“CLASSIC CANDY: America’s Favorite Sweets, 1950–80,” by Darlene Lacey, Shire Publications, $9.95, 64 pages (nf)
Halloween is just one holiday where candy is a centerpiece of the celebration. Valentine's Day, Easter and Christmas are also linked to the “sweet treats.”
Darlene Lacey, founder of the Candy Wrapper Museum in Los Angeles, has prepared a yummy and nostalgic history of American candy from the 1950s through the 1980s, highlighting the “Big Three” — Hershey's, Mars and Nestle — and all the smaller manufacturers in between.
“Classic Candy” has examples of candy endorsed by celebrities such as Reggie Jackson and Babe Ruth; it relates the story of President Ronald Reagan’s fondness for Jelly Bellys, which started the craze for jelly beans. The book highlights candy fads and trends, some of which only appeared in short production and others that are still available today. Included are further reading and places to visit, some with tasting tours.
More than 150 kinds of classic candy grace the pages, with beautiful full-color photos that make the mouth water. Some of the classics only remain in memory (Clank, Mr. T, Pickaninny), but many survive to satisfy sweet tooths everywhere; some may be in store for the goblins at the door this Halloween.