Candy Warehouse
Candy Warehouse

11 of the Best-Loved Regional Candies

Candy Warehouse
Candy Warehouse

Some regional candies, like Almond Roca from the Pacific Northwest, become widely available all over the country. But some never break out of their region. Most of these candies are available beyond their state of origin, but you have to hunt to find them. What sweet treat is your home state known for?

1. Big Hunk

These candy bars are slabs of nougat embedded with roasted peanuts, made by Annabelle Candy Company in Hayward, California. The company also makes the lesser known Abba-Zaba, which are white taffy bars surrounding a peanut butter center. Both candies enjoy a cult following in California, although they can be hard to find in other parts of the country.

2. Goo Goo Cluster

Wikimedia Commons

The Goo Goo Cluster is a southern treat made of caramel, marshmallow and peanuts, all covered with chocolate. They had their 100th birthday in 2012, and are available all over the state of Tennessee.

3. Cherry Mash

Wikimedia Commons

This midwestern favorite, made since 1876 in St. Joseph, Missouri, has a chocolate and crushed peanut exterior, and a cherry nougat center. The company's website has a crowd-sourced map of places where you can buy the candy. It's widely available in the midwest, and only occasionally found elsewhere.

4. The Idaho Spud

Wikimedia Commons

The Idaho Spud is dark chocolate coated with coconut, and a chocolate marshmallow center. Idaho Candy Company has been making them for 95 years.

5. Red Coconut Balls

Courtesy of Hawaii Candy

These confections have been made on the Hawaiian island of Oahu since the 1930s. They look like some kind of insane bite-sized macaroon. The company, Hawaii Candy, also makes a line of mochi candy, including a peanut butter variety. We're a little alarmed by that one.

6. Candy Sunshine

This candy is a recent attempt to recreate a discontinued Wisconsin favorite called Candy Raisins, which were apparently devoid of raisins. They're little yellow-orange gumdrops, and we can't seem to find a clear description of their taste. Honey? Violets? Ginger? We're almost curious enough to order a bag from the company's website.

7. Peanut Chews

Courtesy of Candy Warehouse

These chewy candies are a Philadelphia tradition, first made to serve as soldiers' rations during World War I. They're chewy molasses and peanut rectangles, coated with chocolate. We recommend the dark chocolate variety. The makers of Peanut Chews, Goldenberg Candy Company, was purchased by Just Born in 2003, the same company that makes Mike and Ike and Hot Tamales.

8. Aplets & Cotlets

Courtesy of Liberty Orchards

Aplets & Cotlets are a fruity version of Turkish Delight—nuts in jellied apple and apricot juice, coated lightly with powdered sugar. They originated at Liberty Orchards in Washington state. They're difficult to find in stores outside the West Coast, but it's possible to buy them online. Some people prefer the Cotlets because they're tangier.

9. Melty Bar

This candy is another Wisconsin favorite made in the town of Oshkosh. It's chocolate with chocolate on top—whipped chocolate surrounded by a milk chocolate exterior. Did we say chocolate enough times? The company's website calls it "The aristocrat of candy bars."

10. Nut Goodie

Wikimedia Commons

These treats hail from Minnesota. When it was first marketed in 1912, it cost 5 cents. It has a maple center with chocolate and peanuts on the outside. Yes, please.

11. Sponge Candy

Courtesy of All That Chocolate

Sponge Candy has a crunchy, quickly dissolving center that tastes like molasses. The outside is coated with chocolate. Sponge Candy is made in New York, and is too delicate to be shipped in warmer months. Unlike the rest of the candies on the list, this is not a name brand candy, but it is a regional favorite nevertheless.

From Snoopy to Shark Bait: The Top Slang Word in Each State

There’s a minute, and then there’s a hot minute. Defined as “a longish amount of time,” this unit of time is familiar to Alabamians but may stir up confusion beyond the state’s borders.

It’s Louisianans, though, who feel the “most misunderstood,” according to the results of a survey regarding regional slang by PlayNJ. Of the Louisiana residents surveyed, 72 percent said their fellow Americans from other states—even neighboring ones—have a hard time grasping their lingo. Some learned the hard way that ordering a burger “dressed” (with lettuce, tomato, pickles, and mayo) isn’t universally understood, nor is the phrase “to pass a good time” (instead of “to have” a good time).

After surveying 2000 people (with proportional numbers from each state), PlayNJ created a map showing the top slang word in each state. Many are words that are unlikely to be understood beyond state lines, but others—like California’s bomb (something you really like) and New York’s deadass (to be completely serious)—have spread well beyond their respective borders thanks to memes and internet culture.

Hawaiians are also known for their distinctive slang words, with 71 percent reporting that words like shaka (hello) and poho (waste of time) are frequently misunderstood. Shark bait, one of the state’s more colorful terms, refers to tourists who are so pale that they attract sharks.

Check out the full list below and test your knowledge of regional slang words with PlayNJ’s online quiz.

A chart showing the top slang words in each state
20 States With the Highest Rates of Skin Cancer

They don’t call it the Sunshine State for nothing. Floridians get to soak up the sun year-round, but that exposure to harmful UV rays also comes with consequences. Prevention magazine reported that Florida has the highest rate of skin cancer in the U.S., according to a survey by Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS).

BCBS surveyed 9 million of its insured members who had been diagnosed with skin cancer between 2014 and 2016 and found that Florida had the highest rate of skin cancer at 7.1 percent. People living in eastern states tend to be more prone to skin cancer, and diagnoses are more common among women.

Here are the 20 states with the highest rates of skin cancer:

1. Florida: 7.1 percent
2. Washington, D.C.: 5.8 percent
3. Connecticut: 5.6 percent
4. Maryland: 5.3 percent
5. Rhode Island: 5.3 percent
6. Vermont: 5.3 percent
7. North Carolina: 5.2 percent
8. New York: 5 percent
9. Massachusetts: 5 percent
10. Colorado: 5 percent
11. Arizona: 5 percent
12. Virginia: 5 percent
13. Delaware: 4.8 percent
14. Kentucky: 4.7 percent
15. Alabama: 4.7 percent
16. New Jersey: 4.7 percent
17. Georgia: 4.7 percent
18. West Virginia: 4.5 percent
19. Tennessee: 4.5 percent
20. South Carolina: 4.4 percent

It may come as a surprise that sunny California doesn’t make the top 20, and Hawaii is the state with the lowest rate of skin cancer at 1.8 percent. Prevention magazine explains that this could be due to the large population of senior citizens in Florida and the fact that the risk of melanoma, a rare but deadly type of skin cancer, increases with age. People living in regions with higher altitudes also face a greater risk of skin cancer due to the thinner atmosphere and greater exposure to UV radiation, which explains why Colorado is in the top 10.

The good news is that the technology used to detect skin cancer is improving, and researchers hope that AI can soon be incorporated into more skin cancer screenings. To reduce your risk, be sure to wear SPF 30+ sunscreen when you know you’ll be spending time outside, and don’t forget to reapply it every two hours. 

[h/t Prevention]


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