Like Cuban cigars, fireworks and certain over-the-counter drugs, there are a number of junk foods that have been either outright banned from store shelves or relegated to novelty status and are almost impossible to find.
It’s strange to think that of all the things we ban, certain candies are on the list, but alas they are, and as always, we want what we can’t have – like these five criminal candies here.
1. Kinder Eggs
The chocolate eggs filled with miniature toys are considered today’s equivalent of “Wonder Balls” from the ‘90s. Both have been banned in the U.S. thanks to a 1938 federal law that doesn’t allow toys and other non-edible objects from being embedded within food products since it proves to be a choking hazard.
Apparently it’s just U.S. kids that don’t know how to handle a toy inside a chocolate egg.
However, not only are Kinder Eggs a choking danger, but they also retain slightly addictive characteristics with various limited series that encourage you to collect them all.
2. Candy Cigarettes
Along with Joe Camel, these were one of the first casualties in the war on smoking. The candies themselves were typically made out of bubble gum or a chewy chalky sugar that blew powdered “smoke.”
Early “cigarettes” were sold in boxes that resembled Lucky Strike and Marlboro with slogans suggesting they were merely for play, such as “Now you can look just like dad!” Words like these may have seemed harmless at the time, but recent studies have linked bubblegum cig usage to actual cig usage. Maybe it’s better to let this bubble burst.
While not out-and-out illegal, they have been relegated to retro and novelty store shelves.
3. Lucas Mexican Candy
Believe it or not, candy snorting is an actual activity kids try. (Damn you, Pixy Stix.) Powdery candies like spicy-sugary Lucas Candy give the perfect consistency to make the term “nose candy” dangerously literal. Additionally, there are murmurs that the candy is powerful enough to eat the lining of your nasal passage (possibly because of spiciness, perhaps because of a rumored dosage of lead), but hey, pain is gain?
4. The Lazy Larry
Also known as “Lazy Cakes” and “wannabe pot brownies,” these cakes contain a small amount of melatonin, a hormone that affects the body’s sleep-wake cycle to make one feel more drowsy than normal. Though the quantity of melatonin (approximately 8 mg) is pretty harmless for adults, it can make a child fall right to sleep.
The controversial ingredient is also used in “relaxation drinks” with names like like “Unwind,” “Vacation in a Bottle,” and “iChill.”
Ultimately, it’s hard to say what ever happened to the Lazy Larry—after the FDA threatened to seize the product due to its hazardous ingredients and misleading marketing styles, it all but disappeared.
5. Tim Tams
With 3,000 Tim Tams produced each minute, these rich, chocolaty cookies are are the world’s most popular chocolate biscuit per capita. At one point, Pepperidge Farm distributed a version of Tim Tams in Targets across the U.S., but now you can find them under their original Arnott’s label at your local grocery store.
While not banned in the U.S. (thanks FDA!), other countries have banned them due to the cookie’s possibly cancerous ingredients, which include the artificial additives Tartrazine #102, Sunset Yellow #110, Allura Red #129, Brilliant Blue #133, and Caramel #150 (found in the chocolate coating).
U.S. health officials are looking into the biscuit, but in the meantime you can find various knock-off versions that omit the dangerous ingredients.