Saturday, June 27, 2015

Exotic/Disgusting Foods and Beverages Forum--Special Candies

     Typically, candy epitomizes the term “empty calories.”  Candy is usually sugar-packed (or in the case of the ridiculous Pixie Stix, is basically just artificially colored sugar granules) and sometimes fatty to boot.  That’s what makes candy so delicious, and so hard for most to resist.
     Well, a few companies have tried to have their cake and eat it too, so to speak, and manufacture candy that’s tasty and healthy.  Snap Infusion, out of Massachusetts, U.S.A., has come up with something called Supercandy.  To quote from their website, the candy has “5 kinds of awesome”—B vitamins, electrolytes, antioxidants, fewer than normal calories, and is natural.  They also have the slogan, “Yes, your tongue has dreams.”  (Which makes me wonder—do all our organs do this?  Does my spleen sometimes dream it’s naked except for cowboy boots, back in school being forced to take a test it hasn’t studied for?)  Fittingly, there are currently five kinds of Supercandy—gummy multi-berry, bean multi-berry (it looks like a jelly bean, not like it’s lima bean flavored or something), caramel, sour gummy fruit-full, and tart fruit-full.  Additionally they are endorsed by a female free style skier, Taylor Urlich.  I’ve heard of free style swimming, but not skiing.  But evidently it’s a thing.
     Also, the folks at AWAKE Corporation (from Canada) have invented their own spin on candy.  It’s not advertized as being healthy, but it is energizing.  Specifically, it’s billed as an eye-opener—each bar has the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee (about 100 mg.), and each smaller piece “bite” has the same as a half cup.  Because of this, their candy has a maximum amount per day warning (4 “bites,” or 2 bars).  All chocolate has some caffeine in it naturally, but this has been infused with over ten times the amount.  It has a vigilant-looking mascot, in the form of an owl named Nevil.
     For the Supercandies I was able to locate the gummy multi-berry and the caramel.  The former was orange and cherry flavored, and tasted like….gummy candies, or decent.  Which I guess is good— it wasn’t noticeably inferior or even nasty like some diet/”healthy” foods.  The caramel one was better—a nice sharp caramel flavor.  I would buy either again, especially the caramel type, as they’re both respectable candies.
     Although, to be fair, there is some criticism of these types of candy.  As a health website (the Mettler Center) points out, even “healthy” candy is still largely sugar based, with all the detriments that entails.  It’s still not as nutritious as say, a piece of fruit.  Furthermore, consuming diet type candies or snacks can backfire, as they result in slower drop of the hunger hormone ghrelin, meaning a person will be less satisfied with the diet version, and may end up eating more than if they were eating regular candy/food.  So keep this in mind—Supercandy may be better than most candy, with some benefits, but don’t go thinking it’s a healthy meal or anything.  (As an aside, I really like the name “ghrelin.”  I think it would make for a good monster name—“The marks on that haberdasher’s corpse show all the signs of a ghrelin attack,” or “While we were just talking, Ghrelin just razed Luxembourg and the better part of Helena, Montana.”)
     As for the AWAKE, I tried the caramel flavor, in the bite sized piece format.  It tasted like a typical carmel-filled chocolate.  Good, but not spectacular.  I might buy it again, but I don’t think I would necessarily seek it out.  Alas, I’m not really the target audience for this product, as caffeine doesn’t seem to really affect me.  Even so, I decided to be prudent and follow the stated piece maximum for each day.  But, I can see this being a viable alternative for coffee drinkers, as they could save some time in the morning by not having to brew up a pot, or drive to Starbucks or whatever.  As with any caffeine-based food or beverage, there are the usual health issues—addiction, nervousness, trouble sleeping, etc., so if you do indulge, I would follow the warnings on the package.  (Amazing caffeine trivia—severe addict Voltaire reportedly consumed a staggering 50-72 cups of coffee a day.  How he ever slept, or managed to be out of the bathroom for more than five minutes I’ll never know.)

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