Saturday, January 01, 2011

The Best Candy of 2010 (and the Worst, and the Strangest)

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. Looking back at 2010, I feel like it was kind of a low-key candy year. There weren't a lot of new candy releases, and there wasn't much that totally rocked my world. But, having said that, there were some definite highlights to the year.
Worst Candy of 2010
Let's get the negative stuff out of the way first. Unfortunately, it's usually pretty easy for me to pick the year's worst candy, and 2010 was no exception.The Sugar Baby got a nasty expired Chick-o-Stick and Cow Tale in his trick-or-treat bag, although I can't really claim that was the worst, since it had everything to do with the date and nothing to do with the product. So the winner (or loser, I suppose) is Haviland Wintergreen Mint Patty. I don't feel too bad saying that, since the product has since been discontinued. Their Orange Mint Patties, however, are delicious.

Most Unusual
The most unusual candy I tried this year was a Shiitake Mushroom Truffle. What was even stranger than the truffle was the post I wrote about it.

Other candies of note that I tried this year included:

Some more deliciousness from Q.bel (which was the Best Candy of 2009).

I took one for the team and sampled some Sorbee Sugar Free Chocolate.

There were near-riots in the house between me, Mr. Goodbar and No-Nuts over See's Easter Truffles.

I was excited to try Toblerone Fruit and Nut.
I loved the whole concept and taste of South 'n France Bon Bons (especially the coconut ones).

Wonka impressed me with their new bars, Marvels and fruit jellies.

While not my all-time favorite M&M flavor, the Pretzel ones were fun to try and a good option for dieters.

A company I'd never even heard of before-- DeMet's-- surprised me with their yummy caramel Treasures, and the fact that they're made just a few towns away from me.

Best new packaging goes to Crown Nuggets Creme & Liquor-Filled Caramels.
2010 was a year for personalities. The Sugar Baby introduced me to "Mr. Candy," an invisible (hopefully) character in his life. He came up in several conversations before fading away.

I made some new friends this year. Kendra from Ontario, I still owe you some chocolates! I haven't forgotten. You're the sweetest!

The Candy Professor brought some real street cred to the candy world.

I was so psyched to be able to interview April Winchell, a.k.a. Helen Killer from Regretsy, about her father's role as the Tootsie Pop Owl voice.
And someone actually wanted to interview me! I love Jen's blog, My Morning Chocolate.

A fun event for me was a conversation about candy that actually turned into a three-part news story.

And what a way to end the year. Yumster Philly sent me a photo of a cupcake that she created from my drawing of Mr. Candy Corn! How awesome is that?!


2010 was the year of the big 4-0 for me and lots of my friends. Candy buffets and gifts were plentiful.
There was also the Sugar Baby's 4th birthday which was a candy theme.
And now, the moment you've all been waiting for. What was the best candy of 2010? I've narrowed it down to the following:

Green & Black's Organic Milk Chocolate Peanut: caramelized peanuts with sea salt in creamy milk chocolate.
Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Nutty Bits: "a crunchy mix of almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, pistachios and sweet toffee. They're kettle cooked in small batches, then dipped in rich, dark chocolate and sprinkled with just a touch of Fleur de Sel, for a superbly sweet and slightly salty treat."
Ritter Sport Milk Chocolate with Strawberry Creme: Creamy, crunchy and tangy.
Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Covered Shortbread Stars: Lovely dark chocolate and crunchy cookies.
Trader Joe's Pound Plus Milk Chocolate: Seriously creamy, decadent milk chocolate.

Hmmm. Notice a trend here? Trader Joe's did a bang-up job this year in the confection department. I suppose I have to disqualify the chocolate stars, though, as they are really cookies. I loved the Ritter Sport Strawberry Creme, but I still prefer their Cornflake version, so that rules that one out. I think I have to say, based on taste, uniqueness and all-around good lovin', I'm going to choose Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Nutty Bits as the Best Candy of 2010. Would you believe I don't even have a picture? It just so happened that I tried these during a time when I was having camera woes. In any case, I would have preferred to choose a candy that is readily available throughout most of the U.S., so my apologies to you Yumsters who don't have a TJ's near you. Perhaps 2011 will be a more all-inclusive year.

Here's hoping that 2011 will be the sweetest year yet!


Dan said...

I just have to share ... I literally starving for candy right now. And, Mr. Candy Corn is da bomb!

Candy Yum Yum said...

He IS da bomb!

philly said...

Mr. Candy Corn is da bomb because of his hat :D It's magical. Kinda like Frosty the snowman's hat, hee hee :) Thanks :)

2007 was an awesome candy year. 100th birthday for Hershey Kisses and they had all those awesome new flavors!

Necco Door Neighbor said...

Sounds like I gotta get to Trader Joe's!

Kendra said...

Mmmm Trader Joes. We don't have a Trader Joes up here, so every time I'm near one I stock up on candy. I really like the chocolate covered cherries.