Book: Candyfreak by Steve Almond

Book Info: Published by Algonquin Books Of Chapel Hill; 266 pages; hardcover; borrowed from the library

Genre: Non-fiction/food

Find out more at: Goodreads~Barnes And Noble~Amazon~Author Website Summary: A self-professed candyfreak, Steve Almond set out in search of a much-loved candy from his childhood and found himself on a tour of the small candy companies that are persevering in a marketplace where big corporations dominate.

From the Twin Bing to the Idaho Spud, the Valomilk to the Abba-Zaba, and discontinued bars such as the Caravelle, Marathon, and Choco-Lite, Almond uncovers a trove of singular candy bars made by unsung heroes working in old-fashioned factories to produce something they love. And in true candyfreak fashion, Almond lusciously describes the rich tastes that he has loved since childhood and continues to crave today. Steve Almond has written a comic but ultimately bittersweet story of how he grew up on candy-and how, for better and worse, the candy industry has grown up, too.

Candyfreak is the delicious story of one man’s lifelong obsession with candy and his quest to discover its origins in America.

Candyfreak is definitely interesting.  Almond traveled around the country to explore a lot of the small, regional candy companies.  Honestly, it nice to learn about the candy companies I’ve never heard of.  Basically, you have Nestle/Mars/Hershey’s and then there’s everyone else.  It’s really sad that the smaller companies can only afford to be in small, local places.  How many candy bars have I missed out on because they’re not at one of the major companies?

This book definitely made me want a candy bar, and I loved Almond’s descriptions of the various treats he came across.  You can tell he has a love for candy and I really liked seeing his journey through the world of candy.

While I enjoyed the book, it was more about his experience than the actual history.  You get bits and pieces, but there isn’t as much history as I expected.  He also jumped around a little, and he sometimes went off-topic, which was slightly irritating by the end of the book.

Overall, I did like it, and it was interesting, so it gets a 3 out of 5.  It felt like there was something missing from the book, though.

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