I'd rather have a bag of Sour Patch Kids than something made with tamarind, unless it's fresh from a talented candy maker's kitchen. Let's face it, most, if not all of this type of candy (small store with shabby shelves of unfamiliar candy) is imported, and much of it is old and unsold for a reason. Something hard or chewy and vaguely stale and spicy is much worse than an old Aero bar.
After a quick tour through the odd little dulceria, I don't think it's time for an education on why I should love hard candy rolled in chili or ignore articles about lead poisoning and Mexican candy.We have many area chocolate makers such as James J (moving near Dorn Hardware on Midvale in October), Candinas (which sadly did not fly on the Square), the Chocolate Caper, and Gail Ambrosius.
But no more Badger Candy Kitchen, Twee & Luliloo (they didn't cut it with their name, location, selection or unused space), Ben Franklin's isn't what it used to be, and there's nothing but iffy offerings at grocery stores (some gas stations and the Cracker Barrel have to fill that gap).
Where are the magical rows of Chum Gum, wax bottles, wax harmonicas, hot dog gum, sugary blue bubble gum—oh the sparkling playful gumballs—candy lipsticks, free floating candy button strips, jars of giant pretzel rods, Jolly Ranchers, or Turkish Taffy and their siren's call from the slanted shelves of the mom and pop grocers of the sixties.
That's not to say you can't find some great candy, although pricey, in town. But I can only think of one place that has more than chocolate which I'd call a good candy store, and that's James J Chocolate Shop. Their gourmet apples are expensive, but worth it, and should be available by the time they move in October—but it's really their hard candy I love. Their Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pillows are to die for.
So my trip to Dulceria Lucy's was a bust, but I'm finally going to the Daisy Cafe & Cupcakery tomorrow and cupcakes being all the rage, have renewed expectations.