Chuckles Candies

Chuckles Candies

Difficult to find, but worth the hunt!
Chuckles are one of those old-timey candies that you can still find, although you have to go hunting for them. I buy mine at the hardware store in the next town over, where they stock them up by the register. I also sometimes find them at Walmart, sold in a big plastic tub. (Has anyone ever complained of having too many Chuckles?)
 
If memory serves, way back in the dawn of time, Roger Ebert claimed that he was able to discern the flavor of each Chuckle in the dark. Gene Siskel (that's how long ago this was) scoffed at Ebert's claim. One day Ebert was put to the test blindfolded, and passed with flying colors. That's my recollection, in any case - I can't find any info about it online. 

You can see why a non-believer would scoff at the idea that the flavor of each Chuckle was distinct enough to be discernible even in the dark. They look like (and basically are) giant jelly beans. And who can tell the difference between jelly beans in the dark?
 
But the secret of Chuckles is that each one is, in fact, quite distinctively flavored. And not just the licorice ones, either. The other four flavors are cherry, lime, lemon, orange. In each package, you get one of each flavor (except in your dreams).
 
The texture of Chuckles is difficult to describe. They are soft, tender, pliant; like a swooning gummy bear. They are not chewy, but put up a resistance in the form of stickiness. If they didn't melt so easily in your mouth, you would complain that bits of them get stuck in your teeth.
 
I just remembered Orange Slices. Same texture here, and the same coating of sugar granules. Different shape, though: these are sold in half logs, with ridged humps. It's like a traction grip. You wouldn't want to drop your Chuckle!
 
Of the assortment, I liked the licorice the best. It had a bright, anise flavor instead of the thick syrupy molasses tones of most licorice candies. I liked cherry the least; it tasted almost toxic, with syrupy sweet tones of cough medicine. 
 
Chuckles began as a penny candy in the 1920s, when their inventor Fred W. Amend figured out a way to prevent jelly candies from sweating. (Apparently this was a serious problem, back in the day.) Many of us think of them as a 1970s candy, which is no doubt due to a big advertising push in 1974 which featured Evil Knievil as a celebrity spokesperson.