There is a segment of the population that has long preferred their candy have a little pucker power. There is certainly no shortage of sour flavors in the sweets aisle, as companies wage battle to deliver the most eye-watering, face-contorting punch that money can buy. And yet, with all of these choices, legions of fans remain loyal to the sour candy that has served them for decades, Zotz. A Trojan horse of the confectionery world, Zotz start out as a seemingly innocent hard candy. But delve a little further and soon, a powdery substance lurking in the center is unexpectedly (at least for the uninitiated) unleashed, prepared to attack the taste buds with fizzy ferocity.
Zots were released to an unsuspecting public in 1968 (around the same time as another CO2-laden confection hit store shelves called Pop Rocks) and manufactured in Italy by Andre Prost, Inc. Sold in strips of four individually-wrapped candies, each contains a powdery substance in the center that is extraordinarily sour and proceeds to foam and fizz once it makes contact with saliva. Zotz are available in cherry, apple, watermelon, lemon, orange and grape, and each packs a powerful puckering punch.
Though it may come as a surprise, Zotz are still readily available, although they are becoming increasingly scarce in the candy aisle. Thankfully, they are readily available at various retro candy outlets online, should you need to get your nostalgic fizz on. Oh sure, you can readily get a sour fix, but as millions of kids can attest, few compare to Zots.
If you’ve eaten a few (hundred) of these candies in your youth, we hope you’ll take a moment to share your memories of what made Zots special in our comments section, as we tip our hats to their formidable pucker power.