Candyfreak: A Journey through the Chocolate Underbelly of America
Harvest, 2005 (2004)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio, CD
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
re you a
? If you read Steve Almond's book and find much in common with its author, then you probably are. I found lots to titillate the taste buds in Almond's '
Journey through the Chocolate Underbelly of America
', as its author is omniverous in his candy consumption. In
, he takes readers on a '
' tour, tasting enthusiastically at each stop.
lmond comes by his candy-addicted genes honestly as he explains via some family history. He brings to a candy tasting the same fervour (and detailed descriptions) that oenophiles bring to a fine old bordeaux. Though fairly indiscriminate in his taste for bonbons, Almond does acknowledge
Mistakes Were Made
') - I have to agree with him on white jelly beans, but vehemently disagree with his distaste for coconut concoctions.
lmond mourns the loss of the
, asking one of life's big questions, '
How is it that a candy bar, an absolutely sensational candy bar, can be banished to oblivion?
' There's a thorough exploration of Boston's candy history and candy's golden age in general, factory tours of current candy production, and a discussion of the serious problem of industrial espionage in a market dominated by the '
' - Nestlé, Hershey, and Mars. Apparently, '
' (paid to get products on the racks near '
' registers) have a lot to do with excluding small producers.
lmond speaks sympathetically of desperate Internet candy seekers, of the nostalgia market, and of candy's implication in imperialism. On a cross-country tour of the little guys (mostly family run businesses), we meet a '
' and, sadly, Almond explains why he sees his '
dream of a bunch of small, independent microconfectioners crumbling.
' I wonder if Almond will take his candy habit on a world tour next, and if so, I highly recommend his tasting Belgian
f vicarious sharing of these entrancing edibles becomes too much for you, dip into the websites for Almond's candy sources, listed at the back of the book. I may have to do so myself as, having grown up in Britain, most of the candy referred to was unfamiliar to me. But, whether or not you are a '
is a toothsome read with a sweet finish.
Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.
Find more Travel books on our
or in our book