With the book in production for an October publication date, the next thing to do is to pick an author photo for the jacket.
This is my first choice–what do you think?
Credit: “Head of Candy Research,” Warner Jenkinson ad, 1974.
In my book, I have a whole chapter on cavities and how easy it was to blame candy for America’s terrible teeth.
It is never so simple, of course: there is no one thing that directly causes cavities. But we like simple answers and we like villains.
These days, experts have been paying more attention to the particular kinds of bacteria that are associated with decay, and why some people seem to have them and some don’t. There’s a theory that these bacteria may be contagious. So this means it’s not so easy to just blame candy and be done with it.
Instead, our health experts have fingered a new culprit: mothers. Here’s a poster from the NYC Department of Health and Hygeine that I saw on the subway yesterday:
Get it? Mom’s kisses and sharing are rotting baby’s teeth. Bad mother.
Sigh. I mean, maybe this is good “public health” policy and good advice. And I should be happy that more “scientific” views than “candy rots your teeth” have prevailed. But I am discouraged when the only solution seems, yet again, to blame the mothers.
For several years, Loralee has been developing kid-friendly experiments with candy and posting them on her website candyexperiments.com where she promises “all candy, all science, all fun.” Now comes this beautiful, full color book that gathers all the experiments in one place, with gorgeous photos of the sometimes startling results of, say, putting marshmallows in a vacuum food saver, or nuking a 3 Musketeers bar in the microwave.
Kids will love the weird effects, but there’s a method to the madness. Loralee includes with each experiment a brief but very clear explanation of the physics and chemistry that make wintergreen Lifesavers spark and Skittle separate into different color bands when you melt them in water.
I ordered it as soon as I knew it was out, and my trusty assistant in the Candy Professor Kitchen, now 9 years old, exclaimed “this book is awesome!” We’re planning a Candy Science Birthday party. I think it’s going to be a hit with her friends!
Any special Easter favorites, new or old?
If you want to know what I’m hoping will be in my basket, check out my Easter candy gallery at Saveur.com
We have a title! CANDY: A Century of Panic and Pleasure
Coming in October 2013, published by Faber and Faber.
And here’s a description:
Many adults who wouldn’t dream of indulging in a Snickers bar of jelly beans feel fine snacking on sports bars and giving their children fruit snacks. For most Americans, candy is enjoyed guiltily and considered the most unhealthy thing we eat. But why? Candy accounts for only a small portion of the added sugar in the American diet. And at least it’s honest about what it is—a processed food, eaten for pleasure, with no particular nutritional benefit. What should really worry consumers is the fact that today every aisle in the supermarket contains highly manipulated products that have all the qualities of candy. So how did our definitions of food and candy come to be so muddled?
CANDY tells the strange, fascinating story of how candy evolved in America and how it became a scapegoat for all our fears about the changing nature of food. Samira Kawash takes us from the moral crusaders at the turn of the century, who blamed candy for everything from poisoning to alcoholism to sexual depravity to dread diseases; to the reason why the government made candy an essential part of rations during World War I (and how the troops came back craving it like never before); to current worries about hyperactivity, cavities, and obesity.
CANDY is an essential, addictive read for anyone who loves lively cultural history, who cares about food, and who wouldn’t mind feeling a bit better about eating candy.
The Snapsy story is bigger than I thought, folks.
So: Hershey’s and Russell Stover, two totally separate candy companies, both come up with the idea of chocolate rabbits to break in pieces, at the same time? I don’t think so! There’s a mole in the chocolate…bunny heads will roll.
To Russell Stover’s credit, their version at least maintains the classic chocolate bunny aesthetic. As for the name, Snapsy wins over “Break -It Rabbit” hands down.
What kid hasn’t dreamed of a huge chocolate bunny to call her own, a massive hunk of melty bliss to be consumed in one of several equally messy ways. I liked to break off the head first, then eat shards down the sides. My daughter prefers the ear-sucking method. Web-sites are devoted to bunny-eating controversy. So imagine my horror when I came upon Snapsy, the snap-apart chocolate bunny.
We can thank some horrid committee at Hershey’s for dragging the hallowed chocolate bunny into the food wars. You know the story: obesity, big food, sugar kills, eat your kale. Snapsy is Hershey’s answer to the food police.
The package promotes the bunny as “easy to snap and share,” but seriously, who shares Easter candy, especially bunnies. This travesty has nothing to do with sharing. I can just imagine how it went down in the marketing meeting: mothers are going to love this! They can give Junior this whole bunny, then faster than you can say “bait-and-switch,” they can break it into sensible portions and morsel them out one at a time.
Just look at how sad and ugly little Snapsy has become compared to his artful 3-D cousins. Snapsy is the chocolate bunny reduced to a flat, lifeless form whose contours serve the purpose of portion control and fun-sapping.
I’m all for most of the new food orthodoxy–except when it comes to candy. Listen: candy is supposed to be FUN! There should be room for silly, crazy, excessive, pleasurable, messy, kooky candies, especially when it comes to giant chocolate bunnies.