Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Oh Dandy It's Candy

Can I take a moment before I begin to just say I am SO glad that it is finally June. I feel like May came and ran me over like a Mack truck. Don't get me wrong, it was full of good things, but I was left exhausted and feeling (and possibly looking) like roadkill.

This past month, in addition to my brother's wedding and the wedding cake I made for him, my husband (FINALLY) finished his PhD program and got all gradumacated:

And then we had a series of houseguests, and then I took a whirlwind trip to Chicago for that grand sugar extravaganza, the Sweet & Snacks Expo. The Expo is the biggest candy trade show in the country, and it's absolutely overwhelming. All the big players come and set up enormous booths, and of course there's hundreds of smaller companies as well. Here's a quick photo tour of the Expo.

There were enormous inflatable and fluffy mascots of all descriptions.

There were lots of new "brand extensions" of familiar products. Look for new versions of Snickers, Twix, Milky Way, and 3 Musketeers this summer and fall, as well as these Reese's minis, adorable dime-shaped cups that come ALREADY UNWRAPPED. Can you believe it took them until 2010 to think of this? Glory hallelujah.
There were also more unusual products, like these fruit jelly-stuffed marshmallows...
...and these popping candies to sprinkle on ice cream, yogurt, and even vegetables......and chocolate truffles shaped and served like martini olives...

...and my favorite unique product, Le Whif inhalable chocolate. The canister is filled with chocolate powder that you inhale, so that you get the taste of chocolate without any of the calories.
I couldn't resist taking a hit every now and then. But really, I can stop any time that I want to.After two days at the Expo, I ended up with about 30 lbs of candy. Fortunately I've been through this drill before, so I packed a duffel into my regular suitcase to cart it all home in. It was dreadfully inconvenient to carry around O'Hare, but I tried to remind myself that I needed to burn all the extra calories I could, to make up for my all-candy diet of the past few days.
Over the weekend I finally had a chance to sort it all, organize it, and photograph most of it. It went into 4 piles: gum and mints, to keep and review, to keep and eat but not review, and to give away. The review pile is the big one in the middle.

So all of this is an extremely long-winded way of saying: I didn't make this week's TWD recipe! I feel like if I were to add one more sweet substance to my house, it would spontaneously combust in a cloud of sugar. BUT I am excited to see everyone else's finished product, and I actually have a fun baklava and sorbet recipe I'll be posting later this week.

If you are interested in learning more about the Expo, I have some additional write-ups on the candy blog.


  1. Hi Liz!
    Just one question for you: can "normal" people go to the Sweets and Snacks Expo (or similar trade shows)? That is to say: people (like me) who love candy, etc. but don't have a blog or make a living out of anything food/candy-related.

    I would love to be able to go to one of these someday! In fact, I have never made a "bucket list" before but I think this might be the start of it...

  2. Yay for graduated PhD husbands!
    Yay for candy! What a fun place to be.

  3. Hi Laura, unfortunately the Sweets & Snacks Expo is industry-only, so the only way to get in is to be a buyer/distributor or have a press pass.

    HOWEVER, the Fancy Food Show is open to the public! Tickets are kind of steep ($35ish maybe?) but it's absolutely glorious. Tons of gourmet candy and chocolate companies, as well as all the fancy cheeses you could ever want. (And so much more.) There's a winter FFS in San Francisco in January, and a summer one at the end of June in NY. New York is the bigger deal of the two. Here's the website:


    I highly recommend attending one if ever you have the time and ability. It's a total blast and so overwhelming but so fun!

  4. Congrats to your husband (and YOU!) for completing the PhD! Awesome!

  5. Congrats to the hubs! That's one long road you both travelled! At least you got to party with the inhalable (and completely legal) chocolate.

    You picked a good week to miss, IMHO.

  6. Oooh, fun! That sounds like my kind of expo. Gotta get me some of those mini Reese's.

    Congrats to your hubby, I'm sure that PhD has been a real walk in the park for all involved, LOL.

  7. oh wow, that's a lot of candy! Congrats to your husband, quite an accomplishment

  8. Thanks so much for the info, Liz!

  9. Anonymous11:36 AM

    Congrats to your husband! I've been reading your candy posts on About, and it looks like it was lots of fun. Thanks for the tip on the Fancy Food show!

  10. CANDY! I think you've just made me feel like it's halloween all over again. I love seeing all sorts of weird/strange new candy thats on the market.

  11. That Sweets & Snacks Expo sounds like absolute heaven, I would have a blast there!!

  12. What a fun expo! I wish I was in the business so I could go too :) There are never any inflatable candy themed mascots or jelly filled marshmallows where I work ;)