Willy Wonka Day
Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day
Today's Musings, History & Folklore
The Chocolate Factory
One of the most recognizable candies are M&M's, the initials standing for Forrest Mars (from Mars Candies) and Scotsman Bruce Murrie (from Hershey Chocolates).
M&M's have a "colorful" history of colors, some even entering urban legend status.
The red version of the candies were eliminated in 1976-1985 because of health concerns over the dye amaranth (FD&C Red #2), which was a suspected carcinogen. They were replaced with orange-colored candies, despite the fact that M&M's did not actually contain the offending dye. The action was purely to satisfy worried consumers.
Red candies were reintroduced ten years later, but the orange colors remained. Paul Hethmon, then a student at University of Tennessee, started the campaign to bring back red M&M's as a joke that would eventually become a worldwide phenomenon.
Blue M&Ms were introduced in 1995.
Various rumours about M&M colours have been rife since their introduction, the stuff of schoolyard legend, especially during Halloween candy season. Here are few you may have heard in your youth:
Green M&M's are an aphrodisiac.
If the last candy out of a bag is red, make a wish and it will come true.
If the last candy out of a bag is yellow, call in sick and stay home from school.
Orange M&Ms are good luck.
Brown ones are bad luck.
Another strange reference to M&Ms has to do with contract riders of certain rock bands, who often include a clause requiring the removal of green M&Ms from the candy bowls supplied to their dressing rooms.
Surprisingly, this urban myth is actually true, and not the result of superstitious musicians. For the real reason, click the newest designer color M&M palette below.