Author Archive

Candy Prehistoric Egg with Gummi Dinosaur Center by Jelly Belly

Thursday, March 17th, 2011 by benjamin

Gummi Dinosaur in Chocolate EggI can’t believe this is real. The Candy Favorites site is a great visual meal but nowhere near as good as actually having the candy in hand, or rather in mouth. I was excited to see this – a chocolate egg (perfect Easter theme, right?) with a gummi dinosaur center. I already knew Jelly Belly to be a leader in creativity in flavoring but didn’t know they made things like this, which combine two great candies into one package, yet keep them separate enough to be enjoyed independently of each other. I think it’s brilliant.

Are these making their way into Easter baskets at your place? Not at mine, simply because I graduated from a basket to a shopping bag, but these will definitely cross my pallet come easter morning!

Now or Later? That is the Question.

Thursday, June 25th, 2009 by benjamin
 
 
Now & Laters Candy

Now & Laters Candy

 
 
Sharability: 9

Denture danger: 9

Convenience: 10

Novelty: 7

Overall: 9

Now and Laters are quite the classic candy. Their old slogan, “Eat some now, Save some for Later” was replaced by the popular and true slogan, “Hard ‘N Fruity now and Soft ‘N Chewy Later”. This slogan describes the candy’s cycle that represents the main difference between the Now and Later and the Laffy Taffy. Compared to the Laffy Taffy, the “Soft’ N Chewy” Now and Later has a slightly denser consistency than the Laffy Taffy which has a greater ‘denture danger’ is softer and stickier. Though the corresponding artificial flavors between Laffy Taffys and Now and Laters are almost indistinguishable, the Now and Later is subtly less sweet than the Laffy Taffy which is a nice relief from the shockingly sugary Laffy Taffy.

Now and Laters were originally introduced by the Phoenix Candy Company in 1962 with its original red, green, and blue flavors. Farley’s and Sathers Candy Company currently manufactures Now and Laters with twenty-four flavors available including banana, cherry, sour apple, grape, and strawberry. Whether you enjoy this candy now or later, your craving for that soft (or hard), chewy, juicy, taffy candy will be pleasantly satisfied.

Welcome to Candy Land

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009 by benjamin

Candy, it can be chewy or crunch, sour or sweet, gummy or hard, it can be any color, any shape, any thing. I’m Becca, I’m 19 and just like you, I’m a candy lover. I am going to eat, rate, research, and write blogs about candies from candyfavorites.com to help you decide what candies to buy.

Before I start the candy munching there are a few things that I want to share with you about candy. Throughout my years of candy eating I have learned something that every candy lover should know. Candy is meant to be shared. Along with most things in life, candy is just better when it is enjoyed with others. Candy bags are made as big as they are for a reason, and it isn’t so that you can stuff your face. Share with anyone and everyone, because who doesn’t like candy? This will also make the candy more enjoyable for you personally because instead of gorging yourself, you can enjoy the candy in moderation. Well with that in mind I’m going to start my blogging and I hope that means that you will start your reading of my blogging, and of course munching down on some candy.

How Sweet It Is: Building the Candy Buffet of Your Dreams

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007 by benjamin

(from Favor Ideas)

So — you’ve caught the candy buffet bug.

You’re not alone. More and more brides want to see a tower of sweets at their reception.

Motives differ: some like how buffets allow guests to hunt and pick according to their personal sweet tooth.

Others like the fairytale flavor. Candyland, Babes in Toyland, Willy Wonka: some of our earliest dreams of abbondanza involve forests where gumdrops hang from trees, chocolate runs in rivers and pillars are peppermint sticks.

But just as with Hansel and Gretel, there’s a catch to the candy buffet. Namely? Pulling off a successful one involves a touch of magic.And if that makes you nervous, rest assured you have company. Because a candy buffet isn’t free. Like any other “wow” aspect of a wedding, it’s part of your overall investment. And while the waitstaff might pass the hors d’oeuvres and the venue lay out the linens, you could be on your own when it’s time to design the candy buffet.

But not to worry: here are some tips from the pros for translating that bountiful delight in your head into a mouth-watering reality at your wedding.

The Secret to Sweetness

Scan all those photos of candy buffets throughout the web, and you’ll quickly spot two things.One, buffets are monstrously popular. And two, while some are a feast for the eyes, others seem to fall short of the heights their planners must have hoped for.

So what’s the secret?

Here’s number one: buying enough candy. Sounds simplistic, but it’s key.

“The first thing I tell brides — you really can’t do candy as a hard commodity. It’s more a decoration,” says Jon Prince, president of online candy giant CandyFavorites.com.

“I talk to hundreds of brides. They’ll say, ‘I’m having 200 guests, and I want to give each guest 3 ounces, so I guess I need about 37 pounds of candy.’ Sounds reasonable, and 3 ounces might be enough to actually satisfy your guests, but visually? It won’t be enough to make a presence.”

Prince suggests that instead of seeing candy by the numbers, brides take an aesthetic approach. “You choose the flowers because they’re beautiful,” he says. “The candy buffet should be too.”

And unlike flowers, Prince adds, candy serves double duty as an edible item. “Still, you have to budget the candy buffet into your wedding expenses. It doesn’t work well as an afterthought.”

But what about the wedding planners who suggest buying a pound of candy per person?

Prince says buffets work best when you plan by the eye, not the numbers.

“To make it look gorgeous, I’d start with the table, not the guest count. I’d take five to 10 types of candy, and buy 15 to 20 pounds each, whether you actually need that much or not.”

He adds, “When it comes to candy, the more the merrier. If you have a large table overflowing with candy, you have presence. The biggest disappointment I hear is that the candy buffet didn’t look substantial.”

 

Like a Kid in a Candy Store? Here’s What to Buy

Okay, so now you have a handle on those numbers. But between the heaping bins at upscale food markets and the galaxies of candy choices online, which temptations do you choose?There aren’t any hard-and-fast rules, says Prince.

But are there any trends afoot? Any rush for a particular kind of candy?Not really, he says. Instead, it’s the season’s colors and themes that are driving brides’ choices.

To illustrate, Prince describes an all-white Miami wedding where the couple set up 20 to 30 pounds each of white candies, placing the unwrapped varieties in jars, martini glasses and other interesting containers, and piling custom-wrapped mint rolls in front. “It looked fantastic,” he says.

Then there was the bride with an Emilio Pucci theme, who ordered her candy in a stylish palette of brown, pink and green.

Mark Kingsdorf of The Queen of Hearts Wedding Consultants concurs: it’s the themes that shape candy buffets. “And like everything else in weddings, candy buffets are getting more and more personalized, with more and more variations.

“Of course, ‘Everything old is new again,’” he adds. “So you see things like retro candy buffets. At one wedding we did the candy bracelets and necklaces on the elastic cords; the little waxed bottles filled by sugar water.

“There are very few themes you can’t do with candy. Beach weddings are fun, with all those boardwalk choices: saltwater taffy, caramel apples, fudge, peanut brittle.”

“I like to focus,” explains Prince, “but the focus can be anything. Candies you personally like, or a theme, or a texture. If you’re having an all-white wedding, you’ll want an all-white candy buffet. If you’re having a destination wedding in an exotic location, you could choose dramatic, Caribbean types: Island Punch Jelly Belly beans.

“In the end, you want ‘presence.’ Mies van de Rohe once said ‘Less is more,’ but he definitely wasn’t talking about candy buffets.”

Fashion a Feast for the Eye

You’re set. You’ve narrowed down your choices… and you’ve got the goods. Now how do you add those visual touches that turn your buffet from “aww” to “jaw-dropping”? For starters: choose cool containers. “One of the more striking displays I’ve seen put the candy in William Yeoward and Baccarat,” says Prince.”Basically — and this is a good idea — the couple matched their candy containers to their floral vases.”

Don’t have quite that much fine crystal waiting in the wings? Here’s a budget-friendly alternative from Kingsdorf. “Find some interesting containers: different shapes, different heights. Personally, I’ve used a dozen different containers from Ikea, and the most expensive one was about $10.”

He adds that clear containers are best, to show off the contents, and that container mouths should be wide enough for the scoops.

“To make the whole look pop, raise some of those containers on the table.” Kingsdorf explains an old catering trick is to take a catering rack or a milk crate — “the kind that restaurants and supermarkets get their milk delivered in” — turn it upside down on the table, and cover with a cloth.

“A nice bunching fabric gives you spill and texture. Put some of your containers on top of that.”

The final touch? A floral arrangement. Or more cheaply, some complementary pillar candles in your wedding colors.

Kingsdorf adds that your most personal touch could be the candy bags. “At one of the weddings I did recently, the couple went to a dollar store and got a bunch of takeout containers in red, one of their colors.

“They personalized each container with a little sticker, which was inexpensive and very cute. Anyone could do the same thing: use a tag or little rubber stamp, or stickers.

“Just find a way to add that custom touch.”

a tale of 2 gummy bearsMorgan is sexySexy Morgan IISnorting JelloBear imitating tamiko shotJello drugsWelcome to Las VegasYummy FruitBig cupcakeCandy apple 2

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (for Candy)

So why are candy buffets so sizzling hot these days, anyway?Simple: they’re a huge hit with guests. “Favors can be a tough choice,” points out Kingsdorf. “Depending on your guests, you might find yourself picking up a ton of personalized CDs or bottle stoppers at the end of the night. But when it’s edible, people eat it … or take it home. I think a lot of brides are cueing into that.”

Prince adds, “It’s just a trend people are enjoying right now.

“But when you really dig down,” he muses, “it’s not about the product at all. It’s about nostalgia.

“In a lot of weddings, two people are taking a major step toward adulthood. The candy buffet lets them connect back to any fond memories they have of childhood.

“Candy is powerfully reminiscent,” he concludes.

Peep This! The Many Uses of the Famous Chicks

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007 by benjamin

270px-Pink_peeps.jpg

It seems that everywhere I go, I see Easter candy. I use this term loosely, for these days I classify anything wrapped in pastel colors as being “Easter.” These days M&M’s come in lavender and Reese Peanut Butter Cups are wrapped in green; and they’re everywhere. No matter how much pink, yellow, and light blue I see, the candy that represents this quintessential moment in spring the best are marshmallow chicks – Peeps. These colorful and squishy chicks have been around for decades. Ever since its debut in the 1920s, they have become an important part of Spring tradition. I remember chewing into its sticky goodness while hunting for Easter eggs when I was younger. That’s how important Peeps were to me and my friends (and probably to you too).

So you can imagine my surprise when I learned that people use Peeps for a purposes other than sugar highs. The Washington Post is hosting a competition for dioramas created with Peeps. They are encouraging their readers to recreate a famous event or scene and have the characters represented by Peeps marshmallow chicks. Apparently, they will announce the winners April 8, and I can’t wait to see actual photos of the submissions. Another use for Peeps involves a microwave, toothpicks, and a very bored individual or two. Called “Peeps Jousting,” you stick a toothpick into each Peep, arrange them to face each other in the microwave, turn it on, and watch as the toothpicks fly into the other chick. The winner is the Peep chick that does not deflate when hit with the opponent’s “lance.” (I’m not kidding. I found documented evidence that this is a real game.)

Whether you like Peeps for its sugar overload, jousting, or creative purposes, in the spirit of this Easter season it’s hard not to buy a couple of boxes of yellow, pink, and blue chicks to bring back home. I know I will be enjoying a few and sharing the rest. Will you?

Warning: Take Liquor Lickers in Moderation

Sunday, March 18th, 2007 by benjamin

liquorlick.bmp

I spent the past five days in utter bliss. I left the blizzards of Pittsburgh behind and baked poolside in 90 degree weather in Acapulco, Mexico. The best part of my trip? The open bar, where I was able to sip Strawberry Daiquiris and Bahama Mamas all day and all night long.

You can only imagine my rude awakening when I walked out of the doors of Pittsburgh International Airport. Not only was it snowing, but the weather forecast warns us to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day indoors! I watched my golden tan fade away as I rotted indoors, and fervently wished there was a way for me to bring back the Mexico sun.

Thankfully I found a way to bring a small piece of Acapulco back with me. Liquor Lickers! We’ve all seen chocolates with a liquor center. I, for one, have never really enjoyed them. However, Liquor Lickers are different. They are lollipops with a fun-flavored alcoholic beverage that you can taste all throughout. Plus, they come in a variety of flavors: Margarita, Butter Rum, and Pina Colada. You’ll never get bored with these.

Since I can’t bring back a piece of that sun, at least I have the memories of the open bar to appease me. Go on and enjoy! Let’s pretend the summer days are here.

Bubble Yum Welcomes Hershey’s Chocolate to the Family

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007 by benjamin

bubbleyum.jpg

I am not a fan of big changes, especially when I’m comfortable with the current state of people, things, and situations. I’m wary when my favorite restaurant hands me a new menu. It even bothered me when Bazooka gum and Cracker Jacks both changed their original packaging. Sure they still taste the same, but why change something that’s been working for ages? Although I am resistant to change, one change in an existing product line both interested and enlightened me, so that even I have to admit this is an improvement of something that was already great.

Let me introduce (Drum roll please) Hershey’s Chocolate Bubble Yum.
Yes, that’s right. A higher power combined the fun of gum-chewing and the sweetness of Hershey’s chocolate to produce a whole new take on chocolate candy. This may be old news to some of you, but I only recently discovered this new invention (probably since it’s so hard to find). I admit when I first heard about it, I was extremely skeptical. I wondered how such a combination would taste. I’m a huge fan of Bubble Yum, particularly watermelon and grape, and I enjoy all kinds of chocolates. As much as I love chocolate and fruity bubblegum individually, I couldn’t imagine how my tongue would receive it.

My verdict: it’s still distinctly Bubble Yum but chocolaty sweet. In fact, if you like Tootsie Rolls, this is the treat for you. Once you get over the initial shock of tasting chewy chocolate, it’s quite deliciously bubblicious. What will they think of next?

Bachelorette Blowout: Candy Makes It Dandy

Monday, February 26th, 2007 by benjamin

Last summer, I got roped in to throwing a bachelorette party for one of my good friends, and man, it’s difficult to find fun party favors and games! I drove to a bunch of different places, looking for some racy/fun stuff to give her or do at the party, but the pickings were slim. If only I’d known about all the great stuff that was out there!

Start off by soothing the stressful bride-to-be by giving her some Chai Latte, Tai Tea or Milk Chocolate Body Wash. It’ll help her chill out in the crazy pre-wedding days. If I were a bachelorette, I’d love to receive a full-size chocolate champagne bottle. There’s always enough booze at a wedding; there should always be more chocolate!
I’ve always been a huge fan of candy jewelry, so I was delighted to find a risque line of candy “clothing” completely appropriate to give at a bachelorette party. It would be fun to have each guests buy and give one item: there are candy bras, candy g-strings, candy garters, candy suspenders, and even a candy “posing pouch,” so your friends’ fiancee can get in on the fun. If hard candy’s not your taste, there’s also the option of outfitting your friend with some gummie panties and bras. Even if that’s not your scene, pick up some gummi handcuffs for the adventurous couple in your life. And with gummi handcuffs, you don’t even need a safe word! If you don’t like what’s going on, just gnaw on through to freedom.

Finally, there’s candy designed for the party as a whole. Grab some risque Candy Hearts, but try not to blush if they’re a little more, say, adventurous than the candy hearts you’re used to. There are also some cinnamon Hot Lips to share with your friends.

When you add your girlfriends, lots of chocolate and a bit of raciness, well, there’s no better recipe for a night out than that.

A Life In Candy: Retro Gift Pack Brings It All Back

Saturday, February 17th, 2007 by benjamin

While surfing through the McKeesport Candy Co. website I found the Retro Candy Gift Pack, all of which comes straight and direct from the hazy days of my childhood. The late 80s and early 90s were, for this twenty-something, the pinnacle of sugary achievement. This pack includes it all, but I’m going to focus on a few particular items which deserve attention all on their own.

1. Candy Jewelry

Is there a single girl out there who didn’t love wearing candy jewelry? Heck, I’ll still wear a candy necklace from time to time with a T-shirt, just as a fun accessory. Candy jewelry loves to taunt you: it just hangs there on your neck or wrist, the delectable sugary goodness teasing you. You know if you eat it, the cuteness of the candy necklace will be gone, but how can you not? The answer is simple: buy two, eat one, and save one to wear. Or just eat them both. That’s what I would do.

2. Fun Dip

Oh, Lik-M-Aid. Fun Dip took the candy concept (sugar + flavors) and simplified it to its most basic parts. You have your packets of flavored, colored sugar substance, and you have the Lik-M-Stick, which seems to be basically a compacted stick of sugar. Lick the stick, dip it in the sugar, and pow! Plus, it’s like getting four kinds of candy in one: you get the three flavors of powder (including one that looks blue but turns itself and your mouth green when you eat it) PLUS the added satisfaction of devouring the sugar sticks when you’re done. However, I have one caution that comes from learned experience: don’t attempt the Fun Dip on crowded car trips. Between the bumps and jostles, powdery disaster could result. I’m not going to give the Pixie Stix much verbage, since they’re basically the same thing as Fun Dip, without the sugar stick, but Pixie Sticks are fabulous. I would always get the really huge, couple-foot-long Pixie Stix and just pour that powered sugar down my throat. Mmmmmm.

3. Sugar Daddies and Babies

When I got my braces in middle school, I pretty much disregarded all the restrictions they gave me about eating food. I chowed down on popcorn and gum and ice, but I quickly discovered that some of my favorite candies were now off-limits. The first time I attempted to down some Sugar Babies, well, disaster struck. It took me almost a day to untangle my metal molars from the sticky stuff, but man, it was almost worth it. Such caramel-ly goodness! I do have to object to the blatant patriarchal domination of this candy: where’s the Sugar Mama?!? We demand candy equality!

4. Pop Rocks and Sweet Tarts

There’s not a whole lot to say about these two candies besides that they’re fabulous. Penny for penny, Pop Rocks are some of the best fun you can have. I mean really, where else can you get a few minutes of mouth-popping excitement for under a buck? That’s what I thought. And Sweet Tarts, well, their name says it all. They have been a Halloween staple my entire life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

There are a few of these retro candy packs available, and they all have a far bigger selection than I’ve talked about here. After writing this, all I have to say that I really wish I were 10 and tonight was Halloween.

~Janet

Not Just One, but Allsorts of Licorice

Saturday, February 17th, 2007 by benjamin

licoriceallsorts.jpg 

For those of you who like licorice, there’s a great brand called Licorice Allsorts. Not only does it boast the same great taste you licorice-lovers come to expect and crave, its unique appearance adds to the fun of eating. One bag contains licorice shaped in pink, orange, blue and white cubes and sprinkled spheres. 

My very first experience with licorice was a bad one. I tried a string of black licorice when I was in kindergarten and it seemed as if I would never be able to wash that strong taste out of my mouth. That day, my teacher had to coax me with a cherry Blow-pop to calm me down. Ever since then, I have been extremely wary of any type of licorice. When I bravely decided to try Licorice Allsorts, I was pleasantly surprised by not only its welcoming designs and easy-to-eat shapes, but also by the taste. They didn’t taste at all like the black licorice string I first tasted so many years ago. 

Licorice dates as far back in history as 5000 years ever since the Chinese first thought that eating licorice root was healthy. It was even found among King Tut’s treasures! Even he was a fan of the chewy confection and found it important enough to be buried with them by his side. I am now a licorice fan. It’s fun to eat and also a great social treat for its fun colors.