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Milk Dud Mystery!

 In 1928, the Hoffman company of Chicago invented the Milk Dud. It’s called a dud because the chocolate covered caramel ball was supposed to be round, and the resulting misshaped candy was well….a dud! The candy was manufactured by a series of different companies over the years until Hershey finally bought it in 1996.

I’m not sure how much milk is actually in a Milk Dud, but there definitely is caramel and chocolate. And, I don’t think Milk Duds are actually good for you. Which is why I love them! The mermaid is not happy about my Milk Dud jones, but hey, there could be worse things. But guess what? You can’t find them anywhere! And I would like to know who made the decision not to stock Milk Duds. Does the mermaid have pull with the Hershey family? She herself is a big fan of the dark 85% cocoa chocolate, does she have an in with the company? Is there a conspiracy here bigger than anything going on in Washington D.C.? Let’s discuss further.

The number one selling candy in America is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups by Hershey. By the way, also a personal favorite. Milk Duds are further down the list, but very popular, nonetheless. The packaging for Milk Duds is very distinctive coming in bright yellow boxes with big brown letters spelling out the product. So, they are hard to miss in a store.

Recently, I noticed that they are nowhere to be found. I first noticed in the city when Gristedes stopped carrying them. Then when I was back full-time in Rockaway, I noticed that the 129th Street stores didn’t carry them. Neither do pharmacies. Even Stop & Shop is not carrying them. I remember years ago when Coconut Chocolate Chip cookies disappeared mysteriously. This seems strangely similar. The absence of the cookies was explained by the coconut not being good for you, but we all know that isn’t true as coconut oil is now the rage. By the way, my favorite cookie never went on sale again, which is how I came to love Oreos, but that’s a different story.

So, what’s going on? How do you get Milk Duds? Amazon? That seems extreme, and I think a sure sign that maybe I have a bigger problem than I am willing to admit. I mean, I would love to be able to get a medium sized box of those things and wash them down with a coke! I usually feel pretty charged up after one of those sessions, but then would slump in the corner about an hour later. A former article about the aforementioned Oreos resulted in neighbors leaving boxes of Oreos at my doorstep, but things have not gotten so desperate yet, and I would rather save that cry for help when I can’t get Scotch.

Could it be that the Hershey’s family has found some ingredient that is really, really bad for you and are slowly phasing them out? Or maybe the Governor has declared war on Milk Duds and has decided that in addition to closing restaurants that there are to be no Milk Duds sold due to the pandemic. Paranoid? Perhaps, but we are living in strange times. I would go out of state to get them, but I may be subject to all sorts of testing and quarantining when I try to return.

So, I simply wait, watch and wonder when will my beloved Milk Duds return. Maybe like “New Coke,” a new formula is being tested? Or maybe the Hershey family has actually figured out how to make them perfectly round, and now have a major marketing headache on their hands. I mean, they wouldn’t actually be duds if they were perfectly round, right? The mystery continues…..

 By Lou Pastina

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