Saturday, December 26, 2009

Choose Your Tigermelt!

What is a Tigermelt? In my novel True Confections, it's a delicious chocolate-coated peanut and nougat candy bar, one of three candy products inspired by Little Black Sambo made by Zip's Candies since 1924. Tigermelts boast the slogan "Plain Hungry? Or Tigermelt Hungry?"

In the real world, it is apparently "an economical blend which contains potassium chloride and sodium chloride that work together to effectively melt snow and ice." This Tigermelt is also said to be odorless, will leave no residue, won't harm vegetation, and won't stain carpets, "when used as directed."

A Tiger Melt is also chicken salad with colby cheese served open faced on a toasted bagel at the Big Blue Bagel in Auburn, Alabama.

Choose your Tigermelt!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


I just learned that in certain candy factories there is an area designated the Starch Room. I want a Starch Room, don't you? Don't you think everyone should have a Starch Room? If only I had known while I was writing True Confections, then Zip's Candies would surely have had a Starch Room. Before the week is out, the Zip's Candies website (, where the fiction continues beyond the pages of the novel, will have a vintage image of their Starch Room, where the Mumbo Jumbo moguls have been racked since 1924.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Breaking the Fourth Wall

More Little Sammy Sneeze. Winsor McKay was intriguingly modern in his visual sensibility, if not in his sense of what is funny. Here, Little Sammy Sneeze breaks the fourth wall with one of those uncontrollable sneezes. It's hard to imagine what this looked like to readers a hundred years ago.

Friday, December 11, 2009


The most famous candy made by Zip's Candies in my nearly-published novel True Confections is called Little Sammies, because it was inspired by Little Black Sambo. I have no awareness of any actual candy or other product with a name anything like this, though a sandwich chain has offered small sandwiches called Little Sammies. But there was a Little Sammy Sneeze, I have just learned, long ago, in a very early Winsor McKay comic strip. Every episode concluded with an ill-timed and destructive sneeze. "He just simply couldn't stop it! He never knew when it was coming!" Apparently, in 1904, this was pricelessly funny. (McKay went on to greatness with Little Nemo.)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Lucy, Lucy, Lucy

I never described this primal television scene in the pages of True Confections, though the novel begins with a not entirely unrelated (though less frantic) moment at Zip's Candies.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Oh No! I Forgot the Chunky!

Somehow, I completely overlooked any mention of the Chunky in True Confections. And the Chunky was not only a personal childhood favorite, so where's my loyalty? but also is yet another small candy brand (these days it's made by Nestlé) started in the 1930's by an enterprising New York Jew, in this case Philip Silvershein, who named the candy, regrettably, and one wonders about her therapy, for his "chunky" granddaughter.

Some other Chunky knowledge: Chunky used to be made with cashews and Brazil nuts. There are unverified rumors that the original Chunky was intended to be a pyramid, but that proved impossible to wrap, so the top was sliced off, thus the odd shape. It's a real stand-alone candy piece: not a bar, not a bag of small pieces. The original wasn't segmented, but now it is segmented as if to be broken into quarters, though it doesn't break easily and you get messy trying so just eat the whole damned thing, okay? There are no Chunky minis that I know about. They used to make babies, called Chunky Cuties, which cost two cents. That's when comic books cost 12 cents.

Oh, Chunky.