Pep chews have a fond place in our memories. Greg used to buy them as a kid because they were delicious and also he could get a whole box with his vacation money. As the youngest of six kids any opportunity to bug his older siblings was welcome. By the time everyone else had eaten all their vacation candy Greg would still have pep chews to savour all to himself- so annoying. He still eats them- sometimes one a day! I discovered pep chews while I was going to the University of Alberta. There was an old fashioned pharmacy on my walk home and at the end of a hard day there was nothing like chomping on a pep chew to make it all better.
Lovers of Pep Chews know that they just all of a sudden disappeared sometime in the early 90's. Owners of candy stores know that Pep Chew fans never give up asking for them in all kinds of random places. Pep Chew was made by a company called Pauline's in Winnipeg- the wrapper was green and white and red and was pre-internet so there isn't even a photo of it. The company just closed- didn't sell any of it's recipes or products- just closed without warning to Pep Chew addicts - oops fans. One spring I wanted to make a treat for Greg and was probably sick of trying to find Pep Chews for him and I added some peppermint flavouring to Grandma's caramel and then dipped them in chocolate!!!! There it was- that special taste and texture.
So now we make them- Memories of Pep Chew. Quite frankly they are a bit of a pain because after they are poured, scored and cool then the next day the chocolate needs to be chopped, melted/tempered and spread. Not as easy as it may sound. My chef's coat is a stained mess from spilling chocolate. But totally worth it when a true fan tastes it. We were at Marketfest in Nelson, BC at the end of June when a man in his early 50's came up to us..."Pep Chew????!!!" He grilled Greg about what year he was born, where he grew up, how much he loved them. He bought one, smacked it on the table with gusto and the flair of experience. Opened the package and put it in his mouth. He was quietly jumping up and down on his toes and talking to himself..."That's exactly it...oh my god I am 13 again and have a crush on my best friend's sister I totally forgot about that." So great- he was happy, living a delicious moment and the taste triggered a long lost memory. We expect to see him again soon.
Do you have a pep chew memory? Tell us here.