Monday, October 31, 2016

This (Spooky) Week In Candy

It's Halloween!!!

I'm sure all you ghouls and ghosts are getting ready for some trick or treating, either you're getting the candy or giving it out.  Either way you're probably going to eat a lot of sugar today (I know you sneak more candy than you give adults). Me, I'm not sure what I'm doing this year yet.  Likely I'll be giving out some candy, but I'm still not sure.  This year is a pretty great Halloween for me, being back in a country that celebrates this holiday after six years is pretty fun.  Even better is the fact that Allison and I got to celebrate Halloween twice, once tonight and once at Disney World's Not So Scary Halloween Party (You can read more about that here).

As for my impressions after being away for so many years.  For the most part I'm really happy, I'm happy to see that Halloween seems to be bigger than ever, and people are still giving out lots of fun (and mostly high quality) treats.  I'm glad that the "teal pumpkin" program exists, but I'm also happy that it hasn't taken over. My only compliant this year is flavours.  This year I went all out with Halloween candy, in order to immerse myself back into the North American way of doing up this holiday.  The one thing I found again and again (and you'll see this in my Halloween reviews this year) is that almost no candy companies are experimenting with Halloween flavours. I found so many "Halloween" candies that were simply the same candy that the company normally made, but with Halloween packaging. This is seriously disappointing as the Halloween flavour library is huge, and some of these flavours are very popular right now.  Don't get me wrong, I'm always happy to see classic treats in small packages for Halloween, but don't label it something it's not.  Unless you change the candy, and the candy is truly Halloween themed, don't give it a new identity.

After that little rant, this week at we'll be working on a few projects. First of all, later this week we'll be posting Junk Fud News for October 2016.  There's been a few interesting goings on this month, including a lot of fun Halloween shenanigans.  We'll also have our regular Candy In The Media and Candy Thing posting later this week right here on this blog.  We're also working on a few projects that we hope to start up in the weeks to come.

Review wise, we're finishing up our epic Halloween Candy Review-A-Thon with two more reviews today.  We're starting with one of the few bars that actually themed themselves to the holidays... at least a little.  Click here to find out if the Twix Ghost scared me or not.

Also, make sure to follow us on Facebook or Twitter to keep up with all the Halloween fun today.


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Monday, October 24, 2016

This Week In Candy

Holy cow, Halloween is coming fast. It feels like it was summer just a few days ago, and now the leaves are changing and the amount of candy for sale at my local grocery stores is insane. It's been a few years since I've lived in a country that really celebrates Halloween with such energy, and I've been caught up in the spirit of it all. This weekend Allison and I had to make a decision, do we give out candy or go out trick or treating. The reason we had to make the decision is that this weekend is really our last good opportunity to get a pumpkin to carve. Since we're still in the middle of our grand unpack, we decided that it's probably best to go out. We have a few ideas where to go, and if things work out we'll tell you all about it.

As for what's going on this week on, it's going to be a busy week. We're a little behind filming the last episode of In Hindsight, but we're still hoping to post it early this week. You can keep up with all of that by subscribing to our YouTube channel. We're also continuing our Halloween themed Candy Thing and Candy In The Media. I also hope to post an article about something that's really disappointed me this Halloween later this week.

We're also continuing our epic Halloween candy review-a-thon this week with lots of reviews going up throughout the week leading up to Halloween. This morning we posted the first of two entries from the folks at Just Born, they make Peeps.  I think we'll probably post the second one this afternoon. You can read the new Peeps review here, and you can keep up with our epic Halloween review-a-thon by following us on Facebook, Twitter, or by checking regularly here.


Friday, October 21, 2016

Candy In The Media

I'm way too out of touch to know who Chance the Rapper is, but I love his Kit Kat commercial.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

It's a New Episode of Junk Fud On The Road All About Disney World!!!

In this episode Chris and Allison talk about their epic 12 day adventure in Disney World (that's the one in Florida). It's a unique episode because it was recorded while driving back home after their trip.

For more episodes of Junk Fud you can check out our YouTube page, Soundcloud, or our webpage.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Hey Everybody, It's Episode 3 Of In Hindsight!

In this episode I look back at one of the most complex bars on the market, the Snicker's bar.


Monday, October 17, 2016

This Week In Candy

Look at this, for the first time since moving back to Canada, This Week In Candy is on time.  I know it's not a big deal for you guys out there in Internet land, but I'm pretty happy about it.  I'd like to say that things are finally settled in, but our sea shipment is supposed to arrive this week, so it just means things will be unsettled pretty quickly.  One thing that I haven't done since moving back is restock my baking supplies.  Each time I go into a grocery store I spot a bag of flour or sugar and pine for a batch of banana bread or cupcakes.  The goal is to have the sea shipment mostly put away before we even start with re-filling the baking supplies, so it'll have to wait a little. Until then I'll just pine for a batch of Coca-Cola brownies.

This week we'll be keeping busy with the blog.  Tomorrow we'll be posting the 3rd installment of In Hindsight, our special video series where I look back at some of the reviews I've written in the past to see if they still hold up. You can check out the last two episodes here and here.  We'll also features our weekly Candy Thing and Candy in the Media, both with Halloween twists.  Snack Facts is still on hold, and likely will be for a little while still.

This week is also the first in our epic Halloween Candy Review-A-Thon.  We'll have a new Halloween candy review posted every day until Halloween, and on Halloween we hope to post a few reviews.  It's been a while since I've been in a country that really celebrates Halloween, so when I had the opportunity to get Halloween candy I went a little nuts.  Click here to check out the first review, and follow us on Twitter or Facebook to keep up with the new reviews added daily.


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Disney World Roundup (With Bonus Review)

I'm not sure how many people know this, but Disney World is really a foodie destination.  I think some people think that this theme park's best food offerings are corn dogs and chicken nuggets, but that's just not true. Granted these options are available, but this series of 4 theme parks, many resorts, and so much more offers some pretty amazing food as well as attractions.  There's everything from "fine dinning" to some pretty interesting niche snacks.

Since this is a blog about sweets, and candy, we'll start there.  Disney excels at some sweets, and fails almost completely with others.  When it comes to bakeries and hand made sweets, Disney has a huge assortment of things to try and almost none of them will let you down.  Some are classic Disney treats, like the famous Dole Whip, and others are far more unique and fancy, like pumpkin fudge (a special treat for the fall season).

Disney has also jumped onto the cupcake bandwagon with guns blazing.  Every single restaurant, bakery and many snack stands offer cupcakes.  Some are unique to their area of the parks, others are available all over the resort, almost every single one we tried was tasty, some were down right fantastic.  These weren't the only trends that  Disney seems to be trying out (we saw "cronuts"), but cupcakes are certainly the sweet treat that seems to be working for them.  They're all over the place, and there are some pretty amazing choices available. If you check some of the Disney World food blogs (yes these exist) you'll find that people collect these cupcakes like others collect Disney trading pins.

The good thing about their fine hand made and baked sweets is that they spread them throughout the resorts, including to the restaurants.  They've even taken the idea of dessert to a new level and started dessert parties.  These are parties that you pay extra for, and are associated with another event.  We went to the Star Wars dessert party, and it was pretty good.  The party consisted of a huge dessert spread in an indoor area with all kinds of Star Wars characters wandering around.  After the dessert party, we were ushered to a reserved spot for fireworks, and also given a special Chewbacca mug.  It was  a great night, and the food was constant.

Speaking of constant food, if we're to talk about the meals at Disney there are two descriptions that work, huge portion and fancier than you might think.  We had some days where we just felt sick at the end of the day.  One piece of advice that comes up on many Disney travel blogs is that sometimes you might want to share a meal.  I would say that most of the time you'll want to share a meal.  These massive portions were actually a down side for me.  The food was interesting, so I wanted to try as much as possible, but the portions are so big that you can't.  Since I'm a person that likes variety, I found myself really limited, and often overstuffed.

While the portions were a bit of a bummer, as the Candy Critic, I have one huge complaint about the sweets, and it breaks my hears since I'm a huge Goofy fan.  Disney has a few series of packaged snacks and candies including Goofy's Candy Company, Chip and Dales Snacks, and a few others.  These are prepackaged candies and snacks available everywhere in the resorts.  For the most part, I found these snacks to be very disappointing.  Most of them were just regular snacks packaged in Disney packages.  A few had Disney shapes when they could, but even that was limited.  I would think since they're putting so much money into creating some epic foods and hand made sweets throughout the parks that maybe they'd have some clever candies as well.  Alas that was not to be found, and you can read my review here to find out how disappointed I was.

All in all I would say that Disney World is expensive, but worth it. I don't see us going back in the near future, but not because we didn't have fun.  The portions were huge, and some of the flavours a little dulled down for North American palettes, but all in all I really enjoyed the food.  Some was OK, but most was surprisingly amazing.  If you're really into food, and you want to visit, I recommend visiting the Epcot Food and Wine Show (it was going on while we were there), it takes the surprising food variety of these parks and amps it up a bit.


Friday, October 14, 2016

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The New Episode of Junk Fud News Is Online... Finally

In this episode we look back at all the fun things that happened in the junk food world for the month of September.

Click here to see older episodes of Junk Fud News, and if you want to subscribe to our YouTube or Soundcloud you can keep up with all our new episodes.


A Halloween Cookbook Candy Thing

These recipes look so good, it's scary.


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Episode 2 of In Hindsight Is Online!

In this episode I look back at the only review to ever achieve a perfect score, the Kit Kat bar.


This Week In Candy

Here we are, late again. I guess things aren't exactly all back to normal, in fact things here are still really chaotic. But that doesn't mean you have to miss out, it means we have to sleep less.  That aside, this week we're really gearing up for Halloween.  This year we're going to have an epic Halloween Candy Review-a-Thon, and it's starting next week.  That means for two weeks you're going to have a new review every day, maybe even two reviews some days.  On our recent visit to the US we came across a lot of cool Halloween treats, and rather than just pick one cool one out, we got them all.

Later this week we're also going to be posting a quick article all about our trip to the US.  We'll talk about the drive down, and our stay at the happiest place on earth, Disney World.  We might even throw in a bonus review. Later this month we'll also be posting a new episode of Junk Fud On The Road with Allison and Chris talking about all of the fun treats they came across. Speaking of Junk Fud, we'll have the new episode of Junk Fud News going up today or tomorrow.

Later today we'll be posting episode 2 of In Hindsight, a video series we've put together where I look back at some of the old reviews I've written and see if they still hold up (you can see the first episode here). This week I look at the Kit Kat bar, my favorite bar in the world, and the only review to get perfect marks. Right now we've got to get back to working on all of these Halloween reviews, then maybe in November we can get a little sleep.

Right now we have a fun review of a treat we picked up on the way back from Disney World.  It's a treat that seemed like a really good idea, but didn't really work out so well.  Click here to read the review.


Friday, October 07, 2016

Candy In the Media

A DIY to make one of my favorite toys (Lego), into one of my favourite candies (gummies).


Thursday, October 06, 2016

This may shock you, but I support Jaime Oliver

I believe that people eat too much sugar. I believe there is an obesity problem, and I believe it's getting worse. No I haven't decided to retire from Candy Critic, and this isn't written to be sarcastic or ironic. I truly believe that we have to worry about our weight and sugar is one of the biggest enemies.

So how can I say this without being a hypocrite? I believe that candy is not the biggest enemy in this battle, at least not always. Neither is junk food, at least not always.

Let's start with candy. Candy is sugar, or at the very least it contains a lot of sugar. Candy (most of the time) does not hide this fact. You don't walk into a store called "Sugar Mountain" and not know what you're getting yourself into. I believe that enjoying an indulgence now and again is not a problem. Eating an entire king sized chocolate bar is not enjoying an indulgence, that's pigging out. I believe that it's fine to enjoy something sweet, as long you exercise portion control.

Junk food (things like hamburgers and pizza) are another indulgence, but one where you can eat, as long as you know what you're getting. I support fast food restaurants giving out information about what's in their food and whenever possible using less sugar and saturated fats. While these places aren't perfect, some are getting better.

So where is the problem in my book? Hidden sugar. Walk into any grocery store and you will find "healthy" foods that are loaded with sugar. Cereals, granola bars, and pre-made meals loaded with sugar, sometimes more sugar than the candy bar in the next aisle. Worse yet, many of these foods claim to be healthy because they don't contain fat or other "bad" ingredients. It's as if they're saying it's OK to eat a lot of sugar, as long as you don't know about it.

I also believe that healthy low sugar options have to be available everywhere. Schools and workplaces need to offer quick healthy food such as nuts and vegetables. They can offer something for the quick indulgence, but healthy options must be available as well. We must also educate kids and adults about healthy eating. Your first lesson, 90% of what I feature on this site is full of sugar and should be eaten in moderation.

I believe enjoying candy responsibly is fine, and responsibly depends on you and your lifestyle. Between the occasional sweet treat you must get balanced meals and even a few healthy snacks. Celebrate sweet treats and junk food the same way you celebrate a birthday, not every day. Get the best sweet indulgence you can because you shouldn't do it all the time.

The Candy Critic supports Jaime Oliver and his #FoodRevolution.


Wednesday, October 05, 2016

A Candy Critic Shirt Thing

Candy Critic Guy Shirt
Candy Critic Guy Shirt by candycritic
Make your own t-shirt design at

This is our mascot, and he's kind of a caricature of myself.  That probably says a lot about my ego.


Tuesday, October 04, 2016

The First Episode of In Hindsight Is Online!

Welcome all to the first episode in a 4 part series called In Hindsight.  In each episode of In Hindsight I'll look back at an old review that I've posted on Candy Critic and see if the review still holds up.  I've been reviewing candy for longer than I care to admit, and frankly some of my early reviews... well... they suck. So this is a way for me to make up for that. This week I'm looking back at one of my favorite childhood candy bars, the Oh Henry. So sit back and relax and watch me realize that I'm not that great at reviewing candy.


This Week In Candy... Yup, It's a Little Late.

Seriously, I just can't seem to get back on track after my epic adventures.  We just got back from an awesome drive across the USA to Florida (Disney World) and then back to Canada.  I'm a little tired, and falling behind on everything, including posting this blog, and posting the new review.  But if you're reading this than obviously I have things back on track... at least enough to post this.

So now that I'm back home, what's going on here at Candy Critic?  We'll it's already been posted, but a new article all about things that many people think are American, but are actually not, has gone online.  I'm not saying that the USA hasn't come up with some amazing junk food items (after all I had my first real Philly Cheese Steak on this trip and it was amazing), but sometimes Americans appropriate things that they really don't deserve credit for.  Later tonight we'll also be releasing the first in a 4 part video series called In Hindsight were I look back at old candy reviews and see if they still stand up.  We'll also have our regular segments of A Candy Thing and Candy In The Media coming later this week.

Next week I hope to have a written account of our trip to Disney and all the cool snacks we came across, we'll also have an episode of Junk Fud On The Road with Allison on that very subject. Speaking of Junk Fud, Junk Fud News is coming back this week... at some point I hope.  Snack Facts on the other hand won't be back until next week as we're just trying to organize things here as well as get ready for Halloween.

Now that we're back home, we are back with a new review. This one was one we picked up on the road, unfortunately it wasn't great.  I'm sure one of the dozens of other treats we picked up will be great, but  not this one. Find out why by clicking here and reading our Yoo-Hoo Candy review.


Classic “American” Foods That Weren’t Invented In America

There's nothing more American than giving the kids a peanut butter sandwich for lunch, ordering a side order of fries, and maybe enjoying some ice cream for dessert, right?  As it turns out some of the classic American foods aren't American at all.  Here's a list of some of the items you find in restaurants all over America, staples in the American diet, that have their origins in other places.

The Sandwich  - What's more American than the Sandwich?  As it turns out plenty.  The Sandwich is a creation of a British Earl; in fact, the Earl of Sandwich.  There are debates about how he came up with the idea of putting things between two slices of bread.  Some say that he was a gambler and he wanted a way to eat meats with his friends without getting his playing cards dirty.  A few people argue that the Earl was a victim of bad publicity and he in fact worked very hard and wanted a meal he could eat while he worked.

Kit Kat Bar – Probably one of the most popular candy bars in not only America, but the entire world, this bar has its origins in the city of York in England.   It's not the only candy to come out of this Northern UK town; the Aero bar, Terry's Chocolate Orange, and many others were found in this great city.  The reason, this was the home of Joseph Rowntree, one of the most influential and successful candy makers in the world.  While the city of York is full of chocolate themed attractions, Rowntree's original storefront is now a Pizza Hut, but still worth a pilgrimage for any candy fan.

Pizza – Of all of the items on this list, the origins of Pizza are probably the most controversial.  I've read stories that it was invented in Chicago or New York by an Italian immigrant restaurateur that wanted to celebrate a visit from a famous Italian royal to the United States.  Italians would have you believe that it's come from a small village in Southern Italy.  Greeks also take some credit as they say they've been baking flat breads with toppings for thousands of years.  The most likely story is that today's pizza is influenced from the flat breads found in Greece thousands of years ago. However pizza as we know it came about in village called Naples where an industrious restaurant owner Raffaele Esposito came up with what we would probably define as a pizza (topped with tomato sauce, cheese and other ingredients).

French Fries – There was a time when Americans wanted to call French Fries, “freedom fries”, and that would actually be fine with the French, since they didn't invent them either.  French fries are actually a creation out of Belgium; yes that place that mastered chocolate as well (be very jealous).  French fries are still very popular today in Belgium, where they also boast that they invented the process of double frying to make the fries even crunchier on the outside.  Stranger still is that they offer a French fry sauce in Belgium known as Americano, a sauce I've never seen in the USA, a sort of thousand-island type topping.

Ice Cream – You can't argue that the recent renaissance in the ice cream world is a product of great Americans like Ben and Jerry, and Baskin and Robbins, but the origins of ice cream are certainly in Europe.  It's not clear exactly when ice cream was invented, however Charles I was said to have enjoyed a similar dessert at his royal table.  There are even stories of the Romans collecting snow from the mountains and flavouring them with juices.  The first public sale of ice cream most likely happened in Cafe Proscope in Paris, France.