Nerds Candy sweetened the 1980's
It was the eighties, and as a child of the eighties who frequented the corner store down the block, I can attest that the candy isles were somewhat lacking. Yes, there were all the classic old fashioned candies. Lots of chewy penny candy. We could fill up a bag in no time, maybe two. There were shelves of lollipops and bubblegum, 25 cent chocolate pieces, and containers filled with licorice. While it was all delicious, it wasn't really thrilling. Until one day, my sister and I, after carelessly flinging our bikes in front of the store, found a surprising display of new candy . The candy isle just looked brighter, our mouth's watered. We had discovered Nerds Candy. That was the day the brown paper bags filled with handfuls of chewy candies stopped. It was when we would spend our whole allotted amount of change on yes, Nerds Candy! Maybe it was the exciting packaging and the yummy little candies inside? Whatever it was, we were fascinated, and we were loving it.
Nerds are a favorite retro candy of the 80's. A staple in every candy lovers stash. These candies first arrived in 1983 and every child of the eighties remembers them fondly. Don't let their small size fool you. Nerds Candy pack quite a punch! They look like tiny, glossy and colourful pebbles. They are perfectly crunchy, tangy and fruity. Nerds are just as exciting today as they were in the eighties.
Back in the day, Nerds Candy were only only available in two flavors: cherry/orange and strawberry/grape. They have come a long way and expanded their flavors since then. The cool and nerdy flavours of today include: Grape/Strawberry, Lemonade Wild Cherry/Apple Watermelon, Wildberry/Peach and Road Rash Raspberry/ Totally Tropical. Nerds recently added some Mexican inspired flavours of Lucha Grande Lime Pineapple, and Lucha Grande Guava Mango Chilli.
Nerds are an Award Wining Candy
Nerds were introduced to us by Angelo Fraggos in 1983, and very shortly after they were given an award in 1985, for being the candy of the year. They received this award from the National Candy Wholesalers Association, now called the the Convenience Distribution Association. An important award at that time in the candy business. Nerds had put themselves on the map in a very short time.
The Willy Wonka Story
Nerds Candy actually originated from the Roald Dahl classic children's book, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. This sweet story became the 1971 film Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory staring Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka. In 2005 there was a remake of the film starring Johnny Depp who portrayed Willy Wonka but the film was named Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, like the book.
Roald Dahl was a Sweet Genius
We have Roald Dahl to thank for all of the candy that derived from this classic book. From the great imagination of Roald Dahl and Willy Wonka himself, the world was taken with all of it's whimsical, candy coated imagination and all the magical candy.
Roald Dahl had two films that stemmed from his book. In 1972 he published a sequel of his first book called Charlie And The Great Glass Elevator. He says that he had always planned to write a third book for the series, but just never completed it. Too bad! It would have been epic. I'm sure many of Roald Dahl's devoted fans wished he had written the third book.
Candy from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
There were many other candies that stemmed from the Willy Wonka movies.These include some other retro candy classics that I'm sure you'll recognize. Fun Dip, Pixy Stix, Runts, Spree, Everlasting Gobstoppers, Bottle Caps, Laffy Taffy, Sweetarts and so many more but our ultimate favorite has to be Nerds Candy.
Why are they called Nerds?
If you've ever wondered why they're called Nerds, you are not alone. Many people have speculated over the name of these candies for years. Some say it could simply be named after the stereotypical slang word "nerd", others guess that the name comes from a Dr.Suess book called "If I Ran The Zoo". In the book, the word "nerd" is used to describe one of the creatures that the narrator of the story would like to collect for his zoo. This actually could make perfect sense. The "nerd" creatures on the package are so round and plump and have cute, googly big eyes. Who would not want to collect them for their fictitious zoo? Maybe the book was an inspiration. Whatever the case was, it's a sweet mystery to this day. But we all know that "Nerds" are extra smart and cool anyways!
Ever wonder how a Nerd is created?
Nerd Candy get their start from a single crystal of sugar. Then are placed into a barrel like container which spins, and gets coated with layers and layers and more layers of sweetness. All Nerd candy start out as white in colour and then go into separate barrels for the added colour. After the colour process is complete, they are packed up into their boxes according to the colour and flavor.
One of the most unique things about Nerds are their dual chambered box. You can eat one side at a time, or both at once. Most of us just start happily dumping the box directly into our salivating mouth's. I must say I've never seen anyone eat a box of Nerds one by one, I'm sure it happens though. That would take a very long time and the sugar rush would just not happen while eating them that slow. That's probably how all the uncool people would eat them but not us hard core nerdy candy lovers!
Nerds are a classic Nostalgic Candy
Nerds will always be synonymous with our childhood. One look at the box, just a smell of their sweet scent, and I'm back at that corner store, eagerly opening the box with my sister, saving a bit for later, or not. Nerds Candy are a nostalgic candy and a sweet trip back in time to those days that went by too fast. They're the perfect reminder of fun times, laughter and play. All the things we seem to forget when we have to grow up. What are you waiting for? Remember again, and get your fix of Nerds Candy!