Archive for November, 2009

24 Nov

“Follow the Finger” 0

butterfinger

Famously dropped from aircraft across American cities in the early 1920s in the kind of highly ironic, “devil-take-the-hindmost” marketing misanthropy for which these United States have become deservedly notorious, Butterfinger hawkers have always sought to cultivate an “edgy” image.  “A confection named for oafishness? How droll!” While Curtiss Candy Company of Chicago never got the obvious choices of Moe, Larry or Curly to endorse their bar, everyone’s favorite heartless multi-national Nestle had the good sense (and greens) to enlist The Simpsons as spokescartoons when they purchased the brand in 1990. Through 2001, phrases like “Nobody better lay a finger on my Butterfinger!” and “Bite my Butterfinger!” could be heard shrilling from the infallible gold lips of Bart through televisions sets across America and beyond, making the bar at least a bit hipper by association.

simpsonsbutter

Now, it’s the time of year when society urges us to be introspective—to take a moment and consider what we’re thankful for.  Sure, I could give the Butterfinger the proverbial “Indian” rub, really take its “stuffing” out, but that’s not what this season is all about.  Instead, I’m going to list the reasons why I’m thankful the Butterfinger exists.

1. They’re not as bad as Skor. Seriously! Although similar, the Butterfinger is not as paryltically cloying as Skor, which is reason enough to rejoice.

2. They won’t burn! According to the Simpsons, (who were slightly bitter after having been dumped) even fire won’t eat butterfinger.

3. The pieces that fall out of your mouth (which is always, making a huge mess) usually melt swiftly and can be easily wiped up with a moist towel or towelette.

4. They remind you of the wealth of other foods that exist! No, Butterfinger is not the dominant food paradigm on planet earth.  Pa won’t be slicing no Butterfingerball Turkey this Thursday, no one will be passing the ButterfingerBeans, and lord, there will be no boat of drawn Butterfinger to pour over the mashed potatoes, hallelujah!

thanks

Enjoy the feast, Leave the sweets ‘til dessert and Happy Thanksgiving from Candy.com!

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almondjoymounds

Peter Paul Candy Manufacturing Company set up shop in New Haven Connecticut in 1919, with the goal of striking it big peddling exotic, coconut-based confections to an eager, coconut-hungry public.

Their first offering was the “Kona Bar,” a blend of coconut, dried fruits and nuts covered in chocolate. The confections were made in the dead of night when the air was coolest (to avoid then ubiquitous refrigeration issues with chocolate), and sold fresh the next morning door-to-door. Ah the golden days of solicitation, when the next knock could mean a complete Encyclopaedia Britannica, a delicious, fresh Kona Bar, or even an orgone accumulator.

orgoneaccumulator

As Peter Paul’s business grew so did its product line, with Mounds and Almond Joy joining the happy chocolate-coconut family to the delight of Connecticuticans and beyond.

coconut

If you don’t have a coconut allergy, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be enjoying a Mounds or Almond Joy right now because these tiny bars (two per pack) are the cat’s pajamas. “Enrobed” in rich, dark chocolate, Mounds are a smooth double shot of creamy, shredded coconut, while Almond Joy caters to those who prefer to chew their food with sweet and mild milk-chocolate coated coconut with almonds.

door

While both Mounds and Almond Joy are extremely satisfying, I don’t think I’m alone in supporting a revival of the Kona Bar and fresh daily-to-your-door delivery.

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17 Nov

Cold Candy and Hot Jazz (A Telegram) 0


Give your dogs a rest and let me bend your ear a minute.

charlestonchew

I’m reviewing the Charleston Chew, see. Stop.

chews

Traditionally it’s full up vanilla nougat, though word on the street says there’s strawberry and chocolate varieties too. Stop.

hot cocoa

Which reminds me, the outside’s milk chocolate—and what milk chocolate! Tastes mighty like hot cocoa you ask me. Stop.

jedgar

Stretchy as the long arm of J. Edgar and stickier than a Pinkerton gumshoe! Stop.

charleston

Put it on ice and it’ll pop like the hips on Josephine Baker. Stop.

gersh

Leave it in the sun and it’ll drip sweet like a Gershwin ballad. Stop.

flappers

Keep one in your back pocket; let the drys and the flappers know you like to “Dance the Charleston with the Duke and the Count.” Stop.

capone

And stay away from that Capone character, he’s natural trouble. Stop.

23 skadoo and happy chews from Candy.com! Stop.

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skybar

Sky Bar was delivered onto this mortal coil by the sure hands of Necco candysmith Joseph Cangemi in the ominous days of 1938. An agglomeration of various venerable candy makers and merchants from across New England, Necco has been known for its innovation and enterprising and the Sky Bar may just represent the zenith of both for the historic company.

skywrite

With 4 different flavor chambers concealed underneath the unassuming guise of molded, milk chocolate, the Sky Bar is a kind of candy “Game of Death” (but without the life threatening possibilities typically associated with having to face down Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and a gang of Korean underworld martial arts experts with only your fists, feet and feelings). This revolutionary candy bar was introduced to the public through as series of skywriting campaigns, which proved tremendously successful once the undoubtedly jittery, war-wary folks realized the aircraft buzzing the beaches and metropolitan centers were friendlys.

gameofdeath

Though its popularity has waned over the decades since its release, Sky Bar is still pretty ubiquitous (at least in New England) and not having tasted one in a while, I decided to dance with the old grand-daddy variety bar once again.

First Chamber: Caramel. Ok, not bad. We’re talking your garden-variety caramel here; very soft, very sticky– not the get stuck on your molars and grow hair sticky, more the stretchy-as-hell, leaves-big-strands-on-your-chin-making-you-look-like-a-loveable-moron sticky. Pass!

Second Chamber: Vanilla. Hmm. I had a hard time actually tasting the vanilla I’m afraid. Despite the assurances of the packaging, there seems to be some dispute in the surprisingly vibrant online candy discussion community about whether or not the vanilla filling is a nougat, marshmallow, or some kind of Valo-Milk rip off.  Whatever it is, it’s not bad, in fact it’s sweet and creamy, just not particularly Vanilla-ey. Thesis Statement needs revision.

caramel

Third Chamber: Peanut. GOAL! This is why the Sky Bar has survived, not peanut butter or even chopped nuts, but peanut caramel! It’s everything great about the sweetness and consistency of caramel with the added bonus of peanut flavoring.  A brilliant and wholly unique blend I’ve yet to encounter anywhere else.  A+.

Fourth Chamber: Fudge. A bit of a let down, though anything after the 3rd chamber was bound to be anti-climactic. The problem here is that the fudge is almost indistinguishable from the chocolate coating (except in consistency). This wouldn’t be a huge demerit, except for the fact that the chocolate coating isn’t exactly a deal-maker to begin with. One reviewer has compared it to cheap Christmas candy and as a proud survivor of many a holiday advent calendar, I heartily agree. Lacks originality—now look me in the eye fudge, did you cheat on this exam?

And there you have the Sky Bar, a bit of a dinosaur, but a loveable one. I sincerely hope it survives at least another 71 years and that at some point during that time, peanut caramel gets a spin-off.  And how about another sky writing campaign Necco? Pretty please with whatever passes for vanilla around that factory on top?

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