Posted by: Michelle Mitton | May 1, 2008

My Favorite Candy

Andes MintsI don’t know what it is that has made me think sugar this week–it’s probably the snow, I can blame a lot of my problems on the snow I’ve found–but I’ve been craving the sweet stuff. Luckily Andrew returned safely from his San Francisco trip bearing gifts from Ghirardelli. Oh how he reads my mind . . .

Now normally I’m not really a candy person. I mean I can pick up a Snickers bar and snarf it down in no time flat with the best of them but not too often and when I do I’m left wondering why I bothered because it didn’t really do it for me. Here, however, are some candies that are a little harder to resist.

I’m interested in your favorites–candy can be such a cultural thing and there are some forgotten classics out there that I’d love to sample.

1. Truffles. I’m just starting with the obvious here–I mean is there anyone on the planet who doesn’t like truffles? Well I’m sure there are actually, I have met people who don’t care for chocolate. Somewhere . . . I’m sure at some point . . . I just can’t think of any of those people off hand. But at any rate I love dark chocolate truffles. I’m not as in love with the flavored varieties, when you have such bliss in a bite why cloud it up with things like amaretto or orange liqueur? There have been times when I’ve gone through a box of chocolates–not the truffles, just the square chocolates–and cut them in half just to see if they’re the yucky cream filled kind. Why waste calories on strawberry cream I ask? Life’s too short. My mom loves cherry cordials but personally I think that’s just a way to gum up perfectly good chocolate.

2. Andes Mints. I like chocolate and I like mint and the only thing that I don’t like about these bad boys is that they’re small enough to accumulate very quickly. Five minutes of snacking goes by and suddenly I’ve consumed half a box. Not good. Well good, oh so good, but not good in the long term sense of the word. I have a recipe that takes an Andes Mint and wraps it in cookie dough–I haven’t made them simply because of the danger they pose to my thighs.

Swedish Fish3. Swedish fish. Jujus or Dots are too chewy and I don’t typically like the crunchy jelly bean shell but these–these are a sweet taste of fishy heaven. I can’t quite put my finger on what makes the flavor so good, they’re not really like jelly beans or Starbursts or Lifesavers, but they’re perfectly chewy and have the perfect amount of sweet-fruitiness.

4. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. This is a real temptation problem for me not because I’m so amazingly in love with them but mostly because for some reason the people of our neighborhood are especially fond of giving out Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups at Halloween and my kids don’t like them. So they come home, dump their candy out on the floor to count it (the traditional Counting of the Horde) then pick out the RPBCs to set aside for me. Sigh. In a classic mom style I’m loathe to throw anything out that could actually be eaten and I do like these candies. So who’s gonna eat them do you think? Thanks kids, thanks a lot. Mom really needs more peanut butter in her life.

5. Dove dark chocolate. I mentioned our family taste tests but I knew long before we ever experimented that I love Dove chocolate. So smooth, so silky . . . I just love those little individually wrapped squares and will horde them if I’m ever so lucky as to find them in the house–after I buy a bag I tend to hide them in secret stashes around my house but then I also tend to forget where those stashes are until I stumble upon a forgotten store. I didn’t always like dark chocolate, I used to think it was too bitter but my lovely daughter Grace has always preferred the dark side and years of mothering her have awakened me to the error of my ways. People always say you learn so much from your kids . . .

Mike and Ikes6. Mike and Ikes. I get this fetish from my Mom and though I love them a lot I couldn’t possibly love them as much as she does. She has us shipping them to her over in India regularly. The best flavor is the tropical variety, which is true with about everything in life I’ve noticed. Tropical is nearly always better isn’t it?

7. Jelly Bellys. I mentioned not caring for the crunch of jelly beans but then these aren’t your normal jelly beans. Ah, so many flavors, so much tasting pleasure, where to start? I’m partial to Juicy Pear and Apricot and even Peach but do you know the best Jelly Belly flavor? The one that I pick out of the bowl meticulously? The one with the amazing blend of savory and sweet that I crave? Popcorn. Yup, that’s the best flavor hands down and luckily I’m the only one in the house that likes them so I get to pick them all out and no one complains.

8. Twix. There isn’t much to say about Twix except that when I met that man or woman who looked at a shortbread cookie and said, “You know this cookie is good but if we covered it in caramel . . . and then in chocolate . . .” I’m going to kiss them full on the mouth. It’s a promise.

9. Toffee in any variety. The English have this market cornered for sure but any toffee, any time. Hey, I ought to get that embroidered on a pillow, it would make a good slogan. “Any toffee, any time.” It’s could be a mission statement for me or something.

Gummi Bear Chandelier10. Gummi Bears. Love the chew, love the fruit flavors. Though I’ve heard that if you close your eyes you’ll have no idea which flavor it is that you’re eating. Kind of like Jello or something. If we put it to a vote I bet we could get it firmly established that Gummi Bears are the best thing to come out of Germany since the band Scorpions. Well, wait a minute. I guess there’s the Pope–he’s definitely better than Gummi Bears so I take that back.

Yes, that’s a chandelier made from the tasty little guys.

11. Raisinettes. I like raisins. There, I’ve said it. It’s not a popular thing to admit around here in my non-raisin loving family (Spencer is the only one who agrees that a proper oatmeal cookie must have raisins) but I like them anyway. The raisins I mean, not the family. Well, I like the family too–that’s not what I meant. Anyway. I like raisins–is that so wrong? Cover them in chocolate and they’re even better. Everything’s better covered in chocolate.

12. Tropical Fruit Lifesavers. I’m being rather specific here because that’s the only flavor of Lifesavers I buy but they’re rather hard to find. I like the mango, coconut, pineapple and fruit punch goodness in each roll but you really have to hunt to find them. Stores usually only have nasty flavors like Butter Rum available (sorry Mom but Butter Rum is really nasty). If I go through the checkout line at the grocery store and notice Tropical Fruit on the shelf I usually stock up for the next few months.

Almond Roca13. Almond Roca. Hands down my favorite candy. It’s the toffee (which I’ve already covered quite thoroughly) and the almond and the chocolate. My grandfather has always loved Almond Roca–that and black licorice (go figure). My other grandfather loved horehound. Have you ever had horehound? It’s nasty, nasty stuff. If chocolate keeps the Dementors away then horehound is like the exact opposite because I get the shakes just thinking about my one experience trying it. Hard to believe that caring adults at one time gave the stuff to children as a treat. Where’s child services when you need them I ask?

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