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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Jim Beam Fudge

I don’t think I’m a fudge fan. I know it sounds a little weird, but I find fudge a little too sweet and not chocolatey enough. Every once in a while I’ll come across a piece of fresh fudge that brings that additional fudge element to it - that crumbly melt in your mouth quality. I don’t know if that’s something that’s supposed to be in fudge or if it’s bad fudge, but that’s the way I like it.

That’s one of the reasons I avoid pre-packaged fudge, it just never has that fresh, light and rich feeling to it. But still, I was pretty interested in the Jim Beam Chocolate Bourbon Fudge from Country Fresh Food & Confections of Tennessee - I figured they knew what they were doing. Their booth at the All Candy Expo seemed constantly mobbed. I tried a few pieces of their liquor flavored fudges and found them a little dry and tasteless, but I figured that was because they were sitting out on plates all day.

But the place was packed in there was a bit of a buzz about the liquor fudge, so maybe I’ve got this whole thing wrong (but know that there’s not actually any alcohol in there, just some natural and artificial flavors). Maybe everyone but me loves the stuff.


Here’s the thing: I don’t know much about find Kentucky Bourbon. So when I tried this fudge, it tasted like bubble gum to me. Chocolate, fudgy bubble gum. That bubble gum flavor is hard to pin down, but now I’m pretty sure it’s bourbon or rum or some liquor flavor that kids aren’t sophisticated enough to like yet. The line of alcohol flavored fudges also come in Kahlua, Malibu, Sauza, Tia Maria & Courvoisier.

The texture is a little gummy as well, the melt in your mouth quality just isn’t there. It’s nicely chocolatey and ultra smooth, but it’s just not that wonderful new crystalline arrangement that fresh fudge usually has.

I’ve gotta give this a pass. However, I’m going to try some fresh fudge on Friday night and local folks are welcome to join me at the Farmers Market in Los Angeles (3rd & Fairfax) from 6PM to 9PM to try some Littlejohn fudge (and perhaps toffee while we’re at it).

Name: Jim Beam Chocolate Bourbon Fudge
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Country Fresh Food & Confections, Inc.
Place Purchased: All Candy Expo sample
Price: unknown
Size: 2 ounces
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Chocolate, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:08 am    

Monday, June 26, 2006

Idaho Spud

“It’s the candy bar that makes Idaho famous,” whispers the barely visible black print on brown at the bottom of the wrapper. If you love those memory foam mattresses, you’ll love the Idaho Spud.

Well, maybe it’s not quite like that, the Idaho Spud has been around since 1918 ... so maybe tempurpedic was inspired by the candy bar!


So really, what is it? It’s a dense, chocolate-flavored marshmallow covered in fake chocolate and then dusted with coconut. Of course it all looks like a potato.

First, I have to say that I didn’t eat the whole bar ... because there are hydrogenated oils in there. Not just a trace like most candies, I’m talking 1.5 grams.

The center of the bar is rather odd, like a cross between a custardy jelly and marshmallow. The chocolately coating doesn’t seem to stick well to this firm foam, so when you bite into it, it kind of flakes off. The dominant flavor is coconut, which I always like.

The fake chocolate isn’t very pleasant - kind of greasy and crumbly. The whole bar has a rather maple flavor to it, which might be the coconut. The firm marshmallow center is actually really interesting and I enjoyed the firm texture and density of it with the light tough of chocolate. But the combo of high trans fats and the mockolate just turned me off. For the last third of the bar I peeled off the chocolate coating and just ate the center. I’m a big potato fan, so I’m not going to let this dissuade me from my actual favorite Idaho export, but I don’t think I’d ever give one of these to someone as a treat when I returned from a vacation in Idaho.

Name: Idaho Spud
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Idaho Candy Company
Place Purchased: Village Candy (Sewickley, PA)
Price: $1.55
Size: 1.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 120
Categories: Coconut, Marshmallow, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:11 am    

Sunday, June 25, 2006

LA Bloggers Party

imageIf you live in Los Angeles (or you’ll be here this Friday), there’s a big party for readers (and contributors) to Blogging.la - part of the Metroblogging network that I’ve been writing with for a few years.

The Farmers Market
3rd & Fairfax
Friday, June 30th
6PM till closing

I’m extending an invitation to all Candy Blog’s local readers, too!

Look for the group near La Loteria (here’s a map). There’ll be free drinks (beer & lemonade) courtesy of blogging.la and of course I’ll bring some candy with me!

POSTED BY Cybele AT 5:59 pm     Fun Stuff

Cadbury Recall

I’ve been following the news that Cadbury UK has recalled one million candy bars following the discovery that they were contaminated with salmonella.

While salmonella is present in many of the foods we eat, they’re usually things like chicken or eggs that, when properly cooked, will often present little risk to healthy people. Chocolate, as a foodstuff that is consumed as is, may be a good vector for spreading the intestinal ailment. While Cadbury maintains that the contamination levels of the chocolate are too low on average, that’s an average and there are some chocolate pieces that are more contaminated than others and it’s impossible to know.

The UK press has been looking into the matter and what’s more startling is the story behind the contamination ... that it went on for four months ... including the Easter candy seasons, so you can be sure that thousands and thousands of chocolate sweets were consumed by little children who are higher risk for salmonella than healthy adults.

Mr Shattock said Cadbury was ?very concerned? about the damage the recall could do to its reputation.

It had been ordered not because any of its products might be a danger to health but to avoid ?confusion? over the increased incidence of the montevideo strain.

He added: ?Our products are perfectly safe to eat and we have no evidence that anyone has been ill from eating them.?

A spokeswoman for the HPA said there had been 45 cases of the ?rare strain? salmonella montevideo over the last four months, compared with just 12 over the same period last year, including a significant rise among children. (link)

The part that has irritated me the most is how the chocolate was contaminated and the amount of time it went on. Apparently the salmonella found its way into the “milk crumb” through a leaking pipe above the production line at the Marlbrook plant, near Leominster. (The factory produces 97,000 tons of milk chocolate crumb every year from milk, sugar and cocoa liquor.) The pipe contained waste water from the system that was used to wash down the equipment. The leak was discovered in January, but Cadbury didn’t fix it right away, or even send anything to a lab until February. (link to article) It’s unclear how long the leak went on, but it’s clear that Cadbury didn’t report the contamination quickly and took their sweet time in issuing the recall for candy that is most likely already consumed (after all, some of it was Easter candy).

For reference, the products recalled are 250g Dairy Milk Turkish, Dairy Milk Caramel and Dairy Milk Mint bars, eight chunk Dairy Milk bars, 1kg Dairy Milk bars, 10p Freddo bars, and 105g Dairy Milk Buttons Easter Eggs. If you’ve bought any of these imported bars, either return them or simply throw them away. Rest assured that the American-produced Cadbury bars are not contaminated as they are produced by Hershey.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:48 am     News

Friday, June 23, 2006

Mars Cuts Production

It was announced yesterday that Masterfoods plans to cut two lines at its Oak Park, IL factory. The affected lines mean the loss of 16% of the workforce (70 jobs) and they will no longer make the following:

Easter Egg Snickers
Pumpkin Shaped Snickers
Pop’ables - 3 Musketeers, Milky Way, Milky Way Midnight (hey, those sound good), Snickers & Snickers Cruncher

It’s possible that the novelty shapes of Snickers will be made elsewhere, the articles were vague on that, but Mars has mentioned discontinuing the Pop’ables line before (as Hershey’s has also mentioned discontinuing their similar Bites line).

Press release posted at CandyUSA and article in the Chicago Sun-Times.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:11 am     News

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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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