This afternoon, the Broome-facing windows of Papabubble were hung tantalizingly with sugar-sculpted cages encasing candy critters. How I’ve loved visiting this Barcelona-born sweets boutique since it opened in NoLIta last Fall.
Fiona and Jelly were in the midst of rolling out a fresh batch of sweet-smelling passion fruit when we strolled in. Check out this video from Cool Hunting for a behind-the-scenes look at their candy-making process.
On the white marble counter sat a sample jar of pale purple and orange striped nibs, which Fiona informed us were chocolate-filled lavender and bergamot candies. Although the combination sounded suspiciously like something I might pick up at Fresh, I decided to try them out. Different, certainly… and in fact, deliciously addictive. (Oh, dear.) These candies represent a couple of the shop’s newer flavors and are sold in bags with a mix of both aromatic varieties, or separately without the chocolate centers. Papabubble founder Tommy Tang would be proud.
Earlier this year, former Brooklyn Record editor Kara Zuaro (I Like Food, Food Tastes Good) recommended these elaborate “Edible Rings for Commitmentphobes,” which are sealed and displayed in a glass case near the front register:
We left the candy store, having picked up a bag of tasty treats… but disappointingly, nothing else. Buck up, my friend: there is only glory.
Disheartening message at DiSalvio Playground:
Remember how when we were growing up the green M&M’s were associated with special naughty powers? How do such random associations get started? Apparently, in this case, no one really knows. In my young mind, I always had traced the origins to the 1980s M&M’s “home run” commercial — “With the green ones, I take the ball dowwwntown!” – but it seems that such urban legends have been circulating around the country since the Disco era. In the mid-90s, Mars introduced the print and television “Is it true what they say about green ones?”-advertising campaign, unabashedly exploiting the candy’s sexy reputation, and in 1997 officially introduced Ms. Green, the first and only female M&M’s character.
This Valentine’s Day, “the brand celebrates the myths, rumors and innuendo surrounding green M&M’S Chocolate Candies” by introducing these special limited edition “All Green” packets — sure to catch the eye amidst the sea of red and pink offerings. The suggestively smiling mascot with her saucy “Sweetie… It’s all true” seems a tad risqué for a candy campaign, no?
Warning on package: “Consumption of The Green Ones may result in elevated Romance Levels. If you experience this effect, contact your Significant Other immediately. No official agency has verified these statements… but what do they know about romance anyway?”
As you can see, I picked up a bag anyway. I’ll take my chances.
Veterans Day was one day earlier, but my office was observing the holiday today, which gave me another reprieve on a day when almost everyone else I knew had to work. My afternoon of leisure consisted of a vegan lunch at NoLIta’s Wild Ginger followed by a visit to the new Papabubble shop to watch the pretty candies being made.
Once we entered the rather plain storefront on Broome, we were enveloped by a wonderful smell: that steam-cooked mixture of corn syrup and sugar. Inside the shop had the appearance of a sleek candy laboratory: all white subway tiles, brushed metal counters and beakers of colored oils.
Papabubble was empty this afternoon but for us and three employees: one cashier, and two candy makers who were hard at work, pulling and shaping large, malleable blocks of sugar. As the pair moved quickly in tandem to run the candy through the extruder, the woman looked up from her work. No doubt sensing our fascination through the plexiglass barrier, she asked if we’d like to sample some fresh candy. Would we?! She obligingly cut off a couple pieces from the end with a pair of scissors, and I popped the warm, chewy, cherry-flavored piece into my mouth. Holy moly, what do they put in these things… crack cocaine?
Maybe, because I was hooked. (First one’s always free, right?) Afterwards, I spent an inordinate amount of time perusing the shop’s left wall, where shelves of the cheery-looking glass jars ($14.50 and $25 — refillable at a discount) and bags ($7.50 for 4 ounces) of hard candies were spotlit to glittering effect, like bits of Venetian Murano glass.
At the front counter, gorgeous lollipops of varying sizes — $4 to $15:
For the more economically-minded, the shop had a few aesthetically-inferior candy “irregulars,” ranging in size from a golf ball to wider than a palm. (This hefty disk was marked “$ five bucks.”)
I wonder how they get the letters inside the candy for the New York mix (center)? And is each borough represented by a different flavor?
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