This Passover Candy Sent Me on an Emotional Roller Coaster

published Apr 9, 2017
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(Image credit: Oh! Nuts)

Bartons Almond Kisses have been a staple of my family’s Passover seders for as long as I can remember. No Passover with my family would be complete without a tin on the table. And if I’m sinking my teeth into one of these treats, it means it’s Passover, which is one of my absolute favorite holidays.

But recently I discovered an unsettling truth: Bartons Almond Kisses are no longer. Or are they?

What Are Barton’s Almond Kisses?

Like McDonald’s Shamrock Shake or Cadbury Creme Eggs, Almond Kisses are seasonal, available at supermarkets only for a limited time. Blink and you’ll miss them — but I never did! Like clockwork, I’d pick them out every year around this time.

I wasn’t a foodie or anything in third grade, but I knew these treats were higher-quality candy than anything I’d score in a trick-or-treat scenario. They tasted much better than, say, a sticky, stale Milk Dud or a lowly Rolo. They awakened my senses in a way a Twix never could. Plus, it wasn’t like I could get my fix of Almond Kisses at the corner candy store.

(Image credit: Anna Goldfarb)

But what’s an Almond Kiss? you might ask. And, if you’re not Jewish, there’s no reason you would know about this Kosher-for-Passover treat — but you should!

Each kiss features two (always two!) whole roasted almonds embedded in a creamy, smooth tantalizing nugget of chocolate caramel. With the pure golden, gooey goodness of the caramel and the crunchy, nuttiness of the almonds, they’re downright irresistible.

As a kid who couldn’t wait to grow up, I loved how Almond Kisses felt like a candy made for adults. I’d always thought candies were for exclusively for kids! Were there other adult treats I was missing out on?

You could eat an Almond Kiss in one bite, but even as a kid I learned to savor it, nibbling on it a little at a time. (I loved feeling the chocolate caramel melt on my tongue.) Another thing I learned? Because they’re individually wrapped in plastic, they’re ideal for little hands to slip into pockets and save for later.

The Great Passover Candy Mystery

With Passover around the corner and because just writing the words Almond Kisses made me crave one of these delightful confections, I went out in search of the signature (slightly wacky) tin. I trekked to two grocery stores with no luck. So I took to the internet to do some research.

According to The Atlantic, the company ended its 71-year run in 2009. How could this be? I wondered Had I been buying leftover stock the last few years? Cue the sad trombone! I couldn’t even eat my feelings because I didn’t have any Almond Kisses to do so with.

Upon some more digging, however, I learned that there was still hope: In 2011, Bazzini Nuts bought the Bartons company and, I’m happy to report (PHEW), they’re cranking out new batches of Bartons Almond Kisses. A company rep told me they do not sell the treats directly to consumers, but they are available in select specialty stores and online.

And there’s another silver lining: See’s Candies sells something called an Almond Royal, which appears to be a dead ringer for an Almond Kiss. It’s all anyone is talking about on the site’s review section. At $19.90 for a one-pound can, it’s not cheap, but if what’s inside is half as good as an Almond Kiss, I’ll gladly welcome it into my life with open arms.

Buy: Almond Royal, $20 for one-pound can at See’s Candies

Phew! I’m glad I made it through that brief-but-exhausting ride of emotions! Have you ever had an Almond Kiss? What’s your favorite Passover snack?