Cheryl enjoys writing about issues related to Baby Boomers and bringing back childhood memories.
Seven decades of Sixlets
According to Wikipedia, Sixlets have been around since at least 1960. The sweet round candies are made from cocoa and carob and have delighted many Baby Boomers,(Those born between 1948 and 1964) for close to seven decades. I recall purchasing Sixlets at a local store that was a little over two blocks from my home. My cousins and I walked there often when we were in the primary grades of elementary school. At that time the cellophane wrapper held eight of the delicious treats, and this caused me to question the number six in the name. but in 2017 the packaging was scaled down to only six in each wrapper. The store where I purchased these goodies belonged to a white woman by the name of Mae Reynolds. Her establishment was inside an older building that used to house the local post office. I grew up in a diverse neighborhood where blacks and whites lived among each other and there were never any racial issues.
Miss Mae, as we referred to her, sold Sixlets during a time when children could purchase penny candy. There was any number of sweets that cost one cent each, or you could get several for a penny. I can remember my small size brown paper bag being filled with Sixlets and other candies for only nickel or a dime.. Each time I had change I went to the store and loaded up on my favorite treat. Miss Mae had a brother whom everyone referred to as Bush and he often sat in a chair in the back of the store. I noticed that he coughed a lot but as a child of six or seven that did not really concern me. One day I recall my grandmother saying that Mr. Bush had TB,(Tuberculosis). She said we should be careful going to Miss Mae's store because when her brother coughed, the germ traveled through the air.
Fond Sixlet memories
I pondered what my grandmother said and became apprehensive, but I craved the Sixlets and often ran or skipped to Miss Mae's store by myself. Mr. Bush would be in his seat near the back of the store, and I had to pass him if I wanted ice cream. He never spoke, but only nodded his head. I continued purchasing my Sixlets and enjoying them. I would at times play with them like marbles, or use them as pills in my nurse kit. I often would line them up based on color and eat them that way. Sometimes as I was enjoying the candy I wondered if TB could cut through the cellophane wrapper and If I would become infected. Mr. Bush eventually died and Miss Mae eventually closed her store. None of the other local stores or the Minute Market sold Sixlets so my life went on without them until about five or six years ago.
I was browsing the candy aisle in a local Dollar Tree one day and found a large bag of Sixlets and I was overjoyed. I began purchasing them on a pretty regular basis and introduced them to my three grandchildren. They are fond of the cadies as well and often ask me if I have any on hand or if I will buy them some when I go to the store. Dollar Tree recently purchased Family Dollar and the candy can be found in those stores as well. My grandchildren enjoy my tales of a day when a little girl could walk to the store by herself and purchase her favorite candy for only a penny.
Sixlets offers many varieties
Sixlets candies today are no longer sold in the original colors only. Back in the 1960s each ball of chocolate was red, yellow, green, brown, or orange. The traditional packaging now offers dark blue candy and there are varieties for various holidays. Those who enjoy this treat today can look forward to the large bags with red, white and green during the Christmas season. Wonderopolis confirms what I was told as a child, which is that red represents the blood of Christ and green the everlasting life He provides all who have faith in Him. White stands for the purity of our sins being washed away. I have no idea if this is what the company that sells Sixlets was trying to convey. They may have simply been trying to sell their product using a holiday theme.
Sixlets are sold in the colors red and white during February because of Valentine's Day and are black, purple, and green for Halloween. During Easter, these delicious candies come in pastel hues of light pink, light blue, light purple, white, and yellow. The best thing about the season candies is that Dollar Tree sells them for half off a few days after the holiday. I have a ball every year purchasing multiple bags for fifty cents each and continuing the holiday spirit into January. Sixlets can also be purchased online from companies such as Nuts.com and Candies.com. You can order larger quantities and also buy the sweet treats in one specific color if you choose.
May ways to use Sixlets
If you enjoy this candy as your guilty pleasure, once in a while you can have a lot of fun with Sixlets. Once when I was eating at Golden Corral, I decided on ice cream for my dessert, I noticed that there was a candy that looked similar to Sixlets so I added them, along with whipped cream and a slice of cake. It was a delicious treat. At home, I add Sixlets to vanilla ice cream or drink a glass of milk when I eat them. Sometimes I mix them with whipped cream and strawberry shortcake. I put Sixlets in my nonflavored yogurt to give it more taste. My grandchildren have decided that Sixlets are their favorite candy, at least for now. They enjoy pushing the candies through the cellophane wrapping and pouring them into their mouths. I'm glad that we have our love for this snack in common. I have found that putting Sixlets in the freezer for a few hours or leaving it in the refrigerator until use helps to keep the chocolate balls firm.
Nutrition and Sixlets
We live in a health-conscious society that frowns upon too many sugary treats. Sixlets, as with all things should be eaten in moderation because they are high in saturated fat. There is one health benefit to this chocolate candy, however. The carob powder content is a good source of calcium and unlike cocoa powder, is free of oxalates which can reduce the body's ability to absorb calcium. Carob powder also has trace amounts of iron, riboflavin, potassium, magnesium, and niacin. A the end of the day, Sixlets are a delicious chocolate candy that Baby Boomers and subsequent have been enjoying generations have been enjoying for close to 70 years. They please the taste buds and bring back fond childhood memories for many older adults, and that's about the size of it.
© 2019 Cheryl E Preston
Margaret Minnicks from Richmond, VA on August 11, 2019:
Wonderful article, Cheryl. I loved seeing the images of Sixlets. I don't remember knowing about them as a child. Thanks for sharing your memories.
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on August 11, 2019:
While I am a Baby Boomer, I have never eaten these candies. I don't eat candy often, but when I do it is typically a dark chocolate Dove bar. I still enjoyed your article and the different candy colors for the season is a very nice touch,