At Dauna’s in Harper, you can now find Chuckles candy for sale.
It didn’t used to be like that. In fact, for a couple of decades now, it wasn’t like that in most stores.
I have a long history with Chuckles; it has a patina of love and affection. In this review, I’ll describe a little more about this fantastic candy that is a blast from America’s small-town past, just how delicious I find it despite its hair-raising ingredients, and where to get it.
During my first trip to Dauna’s, at the “headwaters” of Scenic Harper Road between Kerrville and Harper, I found some excellent vintage candy that had been touted on their Facebook page.
But I didn’t find my beloved Chuckles, which by the way — in case you know of which I speak and are jonesing for them — you can get HERE.
Nevertheless, I spoke with the man behind the register and asked for them, and he promised to pass along the word to the woman in charge of inventory. Like many experiences in the past, I thought, “Yeah, right. Like that will happen.”
Second visit to Dauna’s
But then I went on another drive on Saturday, this one to Art, Texas, still another 40 minutes or so north of Harper, through Doss and Hilda.
I stopped once again at Dauna’s, walked straight to the candy area and couldn’t believe my eyes. There it was, in all its colorful glory. These colors have not faded in the many years they first sold Chuckles and, in fact, the very package I bought may have been one of those from the 1950s that indeed has not faded. (I bought two packages, but shhhh.)
My history with Chuckles
That sub-head sounds a little like I’m about to describe my time with a local clown, right?
I take the candy very seriously, however.
I first enjoyed it at the summer community of Point O’ Woods, New York (on Fire Island), itself a very small town, so small that to stay private, which it still is after 100 years, it refused to have a U.S. post office located there, which would have required it to be publicly open.
The candy store was open each evening till about 7pm, and it sold Chuckles.
By the way, have you ever noticed how the colors are nearly identical to those of the Olympic rings? I don’t know that I’d want to eat a blue Chuckles, but if it tasted like grape… yeah, I could do that.
FULL DISCLOSURE: the ingredients of this delicious confection
Rather than mere reflection on this confection, let’s get to the meat of it.
Just what’s in a Chuckles candy?
Well, whatever is in it, girls in the 1940s would tell boys in the 1940s that it was “simply divine.” My package says it’s good until Thanksgiving of next year, but I’d wager it would still be edible after Kanye wins the 2024 presidential election.
They are “jellie” candies (mind your Eisenhower-era spelling), and the first three ingredients should get your tummy rumbling:
- Corn syrup
Then we have:
- Modified food starch (apparently we need more starch, but it needs to be modified for more divine taste)
- Natural and artificial flavors
- Red 40
- Caramel color
- Yellow 6
- Blue 1 (See?! There is a blue Chuckles)
- Yellow 5 (apparently we also need more yellow)
They are manufactured where pretty much anything else someone could be allergic to is also manufactured; namely, a factory that also makes products with:
- tree nuts
- wheat and soy
- dog and cat dander
- spores of various kinds
(I’m kidding about those last three.)
It is a product of Mexico. And Chuckles is a registered trademark of Huhtamaki Finance B.V.
Huhtamaki, you say?
An investment and financial services company, Huhtamaki Finance was founded in 1977 and is based in The Netherlands. But, more to the point, The Huhtamaki Group is a 100-year-old company that deals with food packaging and branding. They claim a strong “Nordic heritage,” and that’s good since I’m part Norwegian.
All this global influence aside, you’ll be happy to know that Chuckles is manufactured by Ferrara Candy Company in Illinois. Here’s a comforting video, with our friend making its entrance at the 3:58 mark:
Where to find Chuckles candy for sale
Well, a quick search of “where to buy chuckles candy near me” results in my local Walgreens, CVS, and even Walmart.
But, if you’re anywhere near Kerrville, treat yourself to the drive up Scenic Harper Road and stop at Dauna’s. Because while the chains here might sell Chuckles, they probably don’t sell Bazooka bubblegum.
“Even the name says fun.” Get yours here.