Saturday, January 9, 2010
The Abba-Zaba Holy Grail!
Found it at last! In True Confections I had Alice speculate about the murky origins of Abba-Zaba, which, rumor had it, used to feature jungle savages on the package. A later design featured the Abba-Zaba baby, a sort of monkey-like savage. Alice was looking for context for Zip's Candies own Little Sammies with their "Say, Dat's Tasty!" slogan. But as I was writing the novel and desperate to see with my own eyes the original Abba-Zaba label, these Abba-Zaba wrappers were not findable anywhere. Nobody really knew for sure what they looked like, and even the Annabelle Candy Company, which bought Abba-Zaba when they acquired Cardinet, didn't have those original wrappers. (It turns out Cardinet had bought the Abba-Zaba license or had taken over an earlier company, Colby & McDermott, a name new to me. Abba-Zabas seem to have been around since 1922.)
But during a recent idle internet search (the number one procrastination tool of today's writer), I found them at last, newly posted at a candy wrapper museum website. Looking at the original Abba-Zaba savages, I am even more convinced that I am correct in my theory that the name of this candy was based on a kind of made-up imaginary Zulu jungle savage utterance. Look at the picture, and say the words Abba-Zaba. Again. Again. Abba-Zaba, Abba-Zaba! Listen. Can you hear the jungle drums? The natives are restless!