A cow-orker recently came back from a visit to Kansas and brought with her a Midwestern treat called Cherry Mash. Manufactured in St. Joseph, Mo., these candies have been "America's favorite cherry-flavored candy bar" since 1918.
I'd not seen them before, though I grew up in Wisconsin. Too Upper Midwest, maybe. Had I known of them as a kid, though, I probably would have avoided them. They're quite reminiscent of those chocolates in the Whitman's Sampler that you hoped you didn't pick by mistake. (I was always angling for the chocolate-covered cherries or the caramel-filled ones.)
The ingredient list is deceiving, topped as it is by peanuts, even before sugar. Yes, there are noticeable ground peanuts in the chocolate coating, but it's the incredibly sweet cherry filling that you really taste.
They're better than the ones in samplers, and at least one cow-orker is now scoping out sources ("These are like crack!"). I like them OK, but I don't know that I'll go out of my way to find more.
Is there a regional candy you're fond of that makes other people say, "huh?"