Candy Freak – Steve Almond

Candy Freak is a journey to find America’s small candy makers and some of their iconic candies.   Most of these are candies that you’ve probably only heard of if you live in a specific region, and they’re sadly disappearing.   I didn’t realized how bad the big three (Hershey’s, Mars and Nestle) are making it for the little guys.   I am aware of slotting fees in supermarkets (why you should make a point of not looking right in front of you if you want to find more uncommon things), but the candy industry seems to have taken things to a new level.

The author starts at home in Boston (home of the Necco company, which I have actually driven by), and travels across the country to find some obscure candies (including some he remembers as a child in California), and manages some self discovery along the way.    The book is an interesting slice of an industry that’s seen some big changes.

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