The best souvenir I took home from a recent road trip cost me less than a dollar.  It was a bag full of candy that I used to enjoy as a kid.  This shop I happened upon in Pennsylvania specialized in old penny candy.  To see Pop Rocks, Fun Dip, and Zotz felt like reuniting with old friends.

Clearly our taste buds change as we get older.  I no longer make a habit of eating things that basically explode in my mouth like Pop Rocks, nor do I enjoy the moment when smooth hard candies start bubbling and foaming a la Zotz.   But for a day, after buying up this nostalgic candy, I loved it.

What is it about seeing stuff we used to love that’s so comforting?  Even though I’ve definitely “outgrown” my interest in sweet fizzy stuff, it brought me back to that simple time of being a kid, without too much responsibility.  The toughest decisions I had back in the 70s were pretty much HOW would I spend my $1 allowance.  These purchasing decisions were almost always made at the corner candy store across the street from my grade school.   Ah, those were the days.

Do you have fond memories of your local candy store?  If you grew up in Ocean County, where did you get your candy treats?   What was your favorite sweet back in the day?