Friday, September 16, 2011

Slo Poke Caramel

The Slo Poke Caramel Pop was introduced in 1926 by the Holloway Candy Company. It was a simple, firm, rectangular caramel lollipop. It was sold for the first time the year after the Sugar Daddy made its debut (as the Papa Sucker). As the name might imply, the Slo Poke was a candy to savor and enjoy over a long time. The sucker format meant that kids would either allow it to dissolve or nibble off bites to chew.

Slo Poke Delicious Caramel

As with most candy products of this age, it’s been through many owners. MJ Holloway, also the maker of Milk Duds, sold out to Beatrice Foods in 1960. Beatrice later sold off their confectionery division to Leaf and Leaf divested its candy lines to several different companies. Milk Duds went to Hershey’s and Slo Pokes and their chocolate brethren, Black Cow, went to the Gilliam Candy company in 1998. For a brief time in this century, Slo Pokes stopped being made until the Warrell Corporation acquired the brand and recipe and began making them again last year under their new Classic Caramel Company (which also reintroduced Bonomo’s Turkish Taffy).

Slo Poke Caramel

The new format of the revived Slo Poke is the 1.8 ounce bar. It’s a big plank of caramel. Like Turkish Taffy and other taffy/nougat candies, the simplest way to serve yourself is to whack the package on a hard surface to break it into bite sized pieces. I chose to eat mine in all of its chewy wholeness.

The texture is soft, much softer than a Sugar Daddy, which is the closest approximation to this candy. Like the Sugar Daddy, this is a true caramel. The first ingredient is corn syrup, followed by sweetened condensed milk and then more sugar. The color is dark and authentically toasted sugar. The flavor is quite sweet and the texture is mostly smooth. There’s a slight grain to it towards the end that I can only equate with a Sugar Baby or a poorly made fudge.

The flavor is almost exactly like the center of a Milk Dud (as you can imagine). It’s not quite as tough or smooth a chew as the Duds though.

Slo Poke & Black CowThe ingredients aren’t as pure as I’d like. Far down on the list is high fructose corn syrup, which an extremely rare ingredient in candy as well as partially hydrogenated coconut oil, calcium caseinate, distilled monoglycerides and artificial flavors. For something that’s labeled as Real Caramel I have to wonder what that actually means.

I liked the bar, mostly because it was soft and easy to eat. I don’t recall buying these much as a kid, I really was more of a Sugar Daddy fan, though those are certainly more threatening to teeth and dental work. I think my favorite easy-to-eat caramel is still Sugar Babies though, partly because they’re a bit neater and partly because they’re so cute but mostly because I prefer the mix of the smooth texture of the caramel center with the grainy jelly bean style coating. But if I was really going to satisfy my caramel cravings I’d have to go with Walkers’ Nonsuch Toffee.

The candies are no longer made in their original lollipop format. They’re sold in bars or the little, individually wrapped bite sized pieces. I don’t think those who loved the original are going to be disappointed with this resurrected version.

Related Candies

  1. Helliemae’s Salt Caramels
  2. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Tahitian Vanilla Caramels
  3. Kraft & Ferrara Pan Caramels
  4. Bonomo’s Turkish Taffy - Chocolate, Vanilla & Strawberry
  5. Short & Sweet: Dollar Store
  6. Walkers Nonsuch Roasted Hazelnut Toffee
  7. Kits & BB Bats
  8. Grandma’s Caramels
  9. Sugar Babies

Name: Slo Poke Delicious Caramel
Brand: Warrell Corp
Place Purchased: Dollar Tree (Morro Bay, CA)
Price: $1.00
Size: 1.6 ounces
Calories per ounce: 131
Categories: Candy, Caramel, 7-Worth It, United States, Dollar Tree

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:14 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyReviewWarrell CorpCaramel7-Worth ItUnited StatesDollar Tree

  1. they had both this and the Black Cow at Dollar Tree this summer - and they sold out fast!  Dollar Tree is also the only retailer where I’ve seen Bonomo for sale.

    Both were good, but I liked the Black Cow a little bit better. It’s not real chocolate, but has that Goldenbergs/Tootsie Roll chewy chocolate taffy flavor.  I vaguely remember Black Cows as actually being a Slowpoke dipped in chocolate, but I didn’t really eat either one much as a kid.  i will continue to buy both when I find them now, as an adult.

    Comment by jim kosmicki on 9/16/11 at 2:58 pm #
  2. I picked up one of each at Five Below.
    Ate the caramel one and I loved it. Smacked it on the table and broke into a ton of pieces.

    I remember something like this when I was as Jim mentioned a taffy on a stick covered with chocolate, mmmmmmmm.

    Comment by Whotony on 9/16/11 at 3:58 pm #
  3. I love “poorly made fudge” but of course it’s difficult to buy so I have to make it myself. Who wants smooth fudge when you can have nice grainy fudge? smile

    Comment by bitguru on 9/16/11 at 5:00 pm #
  4. As a kid in the 1960s I loved these and Black Cows. My wife buys them at the Dollar Store. I have to be careful chewing this candy now my old teeth aren’t that strong. As you can imagine memories come back with that sweet taste. We send our grand children home with a bag of old style candies, I am sure their mom and dads help them eat it too.

    Comment by Nick on 7/15/12 at 10:44 pm #
  5. Ah, yes… My great-great-Grandfather’s invention: the Slo Poke…

    The Holloway family continues onward with great recipes and flavors. I remember the stories of Grampa Holloway’s candy factory. He came up with so many delectable delights and passed most of the recipes to his children, one of whom was the father of my own maternal Grandmother.

    Mareda L. Holloway (m. Hall) is the one who taught me everything I know in the kitchen, from a ripe early age of 5 years. Her candies and holiday treats are memories I treasure. The Holloway secrets are safe in her cupboard and copied to my mother’s recipe books. I personally need to get a copy of them so I might continue to enjoy some of the secret Holloway recipes that were never made public, yet I have tasted throughout my life… YUMM!!!

    This is legitimate. I am the great-great grandson of M.J. Holloway himself.

    Comment by Xoandre Moats on 12/03/12 at 6:02 pm #
  6. Hi iam from the old school and like going back down memory lane. And I remembered the slow poke candy I users love to eat when I was a kid. I loved that great taste its hard to find great tasting candies anymore. I have not seen a slow poke since I was a kid and I wondered if they still made the candy and where could I find it.

    Comment by Truman Skinner on 1/09/13 at 3:50 pm #
  7. @Truman Skinner

    You can buy them here:

    Comment by Xoandre Moats on 1/10/13 at 8:59 pm #
  8. Did you ever go up to clear lake in Tomahawk Wi ?

    Comment by Chuck galecki on 7/20/13 at 2:36 pm #
  9. The slo poke suckers used to be the same size and hardness as the sugar daddy, that’s what made them so good and last so long.  When I finally found the bars claiming to be “just like the sucker but without the stick” I ordered a box.  I wish I had read this review before I did, I would have ordered a box of full size sugar daddys.  I’m sure I will eat them and hope the taste is the same as they used to be, but they wont be as much fun.

    Comment by kim thurston on 7/25/13 at 12:46 am #
  10. It’s really sad to me at what Slo Poke has become.  Ever since Warrell got ahold of it, it’s been reduced to a caramel like substance that’s lost it’s old consistency and flavor.  I wish they would find the old recipe and make them the way they were meant to be:  a real sucker on a stick.

    Comment by Karen Kay on 3/12/14 at 12:28 pm #

    Comment by Dunn Swanson on 3/14/14 at 4:25 pm #
  12. I’m sorry to say that Family dollar will no longer carry Slo-Poke. Is this candy sold in any other stores.05/10/15

    Comment by cynthia casale on 5/10/15 at 1:36 pm #
  13. The Slo-Poke bars are not the same as the Slo-Poke that used to come on a stick.  I remember the candy on the stick as being a darker color.  I preferred them over the Sugar Daddy.  Now they seem to be the same candy as the Sugar Daddy, but the Sugar Daddy is still on a stick.  If the comment from Holloway’s great-great grandson is legitimate, he should use the family recipe and bring the real original Slo-Poke back!

    Comment by pam romero on 9/08/15 at 5:54 pm #
  14. I used to have these all the time in when I was in Jr. High. I just had one of the new ones and I can definitely say they are not the same as the old ones at all. As commented above, they used to be like a darker, slightly toastier Sugar Daddy. They were also hard like Sugar Daddies, and roughly the same size (just slightly smaller).

    The new ones are lighter, soft, and chewy. More like a Brach’s caramel than anything else. I found it disappointing.

    Comment by Erik on 1/08/17 at 8:50 pm #
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