Sunday, November 26, 2006
I told you about my appearance on CNBC’s Morning Call a few weeks ago. I finally got around to getting the video up. Here it is ...
Saturday, November 4, 2006
One of my goals when I started Candy Blog was to become a candy authority. Not that I would know everything about candy manufacturing, its history or the business end of things, but I thought I could master an area that I was interested in: Candy Consumerism.
To that end, I’ve tried to document how candy is marketed to us, where we find it, how it’s packaged, what it tastes like, trends in flavors and ingredients and of course sought the input of the readers and their opinions on the same topics.
The first inkling I got that this goal might be within the realm of possibility was my invitation late last year to attend the All Candy Expo as a member of the press. I was also featured on two radio programs and then later had another affirmation when I was interviewed for the NY Times Magazine. This week I rounded out my media and had my first TV interview.
I was contacted by CNBC for their program called Morning Call. On the day before Halloween they wanted to do a little piece on Limited Edition candies and requested me based on the New York Times Magazine column from last summer.
The big problem ... I was going to be in San Francisco on Monday because of my novel writing kick off. But this was no problem at all! The producer simply refered me to a linked up studio there.
Of course I was nervous and tried not to think too much about it. I did get a hair cut on Saturday ... mostly because I hadn’t had it cut since June. And then I spent some time practicing not flailing my hands around when I talked.
The segment on candy was going to go on a little before the end of the show which aired from 10AM to 12PM Eastern and hosted by Michelle Caruso-Cabrera with another guest, Lisbeth Echeandia (Publisher - Confectioner Magazine).
I got to the studio about 15 minutes early and had a little tea that I got from a cafe in the first floor of the building. I sat in the waiting room then about eight minutes to air the camera tech/engineer came in and got me. We hooked up my mic and stuck that thing in my ear so that I could hear the feed.
The confusing thing about doing these satellite things is that you don’t actually see who you’re talking to. So I had to go off of what I was hearing in the little earpiece. I looked at the camera as best I could, even though the content I was getting was through my right ear.
They had some little eyes on the top of the camera to remind the guests to look there. I was terrible at remembering that. There’s lots of stuff you have to remember when you’re on TV: no cussing, no ripping your shirt off, no flapping your hands, look into the camera, speak intelligently, don’t mispronounce the host’s name, answer the question, try not to talk when other people are talking, don’t chew gum, look like you’re paying attention when you’re not talking and above all be relaxed!
Of course now that I’ve done it I understand all those things far better than before.
They gave me a DVD of it when I left the studio, so I’ll try to get that up on the web sometime early next week. (You know, in case you’re interested in seeing whether or not I followed all that advice.)
UPDATE: You can watch a clip of the segment here!
Friday, October 20, 2006
The word is out that Jay Leno is going to do a piece on tonight’s show about Halloween candy.
So tune in to see the latest along with guests Amanda Peet (from Studio 60), John Landis & The Spiridellis Brothers and musical guest JoJo.
The word is also out that they’re going to feature some gross candies, including the Lick Your Wounds candy scabs. In case they don’t decide to include them, here’s a YouTube video made by CandyWarehouse.com about them:
(Link to video if the embed doesn’t display.)
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Last night I watched The Secret Life Of ... on Food Newtork. The topic was Sweet and Sour and part of the episode featured the All Candy Expo in Chicago. Jim O’Connor covered Lemonheads (a special fave of mine), traced the development of America’s Sour Tooth and of course toured the Expo floor.
Then part of the episode took a turn towards a product line called Too Tarts, made by Innovative Candy Concepts. This post is not a product review, because I absolutely refuse to eat the products on purpose. They’re shamefully misrepresented.
The package I picked up at All Candy Expo was purely by accident. I was sitting in a seminar and they were in a bowl and both me and the other folks at my table idly grabbed a bag and dug in. I spit mine out and so did the fellow next to me. It was seriously foul - the chew was rubbery and the taste was instantly fake and had a strong aftertaste. The package says they’re Real Fruit & Honey with NO REFINED SUGAR ... “up to 5 times more natural ingredients than any other fruit candy snack” ...blah, blah, blah. What they don’t holler at you on the front is that there are TWO different artificial sweeteners in there ... Acesulfame Potassium and Sucralose.
Acesulfame Potassium is also known as AceK. It’s 180 times sweeter than sugar and is not retained by the body. It’s known for a bitter aftertaste so it’s often used in conjunction with other sweeteners. In this case it’s Sucralose (found in Splenda), which more than 500 times as sweet as sugar and is also not retained by the body. If you’re curious about artificial sweeteners and their possible cancer causing/nerve damage potential, cruise around the ‘net.
Now, you might wonder why I rage against artificial sweeteners. Yes, I have a bad reaction to aspartame, but I actually believe they have their place. However, their place is not in candies marketed for otherwise healthy children. Childhood is time of training our bodies to understand what we put into them and learning our satiety levels with different foods. Part of how our bodies and brains judge how many calories we’re consuming has to do with how sweet they are. They’ve done studies and have shown that there may be some connection between diet sodas and obesity because the body is no longer able to judge properly how many calories it’s taking in. If adults are messed up with this stuff, what will it do to kids who consume it from a young age? What’s worse is these candies are making it look like they’re sweetened with either honey or fruit juice. Sure, the package says “No Refined Sugar!” But it doesn’t once mention the complex chemical compounds called ‘sweeteners’ they’re putting in there except in the fine print of the ingredients.
There’s no reason to give kids fake candy ... there are other options for sweet treats out there. Please read the packages carefully. I’m irritated that this candy exists and further irritated that Food Network gave them such a huge feature without ever mentioning the presence of artificial sweeteners in the candy.
Monday, October 16, 2006
I mentioned in my All Candy Expo coverage that there were a few Food Network video crews working the floor and those shows are finally hitting the air.
George Duran included a snippet of his All Candy Expo experience in a recent episode of Ham on the Street, but he has a full special called Candy Convention that will air on October 28th. It’s 1 hour long - check your listings for an air time.
Jim O’Connor of “The Secret Life Of…” is also doing an episode from the show floor called Sweet and Sour Candy - it starts airing tonight (October 16th). Check the listings for this half hour episode in your area.
Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.