(DaRK PaRTY used to only like salty snacks (our obsession with Pepperidge Farms “Goldfish” products is ugly). But lately, DaRK PaRTY has craved chocolate – mainly chocolate candy bars. We blame Steve Almond. Almond wrote a book called “Candy Freak: A Journey through the Chocolate Underbelly of America.” Almond freely admits that he has a problem with chocolate and sugar products – keeping several pounds of candy bars stashed in his house (including several boxes of the now discontinued Kit Kat Dark). Obviously the man has a problem. Almond is also the author of two story collections “My Life in Heavy Metal” and “The Evil B.B. Chow.” His next book is a collection of essays "(Not That You Asked)" to be published in 2007 by Random House. He lives outside
Steve: If you taste chocolate when you burp, you're probably a candy freak. It's a level of commitment to candy that should be sustained and irrational. But I don't like to draw hard and fast rules, because in the end it's more like a gradient. Everyone has some degree of freakitude within them, some pocket of obsession. It's just a matter of how proudly they fly their freak flag.
DP: Is it possible to be a candy freak and not love chocolate?
Steve: Yes, of course. There's an entire world of candy that doesn't involve chocolate. That being said, chocolate is (for me) the gold standard of the sweets world.
Steve: I dug all of them, but the one that was the most fun to visit was the Idaho Candy Company, where they make the Idaho Spud candybar, which is just the craziest thing on earth. Also: the machine broke when I was there, and that was very cool to see. Also also: Dave Wagers, the guy who owns the company, was unbelievable cool. Totally laid back and still fascinated by candy in the freakish way I am.
DP: Can you share with DaRK PaRTY readers the reasons for your sojourn > to candy makers around the country? What motivated you on your journey?
Steve: Two words: Free Samples.
DP: You're forced to live on "
Steve: Snickers, for overall flavor and diversity of ingredients. Kit Kat Dark, because eating them makes my soul tumescent. Carvavelle, because (even though they no longer exist) they were the best candy bar on earth.