Friday, February 26, 2010

Wanderlust and the peanut

Sometimes we come across an item that has such interesting historical roots that we just have to share the details with everyone. Today we’re thinking Goobers. Goobers, for those who haven’t ripped open a package yet, are chocolate coated peanuts and, aside from sneaking a little extra protein into your day, Goobers also provide us with a neat little lesson in history and geography!

The peanut, the basis of our little Goobers, originated in South America, but before they made it onto North American soil they hooked a right and made it to Africa where they stayed for a couple of centuries before they finally made the trans-Atlantic trip (again!) to North America.

So what does this have to do with a name like Goobers? Well this stop-over in Africa put the peanut in contact with the various Bantu tribes whose word for “peanut” is the ancestor of “goober.” The Kongo people called the peanut “nguba,” the same word for kidney, using the shape of the peanut as their guide. The humble nguba travelled, along with many Africans, to North America and word spread along the South, popularising the nguba and morphing nguba into goober. This slang term for peanuts caught on, though never replacing peanut, and even ended up in a Civil War song that details how soldiers managed to survive starvation by stealing into fields and eating up goober peas (peanuts!).

The Blumenthal Candy Company developed the Goober in its current form in 1925 and chose a name that many Americans would easily recognize, helping them gain a foothold in the highly competitive candy market. While this may not resonate in the areas outside of the southern United States, we can at least appreciate the simple, clean taste of a salty little peanut soaked in milk chocolate! So next time you need a little boost, pick up a pack of Goobers and toast to that little bit of history that connects us all, even through the simple little peanut.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

March Cupcake Menu

Hello fellow cupcake lovers,
We're coming to the end of February which can only mean one thing: a new cupcake menu is about to start! Read on for tantalizing new flavours and solid favourites. As always, cupcakes can be pre-ordered for any Saturday of the month by calling The Candy Store or sending us an email.

March 6th
Carrot: Pure carrot cake with walnuts and pineapple, vanilla cream cheese frosting and walnuts on top
Black & White: Belgian dark chocolate cake with vanilla frosting and chocolate sprinkles

March 13th
"Green" Velvet: Light chocolate cake with St. Patrick's-style sweet cream cheese frosting
Bailey's: Dark chocolate cake infused with Bailey's Irish Cream Liqueur with chocolate icing

March 20th
Key Lime Pie: Lime-infused cake and cream cheese frosting with lime zest
Chocolate Raspberry: Chocolate cake with raspberry puree and raspberry icing

March 27th
Chai Latte: Spiced chai tea cake and frosting, flavoured with Madagascar bourbon vanilla
Chocolate Oreo: Belgian dark chocolate cake with vanilla frosting, flavoured with Madagascar bourbon vanilla, and Oreo crumbles


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bit O....what?

Chances are if you grew up in Canada, you didn't come across this one very often. Bit-O-Honey is an American candy bar with a twist: there's no chocolate! In fact, the chocolate version of this bar didn't do very well and was axed in the '70's. But if you lived in the States or had the fortune to visit, you might have encountered this smooth and sweet bar which first appeared in 1924 from Schutter-Johnson Company, a Chicago-based candy maker now long gone.

Bit-O-Honey is exactly that: a creamy bar sweetened with honey that has a distinctive chew not unlike a good toffee. This bar is often served up in mini size to Trick or Treaters around Halloween, but at The Candy Store you can get the full size version all year round to experience the taste for yourself. Divided into six pieces, the full size version is actually quite low in fat (3g for the whole bar) and calories (160 for the whole bar), making it a good choice for people who want a little hit of sweetness without the extra guilt. In fact, the long-lasting chewy nature of the candy really does make you feel as though you've indulged even after one piece.

Of interest as well is that Bit-O-Honey is an excellent example of a larger company stepping in to buy the rights to a candy bar that would have otherwise disappeared for our shelves and faded from memory. Nestle acquired Bit-O-Honey in 1984 and has since been the sole manufacturer of this nostalgic nosh. And for the legal age among us: check out this drink recipe based on the confection.

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Be Mine!

Kiss me! Both of these statements are part of the original sentiments used on conversation hearts candies by inventor Necco. And if we're talking about conversation hearts, it can only mean one thing: Valentine's Day is upon us and that plucky little cherub has his sights set on candy! At The Candy Store we're all decked out and ready for love - candy love, that is.

Conversations hearts, which were invented in 1900 are one of the most popular Valentine traditions. In fact, 8 billion hearts are made for this season alone and manufacturers actually make them for 11 months to prepare! If, however, you're not in the mood for the original candy hearts, we have a fantastic alternative: solid chocolate hearts wrapped in foil with the same sorts of sayings so you can still make your point and tickle their sweet tooth.

Also available for a limited time only are beautiful boxed Saxon chocolates, brought in only for Valentine's Day; with their lush satin ribbons they're ready to give.
Still not sure what to get? Show them you were paying attention by making a delightful mixed assortment of their favourites. Any one of our helpful Candy Consultants will happily assist you in putting together that pefect treat for someone sweet. And yes, we are open on Valentine's Day from 11am - 5pm, just in case!

The Candy Store will be closed on Family Day: Monday, February 15, 2010

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Monday, February 1, 2010

February Cupcake Menu

As we turn the page on the calendar, it's time to look forward to another month of Saturday Cupcakes! As always, we recommend contacting us at the store or by email to reserve your favourite flavours.

Saturday, February 6
Vanilla: Vanilla cake and frosting, flavoured with Madagascar bourbon vanilla with sprinkles
Mocha:Belgian dark chocolate cake with mocha frosting and chocolate-covered roasted coffee bean on top

Saturday, February 13
Southern Red Velvet:Light chocolate cake with sweet cream cheese frosting and a milk chocolate callet
Strawberry:Pure strawberry cake with sweet cream cheese frosting

Gift Boxed Valentine's Day "Sweethearts" Dozen available for pre-order.
Each Sweethearts Box contains Southern Red Velvet, Strawberry and Chocolate Marshmallow Ganache

Saturday, February 20
Mango: Pure mango cake with sweet cream cheese frosting
Hazelnut Chocolate: Hazelnut-chocolate cake with Belgian dark chocolate frosting decorated with a toasted hazelnut on top

Saturday, February 27
Chocolate Orange: Chocolate, orange zest cake with bittersweet chocolate frosting
Banana: Pure banana cake with Madagascar Bourbon vanilla cream cheese frosting.