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The History of Charleston Chews

This classic candy bar is nearly 100 years old. Charleston Chews were first made and sold by the Fox-Cross Candy Company. Donley Cross was a former Shakespearean actor who fell off the stage and had to reinvent himself after his injury. He did so by creating a candy company with Charlie Fox in 1920. In 1922, the Fox-Cross Candy Company introduced the Charleston Chew to the world. The original version of the candy featured a chewy vanilla nougat covered in milk chocolate; it was named after the Charleston, a dance that was popular in the 1920s. In 1957, Nathan Sloane bought the company and introduced two new flavors: chocolate and strawberry. Taking advantage of the increased availability of refrigerators and freezers in homes, he also promoted the idea of freezing the bars and smacking them against a hard surface to create crunchy bite-sized pieces. Fans referred to this as the “Charleston Crack.” In 1980, Sloane sold the company to Nabisco. It was then sold a few more times, eventually landing in the hands of Tootsie Roll Industries. Today, Charleston Chews are still in production and can be purchased in regular and mini varieties.

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