Candy Blog. Mentioned in passing in a couple previous FPPs, this incredibly in-depth and long-running site deserves a closer look. Candy obsessive Cybele May has ranked thousands of candies since 2005 on a ten-point scale from 'superb' to 'inedible'; taken an in-depth look at candy purveyors from from Just Born to Trader Joe's to See's; brought back news of the yearly All Candy Expo; and of course, compiled The 110 Essential Candies for Candivores. And as if all that weren't enough, there is now a podcast, Candyology, with the first three episodes devoted to Halloween candy, peanut butter candy, and chewing gum.
Halloween is not good for the teeth of trick-or-treaters. There's a plethora of candy, and kids will eat candy they wouldn't normally eat, because hey, it's there. What's a parent to do? Offer cash for candy, with the help of a local dentist. Halloween Candy Buyback, complete with zip-code dentist search, the website for the movement that has expanded from it's quiet start in 2005 with a single dentist in Wisconsin. Now, thousands of dentists across the U.S. buy back tons of candy at a dollar a pound, then send the candy with toothbrushes and toothpaste to Operation Gratitude to be added into care packages for active U.S. Military. If you're having trouble getting a younger child to part with their candy, there's the Switch Witch, who will take a pile of candy and switch it for a special switch gift. And if you want to start at the source, you can always make your own candy with one of the various sugar substitutes, or go with a teal pumpkin and avoid the candy all-together.
The art world's food fetish is nothing new, triggering equal parts salivation and repulsion we gorge on so-called 'food porn' every day, saturating our screens with sugar. But beneath that candy-cane filter there's a darker side to our fetishisation of all-things sweet. With their Twix noses, salami decolletage and strawberry laces spewing from donut-shaped carverns, James Ostrer's saccharine-warped creations are delectably disturbing. Born out of a textbook childhood junk addiction, his new series Wotsit All About takes sugar worship to the extreme, sculpting mutated, larger-than-life candy characters from truck-loads of pick 'n' mix favourites. Pushing his sitters to the extreme he smothers them in cream cheese, frazzles and ice-cream cones, the food masks leaving a claustrophic, bitter-sweet taste on the tongue. Interview with the photographer. [NSFW]
Teddy Gray's Sweet Factory is a short and sweet documentary by Martin Parr about a traditionally owned and run confectionery factory in the British Midlands. [via kottke]
"Looking back on it, one of the things that's crazy is I don't think I even realized that first of all, Joe Flaherty is supposed to be a vampire but he's howling like a werewolf. [laughs] I just took that for granted, and it must've been years until I saw it and was like "Wait a minute, that's a joke!" Furthermore, Count Floyd's always wearing a turtleneck which is the least vampire thing ever." "Splitsider kicks off its new column, Sketch Anatomy, with television writer Bill Oakley breaking down SCTV’s "Dr. Tongue’s Evil House of Pancakes" (previously). Oww owww oowoooooo!!!
“It’s still hard for me to have a clear mind thinking on it. But it’s the truth even if it didn’t happen.” [more inside]
Hart Crane was a poet, one who was known by and friends with other notable poets. The poet e. e. cummings claimed that "Crane’s mind was no bigger than a pin, but it didn’t matter; he was a born poet" (Google books preview). Tennessee Williams said he could "hardly understand a single line" but insisted he wanted to be buried at sea at the "point most nearly determined as the point at which Hart Crane gave himself back." Crane had his critics — Marianne Moore and Ezra Pound come to mind, and William Carlos Williams wrote "There is good there but it’s not for me" — but Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg used to read "The Bridge" together, John Berryman wrote one of his famous elegies on Crane and heavyweight Robert Lowell included his “Words for Hart Crane” in "Life Studies." Science/Fiction author, James Tiptree, Jr. (Alice Sheldon) also wrote that "nobody seems to have noticed that Hart Crane really was the first space poet," quoting lines from his epic The Bridge in the story Mother in the Sky with Diamonds. Those are all words by other people, why not read a few from Crane? [more inside]
Wings and Beef on Weck aren't the only culinary legacies coming from Buffalo, NY. Sponge candy is an airy, cripsy, delicious confection made with the magic of chemistry (video). [more inside]
It's not exactly the top of many people's "Favorite Sweets" list, but there is something hypnotic about watching ribbon candy being made.
'I can't sleep comfortably anymore, because she requires the exact center of the bed, meaning I have anywhere between 1-3 limbs dangling off the edge of the bed. Sometimes while she sleeps, in order to make myself feel better, I whisper to her, "I saved your life, I can take it away."' [more inside]
“Movie theaters wanted nothing to do with popcorn,” Smith says, “because they were trying to duplicate what was done in real theaters. They had beautiful carpets and rugs and didn’t want popcorn being ground into it.” Movie theaters were trying to appeal to a highbrow clientele, and didn’t want to deal with the distracting trash of concessions–or the distracting noise that snacking during a film would create. - So Why Do We Eat Popcorn At The Movies Anyway? (Smithsonian Mag)
Candy Box is an ASCII-based web RPG. Collect candy, farm lollipops go on epic quests, and win! [more inside]
Peeps Mourn Their Peeps is the winner of the 2013 Washington Post Peeps Diorama Contest. [more inside]
What makes a sweet street treat even better? Awesome artists. From Southern China, Sugar Painting makes elaborate, edible toffee masterpieces by carefully draping hot sugar onto cool marble. In Chongqing they make super floral sugar floss in a rainbow of colours. This artist from Xian blows hot sugar as if it were glass. From Istanbul, Tarihi Osmanlı Macunu (aka Traditional Ottoman Candy) is made with five different flavors of thick taffy spiraled deftly around a stick, creating a delicious lollipop. Dragon Beard Candy from Thailand is not only tasty but a great way to learn about geometric progression. And while a Thai banana pancake may seem pretty straightforward, there are always ways to jazz it up. [more inside]
The true secret of Easter - but are toys replacing candy (or, more awfully, live animals) as the traditional Easter gift? And is that a bad thing?
I'd been searching for this for some time and recently discovered that someone had unearthed it. [more inside]
Candied salted bacon "We want to warn you ahead of time that it will take all of your strength to not eat the entire pan before it all cools. It's just as tasty cold mind you, but while warm it's a perfect food that will take you away to your happy place. If you claim to not have a happy place, the warm candied, salted bacon will provide one for you." Now what else can we do with it? Bite-sized Bacon Caramels and Candied Bacon Fudge perhaps? (Not to be confused with Bacon Caramels and Bacon Caramel Fudge). Previously
The Guide to Trading Candy. (SLYT) Buzzfeed gets into the Halloween spirit by scaring kids onto the fast track toward embittered adulthood.
Ronald Clark O'Bryan: The Man Who Ruined Halloween, the source of the urban legends about random Halloween poisonings and sadism
Dave and Duncan off the inspirational (and cancelled) MTV reality show 'The Buried Life' star in a parody of Rihanna's We Found Love video along side a bunch of spray paint and candy.
The results of the 2012 Washington Post Peeps Diorama Contest are in. The winner: Occupeep DC. Runners up: Peepius Maximus, What People Think Peeps Are (based on the popular meme), The Black Peep (based off of DC's Black Cat music venue), and Just Peeped (based off of the 2011 British Royal Wedding). In addition to the finalists, check out Peeps in Washington, Political Peeps, the full gallery of submissions that the Post received this year, and the winners from 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2007. (Peepiously, peepiouslier, peepiousliest)
The new weblog Collecting Candy hits it out of the park with their first post Big League Chew – Retrospective of an American Original.
Trale Lewous advertises Skittles. Over and over again. Also M&Ms, Snickers, Twizzlers, and Butterfingers. [more inside]
The Candy Critic This candy catalog shows (almost) everything from Ramen candy to Kit Kat apple vinegar, reviewed.
Did you know that hard candy is actually a glass? Neither did I! Learn the science with this detailed protocol for making your own that helps explain what is going on. (PDF) Bored with the protocol and need a recipe instead? Let these two hardcore hammer wielding home candy-making women show you the ropes. All using common or easily acquirable equipment.
Scandybars is one of the strangest sites I've seen in some time. I have no idea how these people got their Snickers wedged into their scanners, or why.
Forever Alone? No one to talk to? Not anymore! Cleverbot is chatbot AI that learns from people and provides a surprisingly realistic simulation of inane chatter. It's also a Beatles fan. [more inside]
Filed under strangely fascinating: Popin' Cookin', powdered miniature sushi that one makes oneself and eats as a candy. Wait for the salmon roe at the end. There is a type of sweet in Japan that’s sold under the category of "intellectual education candy". These are sweets you must make yourself using the ingredients contained in the box. This way, children can enjoy the process of making candy, which allows them to develop their creativity. The non-edible version, Konapun. [more inside]
Dragon whiskers, honey skein, King's Dessert, Kkultarae, a Korean street vendor shows how to make 16.000 honey strings in two minutes. More looks at the making of this amazing candy, the wows of appreciation are worth waiting for and a close-up at the end. You can try making some yourself. What it tastes like. [more inside]
A dude eats nothing but Christmas candy for a week.
Did you ever wonder how they come up with new Jelly Belly™ flavors? Me neither, but this article's actually kind of interesting. Did you know that Blueberry was invented for the 1981 Presidential Inauguration? Some people review the flavors (even the awful ones). Of course, you can mix the flavors (previously) - but some people take it so much further than others. And the inventor's story has been made into a film! [more inside]
"The most complete and up-to-date illustrated Candy Teacher that is out on the market, with complete instructions in the manufacture of all the different classes of candy made for the wholesale and retail trade." (Charles Apell, 1921) [more inside]
Celebrate the eight-hour work day, dance around a pole, affirm your patriotism to beat the reds, build your community through candy and flower filled baskets, and get caught in flagrante delicto: it's a very special day. Previously, previously
THE BUNNY GETS IT (slyt)
What's disgusting, looks like a peanut and tastes (vaguely) like a banana? A Circus Peanut! They are so reviled, they merit a page on bad-candy.com. Strangely, though, Circus Peanut sales are up, at least according to "USA Today" (most interesting link of this post). How can this be? I've never met anyone who likes them (except for one person -- see [more inside]). Margaret Husfelt of Houston, Texas is equally confused. SOMEBODY must like them. The little suckers have a Facebook fan page, and they are, perhaps, palatable in a Jello recipe (here's an alternate recipe) or dipped in chocolate. Heck, Jolene Sugarbaker likes them in her salad. And if you're really brave, you might want to try a Circus Peanut Margarita. But don't be surprised if you get ostracized. Some people will never understand. Where's the love? [more inside]
Big Rock Candy Mountain is just a wonderful little song. I don't know many hobo tunes, but this one gets stuck in my head from time to time. It has been covered by Burl Ives, a drunken Tom Waits, and then was reworked as the theme song to the amazingly awesome animated TV show that is The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack.
Something vivid and sweet for Friday:
Liz Wolfe takes beautiful photographs.
Cool Hunting interviews Liz.
Liz Wolfe takes beautiful photographs.
Cool Hunting interviews Liz.
If you love your country and you also love to eat, you might like national flags made out of food. Or the UK made from candy. Or the United Steaks of America. [more inside]