there's something deliciously exciting about cheap, processed junk food. at the top of that cheap heap are the 25¢ boxes of ferrara pan candies. for over 100 years now, the illinois-based candymaker has been churning out tiny, round candies in a variety of sugary sweet flavors. ever had an atomic fireball? how about a jawbuster? ferrara pan invented both of them classics. although their website is a bit outdated-looking, they do have sufficiently fleshed out pages with histories & whatnot for each of their candies, so that's cool.
this weekend, i picked up a few boxes of their candies. TOTAL DAMAGE = 75¢. yeah, pocket change. today i broke them out & munched on them throughout the work day, rekindling all sorts of childhood memories as i performed extraordinary feats of data entry...
boston baked beans - for a new englander who's basically a bostonian, i've eaten a sorry amount of bean-based boston baked beans. in fact, i had to consult the internet to see exactly what they were. turns out it's all in the molasses & salt pork based sauce that the beans come in. as for the CANDY version, i've had a bunch over the years. they're peanuts coated in sugar, acacia, artificial flavors & colors. of all ferrara pan's tiny candies, i'm fairly certain these are the only ones that have an actual nutritional ingredient in them: the peanut. they're my personal fave ferrara treat, largely because of the texture. i tend to get impatient & bite into hard candy way too early & with these, they have a relatively soft coating & no hard center to crack my teeth in two.
lemonhead - the lemonhead ain't too shabby either. on top of being a smiling, bow-tied lemon mascot, the lemonhead is an m&m sized white ball candy with a sweet & sour, thin yellow coating that's apparently made with real lemon juice...that & the normal ferrara pan ingredients of sugar, acacia and artificial flavors & colors. once you get the outside coating chewed off, you're left with a nice, sweet center. for all you weight-conscious folks out there in snackland, lemonheads are "a fat free food." THAT MEANS YOU CAN EAT A MILLION OF THEM AND TOTALLY NOT GET FAT! mr lemonhead simply wouldn't be able to forgive himself if he contributed to your obesity.
red hots - if the cinnamon flavor of the atomic fireballs is a little too hardcore for you, you can't go wrong with the toned-down cinnamon flavor of ferrara pan's tiny red hots. they're made using a "cold pan" process that "involves building candy pieces from candy centers and tossing them into revolving pans while adding flavor, color and other candy ingredients." this same process is used to make most of ferrara pan's candies, including the lemonhead. out of all their candies, they're pretty much the lamest. red hots? more like red NOTS! i mean, they're not a bad candy at all but tame cinnamon flavor? meh. been there. done that. i think i'll just stick with atomic fireballs, thanks.