Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sweet Treat of the Week: Jody Mace!

Hey Yumsters! Once again, it's time for our Sweet Treat of the Week. Today, we have Jody Mace (1 of 6 on Facebook, but number one in our hearts). She's a freelance writer and editor of Charlotte on the Cheap, a great website for those of you living in the Charlotte, NC area.

What is your favorite candy?

Cadbury Dairy Milk, made in the factory in the UK . Not Cadbury you get in the U.S., which is made by Hershey's. We lived in England for two years and twice we went to the Cadbury World, which is the best place on earth. When you walk in they give you a bag to hold all the chocolate they give you the rest of the tour. My second favorite candy is Cadbury Curly Wurlys which (I'm almost hyperventilating now) are caramel, covered with chocolate and twisted in sort of a really long braid. When you bite them they stretch really far and little flakes of the chocolate fall off and melt onto your hand and you lick them off. I need to take a breath now. On this tour at the very end, after you've been eating all this chocolate you go into this big room and they hand you, I kid you not, a little cup of melted chocolate. It's a challenge: How much can you take? When does chocolate start tasting bad? The answer: never.

Share with us a childhood candy memory.

When I was about seven, the boy across the street, Michael Horowitz, who was a year older, told me it was ok to walk to the 7-11 and get Hershey's bars. This walk involved crossing a four lane road. When I got home my mother was shocked and angry that I had gone on this dangerous journey. The fact that Michael Horowitz had said it was ok apparently held little weight. She asked me if it was worth taking my life in my hand for a Hershey's bar. How does one even begin to answer that question?

What's your favorite fruit flavor in candy?

None. I am a chocolate purist.

Which do you prefer: gummies or hard candy?

See above answer. Although I do like mint Life Savers.

What is your favorite candy holiday?

We don't celebrate the major holidays because we're Jewish. So we have matzoh instead. All of a sudden this sounds like a rotten deal. However we do observe the "Day After Easter" holiday when the bunnies are 50% off.

What's the best? Milk, dark, or white?

I'd feel so virtuous if I could honestly say "dark" but no. Milk, milk! A thousand times, milk!

Circus peanuts? Yay or Nay?

No. Actually I don't know. They don't appeal to me now, but I know I ate vast quantities of them as a kid so they must have had some redeeming quality. I also ate a lot of those little buttons that you peel off the paper, and the colored sugar that was in the little paper tubes. None of those seem so great anymore.

Thanks Jody! And Michael Horowitz, if you're out there, you owe Jody an apology. And a case of Hershey bars.

Hey you! Yeah, you! Would you like to be featured as an upcoming Sweet Treat of the Week? You know you do! Shoot off an e-mail to: I promise, it'll be fun!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sweethearts: The Twilight Candy is Here!

Okay Yumsters, settle down. We've got a lot of ground to cover on this one. Yes, indeed, I have here before me a package of Sweethearts Conversation Hearts Forbidden Fruits. This will be a totally unbiased overview, despite the fact that I'm still waiting to receive my Necco Yum Yum heart. (Don't make me beg, Mr. Krause. Pleeeeease.)


This is perhaps the smartest thing Necco (maker of Necco wafers and Conversation Hearts) could've done. Frankly, I'm surprised that Hershey or Nestle didn't latch onto the Twilight licensing. (If you're one of the six people in the country who don't know what Twilight is, it's a book/movie about vampires with morals. The first book, in my opinion, pretty much sucked, but I'm currently reading the final book and I have to say that Stephenie Meyer really got her act together by the end. This book is really good. And-- as a side note-- Stephen King, you shouldn't go picking on other horror writers. Just because you've figured out a formula doesn't make you any better than she is. I think you're just jealous. But I digress...).

Necco somehow got the rights to the Twilight licensing, and so they've released these candies. First, let's look at the box. There's the picture from the movie poster with Bella and Edward and the other vampires. It's nicely spooky. There are also illustrations of the candy-- hearts that say, "Dazzle," "Bite Me," "Live 4 Ever," "Lamb" and "I love EC." Some of the candies are drawn to be all sparkly, like they were doused in glue and sparkles for a school project. Not really what you want out of a candy. Then, next to the hearts it reads: "Secret Scent Rub to Reveal..."

Okay, this is where I'm totally confused. Rub what? The candy? The box? Only certain candies? Help me, Necco people! I don't understand!

On the back of the box, there are four hearts with their corresponding flavors:

Orange: Orange Obsession
Red: Tempting Apple
Purple: Passion Fruit
A different red: Secret Strawberry

First up, orange. This actually has a nice, bright, citrusy flavor. Good job!
Apple. It's pretty good. Not like Jolly Rancher green apple; more like another apple that I can't place.
Passion fruit: Sorry, it's just nasty. But then again, I don't like passion fruit. To me, it tastes like dead flowers.
Strawberry: Tastes like Play Doh.

Now, the main draw of Conversation Hearts is the pithy little sayings they have stamped on them. This should be the case here, as well; however it looks like something went a little wacky at the factory because most of them are really hard to read, especially the sparkly ones. The one that I could read the easiest said "Forks," which is the town where all the vampire action takes place. Hardly the most romantic saying.

Lastly, let's take a look at the ingredients. Sugar, corn syrup, artificial and natural flavors, blah, blah, blah and-- get this-- Pearlescent Pigment. Whoa mama! Exactly what is pearlescent pigment? Or perhaps the better question is, what is it made out of? Any guesses?

So, what can I say? Teen girls will love these. As for me, well, I might've found it in my heart to *really* love them, if only I had a giant Yum Yum heart to call my own. As it is, they're just okay.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

May is Celebration Month at Candy Yum Yum!

Okay Yumsters, I need your help. I have two important dates coming up and I'd love your input.

#1: The Sugar Baby's 3rd birthday. I'm going with an alphabet theme. I'm thinking either a cake shaped like his first initial or cupcakes with a letter on each. What do you think? Also, any other alphabet ideas are welcome.

#2: My Blogoversary! I can't believe it. This month Candy Yum Yum will be 6 years old! Athough technically I'm counting it as five since I didn't post anything the entire year I was pregnant. How should we celebrate?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Guest Review: The Wee Von Schokolats Chew the fat Gum

I've said it before: I'm not much for gum. Mostly because I tend to lose my composure when chewing it and then I suddenly realize that I'm chomping like a cow and cracking and snapping it. Very unflattering. So when I was offered the opportunity to try some of the new flavors of Orbit gum, I hesitated. But then I thought, hey, why the heck not?! (And, I'll be frank. I've been having a bit of a bad breath problem lately. Don't know why. Just am.) So a little gum couldn't hurt.

Well, a little gum turned out to be a lot of gum, so I got the idea to have some real gum experts do the reviewing. The wee von Schokolats, Liesl (13) and Gretl (11), were given the task of tasting and reviewing an array of chewy goodness. Without further ado, here are their observations, as noted by Liesl.

While we are here at the von Schokolats' Estate, abandoned by the Baron and Baroness who have gone to Florida and left us behind, we have tried the gum that was sent to us. [Editor's note to the Department of Family Services: the wee ones weren't left to their own devices. Grammy and Grampy were there, too.] We tried many gums, but when you first bit into it, it was as hard as rock.

When we tried the Orbit Peppermint Spray we both agreed that the taste is like that of the Orbit Winter Mint gum but with a little more jazz.

The Orbit Mango Spray on the other hand, we disagree on. I believe that it has a vile taste and that it is too sour, while Gretl enjoyed the taste and dubbed it very mangoey and very sour.

The Orbit Watermelon Spring was, in my opinion, too sour to even keep in my mouth for a second. Gretl thought it tasted good, but that it tasted more like kiwi.

The Orbit Pomegranate gum has a weird smell. It almost smells like a soap that the Sugar Baby and a lot of other kids would use. Gretl believes that it taste like the gum already in stores, Strawberry Kiwi gum. I believe that it smells like a lady's deodorant and tastes like Hubba Bubba Bubble Gum that gets more sour as you chew.

The Extra Berry Smoothie Gum tastes very strong and has some sort of zing; Gretl thinks that the gum tastes like blackberry.

My favorite gum was the Orbit Peppermint Spray and my least favorite was the Orbit Pomegranate.

Gretl's favorite was the Orbit Mango Spray.

Thank you for your reviews, girls. Now a couple more questions.

If you could invent a gum, what would it be?

If I could invent a gum it would would be called Yum-a-licious. It would taste like a dark chocolate truffle that was filled with chocolate. My gum would also be able to make huge bubbles and half of the profit would go to some sort of charity.

Gretl's gum would be called Melgo Gum. It would be minty but you would get a splash of mango every once in awhile.

Have you ever had a memorable experience involving gum?

The only experience with gum that I had is chewing it with my braces on. (For all those who don't or never had braces, this is a HUGE no no!) Gretl's experience with gum was getting in trouble after church because she swallowed her gum and Grammie got mad.

Out of the mouths of babes, dear Yumsters.
As for me ... I actually really liked the Peppermint Spray. Very minty, without stinging. It also had a nice undernote of milky vanillaness that I liked. I actually found myself craving this gum after I tried it the first time. It would most definitely be my gum of choice.

And I totally agree with Gretl that the Extra Berry Smoothie tasted like blackberry. As for the mango and watermelon, well, I can't really judge. I really don't like those flavors in much of anything. And the pomegranate? I wouldn't say ladies' deodorant. But it did have a somewhat floral nature to it.

What do you think about gum? Do you have a favorite? And how do you chew it discreetly? I'd love to hear your advice. And if any of the voItalicn Schokolats' teachers are reading, how about giving them a little extra credit this week?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sweet Treat of the Week: Eric from Beyond Candy Land!

Good day, Yumsters! Today’s Sweet Treat of the Week comes to us from Eric, creator of Beyond Candy Land. His awesome site is all about spending more time with your kids by playing really cool board games. Not like Monopoly or Clue, but really beautifully-made, honestly fun-to-play games like Chicken Cha Cha Cha and Vivo Topo!
So here’s some insight into this man of few words.

What is your favorite candy?
Chocolate with coconut.

Share a childhood candy memory.
I had an awesome friend who worked in a chocolate shop who brought me chocolate during class. Plus, she was cute. [Editor’s note: ((blush)). Oh wait. That was me, right?]

What’s your favorite fruit flavor in candy?

Gummies or hard candies?
Hard candies.

What’s your favorite candy holiday?

Milk, dark or white?
Milk. White is not chocolate.

Circus Peanuts: yay or nay?
Hell no. They are like mutant peeps.

Thanks for sharing, Eric! (No one can accuse you of being too verbose.) We’ll look forward to reading more reviews at Beyond Candy Land.

Would you like to be a Sweet Treat of the Week? Contact me at if you’d like to share your candy profile!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Carpe Ursus

Chances are, if you get a message in your in-box with the subject: “Giant Gummy Bear on a Stick,” you’re gonna read it before the one that says “Good news from UK International Lottery!" Because really, how can you not be intrigued by a giant gummy bear -- on a stick, no less?!
So I quickly responded to the offer from Vat19 to sample their giant (“nearly 90 times larger than your average Gummy Bear!”) candy. Seems they did so well with their other flavors (cherry, blue raspberry and green apple), that they decided to add a new one: orange.
As you can see, it is quite large compared to the traditional gummy bear. (Well, fine, those actually aren't normal gummy bears; they're the Sugar Baby’s gummy bear vitamins. Knock on wood—he still thinks it’s candy, a “special treat,” not just a big old bunch of phenolic vitamins disguised as a chewy, glucosey animal.)
But back to the big bear. I will admit, the texture had me a little scared. It’s gooier and sticker than a regular gummy bear. Not as soft as a gumdrop, not as stiff as a Jujy fruit. Just kind of moist and goopy. I actually had to peel it off my counter and it did make a kind of sucking noise.
However! I was very impressed with the taste. Nice, clean orange taste. Sweet and sour, like an orange Life Saver. Even the texture was perfectly fine once I bit into it.
So there you have it. This would make a great gift for the gummy bear lover in your life. It retails for $9.99 and weighs a half pound, so it’s more expensive than just a big bag of gummies, but you can’t put a price on the fun factor. Or well, I guess you can, and that price is $9.99. Check it out at


When I received the e-mail about the giant gummy bear, I posted a status on Facebook that said,

“Ya gotta love it when someone wants to send you a giant gummi bear on a stick. I wonder just how giant it is?”

An old friend replied,
“Always unsure about feet or ears first. If you go for the ears, then they can't hear you coming for more. However if you get the feet first, they can't run away. Since this one is on a stick, it ain't runnin' fast. Go for the ears.”

That was the last time I heard from him; he passed away just a few hours later. So B., this one’s for you. I took your advice and went for the ears. And I know wherever you are, there’s a solid white chocolate bunny that’s missing his ears and his feet, 'cause you're not letting him get away.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sweet Treat of the Week: Kate Reilly

This week's Sweet Treat of the Week comes to us from Kate Reilly, a writer and author in North Carolina. You can find her (and her blogger-in-arms Sir Buffalo Sushi) at Polka Dot Suitcase, a site devoted to the fun things in life. And one of her favorite fun things? Playing with her candy before she eats it!

What is your favorite candy?

Sponge candy from Oliver's Candies in Batavia, New York. Covered in dark chocolate, please. And you have to eat it the right way -- Kate's way: First, bite down gently on the top and bottom of one side of the cube. The chocolate will pop off in a solid, flat "wall." Then bite the adjacent side, and repeat, until you've just got the nekkid sponge candy with a top and a bottom of chocolate. Pop off the top and eat. The bottom, for some reason, is hardest to get off (it's thinnest), so you can either pop that off, if it'll come off, or put the whole sponge candy cube into your mouth at that point. Let it dissolve slowly. Then pick the sticky remainders out of your teeth, and reach for another piece. BLISS. (It's probably a good thing I live in NC now, or else I'd be in trouble with my dentist.) But...wah. Now I want Oliver's!

Share with us a childhood candy memory.

Every Easter, my family would pile in the car and we'd drive to Oliver's (about an hour away). Up the rickety wooden stairs, push open the glass door, and just inhale. It was what Willy Wonka's factory must have smelled like. Except the women who worked there were benevolent seniors, not orange-faced small people who sang spooky songs and rolled away inflated children. ...what was I saying? Oh, Easter. Right. Well, we'd walk up and down each aisle (there were only two) very slowly, looking at all the hand-made, shaped chocolates, trying to pick out what we wanted for our baskets. We didn't have a lot of money, so we couldn't pick out a ton -- and come to think of it, our parents must have saved up for this special trip! Would it be the orange-chocolate bunny? The milk chocolate cross with the white chocolate flower? The hard part was "forgetting" about what you picked until it showed up in your Easter basket later.

What's your favorite fruit flavor in candy?

Grape! Which tastes nothing like real grape, of course. Do real grapes really have a lot of flavor? They're not something you go, "mmmm, grapey..."when you pop 'em in your mouth. But grape-flavored candy? Mmmm...grapey.

Which do you prefer: gummies or hard candies?

Probably gummies. Preferably sour gummies. Ideally the really sour gummy worms. But not the yellow/green ones. Am I getting too specific here? Well, you asked. My beloved dog, years ago, would eat anything and everything she had the chance to gobble. I was eating sour gummy worms, and she came up and asked for one. I told her, "You're not going to like these." But her puppy eyes said, "Oh, yes! Yes, in fact, I will!" So I tossed her one. Here's the thing: She HATED it -- way too sour. But don't you know -- she ate it. It about made her gag, but she ate it. Then she looked at me, eyes watering,tail wagging: "Another?" But you asked about me. Right. Thing about hard candies is I always accidentally swallow them. I can't help it. I can sit and very studiously suck on them, but they're so slippery! Next thing you know, it makes a squirty dash toward the back of my mouth and zip! Down the gullet. Hard candies are sneaky. You can trust gummies.

What's your favorite candy holiday?

I just found out I missed National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day in March. I love me some chocolate-covered raisins. But is that my favorite candy holiday? Christmas, I'd have to say. Between the specialty candy that comes out (which is really out all year round, but they just shape it into Christmas shapes and it fools me every year), the candy we put on gingerbread houses and the gingerbread train, and the fact that everything at Christmas magically has no calories -- yup, best candy holiday ever.

What's best: milk, dark or white?

Dark! Hands-down. Milk is second place, and I'm a little suspicious of most white chocolate. Some of it tastes too much like "faux" chocolate.

Circus Peanuts: yay or nay?

Nay, nay, nay. From Circus Peanuts stay, stay away. Stay away. (Anyone else remember Patch the Pony?) What are those things, anyway?
Thanks Kate! I hope some Oliver's sponge candy showed up in your Easter basket this year. And for all you Yumsters who don't remember Patch the Pony, don't worry-- neither do I. But you've gotta ask: why the patch?!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Cherry Lemonade Life Savers and Good & Fruity: eh.

I've been wanting to try the newly-released Good & Fruity ever since it was released, well, a while ago. It didn't get the greatest feedback, so I kept putting it off. But with an impending road trip, it seemed like a good choice.
Then I also spied these Cherry Lemonade Life Savers (and Strawberry Kiwi, too) and thought, hmmm, that sounds good!
What can I say? Both were just eh.
The G&F definitely were not like the classic G&F of my childhood. I remember being able to bite off the sugary shell to expose the chewy center; you couldn't do that with these.
As for the Life Savers, they reminded me of something but I just couldn't place it. Finally, in the middle of the night, it came to me: they taste like Pez. They have a fruity flavor but that same crunchy, not-quite-chalky texture. In the end, my candy choices were not an appropriate road trip food. The box of frosted shredded wheat, however, turned out to be a success, as did the Tupperware container of grapes. Go figure.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Candy as Memory Maker

When people first hear about my blog, they always ask, "Why candy?"
The easy answer is, because I love it!
The more accurate answer is, because candy touches people's lives in ways that we don't even think about.
Tonight I went to a wake for Mrs. O. That's what everyone called her-- "Mrs. O." She was the type of person who you'd just knock on her door any given time and drop in. Her kids grew up with my brother and sisters (I came along a little later), and it was one big happy neighborhood. As I was thinking about Mrs. O on the drive home, I realized that the first thing that pops into my head when I hear her name is a specific moment in time-- Halloween, standing on her front steps (the only time you ever used the front door!), ringing the doorbell. I'd just come from my grandparents' house across the street where I got a giant candy bar (the huge ones you buy at the grocery store), and now Mrs. O has come to the door and is saying, "It's Patti! Hold on. I've got something special for you!" It was a little bag packed full of goodies, just for me!
Freeze! That's the moment-- the image-- that pops into my mind first. Of course, there are many other memories, but that's the defining one.
This made me think about our connections of candy with people. When I think about the people who are no longer here, I can associate a candy with them, just as Kris shared with us in her guest post. Here are some of my memories:

Pop Pop: black licorice, hard candies in a tin, and the time he pilfered a candy out of the Brach's Pick-a-Mix ("just sampling")
Little Grandma: Wrigley's gum
Big Grandma: Crystal mints and Nips
Uncle Henry: a drawer full of candy bars
Judy: Snirkles and late-night candy raids

Give it some thought, dear Yumsters. What candy memories do you have? I bet you'll be surprised.

Hershey's Thingamajig: I Waited 40 Days and 40 Nights for This?

As you may remember, I've had this Hershey's Thingamajig sitting on my desk for several weeks now, waiting for the candy bar fast to be over. I'll admit: I had high hopes for it, as I loved the original Whatchamacallit.
This version was described as having "cocoa crisps and peanut butter." When I opened it, the first whiff immediately reminded me of something, but I couldn't place it. (I've been having that experience a lot lately. Kinda scary, this getting old thing.)
My first bite was disappointing. The crunchies seemed ever-so-slightly stale, although now that I think about it, Cocoa Pebbles always tasted stale, too. But it was the peanut butter that was baffling. What did it taste like? And then it hit me: this candy bar tasted like a Girl Scout Tagalong cookie (or at least the way I remember them tasting.) The chocolate, the peanut butter-- all had a kind of fakeness to them. So overall, I was unimpressed. They're not the worst candy bars in the world, but hardly the kind of thing I should've broken the fast over. What do you think?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Thanks Easter Bunny! Bok! Bok!*

Look who was here! The Easter Bunny! As of 8 a.m., the Sugar Baby had devoured the entire cartridge of cherry Pez. Let's see what fun and mayhem that brings on. So far he's loved playing with the foil-wrapped eggs-- arranging them, counting them. He does NOT like the purple Easter grass and the chocolate bunny is questionable. He still hasn't discovered that the Easter Bunny hid some chocolate carrots in the coffee tree:
But wait! What's this? An Easter basket for me? Leave it to my mom! A basket just like the strawberry one I had made her, but this one is filled with a bunny, a caramel egg, a coconut creme egg and-- oh yeah!-- champagne. I have the best mom in the whole world! (Hopefully the Sugar Baby will say the same about me when he's 16 and wants a skateboard and video games instead of--or in addition to-- candy.)

Cheers! Happy Easter everyone!
(*If you get this reference, you're a product of the '80s. If not, ask your parents!)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Hard Times, Even For the Easter Bunny

From a reader:

Dear Ms. Yum Yum,
I didn't know who else to turn to! I need to get this off my chest. (I'm still shaking my head in disbelief as I write this).
I have just emptied my sons' Easter baskets from their afternoon egg hunt with their grandparents. The baskets had the empty eggs and in a separate bag was a bunch of loose candy. I'm assuming that the candy that was in the separate bag came from the empty eggs. Well, I opened the bag.... the majority of it was unwrapped pieces!!! The horror! But, wait! It gets better. Amongst the few jelly beans (loose) and Super Bubble Gum, Starburst and Kisses (these 3 were wrapped) were loose (& unwrapped) Valentine (!!!) Conversation Hearts!!! Valentine Candy at an Easter Egg Hunt???? I'm even questioning the kisses since they're wrapped in red and say Huggables....What's with the Easter Bunny this year??? I know things are tough, but really Mr. Easter Bunny, Valentine candy??? The kids haven't a clue, but what will the parents think (and do)?I can only hope that tomorrow's baskets will be filled with some fresh candy treats for my boys. Happy Easter Ms. Yum Yum and thanks for listening.
~ A Reader

Dear Reader,
I'm not quite sure what to say. Times certainly are tough, but Valentine's candy? That is shocking! Your letter reminds me of the time a certain little boy got an Easter bunny in his Halloween candy. (Imagine if they were the same person? That would certainly be traumatizing.) This is a disturbing trend. I have high hopes, though, for their baskets. I'm sure he won't let you down. Please keep me posted.
Peeps & pastel kisses, Madame Yum Yum

Coconut Cupcake!

For Easter dessert: Vanilla Bean Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting and a dark chocolate bunny. Yum! Here's the recipe.

What Was I Thinking?

It's been a rainy couple of weeks here in New England, which means every Easter Egg Hunt has been cancelled, except for the creepy one at the library where the kids weren't allowed to keep the eggs.
Anyhow ... I decided the Sugar Baby should have an Easter Egg hunt of his own so in a moment of insanity and nostalgia, I bought a bag of Brach's Chicks & Rabbits to stuff the eggs.
Holy cats, these things are nastier than I remember. I ate the heads off the three shapes up top just to see if there was any flavor difference. I don't think there was, but it was hard to get past the tough/chewy texture. This morning the Sugar Baby found them and, upon opening the first one, pondered the orange rabbit, looking at it, smelling it-- and then put it back in the egg. The rest of the eggs have remained unopened in his basket. Hopefully the Easter Bunny will do a better job than this.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Dear Easter Bunny

Come with me, dear Yumsters, on a journey back in time to, oh, I don't know... 1978 maybe? I'm thinking somewhere between first and third grade, and my friend and I are comparing notes about the Easter Bunny.

"Does the Easter Bunny bring baskets for your parents?" she asks.

"No. How about you?"


And that made us very sad. So we got two of those plastic strawberry baskets and stuffed them with some plastic grass and somehow managed to get ourselves to the pharmacy where we bought some jelly beans and chocolate eggs and such and made baskets for our parents. I think by the time Easter finally came there were a few random jelly beans and one Peep left, but hey, we tried.

All this is to say: Hey Easter Bunny! What's the deal? Now that I'm a mom, I'm supposed to give up all rights to an Easter basket? Why is that? Is it an economic thing? Or is it just that you don't want us adults having too much fun? Because let me tell you, I'd be very happy to wake up on Sunday morning and find a basket with some or all of the following:

  • Dark chocolate bunny (Lindt-quality or better)
  • Malted milk eggs
  • Black jelly beans
  • Cadbury mini eggs
  • Chocolate-covered marshmallows
  • Coconut creme egg
  • One of those fancy sugar eggs, just to look at
  • Vanilla creme egg
  • The latest issue of US Weekly or other trashy magazine so I can read about Lindsay Lohan and Samantha Ronson's breakup
  • Spa gift certificate
  • Bottle of champagne
If you could do that, I'll make sure there's a carrot smoothie waiting for you when you get here.

Sweet Treat of the Week: Courtney Phillips on Japanese Candy!

Hi Yumsters! Today’s “Sweet Treat of the Week” comes to us from Courtney Phillips, a Yumster who writes about grants for culinary school. Here she tells us all we need to know about Japanese candy! She welcomes your feedback at

No Money for a Vacation? Take a Candy Taste-cation!
Log on to a website like and search for candy and you won’t find any Kit-Kats or even a miniature Snickers bars among the choices, just sweet, sweet Japanese candy with crazy names like ‘Kasugai Puchirin Konpeito Sugar Candy’ and some even crazier flavors. A little Taste-cation can offer a new twist on whatever might be you old favorite.

Ever wander into a candy shop and look at all the aisles thinking, “Gee Whiz, I wish there were something radically different that I could try today.” Well, log on to a Japanese candy website and your prayers have quite radically been answered. How ‘bout some ‘Ramune candy’ flavored like a tasty tropical fruit? Or perhaps you really want to go out on a ledge and get a whole case of ‘E-ma grape mint’ candy which offers no further explanation? C’mon you only live once right?
Feeling timid and don’t want to wait on shipping? Try an old favorite domestic style.
It’s called ‘Pocky by Glico Chocolates’ and you can probably find it in almost any major grocery store or candy chain in your area. Many people have been munching on the snack since childhood, but for those who have never taken the strange step towards their first candy safari, you may not be all that surprised. ‘Pocky,’ like a lot of Japanese candy, is just a little twist on American style. Kit Kats come already covered in chocolate, but with Pocky you get to dip the sweetened bread sticks in liquid chocolate yourself. (There are other types of Pocky that come already dipped, too!)
There are even some Japanese characters on the label so you can ease your eminent switch to the Asian side! It may not be a distant departure from what you normally eat, consider it more a weekend day trip, but you gotta start somewhere right? Look for them nestled among the Asian noodles at your local grocer.

Every once in a while you get to enjoy wonders of mistranslation!
Spend a little time wandering down electronic Asian candy aisles and inevitably you will run into a potentially great product that just didn’t have the money to pay for a great translator, like ‘Flour Sack Taster’ or ‘Lotte Black Black gum.’ That’s just another great thing about what gets lost in translation – you really don’t know what you’re gonna get! Be a little adventurous, take a chance. C’mon, what’s the worst that could happen? Maybe a little tummy ache if you find something you really like!

Other places to buy strange yet tempting Japanese snacks
You’ve probably said it a million times, but ‘oh thank heaven for the internet.’ Just drop Japanese candy or even Asian candy into any search engine and you’ll be amazed at the flurry of results. Not surprisingly has a great selection too. Think of this as your opportunity to be a flavor ambassador in the next Taste-cation revolution!

Thanks for taking us on a candy staycation, Courtney! We'll have to bring back lots of candy souvenirs!
Would you like to be featured as a Candy Yum Yum Sweet Treat of the Week? Contact me at

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Mr. Green Jelly Bean!

I love how last week's Sweet Treat Kris mentioned the joy of sifting through your Easter basket grass to find one last treasure. Just the mere mention of that brought me back to my childhood, when I'd sit on the floor with my basket and just look at everything. I'd arrange it-- jelly beans here, chocolate rabbit there, malted milk eggs in a pile-- and then I'd rearrange it. The big coup was always finding one more black jelly bean hidden in there somewhere. It was the only flavor I liked.
I have a feeling that the Easter Bunny has been kind of negligent about the Sugar Baby's basket because there's just so much candy around here all the time. I'd better send him an e-mail and make sure he remembers to hippity-hop this way.

Monday, April 06, 2009

White Circus Peanuts! (And Pink and Yellow and Orange, Too!)

Here I am in the midst of Easter madness-- one of the biggest candy holidays of the year when I should be writing about bunnies and eggs and such-- when I got sidetracked once again by Circus Peanuts. It would seem that people are doing a lot of Google searches on white Circus Peanuts, I think because there's a bunny cupcake you can make with them. In any case, I decided to do a bit of searching myself and found these three Circus Peanut delights.

  • From

Circus Peanut Margarita Recipe

3 oz Tequila

2 oz Pisang Ambon

1 oz Lime Juice

Directions: Mix well in a blender with ice and serve in a highball glass that has been rimmed with jimmies. Garnish with a day-glo orange circus peanut.

  • For the ultimate Circus Peanut lover: a 20-lb. case direct from Spangler. "Assorted flavors including vanilla (white), banana (orange), cherry (pink), and lemon (yellow)."

So many options. Who knew?!

Wrapping Up Vermont

Here's that gorgeous stick of nougat I got at L.A. Burdick's. Isn't it beautiful? Loaded with almonds, pistachios and cranberries. It's a thing of sheer beauty and it tastes just as good! I just love staring at it. This was my little sampler box I bought. It's about half gone right now. I'm saving the mouse for last.
Although we didn't eat at the bistro, I did buy some raspberry and chocolate macarons because I've never had them before and I've heard such great things.
Memaw said when she went to Paris this past summer they were going for some outrageous price-- like $4 each-- due to the economy and just 'cause, you know, they're French. These were .75 cents each. Much more affordable. The raspberry did nothing for me, but the chocolate were pretty darn tasty (as evidenced by the fact that there weren't any left to photograph).

Awww, Nuts!

First it was peanuts, now it's pistachios. Be sure to check out the list of recalled products at the FDA website.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

The m&m Mixmaster (And the Easter Giveaway Winner!)

I really should start carrying a notebook when I go to dinner parties, because invariably the subject of candy comes up and I get some great stories. Unfortunately, several bottles of wine later, I've usually forgotten what those tales were.

Last night, we stayed out past midnight (!) with some lovely writerly people and learned this gem from one of the guests: he always keeps a little candy machine full of m&ms on his desk. Big whoop, right? Lots of people do that. But here's the twist: he mixes different types of m&ms together. So when you go visit him and pour yourself a handful, you might get a plain, a peanut, a dark and a crispy. I have never, ever thought of mixing different types of m&ms together. What a concept!

He said he started this after 9/11, when a grief counselor suggested that he provide chocolate to his young reporters who had to deal with the grim business of contacting families for information. "Chocolate heals" was the thought.

Now, eight years later, he still keeps a full stock of m&ms for passers-by, although one person in particular stands out: the man who would pick the peanut m&ms out of the mix and throw them out! What a travesty!

So tell me, dear Yumsters, have you ever mixed your m&ms?

And speaking of m&ms, the randomly-chosen recipient of the Easter m&m giveaway is ...
Pinkscrapaddict! yay! Please contact me asap so I can get your Easter goodies out to you in time.

Thanks to everyone for sharing their favorite Easter memories. And keep coming back. I have another giveaway coming real soon!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Introducing Sweet Treat of the Week: Kris Bordessa!

Hey Yumsters! Today I’d like to introduce a new feature here at Candy Yum Yum. It’s called “Sweet Treat of the Week” and it’s a place where other candy lovers get to share their stories and opinions because-- you know-- it ain’t all about me!

This week’s Sweet Treat comes to us from Kris Bordessa, an author, freelance writer and co-owner of Hawaii’s She knows where to get free candy on the island and takes advantage every chance she gets.

What is your favorite candy?

Can anybody really say what his or her favorite candy is? I mean, favorite favorite? That’s just too hard! Because I’m generally not much of a rule follower, I’ll take liberties with the question a bit.

  • My favorite candy rack candy has got to be Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I always LOOK at the other options, but somehow that Reese’s is what ends up in the cart.

  • The very best special occasion candy is See’s. Specifically, butterscotch squares. There is only one on each level of a two pound box and you can bet that people have nearly lost their fingers when they lingered to close to my butterscotch squares. If a person lives close enough to a See’s store, she could feasibly go in and order a box (a small one!) of only butterscotch squares. Just saying.

  • If I’m picking up candy at the local video store or at the movies, I’ll go for SweeTarts.

Share with us one of your childhood candy memories.

Ooh, I had several and then I remembered this: When I was little my Grandpa always kept butterscotch hard candies in his plaid shirt pocket. You know the kind that comes wrapped in golden yellow cellophane? I remember sitting on his lap and patting his chest, listening for the magic crinkle that told me yes, indeed, I was about to get candy! Probably, I was young enough that those round yellow discs were a choking hazard, but I certainly wasn’t thinking about that.

Favorite fruit flavor in candy?
Are coffee beans a fruit? Because I’d definitely take chocolate covered pea berries over traditional fruit flavors, any old day. If not, probably watermelon.

Which do you prefer: gummies or hard candies?
I’m primarily a chocolate candy kind of gal, but if I had to choose, hard candies. Jolly Ranchers are really the only kind of hard candy I’ll eat, though. Ooh. Remember when they came as a long flat stick? And you had to peel the cellophane wrapper away from the sticky candy, and if you stuck it in your pocket it would pick up bits of lint that would never be separated from the Jolly Rancher, so you just ignored them?

What’s your favorite candy holiday?
Easter! Foil wrapped chocolate eggs, Reese’s Peanut Butter eggs, chocolate bunnies (EARS first). Nothing better than sifting through green plastic grass to find one more hidden treasure.

What’s best: milk, dark or white?
Milk chocolate!

Circus Peanuts: yay or nay?
Absolutely not! My uncle used to love Circus Peanuts. He’d dip them in his coffee. Even as a young child I knew just how utterly disgusting this was.

Thanks Kris! And here's hoping you get a big bunny and some See's Butterscotch Squares in your Easter basket.

Want to be included as a Candy Yum Yum Sweet Treat of the Week? E-mail me at

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Chocolate Road Trip: Burdick Chocolates

One of the women in my Super Secret Writers' Group is such a font of information when it comes to where to find things, particularly if you're looking for something strange (tentacle porn--don't even ask); unique (egg poaching pods); or just really cool. So when I told her that Mr. Goodbar and I were going to Vermont this past weekend, she said we had to drive over the border into Walpole, New Hampshire to go to L.A. Burdick Handmade Chocolates. She didn't have to tell me twice.

Saturday morning, we stuffed ourselves into the car after a delightful breakfast and made our way south. (I'll skip the part where Mr. Goodbar decided to drive OVER the mountain in mud season, instead of around.)

In any case, let's get right to it. You can get all the FAQs at the website; here's what you need to know from me. This is a tiny jewelbox of a store with incredible hand-made, European-style chocolates. Their signature chocolates are these:Chocolate mice! They also make penguins and, for Easter, bunnies. How can you resist?According to the brochure, each bonbon is hand-piped or hand-cut, using no molds. In addition, the pieces are "miniature in the European fashion, providing the ideal portion to enjoy a complex, intense chocolate flavor."

I love that the pieces are so small. (Contrast this with the Kohler chocolates, where each one was big enough to feed Octomom's family for a week. Not that I'm complaining about the size of those; I like big chocolates just as much as little ones.)

The selections range from exotic to ... more exotic. Some examples: Pistache (White chocolate ganache with pistachios, lavender and herbes de Provence); Honey Caramel Truffle (Caramelized honey with herbs and vanilla, dusted in cocoa powder); Lemon Spice (A whipped rum & lemon ganache, enrobed in milk chocolate and topped with grated Trinidadian spices). You get the idea. Traditionally I'm not much for these "fancified" chocolates; I prefer to stick with nuts, caramel and creams, but these looked so good, I had to get some. I was starting to get a touch of ADD in the store, what with all the bonbons, mice, Easter bunnies and drink mixes. I wasn't sure what to choose.

No-Nuts, on the other hand, was just looking for something that wasn't nutrageous. She decided upon a Jaffa (Dark chocolate ganache, whipped with freshly squeezed orange juice). In the end, I decided upon an 18-piece sampler with one mouse, and a beautiful stick of nougat (picture forthcoming). I must say, though, this shizz is expensive-- over $50 a pound. But since Mr. Goodbar treated himself to a book ("Country Wisdom Know-How"), I figured I could splurge on some chocolates and add a little European class to his hill-billy ways.
The chocolates I've had so far have been delicious. I'm saving the mouse for last.
P.S. There is a bistro attached to the shop with delicious looking cheeses and desserts, but we were still too full from breakfast to partake. Next time.