Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tjerrild Flicks

FlicksFor over eighty years folks enjoyed a simply little candy called Flicks. They were disks of chocolate (or mockolate) like large chocolate chips sold in foil wrapped tubes. Great for munching at the movies or sharing with the kids.

They were originally made by Ghirardelli starting in 1904 and over those decades they never changed. Seriously, never altered the manufacturing equipment at all. So it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that eventually the machines broke down and couldn’t be easily repaired. Instead of developing a new process Ghirardelli simply stopped making them. But folks missed them, so after sitting idle, in 2004 the Tjerrild family bought the trademark and rights to the candy and set about repairing the old machines. Though the actual machinery is no longer in Racine, Wisconsin, but now in Fresno, California - they still use the same Ghirardelli mockolate formula.

The package is simple. It’s a cardboard tube covered in foil that wraps around and into the ends to close them up. Then they’re covered in plastic wrap to protect the freshness. (I believe they’re change it this year and putting the candies inside into a plastic baggy and getting rid of the overwrap.) The tube is about 5.25 inches long and about 1 inch in diameter, about the same as half of a paper towel core. The foil comes in four colors, for no particular reason I guess: red, blue, gold and green.

Sugar, fractionated palm kernel oil, non fat milk, milk, cocoa, partially hydrogenated palm oil., cocoa processed with alkali, sorbitan tristearate, soy lecithin, salt, artificial flavors.


I admit that I’ve been hesitant to review these. I’ve had Flicks before, probably 30 years ago and recall them being cheap tasting (even then I knew the difference between real chocolate and substitutes). But enough people were pining for them that they were brought back after 15 years out of production, so the narrative of something being brought back from the dead is compelling.

The disks are between 1/2 and 3/4 of an inch in diameter.

The pieces don’t smell like much at all and look rather waxy. The texture at first isn’t very encouraging, it’s waxy and immediately gives off sweet and powder milk notes. But then it gets a little creamier as it melts, it’s a little malty, a little bit of salt in there. It’s very sweet. They’re not so much a chocolate as a simple kind of mockolate tablet. I can’t say that I love them, but didn’t mind eating them as much as I thought.

Overall, I have very little interest eating these when there are so many better things I can do with 220 calories and $1.39 that don’t contain palm oil. Ghirardelli makes such nice baking chips, it’s a shame these can’t just be those.

Here’s a little factory video, which is so utterly charming that I forgot I didn’t like them that much.

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  4. Kissables (Reformulated)
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  6. Sixlets & Limited Edition Dark Chocolate Flavored Sixlets

Name: Flicks
Brand: Tjerrild
Place Purchased: Ralph's (3rd & LaBrea)
Price: $1.39
Size: 1.375 ounces
Calories per ounce: 160
Categories: Candy, Mockolate, 4-Benign, United States, Ralph's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:10 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyMockolate4-BenignUnited StatesRalph's

  1. This is just such a strange coincidence that TODAY an office mate and I were discussing Flicks for no other reason than our boss had said that was one of the candies he liked as a kid.  We all used to have Flicks at the movies—a staple like popcorn.

    Comment by Tomi on 5/11/10 at 10:07 pm #
  2. I tried these at the All Candy Expo two years ago and didn’t understand the hype. Basic chocolate discs.

    Comment by Jay from The Sweet Spot Candy on 5/13/10 at 10:46 am #
  3. When I was a child, some 50 years ago, My parents used to take me to see my grandparents in Oroville, Calif. We usually spent the weekend. Before leaving they used to give me and my older sister, a tube of FLICKS to take home. But we always ate them in the car going home. It was my favorite chocolate candy. I liked them better then Hershey’s and Nestles. When I became a Father, I bought FLICKS for my little daughter. When my step-daughter brought home two tubes of FLICKS(from the Shell station she works at) the other day, and she got one for my daughter too, it was great. It was like going back to my childhood. My daughter also remembered them fondly too. I had heard somehow that FLICKS were being made again.I could never find them, glad my step-daughter had. I am so glad they’re being made again, and I hope to someday buy a case of these. Every time I take a bite of these, I will remember the trips to my grandparents in Oroville.

    Comment by Robert Crawford on 1/24/11 at 4:44 pm #
  4. What fun to receive some candy from the past!! My dad used to buy me Flicks.  I’m 71, so I really enjoyed the flavor and the memories. They have their own special flavor!

    Comment by Alice Farrell on 6/14/11 at 3:56 am #
  5. I am hugely appalled and disappointed that someone would claim their chocolate as being a recreation of such a classic and special product as Ghirardelli’s Flicks, when in reality it does not even come close to matching the wonderful, unique flavor of that incredible creation of old.

    It maddens me that anyone would do this to such a wonderful product as the original Flicks was. It just goes to show how low some people stoop, how desperate the steps are that some people are willing to take to fool the public so that they can make money off of the name of a once stellar product.
    The real Flicks rich, unique flavor spread instantly and smoothly through your mouth, not like these fraud-Flicks flavor which is exceptionally subtle and mellow, not a very distinct flavor whatsoever. Pretty generic for chocolate.

    The texture of their Flicks is not the same either.

    But of course you’ll see a lot of “customer” comments (who have got to be employees of the company) claiming how wonderful it is to have them back on the shelves again….... employees who I am sure have never even tasted the real Flicks masterpiece from Ghirardelli.
    If they had ever tasted them they’d know what a crock that it is to say that. Flicks was not just good chocolate, it was a special treat with a very distinct flavor. They were addicting, unlike these fake ones. There’s no comparison whatsoever.

    And as another person commented, these Flicks are not milk chocolate as the original, they are “chocolate flavored”. Cocoa Butter, a requirement for a chocolate product being called “milk chocolate”, has become too expensive for small companies to buy these days. Even Hershey Chocolate had to stop using it in some of their products due to cost and so had to re-label select items as “chocolate flavored”, instead of “milk chocolate” as they once were.

    RIP Flicks - you were a unique and special product. You are sorely missed.
    It is unconscionable that anyone would do this to your name.

    Comment by Richard Menzies on 7/05/13 at 4:44 am #
  6. Short correction:
    The original Flicks were not in fact milk chocolate.

    But regardless, the new Flicks do not taste ANYTHING like the old Ghirardelli original. These new ones are very generic in taste. Nothing like the classic candy of old.

    Comment by Richard Menzies on 7/05/13 at 5:04 am #
  7. Were Ghirardelli Flicks ever sold around Boston?  My girlfriend says not, that they were just a West Coast thing.

    Comment by Kevin on 12/21/14 at 5:57 pm #
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