Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Trailer for Recipe To Riches...

The folks at the Food Network Canada told me that this season of Recipe to Riches will tantalize my sweet tooth, and they assured me that any candy fanatic will love the "Candies and Chocolate" portion of the show.  While I can't disagree, I have to be honest, if they really want me to love the show more than any show in the history of television, I'm going to need samples of the winning recipes.


Old Candy Critic Articles - Chip Off

I've decided to take down several old articles from the and re-post them here on the Candy Critic blog.  This week I'm looking at plain old potato chips.
So many companies make the same flavours of potato chips, and I never feel ripped off about this. Certain brands excel at certain flavours, I’ll always go for the Mrs. Vickie’s "Sea Salt and Vinegar", and Lays used to make the best "Au Gratin" flavour ever. What I really want to know is: who makes the best chips; not the best flavour, but the best chips?

The plan is simple - go regular or go home. I just wanted to say that so it would appeal to the sporting demographic who might read this. This is my plan: I’m going to put plain chip against plain chip in an all-out battle, to once and for all answer the question that has plagued mankind since I thought of this…

Who makes the best plain chip?

Humpty Dumpty

For some reason, when I think of Humpty Dumpty I think of splattered egg. I should read fewer fairtales and think more snacks. I can’t explain the appeal of ripple chips. I guess they just feel good on the tongue. It’s like a getting a massage inside your mouth without doing anything obscene. If I were craving salt I may have been disappointed in these, but I am a big potato fan; I actually enjoy the taste of potato. I’ve been known to eat a plain baked potato for fun. These chips have that potato-like taste, and that’s good because I’m hoping they’re made from potatoes.


I see Lays has decided that plain isn’t good enough for them, they have to be “classic”. Well la-di-dah, I say! These chips are super thin. It's kind of cool because with all the oil they soak up, some of them are almost transparent. They’re a little saltier than some chips, but not too bad. If you’re craving salt and still like the flavour of potato (read above) then you’re in good shape with these. I also find that these chips are a little more blemished than others. I personally like the blemishes because it keeps the chips looking like real potatoes, but some may be grossed out by this.

Maple Leaf

I figure I had to buy these because I’m Canadian and these seemed to be a very “Canadian” themed bag of chips. This batch may have been overcooked or something, the first one I ate (really brown and spotty) seems to be affecting the rest of the bag. They say "regular" and they mean it. I barely taste any salt at all. The other problem is that the burned flavour really overpowers the potato taste, and either the whole bag tastes burnt or the first chip ruined it for the rest of them. Let me try some more…

The burnt flavour is gone and after carefully choosing a few chips that looked good I notice that the potato flavour is really low. In fact I think it's more oil flavour than potato or salt, and I’m not really cool with that.


Wednesday's Candy Links

We all know that Coca-Cola used to contain coke, but why did they take it out?

Do you like Pinball?  Do you like Skittles?  Well check out this machine.

The return of a classy high tea, including some great looking sweet treats.

It's your last day to apply to be be a space food tester... seriously.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Stuff I Want To Try

Mango Habanero Kettle Chips - Made by: Pinnacle Foods Group  - Why: Because chips don't have to be just potato. - Click here to learn more about this treat.


Are Free Samples Really a "Trend"?

I love free samples, in fact the number 1 reason I keep working on this site is the free samples, it sure as heck isn't the money it generates.  The two packages above are some free rusk cracker things I received while taking a walk around the Acropolis in Athens.  I don't review crackers or bread, but I'm sure as heck happy to get free samples.  I'm also fairly certain that I would not have tried these crunchy toast snacks had they not been given to me.  That basically means there is no way I would have ever even considered buying this product without the free sample.
Having said all of that, in the food industry there is a great deal of talk about if consumers do or do not react well to samples.  Really?.. Why in the world would people not react well to samples?  Here's some free _______, are you happy?  Taking away the free candy samples I get for this site, I have to say that samples are one of the driving forces behind me buying any new products.  If you give me something to try, and it's good, I will most likely buy it again in the future.  I'm convinced that the experts that say samples don't work, area people selling crappy products.  Sure you're putting yourself out there giving product away, but if you're not putting out something good, then you should be out of business, case closed.


Candy Art - A Place to Put Your Money

I'm not sure if everybody would agree that this candy themed wallet is art, but I'm sure most wouldn't argue that it's a great design.  In my mind art and design are really one in the same, so with that in mind I'm going to present this great looking candy wallet as art.  I'm also going to suggest that if anybody wants suggestions for my birthday (coming soon) that this candy wallet might just do the trick.


Tuesday's Candy Links

Is the ancient city of York in the UK really the "first town of chocolate"?

Are you eating candy?  Well according to the folks in the US capitol, it might be suspicious.

Buy a box of Girl Scout cookies for the troops overseas... Hey wait, I'm overseas, and I'd love some Girl Scout cookies.


Monday, February 27, 2012

This Week In Candy

Candy News - This week seems like a fairly slow week in the world of candy news.  I guess that's a good and bad thing.  We like a busy week in candy news because it makes it easy to fill up my daily links.  However a busy week can also mean a million e-mails clogging up our inbox.

What's Happening At Candy Critic - This year we at Candy Critic have gotten into the Lent spirit a little.  It's kind of a new thing for us, but it's proven to be fun and interesting. It's interesting to hear about how many different cultures celebrate Lent, and even more interesting to see how people choose to follow these rules.

Rant - One of the things I don't mention too often on this site is the importance of the environment when it relates to candy.  I read article after article all about how the environment effects the growth of sugar, cocoa, and many other ingredients in candy.  I also read about how these growers also effect the environment around them.  While I've never boycotted a candy company because of their environmental stance, I do like to give positive credit to companies that work positive environmental changes into their companies.

It's National Strawberry Day!

I'm not sure who thought of making February 27th national strawberry day, but I'm fairly sure it wasn't a strawberry farmer.  I'm not an expert, but isn't strawberry season a little ways away yet?  Maybe it was Australian strawberry farmers that came up with this?


Monday's Candy Links

The folks at the Today show know that a little sugar alone can't make you fat.

If you live in the Middle East (Dubai to be exact) and you want to blow a ton of dough on a box of chocolates, I have the perfect solution.

Serious Eats offers up 10 creative ideas to top your popcorn.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

I Still Love Basic Candies

When I tell people that my favorite candy is "something new and creative that I've never tried before", I don't want them to get the wrong idea.  I love traditional candies.  The thing I don't like is candy copycats of popular treats.  I still love the classics, and my goal in life if to try as many classic old fashion candies that I can.  Today's new review is a step in that direction.

Click here to read this classic review.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Candy Video - Britney Sells Candy In Japan

I may have posted this commercial before, but I'm not sure.  It's a great example of US celebrities doing commercials in foreign markets.  The thing that baffles me most about this commercial is the lady in background working on the laptop.  What is she doing, and why is she in this commercial?


Friday's Candy Links

I just heard that the television show Recipes to Riches is going to have a "Candies and Chocolate" category this year, listen up candy companies you might learn something new.

Check out Nestle's entrance into the fine chocolate world, it looks pretty good, but I think I have to taste it to be sure.

Sure you're happy about the mild winter this year, but that means less maple syrup, now are you happy?

Here's a behind the scenes look at Candy House, while they prepare for a big event.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Origins of Candy Bars

Last week we featured the Candy Critic Israeli candy review-a-thon.  I discovered some wonderful new treats, and some treats I'd like to forget as well.  I love trying new treats from all over the world, and I'm really lucky to have the opportunity.  There is however, one problem that keeps coming up whenever national pride mixes with candy.  There are many places all over the world who claim to have created many of the same treats.  I'm no candy historian, but I will often do a little research into these notions when I presented with them.  A fine example came up with the Israeli candy review-a-thon.  In particular it came up with the bars above.
Apparently there is an urban legend that these bars (very similar to Cadbury Flakes) came out before their Cadbury predecessor.  The legend says that an Israeli company made them and Cadbury bought the recipe from them.  This is a believable story in my book, after all Cadbury makes many treats, and I know that they didn't invent them all.  There are a few Canadian treats that I'm pretty sure were made by smaller candy companies when I was a kid.  This isn't to put down Cadbury at all, in fact if they buy great recipes and candy companies and continue to make the products as well as the original companies I'm very happy.  This kind of thinking allows more people to enjoy great treats that they may not have been available before. 
The thing that makes the urban legend of Cadbury buying this particular treat strange is that according to history provided by Cadbury, this treat was created in England at one of their factories.  So that leaves us with two potential stories, and divides two countries.  I've come across so many treats that people claim originates from their home country, but when you read the history it's not so clear.  Just ask my Swedish friends about the origin of the candy cane.  It's not that I take a particular side in the issue, it really means little to me as to where a particular treat originated.  I think more about where I tried it first, and the memories I got from tasting that particular treat.
The only worry this debate really causes me is the idea of a company making up a story in order to sell a candy.  I'm not accusing Cadbury of doing this at all, I just wonder how much of the candy world folklore is not real history and actually a sales pitch to try sell more candy.


Classic/Creative Candy Advertising - Green Is Good

In my continuing search for St Patrick's themed candy, I decided to look up St Patrick's candy advertisements up on Vintage Ad Browser.  I came up with nothing.  so I decided to look up "Green Candy" and this is what I got.  Well, it's a start.

You guessed it, I found this ad on Vintage Ad Browser.


Thursday's Candy Links

Over at Mental Floss, there is a great Cadbury Creme Egg discussion going on, well worth joining in.

How would you like a free chocolate bar, how about a whole case of them?

Do you think there are too many commercials aimed at kids, do you think commercials for candy and fast food directed at kids should be banned?


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Old Candy Critic Articles - Fair Treats

I've decided to take down several old articles from the and re-post them here on the Candy Critic blog.  This week I'm posting an article I wrote after a day at the county fair.  I love state, county, national, or any kind of carnival or fair.

On a hot summer day there is nothing better than to head off to the county fair. It doesn't really matter where you live, going out to support your local agricultural industry is important. Just remember that if it weren’t for farmers you wouldn't eat. They toil day and night working long hours so you can enjoy a quality of life that is so amazing. Going to a fair is important, because you not only support them by paying admission, but you also tell our farming friends that you know they work hard and give them their moment in the sun. You can do all this, and still ride the tilt-a-whirl so many times that you can't keep the corn dog and candy apple you ate down. That's why we live in a great society.

We here at Candy Critic decided to head down to our local fair (the Super Ex) here in Ottawa and pay tribute to what could be the most important resource in the world, carnival candy. We decided to take a look at three treats that we enjoyed at the fair and review them. We chose the treats based on their fair-like qualities. Mainly:

How exclusive they are to fairs or carnivals.

How traditional they are in our minds.

How close in proximity they were to the fishing game, because it's a winner every time.

Treat Number one

Beer Nuts

Beer nuts are what a fair is all about. I love these things. Best of all, I love the fact that I can take them home. Although they're not as good later on, I usually pick up a couple of packs for later in the week. Speaking of fresh, I think beer nuts, although tasty, might be one of the bigger scams in the carnival world. They always claim they're fresh, but they always come in a sealed bag. Sure they were probably made that day, but I doubt they were "just made" as most beer nut booths will claim. I can't prove them wrong, but it just seems unlikely.

The odd thing about beer nuts that I just can't figure out is: why do they call them beer nuts? They're candy-coated peanuts. They're really lumpy too, but candy coated nonetheless. Maybe they put beer in the candy coating to give it the unique flavour, but I don't really taste it. Maybe it's that they go well with beer.

Beer nuts are by far my favourite classic carnival food, I never go to one and not pick up a bag.

Treat Number two

Cotton Candy

I just recently learned that the average bag of cotton candy, or candy floss, has only two or three tablespoons of sugar. My question is: what makes up the rest of it? What I mean by this is that I'm pretty confident cotton candy is basically just sugar, colouring and air. I'm thinking there must be a lot of air, if this is the case. Not that it's a problem; I'm a great believer in candy negative space, what would an Aero bar be without the air? I've also had the fortune of eating some old candy floss after the air has leaked out, and it's not great.

The thing about candy floss is the texture. It is really the bread and butter of this treat. I've eaten some great flavoured candy floss, but for the most part it only has one flavour... Candy Floss. I judge my cotton candy by how fluffy it is and how colourful it is. Fluffy tells you how fresh it might be. If you get a rock hard ball, chances are it's been around for a while. Colour, on the other hand, is just a personal thing. To be honest, I'm always a little disappointed to see only pink and blue cotton candy when I buy it. I know they make more colours, but for some reason they just never seem to be available.

My batch today was nice and fresh; it also made my fingers super sticky.

Treat Number three

Mini Donuts

I don't know where you're from, but the mini donut thing is fairly new around my parts. I say fairly new because in the realm of carnivals, a confection that's around for less than 50 years is still pretty new. Most carnival treats have been around longer than just about anybody reading this article. Mini donuts are great. Covered in some kind of sugar flavoured powder, or in some cases just powdered sugar, it's a must on a trip to the fair.

The batch I tried on this particular day had to be one of the best I've ever had; so good that I would say it was the treat of the fair for me this year. Normally when I get these round treats, they're a little soft on the outside, but these ones had a bit of a crunch. A nice surprise if you ask me. Donuts work so well with a bit of a crunch, something I'd recommend anybody to try. Sure, being cake-like all around is ok, but crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside is really a nice change. I don't think most donut shops have the ability to create something like this and keep a good shelf-life so I don't blame them, but if you're making them fresh and you can't do this, you should be ashamed.

The surprise treat of the day. I liked it even more than my fresh, handmade corndog.


Wednesday's Candy Links

I know very little about Lent, but I do know that this list of "Pre-Lenten Treats" from Mental Floss looks really tasty.

Did you know that Little Debbie is a real person?  Neither did I.

While I never condone bribery in politics, I do know the value of a well place sweet treat.

I have to be honest, lately my brain has been a little stressed... Maybe some chocolate is in order.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Candy Art - Photo Realistic Paintings

 These paintings by Tjalf Sparnaay, are absolutely beautiful.
 They make my mouth water just looking at them.
It's interesting, but I find that many photo real painters turn to candy as their subject matter.  I think the colours and textures make for a good painting subjects.

Click here to check out Tjalf Sparnaay's website.


Tuesday's Candy Links

Many people like to Tweet, many people also love candy, here's the greatest way to make Twitter even better.

Gimbal's is giving away 100 lbs of candy, that's enough to consider sharing some with your friends.

There are two ways for you to get samples of new candies, start a candy website and hope it does well enough for a few candy companies to notice you, or join Zeke's Candy club.


Monday, February 20, 2012

This Week In Candy

Candy News - The big news this past week in the candy world is about Mars' decision to change the size of their bars in order limit the calories.  While I am totally for portion control as a way to limit calories and increase health, I just hope Mars doesn't do this wrong.  As I've written in many reviews, ratio in a chocolate bar, or any candy, is a very important factor.  When a company shrinks a treat they can sometimes destroy the ratio balance and therefore ruin the treat.  For example, if your bar is nougat covered in chocolate, if you shrink the nougat and keep the same thickness of chocolate, you'll ruin the subtle taste of the nougat with too much chocolate.  I'll be watching you Mars, you better do this right.

What's Happening At Candy Critic - We just finished a fun review-a-thon featuring treats from Israel.  It's funny, whenever someone sends me treats from a place I've never been, it always makes me want to go.  I think it's because so many countries, all over the world, have very unique ideas when it comes to candy.  When I taste these treats I'm interested in trying more, and exploring the candy stores, bakeries, and coffee shops for myself.

Rant - As I've mentioned before in this blog, I'm starting to get advertising and notices about Easter.  While getting them before Valentines Day is a little disturbing, I'm more than happy to take them in and I'll probably start a selection of Easter links on this blog.  Today I realized something, what about St Patrick's Day?  Why do so many holidays, many of which have no real connection to candy, get sweet treats, but not St Patrick's Day?  I'll be honest, I'm not even sure I know of any "Irish" candy.  So I want to find some uniquely Irish candy and try and celebrate the right way.


Monday's Candy Links

I never thought I'd find a relevant link on the Weather Channel's website to be posted here, but I guess climate plays a very important role in chocolate production.

Get to know the world famous chocolatier Jacques Torres also known as “Mr. Chocolate”.

Chocolate growers are fighting to keep fungi from destroying their crop, if this keeps up chocolate prices will only continue to go up.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Orange You Glad You Read This Post?...

This weeks review was sent to me by the fine people at Luden's. It's not the first time I've received cough drops in the mail, but it's the first time I've received cough drops in the mail and had a bunch of sick people all around me.  Needless to say that the folks at Luden's not only managed to get a nice little review on Candy Critic, but they also helped out a handful of people in need.  I haven't got this cold yet (you can read more about why in the review), but I've saved a few of these cough drops just in case.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Last Day Of The Israeli Candy Review-a-Thon

I have noticed that the entire week of reviews has been chocolate bars.  I've also noticed that many of these bars contain wafers.  I'm not saying that Israel only has wafer bars, frankly other than what people tell me I'm not really sure of the variety of bars available.  I can tell you however that the range of wafer bars available seems to be pretty good, with some great bars, and some not so great bars.

Click here to read the last review of our Israeli candy review-a-thon.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Candy Video - Edible Balloon?

I'm all for experimental foods, and trying new things, but I'm not sure if I'd pay money for this.


The Second Last Treat In Our Israeli Candy Review-a-Thon

Well Michal came through (after a little internet trouble) and fixed all of the translations on our past Israeli review-a-thon entries.  I have to admit that I had a really fun time trying to translate them, and in doing so, I discovered that some of these treats are actually available in North America (just in case you're tempted to try one yourself). I also have to say that I'm really proud of myself for getting a couple of them right.

Click here to check out the second last, and most creative, treat in our Israeli candy review-a-thon.


Friday's Candy Links

I can't resist watching candy makers do their thing, check out La Maison du Chocolat.

Jelly Belly themed board games are on their way, UNO and Apples to Apples planned.

Bazooka candy creates special edition ring pop for Superbowl winners.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Classic/Creative Candy Advertising - Guns and Chocolate

While I can't help but love the design of this package, I can't help but wonder why it has what appears to be gunshot holes all over it.


The Israeli Review-a-thon Is Great Fun

It's been an interesting challenge to attempt to get the names of these treats even close to right.  I've been re-assured that they're right when I look up a few of these treats online and find them for sale on Amazon.  Today's treat I'm fairly certain that I got the name wrong, but I haven't been able to figure out a few of the letters on the package and all I can get is the word "Spoon".

Click here to read the latest review in our Israeli candy review-a-thon.


It's National Almond Day!!!

"Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't.  Almond Joy has nuts, Mounds don't."  And the kind of nut in an Almond Joy?...


Thursday's Candy Links

Kelloggs bought Pringles for 2.7 billion, I wonder if they put the check at the bottom of a really tall can so it's hard to get at?

Planning a cross country USA road trip, here's a link that will guarantee you get to try all the local sweet treats.

"The psychology of cupcakes", social science you're OK in my book.

Tired of having to drink or eat your caffeine fix, well I've got the answer for you.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Stuff I Want To Try

OMG's milk and dark chocolate graham clusters mixed with diced almonds and crunchy toffee bits - Made by: OMG's (Chris and Larry of Clodhoppers fame) - Why: Because I love Clodhoppers so trying their new treat is a must. - Click here to learn more about this treat.


Old Candy Critic Articles - Some Of My Favorite Candy Toys

As I mentioned before, I've decided to take down several old articles from the and re-post them here on the Candy Critic blog.  This week I'm posting an article I wrote all about some of my candy themed merchandise that I had collected, many of these items I still have:
Throughout the years I've started a collection that I never really wanted. Every time I meet up with candy people or visit candy stores, people hand me cool little trinkets that are candy related. To be honest I rarely actually buy them myself, but for some reason I have a pretty big collection of these toys.

Rather than just let them sit on my basement shelf collecting dust, I figured I'd should show them off, some of them are pretty cool, some are down right terrifying.

Pre Chewed Gum Punk

This is one of the few candy related toys that I bought myself. I was curious about what pre chewed bubble gum was, and this little plastic head was a bonus... I guess. I tried the gum and it was basically just hard candy that turned into gum. The head's kind of cool though, I seem to remember there being several choices but I like to rock out like the next guy, so the punk was the way for me to go.

What else could I use if for?Maybe he could hold change in his head and I would have the most bad ass change purse in the whole world.

Nerd Lollypop

I have a love hate relationship with this particular toy. I love it because I'm truly convinced that it's based off me. It's a candy toy of a computer nerd with black thick-rimed glasses (when the site started that's what I sported) and an awkward brown hair cut (I still sport that). I hate this toy because it looks so much like me and it makes me feel bad about myself. It also implies that if you flip a switch on my back my head will open up and a lollypop will pop out. I assure you that the last part is probably not true, I say probably because I've never actually tried it.

It's a fun little toy that right now is staring at me and giving me the creeps, I think I'll put it away now.

Green M&M candy mini dispenser.

When they introduced the Green M&Ms girl to the M&Ms family I thought it was great, finally a little female representation in the candy world. Then I realised that she was made sexy to represent the urban legend about what green M&M's do to men, again I wasn't complaining. What I do have against this candy dispenser is this, it doesn’t really hold that many M&Ms. Sure it looks sexy and tells the world that women are just as good at selling candy to the world as men, but I can only fit about 8 M&Ms into this toy, and 8 M&Ms is not enough to satisfy me.

Egg laying chicken

It’s natural, an animal willing to not only give birth but also share it’s life blood with millions to ensure our good health. It brings a tear to my eye. Now, take this wonder of life, make it out of plastic and windy bits, and rather than life coming from inside make it egg shaped gum. That about sums it up. Did I mention that it lade while it walked?

I can never really get the handle on the whole normal food and candy relationship. Yes I know candy if food, but really, why do they insist on making candy that looks like other foods? It can be gross, but I guess this is intriguing enough to make me want to eat it. Maybe it’s not the candy companies that should be checked out but the weirdos, like me, that keep eating these strange combinations.

Pez Dispensers

I have a pretty big collection of Pez dispensers, well it's not that big, but it's large enough. Although I love my various Sponge Bob Pez dispensers, I've decided to show you one that's pretty close to my heart.

This little truck is an original 1980's truck Pez dispenser. I know this because I bought it in the 80s and I loved it to death. It was, to me as a kid, the greatest idea ever. I toy truck that held my candy. Today I'm not really sure what makes Pez dispensers that appealing to collect, or why I get joy from spending a long time trying to fill them up, only to make the tasty candy inside slightly harder to get at.

Bubble Roll Message Maker

This toy takes two of my favourite childhood time wasters and throws them all together. When I was a kid I loved those label makers that would click out labels and I'd stick them everywhere. As a kid, I also liked chewing gum. This little toy let's me make the labels on gum so I can eat it when I'm done. It also makes sure that if I decide not to eat a piece of gum immediately, I can print my name on it and leave it around knowing that every person that comes by with the intent to eat it will think twice seeing my name on it.


They Call It "Hump Day" but I Call It Another Review Day

Of all of the reviews that I've done for this Israeli review-a-thon, so far, this is the bar that I would love to eat again most of all.  I don't want to give too much away on this review, but I'm considering trying to get my hands on a whole case of these.

Click here to read about this awesome bar in our Israeli candy review-a-thon.


It's National Gum Drop Day!

Gum drops are in my mind the original gummy treat.  Gummies, such as gummy bears, really didn't hit it off until the 1980s, where gum drops have been around for generations.  The textures are a little different, but the basic ingredients and idea are pretty much the same.


Wednesday's Candy Links

Mental Floss answers a question I've had for many years now, which came first orange the colour or orange the fruit?

Chocolate and Cheese together, is this a good idea?  I guess they're both a kind of dairy product.

Check out some great M&M pieces at the Museum of Chocolate Art.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I Don't Understand The Song "Animal Crackers In My Soup".

 When I was a kid I used to have an Anne Murray record for kids. One of my favorite tracks from this record was "Animal Crackers in my Soup".  I never got the words right when I tried to sing it, generally mixing up the animals, but I loved this song.  I think the main reason I love this song is because I really love animal crackers.
 The problem is, now that I've grown up a little I've realized how much I really don't want these cookies in my soup.  The song is fun, but I don't really understand who would want to put cookies in their soup, it sounds kind of gross.  It got me thinking, was there a time when "Animal Crackers" were actually savory like crackers, and not sweet like cookies?
I did a little research and it appears that there have been many different  recipes for these cookies/crackers since they first started to appear in the late 19th century.  Almost every piece I've read on the subject used the words cookies, crackers, and biscuits interchangeably though.  All of them would also describe the cookies as "sweetened".  So I'm not sure what has changed, did these crackers used to be less sweet, or did people once have a taste for sweet crackers in savory soups?


Candy Art - Music Is Art Too

I sent a message out to some friends about finding me some candy related art.  My friend Jesse send me this track and reminded me that music is art as well.


Bonus Valentines Treat For Me Means Bonus Valentines Review For You

 After combing the Athens streets for a great Valentines Day review I have to admit that I found very little that interested me.  Sure there were the classic boxes of chocolates and foil covered hearts, but I've reviewed so many of those kinds of treats already.  I thought that maybe I would just skip a special review for Valentines Day this year, but then a Valentines Day miracle happened.
In this morning's mail I came across a strange package.  Inside this package was a note:
"Happy Valentines Day  
and two special edition Ring Pop Hearts.  Fortunately there was more on the back of the note explaining that it was a gift from the folks @bazookacandy and Allison should not be jealous.  So because of the kind people at Bazooka UK, I get a nice little treat, and a great Valentines Day review.

Click here to read the review.


It's Number 3 In This Weeks Israeli Candy Review-a-Thon

So far, I have to say that Israeli candy is very diverse.  I love some of it, and some of it... well you can read today's review.  I can't say that I've tasted anything shockingly gross so far, but I can say that I've tasted a few treats that aren't to exceptional.  The good news is, most of the treats I have tried are good, some even very good.  I'm glad I have this opportunity to check out an un-explored (for me) candy market.

Click here to read today's addition to the Israeli candy review-a-thon.


Happy Valentines Day!!!

Can you feel the love?  The chocolate covered, candy coated, lightly dusted with powdered sugar love?


Tuesday's Candy Links

Serious Eats has a great behind the scene tour of Klee's Chocolate in New York City.

Ever wanted to know the history of Bakers Chocolate of Jello?  Or better yet, did you want to know the story in two short paragraphs?

I'm thinking of making an art piece with some candy, maybe someone might be willing to donate some treats for my cause (Seriously I am).

More good health news about chocolate, so you can now pig out.

One last Valentines Dayish type link, it's about a candy factory in the UK where more than a 5th of the employees are couples.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Stuff I Want To Try

Chocolate Créme Twinkies - Made by: Hostess - Why: They're not new, they're just not going anywhere now. - Click here to learn more about this treat.


Green And Blacks Gives Up a Special Recipe

The folks at Green and Black's have been posting all kinds romantic recipies on their website to help people celebrate Valentines Day the sweetest way possible.  They've even sent me one of their favorite recipies that they tell me will guarantee a kiss from my Valentine... Well they didn't guarantee me anything, but I sure hope it works.

Green & Black’s Organic Amaretto-Almond Fondue

1 100g Green & Black’s Milk Chocolate and Almond bar
1/8 cup plus 1 tablespoon Water
2 tablespoons Amaretto

Conventional method
Break the chocolate into small pieces and blend in a food processor to break up the whole almonds. The chocolate should resemble breadcrumbs. Put in a saucepan with the water.
Over low heat, stir with a small wire whisk until ingredients are smooth and combined.
Add the Amaretto and stir.
If the resulting sauce is too thick, add a few drops of water and whisk to blend.
Serve with desired fruit and nuts.
If fondue becomes cool and thick, microwave for 10 seconds and stir. Repeat if necessary.

Break the chocolate into small pieces and blend in a food processor to break up the whole almonds. Place in a heat-safe bowl with the water.
In a microwave, melt chocolate in 10-20 second intervals, whisking in between.
Do this until blended and warm.
Suggested dippables: Strawberries, peach slices, grapes and almonds.
Makes: 2-3 servings

Recipe courtesy of Green & Black’s Organic
Valentine’s Day 2012


This Week In Candy

Candy News -  It's the Valentines Day week, so that means lots of people will be giving their sweety something sweet.  Now don't get me wrong, I love a good tradition. The thing is, I love a great unconventional Valentines Day gift myself.  This particular holiday gives you so many opportunities to be creative and it also gives candy companies that opportunity too.  Some candy companies have jumped on this, but many still insist that a heart shaped box of chocolates is good enough.  I think considering many people agree that Valentines Day is a "made up holiday", I think you're really wasting your time by not making it your own.

What's Happening At Candy Critic -  Well this week we're having an Israeli candy review-a-thon, which is proving to be very challenging.  It's challenging because we're just getting used to the new format of the webpage, but it's also challenging because of the package labels.  I'm doing my best with some help from Wikipedia and Google Translate, and then some friends are also contributing a little too.

Rant -  I don't want to give candy companies the idea that I don't want to know about their new treats.  It's very much the opposite, I love hearing about new treats, candy news, and I particularly like samples.  I just like to tackle one holiday at a time, and I'm starting to get Easter advertising already.  It's not that I can't organize myself, I'm just not in the Easter spirit yet.  This means if you're sending me information about Easter treats right now, I'm not really inclined to write about them.  Maybe next week would be better, but then you're starting to encroach on my birthday... hint... hint.


The Second Israeli Bar Review In Our Review-a-Thon

Yesterday I had a few changes in the translation of the bar.  Fortunately I have some readers that are always nice enough to show me the way.  I should mention that if you see a spelling, or translation mistake anywhere on this page, I'd be very thankful if you pointed it out.  Not only do I not speak every language on earth, but I'm also bad at spelling and grammar at the best of times.

Click here to read the latest review.


Monday's Candy Links

Don't eat that!.. Jaggery candy recalled in California and Washington.

Kraft signed a deal to make some of their treats in an ice cream form, I'm looking forward to the Toblerone ice cream treat.

NPR's Diane Rehm has a great episode of here show on the subject of "Environmental Outlook: Saving Chocolate".

Can't buy astronaut ice cream in your neck of the woods?  Don't worry the folks at Craft Zine have you covered.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Part 1 of Our Israeli Review-a-Thon

The first thing I should point out is my complete inability to translate the names of these candies.  If you happen to notice a problem, please let me know.  On the flip side, if you happen to notice that the names of these treats is correct, some heavy duty praise would be nice too.  I have to say that I'm having a really good time with these bars, some are really surprising, in both the good and bad way.

Click here to read the review of our first treat in our Israeli review-a-thon.