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Friday, January 13, 2006

Good News for Bloglines Readers

By request I’d done some adjustments and I think I’ve solved the problem with Bloglines (an aggregator for RSS feeds) readers not seeing the ratings for the review posts.

Now when you read a post you’ll see all of the categories assigned to a candy at the top of the post:


The first category is the rating, which I’ve added the number to (so you don’t have to memorize my funky scale).

Of course you still have to come to the site to comment.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:51 pm     NewsComments (3)

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Nestle UK to change calorie labels on sweets

Nestle Rowntree in the UK is planning to change their nutrition labeling.

I currently find their labels a little difficult to decipher as they contain info on 100 gram portions - which is about two and a half times a normal “portion” of candy (most UK candy bars are about 50 grams, most US are about 42 grams or 1.5 ounces).

The Daily Mail reports that Nestle is planning to give consumers more info for making smarter snacking decisions.

The new packets will have the number of calories per serving displayed on the front of packs instead of hidden away next the ingredients. A two finger Kit Kat, for example, will clearly display that it contains 106 calories.

And if you want some really sobering stuff to read, the New York Times did a huge article yesterday for the Health section about diabetes.

Snack responsibly folks.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:47 pm     NestleNewsComments (0)

Monday, January 9, 2006

Site Changes: Advertising

You may have noticed that as of the first of the year I’m now using a new rating/spec box for each candy review. If you’re reading the site via a feed, you’re missing that part (that’s the place where I list the name, brand, calories, price, etc.). The ratings box, as a table, simply won’t show up correctly in the feed, so it’s a “site only perk.” I’ll see if I can figure out a way to have some of the info show up in the feed without duplicating it on the site.

It should also help to clean up the comments area so that it’s easier to see the link and click on it.

Also, as of this week I’m adding some advertising to the site. As you can imagine, I spend a lot of money on candy and of course there’s the cost of running the site itself and eventually some travel costs. I’m not looking to profit from CandyBlog, but I’d prefer it not be a losing proposition. There are many ways to do this, “tip jars”, affiliate links and ads. I’ve chosen ads because I do get a fair number of requests from readers to help them track down places to actually buy some of the things I review. I hope that the ads that appear will actually help you out in finding them should you choose to click on them.

If you are a candy seller and would like to advertise on the site, I’m using two different companies right now, BlogAds, which is the up on the top right and Google AdSense, which will appear at the bottom of the first review on the site and on all the individual pages for the posts.

Please let me know if you find anything that is inappropriate for the site (this is a family friendly place, after all) or if anything looks a little wonky.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:40 pm     NewsComments (2)

Thursday, January 5, 2006

Chocolate Oranges make Brits Fat

Sometimes Americans think that we invented politicians that say bizarre things and create tempests in teapots. How could The Daily Show with Jon Stewart be so popular without them?

Well, the UK has their share and this week they’ve intersected with the CandyBlog world.

David Cameron, the Conservative leader in London said that retailers with their king sized candies and impulse purchases at the checkout are one of the causes of Brit’s obesity. He singled out WHSmith, ““Why? As Britain faces an obesity crisis, why does WHSmith promote half-price chocolate oranges at its check-outs instead of real oranges?”

Really? Half-priced chocolate oranges are the problem?

And it’s WHSmith’s responsibility to fix the diets of Brits? They’re not even a grocer! The store’s response, “We sell a wide range of products. Customers could buy chocolate or healthier alternatives such as cereal bars or fruit and nuts. Oranges are not that easy and our customers don’t want them, but they might want chocolate oranges. They were very popular in the run-up to Christmas.”

More reading on the subject:
Telegraph: Stores hit back at Cameron’s chocolate slur
Financial Times: Cameron takes aim at chocolate orange
Wikipedia: Biography of David Cameron
WHSmith homepage
Slashfood: Obesity all the fault of cut-price chocolate oranges

And finally, if it makes any difference at all, the Google ads next to the article on the Telegraph were all for fruit.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:59 pm     NewsComments (2)

Wednesday, January 4, 2006

LA Times asks, “Have We Gone Blog Wild?”

The LA Times food section had an interesting article today on foodblogging.
Have We Gone Blog Wild? by Avital Binshtock:

But quicker than you could say blogosphere, the world of blogs-by-dedicated-foodies got crowded, repetitive, overly precious and just plain dull.

These days, hyper-focus is in; generalism is passé. A food blogger who wants to stand out from the rest of the pack has to be specialized. Really specialized. And more and more, specialization is taking the form of pinpoint devotion to an exhaustive coverage of a minusculely narrow food-related topic.

Yup, that’s me, hyper-focused. Well, if you consider candy to be as narrow as following only slices of pizza in New York City. Which, I don’t, of course. I think candy is as big as the world itself. Sweets are universal.

I was, happily, included in the list of blogs along with such highly read ones that are already on my daily rounds like The Accidental Hedonist and Kiplog’s FoodBlog and I’ve now be introduced to some other promising reads (they’re all good, I’m sure, but I’m not about to read about bacon or hamburgers): Wednesday Chef, I Was Just Realy Very Hungry and Pho-King.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:11 pm     NewsComments (4)

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Dylan’s Candy Bar in NY Times

There’s an interesting article up on the NY Times website for tomorrow’s edition about Dylan Lauren, daughter of Ralph Lauren and founder of New York City’s Dylan’s Candy Bar.

Candy-Colored Dreams by Erika Kinetz

There are many interesting things about the article, but one of them is that there’s very little discussion about what she’s selling: candy. There’s a lot of coverage on how she’s selling it, but very little about eating it, tasting it, picking it out, you know ...enjoying it.

Apparently Ms. Lauren understood something her father - who says he does not like candy - did not: “Dylan knew that girls go and love candies,” Mr. Lauren said.

Not just any girls. Girls like her: trim, cool girls with good skin, perfect teeth and stunning clothes. “These Park Avenue sophisticates,” Ms. Lauren said, “who go to the Polo store and spend trillions of dollars on cashmere sweaters are going to buy gummy bears in my store. Just because they buy certain clothes and wear mink coats and whatever, they still have an inner child. They will buy lollipops.”

Ms. Lauren considers herself the model for the sparkling creature around which her business is coalescing: the Candy Girl, who appears every now and again in conversation. As in: “The Candy Girl can be sexy and young and thin. Candy’s not about fat people.”

I hope to visit Dylan’s Candy Bar next time I’m in NY, mostly because I heard that they carry a large selection of hard-to-find bars, like Sifer’s Valomilks. Here’s a cool write up about those in NYC Nosh.

More stories about Dylan Lauren and/or Dylan’s Candy Bar:
CNN: The Sweet Life
The New York Enterprise Report : How Sweet Is It?
Inc.: A Knack for Sweet Deals
Child.com: The Sweetest Gifts
(Yes, I went to great pains to make sure all the stories featured the word “sweet” in their titles.)

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:17 pm     NewsComments (3)

Friday, December 30, 2005

Ancient Spiny Anteater Bears a Chocolately Name

An ancient mammal discovered in Australia has been named after the Cadbury chocolate company in a wonderfully twisted tale.
Check out the National Geographic for the full details of how the Kryoryctes cadburyi, an ancient ancestor of the spiny anteater, got it’s unusual name.

Don’t worry, there’s as much chocolate mentioned in the article as paleontology. The bet started when a bounty was offered to the students doing the digging part, a cubic meter of chocolate to anyone who found a mammal bone. Mind you these folks were digging in dinosaur bones territory - a spot where they were finding bones more than a million years old - it was exceptionally unlikely that they’d find such a thing. Even odder, the bones were found but not identified for more than ten years as it was first thought to be a turtle bone.

Once the bone was identified, Tom Rich, the man who offered the bounty, had to make good on the bet. But a cubic meter of chocolate is a lot of chocolate, like a ton of chocolate. Which is not only big, but expensive. Luckily a series of connections led the Melbourne Cadbury factory to donate the chocolate to the then-students. In turn the ancient beast was named for Cadbury.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:39 pm     CadburyNewsComments (0)

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Chocolate Sales Online

imageChocolate Obsession is on board with the “candy season” idea. There are some great sales out there (I found some good things at Sav-On yesterday on the sale table, including 10 cents for York Peppermint Patties in the shape of snowflakes and filled raspberry hard candies for 49 cents instead of $2.49).

Lake Champlain is having a pretty amazing sale that’s not just holiday themed stuff, you can get their 5 Star Bars for $14.40 instead of $24.00. I might have to order that up, or drop lots of hints for my upcoming birthday. Hint, hint.

Godiva is also posting their “Chocolate Covered Sale” items at up to 50% off. Not my favorite brand, but I certainly wouldn’t turn up my nose at it.

I also shopped at Cost Plus World Market yesterday and found that all of their holiday candies were 50% off (even the Hanukkah stuff, even though we’re only half-way through). Much of it had been picked over, but they had some nice tins of candy that you can still bring as hostess gifts for New Years or of course just snuggled down with yourself.

Crate and Barrel has some stellar mark downs on their candy as well, you can pick it up in the stores or order online. 18 ounces of Mint Cookie Joys for $4.50? Buy a dozen! I loooooove Mint Cookie Joys.

No sign of sales on Dean & Deluca or Zabars and Williams-Sonoma doesn’t have the treats on their site at the moment. Look sharp, there are some great deals out there. Post if you’ve found something!

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:24 am     Fun StuffNewsShoppingComments (2)

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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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Candy Season Ends (Easter)

2 days




Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

Choose one or more:

  •   Halloween
  •   Christmas
  •   Valentine's Day
  •   Easter





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