Candy Facts Part 2

10. While we’re talking about marshmallows, where did s’mores come from?

No one knows for sure, but as far as anyone can tell, the first documented “recipe” for the chocolate, graham cracker and marshmallow treat was in 1927 in the Girl Scout handbook. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, “the largest s’more ever was created on May 23, 2003, from 20,000 toasted marshmallows, 7,000 Hershey’s chocolate bars and 24,000 graham crackers. It weighed an incredible 1,600 pounds!”

11. Was Bazooka bubble gum named after the weapon?

No. The bubble gum and the weapon were both named after a musical instrument created by entertainer Bob Burns in the 1930s. He made it from two gas pipes and a funnel.

12. What happens to swallowed gum?

You may have heard people say that swallowed gum stays in your stomach for seven years. Not quite. According to the health experts at, swallowed gum, like other food, moves through your digestive system. With any luck, it will come out the other end, if you know what we mean. But for kids who swallow a lot – and we mean a lot – of gum, it can cause a blockage in the intestine. So when you’re done with your gum, get rid of it the right way – by spitting it out.

13. Why does chocolate melt in your mouth?

Cocoa butter melts just below body temperature (98.6 degrees). That’s why chocolate melts when you put it in your mouth – and sometimes in your hand!

14. How many conversation hearts are made each year? According to NECCO, which produces Sweethearts conversation hearts, about 8 billion of the candies are made each year. The treats, originally called Motto Hearts, were first created in 1866 by Daniel Chase, brother of NECCO founder Oliver Chase. The company produces about 10 new sayings for the hearts each year. You can have the hearts custom-printed, but you have to be willing to buy an entire production run – that’s 3,500 pounds, or about 1.6 million hearts! Conversation hearts come in six colors: pink, orange, yellow, green, purple and white. And in 1981 Spanish-language candy hearts were introduced. Most popular sayings: “Be Mine,” “True Love,” “Kiss Me.” Retired sayings: “Buzz Off,” “Stop,” “Try Me,” “Bad Boy,” “Hot Stuff,” “Say Yes.” “One I Love” was retired but returned to production in 1997 after an 80-year absence.

15. When did candy bars first become popular?

During World War I, the U.S. Army commissioned several chocolate manufacturers to produce 20- to 40-pound blocks of chocolate. They were shipped to Army quartermaster bases, where they were chopped into smaller pieces and distributed to the troops. (Eventually, the manufacturers began producing smaller pieces.) When the soldiers returned home, they had developed a taste for candy bars, and a new industry was born!

16. Have M&Ms always had an “M” stamped on one side?

No. Even though M&Ms were first manufactured in 1940, the “M” didn’t appear until 1950. And it used to be a black “M,” not white like it is today.

17. Were Hershey’s Kisses produced during World War II?

Since Kisses were created in 1907, production has stopped only once: between 1942 and 1949. During the war, the silver foil used to cover the chocolates was rationed. The equipment normally used to make Hershey’s Kisses was used to temper chocolate paste for military ration candy bars.

18. Which candy has been to the South Pole?

In the 1930s, Admiral Richard Byrd took 2½ tons of NECCO Wafers to the South Pole. That amounted to almost a pound of candy per week for each of the men in his crew during their two-year stay in the Antarctic.

19. Where does the name PEZ come from and what was its first use?
It comes from Pfefferminz, the German word for “peppermint.” (Get it? PfeffErminZ.) Pez started out as an aid to smokers trying to quit. The headless dispenser was made to look like a cigarette lighter. PEZ candy was first sold as a peppermint candy in Vienna, Austria, more than 70 years ago. Today, more than 3 billion fruit-flavored PEZ are eaten each year in the United States alone. Did you know there is a museum devoted to the plastic candy dispensers? The Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia in Burlingame, Calif., has almost every Pez dispenser ever made. And they are all for sale – ranging in price from approximately $2 to $1,300.

20. Which U.S. president was known for his love of jelly beans? Ronald Reagan! During his presidency Jelly Belly beans were served in the Oval Office and on Air Force One. There was even a special holder designed for the plane to keep the beans from spilling during turbulence. And, if that wasn’t enough, the beans blasted into outer space when Reagan sent them on the 1983 flight of the space shuttle Challenger. And while we’re talking about jelly beans, did you know that each year, American manufacturers make more than 16 billion jelly beans for Easter? They would fill a plastic Easter egg 89 feet high and 60 feet wide!

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