Mr. Chocolate takes on Mr. Softee

Via the NY Times Dining Section of past, a Food Stuff blurb on Jacque Torres’s (aka Mr. Chocolate) new ice cream parlor, right next to his NYC chocolate shop.

I spent four years at college on the commuter line to NYC, and that I’m gone, I really wish I’d found the time to go into the city more. Good thing JetBlue flies direct between Rochester and JFK, and I have plenty of friends now living in the city – I’m sure I’ll be able to visit again soon-ish.

PS: Back to reviews on Monday! Hooray!

Sweet Sunday Sweets

If you’ve yet to discover the Cake Wrecks blog, you’re missing out! Blogger Jen posts photos of and hilarious commentary on professionally made cakes gone awry.

Every Sunday, she does a thematic Sunday Sweets post, showcasing some of the best in cake decorating. One Sunday, the theme was candy! Check it out here. I think my favorite is the Smarties roll cake – each Smartie was an individual cake!

Cracked out candy commercial

I feel like I could start a new blog category just for weird candy commercials. Via AdFreak, an ad for an Australian candy company that features a terrifyingly ginormous doll that wanders, Godzilla-like, through a city. Okay, so Godzilla never gave out free candy, but still – creepy!

A French near miss

Sadly, it wasn’t until after I got back from Europe that I saw David Lebovitz’s post about a special, limited edition run of French stamps that look and smell like chocolate. I was even in a French post office! Buying stamps! Zut!

I shall also miss David Lebovitz’s upcoming Paris Gastronomic Adventure tour (not that I could’ve afforded it anyway). Don’t those macarons look delectable? I think they’re what I miss most about France.

Candy Industry Trends Report, 2009

Candy trends are fun and funny. Back in the day, dark chocolate was just a trend, and now it’s pretty much the norm. Recent trends that I can think of include bacon, chili chocolate, and “superfruits” like pomegrante, acai, and goji.

So what’s the next big candy trend? Here’s what the National Confectioners Association has to say in their 2009 trend report:

  • Confections will have healthier options and fortified benefits.
  • Chocolate isn’t just for dessert. Providing the most surprising flavor combinations, chocolate and cocoa will be used as a key ingredient in main courses.
  • Sweet and savory duos like chocolate and bacon, and chocolate and cheese will be popular in stores and on menus.
  • International spices and ethnic flavors will also have a large influence on new U.S. products and flavor development overall, especially Asian and Latin flavors.
  • Intense new flavors and interactive experiences will dominate children’s candies.
  • Eco-friendly manufacturing efforts, like recyclable packaging, will influence product development and consumer purchasing.