Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The candy, man

The candy aisle at the local drug store just isn't that much fun anymore.

As I've gotten older, my appetite for candy has diminished substantially. It tastes different, if that makes any sense.

I think even candy makers are getting bored, because all they're doing is varying the shapes, sizes and flavors of established brands.

Don't get me wrong, it's kinda cool to see a giant Reese's Peanut Butter Cup or a white chocolate Kit Kat. But it's not really new.

Now that I'm more of a glutton for punishment than for candy, I've set my sights on less common candy. I developed a taste for Cadbury Snow Flake, which I found at Cost Plus.

But once I said out loud that I liked it, Cost Plus decided not to carry it anymore. I tried ordering it online -- the store I found was out.


But there were a few other candies that are for one reason or another, not widely available in my neck of the woods.

I learned of the Valomilk cup from Steven Almond's book, "Candyfreak: A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America," which is a really cool book. Once I read the description, I just had to try one.

So I ended up ordering a bunch of candy from various online retailers, and I was happy with what I got.

Especially the Valomilk. But it gets kind of expensive -- not so much for the candy itself, but to ship it. Plus, with it being summer, a lot of places don't ship them when it's so hot.

That's why I was pleasantly surprised to find them during a recent excursion with my wife. We checked out Powell's Sweet Shoppe in Windsor because we were in the area, and we'd heard that they had a great selection of candy.

That's no exaggeration. Every candy I'd ordered in the past year or so was there for the buying: Valomilks, Flicks, Snow Flakes, you name it. Ignoring the drool that was likely collecting at the corners of my mouth, I filled a small basket.

I was like a kid in a candy store.

And even better, they also have a soda shop with a similarly electic selection. I sampled a Dr Pepper from the bottling plant in Dublin, Texas. Mmmm....

Roughly $50 later, I happily strolled down the street with a bag of sweets in my hand. Now the fun part is carefully rationing my haul so it doesn't disappear too quickly.

Should you ever find yourself near Windsor, I highly recommend stopping by the store.

Just give them a day or so to restock.

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