November 14th, 2007 by Rosa
More taffy (BUY!)? But why, Rosa? You don’t even like taffy! More curiosity, but this time with good reason, for the Abba Zabba (BUY!) is not just taffy – it’s peanut butter-filled taffy! But alas, it was still taffy, and therefore it wasn’t for me.
I first heard about the Abba Zabba when I read about it in Steve Almond’s Candy Freak. There’s something incredibly intriguing about retro candy. On the one hand, it’s got to be impressive to be able to survive for so long in today’s age of the Big Three (Mars, Nestle, and Hershey) candy manufacturers. On the other hand, retro candy usually is only so beloved because people have associated fond childhood memories with what they ate at the time (I’m a psych major; feel free to ask me questions about why that is if you’re curious), and very rarely does retro candy actually taste as good as it seems like it should. But the packing is usually pretty great. Just check out the great checkboard/taxi cab pattern on the Abba Zabba!
I found it odd that they didn’t describe the flavor of the taffy. It’s just described as “chewy”. I couldn’t name it either. It’s just generically sweet. As you can see from the photo, the chewy taffy is sandwiching the peanut butter. The peanut butter is super salty, with a heavy grain. The sweet and savory blend is a pretty great balance.
The taffy texture, however, was just too much for me. It was incredibly sticky, and stiff to boot. I really had to work to wrench my jaw open when I chewed it in my molars. Kind of fun the first time, kind of painful further down the line, and probably cause for filling replacement with enough chewing. An O, with the caveat that people who enjoy taffy would probably enjoy the Abba Zabba. Again, it’s just not for me.
Apparently, the Abba Zabba also comes in a peanut butter-filled apple-flavored taffy, which sounds intriguing. Apples, particular tart green ones like Granny Smiths, and peanut butter are a great combination, so the Abba Zabba version sounds promising. I probably still won’t like it because it’s taffy, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to try it some day.