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Get Out More............................CyberCandy

CHOCAHOLICS A GO GO

10-08-2009

Cyber Candy

Calling all chocoholics, CyberCandy, purveyors of weird sweets and chocolate, opens a Birmingham store this month. So get stuck in says Steve Beauchampé!

Some people take their chocolate very seriously. High coca content, handmade, Venezuelan or Ecuadorian beans, preferably organic or fairtrade, they eat small quantities, very slowly, usually preferring the subtle flavours of dark and bitter over the instant fix of milk or - heaven forbid - the impostor that is white! For such discerning folk, the luxurious offerings of Hotel Chocolat (various locations), or Chouchoute (Great Western Arcade, near Mr. Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe), Selfridges or House of Fraser are their emporiums of indulgence, at least since Thornton’s became so omnipresent.

Well, they’re not going to like this then!

CyberCandy, stockists of some of the weirdest and most outlandish sweets and chocolate on the planet, are coming to Birmingham!! This month!!! Actually, this week!!!!

Beginning life in 2000 as an online store selling imported candy, the stuff you might see on holiday but never in Britain, the company’s Birmingham store (on Upper Bull Street, near Tempest Records) is their third, after London (Covent Garden) and Brighton.

Roughly speaking, CyberCandy’s offerings fall into three categories: There are the overseas variants of those brands and lines that comprise the staple of British confectionary: strawberry flavoured KitKat, tropical fruit flavoured Skittles, dark chocolate Mars Bars or Snickers, Cadbury’s Freddo bars in peppermint or Crunchie flavours (to name just a few).

Then there’s the unique lines those firms produce abroad but don’t sell in the UK such as Cadbury’s Caramilk, Berry Pannacotta, Sweet Marie or Chocolate Éclair Lollipop, Mars’ Pods, Nestlé’s Chocolate Turtles.

Weirdest of all though are the sweets and candies, often imported from places such as Japan and Mexico, whose taste almost defies description; check out cactus juice flavoured jellies, the Turkish Pepper Stick - piping hot liquorice, Muddy Bears - chocolate covered gummy bears, Hello Kitty’s Candy-flavoured Lip Gloss and Lucas Skwinkles Salsagheti Watermelon (hot candy straws with tamarind sauce). There’s much for lovers of the American Wonka and Japanese Hello Kitty brands, for connoisseurs of Poptarts or the Simpsons-inspired Duff range of drinks and if you’ve ever fancied eating a chewy red Ferrari racing car (smaller than actual size) then now you know where to come.

It’s worth pointing out that CyberCandy’s stock is subject to availability and demand (everything’s imported so they can’t just rustle up another pallet of Finland’s favourite boiled sweets or South Africa’s most popular Sherbert Dip at short notice), so you may have to be patient or try the online store (www.cybercandy.co.uk). Neither is this stuff cheap (around double or treble the price of a British equivalent), but then, we’re still talking no more than Hotel Chocolat prices.

Anyway, I must away - got to track down one of those 200g orange flavoured Caramac bars!

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Today's edition of The Stirrer edited by Steve Beauchampé

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