Neither Lady G nor Lionheart eats untoward amounts of candy, but we do have our favorites and perhaps, from time to time, we indulge a little more than we should. Some of our favorites are based as much on sentiment as on flavor (or texture); we discover new things now and again as well.
Lionheart favors big clusters of peanuts covered in milk chocolate, halva, and any candy Lady G makes from scratch. He has been known to keep the occasional lollipop in the change well of his battered car. Lady G is partial to dark chocolate, anything produced by the New England Candy Company (for example, NECCO Wafers and Skybars -- and anyone familiar with Genessa's PETS page knows that she named her first two Japanese cats Wafer and Skybar, as the Japanese word for "cat" is "neko"), halva, Joyva jells or indeed any dark-chocolate-covered jell (particularly raspberry or orange), and fruit slices (you know: the 100 percent sugar candies, thinly sliced, shaped and colored to look like oranges, lemons and limes, complete with rinds -- and she is still trying to figure out what fruit the red slices represent!) Some of the foregoing are nostalgic: candies of her childhood!
When Lady G was not even old enough to cross the street by herself, she was a frequent visitor, sometimes with her mother and sometimes with other children, to the corner store -- what you might have called a convenience store then, though nothing like what we call one now. This small shop, run by Mr. Phillips, also featured Sam the butcher, shelves of dry goods, a dairy case, a fine splashy pickle barrel (full of half-sours), a shelf full of gum, candy bars and other packaged candies (such as Good & Plenty, Cracker Jacks, Chunky, Boston Baked Beans, Burnt Peanuts, NECCO Wafers, Smarties, Lady G's beloved Jordan Almonds (later a favorite at movie theatres!) and candy cigarettes), and a succulent and enticing candy counter. Well, it was just a glass counter through which you could see displayed all the varieties of penny candy Mr. Phillips sold. He was known, too, on occasion, to give away some of this lovely stuff, and young Lady G was sometimes the beneficiary of this generosity. It occurs to her now that this generosity may have depended on her mother's making a purchase.
Mr. Phillips' candy counter contained more types of candy than Lady G could name even then but she will do her best to list some of them here: licorice laces and twists, spearmint leaves, button candy (all stuck to white paper that came off in your mouth when you tried to remove the candies from it with your teeth; Circus Peanuts (big soft orange marshmallow "peanuts" that tasted a bit like bananas); candy necklaces on string; gum drops; gummy bears; wax lips (which Lady G didn't like), wax syrup bottles (which she did), jawbreakers, malt balls (a favorite of her father's) and sourballs. There may have been loose Tootsie Rolls. Lady G used to bring Circus Peanuts to kindergarten with her, and, while waiting for class to begin -- actually while waiting for the morning prayers, for public schools still had them; Lady G found them frightening for three reasons: 1. the walls slid away between her classroom and the next so that two classes at once could pray; 2. the prayer said, of God, "He maketh me to lie down in green pastures," which made Lady G believe God would force her to sleep; having had surgery under general anesthesia which, being insufficient, allowed her to awaken mid-slice, Lady G was not keen on the idea; and 3. the Lord's Prayer is a Christian prayer and set them out them inside her desk (not the kind with the rising lid, but the kind with an open front and a shelf beneath the surface), and in that secret space she would press those marshmallow peanuts between her fingers, squeezing them together into one big, orange-black (her hands were about as clean as any other small child's: not very) ball of sugar, which she would them shamelessly and unsanitarily consume.
Lady G's Bubby Jenny (her mother's mother) died of a heart attack at the age of 56 when Lady G was only three, but she had two surviving sisters, Ida and Rosie, Ida tall and Rosie hunched over into shortness, both with iron-gray hair and doting smiles. They lived in oddly arranged (or so it seemed to Lady G) rooms at the top of a steep stairway; the lineup of rooms reminded her of a series of railway cars. In the living room, at the near end of the line, on a low table, sat an ornate covered glass dish always filled with nonpareils (flat discs of chocolate, about the size of quarters, covered with tiny, crunchy white sprinkles). It didn't occur to Lady G until decades later that perhaps Aunts Ida and Rosie did not keep a constant supply of these for themselves but only filled that dish when children came to visit.
Lady G had a younger sister who could not pronounce the word "sister." The local drive-through bank handed out lollies to any kids who might be in the car with a customer; when my sister got her lolly she would always ask for "one for my stister."
Candies figure into Jewish holidays, so Lady G remembers "Chanukah gelt" -- gold- and silver-foil-wrapped chocolate coins -- at Chanukah, and those sugary fruit slices at Passover. Sometimes, in the summer, when the family made its annual pilgrimage to Atlantic City, she was treated to more secular delicacies: cotton candy, or perhaps a candied apple, a Planter's Peanut Bar (of course we had to go shake hands with a tall, gloved, monacled and top-hatted Mister Peanut) and without fail -- what would Atlantic City be without this? -- a chocolate-covered frozen banana. Inevitably they would bring home at least one box of salt water taffy.
Although Lady G's father preferred malt balls (which Lady G cheekily called "moth balls"), he acquired the habit of carrying hard candies around with him. This was hardly a guilty pleasure; he had hypoglycemia and carried the candies in case of emergencies, to counteract any threat of insulin shock. When he visited Lady G during her decade-long sojourn in Japan, she discovered another candy she hadn't known he liked: KitKat bars. He was so delighted to discover a KitKat with Japanese on the label that he phoned Lady G's mother back home in the States to tell her what he'd found. When Lady G's mother died in early 1997, almost two years after Lady G's father had passed away, Lady G found a rather misshapen Japanese KitKat bar in the refrigerator. Her father had never eaten it, and her mother had saved it.
Lionheart sometimes carries candy around with him unintentionally. He has been known to stuff a few chocolates into his pockets and then forget they're there... until they've melted.
GENESSA is pleased to present here a plethora of sponsors who offer all kinds of confectionary goodies, as well as tools and equipment for making your own and receptacles for storing and displaying sweets. Since we have a page full of CHOCOLATE, we will, for the most part (not entirely!) skip chocolate on this page and refer you that-a-way. Here, then, for the satisfaction of your sweetest tooth, is some candy for you:
We have enough cotton candy to warrant a separate page, so have a look, if you will, at our COTTON CANDY page.
Find here a page of CANDY BARS (and customized candy bar wrappers).
No candylover can deny the appeal of PEZ (the fabulous dispensers as well as the candy).
And don't forget to indulge in some luscious JELLY BEANS!
Coming soon: A page full of candy dishes, candy jars, pi?s, candy cubes, candy pails, candy bags and other candy receptacles, be they for Hallowe'en or not!
(Got a suggestion for a category of candy you think deserves its own page? EMAIL us about it!