Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Candy Teeth

I got the candy teeth today, readers. You know, the "tenderness" in the teeth after a night of particularly involved candy consumption?

Yeah, I went Haribos, Sour Patch and SweeTarts. Those who truly eat candy know that Haribos' tough waxy exterior alone can give you the teeth-hurt; add SweeTart crunching and the sour of the Patch Kids (also a classic hurtener, in excess), and I got me the candy teeth.

Soft dishes for dinner tonight.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Dum Dums and Mystery

The Dum Dum Pop is a classic. That is not to say that it is the greatest candy of all-time, but is it a true classic. Today, in fact, while visiting family at home, I went into the bank of my childhood and got my free Dum Dum. The same has been happening for at least the last 25 years or so (since I can remember). And that's what's great about the Dum Dum-- they are small and super cheap, so places like banks and museums have no problem giving out these suckers every day they are open. Today I opted for the perplexing Mystery flavor of Dum Dum, eschewing my usual pick of root beer or lemon. By the way, before I continue, the massive variety of flavors is the other great thing about the Dum Dum. Why would I go for strawberry or any other pedestrian flavor when cotton candy or mango are in the mix? (I say that knowing full well that lemon, a standard for me, is quite common; and I say that knowing that historical flavors like buttered popcorn were nasty.)

ANYWAY, I got the mystery one today. It was colored blue, but that doesn't mean a thing. Your coloration schemes cannot fool me, Spangler Candy! You will have to do better than that. Actually, the blue coloring does seem to mean that the flavor cannot be blue raspberry or the like, as that would be too obvious; but, the first lick of the pop told me that, as well--or did it? The first taste gave me vanilla or cream. I at first kept looking at the blueness, and that held me up for a moment, but I fought through it. The problem is that there may be no one flavor one is looking for, at least according to a number of reports. Those reports say that the mystery pop is actually a mix of two flavors that results from production admixture. They argue that the mystery pop is a way to cover a potential loss due to non-pure sucker production. **I feel like that last statement implies some racial undertones, but they are not intended. Let's not bring our racial politics to the Dum Dum table, people.

While I am inclined to believe this mixed-dum-dum story-- as the marketing potential for "revealing" or holding contests to see who could identify the mystery flavor each year could be boons to the Dum Dum brand image, something the company could not do if the mystery flavor is some happy mistake--I will for the sake of this story and my sanity say that I was looking for a single unique flavor today. That said, I think what I ate was a butterscotch pop. However, having eaten a ton of butterscotch candy, and given my first impression that the pop was vanilla-y, I can see how this pop may have been a dirty hybrid pop. Maybe some cream soda in there? However, in that case, whence came the blue dye? It was a murky blue, clearly mixed with the white/cream dye, but why blue if it were a hybrid of butterscotch and cream soda? Are my taste buds so easily fooled?

All these questions vexed me for about 15 seconds, because I am a biter. I cannot sit there with so small a pop in my mouth and not crunch it very quickly. So, the mystery lasted but for a few seconds, but man what a few seconds. It took me right back to being 8 and waiting in the drive-through for the tube to bring me and Sis a sucker. Good times.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

New Tootsie Pop Flavor: Banasty

I have railed in the past about the horrors of artificial banana flavoring, right? If I haven't, I should have by now, cause that stuff is nasty. I know I spoke of the stupidity of meshing banana with various leper fruit flavors (kiwi-banana or banana-passion fruit) in "tropical" candy lines. But for the record, all banana-flavored candy is the worst. The worst, Jerry! The worst.

That's why I'm surprised that the Tootsie corporation has released upon the unsuspecting public a banana Tootsie Pop. Yeah, that's right: among the chocolate, cherry, grape and orange pops, there are now bright yellow-wrapped banana pops. Yuck.

Here you go: the end of the Tootsie Pop.

There are so many reasons why this is a bad idea, but chief among them is the fact that banana candy sucks. It never tastes like banana, and even if it did, why would I want that flavor in my candy? The citrus fruits are the gold standard, and all pretenders to the throne need to take a seat and let the big boys handle the business in flavor country. Sit your ass down, banana. No one wants you here.

And Tootsie, what the hell, man?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Free Gummis!

A friend just gave me a bag of haribos! BOOYAH!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Valentine's Day!!

I just did a quick search of this blog, and I was shocked to find no official celebration of Valentine's Day and its candies. I work to rectify that oversight here:

Valentine's Day is likely (still a little reluctant to bad-mouth other holidays) the best holiday out there with respect to candy. Perhaps this is because the holiday is so very commercial, almost certainly evolving in a boardroom somewhere, as ad execs sought to siphon off more late winter money from consumers. With an eye already to the markets and a cultural tradition of men giving chocolates to women as a sign of affection, Valentine's Day's close association with candy was a foregone conclusion from the get.

Still, faithful readers might wonder, why do I hold aloft a holiday that is so closely tied to chocolate? Haven't I argued that chocolate is best though of as 'food,' and don't I consistently trumpet the powdery, the fruity, the chewy, the gummi? Well, yes, I do, but the crucial point is this: these preferences are not mutually exclusive to this holiday.

First, as I have said at an earlier date on this blog, the SweeTart heart is the world's most perfect candy. You will remember that my love affair with SweeTarts began early in my life. The addition of the SweeTart heart was a powerful moment in my formative years, and indeed, the form continues to improve. This year, the heart has become flatter, more rounded and includes more varied and whimsical love-related expressions. The rounded, flatter shape allows for lengthier chomping sessions (as jaws and teeth are not as fatigued).

These classic, less-teeth-friendly morsels will always have a place in my heart (huh? HUH?).

In addition, the last few years have seen the SweeTart heart fold in the orange flavor one finds in the traditional SweeTart package-- a welcome reunion. Finally, the value one gets in a SweeTart hearts package is ridiculous. Until the last year or so, one could get a 7-oz bag for .99, and even now, the 1.25 cost is very reasonable. (Think of paying .79-.89 for a regular 1.8 oz roll of SweeTarts). Indeed, this candy alone makes a compelling case for Valentine's' supremacy in the holiday candy racket.

But the brilliance does not stop there! A second boon to the season comes in the form of jelly/juju hearts. Again, I have covered the greatness of jellies on this site. And, similar to SweeTart hearts, jellies are among the best candy values to be had. The jelly hearts are no exception. One often gets 10 ounces or more for .99! I say "often" because the jelly heart is difficult to nail down as a singular object. First and most notably, there are both cherry-flavored and cinnamon-flavored varieties widely available. This is a great benefit, as the cherry heart is great, and the cinnamon heart puts one in mind of the cinnamon bear, one of candy's real pleasures. Also, main-stream corporations like Brach's and Necco produce these hearts, but they are also produced in generic form by places like CVS-- this healthy competition allows for subtle variations in the form, while maintaining a relatively consistent flavor. Finally, one can find both unadorned jelly hearts and ones covered in sugar. For those (like me) who enjoy the classic chew of a plain jelly, we have plenty of choices; and for those who like a textural contrast, sugar-covered hearts exist.
These originals have that nice imperfect veneer that is so very enticing. Like Edward James Almos.

But the Valentine's candy experience is not defined alone by good values and heart-shaped goodies. There are, of course, the afore-mentioned chocolate options aplenty. The more recently produced Reese's heart is just one of the more awesome developments.

Not the item, but that this pic is on google images is kinda telling.

And let me say again for the record that I fucking love chocolate. The eating experience is different, but a good chocolate is hard to beat. Most would agree that Valentine's is most associated with the box of chocolates, a special kind of eating experience. If variety is the spice of life, then the Whitman's Sampler is the spice rack of candy. Just glad there aren't any coriander-flavored dark chocolates up in there.

Look at that. It's so classic and sleek. It makes me nostalgic for something I never experienced. Simulacra, ya'll.

I could go on and on, and I am sure I will on this blog. But it is enough to say that Valentine's is a special time of the year and should have its own Peanuts special or some shit.