Saturday, September 30, 2006

Behind The Candy Counter: B&B's Country Store

A recent road trip took us north to Montello on a sparkling fall Friday where we found B&B's owner Bryan Claesges ready to chat about Kookabura licorice, black record wheels (they used to have the pink candy ball in the middle), and other sweet stuff. He handed out samples and said only the small ice cream counter closes for the winter, a time he hopes to step up phone and online orders.

Bryan at B&Bs
Across from a small town barbershop, B&B's is the classic white paper bag candy store. It has wooden floors, the mandatory Wisconsin fudge, taffy, and gift shop items, and a bookcase full of fifty cent paperbacks. The baskets and jars and shelves of bulk candy make this place the sweet shop of your childhood dreams.
Bryan and Becki Claesges took the business over from Bryan's parents two years ago, which is about the time a customer mentioned the Aussie Kookabura licorice. This is the first place I found the real Snaps after the dry spell, and a great place to buy bulk Black Jack Taffy. On the Zagnut next best thing front, you can fill a bag with Coconut Long Boys, Chick-O-Sticks, and coconut crunch bites.
Their nostalgic candy shelves are respectable, and their mass of bulk candy is admirable. They have a nice shelf of malted milk balls and offer sugar free selections. It's easy to find, right before the water tower at the corner of 22 and 23. Just follow the bikers.
Bryan talks to my sugar buzzed cousin in the video below.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Candy Jones First Response: Zagnuts

To the Zagnut loving Violet B.,

Have we perhaps met over a tall glass of root beer at the Madison Cracker Barrel Old Country Store located next to Slumberland at 2147 E. Springs Dr., (608) 242-0560? There's a wider selection of candy there than on The Cracker Barrel Online Store.
I'd call over to that Cracker Barrel if experiencing a Zagnut zazzle. Or stop by any gas station, particularly your basic PDQ, to spin the sugar wheel. (The Dish will be doing a Gas Station Candy Review in mid to late October.)
To order online, glance over at the sidebar to your right. All the Online Candy Stores listed there carry the rare Zag nut.
I'll keep an eye out for you. Well, not literally.
Meanwhile, have a look around The Candy Wrapper Museum.

Macy's Culinary Demo Cart

Some unknown force dragged my yellow Scion into the Hilldale parking lot over lunch hour today. I got sucked out of the car, dragged past Ben and Jerry's, Buddy Squirrels, then down the Macy's escalator--and Candy Jones hates escalators--toward the Gimbels, I mean Marshall Fields, I mean Macy's cafe.
And what to my wondering eyes should appear: A cooking demo cart in the batter laden hands of a culinary professional named Donna.
Donna wore a fetching black arpon and was making peanut butter cookies called Not Nutter Butters with a smart little KitchenAid and a Calphalon pan.
I was intrigued by her use of a skillet to melt butter, then split a vanilla bean, and toast oats before chilling the mixture.
Does heaven smell like Not Nutter Butters cookies?
Donna says she's typically there on a Sunday or Tuesday for six hour shifts, and there will be someone showing us how it's done at the demo cart five days a week.
There are recipes next to the cart. If you really want, I'll email this one to you.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Black Jack Taffy

table of candyBlack Jack Taffy.
We've had a hard time finding our favorite candy around town over the years. But a note from Charis of twee & luliloo says they carry it. I guess we got side tracked by all those barrels of toothsome salt water taffies to notice.
All my kids, grandkids, and a few great-grandkids know about this taffy. This is the candy we hid around the house.
I was thrilled to spot it in a basket on the bulk candy table at B&B's in Montello.

A Few Places To Find It:
B&B's Country Store
twee & luliloo
Old Time Candy
The Great American Spice Company
The Candy Emporium
The Dish got a lovely note from Bryan Claesges of B&B's Country Store saying it took him about four years to find a distributor for real Black Jack Taffy.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Sugar Buzz: Halloween Cereal

applejacksNot one to pass by any colorful display, I picked up a box of Apple Jacks with eye-popping marshmallows at Cub Foods the other day.
There is something enticing about eating a bowl of cereal that stares back up at you. The
mallows are light and crisp, complimenting the appley crunch of the Jacks.
Apple Jacks With Eye-Popping Marshmallows, 19g of Sugar. Wheaties, 4g.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Stash Report: Kookaburra Licorice

What's getting stashed?

licoriceA black licorice lover found Kookaburra licorice remains on the coffee table this morning. Now that he knows someone stashed the Aussie treat, it's only a matter of time before he tracks it down.
STASH SEEKER TIP: Dogs have 25 times more olfactory receptors than humans. But some will snatch the food right out your mouth.RoscoeWoncha boy? Woncha? Who's a good--hey, gimme that!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Unwrapping The Candy Dish

pumpkin jelliesWhat's the first thing to get unwrapped in your new place? Okay, after the stereo. And the t.v., and Playstation, yes, yes, and the computer.
What's the fifth thing to get unwrapped after you've moved into your new place? What do you mean juice glasses? Just play along.
That's right, the candy dish. More precisely, the Wisconsin Candy Dish. Think barely news, curds, and cows.
So grab yourself a handful of gummy eyeballs--yes I have, there are some sitting on the counter right now--and take a trip around Wisconsin and beyond as the Wisconsin Candy Dish fills its pages with visits to local sweet shops, candy factories, original photos, low quality video, recipes, tidbits, and impulse buying.
Comments welcome, email answered eventually.