Lately I have been working on a tv show where I help to find props and various set dress. An upcoming scene in the show calls for some fake candy, so I was dispatched to a very special place on the isle of Manhattan called Economy Candy to source out some ideas. I had heard people say around the office that this place was “crazy” and “oh you have to see it”, so when I was tapped to go, I had some expectations. Let’s say, they were met.
If you love candy, then this is your candy mecca. A place to go and see what man has accomplished both past and present in the world of confectionery delights.
One image can’t really convey the total experience, so here are some images to give you a sense of what they have going on there:
Awesome candy cigarette packages! People who have come over to my house lately have been all “what the fuck are these cigarettes you are smoking Peter?”
And lastly, giant Pez dispensers:
One thing I noticed right away was the amount of old fashioned and obscure candy they had in stock at this place. Me being me, I decided I had to try some of the more interesting products. I picked up a few choice selections and brought them home. When Lisa and Lauren were over, we decided to try them and see if there was a reason these particular candies were so obscure. It turns out because a few of them are truly awful!
Abba Zaba bar
The Abba Zaba bar as it appears in a delightful moment in the movie Half Baked.
The Abba Zaba bar might be Dave Chappelle’s favorite, but this thing is fucked. It’s a bar of white flavorless taffy, that is hard on yer teeth. That’s bad enough. But what lays inside the taffy you ask? PEANUT BUTTER! Folks, I said PEANUT BUTTER! The combination might not be unheard of, but the Abba Zaba sort of fails at it. : (
The Sky Bar and Joys:
Out of the two the Sky Bar was the best. It is four separate cubes of chocolate with four different centers, Caramel, Fudge, Peanut Butter, and “Vanilla”. The Sky Bar was enjoyed by all who tried it. The vanilla was just like the inside of a Cadbury egg. Good job Sky Bar!
The Joys bar was another story. Some might like thick, cough syrup flavored, jellied candy with chocolate, but I bet even those “some” aren’t gonna like this one. Kind of…sick. It reminded me of some “lavender” candy I once mistakenly ate. Maybe they like this kind of thing in the middle east or something but I say “Stick to the sesame products Joyva brand!”
Next were the Satellite Wafers:
These were apparently popular in the 1950s here in the US. They are flying saucer like discs made of rice with candy beads inside. The proper way to eat them is to simply stick the thing in your mouth. This, however, is where it gets kind of crazy. First you think “Did I just take communion?” The ricey pod starts to disintegrate in your mouth and suddenly the little beads begin to take on more of a roll. Then as you are chewing, the flavor finally kicks in and you are crunching and chewing on a mash that tastes exactly as if you had just eaten a spoonful of Fruity Pebbles. Satellite Wafers…you are strange but tasty!
Last was the Cherry Mash:
This turned out to be the best tasting of all. Made by the Chase Candy Co. of St. Joseph MO. this seems to be an enduring classic amongst people of the middle west. Specifically the family of Claire Beaufort.
Cherry Mash is chocolate and peanuts covering a delicious chewy cherry flavored center with real cherries and everything. It’s something you can eat alone, or as they suggest on the package, add to vanilla ice cream and milk and make yourself a delicious cherry cordial milk shake! Just go to Economy Candy, or have Claire’s father send you a box of them – and try it yourself!
Fun Fact: The word “candy” comes from Arabic qandi, derived from Persian qand, meaning “sugar.”