Saturday, August 20, 2005

I want candy

A friend and I were talking the other day about Candyfreak. I agree wholeheartedly with the book’s central premise that the decline of the small candy manufacturer is a catastrophe. Taking the kids around on Halloween is depressing. They end up with a mix of 4 or 5 brands of candy, none of which is that interesting. In the book, Almond visits a number of manufacturers and tries lots of candy. Some of his highest praise went to the Valomilk, normally found only in the Mid-west. You can get it at Cracker Barrel, and if you are in Portland and are willing, you can go to Boise to get one.

While not as rare or as good as the Valomilk, I wish we could see more Cow Tales and fruit tootsie rolls. The Cow Tale is a cylindrical version of the Goetz caramel cream, which many people find vile. If the idea of eating a nine inch cream filled caramel tube sounds great, then you need one. They are best found in sad little boxes in sketchy gas stations.

The fruit flavored tootsie roll is almost impossible to find except as 1/30th the volume of a giant bag of candy. These are like Starbursts, except they are not hard, waxy or chemical tasting. They are so much better than normal Tootsie Rolls that I am surprised they are so hard to find.


jo said...

Hey Tripp,

I tried a Cow Tale last year when I was at the Oregon Coast on my birthday. It was the middle of December and my friend and I went to The Sportsman Tavern in Pacific City, but first stopped at the mini mart next door and bought a bag of candy. It was my birthday, afterall, and I know how to fuck shit UP when it comes time to celebrate. Candy and booze. Yeah. So - I'd never had a Cow Tale. It was okay - but I like Long Boys better. I bought those in Atlanta last year, but you can find them around Portland, too. Cow Tales seem fairly ubiquitous these day, as well. I'd never seen them until the past year or so.

Incidentally, in addition to Cow Tales, our bag of candy held Junior Mints, candy corn and those jellied orange wedges coated in sugar to which I am inexplicably attracted. I love the finest dark chocolates (Dagoba, Valhrona, etc.) but also have a warm place in my heart for the trashiest of trashy candy (Circus Peanuts, anyone?)

We took bag of candy into the tavern and subsequently made a bunch of friends for the night. And people bought us shots in return (good free-drink-getting tactic! - Like the kid on the playground who would "buy" friends with Hubba Bubba and Jolly Ranchers...that kid was at every school, right?)

After the shots and the sugar binge, we went back to the beach cabin where our (very pregnant) other friend had whipped together a flourless chocolate (Scharffenberger) torte with fresh whipped cream (You've gotta have BIRTHDAY CAKE, afterall!) God DAMN. Why is sugar so good? What's wrong with me?


Tripp said...

Yeah you are right about the ubiquity of the Cow Tale. I just wanted to talk about them.

I am on board with the orange candy slice/Valhrona sacred and profane thing, but I will draw the line at Circus Peanuts. On the other hand, I do get excited by the Lemon Head family of candies.

jo said...

Lemonheads... an all-time favorite. Love how they are sour at first, and then become sweeter as the tart outer-coating dissolves.

And what's up with the Ferrara Pan/Nancy Regan connection? The inside flap of the Lemonheads were printed with: "Say no to drugs". I guess they don't classify straight refined sugar and corn syrup as any sort of drug. Do they still bear the anti-drug message?

Remember how the Grapeheads used to be called "Alexander the Grapes" and the Cherryheads, in a sweeter and less p.c. era were called "Cherry Chans"?

I'm kindof into the giant Lemonheads, too.

Dang - now I've gotta go buy a box!


Tripp said...

I love the old names of the candies. I believe Cherry Chan was renamed Cherry Clan in order not to offend. I am not sure if they removed the slant eyed characters on the box though.

The only plus with the new boring names is now we have orange heads too. This is meager payment I know.