Candies

Is there anyone on this wonderful, fragile, pale blue dot, that doesn’t enjoy the taste of candy? Well, besides dentists, killjoys, and people that don’t have a sweet tooth inside their entire bod. Because candy can be absolutely scrumptious. It can feature chocolate, it can feature peanuts nut, and it can feature marshmallows. Suffice to say, candy can contain the best of ingredients. These little treats can be the perfect snack on vacation, an afternoon, or when you want to procrastinate doing actual work at the office.

Moreover, there are a ton of delicious candies out there that you might’ve never taste-tested. And no, they’re not made by the Mars company, they’re not a stack of the 500,000 M&M’s flavors that are out there. Across the countryside and in the cityscapes of America, there are some unique and special regional candies that one can nom upon.

But what are the regional American candies worth trying? And where did they come from? And what makes them so spesh? Well, if those questions have been bouncing around you’re noggin, don’t fret. Because we’re about list some of the best regional candies worth trying.

1. Valomilk

Valomilk

Imagine this: a candy with a runny marshmallow interior and a hard chocolate exterior. Now, if this hypothetical candy is your dream snack, then you need to head to Kansas to try a Valomilk. Because this treat is exactly that. On Valomilk’s website, they state their candy’s melty marshmallow insides are made out of cane sugar, corn syrup, egg whites, bourbon vanilla, water, and salt. They also state that their chocolate is made from a 1931 recipe that features cocoa beans, cocoa butter, and actual vanilla.

It’s also worth noting that these delicious treats were first created by true chance. According to Valomilk’s history page, this candy came about because one of their candy makers named Tommy was inebriated, from drinking too much of the factory’s alcoholic vanilla, and he wrecked a batch of marshmallows. Tommy hadn’t set them up to cool off, so they became runny instead. However, another candymaker named Harry Sifers put the melted marshmallows into cups made out of chocolate, and thus the first type of Valomilk had come to be.

If this type of candy seems like it’d be your vibe, then you better find a way to support the people that make them. In 2020, KCUR-FM reported that the Valomilk Candies company was struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This fact demonstrates how fragile independent, regional candies can become in our current economic landscape.

2. Bourbon Balls

Bourbon Balls

According to All Recipes, bourbon balls are a Kentucky candy that one can actually make in their very own home. All you need to do is soak some nuts in Kentucky bourbon overnight, mix them with some butter and sugar, refrigerate your mixture for another night, roll this goodness into a whack of balls, and then cover them in some melted chocolate. Yup, making bourbon balls is really that easy.

But who invented such a delicious boozy candy? Well, in an article by VinePair, they stated that these treats were invented by Hanly Booe in Kentucky sometime around 1938. Two years prior, Booe was the owner of the Rebecca Ruth candy store and was struggling to keep the business afloat. However, everything changed when she talked to a visiting dignitary, Eleanor Hume Offutt, who said stated that she loved chocolate and Kentucky bourbon. Well, it was Offutt or the Kentucky Governor Ruby Laffoon who expressed this notion, this detail of the story has a contested history.

Nevertheless, whether it was Hume or Laffoon that plugged chocolate and Kentucky bourbon, Booe was inspired to combine them into a delicious candy. It then took her two years or less to refine her bourbon balls recipe, and these treats sold superbly well. It’s a testament to Booe’s skills as a candymaker that Kentucky bourbon balls are still enjoyed over 80 years later.

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