So I was listening to a podcast of the Thanksgiving edition of the hit food radio show The Splendid Table -- because I'm a dork like that -- and lo and behold, Jane and Michael Stern, authors of the popular Roadfood books, came on to sing the praises of Enstrom's, the Colorado-based candy company.
Let's just say the Sterns are fans. Describing the way Enstrom's almond toffee gives way in their mouths, how its coat of chocolate and chopped nuts makes way for a toffee core so perfectly calibrated it liquefies on their tongues, this grand old couple began making on-air noises that made me feel a little icky. Then they dropped the bombshell, calling the product "the best candy in the world."
That's right. Not "best toffee," not just "best American candy," but best...candy...in...the...world.
While I'm all for Colorado products receiving well-deserved accolades, such a bold statement makes me nervous, especially in the heady realm of sweets, where braggadocio and rivalries are only a bit less ardent than those associated with football and barbecue. Can Enstrom's buttery goodness really hold its own against the legendary Amedei Chuao chocolate bar? Pierre Marcolini's Belgian pralines? Or even a personal favorite, a British Cadbury Crunchie bar?
But no turning back now. The confectioner's gauntlet has been thrown. Let the sugar-fed squabbles begin. - Joel Warner