Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Candy Freak

I have to be honest. This book made me hungry reading it. On every sugar infested page there were mouth watering descriptions of various candies. The way he described them I could almost taste them. I had to make several trips to the store to stock up on candies. Not good for my diet.
The author Steve Almond (his last name is a testament to his love of candy I think ,and yes it is his real last name) is a self professed candy freak who “has eaten a piece of candy every day of his life”  and decided to see how the “underbellies” of the candy trade were doing. There are the “big three'’ of the candy trade then there is the small independently owned candy factories.
Almond visits  various independent candy factories. He tours the factories and he gives accounts of what it is like. I had to admit at times I was jealous of all the free candy he received. Almond goes into glorious detail of various candy bars. It was almost as good as being there.
Of the various candies I am to young to know of any expect the goo goo clusters since I am from the south.
I loved his humor. It is sprinkled out in appropriate dosage. Even when he was writing about his brief period with depression he still conveyed it in a way that made the reader feel that it was not all that bad and hey he got free candy!
There were even some facts that I did not know before i read this book. For example, candy companies have to pay a shelving fee to have their candies displayed in stores. An independent candy company cant compete against the “big three’ so they have to find alterative avenues like the dollar store. That explains why you see the same candies again and again in almost every store you go to.
There was also a history of candy making that I found fascinating. I now know that my love for milk chocolate is because the big three use milk chocolate so that what you taste most of the time. It is what your taste buds grow accustomed to. If however we were to acquire the taste of real chocolate then according to the “experts” we would have a much more distinguished palate.
This little book provides an entertaining and insightful look at the candy making industry. Just be sure that you have plenty of candy while you are reading this.
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