31 Oct2006

Senorita Lemon Drops

by Marketman


Food and memories are really a potent combination. I was doing my monthly grocery visit to Cash & Carry in Makati this morning and while filling the cart with staples such as pasta, chicken broth (no, I don’t always make it from scratch), detergent, paper towels, etc., drops2I took a swing by the candy aisle to make sure I had enough treats for the legions of kids who are expected for Halloween…and I spied this strangely familiar package of Senorita lemon drops. How bizarre is that??? I haven’t had them in perhaps 30 years and yet I was instantly drawn to them. I could almost feel my taste buds salivating at the thought of the sweet/sour taste of this yellow hard candy. These were a real treat as a kid; we didn’t have them too often, and yet I remember them extremely fondly. Because they were locally produced, they were relatively cheap and accessible so that also meant we could eat a bit more of them when they were around the house. These were the default hard candy when that other favorite, but definite PX good, “Sour Balls” were simply unavailable (remember how they all used to stick together due to the humidity?)…

I immediately bought the pack of lemon drops for less than PHP30 and when I got home ripped it open and popped one into my mouth. That familiar shape, the dry coating of pulverized sugar causing that first hit of sweetness followed by the tartish hard candy are things that one does not forget. I thought the candy was a little less sour than it used to be but it still seemed like the original in many ways…not the least of which was the way the edges of the candy seemed to get quite sharp and the thought that it might cut your tongue was not completely ridiculous. I am much older now, and on a self-imposed sugar restricted diet, but it was nice to have just one of these old favorites. With so many local brands of sweets disappearing, it was fun to have a hit of this childhood favorite. Now if only someone brought back those chewy Jojo fruit candies that I used to buy from the neighborhood sari-sari stores…



  1. Maria Clara says:

    They still look the same lemon candies I used to buy as a kid and grown up rolled in sugar. The only big difference I can tell through your pictures is the packaging – very nice, before they were kept in a cheesy plastic bag with a label. How time changes the appeal of a humble lemon candies – the candies now has more look. I use lemon candies now when I make lemon cake besides the usual bath of lemon syrup; I enhance it with pulverized lemon candies. I crush them with a rolling pin until they are powdered and just dust the bathed cake with it. They add an extra crunch. They are also good using them in gingerbread house for glass window look. Cut the gingerbread with the desired cut out, fill it with crushed lemon candy and throw it in the preheated oven for 10 minutes and voila you have a stained glass look window.

    Oct 31, 2006 | 6:11 am


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  3. Gigi says:

    Oh yeah. Even in candies, vintage is cool. Speaking of lemon, there is local gum ball called Yakee Super Asim that takes like ascorbic acid! Weird but strangely good. I’m salivating as I type…. (Obviously, we scrimped on our trick or treat goodie giveaways…. Hahahaha.)

    Oct 31, 2006 | 6:57 am

  4. edel says:

    my dad used to love lemon drops candies, too
    another fave (and mine also) is butterball

    Oct 31, 2006 | 7:17 am

  5. choy says:

    i’m off to cash and carry! didn’t these used to come in cans? sheesh…it’s been so long, i’m not even sure now. but i can vividly recall the sweet/tart comforting flavor of lemon drops. oh, wait…images coming back…they used to come wrapped in some sort of foil or something.

    gotta have…gotta have.

    Oct 31, 2006 | 8:16 am

  6. joey says:

    Oh wow! I remember these! These were my grandmother’s favorites :) She is still a rabid sweet tooth :)

    Speaking of vintage candies…Orange Swits! Those were my fave…even the “fatter” imported versions couldn’t replace them…

    Oct 31, 2006 | 9:34 am

  7. CecileJ says:

    Hey, are we all the same age??!!! Love those Lemon candies but they cut my upper palate with their sharp edges. So one can only suck a few in one sitting. Joey, Orange swits is still around. And I remember Peter’s Butterball and Jojo candies too!!!

    And does anyone remember those triangular green menthol candies? Victoria brand or something.

    Oct 31, 2006 | 10:48 am

  8. kathygirl says:

    I love lemon drops! Your post just brought me back to my childhood. I’m going to cash and carry soon. Thanks for the tip!

    Oct 31, 2006 | 11:09 am

  9. skymermaid says:

    lucky you! i don’t know who makes them and why they don’t make them as much as they used to when i was younger. sari-sari stores used to sell them individually wrapped in silver wrapper along with lipps candy (like lipstick!), texas chewing gum, kendi mint, viva, and snow bear. orange swits used to be my favorite too! they were 25 centavos before and now they are 2.50!

    Oct 31, 2006 | 12:42 pm

  10. anna gan says:

    mine’s butterball and those eisbonn cola-flavored candies : )

    Oct 31, 2006 | 1:38 pm

  11. MEL WOOD says:

    You’re bringing back childhood memories, MM! When we were kids, they were priced at ten pieces for ten centavos (!) in sari-sari stores. When you buy them, the person tending the store would dip her hand in that that big glass jar of the yellow candies and would count them on our palm! :)

    Oct 31, 2006 | 2:40 pm

  12. emz says:

    when i was a kid my mom used to buy a packet or two every time she goes to the grocery. its a real treat. i thought they’ve completely phased out the product. i’m glad there are still some stores who have them on stock. im off to cash & carry this weekend to load up on lemon drops… :)

    Nov 1, 2006 | 1:52 am

  13. Laura says:

    we used to have a sari-sari store way back so i remember we used to sell these along with classics like jojo candy, kendi mint, texas, tarzan & mighty mouse bubble gum, lipp’s, orange swits, a white nougat candy, choco-nut, goya blocks, etc. there are so many more but couldn’t recall them all…thanks for the memories.

    Nov 1, 2006 | 10:25 am

  14. wil-b cariaga says:

    I haven’t seen this or even tasted it… looks nice and packaging looks good too. . .

    Nov 1, 2006 | 12:41 pm

  15. cupcakediva says:

    Hi Cecile! The triangle menthol candy with the embossed “V” is Vicks. I think they stopped manufacturing it here na so I make pabili nalang in Hongkong or States.

    Anyway, does anybody know where I can find those mixed old-fashioned candies in can, yung may rootbeer,lemon, striped mint candies na parang candy cane.. ? My dad loves them but we can’t find it here na. We used to buy them at Makati or South Supermarket.

    Nov 1, 2006 | 1:22 pm

  16. Mila says:

    My mother got me hooked on lemon everything (lemon candies, lemon pound cake, citrusy colognes…), and I do remember those candies – they had a nicer package too in the old days, but I guess that’s progress for you.
    Aridelros, yes, Valda Pastilles were the first (and in some cases) the best mentholated throat candies. Super strong, like sucking on a Vicks vaporub candy.

    Nov 1, 2006 | 5:09 pm

  17. edel says:

    cecille/cupcakediva: i remember that menthol green colored triangle shaped candy :)

    aridelros: valda pastilles is different from the menthol green colored candy :)

    cupcakediva: i used to see the mixed candies in can before at rustans and cherrys.. not sure if they still have now

    i also remember eating tons of serge chocolate, football, moonbits :)

    Nov 1, 2006 | 8:23 pm

  18. lee says:

    old school mighty lemon drops!

    Nov 2, 2006 | 8:07 am

  19. millet says:

    yes, cupcake diva, i loved that assorted candy mix in the tins (the tins were a bit slimmer than soda cans. i think). but even better is one locally-made brand, i can’t recall the name now – but it was a big jar (i think it’s similar to the jar that macapuno preserves come in) of assorted candy. there would be ribbonettes, choco-filled mint squares,cherry sours, jam-filled “straws”, etc. my siblings and i had our personal favorites, and woe to the one caught emptying the whole jar on a plate just to get at his/her favorite treat at the bottom! i think the label had a picture of a rabbit or something, and the maker was C___ (Columbia? Commonwealth?) confectionery-something. It was locally-made, but of excellent quality. Does anyone remember this?

    Nov 2, 2006 | 10:18 am

  20. Ken says:

    dulce de limon … yup. brings back memories.

    Nov 4, 2006 | 1:22 am

  21. trishlovesbread says:

    Memories indeed! I had a near-choking incident with a green “Sour Ball” when I was about six or seven. I’m glad it got unstuck eventually, how tragic it would have been…death-by-sour-ball!

    Speaking of sweets, whatever happened to Puffi Cones? :-)

    Nov 4, 2006 | 12:55 pm

  22. kryzteta says:

    Is this Lemon drops manufactured by Malabon Candy? :) It so happens that its a sister company of the place I work at. Same manufacturer of Peter’s Butterball & Eisbonn Cola :)

    Nov 18, 2006 | 11:43 pm

  23. chick says:

    oh my.. we used to buy this always when i was a kid.. wala na ba nito? :(

    Aug 16, 2007 | 2:47 pm

  24. jean jane says:

    The lemon drops is one of my favorite things while growing up . A friend of mine brought it along during our class re-union beach party . A SWEET WAY to reminisced the GOOD OLD DAYS !!!

    Jun 7, 2008 | 12:51 pm

  25. ihid says:

    jojo is back in the market but different packaging & texture ;o(

    Oct 9, 2008 | 12:42 pm

  26. Rolly says:

    Senorita’s Lemon drops still carries the same lemoney flavor as ever. And even the Eisbonn Cola from the 60’s was as consistent in taste and in a new packaging.

    Nov 8, 2008 | 9:30 pm


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