Wisconsin lumberman Stuart Stebbings wanted to be able to eat candy. But being diabetic, he couldn’t. So, in the mid-1950s he invented “cheese candy,” in which much of the sugar was replaced by cheese. Specifically, Swiss Cheese. He marketed it as CheeSweet. His advertising described the flavor as “delightfully different.”
Apparently the American public didn’t take to it, because by 1960 Stebbing’s CheeSweet Company had declared bankruptcy.
The In Too Deep blog
notes that CheeSweet did, however, achieve a minor form of literary fame, in that it was mentioned by John Steinbeck in his 1962 book “Travels with Charley: In Search of America.” Steinbeck wrote:
I don’t know whether or not Wisconsin has a cheese-tasting festival, but I who am a lover of cheese believe it should. Cheese was everywhere, cheese centers, cheese cooperatives, cheese stores and stands, perhaps even cheese ice cream. I can believe anything, since I saw a score of signs advertising Swiss Cheese Candy. It is sad that I didn’t stop to sample Swiss Cheese Candy. Now I can’t persuade anyone that it exists, that I did not make it up.
Twin Falls Times-News - Aug 31, 1958
Category: Candy | 1950s