ABOUT

FEEDS

SEARCH

  • Enter search term

CONTACT

  • .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
  • Here are some frequently asked questions emailed to me you might want to read first.

EMAIL DIGEST

    For a daily update of Candy Blog reviews, enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

CANDY RATINGS

TYPE

BRAND

COUNTRY

ARCHIVES

Highlight

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Eat with your Eyes: Serving of Fruit

Runts

Did you eat your fruits and vegetables today? Runts don’t count.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:55 pm     CandyHighlightFun StuffPhotographyComments (1)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Eat with your Eyes: Stacked Fruit

Arcor Veni

For a long time I’ve thought that Arcor candy is some of the worst in the world. Arcor is a huge company and makes candy for many Central and South American countries and actually has quite a big presence in the United States as well. I find their chocolate products disappointing, as well as those with cookies or nuts in them. So I was rather surprised at how much I liked these filled hard candy fruit rods I picked up in July. They little wrappers call them Veni.

They’re made in the Italian tradition of fruity filled hard candies. The wrappers are also nice, a heavy foil with a wax paper lining. The anana (pineapple) was particularly good.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:09 pm     CandyArgentinaHighlightFeatured NewsPhotographyComments (4)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Eat with your Eyes: Gifts from the Sea

DSC_7596rb

These curious little nougats studded with jelly have a selling point: they’re made with seaweed. According to the woman I met up with in the aisle of the Little Tokyo Market, if it’s from the sea, it’s good for you.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:06 pm     CandyHighlightFeatured NewsPhotographyComments (8)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Candy Tease: August 2010

imageName: Organic Licorice Twists
Brand: Newman’s Own Organics
Description: The first licorice twist made with organic ingredients comes from Newman’s Own Organics. It’s available in today’s favorite flavors, black and strawberry, as well as two new fruit flavors, pomegranate and tangerine. The candy is low in fat and sodium, and is free from trans fat and cholesterol. $2.99 per 5-oz. package
Introduction Date: 6/1/2010
Notes: I’ve had organic licorice before ... never in a twist form, but I have my doubts that it’s that different. It sounds good but very pricey.

imageName: Bubble Paste
Brand: Ludo LLC
Description: Unlike regular bubblegum, the Bubble Paste user gets to squeeze it out! So if you want a lot squeeze, squeeze, squeeze! The gum will retail between $0.59 to $.79/unit Comes in Strawberry and soon Sour Apple and Grape.
Introduction Date: 9/2010
Notes: You may want to read the entire press release here. There are too many inaccuracies (and insulting things) in there for me to cover comprehensively. The short: Dylan Lauren deserves to just be referred to as her own entity, not as the daughter of Ralph Lauren at this point. Two: bubble gum in a tube has been done before, several times. I remember Bazooka back in the 80s. The gum is for kids but contains artificial sweeteners. Finally, the press release closes with this I would have loved being an automobile manufacturer. However, I knew that was so unrealistic due to the capital requirements. Seriously, I’m supposed to want to buy from a guy who doesn’t really want to be doing this for a living? It’s a press release!

imageName: Cinnamon Bun Bites
Brand: Taste of Nature
Description: Delicious bite size cinnamon bun pieces in a creamy white chocolatey coating. Both egg free and Kosher.
Introduction Date: June 2010
Notes: Made by the same folks that brought you Cookie Dough Bites. They sound absolutely dreadful. They sound so bad I’m really looking forward to them. (But that egg-free thing is probably a big selling point right now.)

imageName: Gummi Bear-Rings
Brand: E-Frutti
Description: Gummi Bear Rings made with real fruit juice with great play appeal in an array of fruit flavors that every kid loves. 
Introduction Date: unknown
Notes: Dang these are cute. The pun possibilities abound! You could be traveling with someone and get turned around and then say, “Lost? Can I help you get your Bear-Rings?” Oh, I’m a stitch!

My biggest concern is that they won’t fit on my big fingers. I have no idea where to get them, but I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled.

imageName: Starburst GummiBurst Flavor Duos
Brand: Wrigley (Mars)
Description: New Starburst GummiBursts Flavor Duos brings together two juicy fruit flavors in each piece! Flavor Duos delivers a gummy outside with a different fruit-flavored liquid center for a double burst of delicious fruit flavor! Strawberry Watermelon, Cherry Fruit Punch, Green Apple Strawberry & Lemon Cherry.
Introduction Date: 08/30/10
Notes: I’m not big on these new oozy gummis, but I think that Starburst is going in the right direction making them flavor combinations instead of single flavors (like the Skittles Crazy Cores). Now they just need to start making them in citrus flavors.

imageName: sweetriot yumBar
Brand: Sweetriot, Inc.
Description: The yumBar is sourced and produced directly in Latin America. The bar is available in two flavors. yumBar 65-65% dark chocolate with crunchy cacao ‘peaces’, and yumBar 70- 70% dark chocolate with crunchy cacao ‘peaces’ and plump golden raisins. This delectable bar is all natural, doesn’t contain gluten or dairy ingredients and is only 45-50 calories per ‘mega peace’. 
Introduction Date: March 10, 2010
Notes: I haven’t tried these. I’ve seen them, but they just don’t speak to me for some reason. It might be the funky capitalization/lower case thing going on, it could be that pieces are always spelled ‘peaces’ or it could be that I’m just too grouchy for something with yum in the name.

All photos/images courtesy of the respective manufacturer

POSTED BY Cybele AT 5:16 pm     CandyNew Product AnnouncementHighlightFeatured NewsFun StuffComments (4)

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Candy Quiz (from 1945)

1945CandyQuiz

The National Confectioners Association (NCA) used to put ads in popular magazines about candy. This one appeared in LIFE magazine on October 15, 1945.

See in largest format to read or perhaps even print out.

I love the description at the bottom of the NCA’s goal: an organization devoted to maintaining high standards of quality in candy and the dissemination of authoritative information on its use as an energy-producing, morale-building food. I agree, by the way, I think candy has great morale-building potential.

There are some enigmatic questions and answers, such as Did the Pilgrims eat candy? (yes) and Is candy mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays? (yes) - wouldn’t you like to know what candy that was?

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:43 pm     CandyHighlightFeatured NewsFun StuffComments (0)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Eat with your Eyes: Advanced Turtle Stacking

Advanced Turtle Stacking

“If I could sit high, how much greater I’d be!
What a king! I’d be ruler of all I could see!”
So Yertle, the Turtle King, lifted his hand
And Yertle, the Turtle King, gave a command.
He ordered nine turtles to swim to his stone
And, using these turtles, he built a new throne.

from Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss (link)

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:56 pm     CandyHighlightFeatured NewsFun StuffPhotographyComments (4)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

More things I’m not going to get around to reviewing

Sometimes I have stuff that I just do a short review on. In this instance, I just want to tell you about some things that I bought and might have eaten. But I’m not going to review them. You might enjoy the photos and of course feel free to add your review in the comments.

Cola Haribo Wheels

What is it? Haribo Cola Wheels

Why I Bought Them: They were pretty and I love cola as a flavor.

Why I’m Not Going to Review Them: I lost them. I know they’ll turn up, but they were just in a paper bag, so they can’t possibly be fresh now. (But I’ll probably eat them anyway.)

Bourbon Banana Bit

What is it? Bourbon Bit Assortment (Banana)

Why I Bought Them: It’s Japanese. A friend at work gave me a bag of them. In the bag are three varieties, I think Vanilla Creme, Chocolate Creme and Banana Creme. But the wrappers are in Japanese, so I’m only guessing.

Why I’m Not Going to Review Them: I haven’t been able to find them in stores and ended up sharing most of them with co-workers. Still, they’re nice little wafer layers with creme covered in decent chocolate.

Mehlenbachers Taffy

What is it? Mehlenbacher’s Taffy Assortment

Why I Bought Them: Back in the spring I went to Paso Robles for the weekend. We stopped at the farmers market in the square and I saw a stand for this taffy. It was so cute and I’d actually read about them online before my trip. So I picked up this big assortment. The pieces are huge, like cigars. The flavors also sounded great, especially Root Beer.

Why I’m Not Going to Review Them: I lost them for a while. I have this horrible habit of tucking candy away in boxes or coolers to keep it fresh, but then forgetting that I had it or where I put it. And now it’s too late to eat them for review.

Marshmallow Bunny

What is it? Marshmallow Bunny

Why I Bought Them: it was cute and I wanted to take its picture.

Why I’m Not Going to Review Them: It’s just another pink Easter marshmallow bunny made in China. There’s not much else to say any longer about those.

Hammond's Peanut Butter Sticks

What is it? Hammond’s Peanut Butter Sticks

Why I Bought Them: I got this as a sample at the Fancy Food Show back in January. I’ve been looking for them in stores and online but haven’t seen them.

Why I’m Not Going to Review Them: It was dang tasty, but again, it’s hard for me to review stuff that isn’t easily acquired. But I’ll keep my eyes out, if I see them again, I’ll buy them and review them for real.

Xocolatl de David Raleigh Bar

What is it? Raleigh Bar from Xocolatl

Why I Bought Them: This was a sample from the Fancy Food Show. The bar is “a layer of honey pecan chocolate nougat, topped with our signature salted caramel.” I thought it was nice, but didn’t really get a great feel for it (it’s kind of tiny, like a large bonbon).

Why I’m Not Going to Review Them: I have this thing about bacon. I know there’s no bacon in this, though there’s a version that has bacon in it. I don’t like bacon. I don’t like pork, I don’t even like meat. I really don’t like it to even be adjacent to my chocolate. It’s my own baggage and it’s not fair, but that’s why I haven’t reviewed a lot of Vosges lately and some other candies that I’m sure are great ... simply their proximity to bacon.

Boyer Peanut Butter Pretzel

What is it? Boyer Peanut Butter Pretzel - it’s a pretzel dipped in peanut butter and then coated in milk chocolate.

Why I Bought Them: I picked these up as a sample. I photographed them.

Why I’m Not Going to Review Them: I can’t find them for sale anywhere. Or at least that was the problem. I ate them but didn’t make notes well enough for review. Then I saw them for sale while I was in Ohio.

Madame Chocolat

What is it? Madame Chocolat crispy rice squares dipped in chocolate

Why I Bought Them: I went to Beverly Hills late last year to visit Teuscher. Since I’d already paid for parking I took a stroll around for other chocolate opportunities. I went into a little shop called Madame Chocolat and picked up a few items. It was expensive stuff (their fine boxed chocolates) but I also got this crazy little item - it’s not like a marshmallow rice crispy treat. It’s more like sugar sweetened cereal, held together with that crispy syrup coating. Then the bottoms are dipped in very, very good dark chocolate.

Why I’m Not Going to Review Them: I dunno.

Ethel Beer Chocolates & Chocolate Caramels

What is it? Ethel’s Chocolate Beer Chocolates & Caramels

Why I Bought Them:  Last year I also went to Las Vegas to the NACS (National Association of Convenience Stores) Show. Instead of seeing Bill Clinton give his keynote address I went to the Ethel’s Chocolates factory and botanical gardens. I bought a few things there (two different assortments plus some hot chocolate) but never got around to reviewing it.

Why I’m Not Going to Review Them: I thought they were good, and the botanical gardens are charming. But I just couldn’t figure out what else to say about it.

Xocai Power

What is it? Xocai Power Squares

Why I Bought Them: I picked up two little squares as a sample last year at the Los Angeles Chocolate Salon (held in Pasadena). I’ve been curious about the chocolate brand for a while now, but they’re like Avon, you have to buy them from someone who sells the stuff and they only seem to sell huge quantities. I just wanted to try it.

Why I’m Not Going to Review Them: I don’t like to review stuff that’s not available for retail. (This is the same reason I don’t cover the Dove Chocolate Discoveries stuff.) I’ve also been turned off by the extreme marketing I’ve seen - especially a lot of email I got early on and comments I considered spam on this site. I took that one bite, but I can’t say that it impressed me enough to eat the rest of it or open the second one. But I couldn’t muster much of a review otherwise.

North Island Caramel Set

What is it? North Island Caramels - Strawberry, Guarana & Roast Corn

Why I Bought Them: How could I not buy them? Look at those fabulous packages! I actually ordered them online from AsianFoodGrocer.com

Why I’m Not Going to Review Them: Aside from the packaging, I didn’t have much to say about them. They’re milky chews, not quite caramels. The flavors were good, I especially liked the guarana, which tasted like a cross between cola and bubble gum. But I took a lot of pictures of them, so it seems like a waste to not share them.

North Island Strawberry Caramel  North Island Guarana Caramel  North Island Roast Corn Caramel


North Island Strawberry Caramel North Island Guarana Caramel  North Island Roast Corn Caramel

Related Candies

  1. Short & Sweet: Dollar Store
  2. Short & Sweet: Summer Bites
  3. Short & Sweet: Tropical Flavors
  4. Things I’m Not Going to Get Around to Reviewing
  5. Candy Dump 2008 part 2
  6. Candy Dump - International House of Chocolate

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:01 am     Behind the ScenesCandyHighlightFeatured NewsFun StuffPhotographyComments (7)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Candy Source: Albanese Candy Factory

Albanese Candy FactoryThe Northern Indiana town of Merrillville is home to Albanese Candy. They’re known for their line of “World’s Best Gummy Bears” that sport little A’s on their chests.

One of the most exciting parts of my recent trip was a visit to a real, working candy factory. I didn’t get a special tour or anything, but I always like to get close to the source of candy - even if it’s through a wall of glass. The Albanese Candy Factory is easy to get to, at the junction of I65 and RTE30. (Though Google Maps took me on a far more direct but slower route through the neighboring Indiana towns from I80.)

The factory is nicely situated with a large parking lot and a charming “house” entry for the candy store and tour portion of the facility. Entering the space, at first it just looks like a huge candy store - probably about 2,000 square feet of not just Albanese Candy, but oodles of other bulk items in bins, novelties and classic favorites from all sorts of manufacturers. At the back of this space is the tour.

Albanese Candy Factory

No photos were allowed of their candy factory tour, which amounts to walking along one wall of the factory and peering into the active operation. I was able to see the starch molds stacked up and ready to be fed into the depositor, which squeezes out the gummy goo that becomes the bears. The next steps were a bit hidden, but the next conveyer showed the completed gummi bears on a belt being tossed around and bagged up. (The true intervening step is that the gummy bears cure for a while in their molds, are then cleaned of their corn starch coats & given a little shine in a tumbler called a panning machine.) The bears were then bagged up and robots came in and created huge boxes then pallets that were moved around.

The space is just a wide carpeted ramp with a few videos to demonstrate and explain the processes. It’s wheelchair accessible and easy for folks to spend as much or as little time on as they want.

Albanese Candy Factory

I was really interested in the candy store and I wasn’t disappointed. First and foremost they sold Albanese Candy. By the door were piles of boxes of “seconds” at reasonable prices - a 5 lb box of Peach Rings was $8. Great for a party.

Albanese Candy Factory - Gummi Bar

The perfect candy was sold either in pre-packs or at one of the three bulk candy stations. There were plenty of helpful and knowledgeable staffers there. All of the items that weren’t individually wrapped were packaged up by request by the staff. They stood there with their tongs, scoops, plastic bags and gloved hands at the ready for any request. They had every Albanese gummy candy I could think of. The standard items were all $2.49 a pound - a great price as anyone who has been to Dylan’s Candy Bar or other mall bulk candy shop will recognize. (Those shops sell Albanese Candy for anywhere between $9 and $14 a pound.)

I picked out their new Natural Sour Poppers, Gummi Butterflies (now in small and large sizes) and Gummi Fishes. I’ve actually had the last two items before, but I thought I’d try them again, especially because I wanted a standard flavor to try against the natural ones.

Albanese Gummi FishesDSC_7456rbAlbanese Gummi Butterflies - Large & Small

The packaging was nice. Just little stand-up zipper plastic bags. What I appreciated was the each one got its own label that did list the ingredients for the product - a rare service when buying in bulk. These little four ounce bags were just $65 cents, quite a deal for getting exactly what I wanted.

Albanese Natural Sour Poppers

The new Natural Sour Poppers are cute little smiley faced buttons of gummis. I have no idea what the flavors are supposed to be, or even how many are in the assortment. I didn’t try to overthink them, I just ate them.

Though there’s no sour sanding on them they’re still quite tangy right from the start. They’re soft and squishy with good, well rounded flavors but very much on the sour side. I could pick out the cherry, lemon, orange and pineapple ones, there might have been green apple, fruit punch, strawberry and maybe watermelon in there.

I liked that there were no weird aftertastes associated with the coloring, though the flavors were less vibrant than the traditionally produced ones. They recognizable “emoticon” shape will probably be quite fun for kids. I also appreciate that they’re the same price as the unnatural gummi products.

Albanese Gummi Butterflies

I’ve reviewed the stunning-looking Albanese Gummi Butterflies before. I’m not quite sure why I picked them up again, but I was enchanted by their appearance. The wingspan on the large ones is a full 3 inches. The small ones are less than half that, at about 1.33 inches across and the same thickness.

Albanese Small Gummi Butterflies

Combining the two sizes was actually more satisfying for me than one or the other. I liked the look of them together, the small ones gave context for the large sized shape (which often get folded up). The flavors are the same charming Albanese cherry, orange, grape, punch and apple. I especially liked the orange ones, but found the cherry to have the robust woodsy notes and not too much red food coloring flavor.

Albanese Chocolate Covered Caramel & Marshmallow

Albanese’s chocolate products are far less well known. I picked up only one chocolate item to review, their Dark Chocolate Caramel Marshmallow. The prices on the chocolate items varied depending on the product itself. They had a good selection of traditional chocolate treats like toffee, fruit creams, caramels and nuts. They’re packaged just like the gummis, into little zipper bags.

The Caramel Marshmallow is smaller than the See’s Scotchmallow. A nicely domed piece, they were in pristine, unmarred condition when I bought them but got jostled around a bit in transit (drove to Chicago from there, then flew back to Los Angeles four days later).

It has a nice dark cocoa scent, a little sweet but woodsy. The bite is not at all like I expected a marshmallow to be. Instead of a latexy puff, it was more of a light fluffed cream. It still had a little chew to it, but not at all like I was accustomed to with See’s or Russell Stover. The flavor was barely sweet and had a light hint of vanilla to it (they use both real vanilla and vanillin in them). The caramel was soft and chewy but lacking much of a salty or burnt sugar punch. The dark chocolate was decent quality and well tempered though not complex. They’re certainly edible but of course don’t hold a candle to my favorite, the Scotchmallow. Since they’re about the same price at $11.99 a pound, I can’t see myself getting these again - even though I know they’re extremely fresh.

Albanese Candy Factory - Gummi Bar

The diversity of candy offerings in the store is amazing. They had a huge selection of nostalgic favorites, such as swirl lollipops, candy buttons, wax lips and theater box favorites. I lucked out and found Bonomo’s Turkish Taffy as well as the more recent Doscher’s French Chew. They also had a great wall of individually wrapped candies which included Mary Jane’s, Anise Squares, Honey Drops and all sorts of items from Atkinson’s like their Peerless line. I picked up Angel Mints and my mother found Sen Sen and got a tin of Anis de Flavigny. Prices for the candy that they don’t make there is a little more than a drug store but less than most other candy stores.

The shop is only about one hour outside of Chicago and a half an hour south of Gary, Indiana. So if you’re in the area, it’s a nice place to stop. (Though it’d be nice if they also had coffee, we really needed some to go with our toffee that we ate in the car.)

Albanese Candy Factory Outlet Store
5441 East Lincoln Hwy
Merrillville, IN 46410
(219) 947-3070
see website for current hours

Related Candies

  1. Universal CityWalk for Candy Lovers
  2. Friday’s San Francisco Candy Adventure
  3. Disneyland for Candy Bloggers
  4. Candy Source: Powell’s Sweet Shoppe
  5. Dylan’s Candy Bar and Candy Bars
  6. Candy Source: Economy Candy, NYC
  7. Treat Trip: Jelly Belly Factory

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:21 pm     CandyAlbanese ConfectioneryChocolateGummi Candy7-Worth ItUnited StatesHighlightShoppingComments (6)

Page 16 of 18 pages ‹ First  < 14 15 16 17 18 > 

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

 

 

 

 

Facebook IconTwitter IconTumblr IconRSS Feed IconEmail Icon

COUNTDOWN

Sweets & Snacks Expo Starts

27 days

Read previous coverage

 

 

 

Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

Choose one or more:

  •   Halloween
  •   Christmas
  •   Valentine's Day
  •   Easter

 

image 

image

ON DECK

These candies will be reviewed shortly:

• Patric Chocolate

• Amano Chocolates

• Candy Rant: Stimulants are not Energy

• Candy Encyclopedia: The Difference Between Gummi and Jelly

• Candy Rant: If your Licorice isn’t black, it isn’t Licorice

 

 

image