Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Oh beloved Halloween, you came too quickly...
I re-discovered how tasty Heath bars are. At the last minute, I decided I needed more Halloween candy, so I got some Heath bars and Chiclets and I practically ate all the Heath bars myself.
For the big kids who couldn't be bothered with costumes, I gave out bags of cereal and Ramen noodles.
So this Friday Alexandra and I are going into the city for the Chocolate Show. I'm sure I'll have LOTS to report. And hopefully LOTS of samples!

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

I have three words to say: MEGA PERKY NANA. It's a candy bar from New Zealand that I found on cybercandy.com. Here's what they have to say about it:
"It's like a banana flavoured Milky Way."
"It's sooo morish." (What does morish mean?!)

I've got to get my hands on one of these. And then, check THIS out...a vegetarian wrote in that she couldn't have the Nana because it contained gelatin, but that she does eat "Banana Foam Shrimp." HA! Can you imagine?! I can only surmise that it must be like a Circus Peanut, only yellow and shaped like a shrimp. God bless the Brits.

They also offer "Chocolate Fish." These are apparently pink marshmallow fish covered in chocolate. Bestill my heart.

In other news, yes, friends, Halloween is fast encroaching upon us. And yes, I did finish off the entire bag of Junior Mints, although I'm proud to say that it took me about two weeks. I now have a bucket filled with Reese's, Snicker's Crunchers, regular Snickers, JujyFruits and all the other miscellaneous candy that I had laying around. I had two Reese's for breakfast. Hey, peanut butter is protein, right? Dr. Atkins would be proud.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Oh, the chocolate gods have been good to me. As I was walking through the Stamford mall yesterday (and don't even get me started on how creepy and '80s malls have become), I sauntered into a candy store. I walked to the back and there, lo and behold, were all sorts of British delights! I bought two candy bars. The one I tried so far is called "Tiffin" and it is absolutely the most delicious perfect candy bar. It's made by Cadbury and is milk chocolate with raisins and biscuit pieces. (I know, I know...the whole raisin thing. But they really do taste good with chocolate! THink of them as little wine fruits.)
Yum, yum, yum.
And while I'm on the topic, beware the Godiva store in the mall. There's this freaky kid that works there that will not leave you alone. I'd encountered him before. He comes up to you and says, "Welcome to Godiva. May I help you?" like a freaky automaton. You say no, just looking, then he says, is there anything I can help you look for? You say no. He goes, WOuld you like to try today's sample? And you really do, but now you're so freaked out by this kid that you grab your bags and run.

Monday, October 06, 2003

Extra! Extra! Read all about it...The latest in candy news. The New York TImes reported this weekend that the Hershey bar has changed its packaging. Yes, folks, even Hershey has succumbed to the 21st century. Bummer. Here's what the article said:
"Gone is the foil wrapper. Also gone is the classic Gothic logo--replaced by fussy, beveled letters and an airbrushed sheen that would look at home on a Metallica T-shirt."

In other news, I have purchased the first batch of Halloween candy. I got a giant, mother-sized bag of "Jujyfruits and Friends." (The friends being Raspberry Dollars, formerly known as Red Hot Dollars, and some cherry and grape things.) Also got a bag of Junior Mints, although there's no way in hell they're going to last til Halloween. I had a little box of Jujyfruits and was happy to note that they replaced the formerly heinous mint-flavored green ones with tastier lime ones. Good call on their part.

Saturday, October 04, 2003

And now, for my official State of the Union address.

Well, I really have nothing to say, actually. Instead, perhaps, I will wax poetic on some candies I have known and loved in my 33 (vomit) years on this earth.

-Munson's Jordan Crackers. These little dainties were the bane of my existence when I worked there. They were these little long, pointed cookies covered in either milk or dark chocolate. Strangley enough, I prefered the milk in this instance. But they're sooo, sooo yummy. Mmmm. Chocolate covered cookie. I used to hate when people would order them because they were so light that it would take a million of them to make up a pound and then I'd have to refill the tray and they had to be all nice and pretty...you couldn't just dump them in the tray.
-Charm's BloPops. I love these. Particularly the traditional cherry flavor. The gum would always turn hard as a rock after two chews, but it was more the initial contrast of hard candy vs. chewy gum that I liked. The only problem with them is that they sometimes have cracks in them that'll destroy the top of your mouth. Ouch.

Oh crap...I'll have to finish this post later. I just realized it's already 2:00 and I have to take a shower before bringing PJ to the Episcopal church for the blessing of the animals. I'm hoping to get the devil exorcised out of him.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

What I would eat now if I wasn't doing this dang Weight Watchers:
dark chocolate nonpariels
vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting
grande moccacino with whipped cream
chocolate chip cookies
cream horn
Any of the following: Devil Dogs, Ring Dings, Funny Bones, Yankee Doodles
Scoop of chocolate ice cream with hot peanut butter topping
Goldenberg's Peanut Chews

What I'm really eating: Pasta Fagioli and a glass of water

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Good God, this has got to be the world's most boring blog. What the heck is wrong with me? Well, in any case, British Delights (the website where I get all my lovely Euro candy) has released their Christmas list. One thing they're offering is "Iced Slab." I don't know what that is, but you're all getting it for Christmas.

Tried another of my Montreal candy bars last night. This one was Sweet Marie. The packaging was hideous; I can imagine a greasy, bad-teethed (toothed?) Brit drawing up the logo in the 70s. Anyhow...it was YUM! "Fresh roasted peanuts, caramel and chocolate." I was only going to eat half and then retire to read "Diary of a Young Girl," but I ended up eating the whole thing. And as for the book, well, I hate to admit it, but I just couldn't read it. I mean, we all know the story...Anne Frank was in hiding, kept a journal, but was eventually discovered by the Nazis. Horrible. But the thing is, even knowing all that, I didn't like her. And of course I wanted to--how terrible is it to say I don't like Anne Frank?! ugh.

Well, enough of this self flaggelation. Gotta go. PJ's nail is stuck in his blankie and he has a water bottle in his mouth.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Here is an excellent blog on Ferrara Pan candies (you know, fireballs, Lemonheads, Boston Baked Beans, etc.):
It's really funny!
I'm back from Montreal, land of chocolatey goodness!
On our first night, Genevieve and I bought a nice selection of candy bars from a little bodega. What was funny was that the Middle Eastern guy behind the counter knew exactly what we were up to. He said, "I'll tell you which ones you can't get in the U.S." Ha! Like I needed his help. Anyhow, without further ado, I give you the CANADA CANDY COLLECTION:

Aero Dark: This was an Aero bar (which used to be sold in the U.S. as "Wispa"). It's pure chocolate but the inside is whipped so there's all these little air bubbles. This was dark as opposed to the traditional milk. It was fine. Nothing to write home about. But I guess something to write in my blog about.

Wunderbar: A very strange combination. It was chocolate-covered peanut butter and caramel, yet there were tiny pieces of peanuts AND crunchies in it. I wasn't sure of it at first, but I ended up really liking it. The only problem was, because it was soft, whenever you bit into it, you couldn't see the inside texture of the candy bar. I like to see as well as taste. Mr. Peter and Genevieve seemed to like this one.

Mirage: Like the Aero, filled with air. On the package it was described as "bubbly milk chocolate." Couldn't resist that. It was good.

Coffee Crunch: By far, everyone's favorite. The inside was a wafer with coffee-flavored cream, covered with chocolate. Very light, very crunchy, coffee crazy! Genevieve is going to ask Melissa to bring us back some more when she goes to Toronto this week.

Mr. Big: We had high hopes for this one. Genevieve bought one especially for Melissa. She and Mr. Peter said it wasn't very good. I still haven't tried mine yet. We figure a name like Mr. Big is akin to a bald, middle-aged man driving a Porsche.

Krispy Krunch: I'm pretty sure that's the name of it. It appeared to be somewhat like a Butterfinger, although Mr. Peter said it was more peanutty than that. I believe this is the candy bar Pete shoved in his mouth before Gen could get a bite. He then graciously offered her ABC candy. What a gentleman.

There are more in my fridge to sample so I'll update as I go along. I do regret, though, that I forgot to buy some Kindereggs--chocolate eggs with really cool toy surprises inside. You can't buy them in the U.S. cuz the cool toy is a choking hazard. How stupid.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

It's been a while...since I'm doing Weight Watchers again, I don't have the chance to eat much candy. In fact, I've been doing PAINTINGS of candy! I was inspired by candy corn, so I did a painting of three giant corns. Then I bought these yucky cappucino merengue cookies from Trader Joe's that looked pretty, so I painted them. Now I'm doing marshmallows. It's my homage to Wayne Thiebaud. I have a fantasy that I'll do enough paintings for an exhibit...it'll be called "THe Confection Collection" and there will be tons of candy at the opening.
Several months ago I went to "Wanda's Sugar Shack" in Milford. Turns out Wanda's an eccentric old lady with a little store where she sells all kinds of candy, including her own. I bought some chocolate dipped marshmallows from her...they were really gross though. Nothing can compare to a Munson's dark chocolate marshmallow, anyhow.
I'm going to Montreal this weekend, so I should be able to find some good European chocolate there, so Look for an update.

Friday, August 15, 2003

LifeSavers changes its stripes Friday
By Theresa Howard, USA TODAY
NEW YORK — LifeSavers will announce on Friday a new flavor lineup for its classic, nearly 70-year-old five-flavor roll. Raspberry-, watermelon- and blackberry-flavored "O's" will replace the traditional orange, lemon and lime.

Pineapple and cherry will remain in the new rolls, which will be on sale next month.

The new flavors were picked in Web-based promotion in which nearly 2 million consumers voted from February through April.

The change is the first since the original five-flavor combination rolled out in 1935. It's a move to freshen the appeal and sales of the sugary, hard candies with a hole that have been losing market share to mints and bolder tart candies.

So here's how I feel. Personally, my favorite flavor is the pineapple, and I'd love it if Lifesaver made a roll of all pineapple. But then again, that might take some of the anticipation away. Too much of a good thing. I'm not much for the lime or lemon, but the cherry and orange are good. The thing is, the classic five flavors are just that...CLASSIC. Why, why is Lifesaver changing to these trendy berry and melon flavors? Why not make an additional five-flavor roll? It's perplexing. In any case, I'd say stock up now on the original five flavors. There's gonna be a market for them. You just wait.
While I'm on the topic of Lifesavers, I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE the Spear-o-Mint ones. They're so addicting. At the Minuteman, my boss Cindy bought a big bag of them and put them in a candy dish in her office. Not only were they Spear-o-Mint, but they were also the chunkier variety. I think I ate the whole bowl that day. Pep-o-Mint can be refreshing, and Little Grandma loved them, but I can take 'em or leave 'em.

Sunday, August 10, 2003

Just got back from Washington D.C. where Joy and I shared a wonderful candy moment on the Metro. We were sitting across from a guy who reached into his CVS bag and pulled out a package of Starburst. Now, instead of tearing the paper away at one corner, this is what he did-- he snapped the package in half in the middle! Brilliant! The best part was when I looked over at Joy and she looked over at me and we both knew we were thinking the same thing. Ha! Joy, however, was bothered by the fact that now all the little Starbursts would be loose in the bag rather than all nicey-nice in the package. Something to consider.

Nick and Vin came over last night and Nick surprised me with something called a "Big Stuff Lip Pop." I'm not usually one for toys/candy (there's a word for that...what is it??) but this is really cool. It's like a pacifier--the part you stick in your mouth is a cherry lollipop. But then the outside (where the ring would be on a pacifier) is actually a funny pair of lips with teeth. It's quite funny. There's also a version that has braces on the teeth.

Oh--also in D.C. I went to a candy store where they had individually wrapped Circus Peanuts! While there, I got a Skybar. Haven't had one in years and years...and it was absolutely heinous. Joy had the fudge part, I had the peanut and vanilla and Claire had the caramel. At least Claire liked it.

Monday, August 04, 2003

Yes, I just finished reading "Candy & Me." It was a way quick read-- took about two hours. Overall, I'd say the writing was scattered at best. I could've done a much better job. But I did learn some stuff. Such as:
Smarties are actually flavored according to their colors. I always just thought they were random fruity flavors. But no, purple is grape, green is lime, pink is cherry, yellow is pineapple (!) and the best-- are you ready for this?-- white is "orange cream". Who would've guessed??? White was always my favorite, but orange cream? I never could've imagined.
More later...I've got to go cover a blood drive now. The excitement never stops.

Friday, August 01, 2003

After lunch, had to have a little sweet, so I succumbed to the siren call of the "Walnut Whip." This candy bar intrigued me for several reasons: 1) I love the name; 2) It says on the package milk chocolate with a whipped vanilla center, but there's no mention of walnut; and 3) the shape. It comes in a pouch rather than a bar. It was a delightful surprise to open it. The Whip is shaped like a beehive and there were two walnuts in the bottom of the package. So here's the deal: You bite into the thick, chocolate casing and inside is a creamy white, whipped filling, very close to frosting. It's vanilla, but there's also a hint of walnut. What a lovely candy! This is what candy should be all about....delicious candy with fun names, not the crap they sell here-- gummi snot and candy spray paint and all that garbage.
Okay, here's the latest on the Euro candy. First of all, on the Curly Wurly Squrly package it gives nutritional information "per squrl." Ha! Ya gotta love the Brits. The second bar I tried was Cadbury Fuse-- "A Fusion of Milk Chocolate, Raisins, Crispy Cereal, Peanuts and Fudge Pieces." This was sooo yummy. The perfect balance of goodies in Cadbury chocolate, which is, of course, much creamier than our chocolate because it has a lower sugar content. I would absolutely buy this candy bar again.
The second I tried was Cadbury's Double Decker-- "Big Up Top." It's described as "Milk Chocolate filled with smooth, chewy nougatine and crisp, crunchy cereal." Now, here's the thing. I love real nougat--none of our American candy bars really have it. (Charleston Chew, maybe, but not really.) And, of course I love crunch. But upon first try of this candy bar, I didn't like it. The crunch seemed too textured for the smooth nougat. But then I tried it frozen and it was a whole different experience. The nougat got hard and was perfect with the crunch. Would buy this again and stick it in the freezer first.
Speaking of nougat, it reminds me of my days at Munson's. Every Friday afternoon, this tiny 40-ish woman would come in and order 2 lbs. (our biggest box) of dark chocolate almond nougats. One day I asked her what she did with all these. She said she eats them all herself. So then I commented on how thin she was and she said she did two hours a day on the treadmill just to be able to eat these chocolates. You go, girl!

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Yesterday I tried the new dark chocolate Kit Kat. I was all set to hate it, but it was pretty damn good. Unfortunately it was melting so I had to scarf it down pretty fast-- didn't get to enjoy it's subtle nuances-- but it's definitely worth a try, if you like dark. Speaking of Kit Kats, I think I wrote an essay about them. I'll have to check my harddrive on the Mac. I think it was actually quite brilliant.

Sunday, July 27, 2003

All two of you who have been following this blog will notice some changes. I've decided to make it more focused and stick with my candy obsession. I received my shipment of British candy on Friday. Unfortunately, it was sitting on the front porch for a few hours before I realized it was there. I quickly transferred the candy to the fridge.
The first one I tried were the Curly Wurly Squirlies-- mini versions of the American Marathon bar. Now, in a previous post, I noted that I don't really like caramel. But these were yummy. The caramel was much more buttery than the caramel in American candy bars.

Thursday, July 24, 2003

UPdate: I have located a Valomilk at Cracker Barrel. Unfortunately, I didn't have any $$ on me when I saw it, so I'll have to go back and get it. Also, Valomilk was featured on the Food Network last week. Apparently the filling is a top-secret marshmallowy substance. Oh, the excitement. I just can't stand it!
Yesterday I ordered $15 worth of British candy from a website called British Delights. I can't wait to get the shipment...all sorts of lovely chocolates with biscuits and raisins and toffee. It's lovely, gov'na.

Monday, July 14, 2003

Well, I thought no one was reading this, so I took a break. But due to overwhelming demand, I'm back. And I have news to report. There's a new website-- www.candy.staggingground.com-- and it's all about candy. There's a book out called "Candy & Me" and it's a memoir about a girl's experience with candy. GODDAMMIT!!! I should've written that. Ugh. While it really pisses me off, I must recommend the website. It's addictive. It lists all different kinds of candy and people's experiences. Funny thing about Circus Peanuts--they really cause a stir. A lot of people hate them, but have guilt complexes tied to them because their grandparents or parents liked them. Ha! Something to think about there. "Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. I threw out an unopened bag of Circus Peanuts."
In other news, I've just about reached my breaking point with this freelancing thing. I spend HOURS writing detailed, impeccible queries, only to either get a form rejection letter (if I'm lucky) or hear nothing at all. I've had it. So I'm going to be concentrating on my book now. It's a total mishmash and changes everyday, but a sucky book is better than no book, right? So all you stupid editors out there who have ignored my queries--ppphhhlleeeppptttthhhh!!!!!!!! Soon I will be famous and you'll be begging to interview me and I won't return your calls. Hahahaha!

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Candy Update!! Candy Update!!
I've been OBSESSED with finding a Marathon bar for the past three years, ever since a reporter at the Minuteman asked me if I remembered them. They're those long candy bars, shaped like a chain, made out of chocolate-covered caramel. At first, neither one of us could remember the name of the bar, which sent me into a tizzy. Finally I uncovered the name. Now I've been searching for one but haven't succeeded. Until NOW! I have just found they make a British version called "Curly Wurly." It's the same as the Marathon, although it doesn't have the traditional ruler on the package. I feel good, though, that at least there's a reasonable facsimile.
A new candy product has been launched. It's called "Sour Flush." Get this--it's a plastic toilet, of all things, filled with sour powder and comes with a candy PLUNGER!!! And I thought Fun Dip was innovative.

I need your help. I'm in search of a candy bar I've not yet tried. It's called "Valomilk" and appears to be some sort of liquidy marshmallow covered in milk chocolate. If anyone can secure a Valomilk, I'll reward you handsomely. (Yes, I can order it off the Internet, but that goes against my candy-testing policy. It has to be purchased in a store.)
Non-Chocolate Candy I DON'T like:
1) Milk duds, Sugar Babies, Sugar Daddies, bullseyes or any other caramel incarnations of the sort. I'm not a big caramel fan.
2) Chuckles, gum drops (spice or regular), orange slices, Dots, etc. The exception is spearmint leaves and anything licorice-flavored.
3) Bit o' Honeys. Not good enough to waste calories on.
4) Candy buttons. This is a classic kid candy, but think about it. You end up ingesting more paper than candy. Gross.
5) Circus Peanuts. My mother is the only person in the whole world who likes these orange-colored marshmallowy things. I bet secretly deep down she doesn't even like them. She probably buys them because she feels sorry for them. That's the way I feel, too. I hate them, but still have a fond affection for them. Kind of like the lamp in the IKEA commercial. The Circus Peanuts are not real. They don't have feelings.
6) Necco wafers. The only purpose these tasteless, Martha Stewart-color-palate discs have is for use in practicing for First Communion. (A bit of trivia: what's the only Necco wafer color/flavor that's sold on its own? Brown--chocolate. Blech)
My Fave Non-Chocolate Candy:
1) Gummi Bears: must be Haribou, no other brand. The clear and green ones are the best. The red and orange are acceptable. When I worked at Munson's, we used to put a gummi bear in a cup of water overnight and the next day it would be all plump and expanded.
2) Swedish fish: Must be original Swedish Fish brand and only the red ones. Green, yellow and orange are gross.
3) Sour Patch Kids: (and basically any other sour candy of the type.) These are made sour by a coating of pure citric acid in crystallized form. Pucker up!
4) Jelly Belly Sours: everyone's favorite jelly bean, but in the sour flavors. Don't much care for regular JB's.
5) Fireballs. When I'm feeling hot, hot, hot!
6) Charm's Blo-Pops. Love these, except they always cut up the roof of my mouth so I don't have them too often. I like the traditional red and grape.
7) Wint-o-Green Lifesavers. Mmmm. Can't stop eating these once I have one. Plus, they have the added bonus of sparking in a dark room when you hit them together.
8) Sweettarts. Again, the sour element.
9) Zotz. Haven't had these in YEARS but they're awesome. A fizzy explosion of acidic foam. Mmm.

Thursday, May 29, 2003

Okay, now that I'm back and settled into my usual routine, I can comment on candy.
My Fave Candybars:
1) Goldenberg's Peanut Chews. Not so easy to find, and perceived by some as "old people" candy. But these are extremely satifying. They're peanuts and a chewy sort of molassesy-caramel covered in dark chocolate. Actually, they've just released a milk chocolate version, but of course I like the dark better.
2) Nestle's Crunch: Nice texture and mouth feel. A good candy bar when you're not totally hungry, as they're a bit more meager than others. I like to take a bite and eat it, then take the next bite and suck on the chocolate until it starts to melt, leaving just crispy rice on your tongue. Yum. The latest versions-- crunch with caramel, double chocolate and I forget the other one-- are also good. Note that I actually enjoy Krakle more, but those aren't as easy to find.
3) Snickers. The All-American candy bar. Good for when you're hungry. "It really satisfies."
4) Reese's. I quite enjoy the dry crumbly texture of the peanut butter, but I always feel sick after eating them. Do not care for the latest versions: white chocolate and dark chocolate. Dark choc. and PB are not a good combination.
5) Kit Kats: A stale KK is a bad thing. But a really fresh one is YUM. Here's how I like to eat them: break off the first stick (or "finger" as it is properly called according to the KK website). Using your front teeth, gently bite away the chocolate all along the sides. Then, again using your front teeth, remove the top wafer layer and eat. Next, scrape the sugary inside along your bottom teeth. Alternate this process with regular bites.
6) Junior Mints. Everytime I have them I can't help but say, "It's a JUNIOR mint," like on Seinfeld. Smooth and creamy and no fat. In every box, though, it seems like there's always a few weird ones that have solidified. I'll have to investigate why that is.
7) Mallo Cups. Oh, what a beautiful thing. A chocolate/toasted coconut cup filled with gooey marshmallowy goodness. Rare to find, but such a special treat.
8) Mr. Goodbar. A nice candybar.
9) Special Dark. Soooo yummy, this is for the more sophisticated palate. Not as good as say, Lindt chocolate, but definitely better than Ghiradelli.
10) Sky Bars: Haven't had one in years, but there's something really special about a candy bar with four different fillings. What are they, you ask? Fudge, peanut, marshmallow (or vanilla) and caramel.

Candy bars I DON'T like (but will eat if desperate enough):
1) Milky Ways
2) 3 Musketeers
3) Anything with white chocolate