Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Don't Forget, We're Giving Away Some Free Candy and T-Shirts

Just a reminder that we're having a great contest with our friends at Sour Patch Kids.  You could win yourself a couple of free t-shirts and a bunch of candy.  Make sure you enter soon, because at the end of next week the contest will be over and somebody will be walking away with a great prize pack.

Click here to learn more about our contest, it's easy to enter, trust me.


It's Your Name Day?

Did you know that you might have a name day?  In Greece, your name day is as important as your birthday. Your name day (if you have one) is related to the saints day.  So if you have the name of a saint, as most people do in Greece, then you have a name day.  You know who else has name days?  Churches.  They celebrate the name day of their churches namesake.  In Greece, a churches name day is celebrated with a huge street festival that goes all day, and well into the night.  They have all kinds of stuff for sale at these celebrations, including some awesome snacks.
As you might expect from a festival, classic carnival snacks such as cotton candy and popcorn are available.  
But they also have all kinds of local treats as well.  One of my favorites is the giant platters of Halvas.  This particular breed of halvas is very gelatinous but it melts in your mouth so nicely.  It's also full of nuts to ad the perfect crunch.
However the best Greek treat at these festivals is the Greek donuts or Loukoumades.  Most of the time these donuts come with a honey or chocolate topping, but at this name day festival I found this cart that offered so many more choices.  Most of them I couldn't even identify, but they all looked so tasty.


Candy Art - Han Solo Cookie

I love the brilliant idea of crossing a nerdy ice cube tray with chocolate and putting it on a cookie.  It looks so much like a classic cookie, but it has the ultimate geek twist.

You can learn more about these, and find out how to make some yourself here.


It's Jump for Jelly Beans Day!!!

I love Jelly Beans, I think the most popular flavour of classic Jelly Beans (not Jelly Bellies or anything of that sort) would probably be red.  My favorite flavour, green, but only if it's mint.


Tuesday's Candy Links

According to this article "Hitler Plotted to Kill Churchill With Exploding Chocolate".  Killing a man with candy, that's just low.

Wrigley's is officially against a new gum tax that's planned in the Wales, I would have to agree.

Get your chocolate loving taste buds ready Dallas, DallasChocolate.org is having their annual chocolate event on September 29th.

The razor blade in the bag of Jolly Ranchers... can this be true?


Monday, July 30, 2012

Stuff I Want To Try

Milky Way French Vanilla & Caramel - Mars - French vanilla is a great flavour, and it might work well with Milky Way - Click here to learn more about this treat.


This Week In Candy

Candy News -  With the Olympics in full swing, a great deal of candy news is about how candy companies and candy makers are routing for their home teams.  Cadbury seems to have the most on the subject, but that could be because they're an official sponsor and they even have a Cadbury village set up in London for the games.  But they're not the only ones, all kinds of candy companies, large and small, are rooting for their home teams, and it's fantastic.

What's Happening At Candy Critic -  Two things to mention this week.  First of all, I just got back from an awesome trip to Kalamata and Sparta (in Greece).  These two places are extremely famous for their olives and olive oils.  I'm sure some of you have seen Kalamata olives available at super markets, well this is where they're grown.  They're not a breed of olive, but in fact they're the place where they grow.  I'll have a couple posts later this week about my adventures.  Also, a reminder that we're running a contest right now that could net you a couple of Sour Patch Kids t-shirts and a bunch of candy.  Check out how you can win here.

Rant -  I love the Olympics.  While the strange sports that you only get to see during the Olympics are great, the real reason I love the Olympics is the patriotism.  Even some candy companies produce special edition treats just for the Olympics, and these treats are often decorated with their countries colours and flags.  I think candy companies should be more proud of their heritage, and I think patriotic candy should be around all of the time.  I'm not just saying this about Canadian sweets either.


Monday's Candy Links

I've always wondered where cashews came from, now I know.

According to a recent study, people would rather eat a whole bunch of little things, than eating one big thing.

Salt and vinegar is probably my favorite flavour of potato chip, Bon Appetite decided to find out which brand of salt and vinegar chip was the best.


Friday, July 27, 2012

Stuff I Want To Try

Smarties Gummies  - Smarties Candy Co. - I'm very curious to see how they wrap them. - Click here to learn more about this treat.


Friday Candy Video - Sour Patch Kids Are Bad

I'm loving the new campaign for Sour Patch Kids, they sent me a notice about the campaign, I checked it out, and I approve.  This first video will give you a little context for the campaign.

This second commercial is like the best candy fantasy I could possibly imagine.  I'd love to watch my sweet orderves fight each other to the death.

Just a reminder, we're giving away a Sour Patch Kids prize pack, you can learn more here.


Count Down To The Olympics with a British Review-a-Thon!

Today is the day, the opening ceremonies are tonight, and a great time will be had by many athletes from all over the world.  I'm a big fan of the Olympics, and I've always dreamed of going to a games, hopefully at one point in my life I will.  To celebrate the opening of the games, not only is today's review British (to keep in theme with our review-a-thon), but it's a special edition treat specifically for these games.

Click here to read our Olympic review.


Friday's Candy Links

Obama tells the world he loves Girls Scout Thin Mints, the internets react.

Mental Floss explores how much money Americans spend on things... like 16.8 billion on Easter, 550 million on pretzels, and 16 billion on chocolate.

An interesting look at sugar free candy, the good, the bad, and the ugly.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

More Than Salt On a Pretzel

For years now I've considered myself to be a pretzel aficionado.  Of all of the salty snacks, I think pretzels might be my favorite.  I love pretzels straight, curled, soft, crunchy, just about any shape or texture you could imagine.  Recently I've discovered a whole new area of pretzel goodness that I'm surprised I've never tasted before, sesame seeded pretzels.  A few sesame seeds sprinkled with the salt creates a whole new dynamic that's really yummy.  This got me thinking, what else would be good sprinkled on a pretzel?


Classic/Creative Candy Advertising - Olympic Fever

During the run up to the Olympics, many companies  sponsor athletes, including many candy companies.  Some people think that these sponsors are just interested in the promotion, but when I volunteered for the Special Olympics a few years back, I can tell you that many  sponsors  do it because they want to help.

As usual, I found this ad on Vintage Ad Browser.


Count Down To The Olympics with a British Review-a-Thon!

I'm not 100% sure that Galaxy bars are UK based.  I only say this because I've seen them all over Europe.  So it could be that they originated somewhere else, and are simply readily available in the UK.  I got this one in the UK, so I guess that's good enough.

Click here to read our latest entry into the Olympic UK Review-a-thon.


Thursday's Candy Links

Two things I always worry about when I eat candy, my diet and my teeth, now it looks like I might only have one.

Happy Birthday Rowntree, you don't look a day over 149.

I'd always known that Kinder Eggs are illegal in the United States, but I didn't know that the fines could go as high as $2,500 per egg.

The Olympics is a great way for companies to promote their candy, but only a few are "official" sponsors.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Old Candy Critic Articles - Better or Worse

I've decided to take down several old articles from the candycritic.org and re-post them here on the Candy Critic blog.  This week, since it's so hot in so many places all over the world, I've decided to post an article I wrote about the differences between a couple of fudgy ice cream treats.

This article was not planned at all, then it happened, the first day of summer. You know what I love about the first day of summer? The first cool treat on a warm day. So there I am walking down the street into my local store and I'm off to the ice cream case. Then I see it, one of my favourites, a super fudge Popsicle Thinking a simple choice was to be had, I made a horrible discovery. There are more than one type of super fudge Popsicle So being the Candy Critic, I bought both and I'm going to compare the two and let you know what I think.  This way you don't have to worry that, if faced with the same problem, you'll make the wrong decision.
Super Fudge


Simply perfection. This has got to be one of the greatest ice cream treats ever made. This is one of the treats that I will purchase again and again. If you find one and your in the mood for a fudgy treat, this is the one for you. The only reason you might not like it is that its very sweet, but the chocolate flavour is spectacular, and the texture is perfect.
Xtreme Fudge

Good Humor

I really couldn't figure this fudgy treat out. At first it was awesome, imagine a Fudgsicle dipped in chocolate. It was a great start but as I ate it, I was left disappointed. As you got lower and lower the Xtreme Fudge treat changed shades of brown. This did nothing but ruin the flavour which was fine at the start.  It's a fine treat, but not the best.

All things are not created equal, and that's a good thing, because I would be out of business if they were. If given the choice, I have to go with the Nestlé Super Fudge - it just gave a little more. You know what would a fantastic idea? If the two company's came together and made a Super Xtreme fudge treat, only in my dreams I guess.


Count Down To The Olympics with a British Review-a-Thon!

Few people have ever heard of Walker's Crisps, in fact few people even know that the British term for chips is crisps.  The thing about Walker's Crisps is they're very creative when it comes to flavours.  They're not always successful, but they seem to be always trying.  I'd be a very happy Candy Critic if Walker's decided to expand to North America, I think they have what it takes to be a global chip company.

Click here to read my latest Walker's crisps review.


It's National Hot Fudge Sundae Day!!!

I can't honestly tell you the last time I had a hot fudge sundae, it's had to have been more than a year ago.  In fact this very picture might have been the last time I had hot fudge on a sundae, and that's kind of sad.  I seem to remember this sundae being kind of cruddy.  I need to fix this tragic problem today.


Wednesday's Candy Links

Greatest candy headline? "Katy Perry's Spinning Candy Bra Deemed An Insurance Liability."

Learn all about Katrina Markoff, and how she's doing in the chocolate business.

What do you do if you happen to give birth in the parking lot of a 7-11?  Name the kid "Big Gulps" of coarse.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Spider In My Ice Cream

I don't know if this is a new trend around the world, or a trend that's just here in Europe/Greece, but I keep coming across movie themed ice cream.  I'm not sure if this is a valuable marketing tool for either the ice cream or the movie, but it must be doing something right because it's all over the place.  I assume that the flavour of the ice cream is random, since I'm not even sure what flavour "Spider Man" would be.  I'm also wondering if it's a good idea to cross market food, and bugs that you would never actually want in that food.


Candy Art - It's a Zombie Filled Day

The idea of crossing zombies with sweet treats is not new, but these two examples are some of the crepiest I've ever seen.  This popcorn bucket idea almost grosses me out enough to not want the popcorn... almost.
However this taxidermied zombie head gumball machine might actually cross that line.

I found the gumball machine here, and I found the popcorn bucket here.


Count Down To The Olympics with a British Review-a-Thon!

Most people assume that the only candy worth eating in the UK is their chocolate, they couldn't be more wrong.  The UK has not only some of the best tasting candy in the world, but they also have some of the most creative.  There's a reason J.K. Rowling was able to come up with such fantastical candy creations in the Harry Potter book series.  She had some of the greatest inspiration you could imagine.

Click here to read a review of some very creative gummies.


Tuesday's Candy Links

Mars is introducing Galaxy brand coffee drinks, I'd make this a "Stuff I Want To Try" but I don't really like coffee.

What's an Ice Huggy you may ask?  If you're eating a Freezie frozen treat, you'll want to find out.

Do you think classic candy companies should change their packaging?  It works sometimes, but sometimes it can lead to them changing the treat as well.


Monday, July 23, 2012

This Drink Gives Me Energy... Well Sort Of

While I think "Mixxed Up" is a fine name for an energy drink, I think "Light Stimulation Drink" might not be as clever.  I could see this drink selling well in adult night clubs, the kind of club where many of the employees end up naked.


Free Sour Patch Kids Stuff For You!!!

We have a great prize pack for a special sweet tooth.  The folks that make Sour Patch Kids have offered up an awesome prize pack for one of our lucky readers.  The prize pack consists of a couple of cool T-shirts, and a bunch of candy.

To enter the contest, simply answer this question:

There are two T-shirts in this prize pack, one for you, and one to give away.  Who are you going to give the other shirt to, and why?

We'll pick the the single best answer (i.e. heartwarming, creative, best grammar), and send them the two T-shirts and a bunch of candy. Who knows, you might get to give a shirt away just like us.

When you submit your answer make sure you leave and e-mail address so we can contact you if you win.  You can comment on this blog, send us a message via Facebook, Twitter (that's a challenge), or you can send us a message here (via our comment form).  You must be in the US or Canada to win this prize.

The folks that make Sour Patch Kids also asked me to mention their awesome new contest on their facebook page.  You can click here to check it out, and you'll also see more about it later this week.


This Week In Candy

Candy News - It appears breaking world records seems to be the thing to do.  In the last few weeks, two companies have attempted and broken a world record that involved candy.  Lindt broke the record for the most candies unwrapped in a single place at a single time, and See's Candy attempted the world record for the largest lollipop.  I have to be honest, the worlds largest lollipop seems to be a more legitimate record than the most candies unwrapped at once, but who am I too judge.

What's Happening At Candy Critic -  With the Olympics starting at the end of the week, we've decided to dedicate this week to a British candy review-a-thon.  England, and the entire UK, is one of the best places in the world to buy sweets.  Most people only really know them for their chocolate, in particular Cadbury, but there are so many other great treats available.

Rant - This week I've decided to let Allison choose the theme for the rant.  While she's written many an argument against the way people dispose of gum, she's sited an additional gum peeve.  She hates it when people spit out their gum, into a garbage can, but it ends up sticking around the rim of the can instead.  I agree, and I'm sure anybody who's had to clean these cans would agree as well.  If you're going to throw out your gum, wrap it up in some paper or something.


Count Down To The Olympics with a British Review-a-Thon!

Today's British review is a classic in the UK, but basically unknown to the rest of the world.  Is that a good or a bad thing?  Well, as you can read in the review, I'm not a big fan.  However, I'm a firm believer that all varieties of candy should be available to everybody, so, even though I don't like it that much, I want you to try it.

Click here to read about Fry's Turkish Delight.


Monday's Candy Links

If you're thinking of starting your own candy creation, think a little bit before you give it a name.

According to science, not only is chocolate yummy, but it might also protect you from the sun.

Lindt is teaming up with the Culinary Institute of America to help make the future of chocolate tastier and more creative.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Count Down To The Olympics with a British Review-a-Thon!

All this week we're celebrating the opening ceremonies of the Olympics in London with a British review-a-thon.  For those watching the games at home, you'll get an idea of what kind of treats are loved in this great country.  For those of you attending the games, you'll get some tips on what to get yourself.  I've said it before on this site, the UK has some of the best candy in the world.

Click here to read our first review in the British review-a-thon.


Friday, July 20, 2012

What Do American's Eat? - Part 5 - Milk Shakes

All this week I'm going to be featuring "American" items that I found in a European grocery store (Lidl) during a sale they had featuring American products.
The term "Milkshake" is actually very ambiguous.  The only thing one can say is that all "milkshakes" should contain milk, or a milk substitute.  There should also be some kind of mixing happening as well, be it with a blender, by hand, or even just a good shake.  After that the milkshake is whatever you really want to make of it.

The USA is most certainly the milkshake capital of the world.  Just about ever single burger place in the whole country offers their version of a milkshake.  Some are thick, tasty, and filling, others are weak, taste like plastic, and about as runny as water.  You can find milkshakes in other parts of the world, but it's often associated with America and American themed restaurants.  It's more of a novelty in most places and not the norm, in fact, I don't think McDonald's in Europe even sell milkshakes.


Friday Candy Video - Finding Foreign Bars In The UK

Did you know that many treats you find on your shelf aren't actually local.  Sure many could be made in your country, but their origins could be from very far away.  I love this video because it convinces people to explore their own neighborhood shops to get a taste for the world.


It's National Lollipop Day!!!

I have many questions about the lollipop, and here they are:

Is this an acceptable spelling of lollypop?

Is there a difference between a sucker and a lollipop?

If you put cake, marshmallow, or chocolate on a stick, is that a form of lollipop?

Is bigger better, or is small better?

What's your favorite flavour of lollipop (mine's probably chupa chups vanilla.)?

Is it gross to eat a candy that you take out of your mouth ever few seconds.

Did Telly Savalas make the lollipop cool?

That's all the questions I have now.


Friday's Candy Links

Is sherbet ice cream?  What about gelato?  What do you define as ice cream, Mental Floss is here to help you out.

Butterfingers has decided to capitalize on the Mayan calendars prediction that the world will end soon, they need a spokes person to usher in the end of humanity.

Apparently science wants to make chocolate better for you, their solution, raspberry leaves.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

What Do American's Eat? - Part 4 - Wings

All this week I'm going to be featuring "American" items that I found in a European grocery store (Lidl) during a sale they had featuring American products.
The chicken wing is another food that I can't argue that it's American tradition.  Just about every historical text I've found claims that the BBQ/Buffalo style of chicken wing originated new Buffalo New York.  After that the history goes in several different directions with more than one place taking credit for the creation.

One could argue that cooking chicken wings is not an American creation, but that's pretty obvious.  The part that makes these "American" is the sauce.  How the sauce is applied and the ingredients are most certainly an  American invention.  Similar to caramel corn, I'm surprised more places around the world have not adopted chicken wings into their diet.  It's the kind of food any country could customize to their own taste, without loosing the spirit of the original.


Classic/Creative Candy Advertising - What To Eat In War Times

To continue with my "American" themed blogs this week, I found this advertisement promoting candy to American soldiers.  While we can joke about this, I've heard stories from many soldiers about how candy helped them while fighting a war.

I found this ad on Vintage Ad Browser.


Trying to Get an Agent/Publisher - Rejection?.. Nope

It's been a while since I last published about my search for an agent... that's because I've been very fortunate to have been signed.  I've actually had it worked out for a while now, but I didn't want to publicly announce it till everything was set up and running smoothly.  The wonderful Dorothy Spencer, from the Jennifer DeChiara Agency has been working with to get some of my candy book ideas out the door.

As a side note, I'd like to thank all of you who gave me words of encouragement and advice while I was going through this.


Thursday's Candy Links

Chocolate is good for you, in Europe that may become official very soon.

If you find yourself in Fairhaven, why not visit Emma Jean's Cupcake & Ice Cream Shoppe.

I have nothing against cutting down on the sugar you consume, just be careful about what you put in its place.

Ranker lists 50 great "discontinued" foods from the 90s.  I put "discontinued" in quotes because some of these treats are still available in places outside of the US.

Tomorrow is National Lollipop day, and See's candy is going all out.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Burnt Marshmallow Art - Faking Melted Marshmallow

Over the last few weeks I've started a new candy themed art project for a series of fine art photograph/mixed media piece called "Senses".  The theme of this piece is texture and marshmallows.  You can read about our past progress here and here.
 I'm now at the experimental part of my art piece. A large portion of this piece requires me to make a synthetic melted marshmallow that never degenerates.  If I use real marshmallow, in a few weeks it will get pretty gross.  I've decided to use acrylic paint mediums (gel medium, modeling paste, and a gloss varnish) and some white acrylic paint.
 The goal is to make a small amount to see if it dries looking like melted marshmallow.  The first thing I need to do is mix up the four elements adding more and more paint a varnish till it looks and feels like melted marshmallow.
By the time it dries I'm pretty happy with it.  Just to make sure I coated it in a layer of gloss varnish after it dried, but that came out too shiny.
I decided to melt a marshmallow in the microwave so I could compare it, but that didn't go well at all.  You really can't get the shine and stretch you want out of a microwaved marshmallow.  I've also learned that if you keep them in the microwave too long they go brown, kind of gross.
I've also spent a bit of time preparing the frame and backing papers.  I'm going to need them to be 100% ready for the next stage, burning the photograph.


What Do American's Eat? - Part 3 - Caramel Corn

All this week I'm going to be featuring "American" items that I found in a European grocery store (Lidl) during a sale they had featuring American products.
There is no way I can argue that caramel corn is not an American treat.  Sure we Canadians eat it too, but history shows that it's an American invention, it's said to have been premiered at the Chicago worlds fair in 1893.  I can say that caramel corn is really not a snack you can find everywhere in the world.

This is very surprising to me since popcorn is very readily available just about everywhere.  The idea of putting a sweet coating on popcorn seems like something that the rest of the world should be going nuts about, but their not.  I'm not saying it's not available in other places, it's just not that popular.  You can't go to a carnival, state fair, or any kind of outdoor event in the USA without finding some caramel corn.  You can't even walk into a mall in America without smelling the stuff.  Why has this taste and texture sensation not taken over the world?


Old Candy Critic Articles - What flavour are you going to vote for?

I've decided to take down several old articles from the candycritic.org and re-post them here on the Candy Critic blog.  This week keeping in our American theme, we're re-posting an article we wrote during the Kerry/Bush election in 2004.
This year could be one of the most important years in American politics. Get out and let your thoughts, your opinions,and your words be heard. We here at Candy Critic know how important it is to make the right choices, to look at each candidate and make the decision that makes you proud to live in the U.S. Unfortunately, we don't really know much about politics. Sure we could tell you why the Aero bar's bubbles make it great, and why Coke and Pop Rocks are completely safe when mixed, but we don't really keep up with politics.

Fortunately for us, and you, Dubble Bubble has crossed the lines between candy and politics with their "Presidential Cigars". Finally, we here at Candy Critic can provide you with some information that will help you change the face of American Politics, build a place you can be proud of. How, you might ask? Candy Critic presents a look at the two candidates based off their bubble gum cigars. Use this information wisely, it could change the world.

The Candidates:

George Herbert Walker Bush

John Forbes Kerry

The Cigars:

Pink (for Bush):  Fruity and Red, that's the first impression of this candidate. It reminds me of "Hawaiian Punch", funny the similarities. The flavour is strong. It makes me feel like I've just eaten a whole truck load of fruit, it almost burns a little. Although it was a little hard at first, it softened up quickly and the flavour just got stronger. In fact it's getting so soft that it's almost like it's a different type of gum altogether A strong fruit punch-like flavour, that's the best way to describe this candidate. I give it 40% of my vote.

Blue (for Kerry):  Blueberry, and a little bit more subtle. This candidate didn't really jump out at me and say "Hello", but as I chewed the flavour starts to grow on me. I don't find myself wanting this candidate to die down in this mellow fashion. It's taken over my mouth, it's said to me, "Hey I just want to hang out, not wreck your house." It's as if the flavour isn't trying too hard, maybe not enough, but not too hard. Blueberry is a nice subtle flavour and to me it just seems right, not too overpowering despite the texture being the same as the other. I give it 60% of my vote.

So what did I learn about politics?

Well I learned that buying a bubble gum cigar can make more of an impact than ever. I also learned that political critics like myself can suffer for the cause, mostly with a sore jaw and brightly coloured mouth. Most of all I learned that I know nothing about American politics, but that's okay because I'm Canadian and I can't vote in the election anyways. Having said that, if you are in the U.S., buy a bubble gum cigar, go to your local polling station and vote.


Wednesday's Candy Links

Did you know that some people put peanuts into their Coca-Cola, apparently it changes it into a different and tasty treat... Should I try it?

If you live in India, and you've never tried a Toblerone, your chance is now here.

Read about Tiffany MacIsaac, a pastry chef that works hard creating some amazing looking (and I'm sure tasting) treats.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What Do American's Eat? - Part 2 - Crunchy Peanut Butter

All this week I'm going to be featuring "American" items that I found in a European grocery store (Lidl) during a sale they had featuring American products.
Peanut butter, some of you don't give it a second thought, others of you aren't really sure why so many people don't give it a second thought.  I've discovered in my travels that many people outside of North America don't really get the appeal of peanut butter.  It seems strange to people in North America because it's really part of our every day.

Now you may have noticed that I've been using the words "North America" when describing this treat.  While peanut butter is very popular in the USA, it's not necessarily an American invention.  In fact I should probably change "North America" to just "the Americas" because peanut butter's origins can be traced back to the Aztecs.  Even stranger, the modern smooth incarnation of peanut butter was said to patented by a Canadian (Marcellus Gilmore Edson), and not George Washington Carver, and many American's might think.


Candy Art - How To, Chocolate Balloon Bowl

This is a great idea, a little messy, but I think the results should be easy to achieve.  I think I may give it a try next time I have a dinner at my house.

I found this photo here on MAKE.


What Do You With a Frozen Banana

The other day I notice that, in the heat, my bananas started to go overly ripe very quickly.  I didn't want to eat them imediately, but I also didn't want to wast them.  I decided that I would throw them in the freezer and figure it out later.  Well, later has come, and I'm not really sure what one can do with a couple of frozen bananas with their peels on them.  Any ideas?


Tuesday's Candy Links

Are you a world leader?  Have you ever tried Turkish delight?  Well if you answered "yes" to the first question, and "no" the second, things are about to change.

They say that the quality of chocolate would improve, if the chocolate makers looked a little closer at cocoa traceability.  I think any company willing to research their cocoa's origins, probably looks at every detail, and will therefore make better chocolate.

Are you American?  What state do you live in?  Do you know your state's official food?  Also, if you live in Utah, what the heck's Jell-O Pretzel Salad?


Monday, July 16, 2012

What Do American's Eat? - Part 1 - American Pizza

All this week I'm going to be featuring "American" items that I found in a European grocery store (Lidl) during a sale they had featuring American products.
While the history of pizza is fairly controversial, one has to agree that the USA played a big part in it.  Most food historians agree that the current incarnation of pizza is most definitively the American style.  The USA can't take credit for being the first to take dough, put toppings on it, and put it in an oven, that ideas been around for thousands of years.

The question then comes, what is an American style pizza?  In this case I think the influence comes from Pizza Hut.  For those that travel a lot, you'll find that there are pretty much Pizza Huts all over the world.  Other than a few topping differences, the style of crust and sauce is pretty much the same at any Pizza Hut, no matter where you go.  This pizza has a very similar crust, so I imagine that the makers of this pizza figured that Pizza Hut is the way American's like their pizza.  The problem I've found about "styles of pizza" is that in the USA, it's very regional.  In Chicago you get a deep dish, New York seems to have a fluffy crust, and California likes their crust thin.  So what I'm saying is, you can pretty make any kind of pizza you want, say it's "American style", and somewhere in the USA you would be right.


Stuff I Want To Try

Seattle Manju  - Nihonmachi - It's great to see people making these traditional treats all over the world. - Click here to learn more about this treat.


This Week In Candy

Candy News - The heat is pretty much all of the news this week.  All over the world new heat records are being set, so what does that have to do with candy?  Well first of all with high heat records, ice cream is really the business to be in right now.  I imagine that Ben and Jerry's, Haagen Dazs, and Baskin Robins will have a pretty good year.  But I also want to point out that there are a few candy companies in the world trying to work greener, and trying to keep the world a little cooler for future generation.  I wonder if any ice cream companies would go green to help stop global warming?

What's Happening At Candy Critic - All this weeks we're going to feature an American food... well a food that Europeans feel is American.  Last week I went shopping at our local Lidl grocery store where they had an American themed sale.  I picked up a few things and I'll show you what I got.  Also, next week we're going to have a British Candy Review-a-Thon, to celebrate the opening ceremonies for the Olympic games in London.

Rant - The other night I was questioned about my ability to be a Candy Critic.  It was taken into question as to whether or not I had the proper training or skill set to do this job.  I've never been to culinary school, although I have taken a food science class in university.  I've never worked in a place that makes candy, distributes candy, and other than a brief stint in a comic shop that sold some candy as well, the retail end is fairly out of my experience range.  So, what then makes me qualified to review candy?  I'm not sure, the two things I can point out are my ability to write, take pictures, and present my feelings on the subject.  I also have a passion, a passion that goes well beyond many others (at least I imagine).  I don't just think about candy as a sweet fix, I love the look, the history, and the process of manufacturing candy.  I love how it's sold, I love how it's used in media, and I even love the controversy.


Monday's Candy Links

Kraft claims it can make a chocolate that is low calorie, great texture, and a long shelf life... wait a minute, does it taste good?

I can't tell you how many times I've seen inappropriate sweets tied into certain movies.  Cadbury India is doing a tie in with the new Batman movie, and all I want to say is congrats on using dark chocolate to represent the "Dark Knight", very clever.

According to a new scientific study, shape can affect the way things taste, but I don't know if I can buy that.  If that's the case, explain the poopularity of the Baby Ruth or the Oh Henry bar.

See's Candy is going to try and make the worlds largest 7000 lb lollipop. On that note, last week I posted about lindt trying to break a record as well, and apparently it worked.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Minty Review On This Hot Day

It's so hot out right now, I'm actually very happy to be sitting inside typing away at my computer instead of being out on a beach swimming. I was hoping these minty chocolates might cool me down, but chocolate mint only gives you a quick cool sensation in your mouth, that doesn't spread to the rest of your body.  Good thing these chocolates were kind of tasty.

On another note, today is a big celebratory day since it's "National Ice Cream Day", "National Gummy Worm Day", and even "National Tapioca Pudding Day".

Click here to read our latest minty review.


Friday, July 13, 2012

New Photos From Beware The Cheese

Our sister site, bewarethecheese.com, has just released a couple of new photographic prints for sale.
Both are full of gummy bear goodness, and both would look great hanging on your wall.

Click here to buy a poster, greeting card, or limited signed print of either of these photos, and help support Candy Critic, and Beware The Cheese.