Archive for the ‘Candy Tips’ Category

18 Dec

NECCO au Naturale 0

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We might have seen it coming what with the greenwashin’ and the health watchin,’ the 400 calorie menu and the ban on hydrogenated pork shortnin.’ Folks, Candy.com would like to announce that the rumors are, in fact, fact—NECCO Wafers have shed their artificial ingredients and have returned to earth, the humble naked sugar, starch and everything nice discs they always were deep inside.

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What does this mean for wafer lovers the world round? Apart from the obvious point that the toxicity threshold of the new wafers is undoubtedly greater than the old (you can now eat a robust 14,000 in a single afternoon compared to the modest 12,000 of yore), it means no lime. Yes, sadly the new NECCOs number only seven due to issues replicating the original lime flavored discs under the more stringent “all natural” standards (read, it’s probably prohibitively expensive). How about a replacement flavor contest, NECCO? My vote; “Revere” a patriotic nod to the birthplace of NECCO and the gallant Massachusetts Silversmith, with the fishy flavors of the North Shore he loved so well. Until that happens, seven (while maybe not heaven) is just fine by me, as most of the remainder seem to have benefited from the haute cuisine treatment. The chocolate is chocolate-ier, the wintergreen mint-ier, clove clove-ier (and wow it packs a punch, be careful if you tend to crunch), licorice anise-ier, orange citrus-ier. I was never a big fan of the lemon to begin with and still don’t care for it, so the only real dud to my palette is the cinnamon, which somehow seems to have lost a lot of its kick in translation.

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Overall, the update seems to have improved NECCO Wafers, though I can’t see it converting any heretofore unbelievers. The good is better, but the bad (mainly the fact that after about five it gets tough to tell the difference between the flavors) remains the same. Still, I say whatever your opinion, give ‘em another spin. They may not be all beer and skittles, but you should remove your hat to any candy that saw the Civil War and lived to tell the tale.

Try one “It’s only wafer thin…”

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11 Dec

The Sweet has Landed 0

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When unassuming confectioners at the gateway to the West’s own Sunline Candies first devised their now world renowned mixture of citric acid, dextrose, artificial and natural flavors, they weren’t looking to turn children into fleet hellions supercharged for evil (more than usual). No, they just wanted to sell a vaguely sweet, vaguely fruity drink mix they called “Frutola.” When it became clear that most kids didn’t want to wait around for water and a glass and were consuming the sweet powder directly from the package, Sunline decided to go with the flow, changing the name of their product to the edgier “Fruzola” and packaging it with a spoon for lickin’ purposes. As the wheels of science turned and word filtered to the ears of discerning parents that consuming large quantities of pure sugar would never be considered healthy, Sunline once again changed their game and compressed tablets of Fruzola to produce the more palatable seeming SweeTarts. Eventually acquired by Nestle’s Wonka subsidiary, Sunline’s legacy of sugar-schtick remains alive and well in Pixy Stix, and most recently, Giant Pixy Stix.

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Before you old-timers “split a log” wondering why anyone in his right mind would want to subject himself to a Giant Pixy Stix, I say hold your horses. Remember your youth– relentlessly experimenting, searching for the next thrill? Staying up ‘til 10, 12, 2 and so on? Wearing shorts in the dead of a Yukon December? Lying about “Blopple” being in the Scrabble dictionary? You were always pushing the envelope, trying to chart the bounds of your life and luck.  It’s the same with the kids today with their twitter, their speculative finance and their Giant Pixy Stix. We may not understand it, we may not condone it, and we may not know how to broach the subject at the dinner table—but by gum, we’ve got to tolerate it. Yes, we live in a world in which Seth MacFarlane has three primetime television shows and where Giant Pixy Stix exist.  Maybe it’s a phase? They’ll probably get over it.

Got Grandkiddies? Get the little Pixies something that shows you speak their language.

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10 Dec

Ante Up! 0

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Madelaine is a confectionery known for its stunning chocolate facsimiles, especially it’s roses. So I was excited to sample their attractive and tempting High Roller Milk Chocolate Poker Chips.  A cool idea, but do they hold up?

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A really good game of poker is played out in nuances—tense rounds of betting drawn out through sly bluffs and counterbluffs designed to test the bravado of the seasoned players and milk the rubes for all they’re worth. To do this properly, you need a wide variety of chips. Unfortunately, Madelaine only includes two varieties in its “High Roller” set,  5’s and 25’s. I’d get a real kick out of playing poker with chocolate chips, (especially since it would keep the meager pile that passes as my savings safe from the hawkish talons of the conniving grifters who pass for my friends), but with only two chips to chose from (and with no difference between them!) there’s little incentive for really competitive play. The chocolates are decent, but suffer from the dreaded “Christmas chocolate” syndrome, a cheap, vaguely minty taste that leaves a lot to be desired.

So here’s a proposal, Madelaine; get serious about your poker chips!  Think how popular (and expensive) a full set of chips might be (1’s, 5’s, 10’s, 25’s, etc), especially if each variety offered something different relative to its token value. Save the “Christmas chocolate” for your 1’s, make the 5’s a nice milk, the 10’s a decadent dark, the 25’s marzipan or caramel filled. Eh? How ‘bout it?  Just remember, you read it here first…

You don’t have to be a high-roller to afford these chips from Candy.com

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4 Dec

When life gives you lemons, make Hot Tamales 0

hot tamales

Introduced in 1950, these spicy little cinnamon cylinders were devised in an inspired act of recycling that once again proves the old mantra, “good things come to those that don’t waste.” When the Just Born Candy Company of Bethlehem Pennsylvania found that a batch of their signature “Mike and Ikes” hadn’t turned out quite as well as they’d hoped, they made the best of the situation with a little red coloring and lot of cinnamon flavoring. They liked what they got, and “Hot Tamales,” the deviously spicy cousin of Mike and Ike, has been a Just Born staple ever since.

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While bearing only a very tenuous resemblance to the steam-cooked corn flour wraps that give them their name, “Hot Tamales” are quite satisfying and quite adept at delivering the kind of “wave your hands and look frantically for a glass of milk” feel typically associated with popular Meso-American cuisine. What I’m trying to say is they’re hot little suckers, in every way deserving of your respect and time. Cheaper by far, than sinus headache medications and safer (gastronomically speaking) than most wing-nights, “Hot-Tamales,” recall the (perhaps wrongfully) archaic confectionery sensibility that suggests sweets can be both recreational and restorative. We at Candy.com say,  here’s to harmless tonics and sweet serendipity!

Click here to see Candy.com’s Selection of Hot Tamales

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