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Candy Review: Montreal Dragon’s Beard Candy

Categories: Candy,Candy Reviews,Foreign (non-US) Candy,Oddly-Named Candy

Dragon’s Beard Candy

I recently took a week off from my regular job to visit the beautiful city of Montreal, Quebec. But that doesn’t mean I also neglected my duties as staff writer for Candy Addict. No, I made sure to keep my eyes peeled for a truly Quebec-specific sweet. But at first, I found only the same overpriced gift-shop candy you can find anywhere in Canada: cheap chocolate-covered almonds packaged as “moose droppings” and hard candies “made with real maple syrup” (read: 90% regular sugar and 10% of the good stuff). But then, while exploring Montreal’s Chinatown, in a hole-in-the-wall storefront, I discovered something truly unique at last.

(Later, once I’d had time to do more shopping in areas that weren’t 90% tacky tourist gift shops, I also found some great candy stores and artisan chocolatiers. But that’s a subject for another review.)

The white, wispy objects in the photo above, believe it or not, are candy. They’re called Dragon’s Beard Candy, and they were apparently a favorite sweet in China’s Imperial Court, making them over 2000 years old. Dragon’s Beard Candy consists of fine, hairlike filaments of sugar surrounding a center of (according to the stall’s owner) peanuts, coconut, sesame, brown sugar and chocolate.

We’ve actually reviewed them once already. But those were expensive and had to be shipped all the way from China, and these were cheap and freshly hand-made – the stall prominently featured a bin of nutty filling and a big lump of brown rock sugar. How could I resist?

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Candy Review Update: White Rabbit Safety Issue – Melamine in Candy?

Categories: Candy,Candy News,Foreign (non-US) Candy,Soft Candy

white rabbit creamy candies

White Rabbit candy has been linked to the tainted milk scandal in China.

In my review a few weeks ago, I wrote the following: “This candy only has four ingredients: two kinds of sweetener (corn starch syrup and cane sugar), butter, and milk. How can you go wrong with that?”

You can go wrong when your ingredients are tainted!

From the Associated Press (Sept 27, 2008):

“Meanwhile, the Shanghai-based maker of White Rabbit, a popular vanilla-flavored toffee, said it stopped domestic sales after the Hong Kong government’s Center for Food Safety said the candy contained more than six times the legal limit of melamine.

That followed White Rabbit recalls in Britain, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia.”

Full story

The FDA has yet to act in the U.S., but I now urge you to avoid this candy. Maybe there’s a good reason for the organic food movement? Best (healthy) candy wishes to you all.

For more information on melamine, head on over to the National Confectioners Association’s blog and their informative article on melamine and chocolate: Chocolate is Safe from Melamine, White Rabbit Recalled.

News Articles Concerning Melamine in Candy:

Candy Review: White Rabbit Creamy Candies

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

White Rabbit Creamy Candies

UPDATE 10/1/08: White Rabbit is currently under a recall

China did a superb job hosting the recently concluded 2008 Olympics, I thought. One shouldn’t forget what a centralized state can accomplish when it sets its mind to athletic PR. And if you’re not some oddball fan of newfangled democracy, or perhaps even if you are, it’s impossible not to admire the longevity, stability, inventiveness and sought-after harmony of Chinese culture and philosophy. But what about China’s candy-making abilities? That’s where true greatness can be measured.

Exhibit A: White Rabbit Creamy Candies. From Wikipedia you learn that this extremely popular candy was developed in 1943 and now sells in over 40 countries. It was given to president Nixon as a gift in 1972, perhaps while he watched the U.S. delegation get pummeled in ping pong.

All right already, let’s taste it.

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