Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Recent Adventures in Candy-Eating

Willy Wonka and the Oompa Loompas
Unlike a lot of food lovers, I've really never been much of a "sweets person". I don't have much of a sweet tooth at all and I rarely eat dessert. I will maybe decide a cookie or a piece of cake sounds good once in a blue moon, but once I get it in front of me, I'll probably only have a little bit and then I'm pretty much good for months to come (if not years).

I don't really care a lot about baking. I feel like pretty much the only food blogger on the entire internet who doesn't think cupcakes are the most amazing thing ever. I think cakes or pastries with a ton of frosting or rich filling are kind of disgusting. You get the picture. I'm just not about the sweets. When I feel like indulging or splurging food-wise, I'm about a thousand times more likely to reach for something salty, crunchy, cheesy, or all of the above.

However, there is nevertheless this part of me that is kind of fascinated with candy, chocolate, or candy-making despite the fact that I eat candy even less often than I eat cake or cookies. I tend to always stop and marvel at the goods when I pass a candy store when out for an adventure. I never got much into Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory as a kid, but Wolf introduced me to it as an  adult and we've watched it about a billion times by now (both the original and the Tim Burton remake). Even though every time I watch it, I make fun of the fact that people are foaming at the mouth over the opportunity to visit a chocolate factory and saying I don't get it? There is still part of me that totally gets it and just doesn't want to admit it.

At Carousel Fine Candies on Fisherman's Wharf
The other day, we were taking a walk at Old Fisherman's Wharf and that rare craving for sweets happened to hit me just as we were passing Carousel Candies. Wolf offered to buy me some treats if I wanted, so we stopped for a bit to look around. I hadn't been in there for years -- definitely not since I've moved back to the area -- so I'd kind of forgotten how awesome that place is inside. Pretty much any kind of handmade sweet treat you can think of, as well as this massive selection of gummis, taffies, and jellybeans can be found there. Plus, the whole place smells like this amazing combination of caramel popcorn, fresh chocolate, and fruit.

We've both been doing so well lately with our walking and regular bike rides (in fact, we had ridden our bikes down to the wharf that very day), so we decided to be modest as far as our choices. I chose a modestly sized piece of English toffee and we each filled up a couple of bags with assorted gummis. Wolf was especially happy to see that this place had cinnamon bears, which we've been trying to find ever since we moved to Monterey. I was actually really impressed with how fresh the gummis from the bulk bins actually were. Normally, that kind of thing is hit or miss... but here they were all soft and delicious. None of that chewy shit that you just know has been sitting around since your grandmother was born.

Even though I rarely go into Carousel and buy anything, I often like to stop and poke the big ice cream outside right in the cherry.
Then the other night, I finally got to try a Wonka Scrumdiddlyumptious Bar like the ones from the Willy Wonka movie. I've always kind of wanted to, but I never really see them anywhere when I'm at a store and in the mood to get a chocolate bar. The other night,Wolf found one while he was out shopping and brought it home as a surprise.
Dude, these things are really good! They're really rich and creamy. Plus they're filled with delicious little crunchy bits of things like cookies and toffee (always something I appreciate in a candy). Most importantly of all, I now have an actual food memory I can conjure up in my mind when I watch one of the movies and see Charlie and his grandfather acting like drug addicts getting ready to shoot up heroin because they got their hands on one of these things. 

And now that I've candied myself out so much, I doubt I'll be ready for more sweets for a long while. When I imagine the angel food cake I've been considering bringing home from Safeway that sounded so good a couple of weeks ago? Eh... now I don't really want it. When I see brownies rolling through my Tumblr feed in the afternoon? Not that interested in actually eating them anymore. I do, oddly enough have a nagging urge to bake something soon though, but that will most likely be an artisan bread recipe I found on Amateur Gourmet a while back. Bread is pretty much always welcome on my plate or in my kitchen!