Thursday, March 20, 2008

Save The Candy Raisins!


OH NO! The end of Candy Raisins, the weird candy beloved by Milwaukeeans?!?! Say it ain't so! As my cousin said..."Not candy raisins AND Brett Favre!".
The New England Confectionery Co., is closing its Pewaukee-based Stark Candy Co. in May. The Pewaukee facility is the only place in the nation (and I assume, planet) that makes Candy Raisins. The parent company has not indicated if they will continue production in their Massachusetts facility, so understandably, people are sounding the alarm.

A Wisconsin guy, Gary Radke, even set up an online petition to persuade New England Confectionery to keep the Candy Raisins.

I like candy raisins. I haven't had one for a while though. Back in the bad old "non-PC" days, we called them "Indian Raisins". I do not remember them being available in individual packages...it was the kind of candy you'd get at a store with a candy counter. Back then, the Sears on Forest Home Avenue had a nut and candy counter and maybe (just maybe) if we were good, my sister and I would get a dime to get some candy or nuts. Candy Raisins would have been one of the choices. Woolworth's or Quality Candy were other places where they were available. My dad likes them and I remember more than once giving him a bagful as a birthday gift.

For those of you unfamiliar with Candy Raisins...let me explain. They are small and chewy--about the size and the consistency of a gumdrop. Now that I think of it the color is a pretty unappealing tan. They do not taste anything like a raisin. Other writers have described them as soapy tasting or with a light ginger taste. I would say they have a flowery taste, almost perfumey. Sort of like the bergamot flavor of Earl Grey tea. I agree, they are "love-it-or-leave-it" candy. I know for sure Dale will say it is another candy for people who don't like candy.


Here's what "The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel" had to say about the whole thing.

I have already seen a successful resurrection of my favorite Licorice Snaps, so I have a good feeling that Candy Raisins will survive too.

After I go sign the petition, I think I'll order a pound or so for old time's sake. I wonder if the magic will still be there?

38 comments:

Webcam said...
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goldenrail said...

I always thought they tasted like Johnson & Johnson's baby shampoo. I have a bag of them in my desk at work right now. :)

MaryRuth said...

You are right! They DO taste like that shampoo!
After I made that post, I ordered a few pounds of candy raisins and licorice snaps, my other favorite. The raisins are long gone, and I just broke out my last bag of snaps. Do you get your family to send them to you?
I like your blog! Lots of good stories and thoughts to ponder.

goldenrail said...

I actually got my current bag when I went to Milw. last month. It was my grandpa's b-day party and there were bowls of candy raisins and licorice snaps everywhere. Mommy let me take an extra bag back to Cali with me, said grandpa didn't need all that sugar.
I'm glad you like my blog. :) I like yours, too. Especially since you're from the best place on earth.
p.s. They're blubbers in Australia too!

goldenrail said...

oops. bubblers*

Anonymous said...

This is in response to the part where you talked about what a bubbler is. You said that yoopers use the term bubbler for drinking fountain. Just so you know, we don't. We use water fountain or drinking fountain. If you use the word bubbler up here you are going to get some weird looks, same if you were to use soda. Oh, we are defiantly not Wisconsin wannabes.

MaryRuth said...

Hi Anony--thanks for stopping by. I got my UP bubbler info second-hand, so I'll take your word on it. I was kinda joking about the wannabe part--I was just thinking of the Yoopers I know that like the Packers.
Hey, If you wanna see some UP love, go to the side bar "linky links" on my blog and check out "Dale's Awesome Great Lakes Video".
You don't say "soda"? Is it "pop" up there?

lvly_mind said...

I was born in Milwaukee, lived in Mukwanago for the first 7 years of my life, and then spent the remainder of my childhood, high school, and college days as a Yooper. I currently live, and have for 15 years, in Louisiana (aka the tropical, French-speaking, rain forest). I was BEREFT to hear about the possible demise of the candied raisin and stumbled across your blog whilst looking to order some of my very favorite candy in the whole, wide world. I'm all over the petition thing...and will now divert my attention from Global Warming and saving the whales to candied raisins...but I digress...the true reason I'm responding is the bubbler issue. Having been raised by parents whom are 3rd generations Milwaukeeanites (think I just made that up...but who cares?) I can attest that bubbler is NOT used by Yoopers and I was looked at very strangely indeed when I first asked in my 2nd grade class at Garden Village Elementary School in Kingsford, MI where the "bubbler" was. Yoopers do use drinking or water fountain and there is no soda there either...it's 100% pop.

MaryRuth said...

lvly_mind--thanks for stopping by the blog. I hope you have found some raisins to order. I think I mail-ordered some from old time candy (dot) com or something like that. I was just in MKE a while back and picked some up at an actual candy shop...I was so disappointed..they were stale!
You're the second (or so) person to say Yoopers don't use "bubbler". I just got the information reading something online and I think I will update the post with this first-hand information.
If you want to see some great UP photos....click on my blog link "Dale's Awesome Great Lakes Video". My BF is from Michigan and made this nice video of his vacation there.

goldenrail said...

but they're so much better stale! (unless you're trying to use them to cover screw ends on a desk)

MaryRuth said...

GR--you must have stronger jaws than I do! It is a workout with the stale ones.

goldenrail said...

oh, I don't try to chew them right away - I suck on them like hard candy with a little bit of squish. It's like a firm mattress with a pillow top mattress pad.

MaryRuth said...

GR--I like to put them in my pocket and warm 'em up that way.
P.S. Guess what? I'm going to San Francisco next weekend--whoohoo!

goldenrail said...

Awesome! What for? Don't forget to pack your jacket. And have fun!

MaryRuth said...

GR--Dale's heading up there tomorrow to work at the Sun Java convention and I'll join him for the weekend. We're going to go to Alcatraz. We've each been to SF many times but this will be our first time there together.
The first time I went to SF I didn't bring a jacket or socks! What a mistake. It was right after I moved to CA and I didn't realize the difference in NoCal.

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Did you go to 81st street school or Wibur Wright? If not where did you grow up in Milwaukee?

MaryRuth said...

Thanks for reading the blog, George.
I grew up in West Milwaukee, so I didn't go to those schools. I sure could go for a candy raisin right now.

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I'm from Oconomowoc and after moving to Minnesota several years ago I realized that terms like "bubbler" meant absolutely nothing to people here. I'm very happy to know other people recognize the word "bubbler"!

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