344 Beaver Street
Tues - Sat 10-5
Wed til 8
Greetings fellow candy lover!
There are some cool things to get you through the dog days of August (more about that later). We bring you another in our exclusive series of soda tastings (yup, you're invited). Also, fresh on the heels of a brief July visit to the Fancy Food Show in New York City, we introduce two new chocolates that made a major impression on us. And further along (maybe you can catch it on your second snoring head-bob) is another heart-stopping edition of the (drum roll please) Candy Alphabet.
So keep reading, then pay us a visit. We'll keep the lights (and air-conditioning) on for you (and the chocolate)...
|Always Looking Out For Your Chocolate Pleasure
Askinose Chocolate - White Is This Year's Dark
We were originally searching for an artisan white chocolate, and we finally found one. Actually, the only one. White chocolate is technically not even chocolate - it's a confection containing a blend of milk, cocoa butter and sugar, and often vanilla or other flavors. It doesn't contain any cocoa solids. Cheap varieties (of which I've tasted many) have most of the cocoa butter replaced by vegetable fats (eww!). Askinosie is the first small-batch chocolate maker to press their own cocoa butter; most chocolatiers purchase it from industrial makers like Cargill or ADM. Askinosie combines 34% of this butter (from San Jose Del Tambo, Ecuador beans) with goat's milk powder and organic cane juice to make the only single origin white chocolate in the world. Village Candy carries three of these unique bars - plain, a Nibble BarTM (with roasted pieces of these same Ecuadorian beans for a nice crunch), and one with organic roasted/salted pistachios (yummers). You've never experienced white chocolate this decadently rich! If you're not normally a fan of white chocolate, this is definitely worth a try.
We also have two San Jose Del Tambo 70% bars (regular and Nibble BarTM) and two Soconusco, Mexico 75% bars (regular and Nibble BarTM) from Askinosie. Check out their site for a truly interesting journey through their process, where you can even type in the "Choc-o-lot number" from your package to read about all
the steps leading up to the moment the product was packaged!
Taza Chocolate - 100% Stone Ground What's so special about stone ground chocolate, you ask? Well, it's a great marketing angle. It really is, but actually there are three reasons why stone ground chocolate should dance over your taste buds in the near future:
1. The bean is in the bar - Taza doesn't conch their chocolate. Conching is a part of the chocolate
manufacturing process that intensely works the chocolate mass to round
out the cacao particles, and it mellows the flavor by releasing some of the
more volatile acids and fruity flavor components. Taza skips this step in
order to preserve the texture of their chocolate and to hold in as many
natural flavors of the beans as possible. A great range of
fruity and nutty flavors can be found in every one of their chocolate bars.
This chocolate is food, not candy - Taza's unique texture
comes from their antique Mexican stone mills. Each millstone is hand
dressed to bring out the maximum flavor potential from the cacao beans,
giving their chocolate the appeal of real food, not just candy.
Full Flavor Roasting - The light color of Taza chocolate is indicative
of their gentle roasting and high quality beans. Their roasting process
preserves the bean's natural flavor and healthful properties.
Also from Taza are wonderful Chocolate Mexicano Disks. In Oaxaca, Mexico you can order your chocolate fresh ground to order.
This authentic recipe from the streets of Oaxaca City is the simplest,
most delicious chocolate you'll ever taste. Made only with Taza's Mexican
stone mills (molinos), these disks contain only three ingredients:
roasted cocoa beans and cane sugar. That's only two, you say (observant reader that you are). The third is either roasted almonds, cinnamon stick or vanilla bean. Remember though, this is the real deal - it is minimally tempered and can
have a white appearance on the surface of the bar, and that's completely
normal and delicious.
And Now For Something Completely Different
To celebrate the arrival of these chocolate-making philosophies into our stable of fine artisan chocolate confections, Village Candy will host a new chocolate tasting. Stay tuned - more to come in our September Candygram (psst: reserve Saturday, September 23 on your calendar).
A report on all things sodarific: what's new in the fridge, tastings and interesting tidbits from the world of effervescence.
New Pops (i.e., Pop News)
Village Candy only stocks ONE energy drink, and it's Bawls. First, it's one of the few that actually comes in glass bottles (and pretty, bimply ones at that). Second, it doesn't have that saccharine-sweet, tang-like taste most other pick-me-ups have. Third, this one actually tastes great, and makes you look great when you're holding it in your hand.
The newest BAWLS Guarana flavor has just arrived! I mentioned this in the July Candygram, but now it's actually in our cooler (and my tummy). Unleash your inner geek with BAWLS
Guarana G33K B33R - the first-ever high caffeine root beer, spiked with
guarana! G33K B33R has a smooth, refreshing root beer taste with enough guarana
caffeine to make it as strong as a cup of coffee. It's the perfect drink
for any gamer, techie, student or root beer fan in need of a tasty BOUNCE!
BTW, they named this new drink "G33K B33R" to thank their loyal fans! The candyman has tried it, and he gives it a resounding rootie-tootie thumbs up. The best energy drink yet.
Sprecher Cream Soda used to be a staple in our cooler, but then we ran out. Customers have been clamoring for it ever since - it is one of Village Candy's best creams. Now we have it back in stock. Here's what BEVNET.com had to say about it:
"Sprecher Cream Soda is in a class all its own
when it comes to high quality cream sodas. This variety has a rich
vanilla and honey flavor that are extremely flavorful. In addition, it
has an almost caramel like sweetness to it that makes it even more
enjoyable. Finally, we really like the 16oz wide body glass bottle.
Given that we like this product so much, it was nice to have the extra
4 ounces. Overall a top notch product."
Which is a perfect segue into...
Don't Forget - 2nd Annual Cream Soda Tasting
Speaking, er, typing of cream soda, here's a reminder that Village Candy will be hosting its second annual Cream Soda Tasting on Saturday, August 23, from 5:30 to 6:30. What's the catch, you ask? The only requirement (besides the fact that you're can't berate me for using the same picture from the last newsletter) is that you must remember to RSVP for this chic event. Or you can just email Village Candy that you would like to be in attendance and let us know how many will be in your entourage. Remember tardiness is unacceptable and, if you decide to leave, you must request a hall pass and detention will be mandatory.
C'mon, what could be better than a sweating bottle of ice cold creamy pop during the dog days of summer? BTW, as an aside (and to show you that I'm not only a candy wiz), the term "dog days" was used by the ancient Greeks and Romans to describe the hottest, most sultry days of summer, so named for Sirius. No, not the XM lookalike, dummy, but the "Dog Star," the brightest star in the sky besides the Sun. They were originally the days when Sirius rose just before or at the same time as sunrise (which is no longer true because of the "precession of the equinoxes" - look it up). In these ancient times, people sacrificed a brown dog at the beginning of the Dog Days to appease the rage of Sirius, believed to be the cause of this string of heat. So sacrifice a (hot) dog to the 'cue, break out a cream soda (from the sixer you bought at the tasting), maybe plop in a scoop of vanilla, and lament the fact that the chill that is in the bottle will very soon will be all around you. Hope to see you here, and we'll confirm your RSVP with a follow-up ballot! Among those we'll be sampling are: Journey Caribbean Cream Brew (with a touch of coconut), the above mentioned Sprechers, and Moxie Blue Cream (just for color variety).
Chill out! Other Brews Are Available
Yes, we have a variety of other pops ready for guzzling that aren't in the cooler, but we'll be happy to sell them to you. After all, you can have too much of a good thing, and they don't all fit in the fridge. Check out the shelves next to the cooler where you'll see a selection on display. Just ask, and we'll retrieve them from the temperature-controlled, time-lock vault (a.k.a. the back room).
|Miscellaneous Candy News
Good & Fruity Is Back!
Who remembers Good & Fruity? Who has a faint recollection of this Good & Plenty fruity cousin (and there's nothing wrong with that) candy but is aging too rapidly to get a full blown memory? When I was a kid (yes, son, before running water and electricity), Good & Plenty was my absolute favorite movie theater candy. I remember finishing the candy-coated licorice and blowing in the box to create a squealing sound. Way before the current theater annoyance of people behind you talking and texting on their cell phones, you had me, tooting melodies on a candy box. My, how we've progressed. But I digress.
Good & Fruity was out of production for quite a while but, thanks to this online petition signed by over 2000 fans, was returned to Hershey Foods lineup in March 2008. Good & Plenty was first produced by the Quaker City Confectionery Company in Philadelphia in 1893 and is the oldest branded candy in the U.S. Choo Choo Charlie, the engineer who fueled his train with Good & Plenty, first appeared in ads in 1950. In 1973 Warner-Lambert purchased Good & Plenty and owned it until it was bought by Beatrice Foods and moved to St. Louis in 1982. It was acquired by Leaf Brands in 1983, and became part of Hershey Foods in 1996.
Your basic fruit-flavored gumballs, but hollow, with Nerds inside! How sweet is that? You can even hold 'em up to your ear and shake 'em and hear the Nerds conversing (joking, but you can hear them shaking). Kinda like maracas with silencers. And, they come in two sizes - the five-ball tube (pleasingly pictured above) or one giant ball. 'nuf said.
|Another Installment of Candy Alphabet!
Here 'tis, candy freaks - your monthly edition of alliterative marketing (well, not technically). And now the angle - figure out which candy wrapper is graced with the left-pictured letter. Psst: here's a hint - the candy begins with "D." Email your best guess for a chance to win a prize (remember - cash value declared on your taxes: miniscule; being mentioned in next month's Village Candygram: priceless). The wrapper image may not be of a confection we carry, but it'll be one you've seen before, and you will always get the answer in the following month's issue.
It's kitschy, it's sugarific, it's pure unadulterated genius. And by using the link near the bottom of this very same newsletter, you can spread this hipness like cooties to your next of kin. Alrighty then.
Last month's clue:
The winner of last issue's Candy Alphabet was Jodi Dixon, for guessing Chunky. Many devoted candy freaks correctly guessed it, but you have to be first. Want to hear about Chunky? Well, not only is it a great name for a rap artist, but...
Nestle's bar has always been known for its unique trapezoidal shape. It's made of milk chocolate, raisins and roasted peanuts. When it was introduced in the late '30s, New York City candy maker Philip Silvershein dubbed it Chunky, the nickname of his "chunky" granddaughter. It was then made with cashews, chocolate, raisins and Brazil nuts. Rumor has it that the original shape was a pyramid, but after packaging difficulties developed, the top was cut off, creating the candy's distinctive shape. Silvershein's creation was originally distributed by his friend, William Wrigley Jr. If Chunky was a part of your childhood, you'll remember that it used to be plainly wrapped in a piece of printed foil folded around the chunk, not like the sealed product you see today. Guess that method wouldn't pass the product safety sniff test.
Village Candy is an old-time, new-fangled retail shop specializing in customer service, a unique selection of retro, bulk and novelty candy, artisan chocolates, glass-bottled pop and candy-themed gifts.
We are here Tuesday thru Saturday 10 am to 5 pm, but on Wednesdays we stay late until 8! We are closed Sunday and Monday.
Doug Alpern, Proprietor