Monday, February 28, 2011

New Twinkie Flavours

There's going to be two new (temporary) Twinkie flavours on the way one with strawberry cream, and another with chocolate cream.  You can vote on your favorite and that flavour will stick.  Now I don't want to push any opinions, but if you don't vote for a chocolate Twinkie I will have no respect for you at all.

Click here to read about the new flavours.


New Chocolate Site

Check out the NCA's latest site that gives some of the greatest information on the chocolate and cocoa industry. It tells you where your chocolate comes from and how it gets into those bars we all love.


My Vacation (Part 1)

Well I just got back from a great vacation. Thanks to the internet I was able to post a few things here and there as well as pre-post a whole bunch of things.  But I didn't simply forget about the whole candy world, no I can't seem to get away from my love of sweet treats no matter where I visit.  So over the next few days I'm going to post some of my vacation candy finds.  The first stop on my trip was Brighton in the UK.
Brighton is known as a beach vacation town, and even though it was winter they still had all kinds of beach themed treats.  Take for example these marshmallow nude (or semi nude) sunbathers.  What could possibly leave you with better memories than these?
Being a beach town, particularly in the UK, the number of seagulls was exceptional.  The joke about buying a bag of seagull poop candy would have been a lot funnier had I not been sprayed half an hour before.
While on the Brighton Pier (a fun theme park/arcade) I came across this gambling like machine that gave out candy as its prize.  Since I generally suck at gambling I decided to give it a pass.
At the Brighton museum they had a small display about some of the treats that used to be available in this town.  Brighton has a great history of treats, games and general good times.  I personally wish some company would get nostalgic enough to use these bottles again.
I came across a cool little candy store called Cyber Candy.  They had all kinds of imported candies including a great selection of Canadian treats.  It made me feel proud to see the maple leaf on a box of Oh Henry bars.
To cap my day off I stopped at a local tea shop and picked up a "Billionaire Shortbread".  It's basically short bread covered in the finer things in life.  Thanks Brighton for the awesome sweet treat experience.


Coca-Cola Secret Recipe?

There is a rumor going around that a photo of some scraps of paper may contain the secret recipe that makes up Coca-Cola.  This isn't the first time this recipe has said to have surfaced in my lifetime and I'm sure it's also not the last.  My real question is, don't people already know how it's made?  I mean look at all of the "rip off" colas out there, some are pretty close if not exact.  I'm sure this isn't a huge mystery in the cola industry.

Click here to read more about the cola findings.


Check Out The Just Born Factory

Here's a quick little article (with a video) all about the fun little factory that makes Marshmallow Peeps.  I love watching candy get made almost as much as I love eating the stuff.

Click here to check out the video and read the article.


Thieves Steal a One Ton Candy Making Kettle

What kind of person steals a one ton candy kettle.  You pretty much can't do anything with it except make candy.  What has this world turned into?

Click here to read the news.


New York Ice Cream Haunts

It's probably a little cool right now in the Big Apple, but come this summer this list of ice cream shops in New York will probably serve many people well.  It's a pretty great list considering it has everything from the small simple shops to the high class shops.

Click here to read the list.


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Ninja's and Fruit

I mention it in the review several times but I think it's important to mention it again.  If you manage to combine fruit flavoured candy and Ninjas into one sweet treat package, you can pretty much guarantee that I'll write a review about it.  You can also guarantee that I will dwell on this combination for a very long time.

Click here to read the review.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Crazy Chinese Popcorn Maker

The video doesn't give this much justice, so I'll give you a little description as well.  The machine that the guy is turning is full of popcorn kernels.  The kernels are sealed in that thing he's spinning around.  As they heat up they don't explode, because they're sealed with no air going in or out.  He heats them up to a certain temperature (or in his case for a certain amount of time) and then he puts the sealed container with hot kernels into a bag.  He then opens the container in the bag, allowing the kernels to expand, and every single kernel pops at the same time in a massive explosion.  This is so cool.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Little Candy History and Some Places to Get Some

Here's not only a list of some places to pick up sweet treats in the Columbia-Pacific region, but also a little history to make sure you know where it came from.

Click here to check it out.


Do They Still Make Bar None?

I have to be honest, I don't think I've ever tried a "Bar None", do they still make it?  I haven't come across one since starting this site, but that doesn't mean much, there are hundreds of treats I have yet to discover.

Ad found on Vintage Ad Browser.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Some Candy History in Utah

I just read a really interesting article about a candy family and their candy business in Utah.  It's a business that's been around for a really long time, and a business that's shaped the whole region.

Click here to read more.


Why Does My Mouth Water When I See Swirls

So many great treats feature swirls, so what makes them so tasty?

Click here to buy a poster, greeting card, or limited print of this photo.


Some Quick Chocolate Information

If you've been interested in baking with chocolate but still don't really understand the basics, this link should help you out.  It simply explains the basics of how chocolate is made, as well as a quick description of the different types of chocolate available.

Click here to read about chocolate.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hidden Boston Donut Shop

Serious Eats points us to what looks like one of those real hidden treasures, selling what looks like classic yummy donuts.  I figure most donuts in Boston should be pretty good, after all the city has a donut named after it.


When Chocolate Prices Might Go Up

Sure you got through Valentines Day fairly well, so what happened to this great "increase" in the price of chocolate?  Well just wait for Easter, because according to experts the chocolate you got on Valentines Day was from the previous stocks, before the price increase.  This Easter they're expecting to see a huge increase in the price of chocolate treats.

Click here to read more about this.


Modern Day Chocolatiers at Taza

I just read this article about a Chocolate making company known as Taza.  I can't say I've ever tried any of their treats, but I can say that I want to.

Click here to read about them.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Your Guide To High End Paris Chocolates

The New York Times has a great article highlighting the new generation of Paris chocolatier.  You know, if you ever find yourself in that neck of the woods.

Click here to check it out.


A Quick Cadbury History

If you find yourself enjoying a Dairy Milk bar, or maybe Crunchie bar, then maybe you might want to find out what lead to their creation.

Click here to read a little history about Cadbury.


Happy Presidents Day

The folks at Mars sent along some fun Presidential facts about how past American Presidents loved their chocolate.  So here's what they had to say:


Unknown to most, Chocolate has had a tangible connection with our forefathers.  Prominent figures in Colonial America like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin enjoyed chocolate on a regular basis. It was most commonly consumed as a beverage served during mealtimes, not like candy today.  In honor of our past presidents, share a part of history by recreating George Washington’s favorite drink with a recipe from The Historic Division of Mars!

Take a Quart of Milk, Chocolate without Sugar four ounces, fine Sugar as much fine Flour, or Starch, half a quarter of an Ounce, a little Salt: mix them, dissolve them, and boil them as before.

4 oz. whole milk (per serving)

1 oz. American Heritage Finely Grated Chocolate Drink (per serving)

Combine both ingredients in a straight-sided one quart sauce pan and bring them to a boil. When the chocolate is melted and well combined, take the pan off the heat.
Using a handheld immersion blender, agitate the hot liquid to achieve a foamy top. Alternately, put the hot mixture into a countertop blender. Press a dry towel down over the cover of a standing blender during mixing to prevent burns or possible injury. Serve immediately.

While residing in Mt. Vernon, George and Martha Washington were well-documented lovers of chocolate. In a letter to his agent, Washington wrote, “She will…thank you to get 20lbs of the shells of Cocoa nuts, if they can be had of the Chocolate makers.”  They enjoyed their chocolate in imported white and gold “Save” service and custom cups and saucers.

In 1785, Thomas Jefferson wrote that chocolate would prevail over coffee and tea in terms of American preferences, as it already had in Spain.

In 1794, Benjamin Franklin wrote that chocolate be a part of any provision when going into sea.  He also managed to secure 6 lbs of chocolate for every officer as a special supply during the French and Indian War."


So What Is This Mastiha Stuff?

Mastiha (or some might call it Mastika) is a special tree sap from a particular island in Greece.  The island is called Chios, and the sap from these trees can be used for adding flavor to many different treats such as ice cream, Turkish delight, and even gum.  Some believe that this waxy resin is a cure all as well, it's said to help with about a million different ailments.  But to get the real Mastiha experience you have to chew it in the pure crystal form.
So that's what I did.  I picked up a little bag of these crystals, and they're not cheap, a few grams cost me two and a half Euros (that's about 4 or 5 American dollars).  The best way to describe the straight sap flavour wise is to compare it to Buckley's cough syrup, or at the very least it's what you might expect to taste if you decided to make out with a pine tree.  It's not that pleasant, although a lot more mild than Buckley's.  The thing is I can imagine some people liking these, they're not sweet at all, and I can see developing a taste for this stuff.  It might take me a little while to build such a taste, but I think I'm going to give it a try.  So this is blog one of my experience trying to develop a taste for Mastiha.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Taking A Bit of A Break

For the next few days you might notice a few less blog posts here at Candy Critic.  I'm taking a little time off writing for the next few days, it's not that I won't be posting any blogs, I just might cut down the number of posts for a week or two.


TCHO Has Even More Gadgets

It's no doubt that one of TCHO's founders was also a founder of Wired magazine.  Recently the founder said that he was able to control all of the automatic features of his plant from his iPhone.  Well they've taken this one step further, in the near future you'll be able to interact with the factory as well.  I'm sure you won't have full control, but it looks like you'll get a real inside scoop into the chocolate making business.

Click here to read more about this advancement.


Candy Master

I don't like to throw around the word "Candy Master" but the lady in this video truly is one of those.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Two Interesting Articles About How Great Chocolate Is For You

I'm thinking with all of the articles written about how great chocolate is for you, that I should maybe start a blog that simply talks about the health benefits of cocoa and chocolate.  Maybe I could call it, "Chocolate, it'll treat your right" or "Let me tell you something about chocolate".

Click here to read about the chocolate health compounds.

Click here to find out why chocolate is a "Super Food".


Man Buys Candy Business, Man Is Happy Now

I read so many stories about people who aren't happy with their lives and then one day they decide to get into the candy business, and things get better.  I'm not saying that getting into the candy business is the cure all answer for everybody, but if you're feeling down, think about it.

Click here to read a really nice story.


Do Chefs Inspire Candy, Or Does Candy Inspire Chefs?

According to the article below, candy inspires chefs.  There's a suggestion in the article that there are many baked goods in this world that wouldn't exist if it wasn't for certain candy bars and treats.  I'm convinced cakes and pastries, are in a fun creative dance with the candy world.  They bounce ideas off of each other, creating the fun world where I like to say I live.

Click here to read more.


I'm Obsessed With Popcorn Machines

I'm not just talking about basic popcorn machines that you find at home, but popcorn vending machines.  In North America I can't honestly say that I'd ever seen one, but in Japan and here in Europe you can occasionally come across one.  Each one I've seen is unique and each one pops the corn while you wait.

Ad found on Vintage Ad Browser.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Best Chocolate Museums

Why have I not visited one place on this list.  I've been to a few chocolate and candy museums in my time, but not one of these places.  I'm kind of sad, and I feel like I may have wasted my vacations up until this point in my life.

Click here to see the list.


Don't Vote For What You Like

In the new Doritos poll, they're not asking what you like, they're asking what you don't like.  They have two new flavours and they want to know which one sucks.

Click here to read more about the poll.


Next Generation Candy Maker

I just read about Canaan Smith, a young, only in grade school, entrepreneur in the candy business.  Sick of only having one flavour of marshmallow to eat, he decided to learn how to make other flavours, then he decided to sell them.  Now he has his own business and is apparently doing very well.

Click here to read more about Canaan Smith.


Cones With Marshmallow

While I really love the look of marshmallow filled cones, I have to be honest, the texture creeps me out a bit.  Fortunately this is just a photo, so I don't have to eat it.

Click here to buy a poster, greeting card, or limited print of this photo.


The One Million Dollar Lollipop

My only question about this "One Million Dollar Lollipop", is why Kim Kardashian gets to have it.  Sure I think I deserve it a little in a self centered way, but I also think that I've done a lot for the candy world.  Sure she's a fine actress, and she seems like a nice lady, but what has she done to support the candy world?  If Ms. Kardashian is reading this (like that would ever happen), I'm begging you, can I just taste it, I'll lick from a part that you haven't licked yet, and I'll  clean it off when I'm done.

Click here to read more about this lollipop.


Dove Parties Are Like Tupperware Parties Only Better

I just finished reading an interesting article about a woman who helps people love chocolate.  Sure she also helps people sell chocolate too, but frankly I have no problem with chocolate sales people.  It's really interesting to see how people fall into the world of chocolate, and this woman has a story to tell.

Click here to read about Pat Hansen, chocolate sales lady.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Vending Machine Security

I just read an interesting article about theft from vending machines and some of the new technologies being designed to deal with it.  When I first read the headline "Vending Machines Try Electronic Self-Defense", I had visions of vending machines that would actually fight back.  Unfortunately we're not at that stage yet, but who knows what the future has in store.

Click here to read the article.


Cool Movie Inspired Cakes

Mental floss has a collection of 10 awesome movie themed cakes.  I've noticed a new trend in overly fancy statue like cakes as of recent.  I have to say that although they look impressive, I'm skeptical about how good they taste.  I figure that most of the form of these cakes is made up of marzipan, and although marzipan can be tasty, too much ruins any cake.

Click here to check out the list.


Fun Food Logos

On top of photographing and writing about candy, I also have a strange interest in food logos, food advertising, and especially food mascots.  I came across these two older Greek mascots (at least I think they're Greek) while venturing to IKEA the other day.
This first guy is really cool.  This strawberry is one giddy dude.
I've seen this logo around a little, but from what I can understand it's been replaced.  The replacement logo looks almost identical to the logo for Lay's chips.  I imagine this happened because Lay's might have bought out Tasty?  That's a shame, because this smiley guy with the comb over is really cool.


M&M Pretzels Are Winning Awards

The best thing about M&M Pretzels is that it appears they're not going to take them off of the market any time soon.  They're pretty tasty, but when I first tried them out I figured they would be a limited time treat and that I'd soon get e-mails from people disappointed that they stopped making them.  So good job M&M's keep up the good work!

Click here to read about the award.


Two Phoenix Candy Stores Go Face To Face

I think this is a clever idea, pit two candy stores against each other to see which one is the best store.  You'd have to make a list of criteria, and have neutral judges, but I can see a TV show theme.  You could have this competition world wide, like a tournament, eventually ending with the best candy store in the whole world.

Click here to read about the two stores in Phoenix.


Coffee Cherry

As you may or may not know, coffee actually comes from a fruit.  The part you use to make coffee is really just the pit in the middle of this fruit.  So the folks at Serious Eats wondered what the fruit tastes like.  I have a similar wonder about cocoa.  The part that makes chocolate is also just the pit in the middle of a large fruit.  I've been told that the cocoa fruit has a slight chocolate taste, but I want to know for myself.  One day it will happen.

For now you can read all about the fruit from a coffee bean.


Go Like OREO

Oreo is trying to break a world record. In one day they want as many people as they can to like their Facebook page.  It's happening today so go sign in and be a part of history, or at the very least "like" a cookie.

Click here to read more.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Daily Sugar

Melt some hearts in a hurry with these beautiful foil wrapped gianduja-filled milk and dark chocolate hearts:
Daily Sugar provided by The Candy Store

Happy Valentines Day!

I'm not going to be posting today so I can hang out with my special girl.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Daily Sugar

Spend Sunday with some sweet friends, Gummi Bears
Daily Sugar provided by The Candy Store

Love-ly Candy Review

I have a confession to make, I posted this review several days ago but I'm only now telling you.  I figure if we are to have an internet relationship it's important that I tell the truth.  I posted it because I know for a fact that today (the day you're reading this) I will have no access to the internet at all.  So rather than post it later, which wouldn't make much sense since it's Valentines related, I would post it early and just set this blog entry to go up later.

Click here to read the review.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Daily Sugar

Make this one your toughest choice this weekend: which Michel Cluizel chocolate tasting square to have first?
Daily Sugar provided by The Candy Store

Friday, February 11, 2011

Barry Callebaut Is Improving Chocolate

According to the article bellow, Barry Callebaut has come up with a way of making chocolate even better through a fermentation process.  I don't really care that much about the details, but the end result sounds fantastic.

Click here if you want to learn about the details.


Places To Get Valentines Treats In Rochester

Here's a quick list of places to pick up last minute treats in Rochester.  Fortunately the treats look and sound good enough that the person you're buying them for should have no clue that you waited till the last minute.

Click here to read the list of places.


Still Trying to Decide What To Get That Special Someone?

Sure lots of people would say that your lazy, but maybe that's not true.  Maybe the fact that you haven't bought anything for that special someone yet isn't lazy, but instead it's been a case of indecision.   In that case this link should help you out.

Click here to get some help.


Cadbury Is Giving To Fairtrade

I've mentioned before in this blog that Cadbury's Dairy Milk bar is now going to be made using fairtrade cocoa. However, Cadbury isn't just stopping there, to celebrate "Fairtrade for the fortnight" Cadbury is also going to donate 20% of the profits from Dairy Milk to farmers in Ghana.

Click here and then go get a Dairy Milk Bar.


Super Bowl Candy Commercial Roundup

I have to be honest, this year I really didn't laugh that much while watching any of the Super Bowl commercials this year.  Sure many of them where strange, even a little bone chillingly gross, but nothing that made me giggle uncontrollably.

The Snickers spot was the one I was looking most forward to, so it was the one to disappoint most.  It's pretty much the same joke as last year with a new set up and new actors.  I wonder which one of these guys will get to host SNL now?

This Doritos ad was OK, but the ending was predictable.

This ad although very strange didn't make me laugh, instead it made me fear co-workers a little.

While not for a candy company, this ad does mention candy in the title and the candy store shows looks really yummy.


Daily Sugar

We're celebrating the end of the week by cracking into some wine gums!

Daily Sugar provided by The Candy Store

Florida Treat Finds

I came across this list of places in Florida to pick up some treats, so I thought I'd pass it along.  While browsing this list I discovered a creation made by "Sprinkles Custom Cakes" called the "Cake Shooter".  It's a brilliant way to get your cake.

Click here to see the list and check out these "Cake Shooters".


West Michigan, You Are So Prepared

I came across this article about how stores in West Michigan are preparing for what they expect to be a serious rush this weekend for Valentines Day.  Chances are it's going to be a feeding frenzy of last minute Valentines shoppers hoping to get last minute gifts, in Michigan and all over the world.

Click here for some last minute advise, particularly if you live in West Michigan.


Happy National Peppermint Patty Day

I wonder if Peppermint Patties where Charles Schultz' favourite treat?


Does Chocolate Make You Happy

My friend Mike just sent me an article that talks about the health benefits of chocolate.  The difference is this article focuses on the mental health benefits of chocolate instead of the physical.  I'd like to say that I'm proof of the positive effects of chocolate on mental health but frankly I have issues.

Click here to read the article.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Chicago's Candy Past

The AV Club in Chicago has a great interview with a historian that has a sweet tooth for Chicago.  Few people, with the exception of Leslie Goddard the historian, know how important Chicago was and still is in the candy business.

Click here to read the interview.


The 25 Thousand Dollar Sundae, Amongst Others

"Friends Eat" has posted a list of some of the most expensive, over the top, foods one can buy.  Included in this list is the super huge Gingerbread House from Dylan's and the 25 thousand dollar sundae.

Click here to check out the list.


Marzipan Entrails

Why not skip the normal chocolate in a heart shaped box this year, and go with something a little different?  Why not give the one you love something creative, something real.  Why not give them realist marzipan entrails instead?

Click here to check out a Boing Boing post "Marzipan Entrails".


Going Green

I just read two articles talking about how candy makers are able to improve the environment while still making great tasting treats.  The first is an article about Kraft's new plan to make "Dad's Oatmeal Cookies" green in their production.  The second is on a company that figures it's even nicer for Valentines Day to give someone a treat that is good for the earth and all of the people on it.

Click here to read about "Dad's" new green cookies.

Click here to read about a green Valentines Day.


Daily Sugar

Get back basics with a sugary soft favourite: gum drops!
Daily Sugar provided by The Candy Store

Lots Of Creepy Smiling Girls For Valentines Day

I'm thinking that this ad is supposed to be some kind of warning to men not to forget about Valentines day in a cute sweet way.  The thing is, it's not really that sweet at all.  This ad comes across, to me at least, as creepy and nagging more than sweet.

Ad found on Vintage Ad Browser.


Why Do We Give People Candy On Valentines Day?

I'm glad you asked, because I've found a nice article that gives us a few theories to answer this question.

Click here to read about the history of candy on Valentines Day.


Today Is National Cream Cheese Brownie Day

I can't say I've ever tried a "Cream Cheese Brownie", nor do I know anybody who makes them.  The idea sounds yummy though.


Strange Way To Say I Love You

Mental Floss has compiled a list of the 10 strangest sayings ever found on a candy heart.  I'm a little suprised that the folks that make candy hearts don't have a customize your treat function on their web site.  M&Ms do it and it seems fairly popular.  If I could customize my hearts I'm sure the first few ideas I'd get would be silly and obscene.

Click here to read the list.


Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Valentines In Hartford Connecticut

Valentine's Day is coming, if you live in Hartford and you still haven't picked up the perfect chocolate gift for someone, here's a list of a couple of places that will probably set you up.

Click here to see a list of chocolate places in Hartford.


Good For Valentines Day, And Good For The Earth

If you're looking to buy your loved one a special candy gift this year, but you also want it to be a gift of good conscience then I've got a list for you. Best of all this list is made up of treats that you can buy just about anywhere... for reasonable prices too.

Click here to see a list of "5 sustainable chocolates for Valentine's Day from the grocery store."


Mixing Wine and Chocolate

Most people would agree that the best wine to go with chocolate is a red wine.  The thing is, there are many varieties of red wine available, each with a different taste.  So the question goes on, which red wine goes best with a box of chocolates?

Click here to get a little help with this problem.


Daily Sugar

Make your Wednesday a little fruitier with Fruit Shaker bubble gum! Strawberry, grape, watermelon, lemon, orange....decisions, decisions!
Daily Sugar provided by The Candy Store

Valentines Day Is Close

Love is in the air.


Lindt Has More Than Just Chocolate This Year

Last week I posted a link to a list of Valentines treats available this year from Lindt, however that's not all they have to offer.  This year, it looks like Lindt is pulling out all of the stops and offering a whole bunch of online gadgets and widgets to make your holiday just right.  My personal favorite is the "Indulgence" tab they've designed for Facebook that tells all of your friends and family what treat might make your Valentines Day.

Click here to check out the list of cool online features.


Tuesday, February 08, 2011

More Good News About Candy

Here's some more information about how cocoa is good for you.  In particular this article focuses on the cardiovascular system, and how cocoa makes it work just a little better.

Click here and learn.


M&M's Have Such An Advantage Over The Holidays

When it comes to holiday candy gift giving M&M's have really put themselves into a great position.  They have a candy that can come in any colour imaginable, to suit any holiday theme (even sporting events).  They also now have the technology to print things on each individual candy, so they can customize for a particular person as well.  Although I wouldn't call M&Ms the classiest treat available for Valentines Day, you can make up for the lack of class with a whole lot of personal cuteness.

Click here to check out some of their Valentines Day offerings.


Church Offers Chocolate Fest, Including Chocolate Chili

In Rock Hill a local church had it's annual chocolate fest for charity and one of their most popular dishes was chocolate chili.  Apparently people line up early on to make sure they get a bowl of this cocoa delight.  I can see it working as well.  Many Mexican dishes traditionally had (and in some cases still have) chocolate in them.  Apparently a chocolate guacamole is something we all must try, according to some Spanish friends of mine.

Click here to read about the church event and the chocolate chili.


Dylan's Candy Bar Is Expanding!

One of my favorite candy stores is opening a new location in California.  This is great news and I wish them the best.  But Ms. Dylan... If you could see it in your heart to open another location in my neighborhood, I'd be very grateful.

Click here to read about the new location.


Some Truths About Sugar In Our Diet

So often people tell me that candy is the ultimate evil when it comes to food.  They tell me that candy is responsible for obesity in our culture and for all of our health problems.  Well I disagree, from what I understand, many of the problems with healthy eating in society come from other foods.  Sugar is an issue, but not in candy, the problem is hidden sugars found in what we assume to be healthy foods.  Check a few packages in your kitchen and you'll be surprised how often you find sugar in everyday foods.  So lay off candy for a little way, OK, at least the candy industry is fairly honest.

Click here to read an article on the subject.


Sad Little Gummy Teeth

The other day, walking down the street, I trip on a set of gummy teeth.  It was kind of pathetic to know that some poor child was enjoying a fun snack and accidentally dropped it on the ground.  Sure he could have picked it up, but he probably couldn't get it up fast enough for the 2 second rule.  So somewhere in Athens is a poor sad little child, with one less set of teeth to chew on.


Make Your Own Sushi... Kind Of.

My friend Leba found this movie and sent it my way.  I think it can be best described as horribly wonderful.


Monday, February 07, 2011

Hey Folks!

Long time friend of the Candy Critic and famous cartoon artists Brent and Jens just released a new comic book called “Demon Graphics”.  Sure it’s a little NSFW, but it’s a good larf.

Click here to order your own copy.


Hey New Yorkers, Do You Have Plans For This Saturday?

Well cancel them, unless you had planned to go to the Star Wars/candy extravaganza happening at Dylan's Candy bar.  There's going to be all kinds of Star Wars candy stuff going on, and I can't be there, and that's making me a little sad.  If you can make it, say hello to a Wookie for me and munch a few M&Ms too.

Click here to read more about the event.


The Future of Packaging

I normally don't like to focus too much on packaging trends, but this one I just couldn't pass up.  Apparently there's a new technology that allows packages themselves to light up.  The electricity is run through the shelf to the package, thus allowing it to light up.  I can only imagine how cool a candy shelf would look if it could glow brightly.

Click here to check out the results.


Lord of the Rings Meets Ring Pops

Do you know that special someone that love J.R. Tolkien, as much as he or she loves Ring Pops?  Well next time you have to get this person a birthday gift have I got a suggestion for you.

Click here for the sellers website.


Interesting Candy Event In San Fransisco

If you find yourself in San Fransisco this Friday there's going to be, what looks like, and interesting chocolate event taking place.  All proceeds for the event go towards a good cause and it looks like you might just learn a little something about chocolate while you're there.

Click here to read more.


Greek Chocolate Donuts

In my quest to find the greatest baklava in all of Greece, I've discovered something pretty amazing.  I've discovered that Greeks make many more awesome baked treats, some I might even argue are better than traditional baklava.  Case in point are these deep fried donuts that Allison and I found one day while walking downtown.
They may simply appear to be standard donuts dripping in chocolate sauce, but there's so much more going on here.  First of all the chocolate sauce is spectacular, one of the best chocolate sauces I've ever tasted.  Secondly the donuts are super fluffy, more similar to a French Cruller in texture.  Finally the outside of this donut is crunchy, this is perfect because it keeps the whole donut from getting soggy with chocolate sauce.  Truly this is one of the great donut experiences I've ever tasted.



According to the article below due to the "recession" candy companies have admittedly shrunk the size of some of their treats.  Now I've been keeping up with the candy news, as you can tell from some of the posts on this blog, and I've been reading about candy companies making record profits recently.  They say that many companies are doing well because people are buying smaller indulgences (i.e. candy) because it's cheaper, during these hard times..  So higher profits, smaller treats, even higher profits, equals one ticked off Candy Critic.

Click here to read more.


Sunday, February 06, 2011

Super Bowl Review

Technically this review has nothing to do with the Super Bowl at all. In fact I actually did the review a while back before the Super Bowl was even in my mind.  Being in Europe right now, the Super Bowl really doesn't get that much attention.  I'm sure people are watching it, but it's not the big thing in the news.  Also with the time difference I don't think it's going to come on until midnight or later.  I'm a little sad about that because although I'm not a big football fan, I always liked watching the Super Bowl for the sheer spectical of it.  I guess I'll have to check the highlights tomorrow instead.

Click here to read the latest review.


Friday, February 04, 2011

Ronald Regan Memorial Jelly Belly Cake

I hope that when I turn 100 years old the folks at Jelly Belly put together a cake in my honor.  Actually forget about that, I hope that the folks at Jelly Belly put together a cake in my honor this year for my birthday, it's March 5th.  Heck, I'd be happy with a bag of Jelly Bellies for my birthday.

Click here to read about the Ronald Regan Cake.


Super Bowl News... Well Sort Of

I love this news piece by the Onion about this years Dorito Ad.  I only wish it where true, or at the very least I wish I could see the fake ad they had in mind.


The Super Bowl Is Coming

I have to be honest with you, I don't really follow football at all.  Now that I live in Europe, I don't even know what to call it.  That not to say that I don't like the Super Bowl.  The spectacle of the whole event is pretty cool, and the commercials are really fun.  This year I hope that I'm entertained during the commercial breaks with funny 30 second quips about out of date entertainers and freakish special effects.  I also hope I get invited to a party and that I'm fed well, however I think anybody that reads the first part of this blog is not likely to invite me to any Super Bowl party at all.

Click here to read about the new commercials expected from Mars.

Click here to check out a spectacular Super Bowl treat idea.


Are You In Richmond Virginia?

Are you in need of a sweet fix?  Well here's a list of the "best sweet shops" in all of Richmond.

Click here to see the list.


Science Is Learning More About Cocoa

According to a report (linked bellow) scientists are getting closer and closer to finding out specifically what part of cocoa is good for you.   In particular they're getting close to finding out exactly why cocoa might be good for your heart.  It's good for my heart only because it brings me great joy, and then I share this joy with the world.

Click here to read the report.


Candy Hearts Have Matured

I just read a news piece about a kid who came across a candy heart with a very obscene message printed on it.  Part of me is shocked that a candy company would do such a horrible thing, and wonders about inspection standards.  Part of me giggled at the idea of finding an obscene message on a candy heart.


The Carolina Chocolate Festival Starts Today

I'm pretty sure it's in North Carolina, but frankly I get the two confused.  I'm thinking there are two ways to find out for sure.  You can click on the link bellow, read a little, then look it up on Google Maps.  Or you can drive to the border between North and South Carolina and simply let the smell of chocolate guide you to the right place.

Click here if you want to try the first idea.


Thursday, February 03, 2011

A Couple of Lists Featuring Places To Buy Sweets For Valentines Day

The first list comes from "Food and Drink Digital".  It's more of an investigation into the Valentines Day prep for 3 huge candy companies that probably do most of their business this time of year.

Click here to check it out.

The second list from Epi-Log  is a list of lesser known candy shops that are making some pretty sweet offerings for Valentines Day.  It's kind of like a list of the best indie bands, except instead of bands it's candy shops and instead of music it's sweets.

Click here to check out this list.


Maltesers For A Good Cause

I always like it when candy companies decide to do some good, and I particularly like it when they make it fun for their fans as well.  Maltesers has a campaign to raise awareness for Comic Relief, and they want you to "raise your Malteser".

Click here to read more.


Cool Toblerone Display

I just got a look at the new Toblerone displays that they're planning on putting up at airports all over the place.  The artist in me loves the scale and detail, the candy fanatic in me wants to eat one of those giant bars.

Click here to check it out yourself.


Women Descends Into Chocolate Snob

One of my biggest battles as the Candy Critic is to avoid turning into a chocolate snob, or any other kind of food snob really. With all of the types of treats I try, I get a huge range in qualities of chocolate, and candies.  Sometimes I find myself starting to prefer a particular type, or some might say quality, of treat.  The thing that gets me out of the snob rut is my obsession with variety.  If you put 500lbs of the best chocolate in front of me, I'd get bored of it, and I'd crave something more original.

Click here to read one womens transformation into chocolate snobbishness.


Great Russian Food Ads

I love this collection of Russian food advertising, especially the sweet treat adds.  These ice cream bars look about as unappetizing as possible and I wonder, did the ice cream itself look better?

Chocolate Tasting In Indiana

If you happen to be at the Bloomington campus of IU (it's a nice place, I've been) then I highly recommend you check out the "Art of Chocolate" event taking place right now.  If you happen to be a student at IU and you don't know about the chocolate event, what kind of university student are you to not know about a chocolate extravaganza.

Click here to read more about the event.


Wednesday, February 02, 2011

A Few Words About Kissing From Dentyne

The folks at Dentine asked me to pass along the following information on making out:

"Do You Like to Do it in Public or Keep it Private?
The Great Kissing Debate: Public or Private?

Do you like to do it in public?  Or do you keep it behind closed doors?  Do you like to kiss in front of strangers?  Or does someone watching make you squirm?  Do you believe in the power of PDA?  Or do you believe kisses are better when no one else is around?  Most importantly, does your partner share your passionate perspective?

This Valentine’s Day, Dentyne is stirring up a sizzling controversy with The Great Kissing Debate:  Public or Private.  Dentyne Kissing Ambassadors, real-life couple Erin Bury and Kevin Oulds, pay more than lip service to this topic every day.  Erin, a social media sweetheart, is a proponent of the public kiss, while Kevin, who works in construction, believes it should be a private matter.  “A little PDA can go a long way,” says Erin.  “I don’t understand why it’s so shocking to kiss openly, as long as it’s not a full make-out session.”  Kevin adds, “I’m not uptight or anything, but those people who kiss in public are just showing off.  Everyone in the world can kiss, but why does the world need to watch?  Get a room.”

So where do Canadians stand on the snog?  A new national survey by Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted on behalf of Dentyne reveals that we can give our conservative image a kiss goodbye, as more than three-quarters of us (77 percent) say it’s okay to kiss in public.  And believe it or not, Ontario is the public kissing capital of Canada with 83 percent supporting the public kiss, while those in the Atlantic provinces are keeping it on the down low and are the least open to public kissing at 63 percent.

Practice Safe Breath™

Regardless of your public or private persuasion, it’s vitally important to Practice Safe Breath™.  The Dentyne survey revealed that 97 percent of Canadians believe that fresh breath is a must for a great kiss.  In fact, almost half of us (43 percent) have avoided a kiss – public or private – because of bad breath.  Guys take note:  51 percent of women avoided a kiss because of bad breath versus only 35 percent of men.  So this Valentine’s Day, flowers and candy might be nice, but bringing on your fresh breath may make you an action hero.

Are you getting yours?  The Dentyne survey uncovered that 34 percent of us are only giving one-to-three kisses a day; 16 percent of us are lip-locked four-to-six times a day; and nine percent of us are giving more-than-ten kisses a day.  That’s a whole lotta love, but sadly, there’s nine percent of us who don’t kiss our partner at all.

And apparently in Canada you don’t even need to be lovers to kiss:  43 percent of us frequently kiss our friends and acquaintances as part of our greeting, with women outnumbering men 50 percent to 35 percent.  And where you live plays a big role in this one too, with an astounding 68 percent of those in Quebec frequently kissing friends and acquaintances as part of a greeting, while only 24 percent of Albertans do the same.

He Says/She Says:  “To Kiss or Not to Kiss”
Leading up to Valentine’s Day weekend, as Erin and Kevin travel across Canada, they will share their passionate – and opposing – perspectives, and encourage Canadians to hook-up in The Great Kissing Debate at  Working with the Dentyne Kiss Crew, they will gather votes on the street via iPads, hand out free samples of Dentyne, and share some stimulating snogging spots in each city they visit.

Erin and Kevin will also debate how the rise of social networking accentuates the Public versus Private Debate.  In just a mouse click, your stolen moments are available for all the world to see.  Is it better to show your kiss online or to kiss openly offline?  “I actually think it's worse to post a photo of you kissing than to kiss on the street,” says Erin.  “On the street, it's a passionate, spontaneous moment, and it’s likely only strangers will see you.  On social networks, the magic is lost but the picture can last forever.”  Not surprisingly, Kevin disagrees:  “Out in public, it’s in your face, but on Facebook you can choose whether to click on it.”

Feeling Peck-ish?

The public/private debate is on!  Tell Dentyne* how you feel.  Register your vote on and get a free pack of gum so you’ll be ready for action."

Some interesting statistics, it makes me realize that my breath really stinks.