Ben Hur Candies

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Post
SusieLewes
Junior Burger
2006/02/23 00:42:15
I used to buy BEN HUR candies in Reading, PA at the Fairgrounds Square Mall. It was a candy and bulk goods store, but sadly the last time I was there 3-5 years ago, they no longer carried the Ben Hur grey squares, but they did carry the licorice ones (YUCK!!!) I wanted the ashen grey ones! I have been on a search for years now, and I don't know who every made them, but I am told a Candy Manufacturer in Reading, PA. If anyone knows anything, my ears are WIDE OPEN!!!
6star
Filet Mignon
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2006/02/23 01:15:13
This is as close as you are probably going to be able to get:

Anise mints ("Gray, anise-flavored mint, similar to the old "Ben Hur" candy. A nostalgic favorite since the 50's.")

Item Number: hfca194 - 1 lb. Bag - $4.00 Each

http://www.hometownfavorites.com/shop/candy_cat_js.asp?abc=1&char=A&id=18

On another site:

"Whatever Happened to Ben Hur's, Easy Aces, Licorice Easy Aces and Somerset Mix?"

"Well, this is another one of those sad candy stories.

All of these products and more were all made by a wonderful company on the East Coast called Wunderle (footnote, Wunderle was the inventor of candy corn in the mid 1800's). Wunderle was bought out by another company, Heidi. In a move that I never understood, Heidi then stopped production on most of Wunderle's wonderful and unusual product lines.

Somewhere out there, someone has the recipe book and the equipment to bring all of these great candies back, we can only dream.

Isn't it interesting that Candy companies eat each other instead of the Candy. Heehee"
jim2649
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2006/02/25 14:59:02

I have been on a mission to find BEN HUR candy too. I live in Scranton PA area and I found the candy about 5 years ago, but now it looks hopeless?. I will take a ride one of these weeks to Reading in hopes of a BEN HUR find . As far as a sub, I don't recall the grey square BEN HUR having any tast of licorice.

Anyone tried the ones from www.hometownfavorites.com ?
stormi1
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2006/03/14 17:27:56
hi,
I am also looking for Ben Hur candy 9or as we called them cen-cens ( not the current sen-sends that you can buy). Please let me know if you ever find out where I can order some. I am from the Poconos and miss them terribly.

SusieLewes
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2006/03/14 17:46:33
quote:
Originally posted by jim2649


I have been on a mission to find BEN HUR candy too. I live in Scranton PA area and I found the candy about 5 years ago, but now it looks hopeless?. I will take a ride one of these weeks to Reading in hopes of a BEN HUR find . As far as a sub, I don't recall the grey square BEN HUR having any tast of licorice.

Anyone tried the ones from www.hometownfavorites.com ?
SusieLewes
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2006/03/14 17:49:06
I think we might as well give up the search! The anise type candy that was similar looking to the Ben Hurs have no taste anything like them. I think the owner of the original maker should get that recipe to another candy manufacturer and pronto! They can't make us suffer like this!
PolishBear
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2006/12/22 11:18:55
I there is any one candy that I’ve obsessed more about over the years, it’s Ben Hurs. Believe it or not, I’ve got a little handful of these candies stuck away in my freezer. Once in a blue moon I’ll eat one, even though they’ve turned a little green with age.

I first discovered Ben Hurs 30-40 years ago, when I was a kid, and our family would go visit my grandparents up in Nanticoke, Pennsylvania. Little corner grocery stores were common at the time in Nanticoke, and often they sold a wide variety of candies. Ben Hurs were sold in bulk by weight. In appearance they were similar in shape to a square after-dinner mint, but they were of a dark grey color.

How to describe the taste? Although they are classified in the anise/licorice category, the taste was closer to candied ginger. Some people would call them Sen-Sen, and indeed the flavor is similar to that. Ben Hurs were definitely an acquired taste. Words like “soapy” and “floral” have be used to describe them.

My research indicates that a company called Wunderle originally produced Ben Hurs in the early 20th century. Wunderle, by the way, was the company that first gave us Candy Corn! That company was later bought by another candy company called Heidi, which itself was eventually absorbed by Hershey. Perhaps somewhere in a dusty old vault or file cabinet in Hershey, Pennsylvania, is the original recipe for Ben Hurs, but I’ve gotten no response to my inquiries to the Hershey company.

There was a company called Dutch Maid Bakery in Tracy City, Tennessee, that sold Ben Hurs as recently as the mid 1990s, but eventually their stock ran out (party because I purchased a few pounds of the candy from them!). I’d be willing to bet that I’m in possession of the very last Ben Hurs in existence. The flavor has faded a bit.
DonnaB
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2007/03/23 15:41:26
I now live in Delaware but I grew up in Nanticoke, Pennsylvania and can still taste the Ben-Hurs when I think of them. About 10 years ago while visiting relatives, I stopped into Diamond's Candy Store on Broad Street and bought a huge bag of them because the owner told me they had been discontinued! I have no idea why but all of a sudden while sitting here at my desk at work I am craving Ben-Hurs. We have GOT to find the recipe!!!!
BTB
Cheeseburger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2007/03/25 10:37:30
I didn't know there were others like me out there. Boy, do I miss Ben Hurs. I, too, several years ago tried to track down sources and information on them. One specialty candy source emailed me back indicating -- like many of you here -- that the company had gone out of business and no one makes them anymore. That has got to be the crime of the century. Like most things, I bet the recipe is relatively simple. Hopefully great minds can get together and figure it out.
febejean
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2007/04/18 15:46:45
The closest I have come to the favor of Ben Hurs is Choward's scented gum. It really has that unique flavor. I found the gum at "Dylan's Candy Store" in the Galleria Mall in Houston.
patmic
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2007/06/23 01:12:37
quote:
Originally posted by SusieLewes

I think we might as well give up the search! The anise type candy that was similar looking to the Ben Hurs have no taste anything like them. I think the owner of the original maker should get that recipe to another candy manufacturer and pronto! They can't make us suffer like this!
patmic
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2007/06/23 01:35:43
You used to be able to get Ben Hurs at Gertrude Hawk's as well. I'm from Dunmore and I remember going to the original Gertrude Hawk's on Drinker street to pick them up. I have probably asked 40 or 50 clerks in every candy specialty store from Scranton to Philadelphia over the last decade with no success. Like thousands of other products, they simply have gone away. I would love to get my hands on the recipe which is undoubtedly sitting in a vault somewhere. Some websites list Wunderlee as the holder of the recipe which is no longer in existance. "Just Born" in the Allentown area now make the candy corns which were originally made by Wunderlee but the only hits on the web about ben hurs are just blogs. The only people who say that the "Anise Mints" are just like the originals are the people who make them. Haven't met anyone who loves the substitute. Contace me at patgeneric@hotmail.com
indian33
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2007/07/18 15:14:16
I, too, used to LOVE the original grayish Ben Hurs. I grew up in Dallastown, York County, PA and would get the candy at the 5 & 10 in town every Friday before going to the movie theater. They also made a lilac-colored candy the tasted like violets and were the same square shape as ben hurs. I think they were my favorite. I've tried to make a tea reminiscent of the flavor. Wish me luck!!
patmic
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2007/07/21 11:21:26
A woman I work with has suggested that I am going about this the wrong way. I have tortured this woman with the stories of how these candies were in deed the greatest product ever created. I'm going on more than 10 years embellishing her with these accounts and she has actually been helpful. She is a great baker and has made everything from candy to peanut brittle and everything has been fantastic. She suggested trying to get everyone simply interested in coming up with a few recipes and trying to duplicate or at least make something comparable. Worse case scenario is that it's just as bad as the "substitutes" being sold on the internet but if enough people keep in touch and exchange different attempts (and failures) in their own kitchens, you may be able to come up with a product you can create yourself. I can not believe there's not even a few people who at least worked there and are familiar with the ingredients. I'm all for letter writing but everyone I know who has contacted Hershey's and Just Born have all said they received no response. The recipe is not going to be given out to anyone but since we all have access to the same ingredients, why not attempt something. Anyone interested, please email me. patgeneric@hotmail.com
mbkotlare
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2007/09/16 14:02:53
When I was in younger :) I used to purchase Ben Hurs at a candy shop located in downtown Detroit. I LOVED THEM ~ they were addictive! The candy shop closed many years ago, and I have been searching to locate the candy at any/all candy shops, with no success. I, too, recently found Howard's Scented Gum, which has almost the same taste. But because the texture is different, it's just not the same. Based on all the comments from everyone, I think it's as close as we're going to get.
mauser
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2007/09/18 20:32:03
I used to live in Harrisburg Pa, and could get ben hurs in most of the local department store candy counters. The last time I remember getting any was in the mid 80's at a Boscovs store. These were my favorite candy of all time, and I haven't foumd anything that even comes close. It figures the Hershey corp. would have a hand in ruining yet another great old product. Have you eaten a Cadbury chocolate bar lately? Yuk! They ruined switzers black licorice years ago!
MartyK
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2007/12/07 23:54:43
I am also a freak for the candy we always called sen sens( aka Ben Hurs). The last place I bought them was at Quaker Square in Akron, OH about 15 years ago. The good news is I just found some in a tin in the cupboard. It has to be possible, in this day and age, for someone to either deconstruct it or reverse engineer it to come up with the recipe. They can't be that difficult to make. I imagine the main base product is fine confectioners sugar with the proper amount of anise/liquorice flavoring and then pour it into a mold of some sorts. Possibly a modified bake sheet with stainless steel dividers. And something to create those fine lines across the top. Then simply empty the mold and let them crack at each division. We need a food industry chemical engineer to take one of mine and create the recipe. I bet the people at NECCO could do it. Have you ever had the black wafers out of the variety pack? They are a little finer sugar consistency-wise, but halfway to a sen sen candy manufacturing-wise. I have the real McCoys in my possesion. All is not lost.
iqdiva
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2007/12/08 00:22:55
I found some !
http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&keywords=Ben-Hur&rh=i%3Agourmet%2Ck%3ABen-Hur&page=1
matilda
Double Cheeseburger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2007/12/08 00:33:25
Not to be a wet blanket, but, the reviews, all two of them, on that site are unfavorable. Just pointing it out.
patmic
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2007/12/08 00:51:31
You're right. Both reviews are terrible. But, Teresa from Pittston has contacted Hershey's, who gave her the name of the company who they sold a group of candies to, with the Ben Hurs being in that group. I contacted them and they confirmed they did indeed have the recipe for the candy but producing it is very expensive and "..... not in line with the pricing of their other products..." They had no plans to bring it back to the market in the near future but they would take our interest to their product development people, etc. etc. Teresa was going to send them the comments from this blog to help spark a fire for them. Every bit helps. But I sent her a few recipes that I have found for similar tasting products, with the hope of some of us trying them out on our own and sharing the results. Your idea of taking that candy and breaking it down for the contents is the best news any of us have probably heard yet. It would be great if someone can do it. Keep me posted. patgeneric@hotmail.com
iqdiva
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2007/12/08 00:55:43
I'm sorry...Just trying to help.
patmic
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2007/12/08 01:09:48
Don't be sorry! Every single idea helps. When I first saw those anise mints I thought I struck gold, until other blogs were even less kind about their taste. I am new to this site, with this being only my fifth posting. I have been on other sites over the past few years and have learned more and more with each year. In one short week a few months ago we were able to track down the company and make contact with them, only to get shot down in the nicest way possible. In my email I asked if there was a way to get hold of the ingredients (even to offer to buy the recipe if it were for sale). While they didn't say no, they did thank us for our interest. Don't be sorry. I would love nothing more than to work with any idea anyone has in here to bring the product back or make something very similar ourselves. I can email anyone with the ingredients for similar candy that I got over the years. They do vary depending on the product. patgeneric@hotmail.com
iqdiva
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2007/12/08 09:44:15
Thank you patmic.....
WValleyWest
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2007/12/14 17:22:10
iqdiva....

Saw those a few years ago, bought 5 pounds, Knew they were the ones!

They were not. 100% licorice. They sat in the cupboard for about 3 months, and got all stuck together into one massive 5 pound licorice ball. YECCH! Tossed them (it) out.

Man, I thought I found the "National Treasure".

Still looking.... we called them Sim-Sims from the area I came from, Luzerne County.

The store owner used to put them in this little brown bag for you.

Dan
WValleyWest
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2007/12/14 17:36:25
MartyK claims to have them in posession!
He should Ebay them.....one at a time!

Hard to believe no one makes them anymore.

You could never lie to your parents if they asked if you had candy before dinner. Remember the black toungue!
Dan
matilda
Double Cheeseburger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2007/12/14 19:20:33
Here's something on Sen-Sen:
http://www.fffoods.com/products/sensen.html
and another:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sen-Sen
WValleyWest
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2007/12/14 19:29:10
quote:
Originally posted by matilda

Here's something on Sen-Sen:
http://www.fffoods.com/products/sensen.html
and another:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sen-Sen


Matilda,
sen-sens are not the item we are looking for. similar name, but the real trouble is that everyone knew them (the real deal) by different names, i.e. sim-sims, Ben-Hurs, cen-cens, sem-sems, etc. Thanks though.

Perhaps we should start a petition page!
Anyone know how?

Dan
matilda
Double Cheeseburger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2007/12/14 19:39:44
Yeah, it was more for the interesting story of a seemingly similar candy. To cover up liquor and tobacco breath. Interesting. There was I site that someone here had said almost verbatim here on the subject of Ben-Hur's that I saw. I believe it was called candyaddict.com. I knew it was OT a bit, but interesting along the vein of conversation. I don't care for licorice at all personally.
Unless it's red and that's not licorice!! LOL!
WValleyWest
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2007/12/14 22:31:42
quote:
Originally posted by matilda

Yeah, it was more for the interesting story of a seemingly similar candy. To cover up liquor and tobacco breath. Interesting. There was I site that someone here had said almost verbatim here on the subject of Ben-Hur's that I saw. I believe it was called candyaddict.com. I knew it was OT a bit, but interesting along the vein of conversation. I don't care for licorice at all personally.
Unless it's red and that's not licorice!! LOL!


Hmmm, I wonder if the chocolate twislers (sp) qualify ?? Those I like.

Yea, I have seen this topic before, Every so often I retry my search.

Take Care.
Dan

MartyK
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2007/12/14 23:06:47
I DON'T CLAIM, I HAVE! I TOOK A PHOTO OF TWO OF THEM BUT CAN'T FIGURE OUT HOW TO POST IT. IF ANYONE WOULD LIKE TO SEE IT EMAIL ME AT martysclassicmach@yahoo.com
BTB
Cheeseburger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2007/12/15 16:47:26
Check this section out http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=21719. I still haven't learned how to post pictures either and need to study and experiment some more.
WValleyWest
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2007/12/15 19:20:40
For what its worth....
I started a petition.
Gots to love the internet!

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/BenHur/index.html

Have fun.

Please suggest other names you called these candies.

Dan
HPlatz
Cheeseburger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2007/12/15 22:47:36
I know it's all a matter of taste, but I remember these when they were sold 2 or 3 for a penny and whether you called them sen-sen or Ben-Hurs, I thought they were horrible. I wouldn't eat them at gunpoint. That aside, Hershey's used to have an outlet-type store at the park where they had every candy imagineable including the old penny candy we remember and Mars products and other competitors as well. I don't know if this outlet still exists, but if it does, I bet they have Ben Hurs. EDIT: Or I guess not, just having read the Hershey rants. Sorry.
patmic
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2007/12/16 00:35:02
Hey everyone: We had made contact with farley's and sathers, the company that acquired the Heide line from Hersheys 6 years ago. This is their response to me before Thanksgiving. I believe the more people who show interest, the better the chances of seeing it come back to market. Hershey's put me in touch with them and this is their response. It's worth a shot.


Thank you for contacting Farley's & Sathers Candy Co., Inc. regarding the Heide® Ben Hur. Hearing from our consumers better enables us to continue to provide quality products and services. Consumer feedback is very important to us, and we appreciate the opportunity to respond.

We are happy to hear you enjoy our products! Unfortunately, this product is currently unavailable. Due to the high cost of production for specialty items and the lack of sales, we simply cannot justify the manufacturing of this item at this time. The cost to the consumer would not be in line with other items currently available. However, we do appreciate your comments!

Thank you for taking the time to contact us regarding the availability of this product. I will share your comments with our marketing and research and development departments. This information will be helpful in our efforts to improve our current product offerings and in the development of new items.

Please visit our website at www.farleysandsathers.com for additional information about our

Best regards,

Consumer Affairs

comments@farleysandsathers.com

Toll Free: 1-888-247-9855

MDG: mas
MartyK
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2007/12/16 01:19:59
I just left them some motivational comments, and demands.
WValleyWest
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2007/12/16 01:44:58
patmic,
Thats real good news. Looking at their product line they actually make butter mints and after dinner mints. They actually make a ton of candies I have devoured over the years. And this is the thanks we get. How difficult could it be to 'press' Ben Hurs. Even if its a once a year deal. Heck, they can make the Ben Hurs, and mix some in with their assortment pack. I'd buy them just for that.

I will jump on board and leave a comment to them in the next day or so.

Now I am getting optimistic.

Dan
WValleyWest
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2007/12/16 03:20:58
My 2 cents. Sent thru email and thru comment page.

Ms. Graber, 12/16/07

Good day. As a middle aged man, having grown up in the sixties, I have enjoyed my share of candy. Every so often, I get the urge to recommit my search to find elusive candies I enjoyed as a young child. Perhaps it’s my way of dealing with the “mid life crisis”. Some get Harleys, some go on world cruises, and some decide they want to try parachuting. Having recently found some “traffic” on one candy of yesteryear, Ben Hur®, I decided I would do my part in trying to get these little pillow mint like candies back to the folks who grew up loving them. One of the contributors on the forum Roadfood.com started a discussion a while back. During some research, it was discovered Farley’s and Sathers Candy Co, Inc. bought the rights and recipe to these little gems. I browsed over to your site and was amazed on how many of the products that you create I have been eating and ‘still’ enjoy on a regular basis. With the exception of some of the newer gummy products, I can with full conviction attest to having consumed pounds of Pixy Stix® powder and hundreds of sleeves of Smarties®, and 90 percent of the rest of your fine products over the years. I had no idea on how grand of a scale Farley’s and Sathers is. Our local penny candy store had regular visits from our gang of tikes ready and willing to spend the hard earned quarter they received for weeding the garden or shoveling the sidewalk in winter on your fine products. It was money well spent.

I remember Mrs. Pearl scooping a nickels worth of Ben Hurs®, (we called them sim-sims for some unknown reason) into a tiny paper sack. They lasted all day, and that green and black tongue, a badge or pride.

My yearn for these morsels of joy is not a solo quest. There are scores that I know of that are familiar with these candies, and they all have relatives and friends and spouses that also would love to see these jewels return, even if it is only a seasonal showing. There are also the vintage candy websites, featuring nostalgia candies. I have seen these candies discussed on those very sites. The last order I places was about forty dollars, sadly, Ben Hurs® were not available. It was the one reason I was visiting the site in the first place. My point is, we believe there IS a market for these mints. There are a few folks on the Roadfood.com site that have a secret stash frozen in their refrigerator from years ago. When the pain gets too strong, they break into their stash like a man dying of thirst in the desert wasteland. Sad really. So sad. I requested one of the lucky hoarders to place a few of them on EBay®, so some of us other desperados can enjoy. No dice. They won’t part with them.


What would it take, oh great candy wizard to bring these back to rejuvenate our spirits and share this taste with OUR kids and future grandkids? What would it take to have a trial run? What would it take to have them produced once a year, for old time sake? What?


I am guessing, they can be produced in the same manner as the assorted dinner mints, or the butter crèmes. If the texture is not quite the same, that would be fine, it’s the flavor. That indescribable flavor that no one can nail down but many remember. We would even accept a jelly bean in that flavor. Or Pixy Stix® in that flavor. We are a reasonable group. All we ask is for a chance. A chance to turn back the clock 40 years or so.

Can you help?

Sincerely,
xxx xxxxxxxxx
patmic
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2007/12/16 15:52:38
Wow. The letter is fantastic Dan!! You put a lot of time into it. Will it make the difference? All I know is that the best way to build a business is word of mouth, referral. They may not know what they're sitting on there which is a very lucrative product. They do not even have to do market studies because we're already letting them know that there is a VERY REAL demand for the product. I love the fact that you put in there making it a seasonal product at the very least. It takes only a quick look at artificial Christmas trees, halloween decorations, cranberry sauce, Egg Nog, and Valentine's Day candy mints to know that you can create a product and generate a profit on something that's only in demand a few weeks during the year. I don't know what better market research they need before understanding that there is indeed a demand for their product. I also know many people who would love to see the candy come back. Perhaps it was because they could not sustain sales throughout the year that the decision was made to axe the product. Thousands of products have been pulled from the market with people like ourselves in disbelief but I would happily go on the record now to let this company know that I would gladly pay $100 today to have a container of Ben Hurs in front of me. Most of us spend over $4.00 for our specialty grande coffee at Starbucks without a second thought. If I could only have my Java Chip Frappuccino at Christmas time, then yes I would pay whatever the costs were to bring it back to market at the time and if they discontinued it and 10 years from now brought it back for a limited time, then yes, I would gladly pay $50 for a glass of it; although at the rate they are going that may be the cost at the time. And the Java Chip doesn't even come close to Ben Hurs for me or any of us. There is no other candy that comes close to the taste. I love the letter you sent. I hope they are aware of the blogs out there, especially this one, and realize that people who already enjoy many of their products definitely have a place in their hearts and wallets for a product that for me is even better than all of their other products, and that is saying a lot because they make a ton of great ones. I know they didn't discontinue the product and that they acquired it after it was stopped but if I were them, I would take it out for a test drive and see what it could do for them.

Pat
WValleyWest
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2007/12/17 03:50:39
Pat,
Thanks, Its all true, I thought I would be best to go at it in a light hearted way. You make some good points also. I too would fork over some coin for a grab at them once again. Geeze, they are a multi-million dollar corporation, why? because of loyal customers like us.

Lets keep on it.

Regards, Dan
patmic
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2007/12/18 00:36:57
Thanks. I emailed the company again tonight and sent them the link to this site. Hopefully they will read the comments and consider exploring the possibility of making the Ben Hurs or at least keeping it on the back burner. All you can do is keep trying. I am not familiar with the ipetitions and how effective they are but what about an email campaign to them.

Anyone ever get those presents over the holidays the last few years that have a mixture of candy from our past? It's the most popular present we get at work. People raid it either for the TeaBerry gum, Zagnuts, Necco wafers, or Mary Janes before the UPS driver has left the parking lot. These candies are not the Snickers or Three Musketeers Bars of this generation but they more than have their tiny foothold in the market place. There must be room for one more product. Anyone looking to email them with your comments, their email address is comments@farleysandsathers.com


You can email me directly at patgeneric@hotmail.com

Thanks

Patrick
WValleyWest
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2007/12/19 21:24:48
Pat,
Do you have a down and dirty list of the various sites where they discussed the Ben Hur? Otherwise I can start doing some searching.

I usually get a hankering, and buy some, then ship a care package off to my 2 sisters. TeaBerry gum, Flying Saucers, CHowards Violet gum and candies. Always a big hit. As a matter of fact, I just ordered some Beemans gum and other oddities from a couple of sites. Beemans was discontinued, then made limited production run by popular demand in 1985 and again in 2005, according to some web sites. So it is done by some companies.
Farley's and Sather could even market the Ben Hur during Halloween and mold them into a little black bat shape or witch hats, even black cats. How cool would that be.

I mean come on, how many different 'shapes' of gummy candies are there, all the same taste, just a different shape. Either a bear, a worm, a snake, a caterpillar, geeze, give me a break.

Have a Merry Christmas and happy Holiday season, all.
My New Years resolution is to do all I can to get Ben Hurs back in the candy stores.

Dan
patmic
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2007/12/20 00:30:14
Dan, Here's a link to the one that we get every year from one of our sales reps. The outside of the box says "Candy you ate as a kid". You can choose from a different decade or you can pick and choose. Take a look at the extensive list they have. Everyone goes nuts for this. You can view them alphabetically and there's a pic for every one.

http://www.oldtimecandy.com/packabag.htm

----------------------

there's also www.oldfashionedcandystore.com


You're right on the gummy bears and marketing the Ben Hurs differently. I would eat St. Paddy's Day Leprechaun Ben Hurs, Halloween jack-o-lantern mints, or even the deer poop I think it's called in the little bags, if they were Ben Hurs, I wouldn't care of the shape. I haven't heard back from the email I sent them again a few days ago. It took a few days to get the last response. Either way it's worth keeping them aware of the interest in the Ben Hurs. Only drawback to us is that this company has never manufactured them; they only acquired the recipe as part of a group purchase. They may have more on their plate right now with the products that are currently manufacturing. Oh well, we'll keep it going. As far as the other sites that mention it, I can't find the comments I was looking for and maybe those blogs are no longer active. A quick search found them mentioned on a couple sites like candyaddict.com but it's more of a question to others if anyone knew where they could find them. Trouble with discussions in the past was the candy's name, since everyone called them something different like sen-sens and anise mints. Discussion always went back and forth just with the name alone. Oh well, hope you have a nice holiday too. Merry Christmas everyone.


Pat


MartyK
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2007/12/21 06:57:34
I had the time to stop at a "Major League" candy store, no, make that warehouse, called b.a. Sweetie, Located in Cleveland on the west side.( if you are ever near Cleveland, you have got to stop at b.a. Sweetie. Every candy, and I mean every candy, currently made is here. In mega amounts too. I was lucky to strike up a conversation with a gentleman putting up more stock. His name was Tom and we had a pleasant conversation about our beloved Ben Hurs. He is the owner. His outlook on them coming back was not very good. he stated the big candy companies must mfr. for the masses to turn profit and that the Ben Hur market is limited to a certain age demographic. I reminded him that I got my kids started on them when they were 4, 6, and 9 respectively, and they still talk about how great they were. In light on his bleak answer he also alluded to Snaps and how they were not made for 5 or 6 years and how a grass roots movement of people bombarded the liquorice mfr. so much they brought them back and they are still being made. So maybe there is hope for our Ben Hurs. Now some more interesting news. This gentleman was kind enough to copy his 80's Wunderle Candy Co. Catalog, in color no less, and it has pictured the Ben Hurs and other nostalgic items they made. I will be trying to link the copies( 3 pages) to this blog sometime today for those who would like a copy. Marty
patmic
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2007/12/21 09:10:36
Marty,

I am so glad you gave a heads up before posting the link to the pic because I believe I may have lost it had I not been prepared for the pic first! I got depressed when you started to mention the guy at the "Major League" candy store believing there was little chance of it returning to market. You're right. It's a certain demographic that enjoyed the product. Although, it is encouraging that some products do come back by popular demand. Wunderle had a great line of candies. Products come and go every day in this country without incident. They're discontinued. I love to catch an old version of a game show and you see products mentioned that you have not thought about or heard of in 25 years. They may have even been very popular at the time but later were discontinued for lack of demand. I realize that Ben Hurs may never return to market. From a financial standpoint it makes absolutely good business sense. But a product like that should not simply be left to never be made again when there is a demand to keep it going. I would love to buy the recipe if it were for sale. I offered that in my original email to Farley's and Sathers. If they NEVER plan to manufacture it, why not let a small time guy or group of guys have it at a fair price. If I could only make enough of it in my house for family and friends who loved the product I would be happy. I thought you were going to tell me that the guy from Major League had the recipe for it. If the product is not returned, my original goal was to at least find someone who worked at the company who made the Ben Hurs and knew the recipe or at least the ingredients. I don't need it back in the Gertrude Hawk candy stores again to be happy. Just on my kitchen counter! Can't wait to see the pic again when you get it posted. I get more optimistic with every new posting in here.

Pat


matilda
Double Cheeseburger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2007/12/21 09:33:22
quote:
Originally posted by patmic

Marty,

...I love to catch an old version of a game show and you see products mentioned that you have not thought about or heard of in 25 years. They may have even been very popular at the time but later were discontinued for lack of demand. ...

Pat





Something I never realized or considered. You've given me a reason to, at least occasionally, stop the remote on that channel from time-to-time.
patmic
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2008/01/06 21:30:55
Happy New Year Everyone,

Just thought I would keep everyone posted. I had mentioned before that I was going to attempt making my own candy. I have made 2 batches already, each worse than the other. Ended up with sambuca flavored taffy more or less but I will keep working on it. The flavor is completely wrong. There must have been ingredients that were not obvious in the Ben Hurs. Anyway, I will work on it. Just don't know if anyone else has tried. Let me know. Keep me posted. Also, has anyone else emailed farleys and sathers yet and expressed interest in having them bring the product back to market? It couldn't hurt. They hold the recipe but are not even familiar with the product, never having explored the candy any further. What a shame. I posted their response previously, their main concern was that it was an expensive product to manufacture and it wasn't in line with their current products. There definitely is a niche in the marketplace for this product and other higher end candy. There were also very good suggestions by some of you which included just making it at a certain time of year (I would definitely stock up). Anyway, all we can do is keep the interest going. Email me directly if you want at patgeneric@hotmail.com

I will keep you all posted on my progress but definitely take a minute and email them expressing interest in having the product return even if for a limited trial basis. comments@farleysandsathers.com

Patrick
PurplePlum1
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2008/01/18 23:10:12
I can't believe this forum exists. I would talk about these 'sim-sims' to my Pocono friends (orig. from the Scranton area - we know what sim-sims are - LOL; but now, the Poconos - maybe they don't?), and they would look at me as if I had three heads! LOL I can't tell you how many people thought I was talking about those God awful Sen-Sen pieces. (Yuck! ...not even close in taste) I never knew they were called Ben Hurs, though; always knew them as sim-sims....so I'm also learning a lot from all of you.

When we visit family in Dunmore, we always stop at GH...but it's always the same answer - No, I'm sorry.

I'm glad you all are out here. I'll be back again.

Have a good night & weekend...
WValleyWest
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2008/01/19 18:49:36
Well, been a while since I sent a letter to Farley & Sathers....never got a reply. Is no news good news???

Keep the Faith!

patmic
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2008/01/20 15:05:37
Yeah, I never received a reply back from Farleys and Sather's after their initial reply that I posted in here. You are right, maybe no news is good news. However, I spent the last month trying to make it myself. A few weeks ago I posted the dismal results. I have made it many more times since then, some even worse than my original attempts........................... BUT............... I finally got something that I got called VERY CLOSE by everyone who tried it. I have been working off that recipe to perfect it and no matter what I do from that it makes it worse. I work with a woman who is also working off my recipe. She has dozens of cook books, many of which are candy cook books for recipes from candy we have not heard of in very many years. We are attempting to modify this recipe one ingredient at a time. Once we get it perfected we will let you know. Of course, it's not in the "pillows" or mints shape that we remember but the shape means nothing to me. I have been working with different extracts besides anise, hoping to get even closer. My sister believes they used paregoric, for those of you whose parents ever gave them this medicine when they were kids. Actually, I just wikipedia'd this medicine and found that one of the key ingredients was anise oil. So, I give you credit Maria! Anyone have any paregoric in their parents' medicine cabinets out there they are not using? Should anyone else want to email Farley's and Sathers to express their interest in seeing the candy brought back even if it's once a year, their contact email address is comments@farleysandsathers.com or visit the company's website to see what other Heide candy (Heide is the company that originally made the candy) they sell. I have to say knowing that I can make something myself that is very close takes a lot of the anxiety out of it. These companies are not making anything that you can't create yourself. Those of you familiar with the Dunmore Candy Kitchen will know that they have been making Cherry Cola's long before Coca Cola and they are far better. There's not a candy out there you can't duplicate yourself; it's just taking the time to work on it.

Patrick

WValleyWest
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2008/01/20 23:34:09
Pat,
Good to hear your close. You have the patience of a saint.
I for one am interested if you find the mystery combination.

Dan
WValleyWest
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2008/01/20 23:40:24
After reading a bit on paregoric, no wonder us kids liked these "Ben Hurrs" !!

Dan
kms
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2008/02/27 10:13:14
I also am looking for the lavender candies that I have found, after reading all the discussion are called ben hurs. My grandmother used to buy them for herself and her family in the 60's and for about the past 15 years or so we've been searching with no luck. Thanks for confirming that I'm not losing it. Will be actively watching for any results that are posted
hanshaas
Junior Burger
Re:Ben Hur Candies 2009/06/04 09:28:05
I used to buy Ben Hurs as a kid in Buffalo, NY at Parkside Candy. We checked them several years ago and they no longer carried them.
 
I have figured out the flavor is patchouli. Everytime I smell a patchouli candle or incense I think about them. I went as far as to buy some patchouli oil and put it in an after dinner mint-type candy formula- I couldn't get rid of a bitter aftertaste, but it seemed generally correct.
 
Don't know much else. If I could figure out the formula I would start a business.
 
 
scrandel
Junior Burger
Re:Ben Hur Candies 2009/07/05 02:37:37
I believe I knew them as sen sen or sin sin. Timmy's market in Scranton PA sold them, they weren't in the Penny candy case, they were in a candy jar on the counter and when I would buy some the clerk would put them in the little brown candy bags. I also remember the purple ones too but they were hard to find.
Arctic Cat
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2010/10/30 21:34:15
WValleyWest

My 2 cents. Sent thru email and thru comment page.

Ms. Graber, 12/16/07

Good day. As a middle aged man, having grown up in the sixties, I have enjoyed my share of candy.....

___,,,^.~.^,,,___  Wow, this thread has contributions going back as far as 2004 and then no more since 2009!  I wonder if any of the original posters are still listening.  Hello?  Anybody still out there on this one?  By the way, hi WValleyWest!   I went there to for one year before moving to Mountaintop and transferring to Crestwood.  It sounds like roughly during the same timeframe.  I wonder if I know you?  Drop me a line if you want at .
 
___,,,^.~.^,,,___  I used to pine for these little candies for years and never knew what the real name was...until tonight when I stumbled upon this forum thread (thank you Mr. Google).  We always used to call them Sen-Sens as several others here have pointed out, but now after hearing the name Ben Hur, I do recall my father once telling that's what they were supposed to be called.
 
___,,,^.~.^,,,___  We used to get them in Wilkes-Barre at The Boston Store way, way, way before Boscov bought them out.  I remember getting them (both the grey anise ones and the lavender ones) at the food counter on the second floor near the parking deck entrance!  I'm certain I recall that the Boston Store employees baked them right there on site.  I remember watching one of the women pull a large sheetcake size tray of them out of an oven with mitts and my Dad and I had to wait for them to cool before she could crack the sheet into the little pillows and bag them.  Maybe someone reading this knows someone who had an older family member that worked in the Boston Store candy kitchen and remembers the recipe?  Wishful thinking I suppose.
 
___,,,^.~.^,,,___  The closest thing in flavor I've found over the years is a flavor of Life Saver candy that is sold only in Australia...not a knock-off brand but real actual Life Saver brand.  They are an opaque, pastel pink color sold as "Musk" flavor.  My company did some business with the Aussies a few years back and there were a number of onsite reps stationed at our plant.  They had lots of these Musk Life Savers.  Apparently they're very popular in Oz, and we were told an Aussie pastime when visiting is to offer a Life Saver to an American just to watch us gag and spit, because "Americans hate this flavor!"  Well I'm proud to say I was the one who fooled them!  I accepted the offer and two sucks into it I said, "OMG, Sen-Sens!!!!"  The Aussie said, "Sen what's??"  I loved them so much I had one of them mail me a whole case! 
___,,,^.~.^,,,___  The flavoring in the Australian Musk candies is known to be patchouli, so reader hanshaas is correct in pointing that out.  True, they're missing the licorice or anise component and so taste a little closer to the lavender Ben Hurs than the favorite grey ones, but one taste and you immediately recognize that patchouli is the magic ingredient that's missing from contemporary copies.
 
___,,,^.~.^,,,___  By the way, loved your letter to Farley and Sathers.  I can't believe that impassioned plea after my own heart didn't elicit a more positive response!  Any updates on that front since these postings stopped?  I'd love to hear good news!
 
            ---Bye for now, and thanks for listening!   :~)
PolishBear
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2010/12/20 13:14:45
I sent the following email to the Farley's & Sathers Candy Company:
 
DEAR FARLEY’S & SATHERS:
 
It has come to my attention that the Farley’s & Sathers Candy Company has acquired the rights to the old Heide line of candy products. This is of great interest to me, since there is one old Heide candy that many people, including myself, have been obsessing about for many years: Ben Hurs.
 
Ben Hurs could be described as after-dinner mints in shape and consistency. They were a dark grey color. It was the TASTE that was the most unique thing about them. Ben Hurs have been described as tasting like Sen-Sen, patchouli, or candied ginger.  Some people would describe the taste as “floral” or even “soapy.”
 
Yet as bizarre as that sounds, Ben Hurs actually have a rather fervent cult following or fan base, at least among those of us above a certain age!
 
I have heard through the grapevine that Farley’s & Sathers is not interested in producing Ben Hurs. The official explanation goes like this: “Due to the high cost of production for specialty items and the lack of sales, we simply cannot justify the manufacturing of this item at this time. The cost to the consumer would not be in line with other items currently available.”
 
Fair enough! However, if Farley’s & Sathers will never produce Ben Hurs again, would it be possible for the company to post the recipe for this product to your website? I could not help but notice that your website includes a long list of recipes already, and there are home candy makers who would be extremely interested in recreating this nostalgic confection!
 
I hope you will favor me with a reply. If it will never be possible to purchase Ben Hurs again, at least I could try making them at home!
 
I would encourage all fans of Ben Hurs candy to copy this letter and send to:
comments (at) farleysandsathers (dot) com

 
post edited by PolishBear - 2010/12/21 13:07:26
MartyK
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2010/12/20 13:21:48
Hey Polish Bear. Great idea. I actually have some original ones in my possession. Had them from the mid 90's in a can in my cabinet and forgot about them. I ate one, pretty much taste like it should. I also have an original color catalog page of them
PolishBear
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2010/12/21 13:04:40
I just got a reply from Farley's & Sathers concerning the recipe for Ben Hurs (see above):
 
Dear Mr. Anziulewicz:
 
Thank you for writing Farley's & Sathers Candy Company, Inc. regarding Heide® Ben Hur.  Hearing from our consumers better enables us to continue to provide quality products and services.  Consumer feedback is very important to us, and we appreciate the opportunity to respond.
 
The recipe for Ben Hur Candy is proprietary information owned by Farley's & Sathers Candy Company. At this time there are no plans to sell or share the recipe.
 
Thank you for taking the time to contact us regarding the availability of this product.  I will share your comments with our marketing and research and development departments.  This information will be helpful in our efforts to improve our current product offerings and in the development of new items.
 
Thank you for taking the time to contact us with your inquiry.  Please visit our website at [FarleysandSathers - dot - com] for additional information about our products and services.
 
Sincerely,
 
Suzie Webb
Consumer Relations
post edited by PolishBear - 2010/12/21 13:05:55
kishkaeater
Cheeseburger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2010/12/22 11:47:33
I like black licorice and I like Sen Sen so I'm sure I'd like Ben Hurs  I've never heard of them.
 
tourtierre
Junior Burger
RE: Ben Hur Candies 2011/01/16 20:34:41
I'm glad to see this thread is still alive.  After tasting a licorice jelly bean today, I (once again) got on google and tried to find out about a licorice candy I used to get in Ann Arbor, Michigan , some 40 years ago.  It had a complex licorice taste that had a texture like a mint with a bit of a fizz as it melted.  I used to buy it in a tin can.  Never knew the name of the candy but was hoping I would find out some day.  It sure sounds like the candy you all are looking for.  I will also contact Farley & Sather's.
 
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