Violet Tablets

Brand: Frazer

Found at: Coop

Cost: 15KR


The show MadMen is something of a running family joke. My grandfather was just such an adman in the 60s, and the domestic life depicted in the early seasons is something my mother loves to reference to help explain her own upbringing. There was certainly not as much drama in the life of a Midwestern tractor company employee, but the ubiquitous ashtrays, lack of seatbelts, and profusion of mixed drinks are all things that she laughingly harkens back to when she and her brother get together.


Which makes it all the more serendipitous that a part of mychildhood were the purple and silver C. Howard Violet candies – an obscure, nostalgic pastille that appears on the show and (in the 90s) in a single novelty store in Seattle. As a kid I really loved the unusual, fragrant flavor of those candies (and their purple color), and only stopped eating them when a fellow middle-schooler told me that “only weed smokers eat those.” She was probably right, but regardless I preceded to forget about these candies until I was well into my adulthood when, without any warning, they appeared in MadMen.


By then I had moved away from Seattle, and had no idea where to buy them, and let the flavor sink into the nostalgic collective memory of my family history.


So, of course, when I saw those little purple flowers at the check-out stand, I snatched them up right away. They are not the same as the C. Howard’s. They are not pastilles, but a chewy, licorice-like candy, and they are not as potent or intrusive to around you. But they are good, and they are close. They still have that sweet, floral flavor that I remember and they are strong enough to evoke a memory. And here in Sweden, far from home and far from family, the occasional warm glow of nostalgia is appreciated.

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