Friday, December 16, 2005

Ribbon Candy

Name: Ribbon Candy
Brand: Sevigny’s - owned by F.B. Washburn
Place Purchased: Candy Baron (Santa Monica)
Price: $4.79
Size: 9 ounces
Calories per ounce: 53
Type: Hard Candy

When I was a kid I used to buy ribbon candy for my mother for Christmas. It was pretty stuff but I never remembered it being very good. I think part of the problem is that most people put it in a dish or some sort of display for the holidays and it gets all sticky.


Ribbon Candy is simply hard candy flattened out into long ribbons and then folded up like little puffs and twists. They’re usually pretty colors and often flavored according to those colors. This box contains a mix of minty and fruity flavors. The box also has a beautiful photo of the candy on it. The stuff inside doesn’t look quite like that.


First, the ribbons are not uniform. The doubling of the candy strips to form the loops was rather inconsistent and the ribbons weren’t flat, so I’d set them out to photograph and they’d rock. Second, they were not glossy and luminous like the box. I know that they have been in the past. I know the stuff I used to get for my mother looked like it was spun glass. I don’t know if it’s because this is a bad batch or that it’s just not as good anymore, but mine looked milky and dull. Only one was broken, so I was pleased that the poor box wasn’t handled poorly.

The candy itself is kind of neat to eat. Messy, but pretty interesting. You can’t just break off a little loop, it seems for each loop that you want the other half is pulverized into shards as you break it off. We’re all used to the dense sugar of the hard candy, but the wafer thin ribbons rather melt on your tongue. The flavors are ordinary and sweet, no tartness in the citrus flavors. The plain white one was cool because it was vanilla. There aren’t that many vanilla hard candies out there. The oddest thing was that the red and green striped one was some sort of strange mint. A toothpaste mint, which I’m guessing is a blend of spearmint and peppermint but tastes a little too much like toothbrush for me.

You can read more about F.B. Washburn and Sevigny’s at their home page. But here’s the part I liked best:

In June 1986, FB Washburn Candy purchased Sevigny’s Candy, its major competitor in the ribbon candy business, making Washburn Candy the only major producer of this delicacy. The ribbon candy business has grown and the product is shipped throughout the United States and Canada. Today FB Washburn Candy is a major factor in the hard candy business, supplying many rebaggers, private label and major discounters with their line of wrapped hard candies.

Did you know that there’s a “ribbon candy business” and that it was so consolidated now?

The other interesting thing is how low in calories these are. A full ribbon, which is a little over an ounce and looks huge is only about 60 calories. So if you’re looking for a little holiday indulgence that won’t fatten you up so fast, a couple of ribbons instead of a piece of pie ala mode might save you about 300 calories. It’s actually kind of nice to have with a little tea and the calories probably end up being lower consider that much of it shatters into microscopic shards that you’re more likely to inhale than consume.

Rating - 6 out of 10.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:12 am Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyReviewChristmasHard Candy & Lollipops6-TemptingUnited States

  1. Yesterday I packed a box of this very ribbon candy off to my in-laws!

    It’s the thought that counts, right?

    Comment by desertwind on 12/16/05 at 1:32 pm #
  2. This stuff scares me.  My great grandmother used to have it in candy dishes and nobody wanted to touch it.

    Comment by Julilla on 12/16/05 at 3:11 pm #
  3. “Rebagging”? Who knew there was such a term! I’ve had a hard time finding ribbon candy in major stores, but a bulk food store in my area carries it at Christmastime. I wonder which rebagger is his supplier?

    Comment by Tricia on 12/16/05 at 7:47 pm #
  4. Hi Cybele,
    Of course you can join Nic and I at Newsroom!  We will e-mail you more details as the date nears.  Yum yum, can’t wait to sample some candy.

    Comment by Jessica "Su Good Eats" on 12/18/05 at 6:09 pm #
  5. Too funny… I sent a box of this to my sister and her family, just added in with their other gifts. Disappointing that the candy inside isn’t as pretty as the picture. But at least mine was only 1.99 at Tuesday Morning smile

    Comment by sallie on 12/18/05 at 6:46 pm #
  6. Thanks for bringing back a vivid Christmas memory. In my glorious youth, people would dump huge quantities of cookies, candy and Wisconsin Cheeseman products on each other every Christmas. Someone always gave us ribbon candy, which beguiled me with its “fanciness” and pretty colors. The chemical-ish “cinnamon” stands out particularly strongly. And yes, it readily became gross and sticky as hell, but its hummingbird-short life added to its allure.

    Comment by JR on 12/18/05 at 9:04 pm #
  7. In Michigan’s Lansing area, we’ve got a family owned and run candy business with three or four shops called Fabiano’s. They have amazing chocolate, and last year around this time they also gave out ribbon candy samples. Theirs is think enough to break into chunks of loops you can fit in your mouth, and the lemon I tried was very tasty. It also looks good, because they actually put stripes on it.

    Comment by Collie on 12/19/05 at 1:02 pm #
  8. Ack, ribbon candy! That stuff cuts your mouth to SHREDS!

    Comment by Never teh Bride on 12/20/05 at 11:03 am #
  9. This is one of the candies I look forward to at Christmas time.  I must have gotten a special box because the ribbons in mine were very colorful and striped as they are on the box.  Now I have another whole year for my next box.

    Comment by Shannon on 2/04/06 at 5:45 pm #
  10. When I saw ribbon candy at Cracker Barrel the first time I was there, it was around the holidays and I just couldn’t resist.  It was just like I remember from my childhood.  And I loved it.

    Comment by Kristie B on 9/27/07 at 3:55 pm #
  11. The story in my family is that my great-great grandfather worked as a confectioner in Dublin Ireland and invented Ribbon Candy in the mid 1800’s. His name was Henry Weekes.

    Comment by Joanna Hitchner on 12/11/07 at 4:58 am #
  12. I once had this at a Christmas Party when I was a kid. I remember it being sweet and tasting like spearmint, but it got too sticky to hold and I put it in coat pocket where it got all creepy and hairy. I think my mom found it months later and was totally disgusted. XD

    Comment by Sara Em on 10/28/08 at 1:14 pm #
  13. I have been buying Washburn’s “Old Fashioned Filled Candies” for so many years, that I have lost count.  I used to put a can in everyone’s Christmas box before shipping and one under the tree for every out of town guest. 

    This year I was stunned when I got them home and examined the container!  No foiled lining, no metal bottom, just cardboard, like a cheap oatmeal box.  Inside, the candy was no longer colorful (used to be mostly multicolored pieces)

    Most pieces were a single color, for the most part, just green, yellow or orange.  The candies were in a cheap celo type bag, not resealable.  I had to find an old glass jar with a lid to pour them into.  I am done with this product.  I hope I have to receipt to return them.

    I have to now find a new source for Christmas Candies. :(

    Comment by Anna on 12/06/09 at 11:04 am #
  14. Our family in Ohio always bought this ribbon candy for Christmas and it always looked like the candy pictured on the cover of the box…very thin beautiful ribbon candy… Whatever this crap is in the box now a days is horrible and a waste of money. The taste isn’t the same, it looks like no time or effort was put in to making it… so please don’t waste you money… I think the original recipe was lost and now the only thing let is a picture…booooooooooo

    Comment by Chuck on 12/16/09 at 6:41 pm #
  15. that candy is nasty now! they need 2 take that back to the factory!!

    Comment by Mo on 5/16/10 at 2:33 pm #
  16. Its kind of weird for me to hear about so many people disliking this stuff. Perhaps its because its been roughly 12 -15 years since I’ve had the stuff but I always remember my great grandmother having 3 different candies…

    1: Some generic type of pink mint-ish things that I ate simply out of boredom.

    2: A cardboard tube/box full of random “old fashioned hard candies” which I remembered loving despite the fact that I had to drop the box down a flight of stairs to break them all apart and everything vaguely tasted of mint. ( Although you might be surprised at the taste of the hard peach candies they were amazing, like eating a peach, in hard candy form and a little bit concentrated. They even had that wonderful, odd, woody taste you get from the red meat near the pit.^^)

    And 3

    Ribbon candy, that I devoured by the box. I cant remember much about it but I loved the stuff. It was the lovely glass spun ,1980’s styled box, variety with all the colored stripes and I just loved the stuff. Every time I was at my great grandmothers she had a box. I never remember them sticking together, although they were a bit sticky for a kid to handle, but I loved the snap and that all those little shards flew everywhere.

    Who knows, perhaps I’m just weird^^

    Comment by Jenni-Li on 1/02/11 at 8:00 pm #
  17. I bought a box of this very same candy this evening. I’m sampling it now—and indeed it is the low-class cousin of the ribbon candy I grew up with.

    There are several flavors of toothpaste in the box, and the wafer-thin, translucent glass of my childhood has gone missing.


    Comment by James on 12/19/12 at 10:11 pm #
  18. Could you tell were i could get your ribbon candy in canada i live in oshawav ontario.please help me

    Comment by mark coholan on 1/01/13 at 2:23 am #
  19. Worked there for just over a year, at Sevigny’s in Hanover, Ma. We took great pride in making a quality product, and was taught by Mr. Sevigny how to make it correctly. It was hard, heavy work, but the paycheck was sweet.

    Comment by Andy Bartlett on 3/25/14 at 11:04 am #
  20. i love ribbon candy . can find it here in my town oshawa ontario canada

    Comment by mark coholan on 3/25/14 at 4:47 pm #
  21. I LOVE the Sevigny’s ribbon candy. The flavors are delicious and authentic. The other thing I really like is that the cany is made from sugar, corn syrup, natural & artifical flavors and candy coloring. No high fructose syrup which tastes fake and too sugary.

    Comment by Sandy B on 12/27/14 at 10:18 am #
  22. I worked in the factory in Hanover, MA, after school, in the late 50’s since Chuck Sevigny was in my high school class. Not an easy job but great way to stay out at night.
    Nice to see it’s still around - it was a really big deal at Christmas.

    Comment by Russ on 7/05/15 at 2:21 pm #
  23. I made candy in Hanover and brocton quality important in Hanover garbage in brocton

    Comment by Tom on 6/09/16 at 11:19 am #
  24. I figured out how to get small pieces of ribbon candy place butter knife between loops breaks clean Everytime.

    Comment by Jaime on 12/26/16 at 8:59 am #
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