Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Regal Crown Sours (candy)

The biggest problem about writing about forgotten brands of food is that there is often no way of getting them back.*  Many of the things I'm writing about can be found in some way -- DVDs, CDs, old videotapes, etc.  But once food and candy goes, there's no way to get it back.

Which brings us to Regal Crown Sours.

I first saw them in the late 60s.  Large tubes (maybe about 5 inches and about 3/4 in in diameter) with hard candy.  They were made of up individual candies, each wrapped in wax paper, in sort of a flying saucer shape.  And they were sour.

Oh, not as puckeringly sour as things like Sour Patch Kids today. But compared to the usual hard candy fare -- Life Savers, lemon drops -- pretty sour.

The candy was imported from the UK, though I believe they originated in Denmark.  They came in several flavors:  Sour Cherry, Sour Orange, Sour Grapes (yes), and, my favorite, Sour Lemon.  As least twice the size of a Life Saver, they were a great bargain.  I tend to like things tart, and these were just wonderful.

Over time, though, they vanished.  I haven't seen them in a candy story in about 30 years and the last time I tried them was nearly 20  years ago, where I found them in the United Kingdom pavilion at the Epcot Center.  In among the faux-British shops was a candy store, and which sold -- yes -- Regal Crown Sour Lemon.

They were just as good as ever.

After the Internet came along, I learned about various old time candy sites and went to see if any of them had it.  Alas, the only place I've been able to see the Regal Crown sours are on lists of discontinued candy no longer available.

At least there is a possibility, with the interest in sour candy, that someone might bring it back. Of course, they'd have to deal with old folks like me saying "It's not the way I remember it," but I think it'd be worth it for another taste.

*Sometimes even the recipe is lost forever. Leiderkrantz cheese was discontinued by their last owner, Borden Foods, a couple of decades ago, and it would be impossible to get it back. The cheese's flavor depended on a specific culture of bacteria that was in the original factory (when they moved to a new one, they had to scrape the walls so that it could establish itself) that gave it its flavor. No one analyzed what the bacteria was, and it is impossible to duplicate, so even if someone wanted to bring it back, they're out of luck.

53 comments:

cindycb said...

I too have hunted for Regal Crown Cherry Sours. They were AMAZING! I was so sad to discovered they had been discontinued. I have found a couple of things that are fairly close. In a roll of Berry Lifesavers one of the berry flavors is very close. And at the Montana Candy Emporium in Red Lodge Montana they have a 1/2 red 1/2 yellow sour ball that tastes pretty darn close. But none have that satisfying shape.

nathansmart said...

The closest you'll get to these, I believe, is cherry jolly ranchers. Not quite as sour, but the taste is VERY similar.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, they no longer exist? I too have randomly searched the internet over the years trying to find them -- your post is the first I've seen where I found the complete name. I knew it was "Crown" but didn't remember the rest -- thinking too that they were from GB. Just that I absolutely LOVED those lemon ones when I was a kid. I searched the online candy sites (groovycandies, for instance), but as you said, they can't be found. Does anyone know if the candy company itself is still in business?

DarrenR said...

My dad used to sell them in his store when I was a kid in the 70s, so I ate them like they were candy. Um, yeah. I even took a whole box with me to summer camp and they were quickly stolen.

There was a British foods store next to my office that sold them as recently as a few years ago.

I had a pack of the berry flavored Life Savers a few weeks ago, and when I put one of them into my mouth I was instantly transferred back to my youth. It tasted exactly like the Regal Crown Sour Cherries! If we could get Life Savers to sell packs of the individual flavors we would be in luck.

tculotta said...

I was actually fortunate to have these as late as 1994-1995. I worked in New York and there was a large candy, newspaper, book, etc., vendor at grand Central that carried both the cherry and lemon versions. Alas, the last time I checked, they were gone. Have you tried the Altoids tangerine sours? Quite tasty.....

Anonymous said...

My husband would attest to my long term obsession with these candies. In 1980, when I was pregnant with our first child, I bought them by the boxfuls. Even then, they were not widely available. I just don't understand why something so loved would be so elusive. I would gladly advertise, distribute, street peddle, etc. in order to make it worthwhile to the maker of these fine candies.

Anonymous said...

I have been sucking on an occasional cherry Jolly Rancher and it TOTALLY reminds me of the Regal Crown Sour cherry suckers of my youth. I miss the wax paper, consistency and shape of the RC's but the taste of the Jolly Ranchers really sends me back.

Anonymous said...

I was first introduced to them in the late 60's as a kid, about 9 I suppose. Used to like the SOUR FRUITS which was a mix of flavors, my favorite being cherry, grape and orange. Lemon was too sour for me.

Sorry to hear they're gone, I can say somethings are truly better in childhood.

Anonymous said...

Didn't they make a sour apple too? it seems like that was my favorite flavor. Someone definitely needs to bring these BACK!

bullets said...

Nobody mentioned the Apple ones?
Or was I eating the grape ones as a Kid
all along.

I have memories in the late 80's of
getting Regal Crown Sour Apple sweets.

I adored them, and have yet to find an
sour apple drop sweet that equals the taste.

~B

cc said...

Jolly Rancher has a sour cherry candy that tastes just like the Regal Crown Sour Cherry Candy I remember as a kid! My kids even fight over them they are sooo good. The sour apple are tasty too but nothing compared to the sour cherry - try them and see!

Anonymous said...

Regal Crown Sour Apple, right on! I loved all the other flavours (sour cherry, sour orange, and sour lemon) but the sour apple had, and has, no peer. The only place I could ever find the sour apple flavour was at a bagel shop in Montreal West, Quebec, near the old commuter train station.

I moved on to Taveners Sour Lemon (much more sour but very very good), still available after all these years but I sure miss Regal Crown.

tim said...

My dad bought sour lemon and sour grape back in the 70's like they were going out of style (I guess eventually they did)-- when i went for rides in his car sometimes I would find an individual one still wrapped in the front seat and enjoy the delicious taste. Could never find them in US after the late 80's....

Anonymous said...

I am and have always been a huge fan of sour candy, growing up in the seventies we always bought these candies, they were the BEST sour hard candies I've ever tasted, nothing can come close to these, I remember the roll with the 4 flavors in them but I don't remember the apple ones, I would love for someone to start making these again....hey they brought back the danish/delphi/broadway licorice rolls so why not these?

Jason L said...

I'm a vintage candy collector and I have an old industry trade ad that features black and white images of a wonderful assortment of Regal Crown Sours rolls. You can check it out here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jasonliebigstuff/3948892661/

Jason said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jani said...

My grandmother first bought the Sour Lemon and Sour Cherry for me. I would ration them later on but in the beginning, I'd eat them till my mouth was sore. Cracker Barrel was the last place I saw them and that was a long time ago.

I loved them and would still by them by the box if I available. Cherry and Lemon were my favorites but the orange and grape were good too. I don't think I ever saw the apple flavor.

I hope someone can get the patend and make them again.

Mark B. said...

My friend Aaron and I ate these all through Junior High. We loved them! I particularly liked the sour cherry Regal Crowns. Ssometimes we would buy the sour fruits assortment. We would unravel the wrapper with anticipation wondering if the next one would be a sour cherry or sour grape! Regardless which sour fruit candy was next after the next sour fruit was revealed we would always look at each other and laugh. I sure do miss the Regal Crown sour fruits! Sometimes my friend Aaron and I would offer each other a sour fruit even though we each had a pack of them in our pocket. We would look at each other and say "Sour Chip"? I hope that some day these unique sour candies will surface again.

javieth said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I remembered them the other day and was sad to see they were gone. I remember spending my allowence just to get a roll of the Cherry Regal Crowns. Charms pops are close but not quite the same....sigh

Mark said...

They were simply the best, esp. the cherry and lemon flavors. I miss them badly.

where are my glasses said...

My husband is bereft upon learning that Regal Sour Cherry candies are no more. I've been hearing about them for years and hoped to be able to surprise him ... But alas, it is not to be.

Anonymous said...

I, too, miss the Regal Crown sour candy. Oh, it was sooooooo good. I liked the lemon and orange. I can't understand why they were discontinued. If they were so popular, why didn't they sell? I would simply kill for some! (well, not literally)

Anonymous said...

I too loved these as a kid, and was just mentioning them to my wife the other day (prompting me to do an internet search and landing on this site). The last time I saw them was in a tobacco shop in Portland, OR in the late 1980s/ early 1990s. I think other varieties come close in flavor, but its just not the same witohut the wax wrapper!

George said...

Is Regal Crown still around or if taken over who is the company.. maybe we can get a letter campaign going ?

Anonymous said...

Wow...just was thinking and googled crown...cause I too could not remember the rest...though I remembered there was an R...and of course can taste it with my sense memory. I was about 8 and LOVED them...will keep looking...as many have said it is the taste and the shape and the wax paper so while some others may have a similar taste the experience is in it all. Never knew it was a GB company. Loved them sooo much I was compelled to leave a comment...which I don't do!

Deedub said...

The Wrigley Company apparently owns the rights to Regal Crown Sours. A couple of years ago, I e-mailed Wrigley to ask if they would resurrect Regal Crown Sours; their reply was that they had no plans at the time. :( I hope that they'll change their mind sometime in the near future.

Rahib said...

There are a lot of sites out there for "nostalgia" candy. Here's a link that does offer sour cherries, if anyone is interested.

http://www.bulkfoods.com/candy.asp>Old Fashioned Candy<

or you can try the link at

www.hometownfavorites.com

there is also a website featured on food network show that caries candies etc from the 40' 50's 60's

Chuck Rothman said...

While there are certainly sites that have nostalgia candy, none of these actually have Regal Crown Sours, and many point out sadly that they are unavailable.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what made me think of
this candy and decide to search the internet for them. I had not thought about these in decades. I absolutely loved these deliciously sour hard candies. I sure wish that someone had the recipe and would resume making them.

Enid D.

ellid said...

My aunt won a contest sponsored by Regal Crown for a trip to Europe in the late 1960s. Does anyone else remember this?

Anonymous said...

its kind of sad to hear all of these stories about these regal candies and i will never be able to taste them :( . I have recently been purchasing sour cherry jolly ranchers and they are amazing! i have had a lot of dental work but will never stop eating my fav sour candies!!!! youre welcome dentists!

Anonymous said...

Napoleon Sour Bon Bons in the cherry flavor are the closest copy I have found. They are great!

Anonymous said...

I thought I was the only one missing regal crown sours. Glad to discover I'm not the only one. Hard to believe there are any adequate substitutes.

nathansmart said...

Jolly Rancher just put out a new version of their candy called Crunch and Chew and for some reason it amps up the flavor and now the cherry tastes even closer to Regal Crown

kehewett said...

I too am an "old timer" fan of RC Cherry Sours! Recently a young friend handed me a Jolly Rancher Cherry SOUR! It starts out with that "pucker punch" that RC Cherries had and then follows with that nostalgic cherry flavor. VERY close! I don't like Jolly Rancher's shape though...not as comfortable to savor as our old time favorite! Can anyone tell that I LOVED these candies??? I've often wondered if somewhere out there in the Web universe, there exists a recipe...hmmmmm

Anonymous said...

My father was the original importer of Regal Crown sour candies from the UK. They were a staple in our home and I still have a Pavlovian response to the mere mention of them—I salivate. No, really. I miss them, too!

BONOMO TURKISH TAFFY said...

To the person that just listed that there Dad "was the original importer of Regal Crown sour candies from the UK", I wonder if you are able to find out from him where they were made. Rumor had it that they were made by Trebor Bassett in the UK and others suggest that they were manufactured in Denmark. Can you provide us with something specific as to there previous manufacturer?

Anonymous said...

I am another person who was addicted to RC sour lemon and orange. Have never been able to find a suitable substitute. I seem to remember them being somewhat expensive, 25 cents per roll?, in the mid1960s but well worth the price. Come on previous anonymous, get the scoop on the background manufacturer details!

Anonymous said...

I remember getting them at a gas station on my way to school in early 70's they were the best thing ever....im glad more people than me missed those great candies....lets get a petitoon going to bring them back ? Anyone know where regal crown company is or was located??

Space_Cardinal said...

I too have been a hunter of Royal Crown Cherry Sours. Matt was my boyfriend. We were probably around 14 years old. He gave me a package of Royal Crown Cherry Sours and told me he loved me. Not only was the candy unforgettable, I was in love for the first time.

Anonymous said...

somebody is trying to bring them back! Please email and comment to him to support the cause!

http://www.derbyshiretimes.co.uk/news/reviving_the_sweet_taste_of_regal_past_1_4212111

BONOMO TURKISH TAFFY said...

We are bringing regal Crown Sours Back.
Please see us at IconicCandy.com

Anonymous said...

Best of Luck to ya laddie! I would buy a whole box of them if they were available and I know I'm not alone!

Anonymous said...

I would give anything to have a sour grape,sour cherry,or sour lemon regal crown candy.With a ice cold coca- cola.They were the best,in the 70's always had regal crown candy when I went to the movies.It sure made you pucker.Oh where have the puckers gone.

Anonymous said...

I too loved the cherry. I remember buying them in the late 60's, early 70's at Ben Franklin stores and Pier One. Every time I go to a mall that has a candies from around the world kiosk, I look for them. Unfortunately, now I know why I never find them. This is the first time I have ever left a reply on a web site which shows you how much I loved

David Marcus said...

This company is trying to resurrect it:

http://iconiccandy.com/index.php/our-blog/welcome-to-iconic-candy1/

Anonymous said...

Jolly rancher, not even close to Royal Crown. I can still taste them, but only in my mind...The very best. Ian from California

Anonymous said...

I miss them sooo much. Contacted a business colleague in the UK. He'd never heard of them, but sent me this article. Perhaps, they will come back. YAYYYY!
http://www.derbyshiretimes.co.uk/news/reviving-the-sweet-taste-of-regal-past-1-4212111

JEFF_K said...

No one posting mentioned my OTHER favorite Regal Crown sour candy besides the Sour Cherry. Regal Crown also made either a Sour Cherry or a Sour Strawberry with CHOCOLATE on the inside! Man, those were good! Besides bringing back Sour Cherry, Sour Lemon, Sour Orange, Sour Grape, and Sour Apple, please also bring back those Regal Crowns with the CHOCOLATE CENTERS! Please?

Anonymous said...

About 5-7 years ago I bought Regal Crown Sour Cherry candy at Cracker Barrel in Lexington, KY. They were available about a year from the time I noticed them.

Anonymous said...

I was intruduced to Regal Crown sour cherry candy in Saudi Arabia where I grew up in the 60's and 70's. I found it for a few years upon returning to the US, but have missed it now for decades!

Anonymous said...

I remember first seeing the TV commercials of Regal Crown Sour candies in the mid 60s as a kid but like I was too small at the time I didn't listen very carefuly the name thinking it was also call Royal Crown like the cola and its because i never had tried regal crown candies until 1971 stopping by at a liquer store and found the candy and found out and remembered the correct name and bought some and they were wonderful. I hope thety can bring the candy back again.