Whatever happened to my Cherry Chan?

I’m not sure I can explain it, but there’s a grocery bag full of candy sitting on top of my fridge. Leftovers from Halloween, I think. So feeling the urge for some cheap candy, I open a bag and find a box of something called Cherryhead candy. Cherryhead? Hmm. Wait, this box says Ferrara Pan! This used be to be called Cherry Chan! Why’d they cha– oh… hey, I never thought of that. And I’m Asian, for Chrissake.

For those of you who never spent a quarter with the neighborhood ice cream truck, here’s Cherry Chan:

Wow. The nostalgia. The borderline racism.

Unfortunately when they changed the name to Cherryhead, I think they changed the formula, too. I recall these being chewier on the outside, with more sour on the inside. But maybe I’m confusing them with Lemonhead candies. And what’s this crap about Cherryhead being a “fat free food” and containing “real fruit juice?!” Seriously, who gives two shits about whether a twenty-five cent box of candy is healthy or has real ingredients?

By the way, I found that image over at The Candy Wrapper Museum (Don’t you just love the Internets?), which also has this great candy packaging image:

Wow. That’s not kosher by any standard. I wonder if Candy Crafters’ Inc ever had Darkie Licorice Chews or Spicy Spic Jumping Beans?

Oh, and I just opened a box of Lemonhead candies, and they are exactly the way I remembered them. Thank God. Though they, too, apparently, are a fat free food made from real juice. Good Christ.

Ooh, one more thing. A real life example of inflation at work. Notice the Cherry Chan box says 1.05 oz? Guess how much candy the Cherryhead box holds? You guessed it: 0.8 oz! Man, a quarter just doesn’t buy you much these days. Then again, I used to empty the whole box into my mouth sometimes, so this may be a good thing.

4 thoughts on “Whatever happened to my Cherry Chan?”

  1. A-men Brother!

    I stumbled upon your commentary because I was searching the web to see if I could order some Cherry Chans..er..Cherry Heads, as I guess they are now called.

    I grew up eating these things and I never noticed how offensive the name was, but your right, it is offensive.

    If you think that’s bad, in 2003 I was in New Orleans, where my grandmother, who is black, just like me, purchaised a couple of cans of soda that were watermelon flavored…Can you guess what they had a drawing of on the can? Yep a little dark skinned black kid, with a huge pick-a-ninnie grin.

    You would think you wouldn’t still find stuff like this in the 21st century. But I guess as a society, we have a long way to go.

  2. I’m going to try some Cherryheads tomorrow,, I know for a fact that your absolutely right about the flavor of cherry Chans your description is spot on from what I can remember as well. Yea I guess that name could be offensive. As far as your heritage ,,if it took you even a second to understand why they changed the name,, your not Asian,,, your 100% American 😉

    Thanks for the memories..

  3. BTW, I know this is rather late, but just ran across this site. I believe they changed the name to Cherry Clan, and changed the image to Asian looking cherries, for a while, before Cherry Heads!