Can I take a moment before I begin to just say I am SO glad that it is finally June. I feel like May came and ran me over like a Mack truck. Don’t get me wrong, it was full of good things, but I was left exhausted and feeling (and possibly looking) like roadkill.
This past month, in addition to my brother’s wedding and the wedding cake I made for him, my husband (FINALLY) finished his PhD program and got all gradumacated:
And then we had a series of houseguests, and then I took a whirlwind trip to Chicago for that grand sugar extravaganza, the Sweet & Snacks Expo. The Expo is the biggest candy trade show in the country, and it’s absolutely overwhelming. All the big players come and set up enormous booths, and of course there’s hundreds of smaller companies as well. Here’s a quick photo tour of the Expo.
There were enormous inflatable and fluffy mascots of all descriptions.
There were lots of new “brand extensions” of familiar products. Look for new versions of Snickers, Twix, Milky Way, and 3 Musketeers this summer and fall, as well as these Reese’s minis, adorable dime-shaped cups that come ALREADY UNWRAPPED. Can you believe it took them until 2010 to think of this? Glory hallelujah.
There were also more unusual products, like these fruit jelly-stuffed marshmallows…
…and these popping candies to sprinkle on ice cream, yogurt, and even vegetables… …and chocolate truffles shaped and served like martini olives…
…and my favorite unique product, Le Whif inhalable chocolate. The canister is filled with chocolate powder that you inhale, so that you get the taste of chocolate without any of the calories.
I couldn’t resist taking a hit every now and then. But really, I can stop any time that I want to. After two days at the Expo, I ended up with about 30 lbs of candy. Fortunately I’ve been through this drill before, so I packed a duffel into my regular suitcase to cart it all home in. It was dreadfully inconvenient to carry around O’Hare, but I tried to remind myself that I needed to burn all the extra calories I could, to make up for my all-candy diet of the past few days.
Over the weekend I finally had a chance to sort it all, organize it, and photograph most of it. It went into 4 piles: gum and mints, to keep and review, to keep and eat but not review, and to give away. The review pile is the big one in the middle.
So all of this is an extremely long-winded way of saying: I didn’t make this week’s TWD recipe! I feel like if I were to add one more sweet substance to my house, it would spontaneously combust in a cloud of sugar. BUT I am excited to see everyone else’s finished product, and I actually have a fun baklava and sorbet recipe I’ll be posting later this week.
If you are interested in learning more about the Expo, I have some additional write-ups on the candy blog.