Saturday, January 30, 2010

Remembrance of candy bars from Joltin' Django's past

Today's Wall Street Journal has a fascinating article about regional candy bars that are slowly going the way the dodo. Check it out here.

One passage in the article is of particular interest to me. To wit:

"Also gone (but not forgotten) is the curiously alluring Marathon Bar, a braided rope of chocolate and caramel whose wrapper featured a ruler on the back."

When I was a kid, Marathon bars were my favorite. I Think I was about 8-years-old when they disappeared. Not only did the things disappear, but my memory of what the little buggers were called disappeared as well.

For years I routinely asked folks my age if they remembered the "candy bar with latticed caramel covered in milk chocolate." The most common responses I received were polite "nos." Every once in a while, however, I'd get a "I don't know that the hell you're talking about."

I'd pretty much given up on ever figuring out what that damned candy bar was called. But then I went to Publix one day and ...

In case you didn't know, Publix supermarkets devote a small portion of their international aisle to foodstuffs from the United Kingdom. There you can find HP Sauce, real Heinz Baked Beans, chip-shop fish batter and curry sauce, and a lot of British candies.

A couple of years ago, I was perusing the British candy bars at the Nipper's Corner Publix when I spied a thin, rectangular candy bar called a Curly Wurly. I picked it up and through the wrapper I could feel the latticed texture of the what's-it-called?candy bar from my youth. "Could it be?!" I asked myself.

I grabbed a couple of Curly Wurlys and made a beeline for the checkout. As soon as I got in the car I opened one of 'em and took a big bite. Suddenly, I was 8-years-old again, sitting on my Murray Hillcat bike enjoying a ... Curly Wurly?!

When I got home I googled "Curly Wurly" (after eating the second candy bar I'd bought, of course). I discovered that once upon a time, Curly Wurleys were once available in the U.S. under the name Marathon Bar. "Marathon Bar!" I said. "That was the name of that damned candy bar!"

I don't eat a lot of candy, bar-style or in general. But damned if I don't grab a handful of Curly Wurlys every time I go to Publix. I think I'll have me one right now ...!

1 comment:

Brian Stanley said...

I remember marathon bars. I remember the wrapper but I don't remember that it had a ruler on it.