Set Adrift on Chocolate Memory Bliss

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Not that there's any reason to even recall this, but I forgot that Chicago's Beatrice Foods was once the home of some of America's sweetest candy treats. These include Milk Duds, Slo Poke and Black Cow suckers. As early as the 1920s, these cavity causers had been made in Chicago by the Holloway Company. In the early 1960s, Holloway was bought by Beatrice Foods. Around that same time, the Clark Company of Pittsburgh (maker of Clark and Zagnut bars) was bought up by Beatrice's expanding candy empire.

By the end of the following decade, it was a familiar sight to find text-heavy centerfolds in the pages of comic books that advertised Beatrice & Holloway's "Infamous Milk Duds Superduds Sweepstakes!" First place winners were awarded with an all expenses paid trip to New York City. While there in the rotten apple, the winner and their guests (limit 4) would be given a tour of the offices of either Marvel or DC Comics. Even better, an artist would draw the lucky winner's sweet-toothed likeness into the pages of their favorite comic.

Well, as happenstance would have it, while on my break at work yesterday I found myself noticing the Clark candy bars perched in the spiral rings of the snack machine. I'm still not sure as to why they caught my eye, I was never particularly a fan of Clark bars. In fact, as far as crunchy peanut butter bricks covered in milk chocolate went, the Butterfinger (another well-known candy originally made in Chicago) was always so much yummier.

But then today, with the Clark bars in the snack machine at work still hovering at the back of my brain, I happened across one of those old Superduds Sweepstakes ads. After focusing on a small image of the Clark bar's blue and red wrapper at the top of a cut-out entry blank, I had a realization: Save for Milk Duds and maybe Zagnut, I never see any of Clark's fellow candies anymore. Are any of 'em still even made? And as my thoughts reached for the remnants of sugar sweetened memories, I found myself gripped with a gnawing pang for the tastes of days gone by.

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