February 2010
News to infuse
Village Candy
344 Beaver Street
Sewickley PA
Tues - Sat 10-5
Wed til 8
Cupid's Arrow Through The Heart Edition
Amore or aless
New Stuff from JB and M&M
Chiller Theater
Candy Alphabet
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Greetings fellow candy lover!

Any month that begins with a groundhog and ends with the Jewish festival of Purim, and includes two presidents and an adolescent with wings and arrows, has something for everyone. At one time on the 14th we'd write what our hearts couldn't mouth. Now we pay some drugstore to come up with the lyrics of our "love." Many will skirt even that exercise and substitute a computer-generated sentiment. Valentine's Day can be as romantic as we make it. And if we have no one to whom we'd like to express our love, we can always express it for chocolate! BTW, don't forget that February 15th is National Gum Drop Day and February 19th is Chocolate Mint Day.
Amore Is In The Air

Valentine's Day has come to be synonymous with candy. OK, and
Valentine's Chocolate Lineup
greeting cards. The U.S. Greeting Card Association estimates that approximately one billion valentines are sent each year worldwide, making it the second largest card-sending holiday of the year, after Christmas. Interestingly, roughly 85 percent of them are purchased by women. The association also estimates that, in the US, men spend an average of twice as much money as women. So you can picture how this plays out - women out in late January, early February, spending hours picking out just the right card, and usually a little sentimental something else. Men out on February 14, spending five minutes picking out whatever's left that's on sale. Venus and Mars in the candy store.

Well we've got what you need, whether you're her or him. Boxes of assorted chocolates, both heart-shaped and traditional, chocolate bar collections, Jelly Belly 40-flavor box in special Valentine's trimmings, red/white M&M mix, Necco conversation hearts, chocolate roses, Chocolove bars in 15 varieties (complete with love poem in wrapper), purple and pink foil-wrapped chocolate lips, chocolate-smothered cherries. If you're him, it can't be any easier than any of the items below (or a gift card, if even that's too hard)!
New Cool Stuff From Jelly Belly

Jelly Belly Soda Pop Shoppe Tin
The Jelly Belly Soda Pop Shoppe Tin is an old-fashioned soda machine that fits on your desk or counter! It doesn't need an outlet, because it doesn't really keep your Pop Shoppe beans cold. It's a cute little candy box that doubles as a bank - open it up and fill it with candy or drop your spare change in the coin slot! It comes with 6 oz of Jelly Belly Soda Pop Shoppe jelly beans.

Jelly Belly Candy Shoppe Tin
The sweetest place to store candy, money, or anything else that fits! The Candy Shoppe Gift Tin & Bank is shaped like an old-fashioned candy shop, with an awning that swings out. The "roof" can be removed, but it also has a coin slot in which to drop your spare change. On top of that (no pun intended), it comes with a 5 oz bag of Jelly Belly jelly beans in 20 assorted flavors!

Jelly Belly 50-Flavor Gift BoxAlso just in is their newly designed 50-flavor boxed collection. This Jelly Belly 50-Flavor Gift Box makes a perfect treat and features every bean in their official 50-flavor line-up including Very Cherry, Buttered Popcorn, Green Apple and all the rest. There's also a flavor guide on the inside lid that names each flavor. It's Jelly Belly's most popular item, and when you get it you'll see why!

And from M&M

M&M Salt and Pepper ShakersHow cool are these little salt and pepper shakers? Too bad they don't shake M&Ms! But they're fantastic if you collect shakers or use salt or pepper! And even if you're cutting back on your sodium intake, they still make great decorations.
Chiller Theater
A report on all things sodarific: what's new in the fridge, tastings and interesting tidbits from the world of bottled effervescence.

You Rang...The Great Birch Beer/Sarsaparilla Tasting 2010
Saturday, February 20, 5:30pm to 6:30pm

We decided to start off the new year's tasting season right, albeit a month late. And we're determined to repeat an event that we first held two years ago. 'Twas actually January of aught 8 that saw our first sampling of this particular varietal.

I would guess that the majority of sodie pop lovers have never tasted birch beer or sarsaparilla (unless they were in attendance two years ago). We've got a decent selection of them, including a few unique surprises. What exactly, you ask, is birch beer, and how does it differ from root beer? And what the heck is that other one that sounds like salsa gorilla?

Birch beer is made from herbal extracts, usually birch bark, and
Girlan Pink Birchtastes similar to root beer, but has a hint of wintergreen. Various types of birch beer are available, distinguished by color. The color supposedly depends on the species of birch tree from which the sap is extracted, though colors can obviously be enhanced artificially. Popular hues include brown, red and clear, often called white birch beer. After the birch sap is collected, it's distilled into birch oil, and then added to carbonated water to give it its distinctive flavor. Black birch is the most common source of extract. From what I'm told, in Pennsylvania's southeastern and central dairy country they call an ice cream soda made with vanilla ice cream and birch beer a Red Bull, while chocolate ice cream and root beer makes a Black Cow. And all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy?!

Many people (besides me?) picture Yosemite Sam ordering a Maine Root Sarsaparilla"sasparilly" when they think of sarsaparilla. There are many differing views about the original way to make sarsaparilla (sometimes spelled sassparilla). Some say that it used to be made from the vine of the sarsaparilla plant, which is abundant in Central America, Mexico and South America. The sarsaparilla root, which is actually quite bitter, was (and still is) used for medicinal purposes. Pharmacists used to add sugar to the root extract and, "some" people say, this is how the beverage became the first soft drink. But there's vigorous debate (hah, now there's a party) about what ingredient actually gave sarsaparilla its name. Some old formulas show that the sarsaparilla root would actually be substituted by a mix of birch oil and sassafras. That's why "some" think that if the drink is called sassparilla it means that sassafras was used in the mix. "Others" say the sassparilla name is a shortened version of sarsaparilla. The modern version does normally have the birch oil and sassafras mix. Just remember, if it's good enough for Yosemite Sam, it's good enough for you, dag nab it.

OK, so are you all with me so far? You liked the little birchLurch Birch homily? Are you wondering why Lurch is guarding over this article like an overeager gargoyle, just waiting to say "you rang?" Well one of our tasting entries will be Lurch Birch, made with the "Left Coast Recipe." Complementing Lurch will be a nice selection of birches and sarsaparillas. You usually can't even find one in most stores!

And a tantalizing truckload of tasty tonics should be trickling in before then, including some that may add to our tasting pleasure. So on Saturday, February 20, from 5:30pm to 6:30pm, we'll offer up these crisp, delightful potions for all (who register) to sample. Remember, it's always free and fun, but you must RSVP before it's too late.

We guarantee there will be several that you've never had before. Come sip some sarsaparilla on, and with, us - register now!

1st Candy Alphabet (of the new year)

Candy Alphabet Very tricky, this "V" thing. Once again, we didn't want to make it too easy. There aren't many "V" candies, but the one with the marshmallow seemed too easy (though indescribably yummy). Remember - name the candy that begins with the letter above, as you'd find it on the candy package. And if you're the first to send us the correct guess, you'll be Victorious and will win a Very Versatile prize (but only if you Visit).

Last Month's ClueU-no Candy Bar
Candy Alphabet UWe have to admit - this one was particularly easy, since it's the only "U" candy we could find. That's not to take anything away from David Bruno, who was last month's winner. He was still able to beat the pants off all you other runner-ups. Remember, in the famous words of Ricky Bobby, "If you're not first, you're last!"

The U-NO (which Village Candy used to carry), is made by Annabelle Candy Company, and has a smooth, chocolate truffle-like center with crushed almonds, covered with milk chocolate. Annabelle was founded by Sam Altshuler, a Russian immigrant, in 1950. He named his business after his daughter, and began by manufacturing the Rocky Road (which Village Candy DOES carry) in San Francisco. In 1978, Annabelle acquired the Cardinet Candy Co., which manufactured U-NO and Abba Zaba candy bars since the 1920s. What started as a family business is today one of the largest independently owned candy bar manufacturers in the United States, producing some of the most popular and traditional West Coast items.
Village Candy is an old-time, new-fangled retail shop specializing in a unique selection of retro and current bulk and novelty candy, artisan chocolates, glass-bottled pop and candy-themed gifts. Oh, and remember customer service? It's back!

We are here Tuesday thru Saturday 10 am to 5 pm, but on Wednesday we stay late until 8! We are closed Sunday and Monday.

Doug Alpern, Proprietor
Village Candy