September 2008
News to infuse
Village Candy
344 Beaver Street
Sewickley PA
Tues - Sat 10-5
Wed til 8
Summer's Last Dance Edition
Hot Rox
Hear Ye (Must I repeat?)
Cooler Times
Letters from the Candy's Edge
Greetings fellow candy lover!

Summer's over (boo-hoo), but the balmy weather will soon fade into the falling leaves of a new season in a barely perceptible last dance. We've got some great new sweets to help make the transition not just bearable, but downright autumnal (whatever that means). C'mon in and see what's just arrived!
Village Candy Exclusive
Make Your Gathering An Event

Rock Candy Crystals I have visited many candy stores throughout the land, and have never come across anything like this anywhere. Village Candy will be offering bulk rock candy crystals in ten individual colors/flavors! We've always had assorted rock candy sticks, but this is something completely new. Now, for folks or organizations (which I guess are comprised of folks too) who have theme colors (or not, if they're indecisive), they can offer a specific palette of rock candy crystals for eating and/or decoration. Sprinkle your candy table (or hor d'oeuvre table, billiards table or periodic table) with the sparkle of fine jewelry or ice crystals in your choice of colors. Yellow (lemon), Purple (grape), Orange (well, orange), Light Blue (cotton candy), Light Green (watermelon), White (traditional), Blue (raspberry - never could figure that one out), Green (lime), Pink (strawberry) or Red (cherry).  Buy it by weight and surprise everyone at your party, or just get some to eat out of hand or mount in your jewelry. Come in and check it out!
Chocolate Tasting
You've Been Waiting For This

As promised, we will be holding a Chocolate ShowcaseChocolate Stack on Saturday, September 27, from 5:30 to 6:30. I'd call it a "trunk show," but that sounds so elephantine! In any event, we will offer samples of our two newest cacao bars from Taza and Askinosie. The only requirement (OK, repeat after me): you must  remember to RSVP for this exclusive event. Or you can just email Village Candy that you would like to be in attendance.

Let's briefly recap for those of you who thought July's description of these artisan chocolatiers wasn't worthy of reading (wagging finger noted).

Askinosie is one of a very select breed of chocolate maker that produces their own cocoa butter (versus buying it from industrial mega-processors like Cargill and ADM). This is an
expensive proposition, and it's what makes their chocolate sensorially creamy. Their white chocolate bars - plain, with Askinosie White Barnibs, or with pistachios - are a party in your mouth. I can honestly say that you've never truly tasted the real white deal until you've tried Askinosie (and this from someone who's never been a white chocolate fan). Their dark bars - a 70% from San Jose Del Tambo, Ecuador and a 75% from Soconusco, Mexico - have cocoa butter made from the very same beans as their solids reintegrated into the final product. And they're available in both plain and nibble varieties (and in giant Kilo bars). When you buy one, plug its lot number (from the wrapper) into their web site to see your specific bar's journey from plantation to your mouth. And their unique packaging makes for impressive gifting!

Taza is all about Stone Ground Chocolate. They use two Molinos (Mexican stone grinding mills) to transform cacao nibs into chocolate liquor. By minimally processing the cacao with stone mills, they maintain all the goodness and flavor of the tropical cacao tree. And they don't conche! Conching is the part of the chocolate process that intensely works the chocolate mass to round out the cacao particles and 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 and to hold in as many natural
bean flavors as possible. I've never mislead you before, so believe me when I tell you that Taza makes some of the most pure and intensely flavored chocolate in the world - minimally processed, organic, and stone ground.

We also offer their Chocolate Mexicano discs - Taza's take on the legendary Ibarra Chocolate. For the uninitiated, Ibarra is a Mexican baking chocolate not found around these parts.  It is not, strictly speaking, an eating chocolate - it is designed specifically for making hot cocoa. If you know the hi
Taza Mexicano Discstory of chocolate (see Maya and Aztec lore), you would realize how historical that makes these discs. The texture is supposedly 
what makes this not primarily an eating chocolate, but many chocolate connoisseurs seek it out for exactly this reason. This chocolate makes no pretense at being smooth, and is in fact extremely rough. The sugar in it is ordinary granular sugar and there is no cocoa butter. The ingredient list is: sugar, cocoa beans and, depending on your choice, cinnamon stick, almond or vanilla bean. But, in my humble opinion, that's exactly why it's so fantastic - the texture's the thing!
Cooler Times

A report on
all things sodarific: what's new in the fridge, tastings and interesting tidbits from the world of bottled effervescence.

Cream of the Crop
Rising to the Top

Zuberfizz CreamA nice crowd of pop lovers turned out for our 2nd annual Cream Soda Tasting, and they all let their opinions be known (Hey buddy, keep it to yourself). The event was featured in the July issue of Whirl Magazine's "Quick Bites" section  - the issue with Dylan (the auteur, not the candy magnate) on the cover. There was also a segment on KDKA Live on Wednesday, August 20. Rising to the top of the ranks was Zuberfizz (whose Root Beer is also available at Village Candy), bottled in Durango, Colorado. It was the clear winner, as can be seen in the standings below, though each received votes. Once again, differences were definitely apparent, including color (or lack thereof), sweetness, taste saturation, viscosity, prettiness of bottle, aroma, ice cream float-worthiness, label coolness, chicness of name, spelling of category (creme vs. cream), thirst-quenchability, etc. Most were noted only by opinionated me.
  1. Zuberfizz Vanilla Cream Soda
  2. Sprecher Cream Soda
  3. Boylan's Creme Soda
  4. Cool Mountain Cream
  5. Moxie Blue Cream
  6. Frostie Blue Cream
  7. Clover Classic Cream (tie)
  8. Dads Cream (tie)
  9. Dr. Brown's Cream
The winner of this Tasting's Grand Prize (selected totally at random) - a four pack of Boylan's Creme Soda - is Jennifer Bett. C'mon down! Thanks for participating.

New Pops (i.e., Pop News)

Jackson Hole's Snake River Sarsaparilla

Here's what BevNet (a beverage oriented media company) hadSnake River Sarsaparilla to say about Snake River Sarsaparilla:

"Jackson Hole's Sarsaparilla is a lightly carbonated, moderately sweet soft drink that features a relatively creamy flavor. The body of the sarsaparilla is on the heavier side of other products in the category and provides the drinker with a rich consistency. The "wild west" style packaging gives the product a unique and appealing appearance. Overall, an excellent full-body beverage that can go head to head with any of its competitors."

It's now available on the Birch Beer/Sarsaparilla shelf.
Candy Alphabet Strikes Again!

Candy Quiz EIt's not easy coming up with this thing, let me tell you. And this month's letter was particularly perplexing. Think about all the candy that starts with an "E" and let me know if you come up with any. The one at left is a little bit of a stretch, but for devotees of this sweet treat, it shouldn't pose too much of a challenge.

Last month's clue:Candy Quiz D
Dubble Bubble
The winner of last issue's Candy Alphabet was XXXX XXXX, for guessing Dubble Bubble. This must have been a real head-scratcher - not many entries. A little history on America's favorite bubble gum...

Dubble Bubble brand bubble gum was invented in 1928 by Philadelphia-based Fleer, whose accountant enjoyed experimenting with recipes during his free time. In an interview he remarked that it had been an accident. In 1937, the gum went on the market nationally.
Starting in 1930, a comic strip came with the gum, featuring twin brothers Dub and Bub. They were replaced by a new character named Pud in 1950. Dub and Bub I get, but Pud? That's who we have today.

Dubble Bubble was distributed in military rations during World War II until 1942. Due to war efforts, latex and sugar became scarce, briefly putting a halt to bubble gum manufacturing in the US. By 1951 Fleer was again able to manufacture Dubble Bubble and in 1954, the company began sponsoring bubble gum blowing contests, which grew in popularity and were eventually televised. Fleer extended the line to apple, grape, and watermelon flavors (which Village Candy also offers). Concord Confections bought Dubble Bubble in 1998
, and began a nationwide bubble gum blowing contest in 2000 for children aged 12 and younger in Wal-Mart stores across America. The brand was acquired by Chicago-based Tootsie Roll Industries in 2004, as part of its purchase of Concord Confections. The contest ended after 2005.

Dubble Bubble was introduced as the first five-pack of gum in 1957, and began selling gumballs in 1999. The gum is sold in 50 countries and turned 80 years old this year!

And One More Thing...
Grether's Blackcurrant Pastilles

Grether's Pastilles Back by popular demand are these famous throat pastilles. They originated approximately 150 years ago in the British Isles. It was in the little factory of Allen & Hanbury Ltd. in London that production of the very special Allenbury's pastilles began. No one knows exactly how old the recipe is, but it is certain that they were made as early as 1850, and even at that time exclusively from the very best raw materials. Grether's Pastilles have been sold in Switzerland since 1910, and Doetsch Grether Ltd. has owned distribution rights since 1930 (the trademark was transferred in 1974). Production was relocated to Switzerland after the English factory was closed. The Swiss have always believed that this traditional product had a big potential, even though production is very expensive and cannot be streamlined. Some of the raw materials are still purchased today from the same companies that supplied Allen & Hanbury Ltd. London years ago.

Throat-soothing and palate-pleasing, these candies have a long history, but they have many current fans, including President Clinton. Made with glycerin and vitamin C, they satisfy a sweet tooth, moisten a dry mouth, and can even ward off colds.
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
Village Candy