September 18, 2008

the taste of halloween



Some Halloween traditions seem as old and familiar as a jack-o-lantern. Kerr's candy company has been producing its Molasses Kisses (not to be confused with Hershey's more famous offspring) for generations. Not sure how long these chewy candies have been finding their way into trick-or-treaters' bags and pumpkin buckets, but they figure in some of my earliest Halloween memories - not all of them good. Inexpensive and available almost everywhere, they were a Halloween night staple. Making the rounds from house to house, you'd hope for chocolate bars, chips, suckers, gum . . . almost anything but that familiar black, yellow, and orange wrapped candy. Then, as the early days of November wore on, the trick-or-treating loot dwindled until all that was left were the dreaded Halloween Kisses. For as long as I've been on the giving, rather than the receiving, end of trick-or-treating, I've never given them out. But, occasionally, I buy a bag just to see if they are still as I remember them . . . and they are. And while I still don't really like them, their sweet molasses taste is familiar and . . . strangely . . . comforting.

10 comments:

Ghoul Friday said...

They are the most horrible candies ever. I always gave mine to my father. I'll agree that SEEING them brings me nostalgic comfort, but I don't think I could be talked into eating one again.

Halloween Spirit said...

True enough - when I do buy some, eating one or two is usually enough to satisfy any nostalgic cravings. They're the one Halloween candy that is guaranteed not to disappear from our house in record time!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE THOSE CANDIES!

Halloween Spirit said...

Ohhhh. . . so you're the one :)

Dandelion said...

And I'm the other one. I love these candies! Now that I know they're Kerr's, I'll look harder.

Ivriniel said...

When I was a kid, we used to get two different kinds of Kisses, Allan's and Kerr's. Allan's are a lot better than Kerr's. The Kerr's were invariably rock hard, while the Allan's were always soft. The Allan's also had a milder molasses flavour.

Today I came across some Molasses kisses made by a company that I have never heard of before. The wrapper says "Original Halloween Kiss", and indicates it was made by a company called Bonbon Associes out of Quebec. Still not as good at the Allans, but miles better than Kerr's.

Le Godbold said...

I think that the candy is originally French Canadian and is traditionally associated with the Ste-Catherine day. "Tire" was the molasses based candy that was prepared for children on that day. It refers to the necessary stretching of the cooked molasses, sugar, etc, when it was cool enough to handle, "tire" meaning to pull or to stretch (├ętirer). Anyway, I agree with the most recent post in that I always preferred the Allan's brand. At any rate, here I am, close to a month after Halloween, dipping into my kids' uneaten Kerr's kisses! Thanks for the post! Great memories.

halloween spirit said...

Interesting. And yes, I too have many childhood memories of these. Luckily, my father loved them, so I wasn't stuck with them for weeks after Halloween. :)

Anonymous said...

Excellent treat and available at Red Apple store at Fennell and Upper Gage in Hamilton

Anonymous said...

Love these and was so disappointed to only find the Kerr ones again this year!