Nothing brings back a wave of nostalgia like the candies of your childhood, which provided the perfect sweet treats when you went to the movies, summer camp and Grandma and Grandpa's house. Many adults will always remember biking to the candy store with their allowance, anticipating what candies they'd buy before they even got there.
Surprisingly, so many of the candies we know and love today hearken back to olden times, and were invented in the first half of the 20th century. Others are products of the fun and wacky 80s and 90s, when extreme sour flavors dominated. Though candies come and go, the classics are here to stay. Order up a fun grab bag of these nostalgic candies for a fun family board game evening or a date night, or whip up some treats with candy using recipes like Rolo-Filled Chocolate Cookies.
Kids delight in Lemonheads' sweet-sour flavor, but most don't know the story of inventor Salvatore Ferrara's inspiration. When Ferrara saw his grandson's head after delivery, it had been reshaped by the delivery forceps, and Ferrara saw the resemblance to a lemon and chose to name his candy after that oval head. Lemonheads felt like an adventure, with the layers of sweet outside that you had to suck on, sour middle you'd try to chomp right through, and hard core you'd reach after breaking through the sour middle. You may not have tried the much rarer Grapeheads, Cherryheads and Appleheads, but all are still in production and you can get a variety pack of all four flavors.
Buy it: $4.50, Amazon
These little chocolatey discs of heaven give off a surprisingly strong minty flavor, lingering in your mouth as you watch a scary movie. One commercial shows a trio of friends eating them at the movies, while another commercial calls them "fresh and creamy" and encourages you to share them. You have to admit, the anatomy of the Junior Mint is adorable -- with a little dimple carved into one side of the chocolate coating. You might think that candy shells are filled with creamy mint, but the mint disc is created first, then coated in chocolate and a shiny glaze. If you want to see how they're made, watch here. And who can forget the legendary "Seinfeld" episode, "The Junior Mint," where Jerry and Kramer make a big mistake with a Junior Mint? Junior Mints haven't changed their ingredients -- they're just that classic. If you like these, try their cousin, Junior Caramels.
Buy it: $27.99 for a pack of 24, Amazon
Wrigley invented Bubble Tape in 1988 as a roll of bubble gum strip in a tape-like dispenser. You could literally unroll the gum and cut off the strip of gum as you would Scotch tape, which meant the consumer got to choose how big the portion was—which kids loved. The commercials famously mocked principals, bus drivers and lunch ladies, ending with the proclamation, "It's six feet of bubble gum—for you, not them." Though the original pink flavor is the most popular, you can also find sour green apple, tangy tropical, sour blue raspberry, strawberry watermelon, strawberry crush and triple treat, a combination of blueberry, watermelon, and strawberry.
Buy it: $22.93 for a pack of 12, Amazon
The name and the mascot of this spherical candy may seem a bit questionable—after all, Wally Warhead, who originally featured puckered lips and a mushroom cloud coming out of the top of his head, doesn't seem like the most kid-friendly mascot. But this hard sour candy was a favorite in the nineties precisely because of its extreme nature, which kids immediately hooked onto. It was a common dare to see how many Warheads another kid could stomach, since they contained a strong citric acid. But every Warheads lover knew they just had to make it through the 5 to 10 seconds it took to get to the milder inside. The candy comes in apple, black cherry, blue raspberry, lemon, and watermelon, with a warning on the packaging: "Eating multiple pieces within a short time period may cause a temporary irritation to sensitive tongues and mouths."
Buy it: $22.17 for a pack of 240, Amazon
This chocolate gem, first produced in 1937 by British candy company Mackintosh's, is a magical combination of caramel and chocolate in a little cylindrical cone. Now owned by Nestlé, they make the perfect center for a sugar cookie—or, like many moms in the know, you can bake up a quick kids treat by plopping them on top of a waffle-shaped pretzel and pressing a pecan into the top of the Rolo. Rolos were once so popular that McDonald's even marketed a Rolo McFlurry, and WalMart sold Rolo ice cream sandwiches and ice cream cones. If you've just got to have your Rolos now, you can purchase them unwrapped. But once you taste them, you might not be willing to share your Rolos per the slogan: "Do you love anyone enough to give them your last Rolo?"
Buy it: $39.95 for a pack of 36, Amazon
What kid didn't love the joy of crunching his or her way to the bubble gum at the center of a Charms Blow Pop? Dentists may not love the hard candy shells that you have to chomp your way through to get to the gum, but chomping and slurping was part of the childlike fun. Back in the day, these fun pops came in grape, strawberry, sour apple and watermelon, but now they've got snazzy new flavors and names: Kiwi Berry Blast, Black Ice, What-a-Melon, and Blue Razz. There's even a super-sized Super Blow Pop that weighs in at 1.35 ounces (the regular one is less than half the size at .65 ounces).
Buy it: $10.48 for a 10.4 oz pack, Walmart
In 1935, the very wise James O. Welch Co. developed a sweet caramel treat that became the perfect movie companion. These tiny snacks resemble Jelly Bellies or little beans, and are easy to pop in your mouth as you feast your eyes upon the latest blockbuster. After all, the chewiness helps relieve horror movie anxiety —and you can get away with tossing back a handful at a time. For those who dislike chocolate flavors, they also contain zero cocoa or chocolate. Today, Tootsie Roll industries carries on the Sugar Babies name and tradition, allowing the perfectly snackable caramel treat to continue pleasing movie lovers.
Buy it: $24.98 for a pack of 24, Amazon
Sky Bar was invented in 1938 by Necco as the candy for the eater who just couldn't decide which flavor she or he wanted. Four flavors are included—caramel, vanilla, peanut and fudge. Encased in separate milk chocolate sections, it's easy to snap a section off and enjoy the flavor you want. Growing up, kids would try to make weird flavor combinations, combining vanilla with caramel or peanut. In 1938 when they were invented, the flavors were very British-influenced: English toffee, nougat, nut butter toffee, and fudge parfait. The bar was discontinued in 2018, but made a comeback in 2019 to the relief of Sky Bar fans.
Buy it: $47.52 for a pack of 24, Sky Bar
For kids, candy is often more about the experience than it is the flavor, and Pop Rocks definitely deliver on experience, giving mouth-fizzing snaps, crackles and pops with each bite. Once chefs started experimenting with this candy containing pressurized carbon dioxide gas bubbles, we started seeing a resurgence of Pop Rocks in high-end cuisine, from cocktails to desserts. Fortunately, this effervescent sugar candy lives on today and is available in Strawberry, Watermelon, Tropical, Blue Razz, Original Cherry, Cotton Candy, Grape and Strawberry Sugar Free. There are even bubble gum and dip versions of Pop Rocks, the latter of which comes with a lollipop to dip in Pop Rocks.
Buy it: $14.99 for a pack of 18, Amazon
These soft, chewy multi-color snacks are both sour and sweet and can often be found at the movie theater. Originally invented as "Mars Men" in the early 1970s, they now come in original, watermelon, extreme and tropical flavors. The secret to Sour Patch Kids is that they're just sour enough, but not really that sour. That's because most of the sourness is in the sugar, and there's only a bit of sour sugar on each kid. If you want to get the real sour, you have to eat all the sugar at the bottom of the package. Two fun facts: Sour Patch Kids are named "Very Bad Kids" in France, and there's a Sour Patch Kids-inspired video game for PlayStation 3 called World Gone Sour.
Buy it: $12.39 for a 3.5 lb bag, Amazon
Almost everyone remembers Nerds, but do you remember Runts? The colorful candyshell snacks have a colorful candy shell and a sweet center, and you'd often see them in vending machines. They appear in various fruit shapes, including bananas, and the colors include red, orange, yellow, green and purple. The best part about Runts are how crunchy they are, which is half the fun. Invented in 1982, the original flavors were banana, cherry, strawberry, lime, and orange. Over the years, they've also offered lime, pineapple, mango, and raspberry. The center of the candy has also changed from matching each colored shell, to white.
Buy it: $12.01 for a pack of 12, Walmart.
Laffy Taffy is a taffy candy you can stretch with your fingers, and kids would try to see how far they could stretch it apart before tearing it. The taffy was also known for its silly jokes, bright colors and fruit flavors, of which the company experimented with and produced many over hte years, including banana, cherry, strawberry, grape, green apple, watermelon, blueberry and blue raspberry. On each wrapper was a joke that kids would read to one another and then screech, "Get it? Get it?" The jokes, written by other children, included things like, "Do you know what Mary had when she went to dinner? Everyone knows Mary had a little lamb" and "What kind of tea is sometimes hard to swallow? Reality."
Buy it: $3.29 for 12 oz, Target
A malted milk ball is a shoo-in when it comes to a kid favorite, because the crunchy texture is so fun to chomp on. Whoppers, made by The Hershey Company, came in little milk cartons that were great fun to pry open and pour into your friends' awaiting palms. Hershey invented Mini Whoppers in 2000, along with a strawberry milkshake flavor in 2006. A Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Whopper even made a brief appearance a few years ago, but which was discontinued. There's even a Vanilla Milkshake flavor that's rare and difficult to find. If you've never tried them and you're not committed to a whole carton of Whoppers, try the Variety Assortment, which includes Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bars, Kit Kats, Reese's peanut butter cups, and Whoppers.
Buy it: $0.99, Target
These delightful chocolate-coated caramel balls were invented in 1928 and named as an ode to the inventors' failure to make the shape a perfect sphere. The vintage yellow box hearkens back to a time when candy was marketed simply, with no images or toys included. Now owned by The Hershey Company, this candy has found new life in the baking world, as a simple way to add caramel and chocolate to a desserts like rice crispy rice cereal bars and candied apples, without having to unpeel a bunch of caramels. They're also known for their longevity —a couple Milk Duds can last you a long time if you resist biting in!
Buy it: $23.19 for a pack of 12, Amazon
This story originally appeared on Allrecipes.com