(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘candy

“Here we are now, entertain us”*…

It’s that time of year again…

Tom BetGeorge, professional light show artist, is showing his amazing haunted light show in real life, using his house as the backdrop.

This year’s spooky display includes a Halloween take on Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (above). Using tens of thousands of lights, he offers a 2-hour viewing on the weekends for locals to take it all in. Luckily he lets us outsiders watch some of it from afar, and it’s spectacular, even online.

BetGeorge has been uploading his light show videos to his YouTube channel (where you can get the address to his IRL extravaganza) for seven years, and they’re not only Halloween displays. He donates proceeds to McHenry House, a shelter for homeless families.

This at-home haunted light show gives a whole new meaning to Nirvana’s ‘Smells like Teen Spirit’,” from @Carla_Sinclair @BoingBoing via @LaughingSquid

* Nirvana, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”


As we hum along (and contemplate what we’ll be offering trick-or-treaters), we might recall that today is National Chocolate Covered Insect Day.


“Candy is dandy”*…



Haribo– the originator of the “Goldbear,” or as it’s more popularly known, the gummy bear– recently released a centennial Passport edition that samples from international varieties. It includes Goldbears, Starmix, Matador, Tagada, and Rotella


A hundred years ago, the first Haribo factory cranked up its confectionery machines on the banks of Germany’s Rhine River. Started by 27-year-old Hans Riegel, the business stayed modest and local—until the founder made a marvelous culinary discovery. The exact formula to his bear-shaped success remains a secret to this day, but its recipe includes gelatin, sugar, a copper kettle, a rolling pin, and the magic of thermodynamics.

Haribo Goldbear gummies are now one of the top-selling candies in the world, spawning dozens of copycats and filling hundreds of fingerprint-smudged waiting-room jars. The company has grown out of Riegel’s home city of Bonn with 16 factories across Europe, Asia, Australia, and South America. It’s slated to break ground on its first US production facility in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, in fall or winter.

The company cooks up 100 million gummy bears a day—on top of numerous other mouth-puckering chews. It sells more than 1,000 varieties globally and launches fresh lines every season, like this summer’s limited Passport edition [above]. “Because of the way we produce our candies, we can make a lot of flavors and profiles with agility,” says Lauren Triffler, head of corporate communications of Haribo of America. US gummy fanatics can only choose from a modest 19 options at the moment. The sheer scale of the company makes it a powerhouse for profit, but it also lets it redefine how the candy industry creates certain fruit flavors, says Yael Vodovotz, a food-innovation scientist at Ohio State University. “They follow the trends and make the choices that change tastes.”

Anointing a new flavor to the Haribo lineup, however, takes some confection-making perfection. The company’s food scientists test each recipe exhaustively for aroma, texture, and regional preferences. The last step is key to ensuring a gummy will succeed across multiple markets. For example, Triffler says, Americans and Germans don’t always agree on what a “lemon” candy should taste like, making it tricky to develop a single yellow piece for a mix that suits everyone’s tongues. The company even had to change up Riegel’s famous recipe when introducing Goldbears stateside in the 1980s…

No one knows your sweet tooth better than a 100-year-old company: “The intense flavor science behind Haribo’s gummies.”

* Ogden Nash


As we indulge, we might recall that it was on this date in 1985 that the honey bee was designated the official state insect of Missouri.

State-Insect source



Written by (Roughly) Daily

July 3, 2020 at 1:01 am

“These pretzels are making me thirsty!”*…


Today, pretzels are a humble food. Simply, salty, and greasy, they are a fixture at ball parks and airports across America.

But back in the day—like way back in the day, before baseball—pretzels were the food of royalty. By all accounts, the first pretzel goes all the way back to the 6th century, either to France, Italy, or Germany.

And while the country of origin remains unclear, the first image of the pretzel makes it pretty clear that it was a important food, reserved for the fanciest and most lavish of parties.

Consider the scene above, from the Hortus deliciarum.

Look at how Queen Esther and King Ahasuerus are presiding over this v v lit Biblical party; their table is filled with fish, fancy cutlery, and a solitary, salty, badass pretzel.

The Hortus deliciarum is an illustrated encyclopedia (the first to be compiled by a woman) from the 12th century containing the first known depiction of the pretzel. It gives us a glimpse into the cultural weight once occupied by everyone’s favorite baseball food.

Its coveted place next to fish in this religious painting is no accident. The folds are supposedly meant to symbolize hands in prayer, and the three holes are the Holy Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—it was basically the most Christian food that humans could conceive of. Apparently, they were even hidden from children in an early incarnation of the Easter egg hunt

More on both the spiritual and the more earthly significance of the salted treat at “The History of the Pretzel Is Mad Twisted.”

* Jerry Seinfeld


As we contemplate contortion, we might send sweet birthday greetings to Otto Y. Schnering; he was born on this date in 1891.  Widely known as the “U.S. Candy Bar King,” Schnering harnessed his personal sales skills and understanding of advertising and marketing to build the Curtiss Candy Company in Chicago and the post–World War I United States chocolate candy industry into modern, successful enterprises.  Schnering’s first confectionery creation (in 1916) was Kandy Kake, refashioned in 1921 as the log-shaped Baby Ruth (allegedly named after President Grover Cleveland’s daughter Ruth); his second, the chocolate-covered peanut butter crunch Butterfinger (1926).



Written by (Roughly) Daily

October 9, 2016 at 1:01 am

Gimme a break, gimme a break…


The earliest ancestor of the Kit Kat Bar was born in 1935, when a worker at the Rowntree’s factory in York suggested a snack that “a man could have in his lunch box for work.”  It was launched in September 1935 in the UK as Rowntree’s Chocolate Crisp (price: 2 pence). The two-finger version was launched on May 15, 1936, then renamed “Kit Kat Chocolate Crisp” in 1937; after World War II, it became simply “Kit Kat.”  The name is thought to be a nod to the Kit-Cat Club, an eighteenth-century Whig literary club:

As the building had very low ceilings, it could accommodate only paintings which were wide but not too high. In the art world, such paintings became known as ‘kitkats’. It is therefore conceivable that the humble KIT KAT derived its name from paintings which has to be snapped off to fit into low-ceilinged rooms. [source]

In any case, while the versions sold in the UK and the US remain true to its milk chocolate-cover wafer heritage, Kit Kats sold elsewhere in the world have…  well, adopted local coloration.  “Fried Toast” (a young native of Washington State now living in Japan) has created a Flickr pool that’s a veritable field guide to Kit Kats around the globe: Kit Kats of the World.

Consider, for example, the Muscat Kit Kat…

Or the French Salt Kit Kat…

Oh so many more, here.

As contemplate cultural inclinations in confectionery, we might that it was on this date in  1585 that The Olympic Theatre was inaugurated in Vicenza.  The final masterpiece of Andrea Palladio, the Renaissance disciple of Vitruvius and surely the most influential individual in the history of Western architecture, the theater opened with a production of Sophocles’ Oedipus the King.  The trompe-l’œil onstage scenery, designed by Vincenzo Scamozzi to give the appearance of long streets receding to a distant horizon, was installed in 1585 for that first performance, and is the oldest stage set still in existence.

The stage of the Olympic Theatre

Detail: Scamozzi’s scenery viewed through the central arch

UPDATE:  Readers who enjoyed the amusing headlines featured in “All the News, Regardless of Fit”  might appreciate this (N altogether SFW) post at HuffPo… and the Twitter stream at The Media is Dying.

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