How it's made: hard crystal candies with cherry-flavored roses inside

From Tallahassee, Florida's Lofty Pursuits who offer these "handmade artisinal candies" at $6 for a 2.75oz bag:

A new technique for a new effect in our image candies. These Crystal Roses are formed from nothing but hot sugar, and flavors. This is the first in a series of candies using this kind of design.

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Watch a crushed Life Saver emit light at 28,000 frames per second

Destin from Smarter Every Day just polted a cool video on his alt channel: a demonstration of triboluminescence that occurs when a Wint-O-Green Life Saver candy is crushed. Read the rest

Taste testing weird Icelandic candy

YouTubers Hannah Hart, Grace Helbig, and Mamrie Hart try out some of the strangest Icelandic candies out there. Read the rest

How Sweetheart candy hearts are made

For more than 100 years, NECCO has cranked out its iconic Sweetheart candies. Some of them are still emblazoned the original statements of "Be Mine," Be Good," and "Kiss Me." The company says that "to meet the high demand for Sweethearts, NECCO continuously produces them from late February through mid-January of the following year."

I prefer learning how they are made to actually eating them.

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DIY machine sorts M&Ms and Skittles by color

William Pennings built this wonderful machine that automates the arduous but necessary task of sorting M&Ms and Skittles by color. (Insert Van Halen joke here.)

"It's pretty quick and sorts about 2 pieces of candy per second" Pennings says. "It uses Arduino microcontrollers and stepper motors for quick and precise movement. A TCS34725 color sensor performs the measurements. Furthermore, the device is equipped with LEDs in several spots which nicely complement the overall look of the machine."

M&Ms and Skittles sorting machine (via Laughing Squid)

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Watch these candymakers create adorable candies with a pig design

Candylabs is a Montreal shop that makes amazing handmade candies. They share their secrets to making adorable cylindrical cherry candies with a pig design. The process might keep you guessing until the end as to how they end up with such intricate designs on such tiny candies. Watch and learn!

Their charming origin story from their site:

CandyLabs is a brand new handcrafted candy shop in Montreal that emerged in 2014. A young couple, obsessed with the creation of flavorful candies, makes all of their unique and quality sweets in store. The concept was born in England. There, generations of candy makers prepared caramels and other hard candy in front of a delighted audience. It was in Australia that the young people learned the traditional techniques of candy making under the supervision of a confectioner. It is finally in Montreal, Canada where the couple realized their fantastic childhood dream by opening a candy shop of their own.

Bonus: same thing but with pandas inside a bamboo design:

How to Make Handmade Candy With Pig Design (YouTube / Stereokroma) Read the rest

Making rainbow magic with dissolving Skittles

Hot water on a ring of Skittles! (via The Kid Should See This) Read the rest

Watch water dissolve M&Ms into gorgeous patterns

Beauty of Science decided to dissolve M&Ms in water, and the result is surprisingly spectacular. It's like watching solar flares or the birth of a nebula. Be sure to watch in 4K! Read the rest

The Candy Hierarchy for 2016: Halloween's best and worst treats

The results of our survey are in. This year's list of the most loved and hated Halloween treats has a surprise in store!

Candy cigarettes, the best worst thing since Jarts

Stanford historian Robert Proctor amassed a remarkable collection of candy cigarette packaging in Golden Holocaust, like this candy cig marketed as "Just Like Daddy!" Yes, they were evil, but sometimes the best things in life are. Read the rest

The incredible and dying art of Japanese candy sculpture

Shinri Tezuka, 27, sculpts candy into beautiful, creepy, and very sweet creatures like goldfish and octopuses. The centuries-old practice is called amezaiku, but according to Great Big Story, "today there are only two artists left in Tokyo. Tezuka hopes his elaborate goldfish, frog and octopus designs will inspire the next generation of candy crafters to keep the tradition alive."

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Skittles trick turns plate into a rainbow

Simple DIY rainbow magic with Skittles candies. Form a circle with Skittles on a plate (colours should be in repeated order, preferably according to colours of the rainbow e.g. purple, green, yellow, orange, red), then pour hot water over them. Wait for the magic to unfold right in front of your eyes

Also funny are the various YouTubers attempting to replicate the effect only to end up with a brownish mix of melted candy slime on their plate. Read the rest

Sadako versus Snickers

A friend in France sent me an email one day and wrote, "You have to watch this Japanese movie 'Ring.' It's very special." Since he likes horror films as much as I do, his words carried weight. But in 1998 it wasn't easy to find a copy, and I had to nose around a bit before finally locating a DVD on amazon.co.uk. 

As you can see from the photo above, it's one creepy-ass film. There's a moment at the end which, if watched in blissful ignorance of what's going to happen, and in a dark room, the hair on the back of your neck will stand up. If for some reason you haven't seen the movie, then watch it without reading anything about it in advance. 

Like all good horror in the past few decades, it was recently turned into a parody where Sadako (the creepy lady with pale skin and long black hair in Ring ) eventually faces off against the Kayako (the creepy lady with pale skin and long black hair from another excellent Japanese horror film, Ju-on [The Grudge]) and her son, who is seen below.

The new film is supposedly funny (in a good way), though I haven't see it yet, so who knows. I guess it's the Japanese version of Freddie vs. Jason, which sucked. Or Alien vs. Predator, which sucked even more. (Frankenstin Meets The Wolfman still remains good fun.) But those films weren't supposedly to be intentionally funny. Shall we next see Michael Myers as a stand-up comedian? Read the rest

A candy portrait of Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka, by mosaic artist Jason Mecier

Mosaic portrait artist Jason Mecier shares his recent Gene Wilder tribute portrait as Willy Wonka.

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I will get fat eating retro candy

While recently wallowing in nostalgic thoughts about Cracker Jack I began Googling other types of candy of which I had fond memories as a kid.

That was a bad idea because I found exactly what I was looking for and am in line to gain several pounds when my box-o-heaven arrives this week.

This itch has needed a scratch since my friend Jim Steinmyer took me to Galco’s in Los Angeles a few months ago. The place looks like it was an old supermarket at one time, but now it houses aisle upon aisle of soft drinks (including a mix-your-own soda bar with lots of syrups — I made a toasted coconut marshmallow creme soda and it was fabulouso, and even better: you’re making it in glass bottles).

Most of its business is in a million different types of soda, but off on the left side wall is an enormous amount of retro candy with lots of stuff I hadn’t seen for many decades.

Galco’s has a website but it’s primitive and online ordering isn’t quite organized yet — you’ll get a much better idea of the place from the reviews on Yelp, which wax rhapsodic at length about the wonders to be found in the aisles.

From the Galco web site:

Devoted to the art of soda pop and supporting the small businesses behind each bubbly drink, Galco’s Soda Pop Stop features more than 700 flavors of soda at its Los Angeles storefront. Beginning in 1897 as an Italian grocery store, Galco’s changed “flavors” when son John F. Read the rest

The coolest vending machine in California

The coolest vending machine I’ve ever seen is not high-tech.

It’s not the one in Japan that studies your face and decides which is the best drink for you.

It’s not the one from Coca-Cola that allows you to mix any variety of sodas and syrups together (though I have admit to a slight addiction to Raspberry Ginger Ale at my local Five Guys).

This one is decidedly retro, so take a look and tell me where you think it’s located.

Obviously it’s someplace pretending to exist in the 1920s. Here are some of the items available.

Located on Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure, this marvelous antique vending machine is something you would normally only see in a museum. It can be found in the store Trolley Treats at the far end of the west side of Buena Vista Street.

I have only one wish: that it actually dispensed those licorice candy tombstones, and then my momentary transition to a boy of 5 would be complete. Mmmmmmm. Read the rest

What happens when you pour molten copper on a giant jawbreaker

Tito4re poured molten scrap copper on a 1 pound jawbreaker. It put up a good fight, but eventually succumbed to the heat. Read the rest

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