With summer here, many kids will be going off to overnight camp. This makes me think of one thing: the Peanut Chew.
Growing up, I went to Golden Slipper, a not-for-profit camp based in Philadelphia. The camp solicited donations from local businesses to keep expenses down. And for many years, the Goldenberg family, owners of the then Philadelphia-based Goldenberg Candy Company and creators of the famous Peanut Chew candy, generously donated their wares to the camp.
We ate Peanut Chews every night. They were our daily sweet treat, brought out refrigerated (and sometimes frozen) in the middle of an evening movie, singalong, or other summer camp activity.
Somehow, they are the perfect treat for campers. Chock full of crunchy peanuts, they taste wholesome and natural. The sticky molasses adds a homespun flavor that seems to be accentuated by a smoky campfire. And the chocolate—well, this was before dark chocolate became all the rage, and the not-too-sweet dark chocolate coating made you feel like you were eating something special, unique, and almost healthy.
The Peanut Chew candy bar was developed as rations for the military during World War I. In the 1930s, the large bar was cut into smaller bite-sized pieces and sales really began to take off. The business was passed from generation to generation until 2003 when Just Born, also the makers of Marshmallow Peeps, bought the company from the Goldenberg family.
Have you ever tried a Peanut Chew? Got any other old-timey candy favorites?
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