Brach's Chicks And Rabbits

Brach's Chicks And Rabbits

I love just about every Easter candy. But Chicks and Rabbits are a huge exception to this rule.

When I was a kid, Easter baskets usually had a bunch of candy thrown in them loose. You'd never see something like that in the store these days. The food safety police would be all up in there, demanding that everything be pre-packaged.

Invariably your Easter assortment would have a big handful of Chicks And Rabbits. Partly because they are cheap, and partly because they are sizeable enough to hold up well against the plastic Easter grass onslaught. Most candies would fall down into the bottom of the basket, but the Chicks And Rabbits will stay afloat, if you will. And frankly, there just wasn't as much Easter candy variety in the 1970s as there is today.

These are probably second only to Peeps in their ability to divide a nation of candy snackers. Basically they are Easter-themed circus peanuts. Gross, right? I concur.

We have talked about circus peanuts before. They must surely be one of the most confusing candies on the market. It's colored orange, shaped like a peanut, and banana flavored. You have to wonder, just how high WAS the person that invented these things?

Now imagine circus peanuts pressed into the shapes of chicks, bunnies, and ducklings. But oh the horror doesn't end there, for the shapes are frankly kind of sinister. They are squashed and rectangular, with oblong heads and strange, smushed faces. The ducklings in particular look like some kind of underworld monster as represented on an ancient Egyptian frieze.

Duckling Marshmallow God of the Underworld. Yep, sounds about right.

The banana flavor is just as vexingly subtle in these as it is in proper circus peanuts. I'm pretty sure the banana flavor hasn't changed, in either flavor or intensity, since the 1970s. Witness forty year-old snacking technology. It's not that great. Compare it with a modern banana flavored candy and you'll be blown away. The banana flavor in Chicks And Rabbits is vague and chemical-y. It's one of those elusive kinds of flavors where you can't quite name it until someone tells you what it is. Once you learn it's banana, the flavor is obvious.

And sweet? Oh yes, these are sweet. These foam treats are technically a marshmallow candy, which means that they are made out of six different kinds of sugar, plus gelatin.

The texture is probably the most interesting part. And by "interesting" I mean "objectionable, except for its fans, who find it the best part." It's something like a stale marshmallow, and something like day-old Play Doh. If you bend one between your fingers, it breaks in half. And yet it's sticky and rubbery enough that you can stick those two halves back together with just a little pressure.

Finally, the colors. These come in circus peanut orange, brilliant yellow, and… blue. There aren't many blue candies on the market. Blue, as they say, is not a food color. And yet, here we are.

To sum up, unless you're specifically nostalgic for these, you should probably just skip them.