I enjoyed, and before they became available to purchase from store shelves, I looked forward to getting that little brown paper bag filled with Sour Patch Kids and other penny candies. Those were the days.


Jolly Ranchers are candies that you either love or you hate. I know many people who say that they can't stand Jolly Ranchers because the flavouring is too artificial, and because the candy gets stuck inside teeth due to the fact that it gets stickier as it dissolves. As for me, I absolutely loved Jolly Ranchers. I think the first time I ever tried a Jolly Rancher was when I was eleven. It was Halloween, and I think someone must have tossed in a package of Jolly Ranchers in my trick-or-treat bag. They were a package of cherry Jolly Ranchers, and when I tried them for the first time, they were like no other candy I've ever tried. They were incredibly tart, but oh so good. These days, I very rarely snack on them (mainly because it appears that my favourite flavour, lemon, was discontinued, or is very hard to find in Canada). But when I was a kid, they were fantastic.

Believe it or not, there's apparently Jolly Rancher soda. If it wasn't for the fact that they were unavailable in Canada, I would like to try one to see if they are any good.


For some reason, these little green and red candies were hugely popular at my elementary school. At least they were with the boys. There were a couple of convenience stores within walking distance from the school I attended (if memory serves me, they were the Little Store, and the Kozy Korner store), and both stores sold these. One game that we kids used to play was to see how many Warheads we could stuff inside our mouths at one time. I never got past three or four myself, but some of the kids in my class put so many Warheads in their mouths that their tongues went numb! I guess this explains why the packages now contain a warning on the label explaining that too many Warheads can cause numbness.

For the record, I wasn't really a fan of Warheads. I didn't mind the occasional green one, but I could take them or leave them.


All right, so there's not a huge difference between these and Sour Patch Kids, but being a huge fan of cherry flavoured candies, I have to add a special spot for these. One memory that is forever linked to Sour Cherry Blasters involves going to see a movie with a group of friends and smuggling a bag of them inside the purse of one of the ladies with us so we could save money on snacks. It was a great idea upon retrospect, and I ended up paying about seven bucks less for snacks.


When I was in the fourth grade, almost every kid in my class chewed these. At a quarter a piece, it was a great way to get a boost of sour flavour. I was always partial to the green and blue gumballs myself, but really, all the flavours had the same amount of sour coating.

That's my list of some of my favourite candies that have a little bit of a sour twist to them. What about yours?

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