The only thing more exciting than attending the Sweets and Snacks Expo is waking up the next morning and realizing your apartment now doubles as a candy warehouse. It's kind of like the morning after Halloween, but a little more intense.
Gimbal's Sour Lovers
For five years, the candymakers at Gimbal's were developing a sour chewy candy. Their patience paid off in the form of 12 different flavors of this heart-shaped candy. It delivers a solid sour punch while allowing flavors ranging from pomegranate to Meyer lemon to mango to shine through.
Dark Chocolate Mallo Cups
For about four decades, Mallo Cups have satisfied cravings for marshmallow and chocolate lovers alike. There was certainly no need for Boyer to come out with an even better version, but after tasting the new dark chocolate version, I'm glad they did.
I wasn't expecting a lot when I tried Sea Snax, but I quickly found out that the company's tagline, "strangely addictive," is really accurate. The healthy snacks come in three flavors: plain, chipotle, and toasty onion.
Last year, the people behind Peeps introduced flavored peeps completely coated in chocolate. This year, they toned things down a bit with regular Peeps dipped in chocolate. I liked last year's versions, but the more restrained ones introduced this year are more balanced and return the focus to the sugar-coated marshmallows we've all grown to love.
Grape Pop Rocks
Apparently, grape Pop Rocks were on the market over 30 years ago. I have no idea why they were taken off, but anyone who likes the exploding candies should be very happy grape is back!
Tea Forte made its name in the tea business. Now the company is expanding to the world of mints with some really unique flavors. These one-calorie mints come in cocoa mate, ginger pear, lemongrass yuzu, lime mojito, and matcha chai.
Kimberly Crupi Dobbins gave up a successful corporate career and became a certified holistic health counselor. After taking classes at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, she made this completely natural raw alternative to junk food. Simple Squares are sweet and savory snacks that come in sage, rosemary and coconut. They won't get me to give up my refined sugar-filled junk food, but they're as good as they are innovative.
Fudge Covered Oreos
Kraft introduced the newest member of the Oreo family. They took one chocolate cookie, a full serving of the traditional filling, and covered the whole thing in fudge. It's like the Keebler Elves took over Nabisco and gave the world a wonderful present.
Goody Good Stuff Summer Peaches
For years, vegetarians have gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to chewy fruity candy. Without gelatin, most fruity chews are far too soft to be enjoyable. These vegetarian candies were released in England last year and are now making their debut in the U.S. They're not going to threaten the Haribos of the world anytime soon, but they're the best gelatin-free version of this type of candy I've had by a wide margin.
It's not the most photogenic of candies but the return of this childhood favorite (after a 25-year absence!) was perhaps my most exciting discovery at the Expo. The Worrell Corporation, which brought Turkish Taffy back from the grave last year, is reintroducing this delicious chocolate caramel, although it's now in slab from rather than on a stick.