For those of us who can trace our fondest childhood reminiscences to the ’90s, we have indeed been the blessed generation. Life wasn’t so fancy, but life indubitably was good. Happiness was the simpler kind and all we would do was revel in joy at everything that was sugar, spice and nice. Life was made more good by some staples that did so much to define our childhood. From nukkad ka dukaan to chacha ki tapri, joy came in small packages but in infinite amounts. Here’s a major throwback to the toffees and chocolates from our childhood that we so wish were still there to satiate our nostalgic yearnings-
“Ye melody itni chocolaty kyu hain?” The question that has left us all baffled since childhood. And obviously you had to bite into one to know. Melody khao khud jaan jao!
Melody had been one of the most loved toffees around because obviously it’s a toffee but also because its iconic jingle is just so catchy. We wish this humble treat would have managed to catch up with the times as well! On the flip side though, melody isn’t exactly extinct. But you hardly get to pick some of those chocolaty delights from the neighbourhood gumti.
Birthdays in school used to be undoable without these red and golden wrapped toffees! Whether it be a shiny packet of Maha Lacto or Eclairs, the cranky plastic packets made our childhood so much better!
For the unconventional kids of the block, birthdays meant diverting from the red- golden tradition and instead lure innocent friends with Koka Naka. Oh, the full day of privilege that these Koka Naka kids enjoyed on their day was enough to give anyone some really jealous vibes!
Another birthday staple of ‘our times’ with the signature red- gold glimmer, Lacto King was quite close to Maha Lacto. In fact so much that it even shares a common name!
And how can we not remember mango bite? That classic old candy that had all the mango juiciness of the world had no reason to run out of business. I mean, one bite of the candy and you cannot help but fall in love with it. Too bad that love fades! Even the wrapping was such a treat to the eyes, unlike any that existed at the time.
Cadbury Chocolate Lollipop
For the times when toffees weren’t enough and Cadbury bars were more of a luxury, we found our demi God in Cadbury lollilops. Kids these days aren’t fortunate enough to know what it felt like suckling on a ball of chocolaty deliciousness!
Jee lalchaye raha naa jaye! Al-pen-liebe, that’s how it goes. Or rather, went. Alpenliebe was special because it dared to be a candy when being toffee was the norm. Plus the flavours it had! The basic golden one, the of course chocolaty one and the strawberry one with white and pink swirls- it was so pretty! Not to mention the ads which had us all yielding to the lalchaya hua jee!
Squeezy, squishy- pishy- gooey chocolate, when Nestle came up with their very inventive Choco Sticks they were all the rage. And indeed, why wouldn’t they be? All our life we have been biting into chocolate and now we were able to swoosh it out and swirl it in! For us kids, it was as if Nestle had gifted us the churned nectar of the mountains. We couldn’t have asked for more!
Suckling on lollipops used to be our favorite pastime as kids. Juicy and sweet and so vibrant, these candies perched atop a stick would represent our world of fantasy. Perhaps they faded out as reality became unbearable for the world of imagination.
Rotund lollipops at one time meant only Pim Poms for us! They were special because they were different, with later varieties also concealing a chewing gum in its core! Total geniuses!
Moulds of wobbly sweet jelly waiting to be sucked out of its cute plastic tube, Jelly Belly had us all in awe. Though the taste wasn’t anything very divine, the candy sure was unique enough for us to eagerly dig into one.
Ah, Coffy Bites! No single soul on earth did not lose themselves to the rich coffee taste of this one toffee that we so wish was still there. Even the fanciest of lattes and cappuccinos do not seem to match up with the caffeine intoxication this humble toffee imparted on us!
Easily the go-to-chocolate for the 90s kids has been the delicious Eclairs toffees. They were so easily and abundantly available at the cheapest of rates, or were just doled out for change that we always were munching on them without ever having enough! That’s just how much staple Eclairs was for us!
Eclairs still is widely available in different manifestation, with tastier chocolate filled toffees taking center stage. But there is something uniquely appealing about those chewy, stick old toffees that still make us crave for them so bad!
Another eclairsy wonder was dished out by Nestle in its iconic Milkybar flavour. It was haughtier than its 50 paise sibling, both in appearance and in marketing. None of such pride could however save it from getting etched only in memory in the public domain.
Perk is still very much alive and kicking with all that glucose marketing, but if you have tasted the Perk of yesteryears you would want to bite in on the newer ones. Perk in our days used to taste like what chocolate should. With pure chocolaty goodness and so many flavours, our no glucose Perk did what glucose never can!
No longer do we go Boom Boom with Boomer. Boomer was our favorite superhero and one of our favorite chewing gums. With a layer of jelly, Boomer was different as well. And with his superhero powers, we wish Boomer had managed to fly back to the shelves!
Okay this isn’t any toffee. Not some chocolate either. But I will still have it on the list because it’s Chocos biscuit which means IT IS CHOCOLATE! Kellog’s sure did this very good thing of extending its expertise in churning out deliciousness to making biscuits as well. And the taste was every bit as chocolaty as any other. Back in the days, it used to be our treat on Children’s Day, which made it all the more special. If only Kellogg’s had sustained its art of biscuit making, the world sure would have been a much better place to live in!
How can you not remember the burst of shock that happened in your mouth at just the first bite of center shock? The name is apt, for all you would have known. So tangy or spicy you could literally feel your guts in your mouth. Good that it ran out of shelves since the shock was indeed too much to bear but bad that Gen X missed out on some of the unforgettable experience of their life!
Indians and paans are so invariably interconnected that we had a whole range of paan flavoured chocolates for adulting in our childhood! Pan Pasand toffees were a rage among kids our age because it led us enetry into the forebidden paradise on tasting paan without actually having to chomp on it!
This brings back so many memories. It was a very refreshing departure from the usual shiny wrappers of chocolates that, while were enticing, could sometimes get a bit too much. Milk Treat was none of that shine, not in the pretty orange color nor in the mild milk chocolaty taste- it tasted delicious and also because it was rarer, we coveted it all the very more. For me personally, the high point was the cute face of the cow on the wrapper! If only we had a time machine for real!
Not many had the good fortune of biting into these small squares of chewiness- they had the market in awe for a surprisingly small time. But those who had feasted on these saunf flavoured chewing gums that you did not need spit out sure know what the world is missing at the moment. Saunf already was an enigma in childhood and when these very different cheweries were introduced, they were bound to be the instant hit!
‘Bade kaam ki cheez’- that’s what Big Babol was to us! A delicious fruity taste, a really pleasant flavour and perfectly sweet to the senses, this bubble gum was indeed really big. And the TVCs that marketed them- genius! Specially the Chidiya Rani TVC- you really need to see that one again to get all the feels.
Back in those days when chocolate meant bars or candies, Cadbury Chocki was another ingenious offering. Like Nestle’s Choco Sticks, Chockies were also as much squishy chocolaty fun. The packaging was equally fun with those greedy, hungry mouths luring you all the more to squeeze all of the sweet goodness out of them and into your mouths!
Chocolate coins made chocolate even more fancy for us kids. They also tasted unlike Dairy Milk, that was so very synonymous with chocolates. But perhaps what did the trick more efficiently was the gold wrappers. Because we tended then to believe that all that glitters is gold and with chocolate we didn’t even care whatever the hell they were!
We still are confused as to what these actually are and why they were sold as Pepsi! Ice candies with a gel like texture fed into tubes from which sucking them out was so much fun! School closures were always marked by clamour of children hankering after these colorful strips, as terrorise moms yelled to not drink/ eat that stuff supposedly made of water from the drains!
This is no chocolate but the minty Polo rings were the most refreshing mouth freshener ever! And we never did just pop one into our mouths without first slipping them on our fingers! Man, that’s too much nostalgia!
Nestle Milo Milk Chocolate Bar
Milo was love. It tasted so much like rich milk tea- of which I’m now a fanatic. Nestle did well to extend this exotic deliciousness with its milk chocolate bars which however flew out of shelves as unexpectedly as they came in!
While you can still take chatkaras of hajmola, the candied hajmolas seem to be rather few and far between. What fun it was to pop one into the mouth and let it go round and round there, savoring the taste and flavour. Specially Chulbuli Imli was too much for us to handle. And it wasn’t just the taste, even the wrappers were so creative and enticing you would not want to throw them away!