Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Deets on the Prize

Here I am, in disguise because I look tired and drunk to protect my identity, as I pick the lucky winner of the Big Candy Giveaway. We narrowed down the names until we had six to choose from and I did the old "pick a winner" maneuver.
According to her profile, Cynthya "devours books like potato chips." When I said that, No-Nuts said, "Yum! Potato chips sound good!" So we spent the rest of the evening eating chips with Neuhaus truffles that my Partner-in-Crime, Susan (not to be confused with Sue MKAFFGGF) had brought over to celebrate with. Delicious!
So what will Cynthya be receiving?
Check it out:

-Aztec Sipping Chocolate, courtesy of Dove Chocolate Discoveries
-A plethora of Green & Black's organic chocolate bars
-A wide array of gums from Wrigley's
-"Caramel Me Happy" and "Naughty Ginger" lollipops from DAS Lollipops
-Assorted Mars candy bars, such as Snickers, Twix, M&M's, and more
-A Qbel peanut butter wafer roll bar
And much, much more!
A big thank you to all the candy companies who donated their delicious products. And thanks again to everyone who participated.
A special dark chocolate package will be going to Jody who wrote:
"I would like to see you address the fact that people who like dark chocolate feel that they are better than those who like milk chocolate. I would like you to tell them that it is a matter of taste. And that they're probably lying about prefering dark chocolate so that they look more sophisticated."

Pish posh. Those of us who love dark chocolate simply are more sophisticated. That's all there is to it. (Well, okay, maybe not. But perhaps a special dark chocolate sample package will change your bitterness, no pun intended.)
Keep reading throughout the summer, Yumsters. I hope to have some more giveaways and big changes to the blog.

Friday, May 29, 2009

And the winner is ...

Hooray! Details to follow .... as for now, there's wine to drink and truffles to eat.

Looks Like We Made It!!!

I'd like to thank all the Yumsters who've been following this blog so faithfully. Candy Yum Yum was originally created as a way for me to write about something I loved-- candy!-- without having to worry about all the nitpicky grammar and fact-checking and proofing my professional writing career demands. It's my quiet place, the place where I come when I need to wind down. (A bit of trivia: this blog was originally called "Patti Cakes.") So thank you, dear readers, for encouraging me in this quest! And remember, there's still time to enter the Big Candy Giveaway! (Check the sidebar for details.)
A big Hershey's Kiss and Hug to you all!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

2008: Pineapple Lumps and Gum Wrapper Chains

2008 saw lots of action at the Yum Yum headquarters.

-We discussed the fine art of gum wrapper chains (which turned out to be one of the most popular searches of all time on Candy Yum Yum!)

-I got a wonderful package of New Zealand candy from the New Zealand Cupcake Queen (in which I discovered the pure bliss of Pineapple Lumps)

-the Sugar Baby says "chocolate" for the first time (pronounces it "chaka")
-I declare Rainbow Twizzlers as the worst candy of all time

-I decide to compile a list of people who actually like Circus Peanuts (surprisingly large; see sidebar)

-Candy Yum Yum! achieves international notariety when an article is published in an Australian newspaper
and last, but hardly not least, the Candy Yum Yum headquarters gets invaded by squirrels.

A Limited Edition Anniversary Poster

Title: "Go Candy!"
Artist: Gretl von Schokolat
Medium: Crayon on computer paper

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

2007: A Year of Characters and Mixing Candy with Religion

Hey Yumsters, here's another step back in time to 2007. What happened to 2006, you ask? The Sugar Baby happened, that's what. For an entire year I subsisted on grapefruits and donuts. (That was when I could actually eat, which was rare.)

Pictured above, the cake from the first official Wombat Day celebration, October 2007.


Father John has sent in this update on Halloween '07:

I am VERY happy to tell you that the grand total of trick-or-treaters was 155 kids, 9 adults, and 1 poodle! (Last year, 109 kids, 7 adults, and no poodles at all...)
[Editor's Note 2009: Here's the first mention of Mr. Goodbar]
Looking for Mr. Goodbar

Brian (Mr. "I-don't-like-Pay Days-Oh-wait-I-love-them") decided to catch up on my blog last night.
"Why does Mark get a cool nickname but I don't?" he said. Sigh.
"Fine," I said. "You want a nickname? I shall call you Mr. Goodbar."
There's no particular reason for that, but it did get me thinking about the very underrated candy bar. Think about it: when was the last time you went into the drug store or supermarket and actually bought a Mr. Goodbar? And no, the bag of Hershey Miniatures doesn't count.

(Let me digress here for a moment and talk about the Miniatures. The mix contains Hershey's milk chocolate, Special Dark, Krackel and Mr. Goodbar. I believe that each person has his or her own hierarchy of how they eat these. Here's mine: Special Dark, Krackel tied with Mr. Goodbar and then the milk chocolate. Here's how I eat them: I quarantine the Special Darks, because they're just in a category of their own. Then I eat the rest on a rotation: Krackel, then milk, then Mr. Goodbar, then milk, and so on. If there are milk ones left, and there usually are, I save them for eating with peanut butter. I wonder, is there any such person that actually DOESN'T sort out the Miniatures? A person that simply puts his or her hand into the bag and eats whatever they get? I don't think I'd like that person.)

So back to Mr. Goodbar. It's so simple: peanuts and chocolate. But it's so delicious. According to the Hershey site, Mr. Goodbar was developed in 1925 and in 1992, the formula was changed to include more peanuts.

Like the Chuckles jingle, I often have the Mr. Goodbar song going through my head. I don't really know the words, but in my mind, it goes like this: "Mr. Goodbar, peanuts and chocolate wherever you bite, peanuts and chocolate wherever you bite ..." I'll have to Google that and see if it's real or if it's just another candy delusion.

Anyhow, I fear for Mr. Goodbar. It's not as mainstream as a Snickers, or as sexy as a Whatchamacallit. Will it stand the test of time? I hope so, because it really is a Good Bar.


[Editor's Note 2009: The following is a rare sad candy story]

Candy Blues
Prepare yourself, Dear Reader, for I'm about to tell you a heartbreakingly sad story about candy. Get the tissues ready.

I was talking to my friend June yesterday and, as is the norm with me, our conversation turned to candy and nostalgia, but I was completely unprepared for her tale of woe. Here's the beast she unleashed:

She was little, maybe 10 years old, and she got her first "job" to shovel the walk. The house was on a corner, so there was a lot of sidewalk to shovel. When she finally finished, she was given $10."I went right to the store and bought $10 worth of candy," she said."What kind of candy?" I asked, licking my chops."All kinds of candy. Everything. Pixy Stix. Dubble Bubble. Lots of chocolate." She said she was so happy, so excited to have so much candy. And then ... and then ...Word of her purchase got to her mother. "She made me return all of it," said June. "Not only was I sad that I didn't have any candy, but I was mortified that she made me go back to the store and return it all."June didn't have the chance to even sneak one Bit o' Honey or caramel bullseye. Clearly the incident has scarred her forever. And who could blame her? I'm devastated and it didn't even happen to me. What a sad day, indeed.

*** Pictured above, my all-time favorite photo of the Sugar Baby trying to open a package of Newman's Own Organic Peanut Butter Cups

[Editor's Note 2009: Attention all publishers: the following manuscript is still available. Have your people call my people.]

The next Caldecott winner
The first official Candy Yum Yum! poll has closed and the results are in. Your favorite childhood summer candy is: PIXY STIX! Yay! They beat out wax bottles by one vote. So I declare today the official Candy Yum Yum Pixy Stix Day.

On the other end of the spectrum, no one voted for the lowly Circus Peanut. I feel like I need to give comfort to this misunderstood candy. I thought about writing a poem, but my creativity has been inhibited by too much wine last night and not enough sleep. Since I'm pretty up on my children's literature, though, I've decided to write a story. Envision this as a board book, with bright pictures.

Who Will Share My Circus Peanuts?

Lucky Henri! He has a bag of Circus Peanuts.

Henri is a good boy, so he wants to share his candy with someone.

"Daddy, do you want a Circus Peanut?"

"No way!" says Daddy. "I hate those things!"

"Mommy, do you want a Circus Peanut?"

"No thank you, Henri. I'm busy eating this Goldenberg's Peanut Chew."
"Who will share my Circus Peanuts?"

"Well," thought Henri. "It is shaped like a peanut. Maybe Mr. Elephant would like one."

"Mr. Elephant, would you like a Circus Peanut?"

"Why sure, little Henri, I'll try one. Yuck! These taste like banana. I don't like banana. Why don't you give one to Mr. Monkey."

"Mr. Monkey, would you like a Circus Peanut?"

"I'll try one, Little Henri. Yuck! These are chewy! I don't like chewy!"

"Who will share my Circus Peanuts?" cried Henri. And then he had an idea.

"Grandma, will you share my Circus Peanuts?"

"Of course, Little Henri. They're my favorite!"And so Grandma and Henri sat on the porch and shared a bag of Circus Peanuts.


Thursday, July 19, 2007
Why I'm not a Buddhist
Brian's reading some crazy-ass Buddhism book called "Sit Down and Shut Up" by Brad Warner. He pointed out this gem to me. An early writing by Dogen (from like 1100 A.D. or some such time) lists proscriptions for students studying Buddhism. Here they are, with my comments:

Don't read or chant too much. Reading, I don't do too much. Chanting, not a problem.
Don't overwork. Okay, if you insist.
Don't eat onions. Seriously, I eat onions practically every day. But I suppose I could give them up.
Don't eat meat. I do eat meat, but I've been a vegetarian before and could do it again.
Don't drink too much milk. I never drink milk.
Don't drink alcohol. Oh boy. This is dangerous territory. I could probably do it, but it would suck.
Don't eat too many olives. No prob. I hate olives.
Don't eat fungi. Eh, it won't kill me to give up the occasionally stuffed mushroom.
Don't watch dancing women. My eyes! My eyes!
Don't pay attention to matters of fortune and fame. Probably good advice.
Don't be associated with eunuchs or hermaphrodites. As far as I know, I'm not. But really, we shouldn't discriminate.
Don't have too much candy. WHAT???? WHAT???? Sorry dude, I'm out. Buddhism ain't the way for me.

And so, the path has been chosen for me. Call me a heretic, but candy comes first over the seven-fold path.

(Just so you don't think I'm a complete heathen, I am easily able to follow one of the next rules: Don't stare at the ocean, bad pictures, hunchbacks or puppets.)


[Editor's Note 2009: And here, the first mention of the Baron]

Thursday, July 12, 2007
Notes from the field: Five a Day
Brother-in-law et al arrived safely in Germany. Mark (who from here on out shall be referred to as Baron von Schokolat) only managed to lose two passports in the process. Way to go! Anyhow, once the passports were retrieved, the von Schokolats hit the pavement looking for chocolatey goodness. Here's what he has to report:Thought you might like to know this. In Europe, you can get your daily fruit intake and still have chocolate. We went into Hussels Candy Store in Bonn and had our daily fruit intake. It just happened to be hand-dipped in milk chocolate. We all tried them. Mixed opinions, but let's just say the group agreeded [sic] that chocolate improved the taste. Apparently they had mango, banana, orange, apricot and melon. Mmmm. Sounds so yummy.

Acceptable and Not Acceptable Candy Yum Yum combinations:

Chocolate and ...

Peanut butter: yay

Mustard: nay

Raspberry: yay

Beets: nay

Cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla: yay

Black pepper, basil, oregano, thyme, lavender and/or dill: nay

Marshmallow: yay

Mayonnaise: nay

Nuts: yay

Beans: nay (except, of course, cocoa beans and coffee beans)

Cheese: yay

Chalk: nay

Potato chips: yay

Wood chips: nay

There you have it. 2007 in Yum Yum Land. Stay tuned for 2008...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Blast From the Past: 2004

Hey Yumsters!
Here are a few of my favorite entries from 2004. Enjoy!

June 23, 2004:
Candy exchange
Holy Crap! I'm so excited I can't stand it. I recently met an Aussie on one of the writers' websites I belong to, and we got to emailing each other back and forth. She's a food writer, too, so we have lots to say to each other. BUT---check this out---we're doing a candy exchange!!! Oh, beloved Australian candy, I can't wait to meet thee. I sent her a big box of various delectibles...Twizzlers, Red Vines, Jelly Bellys, Nerds, Airheads, Goldenbergs, Pearson Peanut Roll, Fruit Stripe Gum and beef jerky for her husband. Oooh, the anticipation is killing me.

(2009 Editor's Update: My Aussie friend [who is really a Kiwi] turned out to be one awesome chick. We've corresponded weekly-- at some points daily-- and have gone through all sorts of major stuff together-- everything from birth to death, recipes to politics. Her box o' goodies to me included all sorts of cool things, but my favorite was a package of Tim Tams. These chocolate cookies were just released in the U.S., but they totally suck here. Gotta have the real thing! If I remember correctly, she really liked the Lindt ladybugs I sent. And the real jerky ended up being her husband. But that's another story...)

Monday, October 30, 2006
Holy candy!
This is great. I was just reading the bulletin from my parents' church and here's what Father John had to say about Halloween:

"Help me with something: Every year some friends of mine and I gather at the rectory to celebrate the holiday and hand out some candy. The first year I was here, there were only four trick-or-treaters and I was so disappointed! Almost every year, the count has gone up, but we've never made it into triple digits. (One year was achingly close at ninety-nine!) So let's break 100 this year. I've done my part: we're talking Snickers, Hershey's, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Nestle Crunch, Butterfingers, just to drop a few names-- and all in regular size bars. Because I am a man of hope, I have 167 of them waiting in the pantry. I dare you: on Halloween, make me run out to the gas station for more!"

Yeehah! We'll be there Father John!

(2009 Editor's Update: Father John continues to rock Halloween with hundreds of full-size candy bars. It's the highlight of our Halloween!)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Halloween Hierarchy
Maslow had his hierarchy of needs. I have my hierarchy of Halloween. There's no getting around it-- some candies are just better than others.

Bottom of the barrel: If you want your house to get egged, there's no better way than to give out apples or raisins. Does anyone seriously give this stuff out anymore?Also, anything that can't be eaten because of the likelihood of poisoning, such as loose candy corn, Smarties, Dum Dums or Hershey's Kisses.

Second tier: That nasty peanut butter taffy wrapped in orange and black wax paper. Pennies. Any of that Boyer pseudo-chocolate crap.

Third tier: Necco wafers. I will say, though, that these have great value for playing First Communion and a good trade with kids who've never had them before. I remember babysitting when I was in high school and the brother and sister were fighting over the Necco wafers in their Trick or Treat bags. I asked them if they had even tried them before and they hadn't. This was obvious, as the boy was willing to trade his Mr. Goodbars for the wafers. Bad trade. Any predominately caramel candies, like Milk Duds or Sugar Babies.

Fourth tier: This is Boldwhere it starts to get tricky. This category is reserved for those things that are pretty yummy, but are of lesser value than other goodies, such as: gum, SweeTarts, LifeSavers, Three Musketeers.

Fifth tier: Skittles, Starburst, Milky Ways, Butterfingers, Hershey bars, Mr. Goodbar, Jujyfruits

Cream of the Crop: Reese's, Snickers, M&M's, Kit Kats, Nestle Crunch, Baby Ruth, Twix, Mounds, Almond Joy.

Big-time bonus points for: Full-sized candy bars (any type); Little bags of assorted goodies; Quarters or dollars; Cracker Jacks; Pez; Mallo Cups.

How does your Halloween Hierarchy measure up?

Friday, August 18, 2006
Dark chocolate salvation
You knew it had to happen. The Virgin Mary has appeared in a lump of dark chocolate at a candy factory: She's no fool-- moving onto chocolate after the e-Bay grilled cheese. I predict she'll make her next appearance in a creme brulee.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Let's Get This Party Started!

As the kids say, "Woot!" This Friday will be the six-year anniversary of Candy Yum Yum! How cool is that? To celebrate (in addition to the Candy Giveaway), I'll be posting some of my favorite blog entries from years past.

I now give you some gems from 2006:

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.”

(2009 Editor's Note: Check out the IKEA lamp commercial here.)

Sunday, Aug. 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.

Sept. 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

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Transformers Strawberried Peanut Butter M&M's: Do You Dare?

I can honestly say I've never had to ponder a grammatical question about candy before until today. But the new "Transformer Strawberried Peanut Butter M&M's" have arrived.

Yes, "strawberried." I'm sitting here thinking, that's an adjective, right? It's not a verb or an adverb ... I think. (And I'm supposedly an editor by trade. Bwahaha!) I could call the Necco Door Neighbors-- they'd certainly know-- but I'm going to stick with adjective.

Anyhow, you don't really care about that, do you? What you're saying is, "Eww. That sounds gross." Am I right? Because that's what I said, and what Mr. Goodbar said, and what No-Nuts said. I was the only one brave enough to try them. (No-Nuts, of course, couldn't for medical reasons.)

You know what? They're not bad, actually. They're red, brown and yellow with red speckles, and irregular in size. Some are big and fat, others are smaller and flatter. I kind of like that, actually. Makes 'em feel homemade. As for the taste: the initial hit is strawberry, then peanut butter, then slight chocolate. If I liked strawberry, these would be a big hit. Someone mentioned that it's not unlike having a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with the added bonus of chocolate. I just have to wonder, though, who came up with the idea of strawberry? It seems so wrong.

I think the von Schokolats would really like these. How about you? Have you tried them? What do you think?

Cadbury Mini Eggs Smackdown: U.K. vs. U.S.

Exhibit A: Cadbury Mini Eggs from the U.K.
Exhibit B: Cadbury Mini Eggs from the U.S.

Bazooka Betsy and her candy-hating other half presented me with two baggies of Cadbury Mini Eggs the other day. They had gotten some genuine, bona fide British eggs from some friends and they were excited for me to taste the difference.
“They really taste different!” said Monsieur Candy Hater, as if I would be surprised by this. Of course they’d taste different. Any chocolate aficionado knows there’s a big difference between chocolate from the U.S. (often not even really chocolate) and chocolate from overseas (often better quality).
I was sure I’d like the U.K. version much better.
Guess what? I was wrong. Pretty shocking, actually.
The American version was milkier and the shell was sweeter, as opposed to the U.K. eggs which weren’t as milky and the shells had a slight sour tang to them.
A note about Cadbury Mini Eggs: people, even those who aren’t necessarily “candy people,” tend to go bonkers over these. Sue MKAFFGGF and the Golden Nose apparently went through several bagfuls throughout March. I think I’m one of the few people who can really take ‘em or leave ‘em. If they’re around, I’ll eat them, but I don’t think I’ve ever bought a bag for myself. What about you? Are you obsessed?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sweet Treat of the Week: Michael Utzinger!

You're in for an extra special treat this week, dear Yumsters! This week’s Sweet Treat is Michael Utzinger, an Elliott Associate Professor of Religion at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, and author of Yet Saints Their Watch Are Keeping (2006).
Perhaps even more importantly, he is Madame Yum Yum’s soulmate when it comes to pop culture, convenience store foods and stories of dysfunctional families.

What is your favorite candy?
My favorite candy is “sea foam,” an airy sugar confection covered with dark chocolate. I grew up eating this candy in my hometown at McDonald’s Hand-made Candies 1064 S Getty St Muskegon, MI 49442; (231) 773-0319. Yes, this is an unapologetic endorsement. I should also add that they make a killer wintergreen chocolate-covered cream.

Share with us a childhood candy memory.

I remember buying ten packs of baseball cards, stacking all the gum, and trying to bite through all of the sticks. (I actually remember when they had gum in the packs). I also remember how much fun Pez dispensers were. And can anyone forget Pixy Sticks? You could even bite off both ends and blow sugar at your brothers.

Favorite fruit flavor in candy?

OK, I like sour apple. I don’t think it actually tastes like apple, but my kids hate the flavor, so I can eat in peace.

Which do you prefer: gummies or hard candies?

My grandfather gave up smoking after years of hard work at the C & O Railroad. He did it by replacing cigarettes with hard candy. I suspect I had a lot more years with him because of that. Plus, in Greece last summer my wife and I found ouzo flavored hard-candies. I like that anise flavor, even if they are colored blue.

What’s your favorite candy holiday?
Easter. I’ll admit that I love Cadbury eggs. Perhaps, I am simply the victim of brilliant marketing, but how can you resist them (and they are only here once a year). As a religion professor I also noticed that Walmart was marketing candy crucifixes this year. I suppose this is a candy version of “Jesus is the Reason for the Season.” I ponder, however, what this suggests about American spirituality that a chocolate cross is a cultural retort for the commodification of a sacred holiday (all for only $2.95)?

What’s best: milk, dark or white?
Dark chocolate. Like wine and coffee, too much sugar destroys the natural goodness of the cocoa flavor. However, I have one caveat: milk chocolate and peanuts are a winning combination.

Circus Peanuts: yay or nay?
I know this is a trick question since marshmallows in cereals developed from the same technology as Circus Peanuts, and I like my Lucky Charms. Truthfully, however, if I wanted a candy that tasted like sweet chalk with the texture of Silly Putty, then Circus Peanuts would be the best way to get my fix.

Thanks Mike! We’ll look forward to the release of your next book, “Spirituality & Candy: Beyond Loaves and Swedish Fishes,” available soon at Walmarts everywhere.

Hey you! Yeah you! How would you like to be a future Sweet Treat of the Week? Come on, it’s fun! Just send an e-mail to and say, “Hey, I’d like to dish on some candy!”

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Inside Scoop (From the Outside)

While I sit here with the world’s neediest cat tucked under my elbow, hundreds of candy manufacturers and buyers are partying their lights out working hard at the All Candy Expo. I’m not there because 1) I’m broke; 2) I don’t have coverage for the Sugar Baby and 3) I’m too tired to even return my library books, let alone haul my sorry butt to the airport. In any case, the kind press folks at the Expo are keeping candy bloggers in the know with daily info. So dear Yumsters, want a sneak peek into what’s coming up around the bend? Here are a few I thought were interesting.

  • Jelly Belly® will have two new super fruit flavors: Barbados Cherry, an emerging super fruit high in Vitamin C, and Acai (ah-sigh-ee) Berry, an exotic Amazon rainforest fruit, in their new Superfruit Mix, which also includes other super fruits of pomegranate, blueberry and cranberry flavors. Another new flavor will be Chili Mango Jelly Belly® jelly beans which will “offer an exotic fusion of heat and sweet.” I’m not so sure about those, but then again, I don’t like mango.

  • MARS Snackfood US is introducing another flavor in its PROMISES line: DOVE® Silky Smooth Milk Chocolate with Peanut Butter PROMISES®. These individually wrapped chocolates include eloquent "promise" captions inside each wrapper. (NOTE: One lucky Yumster just might find some of these in the Great Anniversary Candy Giveaway!)

  • For Halloween, DOTS® Halloween Mix will include Candy Corn DOTS®, Blood Orange flavored Bat DOTS® and haunting Ghost DOTS® (Tootsie® Roll Industries). I’m psyched about these!

  • And finally, DAS® Lolli lollipops have new flavor pairings: Naughty Ginger is a ginger and lemon flavored pop, Caramelini Me Happy is a salty caramel lollipop, Fab-O-Pom blends orange and pomegranate, and Man Bait is a maple bacon flavored lollipop. As I’m writing this, I’m eating one of the Fab-O-Poms. It’s got a nice balance of sweet and sour, although now that I’m getting down to the end of it, there are little pieces of fruit in it, and I’m not digging that. I prefer a totally smooth lollipop—no chunks. We’ll see how the others fare.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

One Singular Sensation

Here at the House of Yum we are slowly beginning a very important venture: potty training. I will freely admit that I'm completely clueless in this regard and am open to any and all advice. This is what my friend Eric told me: "You have to find the motivation." For his daughter, it was a Terry's Chocolate Apple. Eric, being a teacher, received it as a gift from one of his students. (Am I getting this story right? Anyhow, she is successfully potty trained.)
So ... what's the Sugar's Baby's motivation? He's pretty easy to please, but this is what we settled on: for a full-fledged, "he-actually-did-it" result, he gets a Dum Dum. For a "he-tried-but-it-was-a-no-go," he gets an m&m.
Yes, that's right. AN m&m. One single, lovely, special m&m, which he is thrilled with. He takes his time picking out just the right one and stares at it lovingly for a few minutes before finally eating it.
Now enter Memaw, the Sugar Baby's grandmother who loves, loves, loves to spoil him. (For the record, I agree 100 percent that it's the grandparents right-- nay-- duty, to spoil the grandchildren.)
When I picked her and Grandpa D. up at the airport last week, we were in the car for about two seconds three minutes before Memaw whipped out a pack of m&ms and gave it to the Sugar Baby.
"The whole bag?" he asked.
Uh oh. I was busted.
"Yes the whole bag!" she said. "How many do you usually get?"
So I told her. One.
"One m&m?!" she said and laughed herself silly.
It was the joke of the weekend-- me and my ONE m&m. The weekend commenced and there were brownies and donuts and cookies and candies and toys and books and punch balls and more and more and more. But now Memaw has gone back home and left me with a Sugar Baby who's not going to make an effort for one stinkin' m&m or lollipop.
My utopia has been shattered. The Sugar Baby's naivete is gone. Now he's a man of the world. He's seen his options, and he wants it all.

My Latest Candy Paintings

I've been working on my candy characters' series. I find I can usually get one done during naptime.
Here's Mr. Marshmallow saying, "Let's get toasted!" and a firefighter fireball saying, "You make me hot!" Some Halloween trick-or-treaters: a masked lemon Jujy Fruit and a marshmallow dressed as a black cat. Meow!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sweet Treat of the Week: Elise Chidley

Elise Chidley, author of “The Wrong Kind of Wife?” and “Your Roots are Showing” is today’s Sweet Treat of the Week. You can check out her website at

What is your favorite candy?

I'm a huge fan of Cadbury's Snack bar, which is available in South Africa (where I'm from). When we go back to visit, I take a lot of (bulky) presents home to my family, and then fill in the freed-up space in my suitcase with chocolate on the return trip. The Snack bar is milk chocolate with crunchy, cookie-like pieces in it.

Share a childhood candy memory.

We used to go on an annual camping vacation with several families to a remote beach in Mozambique, a country that had barely any bread on the shelves of its stores, let alone candy. Oh, except for these hugely expensive chocolate 'umbrellas' which our parents would never buy. So we always brought bags of candy to tide us over, but these were supposed to be reserved for Christmas day. (Remember, this was in the southern hemisphere, so Christmas was in the summer time.) One year, my best friend and I found the candy supplies and pretty much flattened them on the sly. Boy, did we catch it afterwards. Good grief. That's not really a pleasant memory.

Favorite fruit flavor in candy?

Candy should not be fruit flavored. If I want to taste banana, I'll eat a banana. But orange chocolate is tolerable.

Which do you prefer: gummies or hard candies?

Gummies. I'm too impatient to suck hard candies, and chewing them means you have candy stuck in your molars all day.

What’s your favorite candy holiday?

Easter, because it's all about chocolate.

What’s best: milk, dark or white?
Milk is definitely best, though I'm trying to persuade my taste buds to like dark because that just seems more grown-up and dignified.

Circus Peanuts: yay or nay?

Do you know, I've never brought myself to try one. We didn't grow up with them, you see, so I think I by-passed that window of opportunity when a circus peanut looks appetizing.
Thanks Elise! Now go out and get yourself some Circus Peanuts, just so you can say you've tried them.
What about you, dear Yumsters? What are your candy preferences? I'd love for you to be a future Sweet Treat of the Week! Contact me at

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Coconut M&M's, Puckerooms and more!

In one of this year's most controversial posts, Mr. Goodbar took a close look at the economics of M&M's. It was in this investigation where he suggested a brilliant idea: coconut M&M's. So guess what the latest flavor is going to be? Yep, coconut! Check out some of the other new releases that'll be coming soon at Candy Dish Blog. I'm intrigued by the cranberry Raisinettes and all of the Nestle Crunch variations.

I'm also excited about the Wonka products, particularly the Wonka Puckerooms, described as "the chewiest new treat made with natural ingredients and 25 percent real fruit juice. Each cherry, lemon-orange and grape mushroom-shaped sour gummi candy delivers a bitter twist with a curious combination of squishy and sour to dazzle your mouth." I'm not so sure about that "bitter twist" part, but I'm always on board for sour.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Biggest Candy Giveaway Ever!

It's just a mere matter of weeks before Candy Yum Yum! turns 6 years old! I can't believe it. It's actually more like 5 years, because I missed a whole year while I was pregnant, but whatever ... It's time to celebrate! So dear Yumsters, to thank you for your loyalty to all things yummy, I'm having my biggest giveaway ever. One lucky reader-- or maybe two (I haven't decided yet), will receive a big box o' Candy Yum Yum love. Some of it's a surprise, but I can tell you it will include Dove, Hershey's and Wrigley goodies.

So how do you get your name in the running for this fantabulous surprise? Leave me a comment saying what you'd like to read more of at Candy Yum Yum! in the next year. Here are the deets: please leave me a way to contact you if your name is picked (in other words, don't sign in as anonymous; you can leave your Google name); and you must live in the continental U.S.

I'll pick the lucky recipient on May 29 at approximately 9 p.m. EST. Good luck to all! I can't wait to hear from you!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Which One Would You Pick?

Whew! It's been quite a weekend. The in-laws were here and we celebrated the Sugar Baby's 3rd birthday. I knew from the moment the Sugar Baby was born that he wouldn't be a chocolate birthday cake kind of guy, but I never imagined he'd ask for strawberry. I did my best. I researched all sorts of recipes for homemade strawberry cake, by-passing any that used Jell-O for the strawberry flavor. I finally found one that called for a cup of pureed strawberries. I really thought this cake was going to be a winner, but I'll be darned if I could taste any strawberry in it at all. Oh well, he didn't care. He was more excited about the m&m's that decorated the top.
As for me, I've been hoarding this beautiful box of all dark chocolate Godiva that Memaw brought me. If I had my way, I'd snuggle up in bed with the whole box and finish reading my book, but I'm trying to practice some self-control. One piece a day.
In other news, check back this week for my exciting anniversary giveaway announcement!

Saturday, May 09, 2009


Thursday, May 07, 2009

Free Chocolate Friday!

Every Friday from May 8 through September, Mars will be giving out 250,000 coupons for free candy! Woo hoo! Check it out at Mars Real Chocolate Relief Act. The coupons are good for one full-sized package of either Snickers, Milky Way, M&M’S, Twix, Dove and 3 Musketeers.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Le Whif: Le Whaaaat?

Okay, I'm actually kind of speechless about this goodie, brought to my attention by the ever-vigilant Frau Marzipan.
This, dear Yumsters, is "chocolate" that you inhale. Yes indeedy, that's what I said: inhale. Since I obviously haven't tried it (it's not yet out on the market in the U.S.), I'll let the company's website do the explaning. "Le Whif ( is a revolutionary new way of eating chocolate - by breathing it! Imagine, chocolate without the calories. Be the first to try inhaled chocolate when Le Whif goes on sale later this month in four luscious flavors: mint chocolate, raspberry
chocolate, mango chocolate, and plain chocolate.
Harvard professor David Edwards, lead inventor of Le Whif, says: "Over the centuries we've been eating smaller and smaller quantities at shorter and shorter intervals. It seemed to us
that eating was tending toward breathing, so, with a mix of culinary art and aerosol science, we've helped move eating habits to their logical conclusion. We call it whiffing."

Well, I don't know what Professor Edwards has been smoking (or whiffing, as may be the case), but I can tell you one thing: I certainly haven't been eating smaller and smaller quantities of anything and my eating absolutely does not tend toward breathing. Inhaling, maybe.
In any case, I'll be interested to try a Le Whif, but I would bet my sweet tooth that it won't be the chocolate that really satisfies.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Fair Warning: There are Clowns in This Post

Sorry to do this to you, dear Yumsters, but it's time again for another installment of "Ah! My Eyes!" As you may recall, the last time I said this was when I saw the creepy m&m's baby collectibles. I mentioned a few things that most people find universally frightening, such as dolls, shows by Sid and Marty Kroftt and, above all else, clowns. Hold onto your hats, because this one may just frighten the lollipops out of you.

One day recently, Mrs. Connection and I were at the library with the Sugar Babies. In the front area, there's a box where you can "give a book/take a book." Mrs. Connection came running over to me with this gem:
"Many Luscious Lollipops: A Book About Adjectives" by Ruth Heller.
"How cool!" I said, because I love candy and well, frankly, who doesn't love adjectives? Standing there, I quickly flipped through it and was instantly freaked out. When I tell you this is one whacked out book, I mean, hoo boy, we're talking someone was smoking a little something the day they created this horrifying (yet educational) work.

It starts off all nice and sing-songy in a Schoolhouse Rock kind of rhythm: "An ADJECTIVE's terrific when you want to be specific ... It describes all things with style and grace ... [now this is where it starts to get freaky]

"... and it also describes a place-- Mysterious, Star-Spangled, Asteroidal outer space ..."

Okay, first of all, star-spangled should only refer to banners, in my opinion, and "asteroidal"?

Moving on ...

This page illustrates some crazy homeless man with a bandaged up knee, elbow and finger, ready to play tennis.
It reads, "[an adjective describes] any special member of our precious human race-- a weary, wounded, bearded and bandaged tennis ace."

The freakshow continues with all sorts of bizarre stuff, like a page with a Pegasus and a terrifying dragon about to pounce on a little puppy. (This page illustrates "Astonishing beast, more Astonishing beast and the most Astonishing beast." Why on earth would the puppy be the most astonishing?)

But my friends, the most terrifying page (see, I used the word "most"), is this:
Yes, the text is mine, but the illustration comes right before the title page, as if this creepy clown is inviting you to take a walk through his world full of weird, kooky, far-out, asteroidal adjectives. But don't let me sway you. If you think you might find this book to be delightful, you can order it from Amazon. Or contact me-- I'll gladly send you my copy.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Your Three Words

A big thanks (?) to Frau Marzipan for directing my attention to the Good Morning America segment called "Your Three Words" where people hold up signs, wear T-shirts, etc. with three words stating what's on their minds. It's all set to music and of course, you'll be bawling your eyes out by the end of it, when you see things like a sign saying "Finally coming home" with a video of a baby in the hospital or "Miss My Friend" with someone holding up a picture. There are funny ones, too, of course, like "Am I Cute?" with an ugly little chuhuahua. So what does this all have to do with candy?
Well ... our friends at Necco (of the Yum Yum heart fame and Twilight Sweethearts) have decided to retire their old sayings and use some of the current "Your Three Words" for next year's Conversation Hearts. Pretty cool, huh? I say it again; someone is definitely pushing Necco into the 21st century. You can enter your saying at
So Yumsters, what are your three words?

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Eating His Words?

From an e-mail from Mr. "I don't like candy" Goodbar:

This doesn't happen to me often, but I just had a 'bite sized' Twix and nearly fell over because it was so good. It was like an explosion of vanilla in my mouth supported by gritty crunch of the cookie. Very, very nice.