I believe the last time I savored a Wacky Wafer was while walking home from elementary school in 1978 or 1979. Classmates and I would misappropriate our lunch money to fund the illicit purchases at Dobb’s Carry Out, conveniently located on the route home.
But that’s about to change, as Leaf Brands reintroduced the candy this month. Discontinued in the 1980s by Nestle after its acquisition of the Willy Wonka Candy Company (bright marketing minds supposedly determined the 50-cent-sized candy discs were too similar to Sweetarts), the confectionary’s fans waited patiently for 35 years for a new supply. After two years of testing, Leaf Brands painstakingly recreated the corresponding recipes, flavors and packaging.
Last week social media reported pre-orders were shipping, then photos began appearing of finished product arriving just in time for the holidays. I’d been looking forward to sitting down with a good book and a package of the candy, just as I did as a kid, but I was a little skeptical when recipients reported weeping upon opening the box. Then my own package of green apple-, strawberry-, orange-, watermelon- and banana-flavored wafers arrived. Like Proust with his madeleine, the entire age come flooding back.
Thank you, Leaf Brands, for taking a seemingly inconsequential candy and making the holidays a brighter for so many.