Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween's Gift: November 1st

Tonight is the de facto last chance for most people's Halloween, as the holiday falls on a Sunday, and people would rather not have to get up for work after whatever debauchery they get into. Still, I would bet that the most important event surrounding All Hallows Eve-- the reduced price Halloween candy sale-- will not happen until Monday morning.

Oh, it will be a blessed day. Spooky Snickers, Booterfingers, and Whatchamakillits, all at reduced prices! At mega-stores like Walmart, they will probably start at -25% (the bastards) but at other places, one can find giant bags of 'fun size' candies at a full 50% or greater discount! This is the season when it is prudent to stock up on chocolate. Readers know that I am more of a fruity candy celebrateur, but that is not because I do not enjoy chocolate; rather, I consider chocolate more of a food product than a candy. I mean, is a brownie candy? What about fudge? Where is the line between baked good and candy? Will the world ever know?

Come here, my pretties...

Whatever the case, I am putting aside that debate for this weekend so that I can focus on the task at hand: filling the freezer with chocolaty morsels of all kinds. As I type this story, I am planning a strict regimen of squat thrusts and 'bow throws in preparation for the early Monday AM candy grab at the local department stores. It's not exactly Black Friday or anything, but if there is one bag of peanut M&Ms on the shelf, best to believe that it could get ugly. You don't want to be caught slippin when the prize can be had.

For those still handing out candy tonight and tomorrow, yours is the kingdom of heaven, my friends. Do the good work, and it will be repaid upon you threefold.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mambas' Claim Leaves Sour Taste in Mouth?

I love Mambas. They are nice counter-points to Starburst, a welcome candy competitor in the chewy fruit market. In addition, Mambas have two unique qualities: First, their flavors include raspberry, which is quite rare in the US market (of course, this owes largely to Storck's primarily European market). Second, their packaging is entirely unique. For one, it is made for portability. Within each long package, there are three separate packages, each containing 6 chews of the same flavor. Also, there is an element of mystery each time you purchase Mambas, because out of the four flavors-- Lemon, Orange, Raspberry, and Strawberry-- there are only three in each large package. Sometimes you might not even get the raspberry flavor that I just mentioned. That can be frustrating, but on the whole, I kind of like the fact that you get some Forrest Gumpery each time you get Mambas.

All this said, I have an issue with Mambas and the Storck corporation. They have recently added a "sour" line to their product, and generally, I would be celebrating this addition with glee. However, on the package, Mambas announce that their new sour candies have "long-lasting sour" flavor.This could not be farther from the truth. Personally, I can barely detect any sour flavor. When I ate the first sour Mamba, I actually looked back at the package to ensure that I had not inadvertently picked up the regular Mambas.

There is so little sour flavoring there, that one is astounded that Storck would openly advertise some notion of "long-lasting"-ness in their product. Granted, the Mambas are still solid; I enjoyed eating each one of them. However, I have come to expect way more from my sour candies, and a corporation throwing its hat into the ring should do a little more work to make sure that they do not go making outlandish claims on their packaging. Here is a list, from sourest to least sour, displaying where these sour Mambas fall on the pucker scale:

--Cry Babys
--Sour Skittles
--Sour Starburst
--Sour Patch Kids
--Sour Dots
--Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers
--Any sour gummi product
--My facial expression after hearing pop radio
--Sour Mambas

Perhaps Storck is not as familiar with the US market as it could be(?), but that is still no excuse. Get your house in order, Storck. I'll be watching.

I'm going to give you some time to fix this because you provide over two and a half ounces of candy per package, a 50% increase over most US brands. But god help you if you ever reduce your weight!

Look closely at the bottom right corner -- 2.65 oz. That is some good value, ya'll.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tis Still Good to Receive

I have to post an addendum to my last post, "Tis Better to Buy than to Receive." I am now not sure now whether that is always the case.

I say this because over the weekend, I received a package in the mail from a friend of mine. In it were 2 1/2 lbs. of candy. Yes, that much. And she has been reading the blog, so she got the candies right, too: a 2 lb bag of sour gummi zoo animals and a sack of blackberry and orange flavored Halloween gummis. I mean, damn-- what a boon!

I WASN'T saying boo-urns.

So, yes, I like to pick out my own goodies at the store, but you don't look a coupla pounds of gift hippos, lions, monkeys, and pumpkins in the mouth.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Tis better to buy than to receive

I have noticed that my recent store of candy has mostly come from others: plunder from inter-state candy exchange, gifts from my step-mother and father, pilfered bits from communal candy stashes here and there.

While it is always good to get free candy, I find that I am experiencing a bit of existential angst here. I think I am missing the jouissance one gets from visiting the candy aisle and marveling at the variety-- or the ecstasy that comes with the finding of an especially good deal on this or that goodie.

Usually when I am feeling a little empty, I eat some candy. In this instance, however, I think rather than eating candy, I need to make a trip to the local drug store or gas station and fill my batteries with some good old consumerism. God bless America.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

North is North and South is South, and never the twain shall meet

I recently visited some friends of mine who know the value of a good candy-- and a good blog. After having read my posts on TCL about Sour Dots, they emailed me across the miles and miles between us to say that they could not find the Sour Dots in any stores. Dots, yes, but Sour, no. Similarly, I found that once my step-mother and I had exhausted our supply of Sour Skittles, I could not find replacements in the stores where I live. Therefore, as I imagine has happened in the annals of history, a mutually beneficial accord was struck: I would bring them Sour Dots, and they would get me Sour Skittles.

Over 500 miles later, I find myself short three boxes of Sour Dots, but flush with Sour Skittles.

I tell this story in part to express the frustration that candy aficionados the world over experience with seemingly inconsistent distribution and marketing. Why are Sour Skittles better suited to one region than another? Why is the Sour Dot available in no short supply in some places and entirely unknown-of in others? If we could discover the answers to mysteries such as these, perhaps there would be no need for cross-state candy bartering.

But, maybe it's not so bad; for the exchange of candy between friends is as much an affirmation of kinship and camaraderie as an exercise in necessity. So long as I have friends who are happy to see me and happy to see what candy treats I have brought to our little marketplace, I have no real complaints.