Archive for the ‘Nostalgic/Retro’ Category

Now that candy buffets are as common as cakes and cupcakes at weddings, baby showers, birthday parties, etc., I thought I’d check in with a handful of event planners to get their tips on building the best candy buffets, pitfalls to avoid, and trends they’re noticing. I’ve got some gems:

Tracey Baxter, Aisle Do, Charlotte, N.C.

– Offer multiple containers of the same candy to control traffic and add symmetry to the buffet design. If guests can access the same candy at two locations on the buffet, they wait in line for half the time.”

– Use scoops proportional to candy sizes. To determine if guests will get the right amount with each utensil, ask yourself, “Will this scoop provide a handful of this candy?”

– Know when to stop. Variety is important but more than 15 different types of candy presents too many options for a buffet to still be functional. Extreme variety does work well, however, when using a single candy type in multiple flavors such as jelly beans, taffy, rock candy, or chocolate gems.

– If your event is not bent toward specific flavors, name your candies something related to the theme. For example, with a nautical theme, “gummy melon O’s” could become “Melon Life Preservers.”

– Use signs to let guests know what family member or friend picked the candies and/or flavors they are enjoying.

Kim Byers, The Celebration Shoppe, Columbus, Ohio

– I spend a lot of time with others in this industry and I see a lot of candy tables. Almost every single one now has saltwater taffy on it. I think it has a great deal to do with nostalgia and the ability to get it in so many colors.

– In the past five months we’ve created printable candy table/buffet tags. They’re selling like hotcakes.

  • Candy Dish Tags from The Celebration Shoppe

Heather Kuhn, Sweetest Candy Buffets, Carmel, Ind.

– We’re seeing an interest in using multiple flavors of gourmet jelly beans and including “recipes” for eating those jelly beans together.Recently, we have had people inquiring about including unique items on their buffets, such as flavored popcorn or cake bites/balls.

Terri Altergott, ?Something Borrowed, Something New Events, Uxbridge, Mass.

– Routinely, I’m asked to create a visually interesting candy buffet. In a few weeks, we’re adding lots of bling to a candy table. Envision crystals with light dancing off of them and submersible lighting at the bottom of each apothecary jar to illuminate the table.

Lia Moore, Full Circle Eventi, Clawson, Mich.

– While many containers come with lids, this often leads to broken glass and missing pieces. If you love the lids, present your display with the lids in place, but remove and store them away the moment your candy station is open.

– Consider a round table vs. a standard rectangular buffet to eliminate long lines and encourage guests to mingle around the serving station.

– Vase size is important! Use large, wide-mouth containers so guests can see what they’re getting and get at it easily. Variety in vase size and shape also keeps the eye engaged and the display interesting.

– Use thematic take-out pails or cello bags for guests to take candy home. Personalize the packaging with small stickers and ribbons.

Last tips:

– When ordering candy, be sure to place your order well in advance so that you have time to stage the buffet at home before the party and order more candy if necessary.

– Need inspiration? Check out these gorgeous candy buffets by NYC’s event planning guru, Amy Atlas.

Top photos by Amy Atlas

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Overall Impression:

in Candy, Candy Tips, Chocolate, Nostalgic/Retro, Novelty, Soft

8 Mar

Minty Fresh 0

Peppermint; some know it as a digestive, others as a pest. Ask King Leo and it’s bound to say this menthol-rich herb (actually a hybrid of spearmint and watermint) makes for fine confections, such as the kind the company has been manufacturing since 1901. Notable amongst the pool of mint-makers for its high quality products, which utilize pure all-natural peppermint oil and real sugar, King Leo offers a wide array of mint-inclined confections. The jewel in the King Leo Crown? Soft Peppermint Puffs.

His Royal Majesty, seen lounging

If you make a point to always reach for the wicker basket by the register whenever you go out to dinner, you’ve probably come up with a handful of these babies before.Several factors distinguish Soft Peppermint Puffs from the field of other after dinner palette cleansers. While the title might lead you to believe that they’re somewhat squishy don’t be deceived, they may not be as hard as starlight mints but Peppermint Puffs are no Milquetoast. They have a somewhat chalky exterior that takes a decent bite to break through and crumbly interior that dissolves slowly on the tongue. As the mints dissolve, they release waves of powerfully aromatic peppermint oil, which is mitigated, but not masked by a light sweetness. Because of their fairly generous size and lack of the syrupy film that tends to coat my throat after many after-dinner mints, I consider Peppermint Puffs satisfying as a stand-alone snack.

Try Me.

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Overall Impression:

in Candy, Candy Tips, Nostalgic/Retro, Reviews, Soft

Chiclets for dinner!!

And shouldn’t it technically be Teethpaste? Honestly, I’m asking. As everybody knows, the vicissitudes of the English language are many and storied, and while we may be novitiates with regard to the inflectional rules of certain nettlesome lexemes, we here at know our Candy. Which is why I can answer the following question; which came first, Chiclets gum, or Chiclets as slang term for those things that are always a-fallin’ out of your head and having to be brushed, etc?

Brush the hair off them cowstoppers

Place your wagers.

Drum-roll please.

Thanks, Al! Mr. Al Jackson everybody, of Stax/ Volt!

Turns out the answer is the gum, the term proceeding from the (apparently accidental) resemblance these ancient chews bear to common teeth, not the reverse, silly. So why such an unusual name— one that makes one think of small, young birds and bar-fights? Ever heard of the “Chicle?” It’s a tropical evergreen tree that grows in Mexico, Central and South America, which produces a resinous sap, long chewed by the indigenous folks of the area and adopted for use as the gum base in the original manufacture of Chiclets gum back in 1906. Highly renowned, Chiclets have been so ubiquitous in some parts of the world (especially in the Middle East and portions of North Africa and Europe) that the name has become a general term for all varieties of chewing gum.

The culprit tree with its bulbous nodes

Could numerous millions and several generations be wrong?

Of course they could, but we’re not going to hate on Chiclets (without) just ‘cause. Chiclets are solid gum, both literally and conversationally. The peppermint and spearmint varieties have clean, refreshing, aptly-named flavors and a crispy candy shell that sets them apart from most of your basic chews. The first bite is a heavenly, mentholated blast of soft and crunchy and while, (like anything, but gum in particular), the good times don’t last, I’d guess fifteen to twenty minutes of herbivore-caliber chewing had elapsed by the time I realized I wasn’t enjoying myself anymore.

A mighty chew

Unfortunately, there’s a dearth of the assorted-fruit Chiclets around the office so I can’t comment on them at this time, but if my memory serves me, (which is regrettably seldom) they’re also pretty dang good. I’ll get back to you on ‘em.

Pinky Swear

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Overall Impression:

in Candy, Nostalgic/Retro, Reviews, Soft

26 Feb

Gimme a Break 0

You don’t need me to tell you about the Kit Kat bar. With major production facilities in more than 15 countries and world-wide distribution, Kit Kat is a truly international candy. If you’re reading this, you’ve eaten one. Heck, you’re probably eating one right now. Careful! It’s dangerous to chew and read at the same time, especially if you’re operating a motor-vehicle. Don’t think you can get away pretending you’re not, this blog is like a one-way mirror. Quit the forklift, pocket the Kit-Kat and finish up, I won’t be long.

Not an easy-chair.

First devised by British confectionery Rowntree in 1935, the Kit-Kat’s signature combination of crispy, snappable, segmentary crème-filled wafers, generously coated in milk chocolate has been wildly popular since its inception. Ranging in size from the petit “half-finger” marketed in Japan to the massive, “twelve-finger” family size bars of Australia and France, (and with occasional, limited-time forays into exotic alternate flavors such as strawberry and green tea) the Kit Kat has proven both versatile and enduring. While part of this could be due to expert marketing, (the classic “Gimme a break” U.S jingle was cited by University of Cincinnati researcher James A. Kellaris as one of the most infectious, can’t-get-it-out-of-your-head melodies of all time), and blind luck (it’s proven popular in Japan as a kind of good luck charm due in part to the similarity of the name to the phrase “kitto katsu,” meaning essentially, “You will surely win!”), it would be wrong to underestimate the appeal of the treat’s simple composition and satisfying crunch.

That jingle has been bouncing around in here for decades.

As in the case of “Oh Henry,” the Kit Kat is produced by HERSHEY in the U.S (due to a licensing agreement that predates Nestle’s 1988 acquisition of Rowntree) and Nestle everywhere else. Though there are slight differences in packaging and production, the confections are purportedly quite similar, with accounts indicating that Nestle’s milk chocolate may be slightly creamier. I’m perfectly satisfied with the cocoa butter content of the Hershey’s variety, but trust that the Nestle variety is no slouch, especially since the Nestle Kit Kat has long been the number one chocolate and “biscuit” (the British term for cookie or wafer) confection in the UK, where people seem to know their chocolate and biscuits.

Merry sporting yeomen are often fueled by biscuits.

Another neat thing about the Kit Kat bar is that everybody seems to have his own way of eating one. Personally I’m convinced that the best way to go about it is to snap each “finger” off one by one, first nibbling away the small, flared ridge of pure chocolate around each like some kind of chocolate-crazed rodent and only then crunching into the wafer. Prove me wrong.

“break me offa piece of that

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