On my recent trip to New York City I made sure to hit up a pizza place, but I totally forgot to do one other incredibly important NYC thing: buy a whole bunch of C. Howard’s Violet.
A candy of elegance from a more civilized time, Choward’s Violet is a Pez-like confection that tastes sort of like funeral flowers. But in the best way possible! I know that the idea of a violet flavored candy is alien to most of you, who eat candies in flavors like Green and XTreme Tango, but it’s a delight. There’s a softness to the flavor but not to the aroma, which you can smell right through the packaging. And what great packaging it is, like an item from another time period. You could imagine a package of Choward’s Violet falling out of John Dillinger’s pocket as he was gunned down in front of the Biograph Theater.
Except for the fact that he probably couldn’t have found them in Chicago. Choward’s is almost only found in New York, although it can be discovered in some other Eastern seaboard communities. I’ve heard that Mel’s Drive-In in LA stocks the candy, which I must look into.
The packaging has in fact been the same since Charles Howard started the company in the 1930s. He found success selling the Violets on street corners, and over time added more flavors, like Lemon and Coffee, but it’s always about the Violets to me.
You can actually order Choward’s Violets on line, a development Charles Howard, who died in the 70s, could have never imagined. I highly recommend that you do so. Let me know if you try the Guava flavor. I’m morbidly curious.