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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Eat with your Eyes: Twix Gingerbread

Twix Gingerbread

A quick preview of an upcoming review: Twix Gingerbread.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:15 am     CandyHighlightPhotographyComments (4)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Eat with Your Eyes: Caramel Bar

I’m taking a few days off. I’m on a cookie vacation. (No, that’s not a vacation from cookies, it’s a vacation with lots of cookies.)

Fran's Almond Gold Bar

I’ll be back later this week with more candy, but in the mean time, enjoy this photo of a Fran’s Almond Gold Bar which was “buttery caramel, toasted almonds and dark chocolate.” (Full package photo.)

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:34 am     CandyCaramelChocolateNutsUnited StatesHighlightPhotographyComments (3)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Eat with your Eyes: Mike and Ike

DSC_2698rb

Jelly beans are quite fun, but the nice thing about Mike and Ike is that they don’t roll around quite as much.

After shooting the latest bunch of boxes, I had a lot of leftovers to munch on. Here are four varieties: Mike and Ike Lemonade Blends, Strawberry Reunion, Lem and Mel and Cherri and Bubb.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:58 pm     CandyHighlightPhotographyComments (2)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Eat with your Eyes: Root Beer Barrels

Ferrara Pan Root Beer Barrels

Next week is the Sweets & Snacks Expo, where confectioners from all over the world descend upon Chicago to show their tastiest candies (and savories).

I’ll have lots to report on new products coming out even though I’m not able to attend this year. Until then, enjoy this selection of Root Beer Barrels.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:39 pm     CandyHighlightPhotographyComments (1)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Candy Blog 8th Anniversary

Mitchell's Candies - DaphneToday (or maybe last week) marks the 8th anniversary of the founding of Candy Blog.

I haven’t tallied up all the figures, but I estimate that at least 3,000 products have been featured and at least 1,700 full reviews. I’ve posted nearly 8,000 candy photos (not to mention candy shopping photos and pictures from trade shows and factory tours).

I work by myself. I take my own photos and write my own reviews. So you can imagine, I’ve eaten a lot over the years, but what’s more staggering is how much I haven’t eaten. Only about 25% of what I buy or receive ends up on the blog. Most of the candy I buy, though some is directly from the candy companies and I do pick up samples at trade shows. I have a company that does my blog maintenance, and my husband helps out as my publisher to take inquiries from advertisers (I have one, so it’s not a lot of inquiries).

Milky Way Caramel Bar

When I started the blog, there wasn’t much like it on the internet. I figured if people could review music or movies or hotels, I could review candy in the same way. The only websites out there at the time were Candy Critic (which is Canadian and had taken a hiatus at that time) and Writers and Artists Snacking at Work, which also didn’t update often.

I wanted to fill a hole, be the database of candy that I wanted to read. I wanted someone to open up the candy package and show me what’s inside. When I started this blog, I didn’t embrace new things easily. I liked the tried and true favorites I’d always had and rarely felt the need to go outside of that list.

Heilemann Pfefferminz Truffel

So, the early reviews were of candies that I’d never tried before, new products or existing products, it didn’t matter. After a while, I realized I needed to cover the things that everyone already knew, because we kept referring to them and needed that static reference point of a post.

Brach's Sundae Neapolitan CoconutIt turned out that other folks like to read about candy as well. I haven’t tracked my readership from the beginning, but I’ve had at least 20 million page loads since I did start tracking in 2006. Thanks for visiting! While there were few sites that talked exclusively about candy back in 2005, I was joined by quite a few others. Candy Addict (no longer updating) came along, as a group blog, covering a wider range of consumer items and local candy favorites. Sugar Savvy (also now defunct) covered a large swath of the confectionery world (including a review of every single piece of See’s candy). Individuals have come and gone as well, currently we have Rosa at ZOMG! Candy, The Candy Gurus, and hopefully we’ll see Sera at The Candy Enthusiast back soon. The big media companies are into it as well, you can find candy reviews on Serious Eats and Huffington Post and even the morning shows run segments around the candy holidays. (Check out the blog roll for more sweetness from around the world.)

I’m often asked what my favorite candy is or what the worst thing I ever ate was. I, frankly, don’t remember all the awful things I’ve eaten. I don’t actually have a favorite candy, and the candies that I do love aren’t necessarily the best. Lately I’ve been eating Good & Plenty, Goetze’s Caramel Creams and Trader Joe’s Powerberries in addition to the candies in rotation for review.

Ogontoh

What I do appreciate most is that Candy Blog has introduced me to new, wonderful things. Like this Ongotoh (Juntsuyu) pictured above. It’s just a boiled sugar candy, but it’s so delicate and delicious.

Chocolate Sea Salt Cashews from Marich

Candy has also changed as I’ve been writing about it. It could be that I’m better at finding the good stuff, but I think consumers have also gravitated towards newer concepts like fair trade, bean to bar, organic or all natural and world fusion flavors. (Pictured above, Marich Chocolate Sea Salt Cashews.)

Robitaille's Dark Chocolate Turtle

The experience of photographing, researching and reviewing has prompted me to be more mindful about what I eat. That doesn’t mean necessarily that it’s all healthy, but I tend to notice what I’m eating and enjoy it more. I try not to eat foods that either aren’t nutritious or won’t bring me pleasure. (Some might say that’s made me a picky eater.)

Legoland Chocolate from Chuao

It’s not all serious though, I have enjoyed novelties that have come along and some fascinating new products. The chocolate LEGO blocks above were from Legoland, and are made by Chuao out of actually good chocolate (El Rey).

Blue Razz Wazoo

One of the oddest things I reviewed were the Topp’s Wazoo bars. Above is the Blue Razz version, which was launched with a huge ad blitz on children’s programming. There were production difficulties which meant that people couldn’t find them in stores. As part of the blog readers have been witness to marketing mis-steps by major candy companies, like Necco changing the ancient Necco Wafers to all natural and eliminating the lime disk only to revert to the classic artificial version within a year due to customer demand. Similar things have happened with Mars changing the 3 Musketeers and we’ll see what happens with Wrigley’s swapping the Lime Skittle for Green Apple.

Valerie Confections Valentine's Collection

So that brings us to the present. I don’t have plans for the blog beyond continuing what I’ve been doing, except maybe a little design or layout refresh. You’ve probably noticed I don’t keep up the pace I used to. There was a time there when I posted eight times a week. Now it’s about three reviews a week, sadly, I am running out of candy to review, unless I get hyper-local or cover more foreign candy. I can’t imagine now having the blog, not amassing candy and not taking picture of it all the time. It’s become such a part of me, I don’t know if I would know what to do with my time.

There may be a book in the future, or perhaps several.

Please celebrate with me, raise a Pixie Stix to toast to eight sweet years on the internet. I wouldn’t be doing this if you didn’t come and read regularly, so for you I am grateful. It’s good to know we’re not alone in our love of candy.

If you need more of a candy fix, I do update my twitter very often and have started a tumblr page which is mostly fun candy photos I’ve taken.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 5:07 pm     Behind the ScenesCandyHighlightFun StuffPhotographyComments (49)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Eat with your Eyes: Ethel M Chocolates

Ethel Beer Chocolates & Chocolate Caramels

Pictured are Beer Chocolates & Caramels from Ethel M. The company is the boxed chocolate division of Mars, they’re made in Henderson, Nevada and sold at their stores in Las Veagas. (You can also order on the internet.)

I visited their factory store years ago when I was in Las Vegas, which also features an amazing cactus garden adjacent. I recommend getting a hot chocolate and walking around (weather permitting ... otherwise some sort of cold drink).

Ethel M in Henderson, Nevada

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:31 pm     CandyHighlightPhotographyComments (0)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Eat with your Eyes: Myzel’s Licorice Assortment

Licorice Assortment

A little sampling of Licorice from Myzel’s in New York City that I picked up. Most are items I’ve had before, so it was nice to have the comfort of something tried and true. The one on the right end is the only one I’d never had before, it’s thyme and rosemary from Italy. It’s a soft, glycerine style licorice. Not very sweet at all with the balsam notes of the herbs.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:15 pm     CandyLicorice CandyHighlightPhotographyComments (2)

Friday, February 1, 2013

Eat with your Eyes: Rivoire Firenze

Rivoire Firenze’‘

Since I’m traveling I thought I’d feature a photo today of another chocolate I tried because a friend brought it back from a trip. I don’t know much about these little Rivoire Chocolate pieces from the Rivoire Caffe in Florence, Italy.

They’re rich and smooth and just the right size to eat with a cup of coffee.

Rivoire Firenze

Rivoire Firenze
Piazza della Signoria angolo Via Vacchereccia, 4R - Firenze
website

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:29 am     CandyChocolateItalyHighlightPhotographyComments (0)

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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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COUNTDOWN

Halloween Candy Season Ends

-26 days

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Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

Choose one or more:

  •   Halloween
  •   Christmas
  •   Valentine's Day
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ON DECK

These candies will be reviewed shortly:

• Theo Chocolate Nutcracker Brittle

• Orgran Molasses Licorice

• Rogue Chocolatier

• Godiva Chef Inspirations

• Hachez Braune Blatter (Chocolate Leaves)

 

 

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