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October 24, 2012

Roundup: Top Picks For Philadelphia-Made Candy And Chocolate, Just In Time For Halloween

Satisfy your sweet tooth while supporting local business with delicious local candy and chocolate this Halloween. (Photo credits, clockwise from top left: courtesy Lore's, courtesy John & Kira's, courtesy Eclat, courtesy Shane's Confectionery)

Halloween is the one night of the year you can binge, guiltless, on end, on mini Kit Kats and crinkly packets of M&Ms and cherry ropes of Twizzler and sugary candy corn.

And if you’re spending Halloween in Philadelphia, which we hope you are, your options for All Hallows’ Eve treats of the local variety are the perfect excuse for a November 1 candy rush — you’re supporting local business!

If your sweet tooth is as relentless as ours, you’ll appreciate the selection of locally made candy and chocolate we’ve rounded up for your Halloween eating pleasure. And it turns out that Philadelphia has always had a sweet history; according to the Inquirer, the Wunderle Candy Co. at 8th and Somerset Streets was the first to make candy corn in America. Pretty cool.

Give our roundup a read-through and let us know what your favorite Philadelphia candy is, in the comments.

Candy

Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews: With a new branding campaign, complete with awesome Philly-centric ads and old school packaging, Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews are paying homage to their local heritage this year, just in time for some Halloween chow-down. The chewy, chocolatey bite-sized pieces loaded with crunchy roasted peanuts, developed in 1917, taste better than ever.

Mike and Ikes and Hot Tamales: Fun fact: these two perennial chewy favorites are manufactured right here in the Philadelphia region by Bethlehem, PA’s Just Born. So you can toss them back to your locavore heart’s content — just make sure to make a dentist appointment for soon after the holiday. The Mike and Ike Mummy’s Mix is a special seasonal favorite.

Peeps: Another unsuspecting local product, Peeps are produced by the same manufacturer that churns out Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews, Mike and Ikes and Hot Tamales. Not just for Easter, Peeps are pushed out with a Halloween spin this time of year, including Dark Chocolate Peepsters and Peeps Halloween Mini Chicks.

• Shane Confectionery: Old City’s Shane Confectionery, revitalized by the Franklin Fountain’s Berley Brothers, delivers a taste of the past with house-made, old fashioned confections that continue the American candy-making traditions of the early 20th Ccentury. Go for the taffies and buttercreams made from century-old recipes (the Pumpkin Spice Buttercream is a seasonal favorite), or opt for something more modern, like chocolate-dipped bacon. Bonus: they’re stocking homemade Candied and Caramel Apples for the season.

Frankford Candy: Frankford Candy was founded in Philadelphia in 1947 as a manufacturer of seasonal chocolate products. Today, it produces a huge variety of Halloween-perfect treats, from Body Parts Sushi gummy candy to gummy Candy Body Parts. For the little ones, the “burping” Gator Pop is as much fun to play with as it is to eat.

Philly Sweettooth: With more than 250 candies, chocolates, nuts and dried fruits on offer, Philly Sweettooth has something for everyone. They’re located on 4th Street’s Fabric Row just one block off South Street in Queen Village.

Nuts To You: Philadelphia-based, family-run Nuts To You was established in 1976 with a commitment to providing the highest quality and freshest gourmet nuts, mixed nuts, gourmet gift baskets and other snacks to Philadelphians. Their five locations are all super popular for candy, nuts, chocolate, popcorn and trail mix in bulk.

Warner’s Candies: Warner’s Candies has been serving the Bensalem and Bucks County communities since 1954. Look out for delicious seasonal treats like pumpkin pie fudge.

Check out our picks for delicious local chocolate, below.

Chocolate

• Marcie Blaine Artisanal Chocolates: Midtown Village boutique Verde is home to Marcie Blaine Artisanal Chocolates, where Chef Marcie Turney churns out chocolates made from locally-sourced seasonal ingredients. Exotic spices make their way into the chef’s popular boxed chocolates, while creamy caramels and barks combine the earthy flavor of cocoa with nuts, dried fruit, granola and the occasional sprinkling of sea salt.

• Philly Chocolate: At this Walnut Street chocolate shop, your traditional gourmet boxed chocolates and decadent desserts are displayed alongside imaginative delights, like rice cereal treats, Oreos, Twizzlers and Swedish Fish, all drenched in white, milk or dark chocolate.

• John & Kira’s: Local favorite John & Kira’s features gourmet, artisan chocolate gifts and handmade confections. They’ve got several delicious Halloween options, including Spiced Caramel Pumpkins, and “Magic Chocolate” Cinnamon, Cardamom and Apple Chocolates. You can also pick up John and Kira’s Chocolate Covered Cherries at Di Bruno Bros.

• Lore’s Chocolates: With more than 100 varieties of chocolate piled high under the glass at Lore’s Chocolates, you may have a hard time deciding on just one. Our advice: Take home a little bit of everything, or ask for a sample, and allow your tastebuds to do the decision-making for you.

• Teuscher: Stop into The Shops at the Bellevue for Teuscher’s decadent Swiss chocolates. Teuscher’s signature champagne truffle, made with Dom Perginon and a dark chocolate cream ganache, is the star of the show at this spot that the New York Times called “the world’s finest.”

Eclat Chocolate: West Chester’s Éclat Chocolate, which takes the cocoa bean to new levels with spiced mediants, basil-infused bars and shiraz truffles, sells yummy old-fashioned chocolate pumpkins in honor of Halloween.

Maron Chocolates: Opened in 1850, Center City’s Maron Chocolates housed inside Scoop Deville on Chestnut Street is a classic spot for caramels, clusters and other sweet treats; pumpkin truffles are a must this time of year.

• Max Brenner: It’s not made in Philadelphia, but it’s the next best thing: Max Brenner’s lovingly made chocolate confections will drive you bonkers, or maybe that’s just the fresh chocolate smell piped into the entrance vestibule (we’re serious). Max’s stocks chocolate boxes and packages, including edible spa products for the adventurous folks, or you can hand-select from the glass cases of beautiful artisan chocolates.

• Chocolate by Mueller: Put a smile on your coworkers’ or kid’s face with Chocolate by Mueller’s fun molded confections, like anatomically-correct hearts, brains, and noses crafted from yummy, rich chocolate. This Reading Terminal Market vendor also makes more traditional offerings, like fruit and nut clusters, turtles, and a large selection of sugar-free treats.

Zipf’s Candies: Despite the name, Chestnut Hill favorite Zipf’s Candies is more of a chocolate lover’s paradise, vending a wide variety of chocolates, ranging from caramels to truffles. Don’t get us wrong, there are definitely also sweets of the non-chocolate variety — giant lollipops, many types of licorice, gummies and more.

Asher’s: A family-owned-and-operated business, Asher’s is based in Souderton, PA. They’re best known for chocolate-enrobed pretzels and nut barks, but the company also makes pre-packaged bags of orange and brown chocolate nonpareils and crispy, rice-studded choco-pops.

Country Fair Chocolates: At 30-year-old Country Fair Chocolates, those with a sweet tooth can shop for hundreds of homemade chocolate options like Oreos, Vienna Fingers and Nutter Butters dipped in chocolate. But the most popular offering here are the huge, luscious berries swirled in that sweet brown nectar of life.

Hershey’s Chocolate: Milton Hershey decided in 1894 to produce sweet chocolate as a coating for his caramels and named his new enterprise, located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the Hershey Chocolate Company. The rest is history. Today, just under two hours’ drive from Philadelphia, you’ll find Hershey headquarters in Hershey, PA, where you can drown yourself in chocolatey goodness in the form of Reese’s, chocolate kisses, Almond Joys, Mounds, York Peppermint Patties, Kit Kats and the original Hershey bar.

Bonus:

Tastykake: It’s not really candy and it’s not really chocolate. It’s a delicious Philadelphia snack food tradition, and great for Halloween. Especially the Pumpkin Pie and Ghostly Goodies varieties.

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Asher’s Chocolates is not only family-owned and operated right here in the Philadelphia area, but we are the oldest continously family-owned and operated candy factory in the United States. We offer a large supply of items to satisfy any sweet tooth, including the largest line of sugar free items in the industry.