Friday, November 21, 2014

Curiosity About Candy

It is amazing what floodgates of memory can be opened with just one little find at the beach.

I found this little piece of abandoned candy on the stairs to the top of the dune when I was at the beach last week working on a class photography project.

It might be a little hard from this photograph to tell what kind of candy this is. It is one lonely little Smartie.

I haven't had Smarties in years, but when I was a kid I remember riding in my Grandma's big green Chevy Impala with the white vinyl top and going to the service station where I always got a roll of Smarties. Back in those days there were still full service gas stations. Which means to you younger ones my grandma would pull up to the pump and an attendant from the service station came out to her car asked if she wanted it filled up, and then proceeded to fill her car with gas for her.

I remember folding down her half of the large bench-style front seat and climbing into the back, then off we would go to the Texaco station next to the library where the attendant would fill her up. After my grandma paid for the gas, the attendant always gave me a roll of Smarties that I would safely tuck away in my little white wicker purse to be enjoyed after perusing the children's books at the library. My favorite series was by Marguerite Henry about the horses of Chincoteague. I would sit in the wooden children's carousel with my books and open my little white purse, take out my Smarties, carefully open the wrapper and place them one by one along the ledge at the bottom of the angled desk surface. Slowly sucking and savoring each flavor, never crunching or chewing since that made too much noise for the library. My favorite flavor was and still is grape.

Finding that little Smartie on the steps at the beach brought back all those memories. It also made me curious about Smarties. So I did a little research.

In the United States, Smarties are a type of tablet candy produced by the Smarties Candy Company, formerly known as Ce De Candy Inc. They have been in production since 1949. Smarties are produced in Union, New Jersey and Newmarket, Ontario.

After World II, the Dee family bought gunpowder pellet machines and repurposed them to make candy. This gave the candy its resemblance to tablet-style pills in shape and texture. 

Ingredients in Smarties candies are dextrose, citric acid, calcium stearate, artificial flavors and color. There are 25 calories and six grams of sugar in a roll of Smarties. Smarties are gluten free and vegan. 

The flavor of each color is as follows; white is orange cream, yellow is pineapple, pink is cherry, green is strawberry, purple is grape, and orange is orange. 

It is a good thing that a roll of these little darlings is only 25 calories since I bought a big bag of them for this photo shoot.

What about you? Do you have memories of going places with your grandma in her car? Or memories of a favorite childhood candy? I would love to hear your stories.

*Smarties information source: Wikipedia

Joining Kim for Friday Finds


  1. Your memories of going to the library has brought back my own memories of the wooden children's carousel in the library.I have always loved libraries and it all started at the Herrick. Thanks for the memories.

  2. Beautiful photos. This also makes me think of those candy necklaces I used to love getting as a kid.

  3. Well Susan, I love your story and your pics are amazing. It made me rather sad though because we immigrated as a family from the Netherlands when I was five and I never saw my grandparents again. We did adopt a Canadian grandmother and she was special to us,,,,, of course, being Dutch , my favourite candy was always salty liquorice!!!
    Wishing you a good weekend,,,,,

  4. This brings back memories on so many levels. My family owned gas stations and the whole full service deal kept many men (a good many of which were relatives) employed - from the pump to the garage. And candy back in the day was a rationed treat - always to be savored. As for the fold-down seat, or bench style seat - getting into the back was my nightmare because I suffer(ed) horrible motion sickness and that was the beginning of the end to a fun trip if it were more than to town and back. We had to cross the mountains to get anywhere and the mountain curves were the worst.

  5. Now here's a strange thing: Smarties are a sort of heritage candy over here in the UK too, but ours are totally different from yours. Over here they've got chocolate inside covered in a brightly coloured crisp coating that doesn't melt in your hands so easily. They existed when I was a child, and my son still enjoys the odd surreptitious packet when I'm prepared to forget about how bad they are for his teeth. All the best, Bonny

  6. I liked Pixie Sticks. The paper straw filled with flavored sugar. You had to pour it in your mouth so you didn't get the end of the paper straw wet, if you did the sugar would get clogged up and you would have to tear it off again. Oh the memories... I LOVE the window in your lovely images. It has such character with the chippy paint and pebbled glass. I have been keeping an eye out for one, I may have to intensify my search. :)

  7. Great story. My memories will have to be in the future. My grand daughter chooses those over suckers when leaving daycare. I'm always finding one in her car seat or cup holder or on the floor. Makes me smile.

  8. this is such a sweet post! loved reading the memories!

  9. Thank you for sharing your lovely photos and memories. Driving with your grandmother brought memories of sitting in the back of my grandmother's car and zipping down the road. She lived just down the hill from us, a mile away, and she would pick us and take us back to her house to visit. As I got older I realized that zipping down the road was not how you would describe grandma's driving. There were usually 5 or 10 cars lined us behind her as she chugged down the road at 10 to 20 mph. Life was grand.

    Donna Wagner
    aka Extremely Fickle

  10. I remember Texaco and pixie sticks at the local candy store. $1 could buy a lot of candy. Smells and music can trigger memories for me. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  11. I have memories of driving around in a similar car with my grandparents. :) The Smarties that we know are more like the M&Ms (Canadian version), although I do remember similar candies (like the ones you've shown) when I was growing up.

    1. (That was from Buckeroomama... used the wrong account.)

  12. Such a lovely post Sarah... My favorite candy was Necco Wafers.

  13. Sarah, this is such a fun post! I love it when the memories just come flooding back! Such great photography, too!

  14. A fun trip down memory lane! The Smartie sweets I know from my childhood in the UK were completely different, they were brightly coloured and had a chocolate centre!

  15. I never traveled with my Grandma but I recall that she always had a bowl with those white and pink chalky mint candies and whenever we visited if we were quiet she would let us have some. - Smarties are one of my favorite candies, I have to be careful though when I eat them so as not to choke on them if they disolve to quickly and I such in the powdery stuff.

  16. I loved the candy necklaces...and there was (and still is) a purple gum that tasted like soap. Thrills was/is the name. There was also the Cadbury Snack Bar in the 1960's and further but it disappeared, never to be seen again. Great post.

  17. Oddly, I have never heard of Smarties. When I was a kid, Necco Wafers were the rage.

  18. Where do writers get their inspiration? Now we know! Great story, great photos, great memories! My grandma had a green Chevy Impala, too, though much older than the one in your photo. (I actually took my driver's license test in it.) It had horizontal fins that looked like wings and was so big and ungainly that Mom called it the Green Goose - though not in front of Grandma. Grandma always drove with one foot on the gas and the other on the brake and we used to laugh to see her leaving our place, driving down the road with the taillights glowing.

    See what you did with that tiny piece of candy? Grandma died in 1972 and Mom and Dad have been gone for many years, too. But for a few minutes this morning, I've been transported back to that time and place and we're all together again sharing a laugh.

    PS - I loved Smarties, too...still do!

  19. What a wonderful post . . .
    Amazing what triggers the memory bank!
    And amazing you are to write your stories . . .
    I loved this Sarah . . . such a SMARTIE you are!

  20. I love smarties. When my second daughter was born prematurely we had to spend quite a bit of time in the hospital. My older daughter, who was almost 3 at the time, would always get to pick out a treat at the gift shop...she always chose smarties

  21. oh I do love smarties too! I love your story and photographs

  22. I love the back story of your fondness for Smarties. The image of you in the library, reading your chapter book on horses, and quietly savoring your candy - such a sweet memory. And I love your Grandma! Your curiosity is taking you down some fascinating paths- old gunpowder machinery converted to candy making - now there's a happy ending! One of my favorite candies, from the same time frame, Sixlets . . .yum!

  23. Such lovely memories, Sarah, great story !
    Have a nice evening,

  24. What fun Sarah! I can just taste 'em now. These powdery little tablets always remind me of Tums...which I associate with my Italian grandfather, who was always taking Tums for his stomach ulcers (a result of years of aspirin to soothe a WW1 leg wound)...thank you for this memory. Oh, and I even remember when gas was 25 cents a gallon.



Thank you so much for visiting today and taking the time to read my thoughts on life. :)