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Don’t Diss Passover Fruit Slices

Does anyone really like jelly rings? Maybe not, but at Economy Candy on the Lower East Side, there are many other Passover sweets to choose from.

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Fruit slices for sale at Economy Candy.(Tablet Magazine)

Jerry Cohen’s father opened Economy Candy on Rivington Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side back in 1937, and it remains a paradise for anyone with an appreciation for brightly packaged and affordable confections. In it, one finds shelves overflowing with every candy you can imagine, from Bonomo’s Banana Turkish Taffy to Sifer’s Valomilk. The store also carries seasonal treats, which, at this time of year, means neon-yellow marshmallow Peeps within arm’s reach of packaged Seder mints.

On this week’s podcast, Cohen takes unabashed sweet tooth Blake Eskin on a tour of his Passover candy selection. Along the way, they discuss the joys of a non-packaged fruit slice and the future of the candy business and make a brief detour into the forbidden land of chocolate bunnies. [Running time: 7:11.] 

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Nancy Janow says:

First paragraph it’s TAFFY not toffee.

Mmmm article made my mouth water.

Julie says:

Thanks, Nancy! We’ve made the correction. Glad you liked the article – now give a listen to the podcast (audio icon is just below the text) – it will have you running to your nearest Passover-stocked candy store!

JCarpenter says:

Always have loved the fruit slices; they and Necco wafers are classics.
Hmmm—wonder what the jelly fruit slices do in the microwave along with the marshmallow Peeps . . . .

Robert Rose says:

I love Passover fruit slices.

Who’s *dissin’* fruit slices? Not ME! I’ve always liked these – Passover time or otherwise.

At a seder in which we are commanded to consider ourselves as if we, too, had gone out of Egypt, how can we endorse the sale and eating of great desserts? And these jelly fruit slices, made from potato starch, are abominable. If you close your eyes to their attractiveness and then take a bite you will know they taste like dirt. Well, maybe they do help us feel like we’re heading out into the desert. A desert dessert after all. I still say run the other way.

Sarah, why so snarky, You’ve obviously never tasted a Barton’s almond kiss.

Sara Ivry says:

@Carol: I have in fact had those Barton’s and they’re okay, I suppose, but they’re nowhere near as good as non-kosher-for Passover chocolates (see See’s from CA, for instance), not that I eat their confections during the holiday. That said, why even bother with candy after the meal when you can end it with flourless chocolate cake or chocolate mousse, both of which may be kosher for Passover, and both of which far exceed, in my view, any candy. Of course, there’s that old Hebrew expression “al ta’am ve-reyach, ayn le-hetvachaich,” So enjoy! and Chag sameach to everyone!

Brad Schwartz says:

I really like jelly rings. And I’m not alone, because they keep making them every year!

Chuck Feinstein says:

Peeps are made by the Just Born company in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania by a Russian Jewish man.

Chuck Feinstein says:

Correction to my previous company, the company was founded by a Russian Jewish man. All sorts of people make the candy today.

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Don’t Diss Passover Fruit Slices

Does anyone really like jelly rings? Maybe not, but at Economy Candy on the Lower East Side, there are many other Passover sweets to choose from.

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