It was the weirdest thing. Just the other week, during a morning run, I found myself craving Candy Raisins, the beloved Milwaukee regional treat that disappeared from my life when Necco closed its Milwaukee plant in 2008. Back then, I joined the fight to “save” the Candy Raisins and signed an online petition led by a particularly passionate fan from West Allis.
Although more than 7,000 signatures were ultimately collected, sadly, the efforts proved fruitless. And so in the final days, I stock piled those caramel-colored gumdrops (which, by the way, taste nothing like raisins) as if preparing for the Apocalypse. But eventually, even my stores ran dry. And thus Candy Raisins lovers worldwide mourned the loss. My favorite childhood treat lost forever (RIP picture below from SaveTheCandyRaisins.com).
And nearly four years later, as I ran on a dark, winter morning, I could still feel their notable absence in my life.
But then later that same day, I came across a friend’s Facebook post linked to a CNN article titled “15 of America’s Favorite Regional Sweets.” And Wisconsin’s favorite sweet? You got it—Candy Raisins. My friend asked innocently, what are Candy Raisins?
With a deep sigh, I opened the article. It was just one more painful reminder that my beloved Candy Raisins were gone forever. Their taste on my lips slowly fading from my memory over time.
I wasn’t prepared for what I read next. It was as if receiving the news that my long-lost pet had been cloned into a genetically identical being. I blinked in disbelief. But there it was. According to the CNN article, food scientists at Milwaukee-based Osmanium Candy Company had used what was believed to be the last remaining bags of Candy Raisins to reverse-engineer a new version called Candy Sunshine. Despite many challenges, the candy makers were motivated by a sense of civic duty to bring Candy Raisins back to Milwaukee. After a two year process, Candy Sunshine will finally debut next month. And according to the new Candy Sunshine Web site, “10 out of 10 Candy Raisins lovers agree, Candy Sunshine is spot on.” And you can’t argue with results like those.
According to the CNN article, Candy Sunshine will be available at several Milwaukee-area stores such as Candyman Snack Shop, Fleet Farm and Beans & Barley. They’ll also be available for purchase online at candysunshine.co ($5 for a pack of three bags). You can pre-order yours today!
Candy Raisins have been reincarnated. There is a God.
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