Monday, July 28, 2014

Canadian Candy List - Part 1 - What I Miss Most

Over the last few years I've been living away from my home country, Canada.  I've been traveling the world exploring all kinds of snack foods, junk foods, and sweets, but my heart is still in Canada.  I'm going to be back home for an extended period, and I've decided to compile various lists on the theme of Canadian candy and snacks.  Each week, for the next several weeks, I'll be posting a different list of Canadian candies I've reviewed in various categories.  Some of these treats may be available in other parts of the world, some are exclusive to the Great White North, but in my mind all of them are Canadian.

Since I'm still not back yet, this is a list of treats that I most miss from my home and native land.  While away I've pined for some of these treats, and even begged friends and family to mail me these treats on occasion (with mixed results).  Since I'm only visiting when I return, I'll be sure to stock up on all of these snacks to keep me going for a while for my next several year long adventure.

The first treat in this list is a really simple treat, a Kraft Caramel.  From what I understand the origins of this candy come from Kraft making a caramel for baking purposes that kids used to love snacking on.  My entire experience with these has been as a penny candy, rather than a baking supply.  Sure this treat is simple, but it works.

Click here to read the Kraft Caramel review.

 I think the thing that makes me most nostalgic for a Crispy Crunch bar is the memories that come with it.  This was my dad's favorite chocolate bar, and I always remember getting a bite or two of his when I was a kid.  Don't get me wrong, this bar has more than nostalgia going for it, it's a tasty bar in its own right.

Click here to read the Crispy Crunch review.
 Maple sugar candies are another nostalgic treat for me.  I remember going to the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) in Toronto, and finding vendors selling these all over the place.  The CNE was a great memory for me, and these, in particular the smell of them, are a big part of that memory.  Although much like the Crispy Crunch bar, these are pretty tasty as well.

Click here to read the Maple Sugar review.
 When I was a kid, the Oh Henry! bar was my bar of choice.  For those Americans reading this, the Oh Henry! bar is most similar to a Baby Ruth, but I think it's a little better.  It seems slightly less sweet than a Baby Ruth, and it has all kinds of childhood memories attached to it.

Click here to read the Oh Henry review.
When I was a kid growing up in Canada our closest neigbours to the South seemed to have everything I wanted.  They had more ice cream, more chocolate bars, and more fast food places.  The one thing that they did lack was a great range in flavours of potato chips.  Canada has always had hundreds of different flavours of chips to choose from, and the strangest one that really has kept on is dill pickle.

Click here to read the Dill Pickle Chip review.


This Week in Candy

The time has finally come, I'm leaving Greece.  I've been talking about it for weeks now, but I'm finally heading out to a new adventure.  I'll miss Greece a lot, it's been a great place to learn about sweets, and in particular to learn about ingredients.  This country respects ingredients more than any other place I've ever visited or lived.  The food here is simple for a reason, the ingredients speak for themselves.  I've found this in all the food in Greece, and I'll take this knowledge with me forever.

For the next few weeks I'll be going through a moving transition.  This will involve visiting Canada, stocking up on the latest sweet treats there, and catching up with old friends.  For Candy Critic, and this blog, that means that updates might become a little more random and things will be a little different for a little while.  I'll keep trying to post new reviews weekly, but frankly I'm not really sure what day of the week I'm going to have internet access, so they'll come up as a bit of a surprise.  On the blog we're going to stop posting the news on the blog for a little while, however we'll still be posting the news on the Twitter feed as regular.  This is also going to be the last "This Week in Candy" for a little while, but it will be replaced by a weekly look at some of my favorite Canadian candies.  We're probably going to be taking a break from "Snack Facts" as well, or at the very least they'll be more occasional, and not daily.  All of the other regular posts should be the same as usual, but now and again I may post some bonus pieces about what I'm up to on my voyage.

This transition is going to take a few weeks, but I really think things will still be really fun.  I'll be posting regular highlights from my various adventures along the way on Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter, so stay tuned there.

As I said in my art show a few weeks back.  To Greece I say "so long and thanks for all the fish".


Friday, July 25, 2014

Candy News

I love candy and snacks, but I'm not sure if I love them enough to have them permanently embedded on my skin.

A food tech company has discovered that the best way to take the edge off of cocoa may not be milk or sugar, instead it's mushrooms.

It appears that Mars is going to increase the price of their chocolate, but don't worry, many smaller companies are not following suit.

Summer is here, and that means state fairs and carnivals are happening, and that means food like this is available.

Trendy foods are both good and bad.  They're good because they can promote creativity and innovation, they're bad because you find yourself in line for 30 minutes just to eat a crappy donut.

Last week I mentioned that I wanted to try this new "raw chocolate" trend, well this week I've learned that maybe I don't.

Dark chocolate keeps gaining in popularity, it's no milk chocolate yet,  but some day it might be more popular.

Apparently Chupa Chups are branching out into clothing, I wonder if they have special pockets to hold lollipops?

In the 1900s a German chocolate company decided that they would distribute cards depicting what the year 2000 would be like with their chocolate. The results are awesome.

Over the next few weeks I'm going to be traveling a lot, and I'm not really sure how well I'll be able to keep up the weekly Candy News posts.  I will however be updating the Twitter feed as regularly as I can, so you can still keep up with the news there. The news feed should return to normal in about 6 weeks.

If you want to keep up with all of the daily candy news that we come across as it happens, follow us on Twitter.


Friday Candy Video

If I ever had to describe the most memorable commercials of my childhood, this one would certainly be on the list.  I don't know that it's particularly clever, but it remains in my head today, so it must be effective.  At the time when this commercial came out, the Oh Henry bar was most certainly my favorite chocolate bar too.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Classic/Creative Candy Advertising

I have a soft spot in my heart for minimalist advertising.  When I worked in the advertising industry, I really loved to create this stuff, only I always felt like I was ripping off the client.  It's not that I didn't see the merit in simple art, I just worried that other people didn't.

I found this ad here.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Cool Candy Thing

I could spend a great deal of time talking about why this is an awesome toy that makes a really fun snack, or I could just let this commercial from my youth do all of the explaining:


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

It's a Whole Bunch of Candy Posters - Part 1

Gummy Feet Walking Poster
Gummy Feet Walking Poster by bewarethecheese
Check out other Gummy Posters at

For the next 10 weeks we're going to be featuring great looking candy themed posters from our sister site  Beware the Cheese not only created all of these great looking candy shots, but they also shoot all of the candy photos for Candy Critic.  Why not pick up a poster as a gift or for yourself.


Monday, July 21, 2014

The New Sucker Review

The older I get, the less I understand lollipops.  When I was a kid the idea of eating a candy on a stick made perfect sense.  Why would you want to keep that candy in your mouth all the time, you need a break.  Now that I'm a bit older, and a lot more paranoid about germs, I find myself not wanting to expose my candy to the outside air.  I find that even when I eat a lollipop, I rarely take it out of my mouth.  At that point the stick just becomes more of a hindrance.  Fortunately today's review also brought back some fond childhood memories, so the stick didn't become an issue.

Click here to read today's new sucker review.


This Week in Candy

It's a hectic week here at Candy Critic, we're gearing up for a big change, and the transition for this change is going to take a while to sort out.  That doesn't mean we'll stop posting things, it just means that things are going to get a little funky.  But don't worry, the change is not coming this week, we've got lots to post this week, including a review of a classic treat that frankly should have been reviewed a long time ago.

This week I'm seeking out some suggestions for snacks I should sample in North America.  I haven't been back home in years, I'm heading there soon, and I need some good suggestions for treats that I should try.  I'm interested in both classic snacks that I may have forgotten, as well as new snacks that have come along in the last 4 years.  So if you can think of anything that I "must" try while I'm back home, let me know.

Finally, don't forget to check out this weeks Snack Facts all about fast food.  You can check out Snack Facts on our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram feeds.  Just follow us on any of those social media sites and get a new Snack Fact delivered to you every day.


Friday, July 18, 2014

Candy News

Take the (mostly) snack mascot quiz, find out how well you know the characters that sell you food.

One day I'd like to travel across the USA and sample all of their "iconic soft drinks".

If you want to make ice cream just like Thomas Jefferson, here's a little help.  If you want to make ice cream just like the ice cream man, here's a little help with that too. Finally, if you just want to know where ice cream came from, we can help you there too.

Japanese company makes an iPhone case that looks like someone accidentally left a Popsicle on your iPhone.

As it turns out there are really only 10 companies that make almost all of the processed food you eat.

Cadbury has invented a machine that will tell you what kind of chocolate you like, based on your Facebook profile.

Annabel de Vetten made an awesome wedding cake that looks normal from one side, but the other side shows you the biology of this creepy cake.

If you want to keep up with all of the daily candy news that we come across as it happens, follow us on Twitter.


Stuff I Want To Try

The Pizza Cookie - Pizza Hut/Hershey's - If I order this, I'll probably have to skip the pizza. - Click here to learn more about this treat.


Friday Candy Video

Of all the candies in the world, who would have thought you could make art out of cotton candy.