Oh, my lucky American cousins. You have easy access to Lemonheads, one of the most delicious candies in the history of candy. Up here in Canada, they’re a special import item, the kind of treat you have to track down at a dedicated candy shop instead of at the corner store. It isn’t fair.
The Ferrara Pan Candy Company’s website says the Lemonhead originated in 1962, and that they’re made using the same cold-panned process as Red Hots. Those, incidentally, date back to the 1930s. Given the choice, I’ll pick the Lemonhead every time.
Why do I love them so much?
Texture: Hard, but not like a rock. The sugary meat of the candy peels away from the hard centre, releasing a full hit of flavour. It sticks to your teeth, but you can pry off residue with your tongue. It’s smooth, not scratchy, but you can still feel it gripping slightly on your tongue.
Taste: Lemonheads aren’t a standard sour candy. They deliver a pounding of lemon flavour, but they’re not sour enough to make you wince. It’s a perfect mix of sweet and tart, with that wonderful lemon taste to tie it all together. Eating a whole box at once would be a bit much, so I pace myself over a few days. They’re intense enough that it’s easy to overdo it and turn your tongue numb. For a different experience, try sucking on the candy instead of biting it. It’s sweet at first, then turns sour once you hit the core, then turns sweet again at the very centre. Crazy.
See? An American candy classic.
RATINGS AND DETAILS
Cost: I paid $1.79 for a 67 g box at a candy shop in Canada.
Value for cash money: Costs more than a typical chocolate bar at the convenience store, but not by much. The related packs of Cherryhead candy (also yummy) with a printed $0.25 price on the box actually sold for $0.70. Still a bargain, at least in my books.
Availability: In Canada, you’ll have to hit up a specialty candy shop. When I’m in the States, they’re everywhere. Correct me if I’m wrong, southern neighbours.
Nutrition?: Yeah, well, it’s sugar. The box proudly announces the candy’s fat-free status, but that’s beside the point. There’s real lemon juice in the mix, but don’t count on it to prevent the onset of scurvy.
The verdict: Holy crow, they’re great. Seriously. If you haven’t tried them, go out and buy a box.