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The Unsung Holiday Candies

(SOUNDBITE OF TCHAIKOVSKY COMPOSITION, "DANCE OF THE SUGAR PLUM FAIRY")

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

There are candies waiting to be discovered all around the country, local sweets that may not travel but have longtime hometown. We asked followers on Facebook and Twitter to tell us about their favorite holiday confections like the Chocolate Charlie in South Bend, Ind., the Idaho Spud in Twin Falls, Idaho, which, by the way, is not a potato. It's chocolate marshmallows. A listener in Brooklyn told us about Trinidadian Black Cake, which involves a lot of fruit and rum. Francine Morin (ph) remembers her grandmother making it every Christmas.

FRANCINE MORIN: The labor that went into it - the love, the attention and the effort that my grandmother put into making Black Cake was so - such a beautiful extension of her heart. And every time I taste a good piece of Black Cake - because it's not just anybody that can make Black Cake - that memory of my grandmother comes back to me. And my heart just gets warm and happy.

SIMON: But some hometown sweets evoke mixed memories. Melissa Corey of St. Joseph, Mo., tells us about a local candy called Cherry Mash, which is chopped peanuts around a maraschino cherry center. Cherry Mashes are given out at a holiday lights display every year.

MELISSA COREY: My first memory of it - I was probably, like, six or seven. Go through the light display. Get this piece of candy and bite into it. And I immediately do not like it. In time I spit it out. I think it kind of has, like, a toothpaste-type texture.

SIMON: Well, nostalgia isn't always sweet, now is it? We checked. Cherry Mash can be ordered online just like toothpaste.

(SOUNDBITE OF TCHAIKOVSKY COMPOSITION, "DANCE OF THE SUGAR PLUM FAIRY") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.