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Let’s Hear it for the Bonbons!

All about candy blog postSour, salty, chewy, gummy, slimy and even spicy. The world of sweets is more varied than most people imagine.

We’ve had a few posts about business and a few about babes, which means what this blog really needs is a bloody post about sweets!

As you may have heard, humans are born craving sweet. The theory is that millions of years ago our ape ancestors picked the sweetest, most sugar ridden fruits to survive, because they provided the most energy. Millions of years later most Homo Sapiens from developed nations have been left with the sugar craving but have lost the lifestyle to burn through the calories, causing health consequences and an uncountable number of liquid based fad diets, bikini body challenges and infomercials.

Given our predisposition to vacuum up anything sweet that we spy, it’s not surprising that the idea of ‘sweets’ has been around since the ancient Egyptians started coating fruit in honey.

But it took until sugar became cheaper and easily accessible in the 19th century for sweets to really take off and morph into the amaze-balls array of colours and flavours that we cherish today.

I started Sarkara’s sweet collection with an internet search on ‘the world’s best candy’. Having travelled a bit I’d tried A LOT of sweets (I walked it off I swear) and had picked up a permanent hankering for the Mexican salty & spicy explosive candy flavours. But I had not tried every candy out there and thought the internet was a good place to start. Which led me to this list:

*Note NZ’s very own Pineapple Lumps and the humble chocolate fish are numbers 2 & 3 on the list (I question the chocolate fish, but fully agree on the Lumps)

Sarkara proudly boasts a number of these treats such as Duvalin (Mexico), Tyrkisk Peber (Finland), Botan Rice Candy (Japan), Carambar (France) and a few more. Interestingly, we had Salsaghetti from Mexico which is on the list (watermelon noodles with spicy sauce, yup you read that correctly) and everyone said it was gross, even Mexicans.

I remember a customer popped into Sarkara to helpfully tell me that my store was bullshit and overpriced compared to his dairy, and that all lollies are basically the same ingredients. Well, that’s simply not true. I’ve printed many ingredients labels for our gift boxes and I can tell you that it involved a crazy amount of labels and an ever decreasing sized font to fit the range of ingredients in. Yes, the main ingredient unsurprisingly is sugar and many share similar make up. But not all sweets contain green tea, or liquorice root, dairy or tamarind.

So ya sucks-boo to the man who told me my store was a waste of time and to whom in response I kindly offered a sample sweet, instead of quoting my above argument – I’ve finally showed you!

The other thing with sweets is that they’re unhealthy. There’s no sugar coating that fact, sweets are basically nutritional vacuums. But and there’s a massive but it’s not candy that’s killing us or our teeth. It’s all the other crap we shovel into our faces. As a one pretty credible book on candy points out:[1]

“Even in a culture that eats sweets frequently, candy is not a significant source of nutrition or food energy for most people. The average American eats about 1.1 kg (2.5 pounds) of sugar or similar sweeteners each week, but almost 95% of that sugar—all but about 70 grams (2.5 ounces)—comes from non-candy sources, especially soft drinks and processed foods.”

The sugary sweets I unashamedly ply on children, the elderly and adults is a treat. They’re not the sugar laced muesli bars or cereals that someone eats every day. The most a customer comes into store is once a week, and that’s normally just to buy five Jolly Ranchers. So if you’re listening Government and looking for a new scape goat after you’re done with the smokers, I Jennifer Browne hand on heart pinky swear to you, it’s not Sarkara that’s killing our nation. It’s more likely to be Sanitarium, and you don’t even make them pay tax.

It’s nice to have treats, it makes you feel good, and in a world where people seem so angry, stressed and worried about so many things, it’s nice to think that for ten minutes of their day they can devour something that may remind them of their youth, or that enables them to reminisce about a country they visited once or even if it simply allows them to forget that the Kardashian’s take up all of our ‘News’ pages.

So call me biased but, let’s hear it for bonbons and all they offer the world!

Finally, if you were wondering – English bonbons (especially blue raspberry ones) are the most popular sweet in store, followed by Jolly Ranchers (only yummy in Vodka if you ask me) and gummy bears.


[1] Kawash, Samira (2013). Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure. New York: Faber & Faber, Incorporated. p. 11.