candy

New Brunswick heritage sweets: Ganong Chocolates

New Brunswick heritage sweets: Ganong Chocolates

[caption id="attachment_6734" align="alignright" width="458"] Staff at Ganong's shop are cheerful as kids in a candy store. [/caption]As we drove home from Saint John, we couldn't resist stopping in Saint Stephen, Canada's self-proclaimed “Chocolate Town.” Located on the banks of the Saint Croix River about 75 miles west of Saint John, the town is home to Ganong Chocoaltier, Canada's oldest family-owned chocolate company (73 Milltown Blvd., St. Stephen, NB; 506-465-5611; ganong.com). In 1999, Ganong opened a Chocolate Museum to tell their story. It's located behind their large storefront candy shop in downtown Saint Stephen. The company was founded in 1873 by two brothers of French Huguenot descent. “Chicken Bones,” their signature sweet of hard cinnamon candy filled with bittersweet chocolate, debuted in 1885. Ganong claims to...Read More
Candy Lady breaks bad with chile chocolate

Candy Lady breaks bad with chile chocolate

Debbie Ball created the bright blue crystal meth prop for the first two seasons of Breaking Bad. It's quite a badge of honor in a city that's obsessed with the AMC cult series that went off the air in 2013 but lives forever in online streaming. Fans still flock to the Candy Lady (424 San Felipe NW, Albuquerque, www.CandyLady.com), her jam-packed shop in Albuquerque's Old Town, to pick up 100 gram packages of Breaking Bad Candy for the folks back home. Most can't resist heading to a back room where cardboard cutouts of Walt and Jesse stand behind a table of blue crystals. Fans can slip on black sunglasses and black pork pie hats—the basic Heisenberg identity—and pose for pictures scooping said crystals into plastic...Read More
Sweet surrender at Mrs. Mitchell’s Sweetie Shop

Sweet surrender at Mrs. Mitchell’s Sweetie Shop

Sweet nostalgia is the stock-in-trade of Mrs. Mitchell's Sweetie Shop in Glasgow's Trongate neighborhood (117 Trongate). Out front, a giant swirled lollipop on the sidewalk lures in Glaswegians eager for a taste of their childhoods. “Everyone asks for the old-fashioned candies,” said Mercedes Thompson, niece of proprietor Beverly Mitchell. She gestured to shelves filled with jars of chocolate lime satins, barley sugar, rhubarb rock, butternuts, and rum and butter toffees. The wrapped candies are great to stuff in a pocket for a quick pick-me-up during a meeting or a ride on the subway. But some of the favorites are good for sharing. Beverly told us that MB Originals (chocolate-covered white fondant) and Chelsea Whoopers (chocolate- covered soft fudge) are among the most requested candy bars....Read More
Glasgow street fare: Morton’s Rolls and fried Mars Bars

Glasgow street fare: Morton’s Rolls and fried Mars Bars

Wherever we go, we try to stay open to serendipity. We like to think of our approach as open-minded, but it might be better described as open-mouthed. Our goal is to discover local foods, however humble. So when we spotted the Morton's stand in Glasgow, we knew we'd hit paydirt. As scripture reminds us, “man does not live by bread alone.” The folks of Morton's Rolls would agree. You really ought to split it, spread it, and put something between the halves. Founded in 1965, Morton's remains one of the two bakeries making the crispy edged, pillowy soft white bread rolls so beloved by Glasweigians (or “Weegies,” as they sometimes call themselves). Morton's even has a small fleet of self-contained stands that sell the rolls...Read More
Chocolate and bourbon make best of friends

Chocolate and bourbon make best of friends

We were glad to see Andy Embry behind the counter at the cookware store and demonstration kitchen Mesa (216 Pearl Street, 812-725-7691, mesachefs.com) in New Albany. Mesa offers an ambitious schedule of cooking demonstrations led by local chefs. We had signed up for the bourbon and chocolate tasting program that is usually offered once a month, according to Mesa owner Bobby Bass. Embry had been remarkably engaging and knowledgeable when he guided us through the Evan Williams center in Louisville (see this post). And he had offered some good pointers on tasting bourbon. So we were curious to see how he approached pairing bourbon with chocolate. His partner in the demonstration was Erika Chavez-Graziano, founder of Cellar Door Chocolates (cellardoorchocolates.com), which has three shops in...Read More
Schimpff’s Confectionery proves enduring sweet story

Schimpff’s Confectionery proves enduring sweet story

Jill and Warren Schimpff (above) could have been a comedy duo. Instead the husband and wife—married for 50 years—are the George Burns and Gracie Allen of candymaking. They are also the current proprietors of Schimpff's Confectionery (347 Spring Street, Jeffersonville, IN, 812-283-8367, schimpffs.com). Warren's great-grandfather opened the shop in 1891. Several additions later, it remains a fixture on Jeffersonville's main drag. It is also the self-proclaimed “oldest, continuously operated, family-owned candy business in the United States.” Building a business around the American sweet tooth is always a good bet. In the Schimpff's case, the confection that has sustained them through thick and thin is the simple cinnamon red hot. “We've been making them for 126 years,” Jill tells us when we arrive for a candymaking...Read More

Co Couture embodies the artistry of chocolate

Deirdre McCanny had never made a chocolate in her life when she decided to leave her job in international sales and marketing to start a chocolate shop in Belfast. From modest beginnings in her apartment, she moved into her cozy shop with a big workroom in back in December 2009. It's just a few steps down from the sidewalk on the corner of Donegall Square East, literally around the corner from Belfast City Hall. It has become, as Deirdre calls it, “a chocolate oasis in the city center.” The first time we visited, a regular customer had just stopped in for a cup of hot chocolate and a cherry-sencha truffle as a treat at the end of the work day. (The tart cherry and herbaceous...Read More

What to buy in a Dublin grocery store

Whenever we visit Dublin, we make sure to enjoy lots of incredible butter and cream since we can't bring any home. (U.S. Customs frowns on such dairy products.) Fortunately there are lots of other good Irish foodstuffs that we can pack in the suitcase. For cheeses, we make our purchases at Sheridans Cheesemongers (see earlier post), but here are some of the things that caught our eye in a neighborhood Dunnes grocery store: Irish soda farls Pat's mother still remembers her own mother, who hailed from Northern Ireland, making soda bread farls in a round pan on the top of the stove. First she would shape the dough into a circle and then cut it crosswise into four pieces, the so-called farls. This style of...Read More

Making fudge with an Irish accent

With his engaging banter, Tomás Póil could surely peddle ice to Eskimos, but he doesn't have to work nearly as hard to persuade the folks of Dublin to indulge in blocks cut from his big slabs of fudge. We ran into Póil at his Man of Aran Fudge booth at the street food market on Bernardo Square on New Year's Day. (To find out where he'll be on any given weekend, see www.manofaranfudge.ie). A surprising number of people seemed to be finding Póil's sweets to be the perfect antidote to a night of overindulgent revelry. Originally from the Aran Isles, Póil began making fudge in 1999 and hasn't yet grown tired of coming up with new flavor combinations. In one, he tops a slab of...Read More

Mobile DAR House Museum has sweet bite of history

I had a real taste of Southern hospitality when I visited the Richards DAR House Museum in Mobile, Alabama (256 North Joachim St., www.richardsdarhouse.com). The 1860 Italianate-style townhouse was built for a steamboat captain and his wife. Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it features an intricate iron lacework facade and a beautiful cantilevered staircase. The home is furnished to reflect the comfortable, upper-class lifestyle of the late 19th century. Visitors are welcome to sit in the chairs and encouraged to play the piano. They are also served tea and a few small sweets in the dining room. This simple Apricot-Almond Delight Candy is always a hit. The recipe is published in the museum's cookbook Tastefully Yours. APRICOT-ALMOND DELIGHT CANDY Barbara Bodie,who...Read More