Monday, December 31, 2007

My Two Cents

I finally got around to trying the Reese's Whipps and the Junior Mint Peppermint Crunch. I fully expected to hate the Whipps, since most of the other candy bloggers weren't jazzed by it. It's a peanut butter nougat with a thin layer of peanut butter around it coated in chocolate. Here's what I thought: if you compare it to a Reese's, you're going to be disappointed. But if you accept it as its own candy bar, it's actually kind of good.
I had similar expectations for the mints, and they were fine, but really, they weren't that much different than a plain old normal Junior Mint.

"I'm just an innocent little girl who has no idea what flavor this jelly bean is"

I'm up here in the Great White North to celebrate New Year's at the von Schokolats'. It's been snowing for four days straight. Fortunately we've got lots of chocolate to keep us happy.
On my first morning here, wee little Gretl von Schokolat put a Jelly Belly in front of me and said, "I don't know what flavor this is."
As it was morning and I hadn't yet had my coffee, I popped the unassuming green bean in my mouth, expecting it was green apple. But no. It was, of course, jalapeno. Let me state for the record that I hate peppers. Furthermore, I'm not much for really hot stuff except wasabi. So thank you very much, little evil child, for starting my day off with a bang.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Newman's Own Organic Cups

Once upon a time I had to edit an article about dairy. You know, cheese, milk, yogurt, kefir, all that kind of stuff. That week I must've consumed a cow's worth of dairy products. I find that whenever I'm working on an article, I start to crave whatever it is I'm working on. So when I was doing the recent organic chocolates article, I did some serious, ahem, "research."

In figure 1, we have an assortment of Newman's Own Organics cups. They come in: caramel with milk chocolate, caramel with dark chocolate, peanut butter with milk chocolate, peanut butter with dark chocolate and peppermint with dark. I fully expected that the peppermint would be my favorite, but I was shocked to find that I quickly fell in love with the dark peanut butter! I've said before that dark chocolate just doesn't go with peanut butter, but for some reason, this was a great match. Mmmm, mmmm! The fun thing about Newman's Own cups is that there are THREE in a package! You totally expect there's going to be two, like a Reese's, but then voila! Three! Two for now, one for later.

In figure 2, we have an assortment of bars: Milk Chocolate, Sweet Dark, Crispy Rice, Sweet Dark Orange and Sweet Dark Espresso. I totally dig anything with chocolate and orange, so I'd say that was my favorite. The only one I had qualms about was the Crispy Rice. On the label it says, "Now with crispier rice!" which is a little frightening, because this rice seemed more stale than crispy. That made me sad, because I love crispy rice.

My goal for 2008 is to be more "green," so I'll be focusing more on organic confections. That's easy to do, now, because there's so much variety out there.

(Editor's note: after reading some previous posts, I realized that I guess I DO like peanut butter and dark chocolate, as evidenced here. Go figure.)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


A big Candy Yum Yum hug to you and yours on this most festive of days. May your stockings be filled to the brim with all things chocolatey and candylicious!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Solstice Goodies

The Baron wrote last night to say that he agrees that Smarties (the U.K. version of M&Ms, not the U.S. candies) are pretty nasty. He said his Canadian cousins used to wrestle him to the floor and force-feed him Smarties until he sang "O Canada." Well, I made that last part up, but it wouldn't surprise me.

Update on the British candies I bought: last night I thoroughly enjoyed my Walnut Whip. Funny, though; the first thing I did was remove the walnut from the top and chuck it. I like walnuts enough, but not in candy. They're not a good chocolate nut, unlike almonds, which rock. Anyhow, I just love the shape of the Walnut Whip. It's like a beehive, a chocolatey beehive with a creamy vanilla, almost-but-not-quite marshmallowy filling.

The other night, Sue MKAFFGGF and Neil came over for a Solstice Hunters' Celebration. They brought over a very fab cheese plate on a piece of slate and wrote the name of each cheese in chalk. (Hmm. Chalk and cheese.) They also gave me a wonderful Solstice present-- a very delish cherry beer that's served warm, four dark Kit Kats (!) and a big hunk o' sticky toffee cheese! Yes, she was able to procure it! It was very strange, actually. The cheese itself was dry and crumbly, almost like a dry cheesecake. There were raisins in it, and the sticky toffee part was, well, sweet and sticky. I'm going to experiment with it. I'm going to melt some onto a digestive biscuit. I'm thinking that may add to its "cheesecakeiness." The woman at the store suggested melting it on toast. I'm going to try that, too. Mmm, mmm! Also, I should mention that MKAFFGGF brought over some truly lovely goose pate that-- ahem-- she and Neil made themselves. As in, from start to finish. If you know what I mean. That's all I'll say about that except to say that they are truly cool.

We were supposed to crack open a bottle of vintage Port to have with the hunk o' Stilton I bought, but the cherry beer went to my head and I totally forgot about it. I did, however, break out the marshmallow Tea Cakes. I was prepared for a lame version of a Moon Pie, but I was quite happily surprised. The marshmallow was quite fresh and fluffy. Very nice.

We also got Neil to try a piece of the Velveeta fudge. He had something really astute to say about it (because he has fabulous taste buds and an even better food lexicon) but I don't remember what it was. Again, the cherry beer.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Orange tic tacs

Best Christmas present ever: My mother watched the Sugarbaby today (his new Candy Yum Yum name) while Mr. Goodbar and I went out for sushi and to the movies. BLISS! Seriously. If you have a kid, you know what I'm talking about. Anyhow, we saw "Juno," which was very fabulous indeed. Before we went into the theater, the woman taking tickets said, "This is a great movie for teenagers. It'll teach them something." That it will, but I won't give away the story. But I do have to tell you that it had two significant candy moments:
1) Juno buys a giant rope of red licorice, which, in a fit of sarcastic desperation tries to hang herself with, only to chew through it.
2) The boy has only one vice: Orange tic tacs.

They're a special breed, indeed, those orange tic tacs. Remember back in the '70s when they used to come with two flavors in a pack with a divider down the middle?! It was the orange and grape that were teamed up together. That's not really a great combination, as evidenced by the fact that they're no longer around. I don't think orange tic tacs do much to freshen your breath, but they are mighty tasty.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Poopy Doo Doo

A package arrived from Memaw the other day. Because of my love of all things candy and chocolate, she sent me a package of Moose Poops (peanut clusters) and Bear Doo Doo (chocolate patties). I tried to take a picture, but it just wouldn't come out because the packaging was very white. But on the Moose Poops, there's a picture of a moose sitting on a tree stump toilet reading a newspaper, and on the bear one there's a picture of a bear in an outhouse. Yee haw! Gotta love this stuff.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Just the Facts

So, I had this article that was due on Wednesday for a trade magazine about organic chocolates and confections. No big deal, right? I've never missed a deadline in my life, and what could be better than writing about candy? Well for some reason, it was like pulling teeth. Believe me when I tell you, every word was painful. Yes, I wrote a 50,000-word novel in a month, but it took me three days to write an 1800-word article. Here's why, I think: there was too much information. Now, the article was for the trade (meaning, people who sell chocolate, not necessarily eat it) so it had to have lots of facts and figures to convince them why their customers need to buy this stuff. I had to trudge through lots of market analyses and such, but I kept running across information that I thought was way cool, but I just couldn't write about it and be all professional. So thank God for Candy Yum Yum, because now I can get it out of my system. Things like, the "star" of 2006 in the non-chocolate category (that is, gummies, hard candies, fruit-flavored thingies) was plain mints. And the top sellers by category are (in descending order): Twizzlers, Starburst, Skittles, Lifesavers, Jolly Ranchers, Mentos, Red Vines, Lifesaver Gummisavers, Tootsie Roll Child's Play and Jelly Belly.
Wow. This all seemed so interesting as I was researching it, but now I know I've bored you to tears.
How about this? This is kind of interesting: Nestle skews disproportionately toward blue-collar adults, as in non-high school graduates, those with incomes less than $20,000 and owners/renters of mobile homes.
And this: Young adults (18 to 24) are more likely to select Hershey Cookies 'n Cream, Mars M-Azing, Nestle Goobers and Hershey Sno-Caps, while Baby Boomers pick out Mounds, Hershey Kisses and Pay Days. Lastly, the senior crowd likes Brachs, Werther's Originals and Chunky.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Oh Mr. Postman ...

It has come to the attention of Candy Yum Yum that some of you are sending e-mails that aren't getting through to me. I assure you, I will respond to all correspondence, so if you don't hear from me, check your address. Here it is again, for good measure:

Write a Caption, Win Some Candy!

I'll send a special Candy Yum Yum surprise to the person who writes the best caption for this photo. I'll accept entries until Dec. 25.

Monday, December 17, 2007


So. I just tried the Smarties (the British version of M&Ms) and the British Milky Way. I didn't like either of them. The Smarties were flatter than M&Ms, and the candy shells actually had a floral/fruity taste to them. The Milky Way didn't have any caramel; it was more like a 3 Musketeers. Hmmm. It's not often that British candy disappoints.

Tiny Treats

The von Schokolats were busy little elves this weekend. They made these pretzel/Hershey Kiss/M&M treats. Yum!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Try It If You Dare!

Dontcha just love it when people say, "Oh, you have to try this, but I'm not going to tell you what's in it until you taste it."
Then the whole time you're chewing your mind is going wild, thinking of pig snouts and monkey brains.
This weekend my friend P.L. came over toting a big bucket of homemade goodies. There was a chocolate fruit and nut bark, a white chocolate praline confection, some toffee and, at the bottom, a whole bunch of fudge made with a mystery ingredient.
"It's a Paula Deen recipe," she said, so immediately I knew that there was at least four sticks of butter, a cup of lard and three pounds of sugar in it.
I tried it. The texture was very nice, very smooth. The taste was very sweet (like almost all fudge) and it reminded me of penuche. I liked it. Until she told me the "secret": Velveeta.
Now, on the scale of gross things to eat, Velveeta hardly ranks up there with say, a scorpion (which I've eaten) or foie gras (which, as a food writer I should love but just find repulsive), but still ... there's just something about cheese "product" in candy that stimulates my gag reflex. Here's the link to the recipe if you're feeling brave.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Eye Candy

Seriously, I have so much to do, but here I am because I have to tell you about this artist I just found. His name is Duane Keiser and he has some of the most beautiful candy paintings I've ever seen:
I'm in love with the sour balls and the rock candy.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Good Work!

Here we have evidence of the Baron's unusual candy find: Butter Toffee Popcorn Candy Corn. Personally, I just don't get the whole popcorn-flavored candy trend. I know that there's a secret society of people who go nuts over Buttered Popcorn Jelly Bellies, and I just don't get it. But then again, I'm not much of a popcorn lover. Kudos to the Baron for finding these, though, even if he ended up spilling them all in the car.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Guest Reviews

I've been kind of slacking in the candy department, but fortunately I've got a couple of guest reviews.
First off, Mr. Goodbar is addicted to the Sweetriot Cacao Nibs. "These are so good, I want to just dump the whole package in my mouth," he said. These must definitely be a "male" candy, because Brian at Candy Addict also loves them.
The Baronness just called to say she tried the Reese's Whipp. I haven't tried one yet because they've gotten such mediocre reviews from other candy lovers, but she said it was pretty good. She likened the texture to a Milky Way.
And finally, the Baron found buttered popcorn-flavored candy corn, which I was mightily impressed by. I haven't seen these. Apparently he was enjoying them in the car when the Baronness took a sharp turn and ended up dumping the candy all over the car. He was not happy.

Totally Cool Gift!

I was going to write, "If I was a kid, I'd love to receive one of these kits," but the fact of the matter is, I'd love to receive one now! I think these make-your-own-candy kits are way cool. They come in chocolate, gum and gummie and are made by the folks at Glee Gum.
When I first saw this, I thought it would be a kit where you melt down already-made chocolate and just put it into molds, but no! The kit contains organic cocoa butter, cocoa powder, confectioner's sugar, starter crystals, a temperature indicator, paper candy liners, instructions, and the story of chocolate. So cool!
The gummie kit includes: sour mix, colored and flavored sugar, powdered seaweed, seaweed, molding starch, instructions and the story of carrageenan.
The chewing gum kit includes: chewing gum base (containing natural chicle), confectioner's sugar, corn syrup, natural peppermint and tutti fruiti flavors, a pan for softening the chicle gum base, instructions and the story of chicle.
At $13, I think these would make great gifts for Tweens, who are incredibly difficult to buy for!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


In a bizarre coincidence (see the post below), I tried the Mars Delight yesterday. It was mighty tasty. The wafer part was like one of those Piroutte cookies, very crispy and flaky. That's all I'll say. I don't want to be responsible for encouraging more rat deaths.

When Candy Kills

In an effort to bring you fair and balanced journalism, I've decided to share an e-mail I received with you. The subject was "Mars Candy Kills." Well, that's certainly an attention-getter. So here it is:

I wanted to let you know that Candymaker Mars, Inc—creator of M&M’s, Snickers, Twix, Dove, Three Musketeers, Starburst and other candies—funds deadly animal tests, even though there are more reliable human studies and not one of these tests is required by law.
You can learn about the current deadly experiment that Mars is funding to determine the effects of chocolate ingredients of the blood vessels of rats on the website, where experimenters force-feed the rats by shoving plastic tubes down their throats and then cut open the rats' legs to expose an artery, which is clamped shut to block blood flow. After the experiment, the animals are killed.
There are so many alternative candies that are delicious and not sold with blood.
Please help us spread the word so that we can get Mars, Inc to stop unnecessary animal testing.

As you might imagine, this was sent by someone at PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). When I worked at the newspaper, we'd often get letters from them, and they'd get filed in the "whack-job" pile, although we sometimes used them to spice things up a bit.
So what do I think of the above information? As an omnivore, I can't really say much. Do I like the idea of animal testing? No, of course not. Would I prefer to eat all-natural, not-animal-tested food? Yes. Do I? No. So I can't really comment one way or the other. But I thought I'd put it out there for you to make your own decision.
In the meantime, if Mars would like to respond, I'd be happy to accomodate them. Even better if they send along the info with some M&Ms and Twix. (Oh come on, it's a joke!)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Shield Your Eyes, Friends!

How 'bout them apples, eh? Pretty nice haul, dontcha think?

Top Row, L to R: McVittie's Christmas Irish Cream Bars ("Delicious Cakes with Irish Cream Liqueur, smothered in Milk Chocolate"), Tunnock's Milk Chocolate Tea Cakes ("A delicious biscuit base topped with marshmallow and covered with real milk chocolate.")

Second Row, L to R: Mars Delight ("Surprisingly crispy, deliciously smooth; crispy rippled wafer surrounded by caramel cream ad chocolate cream, covered in milk chocolate"), Walnut Whip Vanilla ("Milk Chocolate whirl with a vanilla flavour fondant cream centre") (I particularly love that the nutritional facts are "per whip"), Revels ("Orange? Coffee? Maltesers? Raisin? Caramel? Chocolate?"), Chewits Blackcurrant ("Flavoured Chewy Sweets")Tregroes Chocolate Waffles ("Toffee Waffle covered with Chocolate") (Damn! I grabbed the milk instead of dark!)

Bottom Row, L to R: Milky Way (because I've never had a British one before), the Granddaddy of all candy bars, the Kit Kat Fine Dark (52% Cocoa Solids; package says, "Have you tried the dunk?" and shows someone dipping a Kit Kat finger into a cup of Nescafe), Jacob's Digestive Creams ("Traditional Sweetmeal Biscuits with a butterscotch flavour cream filling") (Note to all moms: digestive biscuits are great for the little ones because the crumb is very loose, making them easy to chew); Cadbury Dairy Milk Mint Crisp (I actually ate this one and it was very odd. The mint consisted of tiny pieces of very green crunchy stuff, almost like a mint toffee. This wasn't my favorite, but it was okay.)

Missing from photo: Smarties (the British version of M&Ms, but without crappy artificial colors)

So, I bought all this stuff thinking it would make cool gifts for some of my candy-loving friends and family, but I realize now that there's no way this stuff is going to last untouched until Christmas. I mean, I'll try, but seriously, consider this candy gone!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Cheese Field Trip

Why cheese on a candy blog? Sit back, I'll tell you why. Today Sue MKAFFGGF, Henri and I went on a cheese field trip to the U.K. Gourmet because I'd heard on the radio that they had Sticky Toffee Cheese. I have no idea what that is, really, but it sounded so good I had to check it out. So we went and sadly, they were all out of it. However, I did manage to spend $75 on miscellaneous candy, tea and biscuits.
This is the type of store I have total ADD in. It's small, but there's so much on the shelves and it's all stuff I've never seen before, so it's just plain exciting! While I was hyperventilating over British chocolate ornaments, Sue MKAFFGGF managed to sniff out the store's last three dark chocolate Kit Kats.
I just need to say, these really, truly are the ultimate candy for me. This is my desert island candy bar. The chocolate is thick, but not too sweet and of course the layers are all crunchy yummy. Usually when I eat a regular Kit Kat, I dissect the poor thing, eating the chocolate off the sides, then eating each layer one at a time. But with these, forget it. That takes too much time. I Heart Dark Kit Kats. I'll be posting a photo soon of my glorious bounty. (Here's an official warning: if you're a friend, you might not want to look, because chances are pretty good your Christmas present is there.)

And in other news, I implore you all to visit this blog: (UNLESS YOU'RE BETSY-- don't go there! Again, the Christmas deal.) It has nothing to do with candy, but in my personal challenge to buy hand-crafted, non-Made-in-China things for Christmas, I stumbled upon this very cool site.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

What's in Your Future?

The December horoscope is up! Check it out, to the right.
In other news, I've been getting some responses to my call for organic chocolatiers. Thanks everyone! I'll get in touch with you soon. One guy told me I was "cheeky" for trolling for sources here. Hey, what can I say? I've been in the writing business a long time. I've earned my cheekiness!

Christmas for Elephants

A reader wants to know "Where do you get those hard candy peanuts you see at Christmas time?"
And why peanuts at Christmas?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Calling All Organic Chocolatiers and Confectioners!

I'm working on yet another trade article on the organic chocolate and confection industry. If your products are organic (not just all-natural), I'd love to talk with you! Send me an e-mail. (I know, I know... this is the utmost in lazy journalism. But hey, I've got a 19-month-old running around!)

It's in the Bag!

Here's a cutiepie gift that would be great for your babysitter, mailman, hair dresser or BFF, or just a really cute stocking stuffer: it's three tins of Sweetriot Cacao Nibs in a little Santa bag. Cacao nibs are, of course, all the rage. I'd say they're similar to espresso beans, but not as crunchy or dry. In any case, these are YUM! But what I like best is that, because they come in tins, you can carry chocolate with you at all times-- a very important thing!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Just What They Always Wanted!

Now that I've given the Baron and Baroness their Christmas presents, I can unveil one of them here. It's a painting of salted licorice fish. Up top it says "Salzige Heringe," which is the Dutch name and down below it says, "Are You Saving Those for Later Dear?" because that's what the Baroness said to the Baron when she found the hidden fish in his shirt.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Nifty Gifties

In our ever-continuing Gift Guide 2007, here's a cute candy bib from Foodie Style.


I love, love, love this candy matching game. (Hint! Hint!)

Thank you, thank you, it was nothing really

We interrupt this entry of Candy Yum Yum to bring you a very important message: WE DID IT! As of 3:25 p.m. yesterday, Mr. Goodbar and I finished our NaNoWriMo novels.
We set up our laptops at Starbucks and worked like dogs trying to get down our last 2000 words. There was a gaggle of middle schoolers sitting next to us, so I had one of them take a picture of us at the final word count so we'll have evidence. (Thanks to all those kids who helped us celebrate!)
Woohoo! I can get my life back now! Actually, it was great fun and I'll miss it (sort of). One of my secrets to success was only allowing myself a daily chocolate treat AFTER I had written my 1667 words for the day. Those Emily's Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies came in real handy for the last week.