Friday, April 21, 2023

R is for Rock Candy


#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter R

One of the things my brother and I always looked forward to on our annual family vacation to Branson, Missouri, was buying candy at a souvenir store. 

We liked the little cloth bags of gum that was supposed to look like gold nuggets.

We liked flat taffy wrapped in wax paper that we called bacon taffy, because it looked like, well, bacon to us.

But I think our favorite candy to enjoy on vacation was rock candy, probably because it lasted a really long time (that "rock" thing isn't far off). If you've never had it before, rock candy is made by boiling sugar and water until it makes a syrup, then it is poured into a jar with a stick or a string suspended into it. As the mixture cools, it forms crystals that adhere to the stick or string and continue to form and grow. After about a week, you have rock candy.

This is what rock candy looks like if you were to buy it now:

Fancy. Pretty colors on a stick.

Back in the late 1960s and the 1970s, rock candy looked like THIS:

Old school. No food coloring and on a string.

Fast forward about 10-15 years. My brother and I are both back home, and we begin reminiscing with our mom about our family vacations and the traditions that were a big part of them, like swimming in the pool, feeding ducks, going to Silver Dollar City, and buying candy at the souvenir store. My brother and I were in agreement that we loved buying and eating the rock candy probably the best.

"Except for the string," one of us said.

"Yeah, eating the string was the only bad part," said the other. "It was always hard to get down."

My mom, who had been happily strolling down Memory Lane with us, said, "WHAT?!"

"The string was hard to eat."


"Weren't you supposed to eat the string?"

"NO, YOU NINNIES! Why would you eat the string? It was only there for the crystals to grow on!"

My brother and I just looked at each other and shrugged.

Think how much more we would have enjoyed that rock candy if we only knew!


  1. YUCK! Kids! Who can tell what they are thinking?

  2. That's totally hilarious. And I'm glad you and your brother survived to tell the tale.

  3. Heeheehee! This sounds like something kids would do.

  4. Something tells me you weren't the only kids who ate the string. Funny in retrospect. P.S. It's fun making the old school kind. I've actually done it. Years ago. Alana