So, I'm in this five-and-dime in Atlantic, Iowa, waiting to pay for a handful of plastic animals, when I see this thing on the candy rack. Chase's Cherry Mash. I've never seen this before. What is it? It's got milk shake and sundae recipes on the back. I've got to get a couple. Purely for scientific research purposes.
The science was so interesting I had to buy a couple more. This time from the Ben Franklin in Winterset, Iowa. I got ripped off in Atlantic! They were charging 89 cents. That Ben sure knows how to save a penny.
Chase's Cherry Mash has been made by the Chase Candy Company in St. Joseph, Missouri since 1918. It has a cherry goo center surrounded by peanuts and chocolate. The original Cherry Mash mound was four ounces. Today's weighs 2.05 ounces, which is a lot of Chase's Cherry Mash to be eating in one sitting. Chase claims that the Cherry Mash was then, and is now, the best-selling cherry candy bar in the country. Who am I to argue? Maybe the Palmer Candy Co. of Sioux City, Iowa, makers of Twin Bing (which I also found and bought at Ben Franklin but have not yet performed scientific research upon), a "nutty chocolaty cherry treat" would disagree.
The Cherry Mash website led me to Steve Almond's Wall St. Journal excellent article about regional candy makers, including those mentioned above.
In a weird coincidence, I was a couple of days ahead of Kevin Strassner, K-Strass, yo-yo trickster extraordinaire as he visited a couple of Missouri TV stations late last week. The videos, from earlier appearances in Wisconsin, are pure comedy genius.