September 23, 2007

OMG! The Candy Expo!

My teeth ached and my stomach rumbled even before I stepped onto the floor of the All Candy Expo. The Expo was overflowing with every type of sweet as well as some salty snack foods.
The Candy Expo was the first show held in McCormick Place's new West Wing, so everything was clean and shiny new, even the bathrooms. But, you don't want to hear about the bathrooms; you want to hear about the candy. It was everywhere!

Eating my way through the All Candy Expo
The Expo was the equivalent size of nearly 10 football fields. In my first walk down one of the many aisles I tried a chocolate covered crispy cricket. It would have been wise to save something this adventurous until later in the show, but I survived. I did, however, vow to avoid eating insects for the rest of the day.

At the risk of sounding too much like the Very Hungry Caterpillar, I also sampled a dill pickle, chocolate covered sunflower seeds, some upscale nut snacks, and a smoked buffalo steak snack (like jerky, but less chewy). I also snagged a marshmallow crispie to bring home for the boys and a bag of caffeine-enhanced potato chips for DH.

On my trip down aisle two I stopped keeping track of what I sampled or grabbed to take home. By aisle three, I nibbled the tasty morsels offered to me, but tossed most after a bite or two. By aisle 4 (the equivalent of maybe 2 football fields) I groaned with each glimpse of artificially colored high fructose corn syrupy gummy crap.

Another high-end, imported organic 65% cacao chocolate bar? Stop, I can't stand it! Oh, I can take the whole thing home to try? Oh, okay, sure.

By 1:00 I was spent. I looked like a pack mule with my overstuffed bags of candy. I felt like an overstimulated toddler after her birthday party, crashing down from my sugar high. I wanted a nap so badly I could have cried. But one thing stood between the parking lot and me: The Treasure House.

Each Candy Expo pass holder is allowed one trip into The Treasure House. One last, desperate attempt to grab up every possible goodie and stuff it into a small bag. I did not miss my chance. I got some kettle corn, mini-Tolberones, Jelly Bellies, and goodness knows what else.
I've already sent a basket of sweets to the teacher's lounge at my boy's school and we will no doubt be THE house for cool Halloween treats. I'm also planning an awesome PMS survival kit giveaway on my blog, Hormone-colored Days. But it will take many days to try the items that look promising.

Our Taste-Test results
The NRG potato chips looked really promising two days after the show when I was still dragging myself around as I tried to get the boys ready for school and myself ready for work. There are worse things to eat for breakfast, right? Not really, but I was desperate. Turns out the chips were too spicy for a mild food lover like me. The single chip I ate didn't jump start me quite the way I'd hoped and I couldn't handle any more.

Don't tell the boys I ate this without them, but Terra Nostra puts out a dangerously delicious USDA organic "satin milk with creamy caramel filling chocolate bar" that lives up to its satiny-creamy name. At the show, I sampled a bit of Terra Nostra's non-dairy/vegan rice milk-based chocolate, which tasted surprisingly like the real thing.

I hadn't intended to give the boys Fizzies, but they found my samples of this retro drink tablet and suddenly it was a done deal. You add the tablet to water and watch it fizz up like a soda. Packed with vitamin C and artificial coloring agents, I was glad that Smartypants didn't like it, even though he thought the concept was cool. Pikachu did enjoy the Fizzie drinks, though.

On a less artificial note, the folks at Pure Fun showered me with their organic hard candies and lollipops. They're gluten-free, certified vegan, kosher, and USDA organic and are made without artificial colors, which recent studies indicate have a negative affect on some children. But how do they taste? Great! I brought them to large family dinner last night and the nine kids present gobbled them up and filled their pockets with more to take home.

And speaking of gluten-free foods, I'll get back to the food allergy series soon with a post or two about gluten-free diets.

If you're hungry for more sweet details about the All Candy Expo, check out my new blog friends at Candy Addict and Candy Blog.
Adapted from a post at Chicago Moms Blog.

1 comment:

kat said...

I'm so jealous! Can I come next year?


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