Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Circus Peanuts

There are many surprising things about Circus Peanuts. In fact, everything is so incongruous that there’s nothing that’s not surprising. That’s how jam-packed full of nonsense they are.

Circus PeanutsThey’re shaped like peanuts, big big peanuts in the shell. But they’re orange in color. The orange color bears no relationship to the flavor, banana. And why even call them Circus Peanuts? Because they’re jumbo sized and you might feed them to an elephant ... come on, that’s a serious stretch.

They’re one of the most enduring candies in the United States, made first in the 1800s. Kind of like the Candy Corn of marshmallows, no one really knows when they started for sure. Except in the case of Candy Corn where many companies have tried to take credit, no one really bothers to try to brand Circus Peanuts. You don’t even see a TM after the name! No one knows the history of Circus Peanuts because everyone is so confused by them that they wouldn’t even know where to begin.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to clear much up. We can all continue to live in blissful mild confusion (and perhaps irritation that so many niblets of corn are wasted on so many Circus Peanuts).

Circus Peanuts are made by at least four different companies in the United States: Brach’s, Melster, Farley and Spangler. Melster, based in Wisconsin makes more than Brach’s & Spangler put together, though often you don’t see them packaged under the Melster brand, they’ll be done for grocery stores and drug store chains or maybe just found in bulk. In this article from 2003, it turns out that Spangler alone makes nearly 4 MILLION POUNDS a year. What? Who the heck is eating all these ... or are they just used as decoration or perhaps packing materials.

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Circus Peanuts are shaped like peanuts, usually light orange/peach in color and banana-flavored. When fresh, a bag of Circus Peanuts can smell more like fingernail polish remover. When stale they can smell like, well, nothing at all. The artificial banana flavor must be some volatile compound that evaporates when exposed to air or perhaps a fierce stare.

Technically they’re a marshmallow: they’re sugar, corn syrup (and/or high fructose corn sweetener) and gelatin with some color and flavor thrown in. The gelatin helps the whipped sugar keep its foam. But instead of being extruded as most marshmallows are, these are molded, which might explain some of their density. Because of the high amount of corn syrup in them, they’re rather moist when fresh and can become stale and pretty firm. They’re not quite smooth in texture like most marshmallows, instead there’s a bit of graininess to them. The look like they’re made of fine porcelain of terra cotta. They can even make that clinking sound if you wait for them to get very stale.

I have bought Circus Peanuts before, usually when I find them ridiculously on sale, like 25 cents for a 10 ounce bag. Then I open the bag, get woozy from the fumes and remember why I don’t hang out in nail salons. Then I eat one or two and curse myself for buying them. Later I’ll find myself sneaking into the bag and eating them one or two at a time. When eaten with other candy or salty treats like popcorn, they’re not so bad. (Try Twizzlers or Cheetos.) Not a ringing endorsement.

If there’s one thing to be celebrated about Circus Peanuts it’s that they led to the creation of Lucky Charms. A General Mills team was charged with creating a kids cereal in only six months. So they sat down with everything available to them, from Cheerios and Wheaties to a bunch of candy from the store shelves (apparently that’s what a kid’s cereal is made from). They put bits of stale Circus Peanuts (now called “marbits” in the industry for marshmallow bits) in a sugared Cheerios and everyone loved the idea. A cartoon mascot and bit of Americana was born. So if you find yourself stuck with some extra Circus Peanuts, perhaps chop them up and throw them in your breakfast bowl.

Some brief facts:

  • One Circus Peanut has 35 calories
  • Circus Peanuts are 99% carbs
  • Each Circus Peanut weighs approximately 9 grams
  • Circus Peanuts come in other colors and flavors
  • Other thoughts around the ‘net:

     

  • Bad Candy - the ultimate hate letter to Circus Peanuts
  •  

  • Spangler Orange Jello Dessert with Circus Peanuts - someone please make this and take a photo!
  •  

  • The Miracle of Orange Circus Peanuts
  •  

  • USA Today
  •  

  • Nut Blobs (Metroactive Dining)

  • Name: Circus Peanuts
      RATING:
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 3 UNAPPEALING
    • 2 APPALLING
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Melster
    Place Purchased: Dollar Tree
    Price: $1.00
    Size: 11 ounces
    Calories per ounce: 110
    Categories: Marshmallow, United States, Melster

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:08 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

    Comments
    1. man, i only have these maybe once a year but i still have an unnatural fondness for circus peanuts.  for the record, i also like marshmallow peeps and candy corn, which i guess some people also find objectionable

      Comment by ruffy on 6/12/07 at 7:43 am #
    2. #1 grossest candy ever.

      Comment by Adrien on 6/12/07 at 8:02 am #
    3. Oh man, i LOVE circus peanuts. It’s the weird taste I find so appealing. Especially the ones from target (target brand) they are super fresh and YUMMY! lol

      Comment by Summers on 6/12/07 at 8:03 am #
    4. I’d love to see you dig a little deeper on this one.  Circus Peanuts rate an “unappealing” yet you confess to not only purchasing them (admittedly, at a steep discount) and then nibbling on them in spite of yourself?  3 out of 10 notwithstanding, they must have *something* going for them.  Is it the texture?  nostalgia? the cognitive disconnect of orange color/banana flavor/peanut shape?  the underlying compressed marshmallowiness? 

      Inquiring minds (with their own inexplicable candy fetishes) want to know how you explain this one.

      Comment by good enough cook on 6/12/07 at 9:08 am #
    5. Hmmm. Maybe I need to try a circus peanut officially and not an easter variation.

      I’m tempted to try and make that recipe you posted. raspberry Just to get a photo of it, mind you.

      Comment by Sera on 6/12/07 at 9:24 am #
    6. I LOVE circus peanuts.  Fresh or stale. 

      I just never knew they were so bad for me. T_T

      Comment by Tindy on 6/12/07 at 10:34 am #
    7. A banana smell that reminds you of nail polish remover?  Hmm…  My guess would be isoamyl acetate.  Amyl acetate is the classic ester people describe as banana, but many people can’t smell it.

      Isoamyl acetate, though, maybe.  It smells like banana/pear or “juicy fruit”.  I know it’s also used as a solvent for some varnishes, although nail polish remover is usually ethyl acetate, so a bit smaller ester.

      Comment by TheMatt on 6/12/07 at 10:38 am #
    8. lol @ “pasty foam terror”

      Comment by Deborah on 6/12/07 at 1:20 pm #
    9. I love Circus Peanuts! I know they’re gross but I love the texture of them and eating them reminds me of my childhood. I love how artificial they are, too. I usually get them once or twice a year and can’t finish the bag (sometimes because they’ve hardened), but I always get anxious when I *don’t* see Circus Peanuts in the convenenience store.

      Comment by Carol on 6/12/07 at 1:42 pm #
    10. My grandpa LOVED circus peanuts - loved them.  They were always some hanging around his house.  I don’t like to eat them, but I am fond of their ties to him.

      Comment by April on 6/12/07 at 2:14 pm #
    11. I have to admit to an unhealthy love of circus peanuts. My dad buys them a bag at a time and then consumes them a few at a time over the next half a week. They are very much sugar, but they aren’t nearly as bad as some other items of candy, and they are definitely food I can have fun with.

      Then again, it could be a hangup from snitching them from my dad. :D

      Comment by Magda on 6/12/07 at 4:21 pm #
    12. I haven’t had Circus peanuts since maybe I was 7.
      I’d say they’re about as appealing as Necco wafers.
      Curious if you’ve rated anything lower (Appalling or inedible)?
      Maybe I need to revisit the circus peanut.

      Comment by Brad on 6/12/07 at 5:46 pm #
    13. Circus peanuts are the greatest!  Growing up in the same town as Spangler (Bryan, OH) made them readily available…  The problem now is that I live in Indiana and can’t find Spangler brand and have to settle for often stale “off brands”.  A little bag squeeze never hurts to find a good package though.

      Comment by Clark Gilbert on 6/12/07 at 6:16 pm #
    14. I would have to rate Circus Peanuts a #1 - UNEDIBLE but #2 -APPALLING sounds better. These are downright disgusting. Necco wafers too!

      Comment by Suzanne on 6/12/07 at 6:36 pm #
    15. Oh, I feel so protective of the poor circus peanuts! I love those things, and there one of the few candies that I really get cravings for (probably because my subconscious knows they’re impossible to get here in the UK!). And I’ve got such strong memories of eating these in my grandma’s kitchen when I was little, whenever I bite into one, I’m instantly transported back to there.

      So stop with all the circus peanut hate, ok? YOu’re ruining the memory of my (now dead) grandma!

      Comment by melissa on 6/13/07 at 4:54 am #
    16. I was in a play in seventh grade, Meet Me in St. Louis, where the character had to eat a whole box of chocolates.  We used circus peanuts for the first, oh I don’t know, maybe month of rehearsals.  At first I really liked them but buy the end I was nauseaus just thinking about the scene.  Then we switched to real chocolates.  I found out that I can eat a lot more circus peanuts then chocolates without throwing up.  And as I write this I wonder, why didn’t the adult director use something like grapes in rehearsal?  During the first performance I accidentally bit the ankle of another cast member.  I was supposed to fake bite him.  I bit hard.  I blame the rough transition from circus peanuts to chocolates.

      Comment by Jess on 6/13/07 at 6:13 am #
    17. Cybele's avatar

      good enough cook - you’re right, I need to get my head on straight. It’s one of those candies that I hate myself for eating, don’t enjoy but still keep buying. I’ll see what else I can dig up at the All Candy Expo later this year.

      ruffy - it’s weird, I think I find Circus Peanuts more edible than Peeps, but at least Peeps don’t smell obnoxious.

      Brad & Suzanne - there are a few very bad reviews, it’s usually reserved for candies that are trying to be something they’re not. (In fact, there’s another Melster in the 2s) But I actually like Necco wafers.

      Adrien - what’s #2? (I should probably review that too.)

      Summer - I’ll have to take a peek at the Target branded ones. I wonder who makes them for them.

      Sera - yeah, give Circus Peanuts a try, see if you can find them individually wrapped in a bulk place somewhere so you only need to purchase three or four. Then you HAVE TO blog about the recipe!

      TheMatt - I’m not sure if the fact that I think it smells like nail polish makes me perceptive or crazy. Or maybe just crazy perceptive. Or perceptively crazy.

      Deborah - we’re always fascinated with that which terrorizes us!

      Carol - I’m glad they keep them in stock!

      Magda - because they’re mostly air, they do LOOK like a lot of candy. I don’t think 35 calories for a big piece like that is too bad.

      Clark Gilbert - I really need to go to Bryan sometime, I’d love to see Spangler.

      Jess - I’d like to see the Circus Peanut defense used in court.

      melissa - don’t worry about the poor circus peanuts ... with probably more than 5 million pounds made every year, I’m sure they’ll do fine. It is so nice to see so many nostalgic associations.

      Comment by Cybele on 6/13/07 at 7:05 am #
    18. Circus Peanuts! Wow, does that take me back. My late grandmother had an extreme sweet tooth, and she also had a glass pumpkin-shaped jar that she always kept filled with treats for when I and my little brother came over. Sometimes it would be Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies, which we liked, but sometimes it would be Circus Peanuts, which we did NOT like and she insisted she bought for us. It wasn’t until after she died that we figured out she bought them for herself. smile

      Comment by Noelegy on 6/13/07 at 7:28 am #
    19. While I’ve never seen Circus Peanuts here in BC, I adore marshmallow bananas (and strawberries) which I suspect is practically the same thing.  My fondness of them comes from my Grandpa who always gave them to us.  What’s with these grandpas loving the sweets?

      Comment by Christine on 6/13/07 at 8:12 am #
    20. My granddad loved these!  He always had them around the house.  He’d keep some in the dresser and some in the fridge.  He’s actually the only person I knew to eat these candies.  There was always a supply of them somewhere in my grandparents’ house.

      Comment by ally on 6/13/07 at 8:23 am #
    21. I CANT GET ENOUGH OF THESE STUPID THINGS(ONLY WHEN VERY FRESH THOUGH) I squeeze the bag first….my family cant understand why i like them, i dont understand why i like them…just a habit from my childhood i guess….keep them cooking….........

      Comment by patti on 6/13/07 at 11:52 am #
    22. In small quantities I do like them.  Once a year or so.  They bring back good memories from my childhood so it may not be because I like them.

      And I’m really tempted to try that dessert.  It’s bound to be horrifying, but morbid curiosity abounds.

      Comment by william on 6/13/07 at 2:44 pm #
    23. “Adrien - what?s #2? (I should probably review that too.)”

      Candy corn! Hmm. Apparently I don’t like random food-shaped candy.

      Comment by Adrien on 6/13/07 at 4:10 pm #
    24. circus peanuts are super confusing!—there’s just so much going on with the shape/color/flavor and texture…and all of it weird.  i’ll see what i can do with the jello dessert. smile

      Comment by jesse on 6/14/07 at 1:06 pm #
    25. Oh man I love these things, even though my friends always thought I was crazy for it!  I think the attraction first began at Thanksgiving when I was 8 years old.  My mom’s friend Barbara would use them to make turkeys, I think using an apple for the body and red licorice rope for the eyes and nose?  It was a great way to keep all the kids busy with a craft project and keep us out of the kitchen at the same time.  Oh well, the orange color is horrifying, but I could eat these plain or stale.

      Comment by Jessie on 6/14/07 at 3:54 pm #
    26. I cant tell you why but I love these! My family and friends tease me bc I like them so much, but they always end up eating them too.

      Comment by Dianna on 7/08/07 at 5:12 am #
    27. LOL!
      Hilarious review of Circus Peanuts. Thank you!

      Comment by Chico on 7/23/07 at 4:25 pm #
    28. I am sitting here chuckling to myself.  Would I ever imagine me at 54 years old commenting about Circus Peanuts?  Call me “nutty” forgive the pun but I happen to like them.  They are difficult to find but I have prevailed.  Today I took a ride to purchase some.  Since the store is not very close to me I bought three bags.  That should last me for a good while.  I was looking on the internet for sources and I happen to come across this site.  My curiosity got the best of me so thus my writing.  To all my co-conspirtors Happy eating!

      Comment by Stella on 8/12/07 at 4:33 pm #
    29. I bought some Circus Peanuts last week at Dollar General & they were the worst I had ever eaten.  They were not hard but did not have that good flavor that you expect with the first bite or the great aroma when you open the bag.  Even my son (who also loves them) would not eat them. I will never buy a Melster Circus Peanut again. Who makes the best Circus Peanuts?

      Comment by Kathy on 8/15/07 at 6:06 am #
    30. In response to has the best ones.  The store that I purchse them at is called the “Family Dollar.”  They are made by the Spangler Company.  They are very aromatic and tasty.  The package is 1o ounces and they cost $1.00 per bag.  Since the store is a distance from my home I buy several bags at once and put them up. 

      I have heard that Brachs makes very good ones too.  I have never seen them though.  When if I ever do I will definitely try them.  I know at Easter time Brachs makes a pastel array of them and those are good.

      Recently I read somewhere that Target has some too that are good.  When and if I ever make it to one I will also try them.  Target is closer to me than the Family Dollar.  All in all it is worth the effort to make the trip for them!

      Comment by Stella on 8/15/07 at 5:40 pm #
    31. Blargh! My 75-year-old mother is an addict. I’m buying them 5-6 bags at a time and more. She likes them stale and will open bags (and Peeps, too) and let them sit until they get good and hard. And she feeds them to her dog, too! Around here we call them chemical peanuts, a most apropos name, I think. She also loves Necco wafers and candy corn. 

      StGermain

      Comment by Bette on 9/03/07 at 12:24 pm #
    32. hahahahahhahh…a woman after my own heart, except the dog part, I dont think i will do that.

      Comment by patricia a taylor on 9/04/07 at 2:58 am #
    33. i love circus peanuts i have been craving them ALOT in the past 2 weeks. i but more once i run out. smile

      Comment by Jessica on 9/19/07 at 12:42 pm #
    34. Every now and then I get reminded via e-mail that someone else has commented about Circus Peanuts.  It is fun to see what people have to say.  I may have had a bad day and it makes me chuckle to read the pros and cons.  Keep eating and enjoying one of lifes simple pleasures (inexpensive too.)

      Comment by stella on 9/20/07 at 1:02 pm #
    35. I never knew people actually enjoyed this “candy”.  I just remember as a little girl tricker-treating that the circus peanut was the worst candy ever.  It was almost an insult get that tossed into your bag.  This year I got it as a dare candy along with target’s candy corn soda.  That should be fun.

      Comment by Michell on 10/18/07 at 2:10 pm #
    36. What is this candy corn soda you mentioned? Besides circus peanuts I also like candy corn.  I rarely ever go to Targets but I will have to go there and check out their selection of candy.

      Comment by stella on 10/19/07 at 9:05 am #
    37. I’m glad I’m not the only one who HATES these things…however, I don’t understand how people still buy them if they smell bad and taste bad.

      My hate for these nasty treats comes from a birthday party experience from my childhood.  My friend had a huge bowl of these peaunt shaped treats that looked really good at the time.  I dove in and had a handful…..within 30 minutes I was barfing up a technicolor mess of candy…GROSS…I can’t even look at them now without a cold sweat breaking out on my forehead.  My own kids try to get me to eat them but I say “NO WAY” and warn them of the dangers of trying them.

      Comment by mike on 11/01/07 at 6:42 am #
    38. i love circus peanuts by BRACHS, but i never noticed. now when i get them i probably will. (power of suggestion). problem is BRACHS only makes them for holidays like EASTER & THANKSGIVING and even then i can’t find them. sometimes walgreens’ has them but they are very irratic in the products they sell. i’ve always found i can imagine different flavors for the different colors.

      Comment by louis on 1/06/08 at 4:34 am #
    39. I just love these odd little fat monsters.  I was actually trying to find a recipe to try to make them homemade when I stumbled across this site. I treat myself about once every three months to a bag.  It usually takes me about a week to eat them all.  I don’t know if it is the flavor or the texture, but I they are very addictive.  I find myself sneaking back into the bag for more.  I have to literally force myself to stop (just back away from the candy, lady!)  My husband bought a bag for me at our local Atwood’s farm supply store (go figure). They were the best I had ever tasted (I ate this bag in three days and was very ashamed of myself). They cost a little more, but the bag was quite a bit bigger. I can tell you that I simply HATE the ones from CVS pharmacy!  I can’t remember the name of the company that makes them, but don’t waste your time or money!

      Comment by Teresa on 2/04/08 at 5:09 pm #
    40. would like a recipe to make the Circus peanuts. Has anyone tried to make them or know where i can get a recipe to make them? I love them so much and they are really get hard to find and i go through a bag or so a week. Would love to try and make them.

      Comment by Linda Denton on 3/07/08 at 1:22 pm #
    41. circus peanuts are definitely gross.  The world could do without them!

      Comment by brak on 3/20/08 at 3:47 pm #
    42. I adore… circus peanuts. I know I shouldn’t but it is one of those childhood memory things for me as well.

      My grandma… the one of the fuzzy slippers and not opposed to letting me try a sip of her black… blacker than tar ... coffee at the age of 4 or 5… used to bring them around.

      I remember them coming in a bag of yellow, orange and pink though… does anyone else?

      I don’t have the fuzzy slippers and can’t stand black coffee… but I think that I’m the only member of the family that drinks coffee and likes circus peanuts.

      Comment by Mione on 3/21/08 at 5:15 am #
    43. First “BRACHS” is the ONLY true Circus Peanut and has the best taste, I grew up having this treat and still enjoy it today, and I am a Senior Citizen.  SMILE. . . . .

      Comment by Narlene on 4/05/08 at 11:27 am #
    44. I love love love circus peanuts. I haven’t had them in awhile, but I am salivating right now just thinking about them. MMMMMMMMM. I think I’m going to go out to the drug store in a bit and buy a big bag of them!!!

      Comment by Melissa on 4/06/08 at 1:04 pm #
    45. I’ve been craving for circus peanuts all week. I love them. BRACHS brand is the best.

      Comment by Trish on 4/10/08 at 12:30 pm #
    46. The MELSTER brand must be the best brand in the world.  I like them just a bit older than super fresh.  The semi firmness that the very fresh ones lack, is what makes me want more. 

      I only have one other problem besides getting hooked on them, when I eat them, I get a frog-in-my-throat.  In other words, phlegm and Jr. Whoppers do it too me too.  What is the connection between the two?  I have no idea so I need to avoid these two things.  The latter is easy, but them circus peanuts, it takes a strong will-power not to buy them.

      If anyone has any clue as to why I get this congestion in my nose & throat, please let me know.  A possible allergy, but to what? *scratchinghead*

      My email address: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

      Thanks!

      Comment by LINDA on 4/10/08 at 2:24 pm #
    47. I have a cute recipe for horse cupcakes that calls for white circus peanuts.  I have looked for them everywhere.  I found some mixed colors but I don’t need 20 lbs.  Thede candies are hard to find. If anybody can tell me where I might fin d thse candiess I would appreciate it.

      Thank you so much   Debbie

      Comment by Debbie on 7/01/08 at 6:40 am #
    48. Hello Like Debbie i have a recipe but mine calls for pink circus peanuts for pink poodle cup cakes. If anyone knows where we can find some colored circus peanuts let us know. Thank you

      Comment by Stephanie on 8/24/08 at 11:25 am #
    49. I am also looking for those white circus peanuts.  My daughter is a horsie nut and I’d like to make them for her.  If anyone has any info or maybe another idea for a horse head that would be great.
      Thanks

      Comment by Terri on 8/26/08 at 4:01 am #
    50. OMG Pick me, pick me…I love circus peanuts…forever and always. grin Yum!!!

      Comment by Danita on 10/09/08 at 4:30 pm #
    51. I get a bag a month at least and definitely prefer Brach’s.  Spangler’s is my second choice but Summer’s comment about Target’s version will require a visit this weekend.

      BUT I am especially crazy about Brach’s Chicks and Rabbits (pastel-colored and similar).  Enabling family members go around the stores at Easter sales, buy them, and drop them off at our house by the shopping bag.  It is never enough.

      I swear there is some slight flavor difference from the regular circus peanuts.  They used to be pink, yellow, and purple but since red dye was removed they are now orange, yellow, and blue which to this day does not seem fitting for a candy representing spring.  Each Easter I fear they will be discontinued and so the hoarding is reinforced.  I once worked with a woman who had the same reaction and whose family “collected” them for her, giving me the confidence to ask sympathetic family members to do the same.  I drive around at least once just before Easter to stake out the stores with the most remaining stock so I can come back and buy them out at the sale price. 

      In college I once ate 4 bags in a day (20 years ago) and that *did* make me sick.  But it changed nothing in the long term.

      It has also been suggested that this was some weird leftover from smoking marijuana but since I have never smoked marijuana, I always take this as a clue about past experiences of the person spouting the opinion!

      This is my slam dunk candy fetish.  It makes my wife half sick to see the bag(s) in the cabinet after 15 years of marriage but I just foolishly grin and she knows not to mess with it!  Or the ones in my closet, dresser, car, and basement.  They all eventually run out.  She has the rest of the year to make fun of me.  Circus peanuts get me by until the next spring….

      I’m with all the grandpas in the comments!

      Comment by Bob on 10/11/08 at 2:48 am #
    52. For the people looking for different colored circus peanuts I don’t know how this will effect them but you could try dipping them is white chocolate or even pink dipping chocolate. Hope that works for you.

      Comment by connie on 1/05/09 at 12:02 pm #
    53. I ran across the horse cupcakes that need the white circus peanuts also.  Has anyone found out where to get the white ones?  the idea of dipping them in white chocolate seems ‘do-able’ tho.  Has anyone tryed it?

      Comment by Bobi J on 1/17/09 at 2:15 pm #
    54. You can order multi-colored circus peanuts directly from http://www.spanglercandy.com. You might have to buy in bulk, but they do have mixed boxes of orange (banana), white (vanilla), pink (cherry), and yellow (lemon).

      Comment by Andy E. on 1/22/09 at 8:31 am #
    55. 7-11 has been selling “generic” Circus Peanuts, which I have been eating-the most recent bag had an interesting surprise. Some of them were stamped “SPANGLER” so Spangler must be making them for 7-11!

      Comment by C. Campbell on 4/02/09 at 8:55 am #
    56. I found a store that can order in the rainbow peanuts and would sell them mail order if there is enough interest.  They weren’t aware how popular they were right now.  The candy store is in Red Lodge montana.  Phone number 406-446-1119.  The rainbow assortment includes the white…it would be cheaper then buying the whole case from Spangler!!!!!  I’m hoping enough people will show interest and I can get these white peanuts for the horse cupcakes for my daughters birthday in May.

      Comment by Kari on 4/13/09 at 6:38 am #
    57. Sorry about the repost but I got white circus peanuts…the Montana Candy Emporium in Red lodge…phone number is in above post.  They are just mailing me the white ones…they are willing to seperate out the color!!!  They are $6.99/lb and to ship would be another 5.65 (they ship priority).

      Comment by Kari on 4/17/09 at 9:28 am #
    58. Just finished off a bag (and one yesterday). The co-workers are giving me beef - so glad I found other Circus Peanut lovers!!

      Comment by Ryan Colgin on 4/21/09 at 9:34 am #
    59. Weird as I may be, whenever I have been really sick I will start dreaming of circus peanuts.  So much that the dream includes me at the factory filling a big box. sick right.  I also noticed that they changed(brachs) there ingrediant list. they no longer use tapioca flour in their circus peanuts and I did notice the difference. I sent them a letter asking why and they just sent me a coupon and said that they are made in Canada now.

      Comment by wayne on 5/02/09 at 9:05 am #
    60. Back in the 1990’s I worked in a drugstore (Payless, then taken over by Rite Aid-big step downhill!) At Easter time they used to carry the bags of the multi-colored circus Peanuts. Then about 10 years ago, they stopped carrying them (they still carry the orange circus peanuts).

      I know they weren’t Brach’s, and looking at the multi-colored ones on Spangler’s page, they weren’t those either (these ones were more pastel colored than the Spamgler ones). There were pink, white and yellow ones in the bag (I can’t remember if there were any oranges ones or not.)

      I always used to buy multiple bags of those every Easter, as I liked these much more than the orange-colored ones. I miss them!

      I’ve tried the Brach’s chicks and Bunnies but they don’t make the grade.

      The other weird Easter candy that I love is the “Brach’s Bunny Basket Eggs”, although I haven’t had any of those in a few years either.

      Comment by Kevin on 5/06/09 at 1:35 pm #
    61. I too remember eating the pastel ones in the 80’s and 90’s and they were lighter in color.  Seems to me there was white, yellow, orange, pink, and I’m pretty sure there was a green also.  I always look for them every time I pass the candy isle in a store.  What memories…my Grandma would always have them at her house and get them out in the evenings for a snack.

      Comment by Gina on 5/22/09 at 3:03 pm #
    62. I too am looking for a recipe to make circus peanuts. And a possible way to make a paste, either out of the circus peanuts or from scratch. Anyone with a recipe they could pass on would be fantastic!!

      Comment by Kris on 5/30/09 at 4:05 pm #
    63. I bought a container of ice cream at Publix supermarket yesterday called Banana Pudding. It is supposed to be banana ice cream with vanilla wafers and caramel, but I swear it tastes like circus peanuts. My husband and daughter who both like that candy totally agreed.

      Comment by Amy on 7/22/09 at 9:50 am #
    64. This is defnatly one my favorate candy’s growing up. However after recenly finding out that they contain not even a portion of peanuts at all I have made a vow of abstunance until at least one candy maker decides to change there deceaving product name.

      Comment by brandfantom on 8/04/09 at 7:15 am #
    65. It is the shape, hence the name peanut! also just in case someone has an alergy to peanuts , they must put it on the bag, that it dosnt contain any peanuts!.  And so just keep eating them, like i do, they are awesome!

      Comment by patti on 8/04/09 at 11:10 am #
    66. I agree with you Patti taht Circus Peanuts (which I now call Candy X) are very delicous. One my favorate deserts of alltime in fact. However; I don’t not like how the candy company’s try and pass them off of the front packadging. The disclamer shoud be on front if for som e reason peanuts are some kind of problem.
      I also dont’ realy like the fact that candy manufacters are include the word “Peanut” in the prodoct name while they contain no peanuts because it’s like a slap in the face to one of Gerge Washington Carvars most famuos inventions. I think the peanut shoud be more reveared to honor the enginuity of famous Africand-Americans like him.
      Candy X is delicous but I can’t in consius eat them anymore knowing what they’ve have now come to reprasent. I realy hope my Candy X pole will lead to awarness of that matters so peple will sign the petiton I making soon.

      Comment by brandfantom on 8/07/09 at 3:11 am #
    67. Hi,  I also have the recipe book that uses white circus peanuts in them.  The trick to finding them at a reasonable price is by entering assorted circus peanuts.  I found a couple of sights, http://www.rauscountrystore.com and www.georgehowe.com.  The prices were $4.99 a lb. and $3.29 a bag.  I’m sure there were more sights, but these prices were good enough for me. By the way I am planning on using the white circus peanuts for the bunny feet that are in the garden.  Happy baking!  Wendy in Arizona

      Comment by Wendy on 8/23/09 at 11:54 am #
    68. to the author: I am very surprised you gave them a rating of unappealing. They must have some appeal, since you admit you continue to buy them, even tho it is at great savings, and eat them.

      Comment by DME on 10/15/09 at 1:12 pm #
    69. Cybele's avatar

      DME - since writing this review in 2007, I have not bought another bag, though did get some in a box of samples, which I then gave away.

      So after considering your argument that I have improperly rated them, I’ve thought it over and I stand by my rating for all the other reasons cited.

      They may be appealing for other reasons, but hold no appeal for actual ingestion.

      Comment by Cybele on 10/15/09 at 1:18 pm #
    70. ...And speaking of peanuts, I’m very disappointed! As a tree-nut and peanut-allergic consumer, who already does not have many choices I can safely eat from ‘the candy aisle’, I was *so* disappointed to read the warning - that has’nt been there in past years - that “Melster Circus ‘Peanuts’” “May contain peanut ingredients”. If they never did in the past, why change things?  I have to also buy nut-free everything for my whole family to prevent dangerous nut traces in our home!...I can only hope Spangler’s, a company I’m very fond of, doesn’t have nuts or nut traces in their Circus Peanuts! Think Orange! Think creamy, dreamy, marshmallowy goodness!

      Comment by anonymous nut-allergic consumer on 3/27/10 at 9:51 am #
    71. Circus peanuts and I have had a semi-toxic relationship since early childhood. Even thenI was ridiculed by siblings cousins and friends(altho I would see their hands creeping into the bag while lambasting them.
      I made the circus peanut jello atrocity last summer at family reunion. It looked like orange chunky vomit-it was quite the hit-lots of cell phone pics taken. Then after much juvenile laughter, we put it on the dinner table where the teenage kids were, and they actualyy ATE it. “Not bad” I think was the comment, but Lord only knows what the college kids were doing while grownups had their evening cocktail.We are having our 1st annual circus peanut fest this july. Trying out recipes and kids’ games-will let you know

      Comment by mags on 4/09/10 at 2:23 am #
    72. I think they used to have these in Canada, but not anymore. Instead we have things made of the same consistency and banana flavour made in the shape of bananas (which makes a helluva lot more sense than the peanut shape I must say.) I love ‘em, but then I’m a bit on the weird side. I also love the marshmallow strawberries we have up here which are covered in sugar which remind me of those mushroom type guys in Mario. Mmmm.

      Comment by Falcolf on 5/14/10 at 12:10 am #
    73. I am addicted to these things, but only when I’m near them.  I would purchase them on road trips as a kid as a response to some strange craving, and only be able to eat a few before I’d get sick of them.

      But now, as an adult health nut that has learned to eat anything and everything for various reasons, for some reason, once I begin, I CAN NOT STOP EATING CIRCUS PEANUTS.  Perhaps this is some form of pica, because I wouldn’t consider them “food.” 

      Tragically and hilariously, my girlfriend set out on an art project recently that turned into a serious problem for me - a dress made almost entirely out of circus peanuts.  She bought about a dozen bags.

      I ate most of those bags.

      She had to buy more.

      I ate much of what she bought to replace what I had already eaten, and she HAD TO BUY EVEN MORE.  I eventually just purchased her a large number of bags to finish her project, and distanced myself from the situation until her dress was finished, and the remaining candy (now quite stale, BUT STILL EDIBLE!!!) was thrown away.

      It was a dark time…

      Comment by Jordan on 5/15/10 at 11:20 pm #
    74. I LOVE circus peanuts. I love the banana flavor, the sugar rush, the chewiness and the way they dissolve in your mouth. When I used to work at Target, there would often be a bag of them that somehow got slashed open, and I would sneak circus peanuts and fill my pockets-and my mouth with them (otherwise they would be thrown into the giant trash-compactor with everything else that was broken or opened! But now, I usually get my circus peanuts at Big Lots. They have a nice big bag of them for a couple dollars, and sometimes they have yellow ones that have Sponge Bob on the bag.

      Comment by Bozo P. Nutt on 6/13/10 at 7:27 pm #
    75. Here is a link to a recipe for making the Circus Peanuts candies. I have not made the recipe.
      Scroll down the page to a recipe by annabella1.
      http://www.backwoodshome.com/forum/vb/showthread.php?t=20240

      Comment by Antilope on 8/01/10 at 7:48 pm #
    76. Tha Bag of Candy Peanuts on this page…I need the brand name Please, Please, Please!!! I have bought them from Walmart for years and now they are not carrying them. I have been to 5 different locations and NONE ON THEIR SHELVES. I am carving them and have tried several different brands and they just don’t stand up to the ones you have at the top of your page. I want to buy them but I need the Brand name to locate them. I recognize the bag but can not see the brand name. Please help me out. Are they the ones you rated on your Blog - - Melser. Thanks

      Comment by Betsy on 8/10/10 at 9:20 am #
    77. Cybele's avatar

      Betsy - the brand is Melster (I transcribe that stuff and put it in the orange spec box at the end of every review).

      Comment by Cybele on 8/10/10 at 9:23 am #
    78. My grandmother always use to get these, but they were in different flavors - I remember the bag containing white, yellow, orange, and pink peanuts. I hated the banana flavored ones, but I loved some of the others. Sadly I haven’t seen the multicolored bags since I was a kid =(.

      Comment by Morgan on 10/16/10 at 11:21 pm #
    79. WOW such vitriol over a time honored treat. As you can guess, I love these things, though have not been able to find them in years. I too found this site looking for a recipe to make them myself. Glad I am not the only peanut freak!

      Comment by Mark on 10/29/10 at 8:59 pm #
    80. I am looking to buy Rite Aid brand circus peanuts on-line.  Does anyone know of a site?

      Comment by dani on 1/10/11 at 7:21 am #
    81. First fat girls, next mopeds and now Circus Peanuts.

      Comment by docathalebobbdotcom on 2/27/11 at 9:29 pm #
    82. So gross but I swear there’s like something addictive in there so I was like Ewwwwww that’s the worst candy ever and my hand like drifted to the bag!!! So gross! Never buy!

      Comment by Taylor on 4/11/11 at 9:17 pm #
    83. Um, my Dad loves them.

      In the Netherlands they have a candy that tastes just like them, but they are yellow and shaped like little bananas… so, it makes more sense given the flavor.

      This article was a hoot to read… thanks for brightening my day smile

      Comment by Melissa Daams on 5/30/11 at 1:46 pm #
    84. I love circus peanuts..they are hard to find in our little city, so I’ve learned that I can air out regular marshmellows and get that same hard/soft peanut feel; they are nice and chewy, but the flavor is only marshmellow.  Back to the reality that I DON’T HAVE ANY!

      I didn’t know the flavor was banana, thanks!

      Comment by Sheila on 8/09/11 at 8:49 pm #
    85. Sheila, they sell ‘em at Walmart. Surely there’s a Wally World near you. And they sometimes have strawberry flavor.

      BTW, take some of your dried out marshmallows and, while eating them, smell some acetone. You won’t know you’re not eating the real McCoy.

      Comment by Doc on 8/09/11 at 9:57 pm #
    86. i actually never knew they were banana flavored until i read this.. my whole life ive tried to figure out what exact flavor they were, resulting in.. ok it’s just sugar flavor.. so that’s interesting…
      I’m another one of those crazies whom my family looks at me and wonders why I eat these…

      Comment by Andrea on 8/21/11 at 2:06 am #
    87. I Love Circus Peanuts.  I guess it’s a love/hate relationship with this candy. I can’t understand why the dislike, but many people seem to not be able to stand them.  I’ve been craving them lately, but they seem to be so much harder to find than when I was young.  And the bags are always so small when I do find them.

      Comment by Arlee Bird on 10/07/11 at 9:45 pm #
    88. Ugh!  Second most hated thing by me (after genocide)... seriously, they are my #2 most hated candy, after candy-corn, which is utterly intolerable under any circumstance.  I have always chosen to believe that a finite amount of circus peanuts were made somewhere around 1918, that they are shipped all over the country, and then back to the factory for recycling.  I’m going to go buy a bag of Haribo colas, my favorite, just to scrub the thought of these from my mind…

      Comment by Adam on 10/02/12 at 3:25 am #
    89. I love these candies. True, they’re not my first pick when I want some candy, but I love their taste and texture and how they seem to melt in your mouth.

      Comment by Jessica on 3/30/13 at 10:48 am #
    90. I love circus peanuts. I buy a small bag (4 oz) about once a month & eat them within a week or so. My father-in-law loves them as well. No one else in our families likes them, but it’s not their dislike that is disappointing. It’s their attitude when we eat them. There’s always a disparaging comment or two of which they always say we’re probably the only two people on earth who eat them. Well, apparently not! I’m not sure why they cause such a hostile reaction.

      Comment by Connie on 4/14/13 at 1:26 pm #
    91. That’s so funny and very true.  I don’t understand why people are so hostile to the little candy peanut, but you are totally correct.  Every time I eat these in front of someone I get that same disgusted reaction.  Why with all the strange foods and obsessions out there, people are so reactive to this candy I will never understand.  It’s weird, when I’m eating them I get the, “I hate those” response, but then that same person will ask to try them and then hate them again.  My mother has done this over and over.  I don’t want to convert people, just don’t eat my candy and then say you hate it!

      Comment by chesco on 4/14/13 at 7:53 pm #
    92. So funny to see this conversation revived.  Now I’ll start craving the circus peanuts again.  All the better if no one around me likes them.  Then I get to eat them all and don’t have to share.

      Comment by Arlee Bird on 4/14/13 at 9:35 pm #
    93. I’m searching for a circus peanut recipe, but all the ones that I’ve found require me to use circus peanuts! I’m trying to make them, because they’re not on sale in England, so adding them isn’t an option. Surely the manufacturers don’t add them to their product. Does anyone know how I can make them without adding circus peanuts?

      Comment by Noahette on 6/16/13 at 4:21 am #
    94. Is your gelatin a pork based or beef?

      Comment by JR on 12/05/13 at 9:38 am #
    95. I’m sure the gelatin is 100% American horse. Nothin’ but the best!

      Comment by uhclem on 12/05/13 at 12:10 pm #
    96. US gelatin is beef or pork based, though much of the Kosher gelatin is FISH based. The most common gelatin sold here, Knox, is a mix of beef and pork. (Gelatin sold in other countries would be different than Knox, google them for more information)

      Comment by Mark on 12/05/13 at 8:14 pm #
    97. I’m not sure who makes the best circus peanuts, but I can say that Rite Aid’s Pantry brand isn’t very good. And at $1.99 for a 7 oz. bag, it’s not a good deal either.

      Comment by ACF on 1/16/14 at 3:39 pm #

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