Written by Tzvi Levitin
1. Ring Pops
These wearable candies were a huge hit when they first went kosher in 2009. What kid wouldn’t want to wear a sticky lump of sugar on their fingers? And childhood wedding proposals became a whole lot easier! Popularity died down pretty quickly, however, when everybody realized that Ring Pops taste like medicine and that the “candy bling” trend was soooo 1990′s.
2. Jelly Belly
When these delicious jelly beans became kosher in 2007, they rocked the kosher candy world: the flavor was inside and outside! With over a hundred flavors, Jelly Belly put Mike and Ike to shame. Although I’ll never understand why they continue to make “buttered popcorn” and “toasted marshmallow” flavors, they well make up for it in the “juicy pear” and “tutti fruity” categories.
3. Tootsie Rolls
Was anybody not just a little disappointed when they bit into their first tootsie roll after they became kosher in 2010? The chocolaty chews were almost as disappointing as Trader Joe’s chocolate chips going dairy in 2012 (side note: anybody else still have bags of these stocked in their pantry since the choc-pocalypse?) But tootsie rolls still make the list, because the vanilla and fruity flavors were absolutely delicious.
I had braces when these super-chewy gumdrops became kosher along with tootsie rolls in 2010. Two trips to Dr. Fried later, I can vouch for the fact that dentists and orthodontists were probably the most excited about DOTS getting the O-U certification. They taste pretty good, too.
Finally you could “Obey Your Thirst” while still obeying the word of G-d! While I was a little disappointed that I didn’t sweat bright colors after drinking Gatorade, the sports drink becoming kosher in 2010 was definitely a highlight of my year. (Whether that says more about the excitement of my childhood or the awesomeness of Gatorade, I leave up to you.)
Ah, the Airhead. Synagogue candymen and Bnei Akiva counselors would never have to worry about whiny kids ever again. Airheads, certified kosher in 2011, are chewy, taffy-like candies that come in various fruit flavors. Although I never could figure out what that mystery flavor was…
7. Tootsie Pops
Tootsie Pops significantly redeemed the tootsie roll company in the minds of many Jewish Americans. For some reason, we had to wait until 2011 for the lollipop version of the candy to go kosher, but the fruity pop filled with a tootsie roll core did not disappoint. And we no longer had to wonder, “How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?” (The answer is 411 according to a study at University of Michigan.)
8. Oreos declared “Dairy Equipment”
I know Oreos have been OU-Dairy for many years now, but the sudden announcement that they were in fact only dairy equipment was as groundbreaking as the cream-filled sandwich cookies becoming kosher in the first place. No longer would we have to wait 3-6 hours after a meat meal to pry open one of these cookies and lick the cream out. Granted, we still can’t dunk them in milk whenever we want, but Shabbat desserts like Oreo brownies and cookies n’ cream pie were changed forever. (Edit: If you’re in Israel, this one doesn’t apply to you, as Oreos actually contain dairy there.)
The most recent certification on the list, Skittles have been kosher in the UK for a while now, but the US didn’t start getting kosher Skittles shipped here until 2013. These bite-size chews, also known as the M&Ms of fruity candy, have been enjoyed in copious amounts by children and adults alike over the past few months. Now I can feel slightly less incorrect when I say I’ve “tasted the Rainbow.”
10. Jolly Rancher Bites
When it comes to kosher candy, these soft and delectably sour chews take the cake. They became kosher in 2012, but you have to be careful; most Jolly Rancher candy does not carry hashgacha. But it’s worth looking out for these in the candy aisle; they truly are delicious!