While stocking up for our roadtrip, I picked up an innocuous bag of pineapple/chocolate candy. I love pineapple, we love chocolate, and the bright yellow bag and slightly ridiculous name called out to me. We put it in the car and promptly forgot about it.
Pineapple lumps are chewy, bright yellow, pineapple candy centers coated in a basic but tasty chocolate. The consistency of the center candy is somewhere between a soft taffy and a very hard marshmallow. The overall effect is neither too sweet nor too tangy, and they very readily fall into the category of “just one more” snacks, except each piece is fairly large and eating too many is a good way to get a stomach ache.
Our first experience with the Lumps was after rummaging around for something sweet coming back from a hike. The car had been left in the sun and the interior was toasty, as car interiors can get. We found the bright yellow bag and gave out a collective “oh no..” expecting the whole pile to have melted into an inedible brown and yellow mess. Luckily for us, this was entirely not the case, and we had our first taste of some very soft and extremely chewy pineapple lumps. They quickly became a favorite and I made sure to restock whenever they ran low.
These candies (or lollies in NZ) are not just a favorite of the Kiwis but also a point of pride. As the company page writes : “In the beginning some countries got luckier than others and New Zealand more so than most – that’s because we got Pascall Pineapple Lumps … Those other countries can keep their gold, diamonds and oil – we’ve got the most scrumptious National Treasure of them all!” The back of the bag continues on in similar style describing the history and wonder of Pineapple lumps, from humble beginnings sometime in the 1950’s at the Regina Confectionery Company.
Our second memorable experience with the Lumps was attempting to eat them for breakfast, after the car had been chilling in the cold New Zealand night. Approaching the consistency of hard taffy that quickly softened up after an initial hard bite. Cold is probably my favorite way to eat the Lumps, you get a variety of textures and they’re great as a faux ice-cream on a hot day. On the trip keeping them cool was a challenge so we mostly ate them at whatever temperature they happened to be.
Pineapple Lumps were one of the most memorable candies from our time in New Zealand, and our trip overall. They seem to be a quiet but popular part of Kiwi history, and unfortunately have been facing trouble. While our Lumps were manufactured entirely in NZ, Mondelez has slated the factory for closure with production moving to Australia. As of July 7th there seem to be NZ companies interested in picking up manufacturing. Hopefully this iconic New Zealand sweet can stay locally made.
I’m not sure where they are available outside of the Aus/NZ area, but Amazon carries them for online ordering in the US. I highly recommend picking up a bag if you see one. They’re delicious alone, or in a plethora of desserts as the pile of internet recipes indicates.