Tuesday, June 19, 2012

National Candy Month & Ode to the Best Candy Bar Ever

Retro Candy
Photo Courtesy of: http://www.nostalgiccandy.com

June is National Candy Month. Everyone loves a sweet treat, but too many of us feel guilt, instead of enjoyment, when we indulge. The Sweet Truth is, there are no "bad" foods, just poorly planned diets. When you are eating well-balanced meals and getting plenty of exercise, you can include some of your favorite treats in your daily diet.

This may come as a surprise to health-conscious Americans who aren’t sure of the exact nutrient content of candy. Some people believe candy is much higher in fat, cholesterol and caffeine than it actually is. For this reason, many of us may be needlessly denying ourselves foods we really enjoy. If you love sweets, keep this in mind: The number one goal for good nutrition is to eat a variety of foods each day to supply your body with the different nutrients it needs. You also need to control how much you eat to achieve a healthy balance in your diet and your weight. If you practice these nutrition guidelines and exercise regularly, there should be room for candy in your diet.
Source Site: FitCourse http://tinyurl.com/r4nzlv

My motto is: "Everything legal, moral and fattening in moderation!"

Some of my happiest childhood memories in a small town in Tennessee were at my Uncle Arlie's neighborhood grocery store. I loved the butcher counter with the gigantic meat slicer, the pot-bellied stove which was stoked to the max in the winter, the old cable spool used as a table around which sat mismatched chairs and upon which rested a checkerboard, and the wholesome family atmosphere generated by its homeyness. There were usually several older gentlemen sitting there playing checkers, talking about the weather and fishing, or just quietly contemplating their next checker move. But, my favorite place of all was the candy rack...rows and rows of candy, much of which could be purchased for a penny apiece. I mean there was everything a kid could possibly want on those racks. The hardest part of being there was deciding which candy I wanted to buy.

Candies have come and gone, some have been replaced by fancier, trendier varieties and, yet, many have stood the test of time...although, of those still standing, many have undergone a little "tweaking" that, in my opinion, they didn't need. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," my mother always said. Some fell out of fashion, the owners died and the candy went with them and some left...well, for no doggone good reason is what I say!  One such candy that went away, with no goodbye and no imitator trying to take its place, has remained in my inner child's memory as the BEST candy bar...ever. Yes, EVER. And I still mourn its demise to this day. I have been mourning its departure since the 70s and felt it went away for no good reason. Actually, I do know the reason and it's a greedy one...a corporate-decision-childhood-candy-dream-killer of a decision, but I shall explain later. 

Imagine buying one candy bar, but getting seven different candy bars in it...count 'em, SEVEN. Well this candy bar delivered, and it was not in my imagination...it was in my hungry little mouth. It filled me with enjoyment nearly my entire childhood...and then it was gone. The heavenly candy to which I am referring and to which I write this "Ode to the Best Candy Bar Ever" is the incomparable Seven Up Bar. 
Trudeau's Seven Up Bar
Circa 1930s-1970s
Photo Courtesy of: 

The Seven Up Bar began its seven-sectioned life in the 1930s, before the 7-Up Bottling Company began making its soft drink. Eventually the 7-Up company bought the bar and...and...retired it! Yes, they killed it off. It was MURDERED. Why, you ask, if it was so popular? Well, follow the money train. The 7-Up Bottling Company wanted exclusive rights to the name, no matter which way it was spelled: Seven Up or 7-Up. I don't care anything about that corporate crapola. I just want my candy bar back. I want my chocolate-covered-seven-sections-of-different-candy-centers candy bar back!

Image Courtesy of: http://tinyurl.com/7gjz6cw

The Seven Up Bar, itself, consisted of seven separate, filled sections connected by an outer chocolate shell. The shell was real milk chocolate, a bit thick on the edges but thinner over the fillings, and had a good snap to it, if bitten, and a smooth melt, if left upon your tongue. The seven fillings were: Orange Jelly, Maple, Caramel, Brazil Nut, Fudge, Coconut, and Cherry. Each section was so distinct and different that no two bites were remotely alike. 

I always ate my Seven Up Bar in order, starting with one end and moving to the other, trying to bite only one delectable section at a time without accidentally nipping off part of another. The order of the flavors was not a coin toss. Whomever placed each one in its location knew exactly what they were doing because each bite complimented the next one AND the previous one. Flippin' genius, if you ask me.
Site Information: http://candyaddict.com/blog

Seven Up Bar
Milk Chocolate & Dark Chocolate
Photo Courtesy of: http://candyaddict.com

I know for a fact that I'm not the only person who considered this awesome candy bar their favorite of all time...and I know for a fact that I'm not the only person who has been saddened by its departure. I guess I will never know exactly all the "why's" or understand why decisions were made to kill it off. I would have bought the recipe and operation, outright, from the Trudeau Family and incorporated it into the whole of 7-Up Bottling, maybe splashed a little 7-Up into the melted chocolate to make it contain real 7-Up or found some way to keep providing the world with this magnificent treat that needed no improvement. But, that's just me. I know I never liked the soda enough to write about it, expounding on its unique qualities or the joy it gave millions, or to think about it as a fond memory of my childhood, but now I never want to drink another 7-Up again...and I have an intense craving, brought on by the powerful memories of taste, site, smell, and pleasure, for a Seven Up Bar. 

Alas...Rest in Peace, Old Friend.

Seven Up Bar
The Wrapper I Remember!
Photo Courtesy of: http://candywrappermuseum.com/

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