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Candy Review: See’s Candies

Categories: Awesomely Addictive Candy,Candy,Candy Reviews,Chocolate Candy,Classic and Retro Candy,Gourmet Candy

There are certain things my family has to have at Christmas time: a giant tree, a copy of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and a lovely box of candy on the table at all times. As I come from a family of Candy Addicts, the holiday candy box is always an important choice; normally, we keep things old school and traditional, preferring old-fashioned boxed chocolates to anything else. There’s something very special about a well-made box of chocolates, and this year, our family holiday chocolate box will be coming from a company who knows a little something about quality and tradition: See’s Candies.

Founded in 1921, See’s is an old-fashioned candy company that, according to a friend of mine in Los Angeles, “is all over the place” on the West Coast. As I’m an East Coast kid, I had never had a box of See’s chocolates until about a week ago, when one arrived in the mail. I was immediately excited when I saw the old school packaging: a silver box wrapped with a thin gold ribbon. Good stuff. What I found inside the box, of course, was even better.

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Japanese Candy Review: Nama Kokuto Ame

Categories: Candy,Candy Reviews,Foreign (non-US) Candy,Hard Candy

Nama Kokuto Ame

What’s the best part of traveling to a new place? Seeing the sights? Nope. The food? Getting closer. Trying new candy? Now you’re talking! So on my recent trip to Honolulu, I was on the hunt for candy. Not Hawaiian candy, mind you, but Asian candy. I love Asian candy – if it’s got a name in characters I can’t read and weird Engrish ingredients like “starch syrup” and “acidity,” I’m all over it. And with its large population of Japanese people, I figured Hawaii was the place to find it.

From the racks of candy at the local mall’s Shirokiya department store, your one-stop shop for all things Japanese, I selected a bag of Nama Kokuto Ame brown sugar-flavored hard candies. The bag was certainly striking, with a bold red brush-stroked character on a background of black fading to gold. The bag’s picture of crumbled lumps of brown rock sugar looked promising, as did the short ingredient list: sugar, muscovado, liquid cane sugar, and flavors. Nothing too unusual there, though I couldn’t quite recall what muscovado was.

I popped the first one in my mouth and was rewarded with a smooth, mild caramel/brown sugar flavor. A nice, pleasant flavor, not too bold or intrusive, suitable for keeping your mouth busy while doing other things without being too distracting. But as I sucked on it, the flavor, slowly but surely, began to change.

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