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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

halloweenbowl2007So what is the Candy Blogger’s house giving out for Halloween this year?

Kids get a handful of the following mix: 3 Musketeers Fun Size, Skittles, Peanut M&Ms, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Laffy Taffy, Nerds, SweeTarts, Peeps Spooky Friends, Frankford Marshmallow Pals & Twizzlers. (And anything else I might have lying around.)

If you’re not coming to my door tonight, your best bet is to enter my current giveaway for a Limited Edition Package. I just added some M&Ms Pirate Pearls (freshness not guaranteed) and Retro Flavor Starbursts to the box!

There are a lot of great articles out there today with folks listing the great hierarchy of candy. People extolling the virtues of this candy, that other candies are made by the devil himself and are being dispensed by his minions at otherwise nice looking houses around the country. My candy preference list may be vastly different from yours. It’s candy! There is no single candy that everyone loves. (But yeah, it’s fun to rant about the stuff that you don’t like.) Some people like full-sized bars, I actually prefer the smaller ones because of the assortment.

The truth is that most people give out what they like at Halloween. So if you’re getting Mary Janes or Popcorn Balls, it’s probably because the giver likes them. This is pretty much true with ALL gifting, but especially with blind gifting. Consider that anyone who gives you something you don’t like is following the Golden Rule. They’re doing unto others as they’d like done to them. They’re giving you Smarties or Starlight Mints because they would want to get them. Smile and say thank you.

Then trade!

If they candy is being made it means that someone likes it ... it has value somewhere in the great candy barter world. It may not have as much value as other candies, but that’s the risk you take when you beg from door to door.

Stay safe and for heaven's sake, eat some healthy food and then brush your teeth when you're done with your candy binge. It's only once a year you get to carry around a sack full of candy.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:25 am     Comments (11)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Limited Edition Giveaway

Limited Edition GiveawayI have a lovely package of Limited Edition candies to give away to one lucky reader. Right now the package contains: Dark Chocolate Flavored Sixlets, Elvis Reese’s Peanut Butter & Banana Creme Miniatures, 3 Musketeers Fall Mix (Strawberry, Cappuccino & French Vanilla), Tropical Tootsie Pops, Twix Java, Candy Corn Kisses, Nestle 100 Grand versions (Coconut, Peanuts & Dark Chocolate), Peppermint Peeps, Limited Edition & Seasonal Pop Rocks and more!

How to enter:

  • Submit a comment here with your favorite Limited Edition candy of the past, present or future. (If it doesn’t exist, tell me what your perfect candy would be.)
  • Make only one comment ... leave a real email address (don’t worry it’s not published). Winning package can only be shipped in North America.
  • If you’d like to earn more than one entry into the drawing, simply make a donation in my name via First Giving to National Novel Writing Month. You’ll get an additional entry for each $5 you donate (it’s tax deductible). Read more here.
  • Deadline for comments & donations is November 15, 2007 at 10PM Pacific. Winner will be notified via email to make further delivery arrangements.

  • Regular reviews will continue below as usual.

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:52 am    

    Saturday, October 20, 2007

    Candy Teases: Edition Three

    Name: Tootsie Pop Drops
    Brand: Tootsie
    Description: Fruit flavored hard candies with a Tootsie Roll center
    Release Date: Early 2008
    Notes: Tootsie Pop Drops will return next year after a long absence from store shelves. This is good news, because it was especially sad that the Blow Pop Minis were on the market (blech) and the obviously superior Tootsie Pop Drops were nowhere to be found.

    UPDATE 3/22/2008: They are pretty much like the original, a little smaller but a very good return. Here’s the review with photos.

    imageName: Reese’s Select Clusters Candy
    Brand: Hershey’s
    Description: Peanut clusters made with premium ingredients
    Release Date: August 2008
    Notes: I have no idea how these will be different from regular Reese’s products ... except maybe they’ll improve the quality.

    imageName: Werther’s Original Caramel Chocolate (Milk & Dark)
    Brand: Storck
    Description: Rich milk chocolate marbled with smooth, creamy caramel in fine European tradition
    Release Date: November 2007
    Notes: I actually tried these ... I was hoping for something as rich and satisfying as Storck Chocolate Riesen. Until I can get a hold of the real packaging so I can read the label, I’m not able to do a full review. 

    (Images courtesy of the respective manufacturers.)

    Related Candies

    1. Candy Teases: Edition Two
    2. Candy Teases - New Products

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:15 am     CandyNew Product AnnouncementFeatured NewsFun StuffNewsComments (4)

    Sunday, October 14, 2007

    This Week in Candy - Halloween Prep

    Brach's Candy CornSince Monday will be the Ides of October, I thought I’d better get in gear for Halloween. I’m declaring the week starting Monday, October 15th to be All Halloween Candy Week at Candy Blog! So far I don’t have many items to review, just the new Peeps Spooky Friends and some Frankford Marshmallow Pals and maybe some items that can be considered quasi-Halloween like Reese’s Pieces (I’ve never reviewed them!). I’m also going to have some new Peeps Monster Mash-Ups (see the Easter version) ... just in time for your next Halloween party.

    Technically for me Candy Season does not start until November 1st, when all the Halloween candy goes on sale (which is what the countdown is set for over there on the right). I certainly don’t claim to have coined the phrase, but I hope I’ve popularized the idea that there is a Candy Season and it starts with Halloween and ends with Easter. The candy companies are trying to add other holidays to the candy season, like Independence Day in the United States, but red, white and blue foiled Kisses or colored M&Ms do not make a candy holiday make.

    Reese's Peanut Butter CupsPatti at Candy YumYum has a great new feature ... your candy horoscope. First, before you click on that link, decide what your favorite candy bar is. (Well maybe top three, in case it’s not on her list of 12.) Then go see what the month ahead will be like. (The feature is on the right column.) November will bring us Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups:

    Organization is the name of the game, Reese’s. Keep an eye on things and that project you’re working on will come out A-OK.

    The problem is that I love just about all those candies and without an immutable assignment by my date of birth, any one of those could be speaking to me.

    Darth Mix M&MsI saw this article which pretty much echoes my sentiments on the new 100 calorie/twice the price trend by candy makers. The smaller portion candy packs already exist, and if you’re trying to limit calories, by all means take advantage of them. But don’t fall for the pre-portion hype as a substitute for good judgment. Read the labels. Just because something has 0g of trans fat does not make it healthy (and fat isn’t bad, just higher in calories by weight than carbohydrates or protein). I don’t really believe that “fake food” like low-fat cheese are necessarily better for us, just eat less. You’ll feel better and have more money in your wallet. Learn to indulge in what you really want in moderation ... craving satisfied.

    Razzberry M&MsIt looks like The Onion’s AV Club has started doing candy reviews. In this edition they cover the Razzberry M&Ms and Creme d’Orange M&Ms (I haven’t seen them yet, though I think commenters make reference to my review on the Cherry Almondine).

    And last of all, Joanna posted her experience at Littlejohn’s Candies a few weeks ago when she was in Los Angeles and we grabbed some lunch (and some fantabulous Pecan Pralines ... which she liked, and I trust her because she’s a connoisseur of Penuche and Pecan Pralines). In her honor I will review Zachary Candy Corn, as she gave it the highest rating in her roundup last year.

    The reviews in review:

    Gimbal’s Lavaballs (8 out of 10)

    Concord Candies (8 out of 10)

    Dove Promises (Caramel & Almonds) (4 out of 10, 5 out of 10, 7 out of 10, 8 out of 10)

    Daffin’s Candies Factory & World’s Largest Candy Store

    Mori Ex Cacao Gift Set

    Related Candies

    1. This Week in Candy - I’m Going to Meet All the Candy Bloggers
    2. This Week in Candy - Chicago Bound
    3. This Week in Candy - Naturally!
    4. This Week in Candy - Too Hot
    5. This Week in Candy - A Giant Craving

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:22 pm     CandyFeatured NewsFun StuffComments (1)

    Saturday, October 6, 2007

    This Week in Candy - I’m Going to Meet All the Candy Bloggers

    Littlejohn's Caramel KissesTechnically this happened last week, not this week, but bear with me. Last Friday I got to meet another one of my fellow candy bloggers (I have a set of three in-person meets so far!). Joanna from SugarSavvy.net was in town and we went out to lunch at the Farmers Market (because it was the densest candy location I could think of near my office). We had a little lunch with the incredible view of Littlejohn’s Toffee & Fudge. They were wrapping their slick and gorgeous caramel kisses (caramel covered marshmallows). Joanna bought some penuche, a pecan praline for a friend and I also got a praline and a piece of honeycomb (because it looked so good on Rosa’s post over at SugarSavvy ... but I ate it and can’t review it now). I probably jabbered on a lot about candy, but it’s pretty rare that I get to talk to anyone about candy except through the blog.

    She also gave me a wonderful selection of four chocolates by Xocolatl de David. I’ve gobbled them up without taking their picture or reviewing them. (I’m sure I’ll have them again and do some coverage.) Mmmm ... dark and scorched fleur de sel caramels coated in rich chocolate. I definitely have to visit Portland one of these days.

    As another update, the winner for the Ultimate Candy Expo Box was Kimberly. It was a little warm in both our locations last week, so I’m boxing up a list of her top requests and a bunch of other stuff to send off on Monday. There were 537 valid entries (a few doubles on the comment thread and a few that came in via email). I’m kind of 21st century in my drawing method. I export the entire list to an spreadsheet. Sort it (in this case by email address) and then have a random number generator tell me which entry won.

    I’m thinking about running another giveaway, this time filled with Limited Edition items (some you may have loved, many you may have hated!). Any thoughts?

    KeyCardAs a little follow up to another post earlier this week, Hershey’s has named Richard Lenny’s replacement. They’re promoting from within and have tapped David J. West (43) as the new President, CEO and Director. West’s current position is Chief Operating Officer, Exec. VP, Sr. VP and Pres of the North American Commercial Group (see, he’ll have a much shorter title!). Don’t worry about Lenny (55),  he’s leaving with plenty of compensation for his hard work this year: a $1.1 million base salary and $10.25 million in long-term compensations ... that’s just this year. (He has some other yet unexercised options worth $23.5 million.) More about Lenny’s history with the company here. Of the 20 top executives in Hershey, West was the youngest in senior management.

    Chew on That has their monthly roundup of answers from bloggers. October’s topic is “What is the one thing in your refrigerator or pantry that you cannot live without?” As I’m not the cook in my household, my answer isn’t an ingredient, just something I eat.

    Monday: Reese’s Whipps (4 out of 10)

    Tuesday: Java Twix (8 out of 10)

    Wednesday: Limited Edition Hot Cocoa Kisses (5 out of 10)

    Thursday: GudFud Stuffed Marshmallows (6 out of 10)

    Friday: Chocolate Poppers (6 out of 10)

    Healthy Friday Bonus: Welch’s Fruit ‘n Yogurt Snacks (6 out of 10)

    Weekly average was 5.833 with 50% chocolate content.

    Related Candies

    1. This Week in Candy - Chicago Bound
    2. This Week in Candy - Naturally!
    3. This Week in Candy - Too Hot
    4. This Week in Candy - A Giant Craving
    5. Confetti & Agrumetti

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:26 pm     CandyFeatured NewsNewsComments (7)

    Thursday, October 4, 2007

    Candy Travels - NCA Reveals Top 10 Sweet Destinations

    The National Confectioners Association (the people who run the All Candy Expo) released a list of what they call America’s Top 10 Sweet Spots for Halloween.

    Here are their cities with my notes:

    Fresh from the Factory Reese's1. Hershey, Pa. Yes, they mentioned the Hershey empire with the park and Chocolate World and the Spa at The Hotel Hershey. But what you may not know is that there are lots of other confections within an hour of Hershey. Don’t miss Lititz, PA, home of Wilbur Chocolate and a fantabulous outlet store (with far better prices than you’ll find at the Chocolate World mall). Also in Souderton, PA, Asher’s Chocolate, Wolfgang in York, PA.

    2. New York, N.Y.—They mention M&Ms World & Hershey’s in Times Square, Jacques Torres and Dylan’s Candy Bar, but miss many of the other confectionery delights: MarieBelle, Kees, Vosges, Pierre Marcolini, Max Brenner and Economy Candy. (See my New York Guide.)

    3. Orlando, Fla.—I’ve never been there. The highlight Disneyworld and other mass-produced candy meccas like Dylan’s Candy Bar & Ghirardelli stores.

    4. San Francisco, Calif.—this is a huge confectionery town. Ghirardelli, Scharffen Berger, Jelly Belly (in Fairfield) as well as Joseph Schmidt, CocoaBella, the new Charles Chocolates cafe and factory as well as some really great candy shops and don’t forget the Ferry Terminal (Recchiuti & Miette). I’ll have more in December. (Here’s my current guide for the Bay Area.)

    Ethel's Holiday Assortment5. Chicago, Ill.—Home of Ethel’s, Blommer, Ferrara Pan, Tootsie and a bunch of other companies that don’t offer tours but you can snuggle down at one of the five Ethel’s Chocolate Lounges. Vosges calls Chicago home, as well.

    6. Los Angeles, Calif.—This is where I live and I can tell you that the press release was talking about Anaheim in nearby Orange County. (I did a little bit on Disneyland here). No factory tours for you here, but plenty of chocolatiers like Boule, Compartes, Valerie Confections, Jin Patissiere and Artisan du Chocolat. (Here’s my local shopping guide.) Don’t forget about See’s ... if you don’t live on the West Coast, it’s a must stop that won’t break your budget.

    7. Boston, Mass.—the one time I visited Boston, I don’t think I had ANY candy (but made a wonderful trip to Filene’s Basement back when it was actually in the basement.). They highlight Boston’s part in making Halloween the holiday that it has come to be (but I can’t eat history!)

    8. New Orleans, La.—again, another one I’ve never visited, but any city that loves coffee, pecans and boiled sugar is going to be a favorite. They suggested Evans Creole CandyFactory, Laura’s Candy Shop and Aunt Sally’s Praline Shop (I got some of their pralines at the All Candy Expo).

    9. Las Vegas, Nev.—There’s really nothing unique in Las Vegas, except for the sheer density of it all. There are many large branded stores and fine European chocolatiers that want you to sugar up with them. M&Ms World, Ethel’s Chocolate Lounge, & Vosges.

    Elbow & Siegel10. Kansas City, Mo.—I’ve never been, but I’ve certainly had plenty of candy from Kansas City. Russell Stover is there, as is Christopher Elbow and Andre’s Confiserie.

    The Pacific Northwest is conspicuously absent from this list. Portland and Seattle are amazing chocolate, toffee and caramel towns ... not that I’ve toured them with that in mind ... yet. If anything, Los Angeles and Orlando don’t belong on that list.

    If you don’t feel like going too far afield, I did a little map last year with the confectioners I’d tried so far ... maybe you can make a little vacation for yourself for the price of a box of chocolates.

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:32 am     CandyFeatured NewsShoppingComments (9)

    Wednesday, October 3, 2007

    Because you asked ...

    Every once in a while I go through the search logs either on this site or the ones that refer people here from the search engines.

    Sometimes I know that their questions aren’t actually answered when they arrive, so I’ll take a stab at it here!

    Sour Patch FruitsQuestion: Why is my tongue is irritated from sour foods?

    Answer: Sour foods are acidic. Many very sour candies contain high levels of acids such as malic acid and citric acid. At higher levels this can irritate the tongue and tender mouth parts. Luckily the irritation is temporary for most people.

    Malic acid is naturally occurring and usually found in apples, more highly concentrated in green (unripe) apples.

    Citric acid is also occurs naturally and is found in citrus fruits such as lemons and limes and in lower concentrations in oranges.

    Question: What flavor is the red Skittle?

    Answer: Red Skittles are strawberry flavored when found in the classic Fruits mix.

    Question: What’s the difference between Hershey’s Mounds and Almond Joy candy bar?

    Answer: I think the jingle for the candy bars answers that best:

    Sometimes you feel like a nut
    Sometimes you don’t
    Almond Joy’s got nuts
    Mounds don’t

    Almond Joy’s got real milk chocolate
    Coconut and munchy nuts too.
    Mound’s got deep dark chocolate
    and chewy coconut .... oooh

    Sometimes you feel like a nut
    Sometimes you don’t

    Related Candies

    1. Sour Extinguisher
    2. Skittles (Fruits, Wild Berry, Tropical, Smoothies & Sour)
    3. Mounds Island Orange
    4. Warheads Juniors Extreme Sour
    5. Almond Joy Chocolate Chocolate

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:16 am     CandyFeatured NewsFun StuffComments (0)

    Monday, October 1, 2007

    Hershey’s CEO to Retire

    Richard H. Lenny, the CEO, President and Chair of The Hershey Company is calling it quits at the end of the year. He took his current position in 2001.

    You can read the press release below, which is obviously geared towards investors and not consumers, because not once does it mention anything good that’s happened since Lenny took over ... a period which saw the addition of PGPR to Hershey’s chocolate, the swapping of real milk chocolate in the Fifth Avenue bar to subpar mockolate and of course their support for the Grocery Manufacturers Association proposal to lower the standards of identity for chocolate (a reversal from their earlier position logged in 2000). Oh, yeah, and the closing of the Smith Falls, ONT and Oakdale, CA along with many smaller factories totalling at least 1,500 people directly.

    HERSHEY, Pa., Oct. 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/—Richard H. Lenny, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Hershey Company, has informed the Board of Directors that he intends to retire at the end of 2007. First elected as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company in March 2001, Mr. Lenny was elected Chairman of the Board in December 2001.

    In commenting on the announced retirement, Robert H. Campbell, Chair of the Company’s Compensation and Executive Organization Committee, said: “On behalf of the Hershey board of directors, stockholders, and employees, we thank Rick for his leadership over this past six and one-half years. During this time, the Company developed and has been executing its value-enhancing strategy with the over-arching goal of building stockholder value over the long-term. Under Rick’s leadership, through a combination of core brand growth, disciplined global expansion, and improved margins, Hershey’s total stockholder return was higher than that of the S&P food group and significantly outperformed the S&P 500. In addition, Rick has assembled an excellent leadership team that we’re confident will realize Hershey’s growth potential.

    “The board has begun the succession process and looks forward to making an announcement in the near future. Once announced, there will be an orderly transition from Rick to his successor. We wish Rick all the best as he concludes his role with Hershey,” Campbell concluded.

    “My years at Hershey have been extremely rewarding as I’ve been honored to lead a dedicated and engaged organization. During this time, we undertook major challenges, all focused on building a strong foundation for the benefit of all our stakeholders. I’m extremely proud of my Hershey colleagues and all that they have accomplished. I also want to thank our board of directors for its keen insights, support, and guidance over the past several years,” said Lenny. “The long-term prospects for our category and particularly for our company remain promising. I look forward to working closely with my successor so that the transition to new leadership will be effective and seamless.” (source)

    If I were in charge, I’d go private. If I were the Hershey Trust, I’d slowly buy the company back. They have (or at least it looks like they have) the capital to do it. Move away from all for the profit business and move to become and socially and ecologically responsible company both in the United States and abroad. Mars has a huge advantage over Hershey’s in that it is privately owned and can take bigger risks when the consumer confectionery market is in flux as it is now.

    Hershey’s should get back to making quality confectionery products at affordable prices, pay people a decent wage and the Hershey Trust will be able to continue the Milton Hershey School without problems. After all, the Trust is there to help mold disadvantaged youth - give them the education and boost that they need. Are they really teaching them anything if they abandon the town, communities and ideals that Hershey built?

    More at the Wall Street Journal.

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:27 am     CandyFeatured NewsNewsComments (11)

    Page 38 of 40 pages ‹ First  < 36 37 38 39 40 > 

    Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.

     

     

     

     

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    COUNTDOWN.

    Candy Season Ends

    -20 days

    Read previous coverage

     

     

    Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

    Choose one or more:

    •   Halloween
    •   Christmas
    •   Valentine's Day
    •   Easter

     

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    ON DECK

    These candies will be reviewed shortly:

    • Mike and Ike Cotton Candy

    • Strawberry Cajillions

    • Candy Tease: Sweets & Snacks Part 1

    • Hachez Braune Blatter (Chocolate Leaves)

    • Rogue Chocolatier

     

     

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