Wonka Chewy Spree

Wonka Chewy Spree

I literally gasped out loud when I saw these at the grocery store.  There I was, minding my own business, trying to remember if I needed more white vinegar or not, when I was clocked upside the head with a fondly-remembered chunk of my own childhood.

There was a fad for chewy candies in the mid to late 1980s.  I remember Chewy Sweettarts as being the pinnacle of the form.  You basically got two giant chewy candies with the texture of Alka Seltzer tablets per package.  But Chewy Spree candy was pretty good, too.

Spree used to come in a big roll, like Mentos.  Do they still?  I don't really know.  So many things are confusing about this experience.  I read online that Nestle purchased Spree candy at some point, but I'm not sure when.  

Is it possible that the Chewy Spree I remember from my childhood were really different, because they were made by a different company?  Or do I just remember them being different through the mists of time?  

For example, I quite liked Fun Dip and Lik 'M Aid when I was a kid.  But there is no way I would eat this stuff now as an adult.  I just can't bring myself to do it.  I picked up and put back a package just last week.  "This would make a great review," I thought, "And you haven't had them in several decades."  But then I looked at the package and pondered the sticky spitty mess and thought "Gross" and put it back.

At any rate, here we are.  Eating candy to recapture our youth, unsuccessfully.  I did not like these.  It made me sad.

Today's Chewy Spree are basically just flattened Chewy Gobstoppers.  They are roughly the size and shape of two or three quarters stacked atop each other.  If you try to suck on one, it works for a little while, then it dissolves into a sticky paste kind of like high-sugar bubble gums.  (Bubble Yum, Bubblicious, et al.)

The outer candy shell is sweet.  I mean, sort of.  It seems to carry most of the flavor of the candy.  Which is not good.  Each fruit flavor is distinct, but each flavor tastes like a cleaning product.  Grape Scented Windex.  Orange Scented Windex.  

Why does a particular part of the candy flavor spectrum make us think of cleaning products?  Is it the sharpness, the ridiculous artificiality of the flavor?  I'm not sure, but I bet you know what I mean by "Grape Scented Windex," even though no such thing exists.

Inside we have the basic Wonka Standard Filling; Chewy Variant.  This is the same filling that you'll find in all of the hard Wonka candies, from Runts to Nerds.  It is powdery, and white, and tart, and fruity in a non-specific way.  

I guess it's true what they say: you can't go home again.  Either because you've changed and it's not your home anymore, or because some other company bought your home and turned it into a weird plastic version of its original self.