Some candies are so teeth-adhesive that one wonders if a dentist invented them. And while the little rectangular suckers known as BB Bats might not have been invented by one of these white-coat-wearing sadists, they have probably made as many dentists smile as the kids that chomp into them.
BB Bats are squares of hardened taffy with a lollipop stick protruding from them. Available in four flavors – chocolate, strawberry, banana and peanut butter/molasses – they have been a penny candy staple for almost a century. They were invented all the way back in 1927 by a Kentucky confectioner named Cleve Gilliam whose Gilliam Candy Company also produced a similar products called Kits – which were basically a bite-sized version of BB Bats that could weld even the strongest jaws together in a jiffy. Some of Gilliam’s other sweet products, with names like Bacon Slice (it’s probably better that we don’t know what that is,) Tummy Full and Cello Sally never quite caught on – but BB Bats sure did. Ask anyone familiar with the experience of buying penny candy at the drug store and they will likely have fond memories of these taffy pops – which were just about as sticky as a candy could ever hope to be.
In recent years, the public began to demand the return of their beloved BB Bats and their wishes were ultimately met. Today, a quick search on Google will take you to a number of sites specializing in retro candy who are eager to ship you a box or two. with one virtual swipe of the credit card, you can travel back to the days of youth, while simultaneously testing the limits of your dental work.
If you have fond memories of bringing a sack full of BB Bats home from the candy store, or remember finding a few of these treats mixed in with your Halloween bounty, we welcome your memories in our comments section, as we remember these chewy friends from yesteryear.